Foundation

Community investment is primarily leveraged through the charitable Foundation established by Pinnacle’s antecedent companies in 1987, including Wilson HTM, Wilson & Co and the Wilson family. Managed by an independent Board of Directors, the Pinnacle Charitable Foundation has donated more than $3 million to 60 Australian charities. It has a mission to support organisations across different growth stages, which are committed to making a tangible difference in their communities. Often these entities are tackling complex social issues, through developing innovative and new problem solving agendas.  The Foundation’s aim is to foster their long-term sustainability and their ability to generate change, through a focus on supporting capacity building projects. The majority of donations offer annual support of between $10,000 and $20,000 for specific projects, which are approved via a formal application and assessment process.

The following projects are currently being supported by donations from the Foundation:

Child Wise: "Yarn Up about Child Abuse"

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Through prevention and early intervention approaches, Child Wise aims to protect children from sexual abuse. The Victorian based organisation has a mission to reduce the incidence and impact of child abuse and exploitation. Child Wise works to build awareness, deliver education, and provide the tools to empower individuals and communities around Australia so they can actively prevent child abuse and exploitation.

Support from the Foundation is funding Child Wise to develop a new, culturally sensitive training video which is specifically aimed at helping support workers in indigenous communities.

Planned as part of the revamped “Yarn Up” program - operated by Child Wise with a focus on empowering, educating and supporting indigenous communities to protect their children from abuse - the video will explore the indicators of abuse in children and the impact abuse has on their lives, as told through the stories of survivors.

Produced in collaboration with indigenous partners, the video will be tailored to meet the unique needs of its audience. It will draw on the collectivist culture within indigenous communities as a strength to prevent and respond to child abuse. By communities coming together to take a zero tolerance stance on child abuse, and stepping in to support children and families when needed, the incidence of child abuse could be dramatically reduced.

Fighting Chance Australia: Jigsaw

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Fighting Chance has a mission to provide different and innovative services to people with disability in the areas of education and training, social inclusion and economic participation. The aim is to tackle issues of mass unemployment, systematic social exclusion and endemic social isolation facing young people with disability in Australia.

Having been a start up supporter of the employment readiness program Jigsaw, the Foundation is now helping to develop an in-house agency within the NSW based Fighting Chance, to facilitate the next stage of employment for Jigsaw interns. Jigsaw aims to offer people with disability three distinct employment supports:

• Jigsaw LEARNING provides practical training, skill-development and work experience opportunities for people with disability, focused on work-readiness.

• Jigsaw OUTSOURCING delivers digitisation contracts for corporate and government clients, which creates immediate jobs for people with disability, paid at award wages.

• Once trained and experienced, Jigsaw TEMPS will place workers into similar roles within mainstream companies.

With Jigsaw LEARNING and OUTSOURCING well established, in 2017 Fighting Chance is expanding the Jigsaw model by investing in TEMPS, to place high-quality, experienced candidates from the OUTSOURCING business into mainstream roles.

Jigsaw TEMPS will provide a suite of services to prospective candidates including skills assessments to identify gaps (and seek subsequent support through Jigsaw LEARNING), interview practice, familiarisation and workplace etiquette training. Advice will also be provided to employers to ensure candidates settle in, together with ongoing support throughout the transition to mainstream employment.

MND and Me Foundation

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The MND and Me Foundation was established in Brisbane by Scott Sullivan in 2010. A husband and father of two children, Scott was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) at the age of 38. While Scott sadly lost his battle in April 2014, his legacy lives on through MND and Me.

The MND and Me Foundation has a mission to support people and their families living with MND across Queensland. The Foundation delivers support programs and funds research into treatments and a potential cure for this currently terminal disease. It has a focus on 4 major areas:

• Care
• Research
• Community Building
• Awareness

Having been a long-term supporter of MND and Me, this year the Foundation's funding will support development of a collaborative project being undertaken with MND Queensland. The goal is to establish an MND Support Group Capacity Building Program across the state.

There are over 300 people living in Queensland with MND, with 10 volunteer support groups operating from various locations to assist them and their families. In other states this support group structure operates together with local state MND Associations, and there is the potential for the QLD Groups to also gain support and become major direct fundraising resources.

MND and Me therefore plans to implement a Support Group Capacity Building Program, together with MND Queensland, to ensure these vitally important community groups can meet the needs of those with MND.

FRRR (Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal): Goongerah Landcare

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Bendigo based FRRR has a goal to promote rural and regional renewal, regeneration and development in Australia, in social well-being, health, economic, environmental and cultural areas.

To achieve these goals FRRR champions regional communities through partnerships, often with grassroots organisations.

The project currently funded by the Foundation and managed by FRRR, is enabling Goongerah Landcare to run a series of highly successful public scientific camps in East Gippsland. The aims of the camps are to collect and collate data and conduct surveys and mapping projects, to protect dwindling native forest species including potoroos, quolls and tree frogs. Recent surveys have recorded Greater Gliders in numbers higher than required to trigger a protection order to be implemented, with a report submitted to the State Government so protections from logging can be put in place.

Groups attending the camps have also toured the Kuark Forests to the south for old growth forest walks, mapping special rainforest areas and choosing the most likely habitat to deploy remote fauna cameras in the hope of sighting endangered native potoroos. This was successful, and is essential to ensure the establishment of a protection zone.

Significant work has also occurred on developing the content for a survey manual, to be used as a basis for future camps and for more professional recording and analysis.

HeartKids Australia: Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Registry

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The Foundation also seeks longer term partnerships with select charitable organisations aligned to the interests of key stakeholders. The goal is to invest in developing critical long-term product and / or service offerings, through a commitment to multi year backing subject to annual reviews.

Currently the Foundation is partnering with HeartKids Australia (HKA) through donating $100,000 per annum to seed fund feasibility studies and the pilot development of a national Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Registry. The development and implementation of a Registry is essential to monitor the number of child and adult patients with CHD, which could potentially total around 65,000 Australians. The key objective is to provide access to information which can help to more effectively understand the true range of outcomes and the burden of the entire CHD spectrum across lifetimes. Core aims are to improve CHD treatment and survival, and the quality of life and services available to those with CHD.

Data will be used to evaluate the results and inform the planning of effective services, to ensure they are consistent with international best practice.