Address Applications to: The Secretary, East Gippsland Sports Foundation, P.O. Box 1253 Bairnsdale, Vic 3875 -



By the first quarter of 2005, an ambitious plan to raise $100,000 to fund a sports foundation to assist "rising sports stars" in East Gippsland had reached the half way mark.

Work had begun in September 2004 when East Gippsland Sports Foundation  Board Members began a program of talking ‘one-on-one’ to key East Gippsland businesses.

Each was asked to pledge an amount of money that would be placed on deposit so that the interest earned could fund the support needed by our potentially elite young sports people.  

"Our working group of senior local business and sports people was overwhelmed by the support the project received," according to Chairman Harvey Bates.

"It meant we were able to achieve our half way target quickly and be well placed to proceed through the second fund raising stage that would include a gala sports dinner to which members of the public would be invited."

The first Gala Dinner was held in April 2006 at the Australian Italian Club in Bairnsdale at which Olympic and World Cup champion skier Kirstie Marshall was guest of honour.

Broadcaster and raconteur Peter "Crackers" Keenan who has a strong following in East Gippsland also attended together with champion marathon athlete Lee Troop, Ambassador-at-Large for the recently established Great Ocean Road Marathon.

Kirsty Marshall

Peter 'Crackers' Keenan

The line up of East Gippsland sports stars included volleyball’s Tammy Curtis, cricketer Kelly Applebee, golfer Andrew Webster, Triathlete Ryan Cross, paralympian Tim Matthews, softballer Raelene Jeffries, table tennis player Michael Warr.

Hosted by popular ABC Radio Gippsland presenter Gerard Callinan the dinner raised close to $20,000 that was added to the Foundation’s interest bearing fund.   

Businesses and individuals supported the occasion by generously donating sporting memorabilia that was auctioned to an enthusiastic audience of more than 300 people.

Part three of the fundraising efforts is the launch of a debenture program where people are asked to loan $2500 units of money to the East Gippsland Sports Foundation for an agreed period of time. Interest earned from these 'debentures' is used to assist the young sports people.