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SCCU Announce their 2022 Community Grants Recipients, Each Awarded $10k towards projects in the Northern Rivers region

Grants 2022 recipients announcement


Southern Cross Credit Union (SCCU) announced today the organisations they will partner with for their 2022 Community Grants program: WardellCORE, Murwillumbah Sporting Car Club, and Australian Seabird and Turtle Rescue. Each organisation will receive $10,000 to support current projects and bring new ideas to life.

Following a successful number of years offering the Community Grants program, the local credit union is once again supporting community organisations and small businesses throughout the Northern Rivers to assist them to make a real difference in the region. This year’s SCCU Community Grant recipients cover the areas of youth support, flood recovery, education, and environment:

WardellCORE – With over 200 visitors per week, the grant will replenish the Wardell flood recovery centre with fresh produce, build community resilience, and expand their holistic approach to disaster recovery by nurturing wellbeing through a therapeutic horticulture program. The funds will purchase equipment to start a series of home gardens, a community garden, facilitate workshops and build a gardening community.

Relatively new, WardellCORE has emerged from the February/March flood disaster to service the needs of Wardell and the surrounding districts. Their mission is to improve people’s lives beyond the point of disaster recovery and to support the community to create a shared vision for the future. WardellCORE continues to provide access to essential goods, food, clothing, bedding, internet access, toilet/shower/laundry facilities, links to services, mental health support and counselling, meals, volunteer management, advisory services, resources and active recovery support to the Wardell community and neighbouring districts. This project will see an ongoing food source generated for the flood recovery centre for years to come.

Murwillumbah Sporting Car Club (MSCC)- Young Driver Program taking P plate drivers and licensed high school students through an advanced driver training exercise. The program builds on the skills gained upon obtaining a NSW Driving licence through a series of in vehicle exercises, creates an awareness of maintaining a roadworthy vehicle and the basic mechanical skills required, provides a training environment which is healthy, challenging and respectful of other vehicle users, and encourages participants should they desire to further their skills on the track with tuition from the MSCC and MSA qualified drivers and instructors.

MSCC identified a need to upskill young drivers, especially at the learner and P plate level, with 21 lives lost in 2022 thus far, between the ages of 17-20 in NSW according to the NSW Department of Transport ( The Young Driver Program, although in its infancy, has had real commitment shown from Murwillumbah businesses, the wider community, State and Federal governments and local secondary schools.

Australian Seabird and Turtle Rescue – Australian Seabird & Turtle Rescue (ASTR) is an incorporated charity licensed to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured seabirds, shorebirds, and marine reptiles in NSW. ASTR has been operating an educational facility for over 25 years and have very little educational material. The grant will be used to upgrade educational displays, including installing a 10m x 3 m vinyl display and turtle and bird cams that will stream to a large TV in the education room.

In the past 12 months the group have rescued 653 animals across the organisation which included 120 marine turtles, with most of the work being carried out by volunteers. These volunteers are trained and educated by ASTR through programs such as NSW Turtlewatch to assist management agencies to identify and protect marine turtle nests, and the ‘Don’t cut the line’ campaign to educate fisherman and the general public on what to do in situations with injured or “hooked” sea birds. In addition, the team host school holiday education clinics for school aged children to help them learn young about the importance of protecting our wildlife.

Here is what the recipients said;

The Murwillumbah Sporting Car Club welcomes the generous grant by the Southern Cross Credit Union. “It will go a long way in meeting our registration expenses, insurance, and maintenance of our Young Driver Program vehicles as well as the staging of our training activities. In addition, the money will contribute towards replacing many of the valuable items lost in the last flood.  We look forward to working closely with SCCU and the community in delivering the Young Driver Program throughout 2023″ commented Rob Learmonth, Murwillumbah Sporting Car Club’s Secretary.

Australian Seabird and Turtle Rescue President Anna Dicker, mentioned that “winning this grant means the world to us. To have a business like SCCU who are prepared to give back to the community, is invaluable for a charity such as ours. This grant gives ASTR the opportunity to also give back to the public and to enhance the educational experience on their visits to our facility. Even after such a difficult year with Covid, flood and rising costs, ASTR continues to rescue hundreds of seabirds, marine turtles and sea snakes that are also suffering from severe weather event effects. We are looking forward to unveiling our new education facility before the next school holidays.”

WardellCORE’s Joel Orchard shares “We are absolutely thrilled to have the support of SCCU and the strong endorsement of our community to pursue gardening and therapeutic horticulture programs in our region. There is so much enthusiasm for gardening programs in Wardell and opportunities to connect and share knowledge on food growing as a part of our community’s recovery after the flood.  We had already identified limitations to the access of good food here before the disaster and this program will help us get growing, to build resilience and community through a shared love of gardening and plants. Thank you SCCU for this opportunity and to everyone who voted for us in support.”

SCCU’s Community Grants program was recently awarded a Highly Commended in the 2021 Get Ready NSW Awards in a year that saw a record number of applicants across the state.

Cassie Nicole, SCCU’s Community and Sponsorship Specialist believes “The Highly Commended Award was an incredible acknowledgement of the work put into redesigning the program to help the people of the Northern Rivers in the best way we could. As a customer owned organisation, helping our community make a real difference is important to us, and this year’s Community Grants program was exactly that. We saw huge community support with the public vote, and an enormous amount of engagement from all of our finalists in driving votes. We’d like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s application process, and congratulations to all of our worthy recipients.”

To read more about our 2022 SCCU Community Grants recipients and their projects visit: 

About SCCU:

Southern Cross Credit Union has been serving the financial and banking needs of the Northern Rivers and South East Queensland communities since 1966. We employ over 80 people from across the region, are the trusted banking partner of over 20,000 customers and support many community groups, projects and events throughout the region. As a proud community-based organisation, everything we do is aimed at delivering on our promise “Providing responsive and relevant banking to support our customers through their financial life stages”. We are genuine in our approach to ensure our customers and community are valued and truly matter.

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