The idea of establishing a foundation in Buderim started within the Buderim War Memorial Community Association (BWMCA) in 2001. The planning and establishment phase took approximately 18 months and was funded by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), a Federal Government organisation established to strengthen rural and regional communities.
Since its launch in 2004 the Buderim Foundation has gained strong community support and funds grew substantially. Grants were first awarded in 2008 and since then the Buderim Foundation has awarded grants worth over $540,000 to 80 community organisations in the 4556 postcode area.
In April 2021 the Foundation received $5 million from philanthropists Roy and Nola Thompson and the Buderim Foundation Thompson Fund was established. This fund will be used to provide grants supporting those experiencing financial distress on the Sunshine Coast.
The following is a brief record of the Foundation’s annual achievements:
The Foundation was registered as a philanthropic, not-for-profit organisation under the Commonwealth Corporations Act.
In January 2004, the Buderim Foundation received its first major donation of $20,000. In April, Dame Quentin Bryce, AC, CVO, formally launched the Foundation and planted the Foundation tree in Main Street. In November the Directors attended their first national Community Foundation Regional Forum and in the same month the Foundation held its first Moonlit Garden Gathering.
In January the Foundation received its first Back-to-School vouchers worth $5,000 from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). In July, the Foundation established a special BWMCA sub-fund into which potential BWMCA benefactors can elect to direct donations. In the same month the Foundation held its first tax-deductibility seminar for local non-profit organisations.
In January the Foundation participated in the Buderim Australia Day parade for the first time and distributed $5,000 worth of Back-to-School vouchers. The Foundation signed up three corporate sponsors to a $5,000 sponsorship agreement designed to cover the Foundation’s administration costs. In February the website was established, Foundation stickers appeared on cars and letterboxes, and a Community Ideas Forum was held. In March the Foundation received its first bequest of more than $38,000 bringing the funds to more than $100,000. In August, the Foundation hosted the National Community Foundations Regional Forum in Mooloolaba.
In January the Foundation received $6,250 worth of Back-to-School vouchers. In February the Foundation established an office within the Buderim Historical precinct. In May, Dame Quentin Bryce, AC, CVO spoke at the first fundraising breakfast. In July, an anonymous donation of $50,000 boosted the funds to nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
At the start of the school year the Foundation received $12,500 in Back-to-School vouchers from FRRR and $20,000 for Buderim youth projects on the condition that the Foundation matched the youth offer dollar for dollar. In May the Ambassador Program was established to build community awareness of the Foundation. Buderim resident, Allan Pease spoke at the fundraising Breakfast.
At the Foundation’s Good News Night in September, three community organisations received the first grants worth $13,752.
In January corporate sponsorships were renewed. Three organisations agreed to provide $8,000 each in cash or kind. February saw the Foundation receive 150 Back-to-School vouchers worth $7,500. In April the Foundation secured a grant of $30,000 from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). In June the Gifts in Memory Program was launched as part of Buderim’s Big Bash (part of Queensland’s Q150 celebrations) and eleven stories of former Buderim residents were published on the website. Seven grants worth $16,500 were awarded in September and results of the Youth in Philanthropy Project (YIPP) were presented at the Good News Night.
In February the Foundation again received $7,500 of Back-to-School Vouchers. Professor Paul Clark was appointed Chair, filling the position vacated by Buderim solicitor, Gary Hopkins. In April YIPP members produced their own musical event entitled Buderim Unplugged. In June the Foundation organised the first Mystery Mountain Dinners and at the Good News Night in September six organisations received a total of $17,500 in grants.
Throughout the year the Board focussed on finalising a new strategic plan and developing major fundraising activities to be run in conjunction with the Buderim B150 celebrations.
In January a record number of Ambassadors participated in the Australia Day march and $6,250 worth of Back-to-School vouchers were distributed. In February, with the help of a FRRR grant, the Foundation appointed its first part-time employee. In July, Australian of the Year, Simon McKeon spoke at a fundraising breakfast and in September eight community organisations received grants worth a record $22,010. Youth in Philanthropy Program (YIPP) grants totalling $12,000 were awarded for the first time.
This was the year of Buderim’s 150th anniversary celebrations – the B150 Community Challenge organised by the BWMCA. The Foundation set itself the challenge of doubling the money held in the corpus from $500,000, raised over the previous eight years, to $1million… in one year! At the end of the year the Foundation had funds worth $720,000 despite the poor world-wide financial situation.
In February, the Foundation received 150 Back-to-School vouchers worth $7,500 and at the end of the year distributed $23,290 in grants.
In 2012 the Foundation had announced donor contribution to the B150 Community Challenge would be well publicised. Plans for the erection of a plaque and public artwork at the platform overlooking Martin’s Creek in Lindsay Road were negotiated with Council and the Foundation called for artist submissions with the successful option announced later in the year. In January the Foundation distributed 200 Back-to-School vouchers worth $10,000. In September grants worth $40,967 was distributed to Buderim organisations and in November acclaimed transplant surgeon Kellee Slater spoke at the Foundation’s fourth celebrity breakfast.
