A big thank you to everyone who helped make the Pitch Night for the Women’s Giving Circle on September 1st so special – both those who could make it and those who were there in spirit.
After plenty of Covid-19 and flood interruptions, it was a great feeling to share the room with so many engaged, passionate women from the Giving Circle to hear the pitches from our two community organisations.
What a special evening, to award the Empowering Women and Girls Grant round!
The gorgeous Cape Byron Distillery hosted our event, with the two finalist community organisations, Kyogle Family Support Service and Lismore’s Northern Rivers Community Gateway pitching to the Women’s Giving Circle members.
For those Circle members who missed the Pitch Night, we look forward to having you at the next event.
Both finalists put together worthy projects, and we extend our gratitude to The Vasudhara Foundation, FRRR & Sourdough Business Mentors for their invaluable project support.
After silent voting, the Kyogle Family Support Service was awarded first place, receiving a grant of $40,000 to implement their project Walking Tall.
During her pitch, Kyogle Family Support Service’s Case Manager Jade Bennett, shared her personal story, including her study of a Diploma of Counselling which put her on the path to achieving her passion. – supporting community members to overcome challenges and shape their life the way they want it.
Jade will now be able to use the $40,000 winning grant money to implement Walking Tall and support women in the Kyogle community, which
has high levels of domestic and family violence as one of its challenges, to access mentoring, a wardrobe and professional development support.
“Pitching at the Women’s Giving Circle has been an amazing experience for me,” Jade said.
“The Walking Tall project will target 12 women in our community; we’re going to support young women to find their individualism and build on their self-esteem, their skills… put that in a package to get them work or education ready.”
“It’s really about supporting that individual person and not putting them in a box – bringing what skills and attributes they have as a person and their style and letting them own that,” she said.
Second place on the evening was awarded to Lismore’s Northern Rivers Community Gateway (NRCG) organisation, who received a grant of $25,000 to deliver their project New Generations.
NRCG’s Fiona Batterham who pitched the New Generations project to the Women’s Circle said it provided a new opportunity to support women and girls in her community.
“The Women’s Giving Circle was of interest to us because we see so many women through our services and we’re interested in not just providing welfare services, but providing the pathways to build women’s capacity and their overall wellbeing,” Fiona said.
“We see so many women who experience trauma, who have so many complexities in their lives, and we can help flip the script… if we can help build a pathway to wellbeing and resilience in a positive way.
“And I think the Women’s Giving Circle is an opportunity.”
New Generations will focus on reducing social isolation for women in communities, thereby strengthening those communities and the life pathways of women and girls.
NRCG CEO Jenni Beetson-Mortimer said the involvement with the Women’s Giving Circle had been a special one.
“The pitching experience with the Women’s Giving Circle has been a great experience for our whole organisation, to actually look at why we’re doing what we’re doing and our role within this space,” Jenni said.
“It also gives myself and my staff the chance to really highlight what we’re doing and the key points of our organisation to a group of people within the community.”
Again, a huge thank you to all members of our Women’s Giving Circle. The incredible community work that will be done through the Walking Tall and New Generations projects is made possible thanks to their generosity as a Women’s Giving Circle member or partner.
We have a new member thanks to Pitch Night, but we’d still love to fill our remaining 19 places and make it to 100 members this year!
If you know a woman who is interested in meeting a local community of values-aligned women, attending events with inspiring guest speakers who are making waves and changing the story for women and girls in our region, then let them know about the Giving Circle.
To share with your networks, friend or community, please visit Women’s Giving Circle NRCF. Alternatively, interested women can email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org