Plant and equipment leasing company Kennards Hire has pledged $7 million over the next five years to establish a foundation, with beneficiaries to include a range of charities working with disadvantaged children and conservation projects.
The Kennards Hire Foundation was unveiled at a gala event on 20 June celebrating the company’s 70th anniversary, with the business currently run by third-generation family members Kirsty Kovacs, Angus Cameron and Rory Kennard.
While the new foundation will not accept unsolicited requests for donations, the company says it will continue to use its branch network to support local disaster relief efforts, charities, schools, sports and community groups.
The creation of the foundation formalises Kennards Hire’s philanthropic efforts, with the company having donated more than $1.2 million to a range of local community groups across Australia and New Zealand in 2017.
In the youth welfare space, the new foundation will support Stepping Stone House, the Smith Family Learning for Life Program, Kids Xpress, BackTrack and Nawarddeken Academy in Australia, as well as KidsCan and the Springboard Trust in New Zealand.
The foundation will also support a range of environmental and wildlife organisations including Taronga Zoo, Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and Bush Heritage.
Kennards Hire Foundation director Kirsty Kovacs said while the company has been giving to charities for over 20 years, creating a formal structure will allow it to more effectively give to organisations it believes can provide real change.
“One of Kennards Hire’s values is ‘one family’. We are a family business and so we appreciate that family is at the heart of every human being. It gives you belonging, it gives you purpose and it is what makes you whole,” Kovacs said.
“Many of these charities give a hand up to those who need it, and an education or other opportunity which they wouldn’t otherwise receive. But what most of these guys do is give them family, give them belonging and give them purpose.”
In the conservation space, Kovacs said the three organisations the new foundation has chosen to support provide groundbreaking research, science and monitoring.
“They all do them slightly differently but have some wonderful results. For example, in late 2017 the AWC released endangered bilbies into the Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest feral predator-free area on mainland Western Australia,” she said.
“It is hoped that the population there will grow to around 600 bilbies, which incredibly is still only 5% of the entire global population of these native animals.”
More information about the Kennards Hire Foundation is available on the company’s website.