Community grants program

Mackay Airport is proud to contribute to the growth of our community – and what better way than to provide much needed financial assistance to our hardworking not-for-profits? Each quarter, applications will be accepted from community groups for a $1,000 cash grant to help fund a specific project, event or equipment purchase.

Grants will be delivered across a range of key areas that we believe are important for the growth and sustainability of our wonderful community:

  • Health and wellbeing > Initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of the Mackay region, including education and awareness on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and making that achievable for everyone.
  • Safety > Initiatives to improve the safety of the Mackay region, including personal and workplace safety measures.
  • Education > Initiatives to provide educational opportunities for the Mackay region or to upskill the organisation’s members.
  • Environment > Initiatives that provide protection and/or awareness about protecting our environment.
  • Arts and culture > Initiatives that support and celebrate the Mackay region’s artistic and cultural community.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander > Initiatives that support and celebrate the Mackay region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Community care > Initiatives that are focused on providing a benefit to the Mackay region.


Is your organisation eligible to apply?

Your not-for-profit organisation is eligible to apply if you fall within the following criteria:

  • Registered not-for profit / Incorporated organisation
  • Operate within the Mackay Regional Council Local Government Area
  • Hold appropriate insurances for the organisation’s operation
  • Demonstrate sound health and safety practices and standards
  • Are applying for a grant to help fund a specific project, event or equipment purchase
  • Have not received an ‘I Fly Mackay’ grant in the previous 12-month period


The following organisations are not eligible to apply:

  • Individuals
  • Political parties
  • Government entities (except for schools)
  • Commercial sponsorships
  • Religious groups (except for projects that support a non-religious purpose)
  • Retrospective requests (ie for projects or events that have already occurred)
  • Debt retirement, budget deficits, endowments or bequest programs
  • General fundraising appeals
  • Entities that do not meet the set eligibility criteria


How can you apply for a $1,000 cash grant?

To be eligible for consideration, all grant applications must be submitted online through the Mackay Airport website. 


What happens once you apply?

The winner is published on this page under Mackay Airport Community Grant Winners.

Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to re-apply.

Successful applicants will be notified and will have a few items to check off as part of the grant acquittal process:

  • Book a time to receive your funds – and get a photo with us to celebrate!
  • Complete the ‘I Fly Mackay community grant acquittal form’ – including supplying receipts for purchases made with your grant
  • Provide a minimum of 4-5 images of the project/event/equipment purchase that the grant helped to fund – we’d love to see how you went
  • If invited, participate in a media opportunity to promote your organisation’s grant and what it’s supported
  • Provide recognition to Mackay Airport for their support – tag us in a Facebook post, mention us in your newsletter – we all know a little thank you can go a long way



Mackay Airport Community Grant Round Winners

As an Aged Care Facility, Nanyima staff provide their residents with opportunities to be active in the community, and pursue pastimes that interest them. The grant application was initiated by the facility’s Diversional Therapist, for the purchase of a projector and DVD player. With many residents having mobility issues, this equipment enables them, their family members, volunteers and community members to watch a movie together, without having to travel into town.
Walkerston Cricket Club provides inclusive sporting and social opportunities to the broader residents of Mackay, in particular Walkerston and the Pioneer Valley. The club has enjoyed significant growth in the 2017/18 season, partially due to the introduction of Women’s cricket.

Initially kicking off the season with two Women’s teams, developmental training regimes introduced by experienced coaching personnel has seen a growth in engagement, resulting in a third team forming during the season. The instigation of a fourth grade men’s team has been vital in transitioning juniors into the senior competition, ensuring that younger players continue to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle into their senior years. In response to the influx of new members and a commitment to maintaining a high-quality training environment, the club has committed significant funds to improve lighting and training nets, and is seeking assistance to purchase match weight senior cricket balls to be used across all grades.

