Our story was generously brought to life by Etrea our benefactor. Etrea was a close friend of the Founding Directors of the Foundation. She was a woman of intellect and passion with a good heart, a deep desire to make a difference in the world and a passion to help others. In particular she desired to support people who had experienced deep trauma and were suffering in some way with a poverty of the spirit.
Etrea was diagnosed with breast cancer after extensive treatment she went into remission. A small group and community of close friends whom she did personal development with, supported her throughout her treatment and recovery. A few years later she was diagnosed with terminal illness, the cancer had spread to her bone and liver.
Etrea had no children or siblings to pass on her wealth and desired something good, something greater and far reaching to come of what she had achieved in her lifetime. It was exploring this aspiration that Etrea expressed a passion for her wealth to create personal empowerment and growth opportunities for those less fortunate and with less access to resources to pursue these opportunities.
The idea of a Foundation that assisted others to alleviate suffering and achieve personal empowerment and spiritual evolvement stuck with Etrea. She pondered the idea, and prior to her passing on 28th May 2009, she met with Suzy Wood a close friend and discussed leaving a legacy, to fulfil her desire and powerful vision.
Although Etrea would have loved to have been a part of establishing the Foundation, her declining health didn’t permit this. Etrea named three peers to entrust her vision – Suzy Wood, Christine Dinas and Rhonda Cheesman, and shared with them her ideas, wishes, passions and goals.
Through these discussions Etrea was able to identify and appreciate what was driving her desire to create the Foundation. She had personally grown and learned so much, overcame fears and limitations, and had seen, known and felt the many benefits of pursuing an empowered spiritual path. She truly appreciated that her financial means afforded her the access to the amazing wisdom, insights, spiritual understanding, development of skills and healing of her emotional trauma (as a result of a dysfunctional family and emotional abuse).
Etrea believed in fairness and assisting others, she believed personal growth is a way to overcome trauma and life’s challenges in a way that enlightens and empowers. A belief that became a passion she pursued with willingness, tenacity and determination.
“I passion for people to have the personal growth opportunities that I had” – Etrea
From her own personal growth experiences she saw a perfect opportunity for her legacy to enable more opportunity to experience and embrace spiritual and personal development courses, programs, counselling and mentoring – to reach toward self-realization.
This launched the legacy that has become the ETREA Foundation. Etrea’s generous gift has been overseen by the Directors she appointed and trusted to fulfil her deep desire to support others to achieve their goals, to heal their poverty of spirit, to grow spiritually, and have access to the tools and therefore opportunities to live an empowered life.
Her name suitably lent itself to the acronym upon which the Foundation’s values are built – Empowerment, Trust, Respect, Enlightenment and Awareness.
Building a sustainable Foundation
Once handover was finalised the Directors set about securing the asset base and allowing this to grow. Our goal to utilise the income from shares each year to fund grants, to support organisations to continue to access and provide programs to those experiencing poverty of spirit.
Drawing upon the varied skills sets, hard work and dedication of the Directors, we have created a vision and mission, and objectives for the Foundation allowing us to reach the broader community, making Etrea’s visions a reality.
To date the Foundation has given over $45,000 in grants to individuals and likeminded organisations, making a highly valuable impact to very worthwhile programs within our society.
Our aim is to continue to grow, to reach more organisations and individuals who are in need of support to alleviate suffering and change their lives for the better. We are pursuing charity status, DGR status and are always looking for philanthropist to work with so that we can increase our reach to assist those organisations who are transforming individuals’ lives from dysfunctional and traumatised to functional, empowered members of the community.
The Ripple Effect
The compelling ripple effect of self-empowerment is increasingly evident in the work the ETREA Foundation does. We have seen in action people who faced a number of crippling barriers to furthering their personal growth. They have matured into talented, effective people actively engaged in realising their dreams, they excel and are also a positive catalyst and inspiration for us, their friends and the wider community, as to what is possible.
Through the provision of ‘a hand up’ (not a ‘hand-out’) via grants and collaboration with organisations working towards personal empowerment, individuals’ family, friends, and in turn the broader community around them benefits. With our support and the power of the ripple effect as people reach towards self-actualization, the Foundation is creating change and a better world one person at a time.