A community partnership to celebrate

By Luisa Bustos, 18 December 2019 , Comments

“We’re really proud of our long-term partnership with Western Sydney University (WSU). We have achieved wonderful things with WSU and I think the students have accomplished a great deal as well. They are one of our great community partners.”

Kerry Stubbs, Northcott’s CEO, is referring to the decade-long community fundraising partnership between Northcott and the academic staff and students from WSU’s Sport and Hospitality Event Management course.

Since 2009 students at WSU have been raising funds for Northcott, whilst also learning the tricks of their trade through designing, managing and hosting real-life fundraising events. Championed by Dr Catherine Link (pictured above right), Academic Course Advisor at WSU, the initiative has raised just over $185,000 for Northcott.

“WSU is very proud to be partnering with Northcott for 10 years now! We started with one event in the first year. Now students work on more than 15 different events every year!” Dr Link says.

However, it’s not just the donations that have made this partnership so special. Learning practical skills and spreading awareness about Northcott have been just as important for the 700 students who have run events, explains Dr Link.

“Students learn organisational skills. They learn how difficult it is to put on an event and they get to know a lot about Northcott. At the beginning of the semester, when I ask them to put their hands up if they have heard of Northcott, I might get one or two students responding. By the end of the semester, they all know about Northcott.”

Annette Sneyd, Northcott’s Community Partnerships Officer, works closely with Dr Link and the new students each year, educating them about Northcott and some of the unique aspects of running charitable events. Each year is different, with new events and fresh ideas from students.

“In 2019, there were 16 events, including five-a-side football, lots of trivia nights and some gala dinners. It’s always nice to see the initiatives that the students decide to take on. Understanding charity rules and working with sponsors gives them a real-world opportunity to see what actually goes into creating an event,”Annette says.


Berta Youakim (pictured left), Northcott’s Fundraising Manager was lucky to attend some of this year’s events. She says: “From little things big things grow! This partnership is a great example of the power of community engagement. I recall one particular event called ‘We know you’ve got ability!’ What a beautiful way to include everyone regardless of their abilities! Northcott is lucky to have such great ambassadors! Thank you WSU.”

Related content

Northcott is grateful for the support from all its community and corporate partners. Check out how to become a Northcott community fundraiser here.

Read more stories like this in our 2019 Annual Report.


Kerry Stubbs is a former CEO of Northcott (till end of August 2020).


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