PAYCE Foundation helps cyclone hit school rebuild

When Cyclone Winston hit Fiji in February last year with winds of up to 300 kilometres per hour it devastated some of the country’s smallest communities.

Naitavuni Catholic Primary School, located 58 kilometres north of Suva, was hit hard by the category 5 cyclone.

It destroyed the main building, the surrounding community in the Waidina District, including important infrastructure critical to the operation of vegetable farming which dominates the area.

The 82 school children had been forced to learn in makeshift classrooms as they waited for new ones to be built.

However, building materials and labour was in short supply across the island.

The future for the school and its children looked bleak until the PAYCE Foundation stepped up to help out.

PAYCE Foundation director Dominic Sullivan said that through the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Suva, work commenced on planning to rebuild the school facilities.

“The children were being taught in makeshift classrooms that were not fit-for-purpose or conducive to good educational outcomes,” he said.

“The extreme weather events often disrupt the children’s education.”

Mr Sullivan said when PAYCE Foundation become involved in the project it aimed to provide new learning facilities that would not only withstand the weather but improve learning opportunities.

“Community groups and representatives were consulted so that a comprehensive understanding of the community’s needs could be achieved.”

The $350,000 project included a 192msq block to replace 4 classrooms destroyed by the cyclone and a fifth multi-purpose room for use as a library and/or computer lab.

“Our project managers were not only able to assist with planning and construction on the ground, but with new technology monitor the progress from Sydney,” Mr Sullivan said.

“It really was a great team effort and a great result for not only the children but the broader community.”

Mr Sullivan said it was a pleasure to join the children, parents and school staff for the opening of the facilities.

“It has been a very rewarding project for everyone involved” he said.

Granville East Wins Seed Harvest Spoon Grant

Granville East Public School will have its own edible school garden after winning the PAYCE Foundation sponsored Seed Harvest Spoon competition this year.

Granville East Wins Seed Harvest Spoon Grant

The grant winner was officially announced at the school today where students were presented with certificates by the NSW Minister for Education Rob Stokes.

PAYCE Foundation Director Dominic Sullivan said the students showed outstanding enthusiasm in its video submission.

“The school’s community warriors group demonstrated a passion for not only the opportunity to build their own edible garden, but also a superior understanding of environmental issues.”

As the winning school students will receive:

  • Materials and support to design and build an edible garden, including a waste management system.
  • An eight-week education program
  • An information program for teachers and parents

The students will learn how to grow local, seasonal and organic food, generate healthy environmental ecosystems and promote local biodiversity.

Students will also learn about creating compost and the life of bees.

At the end they will get to enjoy the produce they created.

“The PAYCE Foundation is committed to backing programs which build stronger communities and the Seed Harvest Spoon program has an excellent track record of not only delivering important education but also bringing communities together,” Mr Sullivan said.

”Our approach to urban development is not just bricks and mortar.”

“We want to develop long term relationships which deliver lasting social improvement.”

The Director of Seed Harvest Spoon, Michelle Carrick, made a presentation to the school on the grant program.

“Michelle is a great advocate for the program and its outstanding educational benefits for children and we are proud to back her vision,” Mr Sullivan said.

New Transitional Housing Project Launched

An innovative tri-partite partnership between leading property development and investment company, PAYCE, community housing provider, Bridge Housing Limited and Women’s Community Shelters will provide transitional housing for women and their children who have been subjected to domestic violence or homelessness.

New Transitional Housing Project Launched

The Pathways Home project will offer intermediate tenancy accommodation and support services for those vulnerable women and children currently in emergency shelters.

The project was today launched in Sydney by Prue Goward, Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Social Housing and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Pathways Home aims to provide those women and children who had been in crisis accommodation after experiencing domestic violence with a stable, safe and secure home environment in order to recover and rebuild their lives. PAYCE Director, Dominic Sullivan said PAYCE would provide five properties in north-west Sydney and undertake modifications to ensure the properties were safe and comfortable.

“The PAYCE Foundation will provide seed funding for the Pathways Home Project Fund to support maintenance and other costs,” he said. “PAYCE is extremely proud to be a partner in this initiative, which is only possible through the shared commitment of our project partners, Bridge Housing and Women’s Community Shelters.

“The project is a wonderful example of community organisations working with the private sector to leverage philanthropy to develop affordable housing solutions for members of the community in vulnerable or needy circumstances.”

“Bridge Housing will provide property and tenancy management services and the Women’s Community Shelters, which currently operates crisis accommodation for women and children, will provide outreach support and also identify suitable tenants,” Mr Sullivan explained.

“Pathways Home addresses the problem of where women and children go to stabilise their circumstances after they leave emergency shelters and before they move on to secure permanent housing.

“Without assistance and support, there is a real risk that women will remain in a cycle of homelessness or be forced to return to a violent environment due to the lack of alternative accommodation.”

Mr Sullivan said homeless women and children will benefit from the transitional housing environment for up to 18 months and in that time a range of support services will be provided by Women’s Community Shelters.

“We plan to have the first beneficiaries’ transition from emergency shelters to the new tenancy accommodation and be settled well before Christmas,” he said.

Pathways Home Fact Sheet (PDF, 196KB)

PAYCE Foundation supports “The Big Issue”

The PAYCE Foundation has signed up with a number of other corporate organisations around Australia to support a worthy initiative of The Big Issue magazine to provide homeless women with an income, as well as access to training, mentoring and ongoing support.

