Who We Support

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Who We Support


Biala Peninsula Inc. is a group of trained therapists and volunteers who provide services for very young children with delays and disabilities. As a most valued add-on they also provide support for the siblings of these children as well as their parents or carers.

This wrap-around service has been much admired as often families are have limited knowledge of the ramifications of the diagnoses that these young ones have received and need careful counseling and assistance in order to cope effectively and put together a plan to enhance their child’s development.

Since we started supporting Biala in our very early days, in April 2010, they have grown enormously both in the services they provide and their outreach over the Peninsula community. Where once they were open only during the week during Term time , they are now open for programs in the school holidays and at weekends.

Many of their trained practitioners also do home visits when families are unable to come to the centres Biala therpists attend.

Biala Manager, Marlene Fox, was invited to speak about their service at a world conference in Sweden last year (2016) – no mean feat, considering Sweden has one of the most sophisticated family support systems in the world.

Foundation 59 support:-

Family Counseling.Music Therapy

Premmies on the Peninsula

Team Sibsclub

Emergency Additional ECIS Place,

and a

Second Kindergarten Assistant in the Biala Inclusive #’s Kindergarten Program.



Jeanette Horsley is making a big success of this program for teenagers which is basically being funded by her local Peninsula community. She seeks to provide a safe and nurturing environment for these kids to hang out for the whole of their teenage years. Nearly all of those who attend have suffered some kind of trauma in their lives or are currently dealing with problems related to financial, emotional or mental stress.

Jeanette carefully sects a team of volunteers (Sarah Darling – our Executive Director is one) who all meet with the kids one or two afternoons a week after school during term time. 4.00 – 6.00pm It is clearly not enough and we are all looking at ways this program can increase it hours to involve more time both during the week and on some days in the weekend.

During school holidays Jeanette holds camps – one for just girls in the first holiday this year and the second in the last holiday for both girls and boys – at the Queenscliff Dive Centre. These camps are hugely popular and Jeanette is under a lot of pressure to hold more camps both during holidays and in term time.

This program is treasured by the kids. Parents even use it as punishment “You can’t go to Youth Troops this week”. The kids love their “Youth Family” as they call it.

It has to be said that some of the stories we hear are so horrific, these kids would be seriously lost without this program.

YMCA are looking for more support staff so this program can grow and grow. Once again, it has great results.


The aim of the Capel Sound Children’s Project is to improve early learning outcomes and school readiness in the community by improving adult-child interactions in early childhood. The project has been running for 3 years and has already experienced success in improving children’s learning and development outcomes pre-school.

Research shows that early learning and development has enormous impact on a child’s long-term health and wellbeing.

Families are encouraged to attend twice a week and engage in play and reading activities throughout the week.

The groups utilize the spacious grounds and educational expertise of Eastbourne Primary School and Seawinds Early Learning Centre.

This year the project has won the best Early Learning program in Victoria and Tasmania and representatives will attend the Australia-wide awards in June.


The Musica Viva commitment which Foundation 59 started in Term 4 of 2014 has been a great success. Also operating at Wallaroo Primary in Hastings and at Mornington Park Primary in Mornington plus the Mornington Special Development School – Musica Viva came quite independently as a result of their own surveys with exactly the areas of in need of support that we had already identified.

Their programs in each school have had such a profound effect that they asked if we would commit further funds so that they could increase their contact with each of the three schools.

We were delighted to be in a position to do this and with the very generous help of the Pierce Armstrong Foundation Musica Viva are now offering their wonderful program to Crib Point Primary. A second primary school in the Crib Point area will join the program at Crib Point Primary so this brings our Peninsula commitment to 5 schools which is wonderful.

We look forward to the Christmas concerts!

The power of Music!



One of our first commitments in 2010 and one of which we are enormously proud.

A standout program that is also designed to decrease school drop out numbers by engaging children who find the classroom unsuitable in hands on practical learning projects such as building, landscaping, billy cart making and racing as well as small projects within their local communities.

They have expanded their programs in the 59 area to include 3 Primary as well as 4 Secondary schools – a huge growth in a short time considering that there was only one school in the 59 area when we first started 6 years ago.

