Canberra Community Champions

Each month, I recognise a Canberra charity or community group as a ‘Canberra Community Champion’. As Assistant Minister for Charities and Federal Member for Fenner, I’m keen to shine a spotlight on the vital community-building work done in the bush capital.

Acknowledging these great organisations is one way of reversing the decline in social capital. Over the past generation, Australia has become more disconnected. We’re less likely to join organisations, we have fewer friends, and we’re less engaged in sporting and political groups.

Charities can help build a reconnected Australia, and Canberra Community Champions is a small recognition of the big work being done in our community. To nominate a Canberra Community Champion, please drop me an email suggesting a local charity, and explaining (in a few sentences) why their work deserves recognition.

This month's Canberra Community Champion:

Canberra Pet Rescue - May Community Champion

Our May Community Champion is Canberra Pet Rescue 

Canberra Pet Rescue is a not-for-profit community group that rescues, rehouses and rehabilitates Canberras most vulnerable animals, the rescue is entirely volunteer led, running a network of foster homes and careers throughout Canberra. The rescue also runs several programs including PetAssist, which assists owners with the cost of caring for a pet, and RescueAssist which provides help to other Canberra based pet rescues. If you’d like to find out more, or even adopt a pet, check out Canberra Pet Rescues website here

 

 

 

 

 

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Cafe Stepping Stone - April Community Champion

Our April Community Champion is Cafe Stepping Stone

Cafe Stepping Stone is a community organisation on a mission to create equal opportunities for migrant and refugee women in Canberra. Cafe Stepping Stone currently has two cafe locations, in both Strathnairn and Dickson, where they provide valuable employment training and practical hospitality experience to the women they employ. Cafe Stepping Stone also runs weekly events at both of their locations, including running, book, and craft clubs where anyone is welcome. If you’d like to find out more about Cafe Stepping Stone check out their website here.

 

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Goodwin Village Crace - March Community Champion

Our March Community Champion is Goodwin Village Crace.

On March 21st, Goodwin Village Crace residents set out to complete 50,000 steps in order to raise money for Demetia Australia. After the day was over, they completed 272,040 steps and raised over $11,300 for dementia research, five times their initial goal.

If you’d like to find out more about Demetia Australia and their work, further information can be found here

 

 

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Pegasus Riding for the Disabled - January Community Champion

Our January Community Champion is Pegasus Riding for the Disabled

Located in Holt, Pegasus Riding for the Disabled is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing therapeutic horse-riding programs for individuals with disabilities throughout Canberra. They aim to increase the quality of life of their participants through emphasising the 5 main benefits of horseback riding: physical, psychological, social, educational, and recreational. Pegasus Riding is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment, where riders experience the joy of horsemanship while gaining valuable physical and cognitive improvements. If you’d like to learn more about Pegasus Riding for the Disabled, check out their website here.

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Headsup Kippax - December Community Champion

Our December Community Champion is HeadsUp Kippax

HeadsUp Kippax is a volunteer run organisation that helps women affected by hair loss.

Based out of their storefront in Kippax, HeadsUp stocks wigs, scarves, turbans, and other accessories to help empower women who are suffering hair loss and provide them with support and a sense of community. HeadsUp’s volunteers create a private and supportive environment for women to find the right hair accessories for them.”

HeadsUp is one of those pocket-sized treasures that remind you how clever and compassionate Canberrans can be, and how rewarding it can be it is to lighten someone else’s burden.

You can check out more of HeadsUp Kippax's work here

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Good Omen Goodeze - November Community Champion

Our November Community Champion is Good Omen Goodeze

Good Omen Goodeze is a Canberra-based community knitting and crochet craft group that creates blankets, beanies, toys and other comfort items for the patients and family of Canberra’s hospitals and health services. The group began in 2017, providing their goodies to patients throughout Canberra. As well as bringing joy to patients, Good Omen Goodeze also provides a space for their members to socialise and work together during their monthly working bees and other get togethers.

Good Omen Goodeze members produce a wide variety of items across many different skill levels, they encourage inclusivity and learning and are happy to teach new needle-crafters.

If you’d like to find out more about Good Omen Goodeze, check out their website here

 

 

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Crace Community Garden - September Community Champion

Our September Community Champion is Crace Community Gardens

Crace Community Gardens is a warm and inviting space that brings local residents together, allowing them to grow their own fruits and veggies, encouraging healthier eating habits and environmental care. With a wide range of garden plots available, the space provides gardening enthusiasts with the opportunity to cultivate their own produce and connection within their community. In addition, the garden frequently hosts barbecues, working bees, and various community events, including their recent 10th birthday celebrations. 

 

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Canberra Street Cat Alliance - August Community Champion

Our August Community Champion is Canberra Street Cat Alliance

Operating since 2014, Canberra Street Cat Alliance aims to reduce the population of Canberra’s street cats in a humane manner. The organisation runs multiple programs to achieve this goal, including the Streets to Sheets Adoption Program, the Trap and Release Program and the Barn Cat Program.

Canberra Street Cat Alliance is an entirely volunteer run organisation, their volunteers provide veterinary care, desexing, microchipping and love to the street cats in their care. The group helps an estimated 400-500 cats every year, slowly reducing the impact of large cat colonies on the environment and surrounding businesses, as well as allowing the cats to live healthy, happy lives.

If you’d like to find out more about the Canberra Street Cat Alliance, check out their website here

 

A desexed street cat returning to her home       

 

   

 

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Raw Potential - July Community Champion

Our July Community Champion is Raw Potential Canberra

Raw Potential Canberra is an organisation that aims to empower at risk youth by offering personalized mentoring and support services. With a focus on youth development, Raw Potential Canberra provides a safe and inclusive space where young individuals can explore their potential and overcome challenges.

 Through their outreach workers, the organization helps participants build essential life skills, Raw Potential's dedicated team provides assistance through multiple avenues, including connecting youth to vital support services, assistance in setting gaols and facilitating group activities, and communication and writing support.

Raw Potential Canberra has helped over 10,000 young people since 1986, if you’d like to help them grow this number, or find out more information, check out their website.

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MIEACT - June Community Champion

Our June Community Champion is Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT). 

For over 25 years MIEACT have been providing educational mental health programs all over the ACT and its surrounding areas. MIEACT is dedicated to reducing the stigma around mental health through proper communication and education. 

They offer group programs that cover a wide range of topics designed to build awareness and provide practical tools and support resources to participants. Through sharing their personal stories, MIEACT’s Volunteer Educators have created a safe space for Canberrans of all ages and demographics to learn about mental health issues. 

MIEACT provides mental health education to a wide variety of groups, including community groups, primary and secondary schools, and workplaces. If you’d like to help them continue their work through volunteering or donating check out their web site.

 

MIEACT team members Erin and Courtney

 

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.