Greater Shepparton Foundation established

By John Lewis

A new philanthropic organisation will oversee funding for areas of disadvantage in the Shepparton district.

The establishment of the Greater Shepparton Foundation signals the phasing out of The Community Fund Goulburn Valley, which has driven community-based welfare programs for the past 18 years.

Inaugural foundation chair Garry Smith said the new organisation would expand on The Community’s Fund’s success and community-driven programs.

‘‘We will officially launch Greater Shepparton Foundation at the end of May and we are actively advertising for a CEO to lead this exciting organisation,’’ Mr Smith said.

He said the new board would focus on creating partnerships to connect needs with resources and skills to fulfil its vision of ‘‘no-one living with disadvantage in Greater Shepparton’’.

He said initial key areas of focus would be parenting and early learning, youth unemployment or under-employment and addressing discrimination and lack of inclusion.

‘‘These top three priorities were identified by community leaders and service providers at the 2018 Fairley Foundation Philanthropic Summit, held to provide a direction on the critical needs of our community,’’ Mr Smith said.

Like The Community Fund, he said a local board of directors would oversee the new foundation, drawing on local knowledge and expertise to fulfil its aspirations and goals for the community.

Mr Smith said the Greater Shepparton Foundation would work collaboratively with the Fairley Foundation, Greater Shepparton City Council and other partners, but was an independent philanthropic entity.