Since 2005 the Foundation has given a total of $1,112,000 to support 184 projects throughout the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales through its annual Grants Program.

There are a wide range of projects supported through NRCF funding, including regular student scholarships, food cooperatives for the disadvantaged, transport to vital medical services, regional youth leadership initiatives, employment and training for people with intellectual disabilities, funding of culturally significant events, assistance with vital infrastructure facilities and education for youth, Indigenous people and refugees. 

Since 2014, The Portland House Foundation have generously partnered with the NRCF to enable larger grants of up to $30,000 for significant projects. These include upgrading the Lismore Soup Kitchen with a medical outreach clinic, and new laundry facilities at Fred’s place to provide basic laundry service to the disadvantage in the Tweed community.

Our annual grant round generally opens for application in August of each year, for projects that will take place during the following calendar year and is aimed at supporting social, environmental, cultural and educational needs.  

In 2016, the NRCF’s investments and generous flow-through donations produced $133,000 for grant funding which was shared across 23 organisations in the Northern Rivers region. A list of the 2016 grant recipients will be available on the website as of 29th November 2016.

Successful 2015 Recipients

  • Accessible Arts - SPRUNG – Integrated Dance Theatre
    Open Door program to be held on the first Sunday of each month welcoming a wider group of persons with and without a disability and focusing more on enjoyable inclusive experiences and less on technique and performance.
  • Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT)
    Siblings Day 2016 – excursion to Dreamworld for 40 siblings of children with autism.
  • Byron Harmony Group, Australia Indonesia Arts Alliance
    Funding for the 2016 Byron Harmony Day Festival.
  • Byron Youth Service – BUDDI Program
    U.Dance – School Tour 2016 – a series of under 18’s live music/dance party events at Byron Shire High School aimed at providing a series of safe-socialising events and to encourage local youth to gather in a drug and alcohol-free environment in order to combat the issues of young peoples’ use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Byron Youth Service/Byron Youth Theatre
    Creation of an original performance piece and accompanying workshop focusing on issues relating to young people who have witnessed and/or experienced domestic and relationship violence – program to be delivered to six local high schools in the Northern Rivers region.
    Bring commercial kitchen up to standard and expand into a cafe/catering business providing employment opportunities for those with mental health issues.
  • Gunawirra Ltd – Jarjum Preschool
    For Aboriginal Children, Lismore Art therapy program for preschool children, teachers and parents.
  • Jumbunna Community Preschool and Early Intervention Centre, Casino
    Purchase of a mobile interactive whiteboard to be shared between the classrooms, with all the children.
  • Lifeline Northern Rivers
    Provision of a broad-based community mental health education program and development of a peer support group that can be accessed by residents of Evans Head, Broadwater and Woodburn.
  • Lismore Soup Kitchen
    Purchase and installation of a passthrough dishwasher steriliser unit.
  • Mental Health Support Group Inc
    Provision of emergency packs of toiletries, thongs, slippers, socks, underwear and nightwear for needy patients in Lismore Adult Mental Health Unit.
  • Northern Rivers Community Transport
    “Able Gardens” – an innovative social enterprise project that will maximise the capacity and independence of frail, elderly and PWD by assisting them to create affordable, easy-maintenance gardens and weed-free areas.
  • Richmond Tweed Regional Library
    Weekly class for adults learning English as a second language – practical language and learning and life-skills program aiming to make social connections with a group of adults in the community who are often socially isolated.
  • Shaping Outcomes - Byron Shire 
    Publishing of a picture book about the creation of an inclusive environment for all students, including those with a disability or developmental delay. The picture book will be provided to every early childhood centre and primary school in the Ballina and Byron Shires.
  • Shaping Outcomes - Tweed Valley 
    Educational project for parents of children with disabilities.
    S.H.I.F.T. Project, Byron Bay
    The S.H.I.F.T. Kitchen educational program for disadvantaged women to re-establish life-skills, confidence & independence and thereby providing pathways to employment, and fostering social inclusion.
    Spinal Cord Injuries Australia
    Program of social events for people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities.
  • St Vincent de Paul
    Fred's Place Laundry Facilities Upgrade Project - provision of enhanced services to the local disadvantaged community in Tweed Heads and surrounds. 
  • The Buttery’s Family Counselling Program
    Program for the families and loved ones of people in the Buttery’s residential drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation program and for members of the wider Northern Rivers community who have family members with drug and alcohol abuse issues who are in contact with The Buttery’s community drug and alcohol outreach program for teenagers and adults.
  • The Humour Foundation (Clown Doctors)
    Program which operates in partnership with Healthcare Professionals to treat sick children at Lismore Base Hospital with a special kind of medicine – doses of fun, smiles and laughter.
  • Tweed Palliative Support
    Purchase of equipment for Wedgetail Retreat Community Hospice, Murwillumbah.
  • Uniting Care Casino Transport Team
    Transport of physically and mentally challenged clients in wheelchairs to medical and disability services in Casino and Lismore.
  • Women Up North Housing Inc
    A violence prevention program for young people run in schools which aims to connect isolated young people and service providers and educate them about domestic violence and sexual assault.

