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Western Australian Community Foundation

25 June 2004 at 1:06 pm
Staff Reporter
Western Australia has launched its first state-wide community foundation with the aim of making it easier for business to engage with community.

Staff Reporter | 25 June 2004 at 1:06 pm


Western Australian Community Foundation
25 June 2004 at 1:06 pm

Western Australia has launched its first state-wide community foundation with the aim of making it easier for business to engage with community.

The Western Australian Community Foundation’s Patron is the WA Governor, Lt General John Sanderson, AC. He says the Community Foundation model will create an opportunity for communities to pool and invest donations, with the interest earned being used to fund local initiatives in their own communities.

Areas such as health, research, social services, the arts, economic development and the environment are likely to benefit from funding generated through the Foundation.

Community Foundations are a tried and tested model around the world; they however, have a younger history here in Australia.

According to the new CEO, Kathryn Sydney-Smith the lessons learned from around the globe and from the eastern states counterparts coupled with input from communities in Western Australia, have led to the development of a model that can, over time, come to support the diverse needs of our state.

Sydney-Smith says while the Melbourne Community Foundation has a community focus and the Sydney Community Foundation is more event driven, the WACF model focuses on sustainable and long term outcomes for its regional and remote communities.

She says one of the Foundation’s key goals is to actively contribute towards strengthening communities across Western Australia. Harnessing the energy of communities, encouraging business community partnerships and providing learning opportunities.

Corporate funding from Alcoa, St John of God Healthcare and Wesfarmers over the next 4 years has ensured their operational needs are met.

Kathryn Sydney-Smith says the Hyden Community, Friends of Kings Park and Community Leaders within the Peel region are already working towards establishing a sub-fund under the umbrella of the Western Australian Community Foundation.

In addition to the corner-stone partners, the Western Australian Community Foundation also received a starter grant from the Department of Local Government and Regional Development to assist it through its initial stages, and more recently, the Myer Foundation has provided $25 000 to contribute to the Foundation’s first year.

Sydney-Smith says the WACF has set itself many targets including being self- sufficient by 2010 with $40 million under management.

In the short term they are aiming to attract ten sub-funds a year as a minimum as well as playing a pro-active part in brokering corporate community partnerships and encouraging philanthropy generally.

Kathryn Sydney-Smith started in health promotion with an interest in social marketing. She was lured to Melbourne to work for World Vision and stayed to be the marketing manager of the Starlight Foundation and more recently Barwon Health. She has returned to her hometown of Perth.

Australia has 26 active Community Foundations, the Melbourne Community Foundation being the oldest, established in 1997. Worldwide there are 1100 community foundations in over 35 countries, with Canada and the USA having the greatest number.

Their purpose is to promote and support local voluntary and community activity through the establishment of permanently endowed funds for a given community group.

For more information about the Western Australian Community Foundation call 08 9323 5555 or check out the web site at

If you would like an electron brochure in PDF format send an email with WACF Brochure in the Subject line to

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