The Walkerston Cricket Club believes that by providing an inclusive environment with quality facilities and equipment, more players will be attracted to the game, resulting in an overall improvement in the health and wellbeing of our community.
In 2007, Israel Cora at the age of 25, was tragically killed while working on a council drainage project on Broadsound Road.

On his 10 year anniversary his family and friends created a memorial football team to celebrate his life and to raise awareness of the importance of Workplace Health and Safety. Since then, Hunters have competed in the annual Mackay Indigenous Rugby League Carnival, a two day event showcasing the talent of local indigenous sportsmen and women.

This year to help promote a healthy lifestyle in the local community, Hunters have opened their training sessions to the broader community and have plans to form U15 and U17 teams in the future. They have been overwhelmed with the response and will use the funds to purchase additional training equipment to accommodate the increase in participants. This initiative is testament to the great strength of Israel’s family and friends, who have out of tragedy, bonded together to promote positivity and Workplace Health and Safety awareness throughout our community.

The Mackay Hospital Foundation’s (MHF) role is to fill the gap in government funding to ensure our local hospitals continue to deliver unsurpassed health services. Through fostering strong community partnerships, MHF raises funds to provide :

  • Innovative health services
  • Modern state-of-the-art equipment
  • Medical and health technology
  • Support services for patients and staff
  • Staff education, training and research
  • Valuable community based volunteer programs

Helping local families on their childhood heart disease journey

Childhood heart disease causes significant emotional, physical and financial stress to many local families, especially when a child is required to undergo regular testing and treatment. Frequent trips to Brisbane can turn family life upside down as parents juggle caring for sick children and their siblings, working and running a household.

MHF is raising $130,000 to purchase a dedicated Echocardiography Ultrasound machine for Mackay Base Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Ambulatory Care Service. This equipment will provide patients with first-rate care right here in Mackay.

Sarina Surf Life Saving Club’s (SSLC) mission is to operate as a proactive and effective body within the Sarina community, providing best practice lifesaving services, education, sport, beach safety advocacy and community leadership. From October to March each year SSLC provides beach patrol at Sarina Beach as well as roving patrols of Grasstree Beach, Campwin Beach and Johnson’s Inlet. Last summer, the club’s dedicated patrolling members provided 3500 hours, performed 4 rescues, assisted 80 first aid incidents and undertook 955 preventative measures to keep over 8000 beachgoers safe.

SSLC provides First Aid not only on patrolled beaches, but members also volunteer at various community events throughout the year. The club will use grant funds to purchase a Defibrillator Training System to enable instructors to assist members to become proficient in the use of a defibrillator as part of First-Aid training, compulsory for all patrolling members. SSLC’s primary objective is to have 0 preventable deaths in its patrol zone in the 2018/19 season.

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club photo 2017 2018

Community Accommodation and Support Agency (CASA) is a nationally recognised non-government Not for Profit community organisation delivering housing and housing support to the Mackay Regional Council area. It has been operating for over 30 years and is well respected within the community. CASA is unique in Mackay in that it combines housing provision with housing support services in the one organisation.

CASA's Home and Community Care workers travel quite a distance to attend and assist their clients. Having a reliable mobile phone will enhance the workplace health and safety of our workers by enabling them to contact another worker or call the office and/or emergency services in an emergency situation.

Sarina Show Society plays an important role in providing a quality venue and coordinating events to bring local and regional communities together. Although the Annual Sarina Show is their major event, the Sarina Show Society hosts QLD Mud Trials, Sarina Netball Association, Sarina Kennel Club, Sarina Pony Club, Sarina Poultry Association, and delivers markets each month of the year from March to December.

The Society does a great job at maintaining the grounds and will use the funds to purchase a new mower to keep the grounds safe for all users.

Slade Point Neighbourhood Watch (SPNHW) focuses on community engagement, providing free events (e.g. Beach Brekkys, Full Moon Soirees, Major Art Projects and Major Youth Skateboarding events) that unite residents in fellowship.

