TFFF visits Townsville to learn more about mentoring, clinical services, and the city’s artistic vibrancy

On 14 April 2021, Tim and Gina Fairfax along with TFFF CEO Neal Harvey, travelled to Townsville with Judith McLean, Dimity Dornan and Chris McCarthy to visit three impressive organisations supported, in part, by TFFF.

The day began with a visit to the Seed Foundation Australia offices to meet with Brett Fragiacomo (CEO), Darren Tindal (Seed Board Member), Rick Phineasa and De’arne French (Seed Engagement Managers for FNQ & NQ) and hear about Seed’s work mentoring young people into health sector study and careers. It was particularly moving to hear from Shelby and Tamara, who generously shared their experiences as Seed Foundation program participants.

L-R: Tim Fairfax, Darren Tindall, Tamara, Brett Fragiacomo, Gina Fairfax, Neal Harvey, Shelby, Rick Phineasea, De’arne French.

Seed Foundation Australia Executive Officer, Brett Fragiacomo, said, “The Seed Foundation Australia team were delighted to recently host Tim and Gina Fairfax and Neal Harvey on their recent visit to Townsville. It was a fantastic opportunity  to introduce our amazing Seed staff and share some of the success stories of our current and past Seed students.

“Seed are truly grateful for the ongoing support TFFF are providing and certainly could not achieve the education, training and employment outcomes we currently have without TFFF’s support.” 

Just before lunch, the group received a Welcome to Country from the Wulgurukaba Walkabouts Dancers. TFFF acknowledges the Gurambilburra Wulgurukaba, Bindal, Nywaigi, and Gugu Badhun Peoples as the traditional owners of Townsville and surrounds, and it was a privilege to be welcomed as visitors to their Country. Following a tour of the Dancenorth Studio with Judith McLean (Chair), Kyle Page (Artistic Director) and Amber Haines (Associate Artistic Director) hosted a lunch at their lovely home overlooking the bay and Magnetic Island. Dancenorth is an important company in a national and international context and their commitment to the region shone through in our visit to their home in Townsville, where we gained a deeper appreciation for the work they are doing with the young people in the community.

L-R: Tim Fairfax, Gina Fairfax, Alice Lee Holland, Hillary Coyne, Judith McLean, Eloise Grace, Amber Haines, Kyle Page.


L-R: Tim Fairfax, Gina Fairfax, Dimity Dornan, Hear and Say client Emily, audiologist Liza Bowen, Kerryn (Emily’s mum), Neal Harvey.  

The final stop for the group was a visit to the Hear and Say North Queensland Centre in Townsville, where Dimity Dornan (Founder and Executive Director) and Chris McCarthy (CEO) introduced their team of professionals providing speech therapy, telehealth and cochlear implant services to the Central Queensland region. The Townsville clinic, one of five around the state, is committed to empowering people with hearing loss, enriching relationships, and identifying expert technologies to optimise individual and community outcomes.

TFFF Chair Tim Fairfax thanked our hosts for their generous welcome and reiterated the importance of site visits to the Foundation.

“As a Foundation focused on supporting organisations in regional communities, site visits are vital to our understanding of the work being done on the ground. We were delighted to have this opportunity to visit three Townsville-based organisations and thank all those involved in organising this experience.”