2014 Grant Recipients

  • Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect): "Siblings Day" is aimed at providing a fun and supportive community day for the siblings of children with autism. ($3,285)
  • Byron Underage Drinking & Drug Initiative (BUDDI): Funding a qualified youth worker for the YACROCKCAFE. ($4,840)
  • Byron Early Intervention: Funding for creating outdoor play settings that enables the inclusion of children with disabilities among their peers. ($3,300)
  • Byron Youth Service: Grow It! Eat It! Love It! Young people creating their own vege garden as a way to provide food to the disadvantaged as well as educating and empowering young people. ($2,000)
  • Byron Youth Theatre: Production of "Altered States", a multimedia interactive performance and workshop aimed at raising awareness of youth illicit drug use. ($3,080)
  • Disabled Surfers Association-Far North Coast: Help support free BBQs after DSA surf events where participants, carers and volunteers get a chance to socialise with healthy organic food. ($700)
  • Byron Bay Herb Nursery (Katia Project): Funding the upgrade of nursery display stands and signage. ($2,965)
  • Kyogle Youth Action: Funding outings that focus on adventure, challenge and appropriate risk taking in the outdoors with young people. ($2,000)
  • Liberation Larder: Funding to extend and expand the current outreach food program to people in need in the Byron Shire ($6,000)
  • Lismore Soup Kitchen: The Winsome facilities construction and upgrade project with the creation a medical outreach clinic and upgrading the kitchen to regulatory standards ($17,861)
  • Mental Health Support Group: Funding to provide thongs, slippers, socks and underwear  to needy patients at the Lismore Adult Mental Health Unit.($4,973)
  • Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre: Funding for the Youth Jazz Orchestra for workshops and concert. ($2,500)
  • Youth Connections North Coast: Funding to purchase 6 Graphics Tablets for the Computer Clubhouse. ($1,800)
  • Now Remembered Australians: Funding to acquire camping and music education equipment ($2,100)
  • Realising Every Dream (RED Inc): Funding for wheelchair accessible 'Hidden Kitchen & Sensory Garden'. ($3,030)
  • Riding for the Disabled-Ballina & District: Funding for AQFT training & maintenance of coach qualifications. ($1,400)
  • Riding for the Disabled-Tweed Valley Centre:  Building a 'Western Pleasure' trail and obstacle course. ($3,000)
  • The Buttery: Funding for Buttery Family Counselling Program. ($5,720)
  • The Uncle Project: Funding to implement and facilitate a program of 'Induction Days', focussing on men mentoring boys. ($2,200)
  • UnitingCare Casino Transport Team: Resources to help transport disadvantaged with 1st aid kits, manual handling instruction and a laptop to record booking and data. ($2,440)
  • YWCA NSW: Funding to purchase a 'Touchscreen Kiosk for Jallums Aboriginal Medical Centre. ($5,556)
  • SCU-Bowen Scholarships: Two university education scholarships. ($ 5,000)


2013 Grant Recipients

Congratulations to all the recipients of our 2013 grants round.  $52,520 was shared by 22 organisations across the Northern Rivers for projects taking place in 2013/2014.

  • Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect): Funding for 'Siblings Day", aimed at providing a fun and supportive community day for the siblings of children with autism. ($1,500) 
  • Biala Support Services: Funding to help purchase & install a shade structure to cover trampoline. ($3,000)
  • Byron Bay Youth House: Workshops to support personal and social development with young people. ($2,170)
  • Byron Early Intervention: Funding for 'Let's Play' workshop and 15 resource kits for parents and caregivers. ($2,000)
  • Byron Underage Drinking & Drug Initiative (BUDDI): Funding for YACROCKCAFE youth music program. ($1,750)
  • Byron Youth Theatre: Funding for production of 'PASH (Personal Awareness of Sexual Health)' an interactive performance with workshops. ($3,350)
  • Disabled Surfers Association-Far North Coast: Funding to purchase amphibious wheelchair. ($4,250)
  • Heartfelt House: Funding to purchase laptop and projector. ($1,700)
  • Byron Bay Herb Nursery (Katia Project): Funding for 'Workers Transport Project' to provide public transport training for 15 workers with a disablity. ($1,500)
  • Lifeline Northern Rivers: Funding to provide face-to-face counselling at the Winsome Homeless Shelter/Lismore Soup Kitchen. ($2,000)
  • Mental Health Support Group: Help create a 'Chill-Out Zone' at the Lismore Base Hospital Child & Adolescent Inpatient Unit. ($1,500)
  • Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre: Funding to provide early childhood music education to indigenous pre-school students. ($2,160)
  • Now Remembered Australians: Funding to purchase towbar and trailer for NRA bus for excursions and BBQs. ($1,680)
  • Riding for the Disabled-Ballina & District: Funding for AQFT training and maintenance of coach qualifications. ($3,100)
  • Riding for the Disabled-Tweed Valley Centre: Funding to purchase saddle, bridle, halter & rugs for a new horse. ($2,020)
  • Sprung!! Integrated Dance Theatre: Funding 'Gala Finale' event celebrating international day of persons with a disablity. ($1,500)
  • The Buttery: Funding to support the Buttery Family Counselling Program. ($5,000)
  • UnitingCare Casino Transport Team: Covering expenses for medical transport for the elderly. ($3,000)
  • Women Up North Housing: Funding for  the 'Love Bites' early intervention/education program for Year 10 students covering sexual assault and domestic violence issues. ($3,590)
  • Kyogle Youth Action: Funding outdoor adventures that focus on challenge and appropriate risk taking with local disadvantaged youth. ($2,000)
  • SCU-Bowen Scholarships: Two university education schlarships. ($3,750)