The members of the AFRF have endorsed the recommendation of the Board that the AFRF wind down at a Special General Meeting of members of the AFRF.
This difficult and sad decision was taken in the light that the AFRF could no longer offer the services we have previously provided through the work of our founder and leader Louise Murphy. Louise has provided fantastic leadership and direction to our team, leading the delivery of our FRESHER Retreats. However this volunteer work takes a toll, and unfortunately Louise is no longer able to volunteer the time and effort required to pursue this work. The Board evaluated options and alternatives that might enable the AFRF to continue, however these were not determined to not be feasible or viable.
The AFRF is now working through the winding down process, ensuring all current commitments are met. As the AFRF operated in a financially responsible manner there are surplus funds. These are being distributed in accord with the AFRF Constitution and ATO requirements for managing donations.
The surplus funds are to be distributed to charitable organisations (having DGR status) with aims or programs that are consistent with the objectives of the AFRF. To that end the AFRF Board has determined, through an EOI, that Marine Rescue NSW receive the bulk of the funds that are available to support a program to advance mental health and wellness training amongst Marine Rescue NSW volunteers.
The Volunteer Rescue Association NSW has also been selected to receive a smaller donation in support of the mental health and wellbeing of its volunteers. We are currently in discussions with VRA to finalise this donation.
The Board will continue to work through the steps needed to finalise winding up with the ATO and ACNC. This will include a final financial statement showing how the AFRF has handled the winding up.
The Board thanks the members for the support given to the AFRF, and to those who have graciously donated to the AFRF to enable us to undertake the work we were able to deliver.
Rest assured the donated funds were consistently and properly applied to support activities meeting the objectives of the AFRF and that the surplus funds at winding down are provided to charitable organisations that have programs and activities targeted to support the mental health and wellbeing of the emergency first responders who volunteer selflessly to those charitable organisations.
We also thank Louise for the selfless work to promote, develop and deliver for the AFRF, in particular the work undertaken to develop and deliver the FRESHER Program to many emergency first responders. We are proud to have worked with you and wish you every success in your future pursuits.