1 July 2022
Nineteen years since its establishment as a much-loved local school-based mentoring program, Standing Tall in Hamilton Inc. (STiH) has received official endorsement as a Registered Charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). STiH is now endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) which allows individuals, businesses, and philanthropic partners to make tax deductible donations to the organisation.
STiH is a local not-for-profit organisation that was originally established by Founder and former senior school Teacher Jeanette Pritchard at Baimbridge College in 2003, in response to a belief that there were several students who would benefit from a supportive, one-on-one mentoring relationship with a trusted member of the community. Jeanette continues to be a long-term friend of the program and is proud of the recent Charity status endorsement of the organisation.
She says, “This is a fantastic achievement. Charity status is not easy to achieve so it says a lot about the status the organisation now has. Congratulations. I am thrilled for the team.”
In 2019, the STiH Committee of Management led by Chairperson Robert Vecchiet, made the decision to expand the service and offer the mentoring program to all schools across the Southern Grampians Shire. As a result, 13 junior and senior schools have established a formal partnership with STiH, ensuring more students in need who would benefit from a mentor will have the opportunity to access one.
Rob says, "We're really excited about securing charity status with ACNC. It is now easier for individuals and businesses to make a tax-deductible donation, and as an official charity we now have more opportunities to grow our organisation and strengthen the important work we do supporting our youth, our mentors, and our schools. We look forward to continuing to spread the word about our wonderful program and working even more closely with our community."
“We would love to see more individuals and businesses invest in Standing Tall. We know that early intervention via mentoring programs can change lives, not only for our young people, but for their mentor, and for our wider community. Ultimately, keeping young people engaged is the greatest social and economic investment a community can make.”
To celebrate this important milestone, STiH invites members of the community to make a tax-deductible donation and support the program, now as a fully-fledged charity.
In May we launched our campaign to raise $140,000 in 140 days. We have raised $44,000 in 40 days and we are on track to reach our target by 30 September, Grand Final Eve. It costs $2000 to support one child each year and we hope to raise enough funds to support 70 mentees in our program. Our funds covers things like insurance, governance, mentor recruitment, screening and training. STiH does not receive any government funding. This program does have 2 staff who each work part-time, 23 hours a week, the time needed to make the organisation successful, to keep our volunteer mentors and especially our students always feel safe and supported.