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About Us

Who We Are

Into Our Hands Community Foundation is a charitable foundation who believes in the future of North East Victoria. Our volunteers, staff, donors, and community leaders are a positive movement of people focused on supporting our local communities.

Together, we are building community capacity, for good, for ever

What We Do

Into Our Hands supports communities in North East Victoria by transferring philanthropic gifts from donors to community and non profit organisations. Our mission is to activate local assets and prosperity, inspire community giving and unite motivated people to build a capable and resilient North East Victoria.

We specialise in quick turnaround grants, especially during times of crisis.

Into Our Hands Board Members: Bart Crawley, Fiona Nicholls, Ruth Kneebone, Sarah Thompson, Roberta Baker & Megan Buntine. (not pictured John Bailey, Loretta Carroll & Jodie Wells)
Into Our Hands Team: Belinda Webb, Mary Grimshaw, Sarah Thompson & Emma Bridgland

Our Values










Our Team

Into Our Hands is governed by an independent board and a team of experienced staff.

Our Board Members

Ruth Kneebone

Ruth Joined the board as chair in 2019, after the inaugural chair stepped down. With a career spent working in local government and accounting sectors. Ruth brings a vast set of skills to her role as committee chair including governance, risk, finance, information services, Customer Service and media and communications. Ruth is passionate about helping the Foundations work to ensure Into Our Hands works towards the goal where our children and grandchildren can access community support when needed, which has come from the community for the community.

Fiona Nicholls

Vice Chair
Fiona joined the board in 2019 Encompassing 30 years in the global resources industry, Fiona has worked across a range of business functions including strategy and planning, due diligence and assurance processes, crisis management, and organisational change. Fiona has had experience on multiple public and private boards, she has extensive knowledge and expertise in Sustainable Development, environmental management and community development. She brings her depth of corporate social responsibility and community grant-making experience to her board position.

John Bailey

John joined the Into Our Hands Board in 2018 after attending the Annual General Meeting. With a strong local business and real-estate background John has held a career in body corporate management and real estate. John brings with him a strong background in governance, finance and community networks. He has served on multiple community and corporate boards over the years he is also a current Director for REI Super.

Bart Crawley

Bart joined the board in early 2020. He brings years of experience in all aspects of commercial and social purpose organizations, and a passion for people centric leadership. Bart studied business, leading onto a 26 year career in senior leadership in the taxation, business consulting and manufacturing sectors. Bart currently works as the CEO of one of Australia’s leading Disability Enterprises, Merriwa Industries Ltd.

Megan Buntine

Megan joined the into our hands Board in 2021. Megan’s background includes a 25 year career working in the disability sector, nearly 20 years running a boutique tourism accommodation business, and more than 10 years working as a governance consultant on projects with government and not-for-profit organisations. She has served as a board member for a number of organisations, including the Kinglake Ranges Foundation, Alexandra District Health, the Victorian Public Tenants’ Association, and the Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Program, as well as many smaller local community groups.

Jodie Wells

Jodie joined the board in 2020 Jodie’s strong sense of community has arisen from a life-long connection to north east Victoria. Born and raised in the area, her love of small communities led to her serving on the boards of many local community organisations over the years. With more than 14 years practicing law in our community, Jodie has spent the last four in the community justice sector, helping vulnerable and disadvantaged clients get their lives back on track.

Loretta Carroll OAM

Loretta was a Community Advisory Committee member of the Victorian Bushfire Appeals Fund in 2011. Loretta is the founding chair of Into Our Hands Community Foundation since 2012. She received the National Emergency Medal after the 2009 Victorian bushfires and has been a finalist in the Bluescope Leadership Innovation Award at the Regional Achievement and Community Awards. She is a Director of the Cattle Producers Australia (CPA) Board.

Roberta Baker

Roberta joined the Board in November 2020. Her work experience over many years in Australia and the UK, in the private and public sector and her broad travel experience, has involved stakeholder engagement, communication, advocacy, leadership development and empowerment. Her absolute passion is enabling people of all cultures to develop the skills and confidence to take on advocacy and leadership roles that help strengthen their community, to break down barriers and to make their community more resilient; to take charge of their future. Roberta believes in the power of community to bring about positive change at the grassroots level.

Our History

Into Our Hands Community Foundation (IOHCF) was created in 2012 to continue the community recovery process after one of Australia’s worst natural disasters, the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

IOCF was allocated $1m from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Funds to assist medium and long term recovery needs of fire affected communities over a 10 year period.

Since 2012, the Foundation has provided grants and support to over 130 community and non-profit organisations in the North East via an annual grant program that supports community recovery, strength, and resilience. We have investment more that $1million back into North East Victoria and since 2019 we have commenced a local campaign to grow giving in North East Victoria to sustain community grant making and investment needs into the future.

Where we came from

Watch the story of our community and the response to black Saturday. 43 degrees at midnight video.

Our Funds

All donations to Into Our Hands are invested in perpetuity so they can continue to benefit the community well into the future.

We have multiple funds operating to support a diverse range of needs in the community. Donors can set up their own fund, or direct their gift to one of our existing funds they want to support.