Lance Brooks founded Communities for Communities in 2002 at Drummoyne Swimming Pool with the motivation to strengthen the Canada Bay community based on its people. Brooks’ inspiration was derivative of his experience on TV reality show Survivor in 2002, where he was amazed and comforted by the powerful sense of community that existed, despite the physical deprivations. The result: an energised and dedicated community harnessed to help other communities that are less fortunate.
The focus of Communities for Communities is centred on four pillars:
- We build, experience and celebrate our community
- We reach out and help other communities to meet their needs
- We raise awareness and understanding of the needs of others
- We challenge and encourage other communities to set up their own Communities for Communities model
With the support of the people of Canada Bay, we have hosted over 100 community events and fundraised almost AU$3 million since 2002. These funds have built houses, schools, and community facilities in disadvantaged villages overseas in Thailand, Philippines, South Vietnam, Indonesia and Fiji. Additionally, the proceeds have funded paediatric physiotherapy hours, a playground and now a hydrotherapy facility at Lucas Gardens School in Five Dock.
In 2007, Communities for Communities won the 'Community Contribution of the Year' Award as part of the Inner West Weekly's True Local Awards. Two years on, Communities for Communities were joint winners of the 'Community Partner' Award of the City of Canada Bay Council's Sustainability Awards.