The Scott Williams Foundation (SWF) is a charitable foundation that donates in several broad areas to contribute to the improvement of life in regional Australia;
- school and university education
- sustainable small business success and
- charitable bodies in Noosa Shire Qld
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Why education? Until 2000, I had been supporting ad hoc requests for donations like Christmas hampers and other random requests for funding. One day the old biblical adage, “you give a person a fish, you feed them for a day. You teach them how to fish and you feed them for life” popped into my mind and I realized I was literally “feeding them for a day“. So my strategy changed to be primarily educational or “feeding them for life“.
School Age Children
SWF and its predecessors have been donors to The Smith Family since 1992. We focus on children in Y2-3 who show signs of starting to struggle with reading and maths and possibly other areas. It seems that many start to disengage from education when this happens. The consequence is that they may be destined to low income employment for their entire working life because of education hiccups when they were under ten!
Its our hope that by donating to The Smith Family’s early intervention coaching services, we might help these kids have a better life.
Initially, we started in the New England Region of NSW. Since about 2013, we have been focused on Noosa Shire and the broader Sunshine Coast region in Qld.
By 2022-23, we estimate we have been able to assist more than 1,300 over the years.
Since the “fishing” intervention mentioned above, the SWF and its predecessors have been sponsoring regional university students studying business degrees at (now) 5 universities.
We think this has a twofold effect. Firstly, regional kids who might struggle to fund university study get an assist from us. Secondly, we focus on business degrees as those students might have a greater likelihood of starting their own business and employing others. There is evidence that regional students have a higher propensity to go back to work in regional areas. That’s a good thing in its own right but, if they also employ others in their country town, that’s a great leverage outcome.
We initially gave study bursaries at the University of New England in Armidale NSW. Now SWF gives bursaries at the University of the Sunshine Coast, University of Southern Queensland, CQ University and James Cook University; all in Qld.
By 2022-23, we estimate we have sponsored 350 university students.
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Sustainable Small Business Success
Small business is tough enough at the best of times but arguably even harder in regional Australia. The population is smaller and costs like transport can be higher.
Since 2016, Scott has privately funded and contributed material to a website with a collection of materials hoping to help lead to sustainable business success for small business; worldwide. The site is named 12Faces.business reflecting the 12 aspects it argues small businesses need to be aware of in their business.
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Support for Charities in Noosa Region
Faced with many local funding opportunities, Scott has focused on trying to build something larger than what he can fund personally. To this end, he was instrumental in founding the Noosa Community Foundation which aims to;
- raise funds directly and by assisting Noosa region charities to raise funds
- helping with charities’ admin backends so they can focus more on their good works and
- over time, raising the effectiveness and efficiency of Noosa region charities
Scott was also appointed by the Qld Perpetual Trustee and the Board of Governors of the Queensland Community Foundation as a member of the the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation for 3 years
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A Little about Scott
Scott Williams has been a successful small business founder for decades. Now retired from active management, he is bringing his experience to other small businesses to speed up their Sustainable Business Success journey. He also has a long history of supporting the education of young regional Australians.
Some career landmarks have included;
- Australian National Small Business of the Year winner
- 4 years in the Top 100 Fastest Growing Australian Businesses list
- Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to local government, university governance, philanthropy and small business in 2012 and elevated to Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2023
- Scott takes no income or profit from his projects like 12Faces. All goes to the Scott Williams Foundation for scholarships to school and university students
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The Scott Williams Foundation is registered with the ATO as a PAF (Private Ancillary Fund). As such it can only donate to DRG1 registered charitable activities.
ABN: 30 787 552 295
Postal: Pox 1878, Noosa Heads 4567