Our Mission, Values and Vision

Our mission is to help establish and support a tradition of philanthropy in the Southern Highlands by providing a simple and effective way to give something of real value back to the community.

Respect, diversity, collaboration and stewardship are the values which provide guiding principles for the way in which we operate.

Our vision is a strong and resilient Southern Highlands Community.

These ideals are encapsulated in our mission statement
“foster giving, generate hope and strengthen community”

Our History

With an eye toward the future, in 2000 Dr Helen McCue AM, philanthropist, academic and human rights activist decided to investigate the possibility of a local community foundation in the Wingecarribee Shire of the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Recognising that there was no facility in the Southern Highlands for locally focused philanthropy, this was a decision that would impact on the community for years to come.

Dr McCue gathered a group of likeminded people to form a committee who with the support of a grant from the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal conducted a study to test the feasibility of the establishment of a community foundation in the Wingecarribee Shire.

The Wingecarribee Community Foundation was subsequently established in 2002 and in the years that have followed the Foundation has developed a broad focus which funds and supports health and aged services, arts and culture, Aboriginal health and culture, youth services and a variety of other identified needs.

Since 2002 the Foundation has dispensed over $1,000,000 in grants and scholarships for the Southern Highlands community. The Wingecarribee Community Foundation was renamed the Southern Highlands Foundation (SHF) in 2009.

What makes us different?

Community engagement

We’ve help build, support and grow community connection for 20 years.

Data-driven approach

We track measurable progress with a research agency to prove we’re making a real impact on our community.


We support programs and initiatives at a grass roots level helping encourage community engagement.

“The thing we need most is each other”

Hugh Mackay AO


“For Community Foundations we have had to realise that it is not only about the money, what is most important is the engagement and empowering of the community, building lasting and meaningful relationships with donors and funders and the projects they are supporting”

Shelley Boyce OAM