As a result of their experience with the Hands On group, these kids go back into the classroom refreshed and with the knowledge that what they learn at their desks does in fact have true relevance to the outside world. It is a complete attitude changer and has some really wonderful results.



“Russell Ardley runs this very popular program at Wallaroo Primary in Hastings and at Mornington Park Primary in Mornington. Both are in disadvantaged areas and address the problem of poor school attendance.

“Why does my kid need to go to school? It did nothing for me.”

Russell starts the day with a breakfast for the kids to which parents and carers are also invited in the hope that by involving the broader community there is a feeling of belonging to the school which is certainly to be encouraged. It’s also easier for the kids to learn on a full tummy.

Russell offers all sorts of hand on activities outside the classroom, such as gardening, raising chooks and any little projects which spark the kids interest. Renovating an old boat once, he noticed some of the Dads came along – it was a good one.

Also, the breakfasts have now sparked a request for lunches some days and schools report that attendance has certainly improved since the wider community have been involved even if there still remain days – when Russell is not there –  that one or two children might not turn up.

This is a program that Foundation 59 would certainly continue for as long as Russell and his team are there to run it. He is a legend.


Principal Michael Devine and Vice Principal Chris Quinn and their very professional team are dealing at all levels with the disadvantage endemic in the Hastings area. It can be that when a child first joins Westernport in Grade 7 that they have suffered from so much lack of education that teachers have a huge task to enable the catch up necessary for them to go on to complete their education.

Challenges also present themselves about keeping these children engaged in school and hence our support of the Project 9 program which is have a remarkable and positive effect. (In its first 12 months they went from a 75% drop out rate in Yr 9 to almost zero.)

We began by giving funding for iPads fro each Yr9 student which we did for two years and now we have committed to funding their very popular excursion program – taking these kids to places they would not normally visit – galleries, workplace environments , police stations etc. Opening up their eyes to all the possibilities that are out there for them.

One little girl has decided she will be a policewoman so that what has happened to her does not happen to someone else.

See the video on this website made by the kids on Project 9 with their iPads.



Di has been a wealth of knowledge for us with our mainstream teachers. She has attended workshops and professional development days to challenge our thinking and teaching around literacy. Di has managed to organise the classrooms libraries as a matter of urgency and I believe I am accurate in saying that nobody could have predicted the positive impact this had in the short term. Imagine how this will play out in the future.  There is an expectation that children can read in a sustained way for over 40 minutes. We have struggled to be able to do this until now. Part of the success is due to the engaging books we have purchased under Di’s guidance.We just could not have afforded to purchase $20,000 worth of books to take the chance on this programme. We did it because of Di’s belief and experience.”

Bev Dadds, Principal, Mornington Park Primary School.


This is a new program that Foundation 59 have committed to supporting.

Term 4, 2017 will see the commencement of this program which intends to identify 20-30 Grade 4 students from three different primary schools in the Hastings area and to get a commitment from these children’s families that they will attend school.

In return the program guarantees to provide a wrap-around service for the whole family of these students, that may include professional counseling, financial advice, medical support or whatever.

Plus any assistance of any nature the student themselves may need to continue at school.

The commitment to education is paramount to these services being offered.

This is a new program that has been trialed in the US and we look forward to hearing of the progress later this year.

This has been developed by Michael Devine at Western Port Secondary along with Safe Schools.

Michael, earlier this year won a Commonwealth Bank Teacher Scholarship for outstanding service to his school and community – the only one given in Victoria.


Foundation 59 have committed to providing support to the Rosebud Sea Scouts Group, in particular, to the 8-10 year olds who have the opportunity to attend the 2017 Cuboree which is a camp to be held later in the year.

We are ever mindful of the enormous positive effect these camps can have on these children.

Our support will subsidize costs for some families plus allow some children whose families could not afford to send them on camp to also attend and join their fellow scouts.

A wonderful opportunity.


Similarly Foundation 59 has given support to a teenage group who have the opportunity to go to the Venturers Camp later in the year.

Despite the Scouts being based in Sorrento some of the children come from families in Rye who find the cost of these camps very high.

We are pleased to be able to offer them some much needed support.