PAYCE Foundation supports "The Big Issue"

The magazine’s subscription service, managed by the Women’s Subscription Enterprise, offers work opportunities in a safe and secure environment for homeless women. One hundred corporate organisations are being sought to be members of the Enterprise’s Big 100 campaign by taking up multiple corporate subscriptions to The Big Issue magazine. Up to 10 women in need will earn an income in return for packing and preparing the subscribed magazines for despatch.

Over the past 21 years, The Big Issue vendors have become a familiar sight on street corners across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, selling fortnightly editions of the magazine that cover a huge range of well-written and interesting topics, including arts and entertainment, lifestyle and personal profiles.

The Big Issue street vendors are predominantly men, primarily due to safety and viability for many women due to their personal situations, which can include domestic violence or obligations as parents or carers. The Women’s Subscription Enterprise was established in 2010 to give women in these circumstances work and income opportunities that did not require them selling the magazines on the streets.

The PAYCE Foundation will gift its ten subscriptions to charity and community bodies, including Adele House located on the Central Coast and in Western Sydney, and to The Sanctuary, a Women’s Community Shelter.

PAYCE Director Dominic Sullivan said the Foundation welcomed the opportunity to participate in such a worthy cause to help women who are doing it tough.

“There are many positives associated with this initiative, including building independence and the capacity to help themselves and each other,” he said.

“The PAYCE Foundation commends The Big Issue on this social enterprise and we look forward to further engaging with them and the great work they do.”


  • 40 per cent of homeless people living in shelters are women.
  • 46,000 women in Australia are homeless every night.
  • More than 6,500 people have sold the magazine since 1996.
  • More than 11 million magazines sold, generating $25 million in income for vendors.
  • Circulation of the magazine has increased from 7,000 in 1996 to about 27,000.

For further information on The Big Issue and the important role it plays in communities nationally visit:

Kick Start Café trainees celebrate their graduation

Three young trainees who joined the Kick Start Café in Riverwood North last year have found jobs in the hospitality industry after successfully completing a 10 month long industry program.

Kick Start Café trainees celebrate their graduation

Locals, Ravin Lotomau, Joshua Antwi and Paniora Nukunuku graduated this month with a Certificate III in hospitality, barista accreditation and RSA and RSG certificates.

They celebrated their graduation at a special ceremony attended by representatives from supporting businesses and community bodies.

The Kick Start Café is a social enterprise initiated by leading Australian property and investment company, PAYCE and supported by Riverwood Community Centre, St George Community Housing, building company DASCO Australia and Schibello Caffé.

Kick Start Café is now being incubated by the PAYCE Foundation, aiming to build it as a sustainable social enterprise with a model which can be replicated on other sites and other developers.

Each trainee was guided through on-the-job experience and the TAFE course by the café’s head chef, Shane Hillard, who, with 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, was thrilled with the success of his latest trio.

“Since the Kick Start Café program commenced three years ago at Washington Park, 10 young people have completed their training and gone on to secure jobs in the hospitality or related industries,” he said.

The café, located on Kentucky Drive at Washington Park, is well patronised by local residents and businesses, as well as nearby construction workers.

PAYCE Director, Dominic Sullivan said PAYCE was extremely proud of the graduates and the program’s success in supporting youth and equipping them for a positive future.

“The Kick Start Café has been an outstanding social enterprise initiative and we could not be more pleased with the opportunities it has provided,” he said.

“The trainees have gained some wonderful experience, not only with food and beverage preparation, but also interacting with customers and other businesses.

“That has built their confidence and developed leadership skills that will benefit them throughout their working lives,” he said.

With the three latest graduates moving on to permanent jobs, the Kick Start Café’s 10 month program has just taken on its next batch of trainees.

Sixteen year old Jonas Masters, 18 year old Aaron Subritzky and 19 year old Jonny Burt are all keen to gain hands-on experience and pursue careers in the hospitality area.

Mr Sullivan said he hoped more local residents and businesses would support the café and the program.

“Please drop by and say hello to the café’s new recruits who, I am sure, will be only too pleased to serve you and make you welcome,” he said.

Australian Kookaburra Kids soar to new heights

Australian property development and investment company, PAYCE has announced its support behind Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation’s latest program, Taking Flight, pledging a $25,000 donation.

Australian Kookaburra Kids soar to new heights

The Taking Flight program launched earlier this month is aimed specifically at those Kookaburra Kids transitioning from school into tertiary study or the workforce, but who still need support to navigate to becoming independent adults.

The Kookaburra Kids supports school aged children living in families affected by mental illness by providing recreational and educational camps throughout the school holidays.

PAYCE has been supporting the Sutherland Shire based organisation since 2015 as a strategic partner, pledging $250,000 over five years and has now donated an additional $25,000 towards the Taking Flight program.

The program provides:

  • The opportunity to work with an experienced coach to develop an integrated approach to career planning that supports the individual’s situation, interests and values
  • Job placement opportunities to educate and build capacity to get full-time employment
  • Guidance on suitable tertiary courses
  • Mentoring support with on-going professional and emotional guidance, and
  • Fundamental skills development opportunities to stay in front of work/study challenges.

PAYCE Director Dominic Sullivan said the new program was a very worthy initiative and the company was proud to support the new program.

“Taking Flight really is a great new and perfectly targeted service,” he said.

“Not all Kookaburra Kids have the confidence or family support to access resources to make the best decisions on their tertiary education and employment choices.”

Mr Sullivan said PAYCE was committed to helping grass-roots organisations that make a difference.

“The circumstances that Kookaburra Kids find themselves in are beyond their control and the work of the team really does help these young people towards a bright future,” he said.

“Every child deserves to reach their full potential and that can only be achieved with the right guidance and support.

“I am sure many of them will go on to make big contributions to the community,” Mr Sullivan said.