Foundation Broken Hill
In 1999 Foundation Broken Hill received kick-start funding of $500,000 from Pasminco, to be capital protected, invested and expanded to provide financial support when required for local development projects. Pasminco provided an additional amount of $125,000 for administrative purposes in the formative years.
Foundation Broken Hill was incorporated on 11th April 2000 as a Company Limited by Guarantee. Mark Bethwaite was the founding Chairman and the initial Board structure included the Managing Director of the Pasminco Group of Companies, the Mayor of Broken Hill, the Chairman of Transition 2010 and three other honorary members.
Since that time, the organisation has evolved to its current structure and constitution, with Vince Gauci as the Chairman and a mix of local and non-local Directors. However, the ultimate objective remains the same – to assist Broken Hill in its transition to an economy which is sustainable in the absence of major mining operations.
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A GENERIC COMMUNITY FOUNDATION MODEL
A community foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation working in a specific geographic area. The foundation attracts donations to build its capital base known as the corpus. This provides a permanent and growing source of funding with the income earned each year returned to the community as annual grants to support community projects and programs.
In Australia, community foundations are recognised as flexible and responsive and can bring together a diverse range of stakeholders in rural and metropolitan communities to help provide them with resources to initiate key social, environmental and cultural activities.
When established, foundations grow in their communities and develop a character appropriate for the location. There are, however, certain key characteristics such as:
- Multiple sources of funding from a range of donors,
- Provision of a permanent and growing source of funding for activities which will strengthen the local community,
- A local focus on giving and grant making, and
- Initial donations become the corpus and are invested to grow. The income is distributed as annual grants. (Some community foundations choose to use part of their initial donations to establish their grant-making capability.)
FOUNDATION BROKEN HILL MODEL
The Foundation Broken Hill model is a credible, sustainable community capital fund that specifically facilitates employment opportunities as well as encouraging social development. The local model is a sustainability project that has been designed specifically for Broken Hill. However, it can be used as a model for major mining communities worldwide.
It is based on the traditional structure of a Community Foundation whereby the Capital Fund is protected and only the interest earned from the Investment is spent on projects, but the focus is on encouraging new and expanding businesses, social and educational projects that will provide new job opportunities in Broken Hill – to replace the jobs that will be lost when the orebodies are eventually depleted.
The objective of this model is to support Broken Hill to have an optimistic outlook based on a diverse, strong economic base that is not dependent on government handouts.