Council funds community led projects to create vibrant places

19 December 2023

At its ordinary meeting on 28 November, Council awarded a total of $32,492 to 9 organisations in the first round of 2023 Community Support Funding to support projects, activities and events that address community needs.

The Community Support Fund aims to build sustainable local communities and enhance the wellbeing and development of the Port Stephens community.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said the Community Funding Program is an important initiative of Council that provides funding assistance for key community projects.

“Council is dedicated to improving the wellbeing and liveability of our community by supporting initiatives that make a real difference. With 2 funding rounds offering a total of $70,000 to the community every year, the Community Support Fund continues to be a huge success," Mayor Palmer said.

“Applicants can apply for a maximum of $6,000, allowing us to award funds to as many local organisations as possible – with 9 awarded funds in this most recent round.

“I look forward to seeing the vision of these organisations unfold within the community as the projects get underway,” he added.

Local organisation, Caring for our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY) has been granted $6,000 to help fund technology for counselling staff which will significantly enhance youth mental wellbeing counselling services.

COPSY operates from the early intervention centre Jupiter, which is located at the Tomaree Library complex, within walking distance of 2 major high schools.

Operations Manager and Counsellor Avril Saunders said their $6,000 grant will help to revolutionise COPSY operations.

“A substantial portion will fund cutting-edge technology, shifting COPSY towards a paperless system and will enhance our ability to communicate with our clients and families,” Ms Saudners said.

“We're also going to invest in specialised training for all of our practitioners to better support young people with ADHD, ASD, and trauma. This grant isn't just about the financial assistance, it's a catalyst for a stronger, more efficient Jupiter.

“We’d like to thank Port Stephens Council for propelling us into a new era of innovation,” Ms Saunders added.

Other recipients include Karingal Preschool ($3,992), Raymond Terrace Community Church ($6,000) and Christian Outreach Centre – Global Care ($1,000).

The 2023 Community Support Fund round 1 recipients are:

RecipientProject Amount received
Karingal Preschool This funding will enable the purchase of computers and software for Karingal Preschool, allowing whole group learning, which students don’t currently have access to. $3,992
Raymond Terrace Community Church This project will allow a collaborative community volunteer based program with provision to purchase food items for community members in need and those that require support during the Christmas period. $6,000
Christian Outreach Centre – Global Care This project will allow a collaborative community volunteer based program with provision to purchase food items for community members in need and those that require support during the Christmas period. $1,000
Caring for our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY) This grant will fund the correct technology for counselling staff and significantly enhance youth mental wellbeing counselling. $6,000
Hunter Volunteer Centre Inc This project will deliver 2 Volunteer Expos in Port Stephens, in Raymond Terrace and Salamander Bay, to promote volunteering and its benefits. This will support local not-for-profits to showcase their organisation and make contact with prospective volunteers. $1,500
Port Stephens Community Arts Centre This funding will assist the Port Stephens Arts Centre to paint their main interior areas. $2,000
Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services (PSFANS) The project will allow PSFANS to upgrade their website to improve its efficiency. The website will be used by those seeking support from the community. $6,000
Sports 4 All Ltd This project will support Behind the Goals (BTG) which will increase the community participation of women and girls through sport. The project will allow BTG to educate local sporting clubs on how they can increase, and maintain, the participation of women and girls. Diverse groups will be represented through Aboriginal and LGBTIQA+ facilitators. $3,000
Port Stephens FM Radio Inc This project will enable the upgrade of Port Stephens FM Radio Station computers. The new computers will contain the specially designed computer software that is necessary to provide better services. $3,000

For more information about Council's Community Funding Program, visit