The Into Our Hands Foundation is:

A Community Foundation that supports projects that enhance community strength cohesiveness and wellbeing

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Inaugural Grants now finalised. 
Into Our Hands Foundation Inaugural Grant Funding 2013 was held in conjunction with the Inaugural AGM on the 29th November 2013 at the Myrtleford Savoy Club….. Read more


Resilience Awards 2013 – Into Our Hands is awarded a High Commendation for its work.

On November 18th Into Our Hands Foundation attended the 2013 Australia Resilient Awards in Melbourne.

Into Our Hands Foundation partnering with Alpine and Indigo Whole of Community Landscape and Static Water Committee, Dederang Reserve Committee and Kancoona Quilters Group were awarded a High Commendation by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Kim Wells. These awards recognise the achievements in making communities more resilient, safer, and better prepared for emergencies, through innovative ideas and practices.

These awards are sponsored by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, in conjunction with States and Territories.

Three members of the Board of Directors of the Into Our Hands Foundation attended; Loretta Carroll, Catherine Sonnemann and Ali Pockley. We also had 3 community members attend the ceremony, these were Neil Sonnemann, Jeanette Howman and Terry Karis.

Chair of the Foundation, Loretta Carroll accepted the High Commendation from Minister Wells on behalf of the Foundation and Committees. “We are very pleased to receive recognition for community initiatives that have enhanced the connections between our rural communities and are assisting in building our community capacity and growing the concept of a shared responsibility for community resilience.” Ms Carroll said.

There were more than 30 nominees in 4 award categories which in Minister Wells words: “celebrate emergency management initiatives that improve community safety and resilience through better risk assessment, education and training, knowledge management, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.”

Eleven submissions were put forward in the Not-For-Profit Category.  Firefoxes Australia took out the Finalist Award with their project  ‘Creating a New Normal’.

Mr Wells was joined by Victorian Emergency Services Commissioner Michael Hallowes and the Executive Director of Australian Emergency Management Institute, Raelene Thompson, to present the awards.

See images and press release below.

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Forward from The Hon. Alan Brown – Patron of  Into Our Hands Foundation

I am honoured to be Patron of the newly established Into Our Hands Community Foundation.

This Foundation is unique and has come about as a result of significant community engagement to establish a method to address the medium to long-term needs of a region devastated by the 2009 Black Saturday fires now known as the Beechworth – Mudgegonga Fire Complex.

A community foundation was chosen as a high priority as it could clearly assist in addressing such needs.

The name ‘Into Our Hands’ says it all.

A trust fund of $1 million has been established to help address these needs and importantly the Foundation will be administered and run by a highly competent Board comprised of very experienced local men and women.  The Board acts in an honorary capacity and I am well aware that they have a strong passion and commitment to do what they can to assist their community.

It is hard to beat having local people who know local issues and concerns working together to address them.

Each year the Foundation will distribute grants for projects that address local needs as a result of the fires, with the only limitation being the funds available.

This is where you can assist and I strongly encourage you to do so.

Please make contact with the Foundation if you feel you can help.

Fundraising is a vital and necessary function for the Foundation to be effective and continue its tangible outcomes into the future.

Please consider donating to assist this wonderful local cause.  Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible and every dollar helps.

The Foundation covers a region which spans three Shires.  As the Foundation will do so much good work in the years ahead I am hopeful of the ongoing involvement of the Shires of Alpine, Indigo and Wangaratta and their continued support.

From my experience I have seen first-hand the wonderful outcomes which have been achieved with Councils and Community foundations working together to enhance and support their local communities.  The Bass Coast Shire and the Cities of Yarra, Darebin and Moreland all support their local community Foundations and their support is invaluable.

The official launch of the Into Our Hands Community Foundation on Tuesday 12th March 2013 will be an auspicious day for the community.  It will signal the official start of a local community galvanised into action to ensure its future is placed into their hands as far as the Community Foundation is concerned.

I wish the Foundation and all involved with it every success and extend my best wishes.

I congratulate all involved who have worked so hard to see the Into Our hands Community Foundation become a reality.

Hon Alan Brown


Community Members

Photo Credit:View of the Mudgegonga Valley looking towards Mount Buffalo in Northeast Victoria, Australia. Photo by Stephen Routledge