Community Spirit is a charitable organisation established by the Foundation. Community Spirit is working together in consultation with disadvantaged communities which have a high rate of harmful behaviours to develop programs that help address these issues and strengthen the community. The programs will work hand in hand with communities to prevent the causes and implement a range of strategies to create a more positive environment and greater opportunity.
Current Projects in Palm Island
Project 1: Non Truancy Project
Community Spirit’s inaugural project was launched on Palm Island in June 2007 by Catherine Freeman herself – a bike truancy and behaviour project. The CFF presented mountain bikes to award pupils who showed the biggest attitudinal change in the following areas: attitude to their peers; behaviour in school; attendance; academic achievement and manners.Over the past two years, the program has resulted in a 20% increase in attendance rates at both local schools. This successful program will continue to expand with awarding of more bikes, as well as Dunlop sneakers as incentives for regular school attendance.
Project 2: After School Activity Program
One of the greatest challenges for CFF will be the development of an After School Hours Activity Program for all children on Palm Island.Creating healthy opportunities for children to participate in a variety of safe and enjoyable activities will assist in reducing health issues, increase school attendance rates and reduce anti-social behaviour on the Island.
Project 3: Education Scholarships
The CFF has announced a new partnership with the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation to provide boarding scholarships for secondary age indigenous girls. These scholarships will enable girls from Palm Island to gain a quality education and ensure more opportunities and choices in their future.
Project 4: Educational and Aspiration Tours
In partnership with Cottage by the Sea Foundation, the CFF has been rewarding Palm Island children who have committed to their schooling, an experience designed to expand their horizons. Visiting Victoria and being provided with incredible educational experiences has seen these students grow in self confidence and pride.