Inspired by the happiness of the Nepalese people, “Makuta” – named after the Nepalese word for mask, was created to raise money to support our local community.
Makuta is a Kiama based charity raising funds to support established suicide prevention and wellbeing initiatives in our community. Deeply impacted by a spate of local suicides we saw an opportunity for our first project in the Covid pandemic to sew and sell masks to raise money.
We believe that fund raising initiatives by the community for the community yields many positive outcomes. The benefits we have seen already in our own community include:
- a sense of connection to others,
- having a voice that will be heard,
- enhanced sense of purpose and contribution,
- an overall improvement in general wellbeing and
- motivation to be part of something that can make a positive difference.
At Makuta, these values are what we believe will create a stronger, more resilient community.
The Makuta Team
Belinda is the brains behind the birth of Makuta. As a Mum of 3 young children and a successful local business owner, her motivation and passion for securing a bright future for her children and other children in the Community is high. When she is not talking the Makuta talk, she’s walking the Kiama walk with her hubby, running her busy dog grooming business, Oztag Coaching, playing Netball, doing Bootcamp with her friends, and surfing with her kids.
David is an entrepreneur and business owner, and father of 3 children, David has extensive business experience, and recognised a gap that he could help fill, using his skills and desire to help a community he has come to love. David spends most of his days behind his laptop in his board shorts with one eye on the surf report. When he’s not in the water surfing or surf ski paddling, you can find him volunteering down at Nippers as an Age Group Manager.
Rachael is David’s wife, mother of the same 3 children , small business owner, hobby beekeeper, Local Primary School P&C Secretary and Surf Club Water Safety Volunteer. Rachael is passionate about living in a small community where it’s easy to feel connected and contribute in a positive way. Both Dave and Rachael feel strongly about helping to build a strong, resilient community, by supporting local initiatives and activities that enhance overall wellbeing.
The Makuta Advisory Board
We are not the experts in this field. However, in our local community, there are some well-established organisations and individuals who ARE experts, and who are already making a significant difference in our community. So to help us ensure our money is spent where it is needed most, we have engaged a panel of experts to guide us. These experts cover a broad cross-section of our community.
Maggie Dent – We are very grateful for the support and endorsement of renowned author and public speaker, Maggie Dent (https://www.maggiedent.com), one of Australia’s leading authorities on Youth Wellbeing and Education.
Sally Gallagher – a local parent with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the world of Government Education.
Nace Ward – a member of the Gerringong Community with an extensive background working in the Youth Sector, piloting many successful youth programs and having strong connection with our local young people, understanding their needs and wants.
Wendi Hobbs – Secretary of SSPAN (Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network), and employee at NSW Government Health.