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Caring for the Community Program Race Day Recipients


Rehab4Rehab, a charity saving the lives of children and retired racehorses on the Mornington Peninsula through equine assisted psychology and occupational therapy.

Children struggling with mental health issues pair up with a therapist and a retired racehorse to undertake equine assisted therapy.

Retired racehorses are carefully rehabilitated and given expert training while they settle in and become therapy horses. The children can lead, brush and ride them while working with their psychologist through issues including anxiety, depression, autism and suicidal thoughts.

Rehab4Rehab currently has equine assisted psychology or occupational therapy sessions open for children aged 5-21, and are seeking donations to allow disadvantaged children to attend holiday programs.

Go to to donate, enrol your child, or learn more.

Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation

Our Koalas need trees! Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation aims to encourage residents to plant trees and protect native vegetation. More than 70% of koala habitat is on private property. The Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation Group is here today handing out flyers and accepting donations. Please get involved and help protect our Koalas.


Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club

Point Leo SLSC is an entirely voluntary organisation of 1326 members which provides beach patrol and rescue services, first aid and lifesaving training at Point Leo surf beach and surrounds. Point Leo plays an active role in the broader community through our nipper program, school education programs and other community outreach efforts. Donations are crucial to many aspects of our club, including: 

  • Training of lifesavers 
  • Purchasing of lifesaving and training equipment and, 
  • Development opportunities for future club and community leaders 

Further details about their club can be found by visiting their website, or social media.


Equine Pathways Australia

Equine Pathways Australia enables people with a range of physical disabilities to engage with a community of like-minded people to achieve their goals in the equine world.  From pleasure riding to international competitions, each participant has a goal-based plan and pathway to make their dreams a reality.  EPA participants and their families, including Di Barnes, Australian Paralympian and peninsula resident, are here today to chat with anyone wanting to get involved. For more information and to donate to enable EPA to continue providing their services visit their website shown in today’s racebook.

Racing Hearts

Racing Hearts is a registered charity offering Equine Assisted Psychology, Counselling and Social Skills programs to more than 500 people on the Mornington Peninsula, Pakenham and surrounding suburbs. These mental health programs see people from 4 years of age and work almost exclusively with a large team of retired racehorses. Retired racehorses are also rehabilitated, retrained and rehomed to assist them transition to their new life post racing.

Racing Hearts is the first organization of its kind in Australia, offering retired racehorses a new lease on life and members of the community an opportunity to bond with them and benefit from their healing and learning powers. These retired racehorses are also assisted in finding new homes through retraining for a variety of equestrian disciplines from companion homes and trail riding to eventing and many are integrated into equine assisted therapy programs for humans at other therapy practices.

Today Racing Hearts are raising money to help fund the expensive costs of rehabilitating and rehoming these beautiful horses post racing. Some of the Racing Hearts team will be wandering through the crowd with donation boxes so please donate if you can.

You can also learn more about Racing Hearts by talking to the team in the hot pink marquee by the members area where there is also a fabulous array of merchandise for sale. A great idea for some early Christmas gifts!

Racing Hearts – Humans helping horses helping humans.

Disabled Surfers Association of Mornington Peninsula

Many suffer from disabilities that the general public would not consider a disability. 

From asthmatics to joint injuries to paraplegic, many members have found friendship, support and have renewed their interest in surfing.   

A total voluntary organisation, which sets world’s best practice for Disabled Surfers. 

Further information and contact details can be found @ VIC Mornington Peninsula | Disabled Surfers Association of Australia Inc

Balnarring Community Hub

The Balnarring Hub is a group of dedicated community members responding to the needs of the community and its network of diverse groups and individuals by facilitating programs and events that support the community with a focus on community needs and vulnerable people. 

Some current activities include singing groups, meditation, salsa dancing, yoga, playgroup for littlies. 

Further information and contact details can be found @



DSAMP Disabled Surfers Association Mornington Peninsula

A group of volunteers, including surfers, non-surfers, people with disabilities, carers and community minded individuals formed a committee and established our Mornington Peninsula branch of the DSAA in November 2011.This is the 15th branch of the DSAA which started in NSW in 1986 originally to enable injured surfers to get back into surfing; however, within a short time it was realised that it should be open to anyone with a disability.Our function is to provide a safe surfing experience for people with a disability, giving them access to what we take for granted.We put “Smiles on Dials” of participants and volunteers alike; the community involvement and the response of the participants and families on event days guarantee it.Also, we are involved in improving beach access and facilities for people with a disability at beaches on the Mornington Peninsula.