This was the Foundation’s tenth anniversary year and the Chair Paul Clark announced that over the past 10 years the Foundation had awarded grants worth $161,250 and distributed $90,000 in Back-to-School vouchers. The net result, an amazing $241,250 injected into the Buderim community. In January 2014 a record $22,500 was distributed in Back-to-School vouchers and in September grants worth $60,000 were distributed (including the largest ever grant of $14,162 to Sustainable Partnerships for a Philanthropy in Schools program). During the year international keynote speaker Amanda Gore spoke at the Foundation Celebrity Breakfast; the Essence of Buderim cookbook was published; the Fine Wine Raffle was launched at the Moonlit Garden Gathering and long term Ambassador Alex Sweet became the first recipient of the Les Day Medal for her outstanding contribution to the Buderim Foundation.
Early in 2015 the Foundation funds reached $1,000,000 and Back-to-School vouchers worth $23,500 were distributed. The Foundation tree, which was planted in Main Street by Dame Quentin Bryce in 2004 to commemorate the launch of the Buderim Foundation, was moved to the Lions Park in Burnett Street. In February the platform over Martins Creek in Lindsay Road, which displays the plaque listing major donors to the Foundation’s B150 Challenge in 2012, was officially named Stuart Weir Place.
Sunshine Toyota joined long standing sponsors Buderim Pharmacy and Edenlea on Buderim as the Foundation’s third sponsor. Grants worth $50,740 were distributed. The Foundation, in conjunction with the BWMCA, received a $7000 grant to produce a 16-page publication entitled the Spirit of Buderim. 17,000 were delivered to 4556 post code area letterboxes. The Ambassador Committee was established.
Early in the year the Foundation distributed Back-to-School vouchers worth $15,000. In February the new website was launched; by September more than $36,000 had been raised for the Youth sub-fund and grants worth $65,000 was awarded to 12 organisations. Paul Clark resigned as Chair after six years. Long term Director Heinz Seeberg was appointed as Chair.
Dr Russell Stitz was elected Chair of the Foundation. 250 Back-to-School vouchers worth $12,500 were distributed early in the year, bringing the total since 2005 to $125,000. In May, directors organised an afternoon get-together to thank volunteers for their time and talent. And in June the first Bequest Seminar was held for the Coast’s legal fraternity. In September over 200 people attended the Grant Celebration and watched as a total of $64,318 was awarded to 17 community organisations… the largest amount of money and the largest number of recipients in the Foundation’s history.The first Lunch en blanc was held in November.
Fifty-nine Ambassadors marched in the Australia Day Parade and the Foundation’s ‘resident’ band, M7 entertained the large crowd with an endless repertoire of great Australia rock music… the 2018 Community Challenge was launched! The Challenge raised $433,000 thanks to 88 separate donations. At the start of the year the Foundation’s Fund was worth $1.4 million and had risen to $1.85 million by the end of the year. At the beginning of the school year a total of 229 Back-to-School vouchers worth $11,450 were distributed. Of that amount FRRR provided vouchers worth $8,950, $1,500 was received from Buderim Lions and $1,000 from Buderim Rotary. This brings the total value of the vouchers distributed in the last 14 years to $143,950.Grants worth $75,586 were distributed to 23 community organisations on 15 September. Ambassador Morning teas, including a short talk from a Foundation grant recipient, started and proved popular. The first medical seminar was held.
A large crowd once again marched in the Australia Day Parade. Ambassadors enjoyed the M7 band and the Regular Giving Program was launched. In February $11,000 worth of Back-to-School vouchers was distributed to Mountain Creek State School, Chancellor State School Campuses, Buderim Mountain State School, and SunnyKids. The first ambassador survey was conducted. Approximately 90 people attended the second medical seminar. The Youth Committee held a successful movie night in the Buderim Mountain State School oval in July… cold but dry. Excellent Ambassador morning teas were held at LifeFlight Helicopters, the Compass Foundation and Beautiful You Charity. More than 60 people attended the Box Street Happy Hour. The third Lunch en blanc raised $3,000. Over 200 people attended the Foundation’s first Fashion Parade which raised over $7,000. BATS donated the entire proceeds ($3,017) from its opening night performance of Gaslight. The Foundation’s Fund reached $2 million. Grants worth $82,467 were distributed to 19 organisations in September. By the end of the year there were 43 Gifts-in-Memory stories published on the Foundation website.
As in the past the M7 band, sitting high on a tray truck provided by Shadforths, led an enthusiastic group of Foundation Ambassadors down Burnett Street to commemorate Australia Day. In February the Foundation distributed $11,000 worth of $50 Back-to-School vouchers. Vouchers were supplied by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), the Buderim Lions Club and Buderim Rotary. It looked like being another good year for the Foundation… and then the Coronavirus pandemic hit! And as a result it was a very quiet year socially. At the Grants Celebrations in September, a total of $85,022 was awarded to 20 community-based organisations… grant recipients only attending! In December Ambassadors were very happy to catch up with one another at a very enjoyable Christmas Happy Hour.
The Foundation had a marquee at the Australia Day celebrations held in the Buderim School Oval. In February FRRR provided $32,000 worth of Back to school vouchers… the largest amount to date. In April the Board announced that the Buderim Foundation had received $5 million from Sunshine Coast philanthropists Roy and Nola Thompson and the Buderim Foundation Thompson Fund was established to provide grants to support those experiencing financial distress in the Sunshine Coast community. This made the Buderim Foundation the sixth largest foundation in Australia.