Meet Our 2021 Community Grants Recipients!

We support a number of local organisations, each with a plan to build a better tomorrow.
We're excited to share the stories of our recipients, and look forward to helping each of them bring their project to life.

Meet our $10k Recipients

PCYC Lismore

PCYC Lismore is a not-for-profit charitable organisation working in partnership with the NSW Police and community to empower young people to reach their potential. Their mission is to get young people active in life, developing their skills, character and leadership. PCYC Lismore has had great success with their RISEUP program, which incorporates job ready programs, mentoring and vocational training for at risk youth aged between 15 and 18 to build their engagement with education, employment opportunities and the community. This grant will provide an activities trailer and equipment, that will see the program move to an outreach program, servicing the greater community.

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PCYC Lismore
The Healthy Minds Club

A men’s mental health organisation based in the Northern Rivers, the principal activity of The Healthy Minds Club (THMC) is the promotion of the prevention or control of human behaviour that is harmful or abusive to human beings, specifically in suicide and substance abuse. THMC provide members with a support network of communication and social interaction channels via social media, physical activity and community involvement. They provide the public of the northern rivers with free mental health first aid courses and offer free psychological support services for members. The organisation provides the public with a range of sporting events from surfing, basketball, touch football and triathlons. This Grant will provide a free mental health first aid course and text books for 200 people in the Northern Rivers, to kick start their mental health program.

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The Healthy Minds Club
Tweed Shire Community-Led Resilience Teams

Over the past 3 years, Red Cross Emergency Services volunteers have been connecting with the Tweed Shire Communities to build resilience, in response to the 2017 Flood and 2019/20 bushfire emergencies. 16 Community Resilience Teams (CRT’S) have been built in the Tweed Shire, covering 34 towns in the region. These teams support each other before, during and after emergencies. They build network consisting of a phone tree that feeds real information into community during disasters and also allows vulnerable community members to receive early warnings so they may leave their community until it is safe to return. This model was developed by a RED CROSS volunteer and won the Resilience NSW State award last year. The grant will be split between the 16 tweed shire community resilience teams to purchase supplies they need, defibrillators, first aid kits, generators and the like.

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Tweed Shire Community-Led Resilience Teams

Meet our $2.5k Finalists

Australian Seabird Rescue Inc.

Australian Seabird Rescue (ASR) is an incorporated charity licensed to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured seabirds, shorebirds, and marine reptiles in NSW. Founded in 1992, ASR operate the Ballina Byron Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital on the grounds of the WildLifeLink sanctuary. Last year alone, ASR cared for over 200 birds and 100 turtles. Their mission is to reduce the human impact on the environment, and as such, they also conduct educational tours from the hospital, as well as outreach activities. The grant will purchase a Brinsea Humidicrib, to provide sick or injured seabirds with individual temperature and humidity control, bringing facilities up to code standard.

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Australian Seabird Rescue Inc.
Cabarita Beach Surf Life Saving Club

Cabarita Beach SLSC runs education and training for children, teens and adults looking to learn new skills or further their current skills, in areas of first aid, radio operator, Bronze Medallion, SRC (Surf Rescue Certificate), protects our beaches, and so much more. This Grant will assist with the necessary upgrade of equipment that will help the patrol continue to report on daily beach activity to Surf Life Saving Australia, including people on beach, in water, and hazards. Using the one device to log all the information will reduce errors found last season, and double entries. The current device no longer allows CBSLSC to update the application either, so this upgrade is vital in the continued, accurate patrol. Cabarita Beach SLSC covers a large area from Pottsville to Salt and having up to date equipment will allow the club to keep the Northern Rivers beaches patrolled and safe.

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Cabarita Beach Surf Life Saving Club
Collecting My Thoughts

Collecting My Thoughts is a Mental Health First Aid training small local business that was created to support individuals and businesses in supporting their work colleagues and those in the wider community, and to recognise mental health as a needed resource. Collecting My Thoughts has a vision to create an awareness that mental illness is a response to a crisis, and share what we can do as individuals to support those who are suffering. This Grant will subsidise mental health training of 50 individuals.

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Collecting My Thoughts
Zonta Club of Northern Rivers

The Zonta Club of Northern Rivers (ZNR) was established in 1996 and is a group who share knowledge and contribute valuable skills to raise funds and deliver projects that assist women and girls in various stages of life. ZNR lead the establishment of Women’s Waiting Rooms in courthouses in Lismore, Ballina and Mullumbimby, providing privacy and safety for women seeking to escape domestic violence. The group also established the Zonta Room at Lismore Base Hospital, which is located in the Women’s Care Unit, and is dedicated to families who experience still birth. This Grant will establish a mentor program with community housing tenants, compiling 100 writing kits with credit vouchers for phone and data before Christmas, for women in need.

