Lost property being turned into community gold

Melbourne Airport’s Community Giving Fund is celebrating six months of operation, having handed out more than $10,000 to six local community groups since commencing in October last year.

The fund looks to support local community groups in suburbs directly surrounding the airport with grants of $2000 to help pay for expenses associated with community initiatives of all shapes and sizes.

Each year thousands of items are left in the airport terminals by travellers, those that remain unclaimed are auctioned off to subsidise the fund.

This month’s recipient of the $2000 grant was St John Ambulance’s ‘Defib in Your Street’ program, which is dedicated to installing 24 hour publicly accessible defibrillators as well as offering training for both defibrillator use and CPR.

Melbourne Airport Head of Strategy, Planning and Community Justin Portelli said it’s wonderful to support these programs that are giving back to local communities.

“Since October we’ve awarded grants to some incredible community initiatives including the Sunbury United Football Club, Second Chance Animal Rescue facility, Craigieburn Basketball Association and the Darebin Brass Youth Band,” he said.

“These groups, whilst diverse, all play an equally key role in creating invaluable connections and support for their local communities.

“The ‘Defib in Your Street’ program is helping to save lives, so I’m delighted that some items sitting on a shelf collecting dust at the airport can contribute to the success of this truly amazing program.

“Whilst we have given out $12,000 to six local community groups over the last six months, I would encourage anyone who is involved in a local community group or knows of one in their area that might benefit from the funds, to apply.”

The fund is open year round to community groups in suburbs directly surrounding the airport, to apply head to www.melbourneairport.com.au/community/community-grants

Funds are awarded each month, successful applicants will be contacted by Melbourne Airport once they have been assessed.