At the moment, the corpus stands at $1.46 million, and the Community Challenge is about trying to increase that over $2 million so we can give out more grants,” Russell explains. “The whole concept is to promote the 4556 community and its wellbeing.” Russell, who started his role as chair of the foundation in September 2017, explains the concept as “money in, money managed and money out”. “We have money in as part of donations or bequests; then we have money managed, which is our investment committee doing their best to create revenue as a result of investing that money; then we have money out, which is obviously the grants process and distribution,” he says. The benefit these grants have on the community is widespread. For example, children at the Buderim kindergarten are learning about edible gardening through their own vegetable patch, while eagle-eyed visitors of the Buderim War Memorial Community Association hall would notice a newly renovated floor. But just as important are the less obvious differences – the smile on a child’s face who was able to go to school in a new uniform, or the sense of belonging people get from attending the Alzheimer’s Australia support group. In 2017, the foundation distributed more than $64,000 in community grants to the Suncoast Youth Orchestra, Buderim Horse and Pony Club, Fusion Sunshine Coast and Team Adem, to name a few. “Although it’s called the Buderim Foundation, it’s actually the whole 4556 postcode,” Russell explains. “And from a philanthropic point of view, that doesn’t mean somebody can’t be given a grant from outside that, it’s just got to benefit the people in that postcode.” An example is the Hear and Say Centre, while having headquarters in Brisbane and centres in Nambour, it still benefits the people from Buderim and surrounds. Another key initiative of the foundation is their Back to School Program, which sees money donated by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) put in to vouchers for families. “They’re for people struggling to get school uniforms and books, and we either let the school itself or the chaplins identify the people in need,” says Russell. While the foundation works tirelessly for the community, just as much effort is put in behind the scenes. Foundation members, including 12 members of the board, give their time voluntarily to better their local community. “We have a number of different committees to achieve what the foundation does,” he says. “In addition to that we appoint working groups, for example the 2018 Community Challenge has a working group chaired by Simon Whittle, a long-standing identity in Buderim.” Russell himself is a relatively new face to the foundation, having recently relocated to Buderim from Brisbane, where he worked as a leading colorectal surgeon. Throughout his career, Russell has held a number of esteemed roles including president of the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand, president of the Australian Medical Association in Queensland and he served on the board of the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane and Wesley Research Institute. These positions, Russell says, helped equip him with the skills needed to spearhead the foundation’s projects. “I don’t think the concept of philanthropy is as well developed in this country, but a lot of ordinary people give money which nobody hears about,” he says. “I think here, philanthropy is more in the community, and we want to make that culture permeate the whole of society. If you donate one dollar a week, that’s $50 a year, and if every family on the Sunshine Coast donated that amount a year, imagine how much you’d have.” For more information, visit buderimfoundation.org.au ]]>