Home' The Great Southern Star : June 15th 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - PAGE 5
By Lucy Johnson
LEONGATHA will benefit from an injec-
tion of new funds after a community cash
chest was unveiled last week.
The newly established Leongatha Community
Foundation will give grants to community projects
within 15km of the town, possibly from as early as
The foundation will advance community organi-
sations and infrastructure in Leongatha, and support
welfare and education, possibly by funding such proj-
ects as community events, school programs and local
The foundation was formally created last Tuesday,
June 7, with its initial directors banding together to
build a new group after the folding of the Leongatha
Apex Club in April.
The foundation will grow from the $540,000 the
Apex club donated to the foundation following the sale
of its major asset, Leongatha Apex Caravan Park.
Former Apexian Robert Bacon was elected chair-
person at the inaugural meeting.
“The purpose of our foundation is to grow the fund
by way of investments, donations, and to encourage
contributions by way of gifts, grants, sponsorships, and
personal or public appeals,” he said.
“A proportion of income earned from the fund will
be invested back into the local community at the dis-
cretion of the foundation.”
The foundation is now appealing to local commu-
nities for donations to help grow the foundation to ben-
efit local worthy causes.
“With community foundations already established
in Bass Coast and Mirboo North, our coverage would
be approximately a 15km radius of Leongatha with no
fixed border,” Mr Bacon said.
With years of experience on various South
Gippsland Shire Council committees, Cr Jim Fawcett
will help the foundation in its formative months.
“The board basically consists of former Apexians
at this point,” Cr Fawcett said.
“It will probably spend the first 12 months consoli-
dating its asset base and working out its charitable am-
bitions with the money from the caravan park.
“The foundation will also be promoted as a legiti-
mate vehicle for people to donate to if they have a par-
ticular preference or fondness for the district and would
like to see money used locally.”
Former Apexians Rowan Lomax, Alex Spencer,
Matt Bacon, Robert Bacon, Trevor Hastings, Geoff
Dean and Allister Dowling currently make up the Le-
ongatha Community Foundation.
Foundations invest locally
WITH the formation of the Leongatha Community
Foundation there are now four community founda-
tions in Gippsland: Bass Coast, Cardinia, Mirboo
North and now Leongatha.
Mirboo North and District Community Foundation
executive officer Derrick Ehmke said the inception of
a Leongatha Community Foundation would be a major
asset to the community.
“We congratulate, and wish those responsible ev-
ery success in the future, for the formation of this new
community foundation and, as is the norm in the move-
ment, offer any assistance and collaborations with Mir-
boo North and District Community Foundation,” he
Since it was establish in January 2010, the Mirboo
North foundation has given more than $500,000 to the
The Bass Coast Community Foundation has sup-
ported local primary and secondary students through
the distribution of Back to School vouchers since its
formation in 2002.
“We helped fund local tertiary students through
our Performance Awards and Education Support pro-
gram, have funded an additional vehicle for the local
L2P learner driver program, and helped in many other
ways,” executive officer David Wall said.
New foundation: back, from left, Allister Dowling, Trevor Hastings, Alex Spencer and
Matthew Bacon, and front, from left, Rohan Lomax, Robert Bacon and Geoff Dean got the
ball rolling at the first Leongatha Community Foundation meeting last Tuesday, June 7.
SURFERS got a shock on Saturday af-
ternoon when they came close to a large
shark in the water near Inverloch.
A surfer reported the sighting to app Dorsal
Shark Reports after he came into close contact with
the creature at 3.15pm at Eagles Nest.
The shark bumped the nose of the surfer’s board
and swam around the area. According to the report, the
two to three metre shark was curious and did not appear
to be aggressive to surfers. Its species is not known.
Offshore Surf School instructor Shane Hogan
said there were few shark sightings in the area.
“If swimmers or surfers spot a shark they should
definitely head in to shore to be safe,” he said.
“It is pretty rare to see them around these beaches and
we do not tend to get big, nasty species around here.”
Mr Hogan said the last major incident was in
1989 when 32 year old Gary White was bitten off
the coast of Kilcunda.
“The surfer was fortunately rescued from the wa-
ter and we have not seen anything similar occur in
recent years,” Mr Hogan said.
“To be safe, surfers should avoid heading into
the water at first light or in the late evening because
that is when sharks are feeding.”
Shark spooks surfers
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