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NSW and ACT charities receive major funding boost

Child road safety signage around beaches, leadership programs for young refugees, innovative mentoring programs for primary-aged boys, feeding homeless and at-risk youth; and promoting career opportunities within the dairy industry are among over 50 not-for-profit groups awarded their share of more than $700,000 in critical funding from IMB Bank to support important community programs across NSW and the ACT.

The grants, part of the IMB Bank Community Foundation (ICF) and Shire Community Foundation (SCF), were given to charities and community groups across Sydney, the Illawarra, South Coast, Southern Highlands, and the ACT at launch events in Canberra, Wollongong and Cronulla last week.

Now in its 20th year, the ICF has donated over $10 million to not-for-profit groups in the areas where IMB Bank operates. The SCF was established when the Sutherland Credit Union merged with IMB Bank in 2016, with a pledge to donate $100k a year (for three years) to community groups and charities within the Shire area.

2019 recipients included the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation (child pedestrian road safety initiatives); SCARF Refugee Support (Let’s LEAD Youth Program); the Top Blokes Foundation (mental health support programs for young men and boys, which ICF has supported since inception in 2006); Canberra PCYC (funding for a purpose-built mobile food and information trailer for at-risk and homeless youth), and Cows Create Careers (Dairy Australia’s career education program), amongst others.

Michelle McLaughlin, CEO and Founder of the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation, established the charity in 2014 following the tragic death of her four-year-old son in a road accident at Macmaster’s Beach.

Since then, she and her husband have campaigned tirelessly for child pedestrian road safety throughout Australia. The donation from IMB Bank will go towards improved safety signage around beaches and busy hotspots in local government areas with high holiday pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

“Little Blue Dinosaur works with local councils around Australia to make our holiday areas safer for families and children,” said Michelle. “Our beautiful son Tom was tragically taken from us at age four, but we know the legacy of our little boy will shine through and be realised in the continual work of the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation. The support of IMB Bank is so important in helping us get the message out there to families in the area, and preventing any other family going through what we experienced.”

Cheryl O’Donnell from Canberra PCYC said the funding of the mobile food and information trailer will be invaluable in furthering their work to create pathways for a better future for people living on the streets:

“The trailer will not only provide hot food and drinks, it will serve as a mobile resource and referral service to get people into a safe place and on the path to a better life. It will operate year-round – throughout cold winters and beyond – to create opportunities for disadvantaged members of the community,” she said.

IMB Bank had a record-breaking number of projects apply for funding in 2019.

“The funding committees visit each shortlisted project to assess them and we are always humbled and amazed at the dedication and commitment of community members to help others,” said IMB Bank CEO Robert Ryan.

“It is a real pleasure to be able to allocate funds to these organisations, so they can continue to grow and develop their resources,” he said.

Ryan praised the 2019 recipients, and thanked them for their dedication and determination to assist in the communities in which they live.

As the organisation marks 20 years of community funding, Ryan said that it is an honour to reflect on the partnerships they have formed with people and organisations in these communities, who dedicate their time and effort to creating a better life for others.

“IMB Bank is proud to be associated with them and we look forward to another 20 years of supporting community initiatives,” said Ryan.

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