Who We Are

Established in 2002, the Community Foundation for Central Victoria is an independent organisation managed by a voluntary Board of Directors representing the community.

The Community Foundation is a charitable organisation that supports and promotes regional philanthropy which enables and supports local communities to invest in their own future.

Our legal structure maximises tax benefits to our donors, without the costs of setting up their own charitable fund.

While our revenue raising activity is a key part of what we do; our intent is squarely focussed at the impacts and benefits that revenue makes to Central Victoria.

What We Do


The CFCV board is a team of skilled and competent directors acting ethically, responsively and responsibly in wealth generation and distribution. The board is outcomes focussed, accountable to its communities and meets all regulatory requirements.

Funds Management

CFCV sources and utilises best practice principles in the area of funds management acquisition and growth.

Funds Distribution

CFCV is at the forefront of distributing funds that make a real and significant difference in Central Victoria.

Relationship Management

CFCV is a vital partner in managing regional relationships in regard to philanthropy.


The CFCV has a prominent profile in the community.

Community Development

CFCV is a participatory leader in the current community development and in planning for the future.

Our Vision

The Community Foundation for Central Victoria helps our region to give where you live

Our impact areas are Education, Health and Wellbeing, Prevention of Violence Against Women and Growing Community Capacity

Our vision is to strengthen our communities through local giving

We will do this by facilitating regular and strategic activity about raising capital with key stakeholders, so that the distribution of accumulated and targeted funds can be disbursed to a wide range of charitable organisations and activities that fit within the strategic purposes of the Community Foundation.

This approach provides the opportunity to strengthen partnerships and to build new ones. Our focus is to, through philanthropy, to build the capacity of community organisations and agencies that in turn provide enormous benefit to individuals, families and communities across Central Victoria.

Our Community

Located 150kms from Melbourne, Bendigo is an elegant regional city in Central Victoria. With its rich culture and beautiful historic buildings, Bendigo has so much to offer – with a stunning art gallery, antique stores and many sidewalk cafes. Home to roughly 100,000 people, Bendigo is the perfect place to explore Victoria’s golden heritage.

The Central Victorian region is a region of contrasts; the vibrant city of Bendigo anchors the region, surrounded by the lively smaller towns such as Echuca, Castlemaine, Maryborough, Heathcote and Rochester. The region is abundant in attributes with a strong heritage and industries such as business services, health, education

and tourism, as well as a large agricultural zone, making it primed to overcome the challenges presented by economic environment. Change in population composition and economic realignment are key drivers of change across the region.

Patterns of disadvantage exists across the region; a product of economic and demographic change that is affecting localities differently. Our region broadly encompasses the local government areas of the City of Greater Bendigo and the Shires of Loddon, Campaspe, Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields, Macedon Ranges, Buloke and Gannawarra.

Our People



For over 20 years, Penny has consulted with private and public sectors to shape public policy and strategy for settings such as libraries, aquatic centres, community facilities and open space; all of which are cornerstone to building vibrant, connected and healthy communities.

Penny is the Executive Director for Primary Health Integration for Murray Primary Health Network and appreciates as well as anyone the value of great partnerships and collaboration.  Penny joined the Foundation in 2011 and brings to the Board a depth of experience in strategic planning, community engagement and communications and a love of country Victoria.


Deputy Chair

Claire has worked with RMCG on a diverse range of projects, but is best known for her skills in group facilitation, investigating complex issues and communication, helping clients produce useful insights and strategies.  Over the last 10 years, Claire has worked on projects to help build people’s skills and knowledge, projects to interview and understand stakeholders, projects to evaluate change, projects to educate and inspire, and projects to develop strategic plans for organisations big and small.



Sue is a communications and marketing veteran with more than 30 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors. Born and educated in Bendigo, Sue enjoyed a successful career as a news journalist and newspaper editor, followed by several years running
her own public relations consultancy. After returning to Bendigo, Sue is currently the Communications and Marketing Director with homelessness and affordable housing agency, Haven; Home, Safe.


