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Media Release

21 January 2024

Apply Now for a Share in $70,000 That is Ready to Support Local Mental Health Initiatives in the South Burnett and Cherbourg

$70,000 has been raised from the resounding success of the 2023 South Burnett Mental Health Golf Challenge and is now ready to be distributed to individuals, businesses and organisations in the South Burnett and Cherbourg to fund mental health support initiatives.

Councillors Gavin “Spud” Jones and Scott “Hook” Henschen hatched a plan in early 2023 to raise $50,000 through a series of golf competitions at every golf course across the South Burnett. “The support just kept growing and coming in different ways” Spud said. “Golfers, golf clubs, businesses, industry and individuals all pitched in with sponsorships or donations of auction items. Hook and I could not hold back the tears of appreciation when the numbers were tallied at the final event at the Kingaroy Golf Club.”

The funds are now ready to be distributed and individuals, businesses and organisations based in the South Burnett or Cherbourg are invited to apply for funding towards a local mental health initiative.


The application form and funding guidelines are available on the Red Earth Community Foundation website,

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"These funds provide an opportunity for unique and tailored mental health initiatives to be rolled out across the South Burnett and Cherbourg areas," said Spud. Expressing their gratitude to all who have made this a success, Cr Jones and Cr Henschen both expressed that they are looking forward to seeing the funds used to support initiatives that are designed here in the South Burnett and Cherbourg.

Red Earth Community Foundation General Manager, Melinda Jones, said it was Red Earth’s privilege to auspice the fundraiser and to provide administration support so the funds can be distributed quickly, and valuable mental health initiatives can get off the ground faster. Melinda highlighted how Red Earth’s philanthropic structure helped to keep everything local, resulting in a quick turnaround, help with enquiries, and now distribution of the funds to successful applicants to get support to the people who need it most.

Applications are open now, and are closing at midnight on Sunday, 11 February 2024. Applications will then be reviewed by a committee, with announcements and awarding of the funds scheduled for the week beginning Monday, 19 February 2024.



Melinda Jones, General Manager                         0413 144 196

Georgie Somerset, RECF Chair                              0428 390 984

Media Release

1 December 2023

Providing leadership for regions,

drought preparation and navigating renewables

A need for effective leadership in advocating for the regions; driving drought preparation and resilience; and navigating the transition to renewables will be the outcome of three upcoming leadership development programs in regional Queensland.


The Red Earth Community Leadership Program is entering its tenth year and has over 200 Alumni throughout the North and South Burnett. The annual leadership program is a six-day residential program across February and March which helps create competent and well-equipped leaders across the Burnett Inland who understand what it takes to lead in a regional environment. This program is now fully subscribed and the announcement of the successful applicants will take place at Red Earth’s annual Red Report event at the Kingaroy Town Hall on Monday, 11 December.

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The Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative Darling Downs Community Leadership Program is currently open, with applications closing Sunday, 31 December. In a nutshell, it’s for those living in the Southern Downs and Goondiwindi regions who are passionate about drought and climate resilience in their communities. Participants will explore innovative ways to make their community thrive, while learning practical skills around collaboration, communication, wellbeing and resilience. They’ll become changemakers. As a residential program with accommodation and catering provided, participants will be required to fully immerse themselves to gain full benefit and connection with each other. The first module will be held in Millmerran from 5-7 February and the second held in Stanthorpe from 5-7 March. The program is free thanks to funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund. It will be delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) in partnership with the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal (FRRR) and is supported by the Red Earth Community Foundation. For more information, or to apply, visit  


The Shape Your Energy Future Leadership Program is also currently open, with applications closing Monday, 4 December. This program is tailored for those keen to navigate the challenges, and opportunities presented by the transition to renewables, ensuring the wellbeing and sustainability of their communities. Queensland, especially the Western Downs, Southern Downs and South Burnett regions, are at the cusp of a significant energy transformation. It’s also being delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation in partnership with the Queensland Conservation Council and is a chance to be at the forefront of this change. Funded by Boundless Earth, the program will provide an opportunity for participants to expand their networks, identify and leverage opportunities for the benefit of community, be part of setting a visionary path, advocate for what truly matters, and drive the adoption of renewables with projects that resonate with their region’s needs. The Shape Your Energy Future Leadership Program will be held 5-9 February at the Bunya Mountains, followed by six weeksof virtual/online project work and coaching, then a public forum and graduation in March.  For more information, or to apply, visit:


“Any of these community leadership programs are an excellent investment of someone’s time,” said Red Earth Community Foundation General Manager, Melinda Jones. “Investing in yourself, your community, and the region’s future is very rewarding, so we encourage people to apply.”


ARLF’s chief executive Matt Linnegar adds: “We recognise the structure of our rural communities is becoming increasingly complex and match our learning to address these complexities. In doing so, we expose people to situations and ideas that will enable them to see a bigger picture, a different perspective and ultimately have the courage to put their ideas into action, bringing others with them.”






Melinda Jones, General Manager - 0413 144 196

Georgie Somerset, RECF Chair - 0428 390 984 

Nicky McMillan, ARLF Comms - 0439 438 500

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