The women of the Northern Rivers again showed that action makes the Northern Rivers thrive, with an event at Newrybar Hall last week.
The Women’s Giving Circle, run through the Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF), came together to fund the Empowering Women and Girls Grant, this year supporting two local projects supporting projects for First Nations communities.
Members of the Giving Circle each make a tax-deductible donation and the funds are pooled to create the annual Women and Girls Grant Program, with two finalists pitching their projects to the Circle. Circle members then vote to award the grants. Thanks must go to Sourdough Business Women who mentored the two finalists, as well as to CAGES Foundation who made a significant contribution to support the grant funding pool.
NRCF Chair Nicole Weber, who launched the Women’s Giving Circle in 2021 said the evening was extremely inspiring.
“There was such a buzz in the air, as everybody met each other and heard the two project pitches that the Circle is supporting – it is just a really special initiative to be a part of,” Ms Weber said.
A $25,000 grant was awarded to The Returning Aboriginal Corporation, with Kirilly Dawn pitching her project of culturally safe postpartum care for First Nations mothers, led by First Nations Women. The program will feature consultations with dieticians and bush tucker knowledge holders to support 15 mothers and babies and 75 family members with nutrient-dense postpartum meals. Program referrals will be made from Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Midwives.
“It’s feels much more human to receive a grant and have met the many people who are getting behind you to make your dream possible. It’s keeping the community at the heart of change,” Ms Dawn said.
“Philanthropy is important in the Northern Rivers because we need local people to connect, to share stories, share resources and weave our community together in healing way. We need people to invest in community initiatives with community solutions,” she said.
A second grant of $15,000 was awarded to The Big Scrub Orchestra with their Girls Rock Cabbo (Cabbage Tree Island) music program. Amanda Dumesny pitched the project and said Pitch Night was an incredible experience.
“It was such a wonderful feeling to have the support and backing of this group of strong and accomplished women who are so passionate about lifting the opportunities for women and girls in the Northern Rivers,” Ms Dumesny said.
“The Northern Rivers is one of the most beautiful parts of the world, yet there are still so many people doing it tough in so many ways. This gives those who are more fortunate the opportunity and satisfaction of sharing some of their
resources to help lift our communities overall. There is a real joy that can come from that flow of giving and receiving that can build quality of life for people on both sides of the equation. The wonderful partnerships and relationships that are formed can enrich both parties.”
The Returning Aboriginal Corporation and Big Scrub Orchestra will deliver their Empowering Women and Girls Grant projects across the next 12 months.
You can view the Pitch Night 2023 gallery here.