Turning trash into treasure, Melbourne Airport launches new community fund

Communities in Melbourne’s north and west are set to benefit from forgetful travellers, as Melbourne Airport launches a new Community Giving Fund subsidised by the sale of lost property.

Each year thousands of items are left in the airport terminals and those that remain unclaimed are auctioned off.

The funds will now be used to establish the Melbourne Airport Community Giving Fund, with an initial $50,000 to support local initiatives.

The program formally launches on Monday the 2nd of October and provides grants of up to $2000 to successful applicants to help fund expenses, associated with community projects, such as uniforms, transport, community kitchens and libraries.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Jim Parashos said the fund is designed to support the great work of smaller local organisations.

“Every year millions of passengers pass through Melbourne Airport, and some leave behind items, that despite best efforts, will never be reunited with their owner,” he said.

“We’re delighted to be able to give the proceeds we’ve raised from the sale of those items back to our local community.

“Whether it’s an art class needing supplies, a sports club updating uniforms or a gardening club looking for seedlings, these grants aim to ease the financial burden on smaller organisations.

“Melbourne Airport tries very hard to reunite every passenger with their belongings but sometimes that’s not possible, and we’re happy that items collecting dust at the airport will now support the quality community programs running in our area.

The fund is open to community groups in suburbs directly surrounding the airport, with applications open from Monday the 2nd of October through the Melbourne Airport website.

Successful applicants will be contacted by Melbourne Airport once they have been assessed.