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Zonta Club of Northern Rivers
  • Key Dates

    Thursday 29th July 2021: Grants Applications Open

    Tuesday 7th September 2021, 5pm: Applications Close (new date)

    Monday 13th September 2021: Finalists Announced and Voting opens (new date)

    Friday 17th September 2021, 5pm: Voting Closes (new date)

    Tuesday 26th October 2021: Recipients Announced! (new date)

  • Categories

    All applications will need to self allocate from the categories below

    Art and culture

    Initiatives related to the celebration, preservation or ongoing impact of arts, cultural and heritage projects in the Northern Rivers and Tweed region. Example projects may include equipment, services and/or facilities such as community arts projects, restoration of items or areas with historical or cultural significance, performances.


    Initiatives that support imparting information or knowledge, skill sharing or improve delivery of teaching and education services. Example projects may include equipment, services and/or facilities such as teaching aides and resources, reading programs, creating access and opportunities to engage in education.

    Sport and recreation

    Initiatives providing sport and recreational benefit to the wider community. Example projects may include equipment, services and/or facilities such as shade for events, sporting equipment, uniforms, upgrading facilities, first aid equipment, tournaments, and training programs.


    Initiatives that focus on building awareness, preservation, engagement with and/or sustainability of the natural environment. Example projects may include equipment, services and/or facilities such as community gardens, sustainability education, restoration or care of ecosystems.

    Health and well-being

    Improving community access to health and well-being services. Example projects may include equipment, services and/or facilities for youth groups, mentoring programs, community health services, health education, training and development programs.


    Initiatives promoting our region as the place to holiday. Example projects include activity programs/attractions to bring tourists to the area and promote the Northern Rivers highlights, education on our region, and big name events.

    Science and Tech

    Improving community access to science and tech availability and quality in the Northern Rivers. Ideas to drive improvements, upgrades, change and aim in the betterment of our area using tech advances.

  • The Little Details

    *We aim to make the application process simple and give every applicant an equal opportunity to produce a quality application. This includes questions to guide you through submission criteria, including category and whether you are applying for a ‘Big’ or ‘Small’ Grant.

    While we welcome small businesses and community groups to consider applying, unfortunately the following are ineligible for support through this program:

    • Individual applicants, including personal pursuits such as debt repayments, travel or ongoing medical treatment
    • Events where another financial institution, bank or insurance competitor are a sponsor
    • Programs that could be detrimental to public health or safety, discriminatory, or offensive to the community
    • Projects of a political or religious nature
    • Events that encourage smoking, substance abuse, irresponsible alcohol consumption or gambling
    • Organisations and events outside the Northern Rivers Region
    • Groups of less than 3 involved in the project


    Additionally, the following Terms and Condition’s apply:

    • During the application process, it’s expected you’ll be able to explain how the funding will be used in quarterly reporting should you be successful, and include SCCU in the project plan, allowing us to follow and publish the progress of your Grant allocation monthly, for a minimum of 12 months. This may include requests to provide media content or imagery that SCCU can publish to share your progress.
    • Grants awarded will be paid in AUD and into a SCCU account. If you do not already hold an account with SCCU, it is expected you will open one to allow Grant payment to be processed.
    • Completion of the application form is a critical part of our evaluation process which we use to measure your application against our selection criteria.
    • If you select “I’m interested” in banking with SCCU during the application process, a SCCU representative will give you a call to discuss.
    • As part of the application process, we capture your data and use this throughout our program
    • We may decide to award an amount different to the amount outlined in your application, Grant amounts are subject to change until awarded
    • We ask for an initial photograph to be submitted with each application, and upon providing, permission for SCCU to use in advertising is granted
    • All applications will be reviewed after the closing date of 7th of September 2021, with all applications that meet the eligibility criteria considered. Finalists will be advised via email, along with details of the voting process to follow.
    • The voting numbers received during the process form a part of the decision process to award Grants, but do not determine recipients alone.
    • One vote allowed per email address
    • All eligible applicants will be advised via email within 2 business days of the outcome of their application after the successful recipients have been determined.
    • If your application is successful, we will contact you to award funding and discuss ongoing engagement. If your application is unsuccessful we encourage you to reapply next year, as well as consider applying for our Referrer Rewards Program.
    • All applicants must satisfy all relevant and applicable terms have been appropriately disclosed.

    For more information in relation to eligibility criteria

    Contact Us

A Few Of Our Past Recipients

By working together we can achieve so much more!