In consultation with Mackay Regional Council and the local community, and with the support of Slade Point RSL Bowls Club, SPNHW have committed to establishing a low maintenance Community Garden. Grant funds will assist in the purchase of Hay Bales, Garden Shed, Netting Trellis, Irrigation materials and gardening equipment. Together with plans to involve the local kindergarten and primary school, the garden will become a meeting place for all residents, and facilitate health and wellbeing activities for all.

21 Degrees South Multisport Association Inc. (21DS) has been newly formed to provide opportunities for all residents in the Mackay regional community to GET ACTIVE.

They are committed to providing all-inclusive multisport activities for both Juniors and Seniors in both competitive and non–competitive settings, and to facilitate events to encourage growth and participation in multisport pursuits and adventure style races.

They aim to develop active health and well-being programs tailored to specific groups and corporations, engaging local businesses and service providers to deliver fundamental skill sessions in their area of expertise.

21DS supported Mackay’s first Multisport Adventure Camp in December 2018, engaging 24 participants in kayaking, mountain biking, orienteering, trail running, healthy eating and healthy mind workshops, utilising Education Queensland’s Kinchant Dam Outdoor Education Centre.

As a new association, 21DS will use the grant funds to source equipment and for upskilling of coaches, so they can empower all participants to be the best that they can be.

Scouting provides young people with the opportunity for physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual development. It is delivered purely by volunteers and fosters leadership and community involvement through a program largely based on outdoor skills and activities.

Scoutfest is a 2 day Bi-annual scouting event which includes an Open Day for all young people across the region to spend the day outdoors, experiencing activities and challenging themselves to try new pursuits and push themselves to new heights, supported by Scouting members and their families.

Hibiscus Coast District Scouts will use the Community Grant to assist in funding Scoutfest 2019, in conjunction with celebrations of the 70th anniversary of Rowallan Park, home base for our local scouts, and the venue for the event.


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Mackay Hockey Association (MHA) is for people of all ages with members ranging from 5-70+. The club is always seeking new ways to grow its membership and deliver pathways for players to represent their Town, State and Country.

MHA have committed to delivering a Differently Abled Hockey Program to engage people with disability. With the assistance of grant funds to provide hockey equipment, the program will provide participants with the opportunity to develop new skills, new friendships and a lifelong love for the iconic Olympic sport of hockey.

Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) Pioneer Division has contributed to the Mackay region community since 1947, supporting women and their families in rural, regional and remote areas, especially in times of crises and natural disasters.

QCWA has recently been included in the contact list for Local Disaster Management in the Mackay Region. They will use grant funds to purchase a new refrigerator for the Palmer Street Hall kitchen.

QCWA Pioneer Division


Autism Queensland delivers a range of services for people of all ages on the autism spectrum. Our programs for children include early childhood intervention groups and individual therapy (speech and occupational therapy). The children love playing and exploring in the sandpit area where therapists are able to engage with them socially and build communication skills while at play. Grant funds will be used to provide a sunshade over the sandpit so it can be used any time of the day, all year round.

Autism Queensland

Kidney Support Network Inc. (KSN) is a volunteer based organisation supporting renal failure patients and their families, pre and post-transplant. As well as staffing three Op-shops in Mackay, KSN volunteers transport patients to and from dialysis six days a week. Using grant funds to update information brochures distributed to patients, hospitals, medical and community centres will aid in educating our community on the impact Kidney Disease has on a patient’s health and family, as well as providing a current list of available support services.

 June 2021


Hunters Inc. was formed in July 2017, by family and friends of Israel Mark Cora.

Israel was killed at work while pumping concrete into a drain on Broadsound Road, Paget, Mackay on 29 November 2017. Hunters vision is to promote health and safety and to educate all youth about Indigenous culture in today’s society through sport, dance, song and stories.