Abacus Learning Centre

As Australia’s first organisation offering centre-based ABA therapy, Abacus is totally committed to providing excellence in programs specifically designed to enable children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to reach their fullest potential. Abacus provides an innovative and flexible service, adaptable to the needs of our clients.

We are dedicated to delivering strategies that will make a difference and believe that all our students, regardless of their unique challenges, will make positive gains. In a welcoming and genuinely caring atmosphere, our team focuses on consistently creating opportunities for success for every student every time.

Abacus came into being in 2008 when a team of parents and supporters shared an inspired vision to provide crucial intensive early intervention for children with ASD on the Mornington Peninsula. Abacus Learning Centre, provides individualised ABA programs at our Centre in Hastings, Victoria, and in schools across the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston, along with pre-school and school integration services for our students. As good news travels fast, children now also travel from many other South Eastern Melbourne suburbs, as well as relocating to our area from interstate.

Abacus Learning Centre Ltd is a not-for-profit company and a registered charity. It is overseen by a Board of Directors.

All our income, including donations, is used to provide, improve and grow our services.

Thank you Balnarring Picnic Racing Club

your support helps Abacus continue to achieve with autism

Our grant from your Caring for the Community Program has allowed us to purchase a trampoline for the Abacus Learning Centre which will allow the children to burn energy and interact with other kids on session breaks.

Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association

Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association is a not for profit charitable organisation located at 10 Pound Road in Hastings on the Mornington Peninsula.

Willum Warrain (‘home by the sea’) Aboriginal Association is the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the Mornington Peninsula. It is a gathering place where Aboriginal people come together to realize community aspirations and forge shared identity.

Managed by an Aboriginal board, Willum Warrain is located in the coastal town of Hastings and provides information and referral services, charitable support, health and wellbeing programs, art and culture programs, and links between the Aboriginal community and the broader local community. Our core strategic focus is cultural strengthening.

Our Vision

“A vibrant and confident Aboriginal community, encouraging cultural strengthening, promoting health, and providing a safe gathering place for all community members”

Dogs for Kids

Dogs For Kids is a not for profit organisation based in Victoria.  It connects the worlds of children, families and communities through the love and loyalty of Assistance and Therapy dogs.

Dogs for Kids provide Assistance and Therapy dogs for children whose everyday activities are restricted by physical, intellectual, sensory, social and emotional challenges.

Dogs for Kids provide Assistance and Therapy dogs for children. By empowering children and their families, together we work to promote inclusion and break down social barriers, to realise children’s potential, and to foster wellbeing, love and friendship.


Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club - Wave 3 of the LifeChanger Program

Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club

Point Leo SLSC has team up with the LifeChanger Foundation, the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and local community groups such as the Balnarring Picnic Racing Club to deliver Wave 3 of a youth development program over the 2019/20 lifesaving season. The program targets individuals aged between 11 and 14 and seeks to develop the positive personal identity of youth through a whole of community approach involving parents, community mentors and community leaders. Further details can be found here:

Western Port Riding Develops Abilities

Caring for the Community

 Balnarring Picnic Racing Club under our “Caring for the Community Programme “sets aside an amount of money every racing season to be distributed amongst Charity and Community groups especially those focused on equine related matters including equine welfare, who demonstrate the need for assistance, and which otherwise may not have the exposure to command community support. 

The following criteria apply to those groups seeking a grant:
  1. Recipients should demonstrate a commitment to reconciliation diversity, cultural awareness and good governance practices.
  2. Preference will be given to organisations that operate in the Mornington Peninsula area however this does not preclude other organisations from applying.
  3. Grants will not be made to the same organisation in two consecutive years.
  4. Retrospective funding for projects that have already commenced will not qualify.
  5. Grants will not be made to individuals for personal or family benefit.
  6. Grants will not be made to political parties.
  7. Recipients must agree to the publication by the Club of their successful application.
  8. Applications should be lodged at and the applicants will be contacted once their application has been assessed by the Committee.

Approved: 9/10/2022

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