John Edward Higgs OAM, M.A.in Ed.(Dunelm,U.K.),B.A.(Monash),T.P.T.C.(LaTrobe).  Former longtime member of the Academic Staff, LaTrobe University ,Bendigo.  Immediate Past President and former longtime Board Member, Bendigo Art Gallery.  Chairman of Trustees, Bendigo Racecourse Reserve.  Former President and longtime Committee Member, Bendigo Jockey Club

A Founder and Foundation Chair, Girton Grammar School.  Former Board Member and Company Secretary, Melbourne Recital Centre


Anne Somerville has many years experience in the community sector working in overseas aid organisations, youth services, women’s & community health and family welfare services. Her governance work includes board memberships across the health and VET sectors and a range of consultancy and pro bono work with NFP foundations and community agencies through her business ‘the drawing board’. Anne is committed to working with organisations that work to strengthen their strategic planning and position and contribute to creating positive futures.


Barry Lyons was been a Councillor with the City of Greater Bendigo from 2008 to 2016.

He is a family man, married to Betty and has five children and 11 grandchildren. He is the former licensee of Kangaroo Flat’s Windermere Hotel, a family business he owned and operated for 23 years.

Barry is a long term supporter and sponsor of local sport, including Kangaroo Flat Football/Netball and Cricket Clubs. He served as President of the Kangaroo Flat Lions Club and as a board member of the Kangaroo Flat Community Health Centre.

Our Patrons

Founding Patrons

Baillieu Myer AC was our first patron. He was Co-Founder and Past President of The Myer Foundation, Trustee of the Sidney Myer Fund from 1958 to 2001 and Chairman from 1992-2001. In our formative years Mr Myer was a valuable resource of knowledge and contacts that helped form the Community Foundation. Mr Myer’s career has spanned the fields of business, aged care, the arts, conservation, education and rural communities.

Mr Richard Guy OAM, is a leading Bendigo business identity, philanthropist and Governor in Council representative on La Trobe University Council was a second patron. Richard, with his partner Mrs Claire Guy have made a distinguished and well recognised contribution to the social and economic development of the Central Victorian region. They continue their commitment to the region with the development of the Richard and Claire Scholarship Fund targeting post first year students in necessitous circumstances attending La Trobe University.

Newer Patrons

In recognition of the early work undertaken to explore the potential and establish a Community Foundation in Central Victoria, and ongoing roles as Directors of the Community Foundation, Chris DeAraugo, David Ensor and Ken Marchingo were made patrons in 2010.

Chris DeAraugo was the Founding CEO of Lead On Australia, an organisation that provides development opportunities for young people and was established in Bendigo in 1999. Prior to that he was Head of Marketing for Bendigo Bank.

Currently Chris DeAraugo is National Community Strengthening Manager for Bendigo & Adelaide Bank working with Community Banks across Australia assisting them to develop their business and community strategies.

He has been a member of many boards and committees in Bendigo and is still involved with cricket administration and coaching locally, and he still plays guitar in a band with his son.

Ken Marchingo is the founder and CEO of Haven; Home, Safe, Australia’s only vertically integrated affordable housing association and homelessness services provider.

Established in 1994, the not-for-profit organisation became Victoria’s first registered Affordable Housing Association in 2005 and has since developed and now manages over 1000 affordable rental properties. HHS, with 130 staff, runs a central intake model for its more than 20 homelessness and housing programs across central and regional Victoria.

Ken is a former Director of the Bendigo Health Care Group Board – the largest employer in the region, a Life Governor of the State’s Royal Children’s Hospital, and an active participant in a wide range of community activities.

David Ensor hails from South Africa, and took up his first post at La Trobe University as Deputy Director of the Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities in 1999. He then became Director, Office of Engagement and Enterprise, followed by Executive Director Major Projects and Business Development and Acting Pro VC (Strategic Development).

His career at La Trobe University then involved roles as Executive Director – Office of VC and Corporate Services, VP (Operations) and Chief of Staff (External Relations).

David is currently Deputy Chair of Northern Melbourne RDA and in his spare time he enjoys activities with his family, including walking camping, boating, fishing, sport and travel.

Our Business Partners

Many businesses across Central Victoria have a history of investing in their communities through their philanthropic activity. CFCV is very proud to have supported such activity for a range of regional business through the development of initiatives including workplace giving programs and the development of Charitable Fund programs.

Our Charitable Fund partners are highly valued by CFCV. Their activity directly supports the Annual Grant program, and they are acknowledged below:

Our Annual Report 2016

Download PDF