feature west pilbara communities thrive with community spirit

community spirit fundcommunity spirit fund

In the West Pilbara of Western Australia, where vast landscapes meet the pristine coastline, community spirit thrives.

With sights set on building a vibrant and prosperous future for the communities nearest its operations, Chevron Australia established the Community Spirit Fund (CSF); a grant program offering not-for-profit organisations from Shark Bay to Port Hedland, up to $15,000 towards activities that improve health, education, environmental sustainability and inclusivity outcomes.

Since its launch in 2007, the CSF has invested more than $2.25 million towards 400 community projects, which continue to deliver positive change outliving the funding itself.

We are proud to build upon this in 2024 by injecting community spirit into eight West Pilbara communities through further funding of $300,000 shared between 23 not-for-profit organisations who were successful in the 2023 application round.

Community and Partnerships Manager, Ciara Griffiths said the CSF was designed to create an impact by empowering communities to have an active role in making the positive change they want to see in their communities.

"The Community Spirit Fund supports local initiatives that celebrate local culture and promote participation to foster a sense of belonging, which strengthens the social fabric of these communities.

"Year on year, we’re seeing the positive impact that the initiatives supported through the Fund have on these communities, including improved health, education, environmental and inclusivity outcomes."

Ciara Griffiths

Chevron Australia Community Partnerships Manager

The worthy recipients of the funding will deliver a range of activities such as lifesaving search and rescue training programs for the Northwest Marine Rescue, a cultural arts and community festival in the Ningaloo region, an emotional development program for secondary schools and flora regeneration.

Following the selection panel, our Community Engagement Team visited 20 not-for-profit organisations who were successful in the 2023 application round and heard some inspiring stories about the impact the Community Spirit Fund will make to their communities.

St John Ambulance, Exmouth Sub Centre Chairperson, Simon Roberts said the funding enables them to support their 100% volunteer-based team, with new vehicles and equipment to continue providing essential emergency response services the region.

“We’re enormously thankful for the support of the Chevron Community Spirit Fund which helps us to complete the purchase of a new 4x4 ambulance for Coral Bay and to progress towards our fundraising goal for a replacement on-road ambulance for Exmouth. 

"These are vital pieces of equipment that will enable us to provide ambulance services to these communities for many years to come."

Simon Roberts

St John Ambulance Exmouth Sub Centre Chairperson

St Johns AmbulanceSt Johns Ambulance

St Johns Exmouth Sub-Centre's Emergency Medical Technician, Craig Sigley (left) and Administrator, Raquel Roche (middle right), with Chevron Australia's Cultural Advisor - Brian Hayes (middle left) and Partnerships Advisor, Sally Edwardes (right).

The team also met with the Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) Foundation; a member-based organisation that supports First Nations custodians to ‘look after Country’ through education, flora regeneration events and resources.

Set to complement the ongoing renovation of 42 houses for local Aboriginal families, the funding will go towards the provision of native plants, for the Mungullah Community Aboriginal Corporation’s flora regeneration project, and the establishment of a new community garden.

ABC Foundation CEO, Helen Slater said the significance of receiving the funding goes far beyond the act of planting trees and tending to a garden; to the cultural, ecological, and community-related benefits which contribute to the well-being of both the environment and the people it serves.

“By creating spaces that encourage residents to gather, yarn, learn new skills and actively participate while enjoying nature, we aim to foster a sense of pride and ownership in their community space, while reinforcing connection to Country. 

“The garden will act as a living reminder of Indigenous traditions, helping to preserve cultural knowledge and practices whilst reinforcing the community's connection to the land and it becomes an open classroom for sharing traditional knowledge about indigenous plants, their uses, and their significance to future generations.” 

Helen Slater

ABC Foundation CEO

ABC foundationABC foundation

ABC Foundation's CEO, Helen Slater CEO (seated) with Business Partnerships Manager, Karen Stead

Chevron Australia is proud of the positive impact that the Community Spirit Fund has made to communities across the West Pilbara over the past 17 years.

We are delighted to support the 2023 recipients and look forward to seeing the benefits to their communities that this funding will bring.

If you know an eligible not-for-profit organisation that could benefit from the Community Spirit Fund, encourage them to apply in the next application round which opens in mid-2024.  

Together, we can create a brighter future in our West Pilbara communities.