Phunktional Arts works with communities to create art that explores local issues and supports wellbeing. Photo by Russell Shakespeare.
Tim Fairfax Family Foundation Annual Report 2017-2018


TFFF supports initiatives that improve the wellbeing of communities and aim to redress isolation, especially those targeting specific imbalances within communities, as well as build community resilience and capacity in the face of challenging circumstances.

Please note, the figures in the infographics below refer only to new funding approved in the 2017/18 financial year. In previous years these figures referred to both new and ongoing approvals.


new approvals


average total approved


multi-year approvals

Puuya Foundation Spotlight

“The Puuya Foundation was formed with a singular purpose – to empower the local community to identify and own their challenges, develop strategies to combat them and determine and shape their own futures."

Denise Hagan, Founder and CEO

“There’s no trick to being a good leader. You just need to do it. That means you do what needs to be done."

Dottie Hobson, Chair

Puuya means “heart” or “life force” in Kuuku Ya’u language, one of the six major traditional Aboriginal language groups of Lockhart River. Established in 2008 by Denise Hagan in partnership with community leaders, the Puuya Foundation works tirelessly to support the people of Lockhart River to articulate their community vision and develop a pathway to a positive future led by self-determination. The Puuya Approach “focuses on creating the right conditions for community leadership to flourish, which in turn drives long-term community success.”

The very remote community of Lockhart River is located on the east coast of Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula, approximately 35 hours drive north of Brisbane. Flights between Lockhart and Cairns cost around $1,200 and the community can be cut off by road for up to six months of the year during the wet season. As well as remoteness, the community faces significant challenges that may be difficult for Australians living in metropolitan areas to comprehend.

  • Access to fresh food is limited as food is brought in via barge only once a week and takes three days from the depot to the community
  • Food often costs around 65% more in Lockhart River than in metropolitan areas.
  • The community has an average life expectancy 20 years less than the national average
  • Approximately 75% of primary school students live with a hearing impairment which can have a significant impact on their achievement and progression in education
  • The unemployment rate is double the national average

Despite these challenges, this community has many strengths including a group of committed leaders and Elders with a strong vision for a vibrant, healthy community – strong culture, strong puuya, strong future.

A strong supporter of the Puuya Foundation since 2010, the TFFF made a significant commitment in 2013 of $1.32 million over five years towards key operational costs with the aim of supporting the Foundation’s strategic business development. Key objectives of this work include developing and maintaining partnerships inside and outside the community, building the capacity of these partners, and implementing priority projects as directed by the community.

One such project has been the establishment of the Kuunchi Kakana (families together) Centre as part of the community’s Early Years Learning and Parenting Program. Modelled on the Montessori framework and in keeping with the Puuya Approach, the Kuunchi Kakana Centre is community-led and community-run. Parents, grandparents and other family are encouraged and supported to actively engage in their children’s education and learn alongside them. 90% of children aged zero to five in Lockhart River are registered to attend.

In recognition of the impactful, respectful and empowering way in which the Puuya Foundation walks alongside the community of Lockhart River in all they do, they were awarded the Queensland Premier’s Reconciliation Award for 2017. In bestowing the Award, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk remarked:

"Puuya Foundation does amazing work empowering the Lockhart River Community by bringing together community members, philanthropists, corporate and government to create meaningful change in the lives of children and parents within its local and broader communities."

If the Puuya Foundation wasn’t here it would be impossible for us to try and address some of the social fabric issues here in our community because there is no one focussing on that. And I think that is the important role that the Puuya Foundation is going to play in the future: is to change people’s attitude and behaviour for the betterment of the community.

Wayne Butcher
Mayor, Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council

Where We Fund - Community

Community Organisations

Artback NT Numburindi – Strengthening Culture and Country

$60,000 ($225,000 over 3 years)

Supporting Artback NT to work in partnership with the Indigenous community of Numbulwar to design and deliver cultural camps for their young people with the aim of strengthening intergenerational relationships and connection to country through the maintenance and practice of traditional language, culture and performance.

Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation Capacity Support for the Bábbarra Women’s Centre

$170,000 ($509,000 over 3 years)

Towards the employment of key management staff and the long-term growth and sustainability of Bábbarra Women’s Centre, which supports the culture and meaningful livelihoods of women in Maningrida and surrounding homelands.

Caloundra Community Centre Pets for Life

$53,000 ($165,000 over 3 years)

To support the ongoing delivery and expansion of the Pets for Life program, aimed at reducing social and emotional isolation by matching volunteers with seniors or people with reduced capacity who require support in caring for their companion animal.

Desart Art Worker Program

$163,000 ($762,000 over 5 years)

Supporting the expansion of the Desart Art Worker Program to build the capacity of isolated and marginalised art centres in Central Australia by providing professional development and mentoring opportunities.

GIVIT Northern Territory Community Engagement Pilot


Support to employ a Northern Territory Community Engagement Manager to connect with charities and establish GIVIT’s services in the Northern Territory.

Human Ventures Creative Tracks

$150,000 ($450,000 over 3 years)

creative skills development program with a focus on “positivity through creativity” aimed at building stronger communities and empowering young people in the Queensland Indigenous communities of Cherbourg, Woorabinda and Hope Vale.

Of One Mind WOW Festival 2018 - The Regional Voice Project

$75,000 ($155,000 over 3 years)

Supporting women in Bundaberg, Childers, Lockhart River, Katherine, Jundah and the Torres Strait to develop and deliver regional events that celebrate and share their unique stories and experiences.

Outback Futures Capacity Support for a Transitioning Outback Futures


Supporting the leadership and organisational capacity of Outback Futures to underpin their continuing ability to develop and deliver robust, well designed and effective mental health services to rural, regional and remote communities in Queensland via partnerships with Government and other service providers.

Pathways to Resilience Trust Community Wellbeing and Empowerment Program

$400,000 ($2,000,000 over 5 years)

To enable the delivery of tailored training programs aimed at building social and emotional wellbeing skills and community capacity in a sustainable way, focusing on Queensland communities living with drought and other natural disasters.

Phunktional The Yumpla Project – A healthy relationships partnership project

$120,000 ($360,000 over 3 years)

A collaborative performance-making opportunity for at-risk young people on Horn and Thursday Islands, building respectful connections through sharing culture, dance and language in a contemporary community performance.

Puuya Foundation A sustainable foundation for a sustainable community

$260,000 ($1,320,000 over 6 years)

Towards the strategic development of the Puuya Foundation which is centred around working in partnership with the Lockhart River Aboriginal community to support a vibrant, enriching, healthy and sustainable community.

Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation Capacity Support for the Nintipulka Mitiyaku Media Strategy

$170,000 ($738,000 over 5 years)

Building the sustainability and capacity of the Media Team, enabling them to work more closely with Waltja’s communities through implementation of the Nintipulka Mitiyaku Media Strategy.

Youth Insearch Empowering Queensland Youth

$120,000 ($360,000 over 3 years)

Expanding the reach of Youth Insearch’s early intervention program across regional and remote Queensland, empowering young people to rebuild their lives and reach their full potential.

YWCA of Darwin Extension to the Women of Worth Program

$75,000 ($1,040,000 over 3 years)

Towards the extension of the Women of Worth Program in the Darwin Correctional Centre, which aims to reduce recidivism by providing incarcerated women with practical support to facilitate their successful transition back into families and communities.

The Tim Fairfax Family Foundation is based in Meanjin (Brisbane).