The Property Industry Foundation’s Jess Pollard and Stacey Vice made a trip to the William Campbell Foundation’s farm in Nowra to discover more about our 26-year history.
As one of our very first charity partners, William Campbell Foundation (WCF) holds a special place in the history of the Property Industry Foundation. In 1998, our then CEO Charles Austwick contacted WCF’s founder, Bill Campbell and facilitated a six-bedroom cottage for the foster care agency in Nowra, made from 2 x three-bedroom ex-Olympic village houses. The cottage officially opened in 2001 and provided a safe and caring home for children and their carers for many years.
WCF now offers a number of vital programs in Foster Care and Family Support Services for children, young people and families in Out of Home Care. From an initial six children, they now support 147 children and young people in the region. “We believe long term support is the key to their ongoing survival and life opportunities,” says WCF’s Suellen Emerton. “Our Out of Home Care areas range from the Illawarra to and including the Shoalhaven.”
This year, WCF opened William Campbell College, a special assistance school for students in K-6, situated on 120 acres of beautiful rural property at Nowra Hill. “All our teachers and School Learning Support Officers work with trauma-informed practice to identify the children who have learning difficulties and behaviours that often emanates from their abusive and neglected past lives,” says Suellen. “From the time we opened our school, we have been inundated with requests far and wide for us to enroll students, however we take children in a staged process so that our teachers can identify each child’s individual learning needs and create learning plans to support them in their educational journey with us. We do have future plans to extend enrollments up to Year 12.”
The Property Industry Foundation’s Stacey Vice, National Operations Manager and Jess Pollard, NSW Corporate Partnerships Manager visited the WCF property in Nowra, to enjoy lunch and hear more from their team about their new school and how their vital frontline service is having a positive ongoing impact on the local community. “It was a lovely opportunity for a catch up on our shared history, the evolution of the partnership, and to discover more about the positive impact of their work,” says Jess.
The WCF team were equally delighted to share their progress and host Jess and Stacey at the property. “We are really thrilled to re-establish our connection,” says Suellen. “We would love to see our relationship continue to grow as we are indebted to the Property Industry Foundation for their original donations of cottages. Those houses were integral to our beginnings and we could not have offered the services we have, if we did not have them! We believe we can forge a strong relationship for our future.”