In November 1998, Judith Kennedy, the then President of the Board of Otway Health & Community Services, called a public meeting to investigate the community’s attitude to the establishment of a foundation to raise funds to be managed in such a way as to contribute to the future health requirements of Apollo Bay and district.B A Steering Committee was elected by the community to establish the Apollo Bay & District Health Foundation.

On the 5th October, 1999 the Foundation was launched by The Governor of Victoria, Sir James Gobbo AC who became the inaugural Patron of the Foundation. The next Governor, Hon. Alex Chernov AO QC, also became a patron. We don’t currently have a patron.

The Constitution of the Foundation sets out its two key objectives:-

  • to financially support Otway Health and Community Services to assist it provide its services and to carry out its objectives: and in the discretion of the Trustees
  • to financially support any Similar Health Organisation within the District of Apollo Bay to assist it or them to provide its or their services and to carry out its or their objectives.

While the prime purpose of the Foundation is to support Otway Health, a diversity of purpose was necessary to ensure that the funds remained in the district regardless of what a future government might decide to do with Otway Health. It also helped to assure that the Foundation would receive tax exempt status.

The objective of the first years of the Foundation has been to build the funds under management to a sufficient quantum to allow us to fund projects from the earnings of the fund and to continue to build the capital base. This means that to date we haven’t been that conspicuous in our philanthropic efforts. But we have had some significant achievements. See a list of our past grants.

Additionally, and very importantly, the Foundation was approached by Otway Health in 2005 to help find a new home for the Op Shop. The Foundation responded favourably to this request and sold an asset that had been bequeathed to it to release the funds to purchase a shop. That shop is now leased to the Auxilliary and is the home of the highly successful Op Shop.

The Apollo Bay & District Health Foundation seeks residents and visitors to become members of the Foundation. Our funds primarily come from bequests made by members and in our first 12 years we raised about $1,000,000.