The SpArc Foundation’s support assisted the development of the Hawthorn Indigenous Program and its support of Australia’s Indigenous communities through mentorship, lifestyle and participation programs, while also providing financial support and employment opportunities through the vehicle of Australian Rules Football.
Cathie visited Lockhart River for the first time in 2014, where she was confronted by the disparities in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. At the same time, Cathie witnessed how sport engaged young people regardless of cultural heritage – the kids in the remote community in QLD loved AFL as much as her own son back in Brisbane.
The extensive program included a raft of support and development mechanisms, and aimed to build leadership while promoting cultural awareness, school attendance and healthy lifestyle choices.
In 2016, SpArc Foundation along with the Hawthorn Football Club formed a partnership with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. The partnership included a joint publishing project working with Indigenous students in Katherine and Healesville. In 2016, young players with the Big River Hawks published the anthology Shock ‘Em: stories of the Big River Hawks and in 2018, the students from Worawa Aboriginal College, launched The Deadly Sisters of Worawa. Profits from the sales of the books go back to developing more literacy resources.
The partnership between the SpArc Foundation, HFC and the ILF also included an annual fundraising event called Kick On for Literacy, celebrated each year in National Reconciliation Week to acknowledge Sir Doug Nicholls Round of the AFL, while bringing together football and book lovers alike to raise awareness funds for the ILF.
Hawthorn Football Club The Big River Hawks as told by Cyril Rioli, 15 September 2016
Young NT footballers release new book, Marngrook, NITV, 22 July 2016
Young footballers put pen to paper and Shock ‘Em – National Indigenous Times, 13 July 2016
Hawthorn Football Club Hawks partner with Indigenous Literacy Foundation February 19, 2016
Hawthorn Football Club Cups to Katherine December 8, 2015
Hawthorn Football Club Southern Exposure August 18, 2015
NRL misses out on funds from fans as AFL glide home with $11 million in donations June 19, 2015
ABC Speaking Out Speaking Out spoke to Stuart Giles in Brisbane.(June 16, 2015
Hawthorn Football Club Hawthorn welcomes Big River Hawks(June 9, 2015
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia News Pharmacy owners’ SpArc Foundation-will for indigenous footy program June 1, 2015
Probono Australia News 1 million dollar donation expand indigenous football program May 28, 2015
Hawthorn Football Club News Epic donation to expand hawthorns indigenous program May 26, 2015
612 ABC Brisbane Radio – Your Story Cathie Reid, business woman and philanthropist tells her story to David Curnow.May 26, 2015
Cathie Reid blog How a program to support Indigenous Australians originated from a journey through women’s networks around the world May 26, 2015