Hunters Inc. will use Community Grant funds to support their latest project, the “Boot it up” challenge.

Project Plans

  • Players from Hunters will visit Mackay region state schools to share their stories, and give students, parents and teachers an understanding of the traditions and culture of people living in remote indigenous communities.
  • Students will be invited to take part in the “Boot it up” challenge by donating their old footy boots to kids and their families living in remote indigenous communities.
  • Hunters have engaged with Lockhart River community. Players will visit the community to deliver the boots and promote an active lifestyle thus improving their general health and wellbeing.
  • The vision is for this project to become an annual challenge where they will reach out to a different remote community each year.


Hunters Inc July to Sept 19 winner

Our vision is for a connected, empowered and resilient community in the Mackay Region.   As a locally based innovative neighbourhood hub, we have 15 staff and 35 volunteers across two centres providing information, referrals, services, facilities, community activities and events, responding to identified unmet needs. We are connected and accessible for children, youth, families and culturally diverse members of our community, building capability through a strengths-based community development approach.

We will use this funding to purchase equipment and storage for our playgroups, health and wellbeing workshops and multiple community activities held on a weekly basis. Being able to provide extra tables and seating for attendees at events such as Harmony Day, National Families Week, R U Ok? Day, United Nations Day, Volunteering Week, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, Multicultural Month, will allow us to extend our reach in the community.

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The grant for this quarter was donated to the Australian Bushfire Appeal.

All Abilities Inc supports families based in Mackay, and advocates for value, acceptance & inclusion for people with disabilities and their families. Focusing on the chronically ill, disabled and socially disadvantaged, All Abilities provides programs of social and emotional value to persons of all socio-economic circumstances.

The grant will be used to equip a friendship and learning center for children, to enable them to practice gross motor, fine motor, social, communication and regulation skills through play.

All Abilities

Step Up Step Down Service (Mackay) provides short term (up to 28 days) support in a residential setting, providing an alternative to hospitalisation (step up) or transition from hospital back into the community (step down). Residents can access mental health staff 24 hours a day, while also being supported to strengthen relationships with family and friends, and skills for living safely in the community. This service provides a schedule of group activities alongside individual 1:1 support based on each resident’s strengths and goals as identified in their individual recovery plan.  Grant funds will provide Samsung Galaxy tablets with internet access so residents can participate in tech learning groups and apply for housing, employment and other online services, as they pursue their recovery goals.
Chances Cafe is a homelessness employment initiative of Australian Street Aid Project Ltd. Their aim is to educate the public on the homelessness crisis and to eliminate the stigma surrounding homelessness.  Chances Café provides employment, support, upskilling/training and accommodation assistance to people who are experiencing homelessness.  Chances also offers daily meal services, free peer support/counselling and case management.  These funds will allow Chances Cafe to purchase extra furniture, increasing our capacity to provide a safe, cool place to spend time throughout the day.

Mackay Community Garden Inc maintains a fully organic garden and provides gardening, composting and permaculture education to the Mackay local community. Through our workshops, food share days and craft mornings we promote gardening, getting outdoors and community connection. During compost week this year (May 2 – 8 2021), Mackay Community Garden plans on visiting schools and scout groups to educate children on backyard composting, what they can do at home and school to improve the environment, and sharing with them the joy of simply spending time in the garden.

The primary purpose of Mackay Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) is to provide a safe beach environment for swimmers and beach goers at Mackay’s Harbour Beach. Our Club conducts volunteer patrols on weekends and public holidays from September to May. Last season we provided 2,309 patrol hours, performed 335 preventative actions, and administered first aid to 24 beach goers to keep our local and visiting community safe in our region. We propose to use grant funds to subsidise the registration and training fees for 10 members ($100pp) to complete their Bronze Medallion training, leading to qualification to be an active volunteer surf lifesaver at Mackay SLSC. Maintaining the numbers of trained volunteers is critical to our ability to continue our presence on the beach.