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our story

Working in partnership with remote First Nations peoples to ensure their young people have the best outcomes and opportunities through education and lifelong learning, is the Community Spirit Foundation.


Cathy Freeman established the Cathy Freeman Foundation, (now Community Spirit Foundation) in 2007 to support children and their families recognise the power of education in achieving their dreams.


Currently working in partnership with Queensland Communities, Palm Island and Woorabinda and with Northern Territory partner communities, Galiwin’ku and Wurrumiyanga, Community Spirit Foundation develops long-term partnerships with remote First Nations communities. Working to a community development framework to build the capacity of communities in a long term and sustainable manner.


Our locally employed First Nations staff ensure our programs are appropriate to each individual community context, whilst providing positive relatable role models for students. Delivering a suite of education programs our staff work in the classroom and community with around 1,600 students, building confidence, teaching goal setting and increasing resilience through education. Our work stretches from primary level through to Year 12 completion.


In 2022, after 15 wonderful years as Co-Founder and Director of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, Cathy stepped away and passed the baton onto the leadership team of the Chair, Professor Larissa Behrendt AO, Chief Executive Officer, Jade Colgan and the Directors of the Board.


Work like this doesn’t take shape without a lot of time and passion as well as an understanding about the importance of long term and mutually respectful relationships.  This has been a pillar of the Foundation for many years and is why the long-term community partnerships exist and the programs continue to weave across community with positivity and strength.


The wonderful 1,600 children who are program recipients, are the soul of Community Spirit Foundation, and the communities and their children’s futures are the core purpose.  They will never cease being the driving force behind the grit, determination, and resilience of the organisation.


Community Spirit Foundation is continuing to grow from strength to strength with our important work and programs sitting central.



Working in partnership with remote First Nations Peoples to  ensure their young people have the best outcomes and  opportunities through education and lifelong learning.
To work alongside remote First Nations Peoples and communities to enable their young people to fulfil their potential.


core statement of beliefs

  • Every young person we work with should be able to dream big and be proud.
  • Building community capacity is our priority.
  • We work to a community development approach with long term partnerships at the core.
  • To achieve and have a life full of opportunity, we believe education is key.
  • Education can be in many forms – formal, informal and lifelong.
  • Culturally responsive education is paramount.
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