2020 – Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital (BBWH)

BBWH launched Australia’s largest Mobile Wildlife Hospital, offering expert veterinary care to native animals wherever and whenever there is a crisis impacting wildlife. Applying for a SCCU Grant in partnership with Australian Seabird Rescue, the dynamic duo is working on a much-needed Sea Turtle Recovery Dry Docking System, bringing a world-class enclosure to our shores.

2019 – The S.H.I.F.T. Project

The SHIFT Kitchen at Bangalow Heritage House is a community initiative that supports women experiencing homelessness and disadvantage in the Byron Shire. It aims to increase the health and wellbeing of women by increasing their knowledge and skills in healthy cooking, and increasing their employability. Our Community Grant helped to introduce a hospitality employment path that provides professional training for project participants providing them with skills needed to return to the workforce.

2020 – Emergent Leaders Foundation

The Emergent Leaders Foundation run a number of programs that provide the skills, resources and structures for individuals, families and communities to let go of old frameworks and find a path to live a consciously harmonic life. Receiving the SCCU Grant for their Impactful Youth Project saw 50% of costs covered, providing scholarships for up to 22 youths hoping to participate. The project itself is a four day camp for young men and women: based on indigenous cultures in a safe environment– to test themselves, in confidence, personal leadership, emotional literacy, and teamwork.

2019 – Reforest Now

A non-profit organisation based in Byron Bay, Reforest Now grows and plants trees to combat climate change and restore ecosystems. Growing 23,000 native Australian trees each year, at the time of application the nursery had reached maximum capacity with three tunnels. They have since used our SCCU Community Grant to build a 4th misting house tunnel, increasing their capacity by 100% to help meet the growing demand for trees to be replanted in our region and they themselves, have kept on growing.

We are so grateful to have a strong partnership with such a great company that really cares about its local environment – and lives up to the community custodianship we hope to share with our partners and supporters.
Dane Marx - Positive Change For Marine Life
Winning the $1,500 award from Southern Cross Credit Union’s Community Goals program will be a massive help to our organisation. This money will go directly into feeding and caring for the animals that we have rescued and are in our care. We currently have 14 sea turtles, one seabird and one sea snake in our care. With this kind of support we can give the best possible care to these animals so they can be released back into the wild.
Kelsey Banister, Australian Seabird Rescue Assistant to the General Manager
On behalf of Tweed Palliative Support and Wedgetail Retreat, we are delighted with our win!  The fact that this was a community vote makes is very special to us and we are so grateful for their support. We commend Southern Cross Credit Union for their initiative in putting on this program to assist local charities.  The $5000 Community Goals prize will greatly enable us to continue our service to the people of Tweed Shire via TPS and to maintain our world-class end-of-life care at Wedgetail Retreat. Thank you SCCU and our community!
Meredith Dennis OAM, President of Tweed Palliative Support and Wedgetail Retreat
Through their Community Grants program, Southern Cross Credit Union have demonstrated their commitment to environmental sustainability  in our region in a number of ways. As well as funding projects to recycle plastic waste and remediate contaminated soil, they have supported Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital to provide expert veterinary care to native animals. Many of our patients are sea turtles, and  SCCU’s $10,000 grant will be used in partnership with Australian Seabird Rescue to secure a much-needed Sea Turtle Recovery Dry Docking System, assisting with their rehabilitation before being released back into their ocean home. We’re so very grateful to SCCU for their support and applaud their commitment to conservation and sustainability projects.    
Dr Stephen Van Mil - Founder and CEO, Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital
Southern Cross Credit Unit is an outstanding example of a business that is all about doing right by the communities that it operates in. By supporting local organisations such as ours (Positive Change for Marine Life), they are helping to address major issues around sustainability and environmental management. As is true to character for a locally focused, community-oriented business, they not only support us financially, but by actively attending and getting involved in community events. We are proud to have SCCU as a long term partner for our projects and campaigns, as we strive to foster greater community custodianship of the incredible environments we call home.
Dane Marx - Positive Change For Marine Life
"Access to having the same uniform really helped us to create a team environment where all women feel they belong. Quality footwear is also really important not only for safety but also for physical comfort as the work does require spending a lot of time on your feet.  The support from SCCU has made all the difference and we’re so grateful”
Sam Birmingham - Operations Manager for the Linen SHIFT
  • Previous Recipients

    Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital
    Precious Plastics Northern Rivers
    GCB Environmental
    Emergent Leaders Foundation
    Georgia and Gisela Conechado
    Pottsville Beach Community Hall

    Reforest Now
    Shedding Community Workshop
    The S.H.I.F.T. Project


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