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Each year the Frances & Harold Abbott Foundation invites applications for funding between $5,000 – $40,000 for organisations serving the Bendigo region.

The legacy of well-known Bendigo businessman Harold Athelstane Abbott who passed away aged 90 in 1979, and his wife Frances who died in 1961 aged 71 years, is proudly managed by Australia’s leading trustee and philanthropy specialists, Equity Trustees.

This year’s successful applications have just been announced, with three grants of $40,000 awarded:

• ARC Justice - Bendigo Family Violence Justice Project. ARC Justice provides free legal information, casework and advice to central Victorians who can't afford a lawyer or who are ineligible for legal aid. It focuses on high need areas of family violence, child protection and people with multiple and complex social and/or health needs. The project is an integrated service partnership established between Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre and specialist family violence service - the Centre for Non-Violence in Bendigo. This highly valuable partnership increases the safety and access to justice for women experiencing family violence in the region.

• Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC) - Gathering Space initiative. This organisation has been granted funds to develop an undercover outdoor gathering space at BDAC’s main campus, to accompany the opening of a new medical facility in 2024. Community gatherings, ceremonies and events are vital for community visiting BDAC, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation providing primary healthcare to Greater Bendigo and surrounding areas since 2001. Current outdoor facilities consist of a car park and small grassed areas adjacent to pathways, with no practical area to hold groups or events. The addition of an undercover outdoor area with seating will be highly valued by community members at BDAC.

• Bendigo Health for Outdoor Paediatric Rehabilitation Play Space. The grant to Bendigo Health will support the development of rehabilitation play space in Bendigo. Paediatric patients need an all-abilities outdoor play space specifically built for paediatric patients. This much needed space also extends to other patients and the community at large, to use during rehabilitation sessions and to be available whenever young children just want to play. The planned playground is slated for an area near the Clinical Services Campus on Lucan Street. More than 100 paediatric patients from across the Loddon Malee region are treated by Bendigo Health at any time and the new playground will be used by clinicians and therapists as part of their treatment, as well as outside therapy sessions.

As part of the selection process, priority is given to applications which demonstrate a clear commitment to:

• Community consultation and engagement in the design and delivery of the project or program to support the vulnerable in the Bendigo region
• The provision of equipment and capital infrastructure that will support the vulnerable in the Bendigo region
• Projects or programs which involve collaboration or the development of partnerships between organisations operating in this area.

The Frances and Harold Abbott Foundation is currently valued at over $4 million and distributing around $120,000 annually to the community of Bendigo and the surrounding Loddon Mallee region – the place the couple built their home, and where their partnership thrived.

The Foundation became a part of the Equity Trustees stellar list of leading philanthropic trusts following Equity Trustees purchase of the Sandhurst trusts and estates business in March 2017.

More about Equity Trustees Philanthropic services is available at:

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Further information


Alicia Kokocinski

General Manager – Marketing & Communications         

03 8623 5396 / 0403 172 024


Damian Stock, Chief Executive Officer, ARC Justice.

5445 0990 / 0404 034 069

Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative:

Hayley Mansfield

Bendigo Health:

Cindy Clarkson, Coordinator Bendigo Health Fundraising & Foundation

5454 9175 / 0427 719 166

Equity Trustees is the brand name of EQT Holdings Limited (ABN 22 607 797 615) and its subsidiary companies, publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: EQT) with offices in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Equity Trustees was established in 1888 for the purpose of providing independent and impartial Trustee and Executor services to help families throughout Australia protect their wealth. As Australia’s leading specialist trustee company, we offer a diverse range of services to individuals, families and corporate clients including asset management, estate planning, philanthropic services, superannuation trustee services and Responsible Entity (RE) services for external Fund Managers.