Who is Sally?
When Mike and Geraldine Roche established their philanthropic fund in 2013, they chose the name Sally Foundation, in memory of Geraldine’s maternal grandmother, Sally, who sailed to Australia from England in the early 1900s. Sally hailed from a well-to-do family, but her new life in rural Queensland was one of significant struggle. It was her determination, gentle ways and propensity to always see the best in a situation that provided the inspiration for the foundation.
SALLY FOUNDATION MISSION
Our mission is to provide assistance to:
- Young people up to the age of twenty-eight (28) in regional Australia as they transition from Primary to Secondary and from school to work or further study. We aim to help them to develop greater social capacity, resilience and leadership skills through building strong connections with their local community as evidenced by:
- increased engagement in education and / or skills training towards employment pathways
- fostering collaborative decision making within the greater community and
- supporting start-up businesses utilising skill base of local community.
2. Local communities taking action to improve the fabric of their community and its longevity.
3. Disadvantaged communities or groups of people in Zimbabwe, Africa to improve their life through training, use of drama and other communication tools, education, food supply, fostering employment and business prospects and day to day matters of health and water.
We aim to do this by efficiently partnering with organisations who have relationships on the ground in the local area and who have a similar ethic of improving local people’s lives in such a way that it fosters the principles of accountability, self-help and sustainability.
About Mike & Geraldine Roche
Mike Roche and his wife Geraldine (Sally’s granddaughter) established the Sally Foundation to leave a legacy for future generations both in their homeland, Australia, and abroad. They choose to invest in projects that help people in rural areas become self-reliant and resilient.
Mike and Geraldine both grew up on farms in Queensland, where they experienced the unpredictable nature of life on the land. As Geraldine notes “You have to survive on a farm, whether the crop is up or down. You have to have a long-term view. It’s part of our DNA.” Sustainability is therefore one of the key factors Mike and Geraldine look for when selecting causes and projects to support.
“We don’t believe in the word donor, we see ourselves as investors, and we’re always asking:
is it a project that will help them to become self-sufficient?”
Sally Foundation divides its energies between helping youth in regional and rural communities in Australia, youth and disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe. Mike and Geraldine combine their passions and skills to co-manage projects in a very “hands-on manner”. Read more about their projects in Australia and Zimbabwe…
Mike has 40 year background in the finance industry and led many high profile mergers & acquisitions and created a number of new capital market instruments. His passion is to bring this creativity and focus to philanthropy and combine that with his love of Africa and its possibilities and belief in regional Australia.
Geraldine has a deep background working with youth and a passionate believer in the power and opportunity afforded by education. She has a national focus on how best to foster youth opportunities in regional Australia and thereby reinvigorate local communities. She works with a group of young talented performers in Zimbabwe. “Young people are the same everywhere”.