Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Charity drives inclusion with unique services

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Charity drives inclusion with unique services

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The novel way a charity chips in to help those living with intellectual disabilities

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An innovative Sunshine Coast charity is in full swing after opening the doors to a new mentoring space for people living with an intellectual disability.

Golf Programs Australia Inc Golf Programs Australia (GPAI) offers unique support services for people living with a disability, which incorporates a private nine-hole golf course in Diddillibah alongside a brand-new social enterprise mentorship studio.

Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien officially opened the new facility, at the request of GPAI Founders Michelle and Darrell Dalton, following the support of a $15,000 Federal Government Grant, which was matched dollar for dollar by the charity.

“With each swing of a club, the team here at Golf Programs Australia are driving inclusion, breaking isolation and changing the lives of local people in our community,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I’m proud to support this exciting new chapter for the organisation, and I commend Darrell and Michelle for the fantastic community work that they do.”


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GPAI has delivered weekly golf programs for people living with an intellectual disability, acquired brain injury or mental health challenges since 2014.

The new facility will enable GPAI to improve their Extension Program which provides participants with social enterprise training in retail, business and creativity over a 12-month period which has been operational since December 2016.

A new facility, partly funded by the Federal Government, will enable Golf Programs Australia Inc to provide more services.

The enhanced program adds another dimension to the charity which originally focused on delivering ‘Australia’s most inclusive golf program’ for individuals living with an intellectual disability.

President of Golf Programs Australia Incorporated, Darrell Dalton said their successful application for the Stronger Communities Grant was a big step for the Nambour charity.

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“Ted encouraged us to apply for the grant, which we secured and it has enabled us to set up the most amazing space and everyone is very excited,” Mr Dalton said.

“The new sub-basement studio has extended the charity’s retail space opportunities which incorporates the sale of donated pre-loved golf equipment, donated furniture, a creative textile design area, containers for change recycling bay, golf simulator training area, inwards and outwards goods and more.

“We are so thankful for the incredible community support we have received including businesses such as Ken Mills Toyota Nambour, Eco Cottages Cooroy, Rosemount Auto Marine, Dave’s Furniture Restoration, Crunch Forest Glen, Day & Grimes Real Estate, Nambour Upholstery, Yandina Hardware and Showcase Property Styling.”

The $15,000 Stronger Communities grant was successfully awarded by the Australian Government to GPAI on a dollar-for-dollar basis. This fund is designed to support the the Australian Government’s commitment to deliver social benefits in communities across Australia.