The Macpac Fund For Good is our way of giving back to the community, and sustaining the wild places that we hold so dear. We support individuals and groups whose missions fall into three different categories: adventure based social development, environmental projects, and ethical manufacturing. The ethos behind the Fund For Good is shared by every grant recipient, and it’s pretty simple – life is better when you’re outside.
Operation Flinders is a non-profit that was set up in South Australia in 1991. Ex-military officer, Pamela Murray-White had completed her army service and returned to work as a teacher. She quickly realised that a lot of young people passing through her classroom weren’t receiving the guidance or support that Pam considered vital to a person’s development. During her time in the military, Pam had learned about the importance of teamwork, leadership, motivation and respect, so she decided to apply these values to a program developed specifically for kids who were at risk.
Today, Pam’s dream of creating a support network based on reconnecting with nature is a reality that has seen thousands of young Australians find new beginnings in the outback. In a 12 month period between 2017 and 2018, Operation Flinders hosted 527 teenagers at Yankaninna Station in the northern Flinders Range. A group of professional instructors are responsible for guiding the kids through physical and emotional challenges that are designed to empower and educate, encouraging them to disconnect from the pressures of life in an urban environment.
Youth Development Manager at Operation Flinders, Leif Christensen, speaks of the positive outcomes that kids experience after taking part in the program.
“These days, young people live in a fast paced society where they don’t get many opportunities to disconnect. Being in the outdoors gives them a chance to re-set. More than anything, it allows them a chance to experience natural boundaries and a pace of life that is stripped back to the bare essentials. The peace and calm that many of the program participants report at the end of their time with us is amazing, especially when you consider the difficult circumstances many of them have come from.”
Pamela Murray-White passed away in August of 1995, when it was still early days for Operation Flinders. But her legacy is ever present to the Operation Flinders team, and the young people of South Australia whose lives she has affected in such a profound way.
If you are part of a not-for-profit organisation working on environmental and social causes related to the outdoors, then you may be eligible for a Macpac Fund for Good grant. Your activities need to be based in New Zealand or Australia, or their territories. If you would like to apply, fill out an application form, and return the completed application form to Fund.Forgood@macpac.co.nz