Newman’s Own Foundation, founded by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, has announced that champion netballer Liz Ellis is one of seven Australian sports stars being acknowledged in their charity grants program.
Liz, who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to giving back to the community and empowering women, was invited by the Foundation to nominate an Australian charity to receive the $100,000 grant.
She has nominated Confident Girls Foundation which will use the donation to fund empowerment programs for Aboriginal women, marginalised and disadvantaged girls and inclusion programs for refugees.
Liz is one of the most respected names in netball with a remarkable 18-year career including two Commonwealth Gold Medals, three World Championships, four National League titles, four Most Valuable Player awards and an Australian record of 122 Test matches played.
She was awarded an AO in 2018 for ‘services to netball and the encouragement of women in sport, and to the community through support for a range of charitable organisations’.
Liz credits her mother as the foremost influence in her life in terms of the importance of giving back.
“When I was a youngster my mum was the volunteer netball coach at my club and also volunteered at my school and her church, and now aged 77 she still volunteers at St Vincent de Paul, Community Transport, the local aged care and at my daughter’s school canteen,” said Ellis.
“She has always been a truly amazing role model showing me that giving back not only enriches the community but your own life as well.”
According to Liz she nominated Confident Girls Foundation to receive the grant for the great work they do with young girls through sports participation and helping empower them to seek and create better opportunities and build stronger communities.
“The Confident Girls Foundation is honoured that Liz Ellis nominated us to receive this generous grant that will have a real and lasting impact on vulnerable girls, women and their communities,” said Nadine Cohen, interim CEO, Confident Girls Foundation.
“This support will directly benefit multi-cultural outreach programs in the ACT and indigenous programs in Tenant Creek and Katherine in the NT.”
“It will also support Netball NSW’s EmpowerPlay Program increasing self-confidence and generating awareness of individual’s strengths, Netball Queensland’s Diamond Spirit program to engage, empower and educate Indigenous Youth as well carnivals in WA and indigenous clinics and school visits on the Sunshine Coast.”
Newman’s Own Foundation’s CEO Robert Forrester, who was a close friend of Paul Newman, said the Foundation is highlighting the important and influential role played by Australian sportspersons within the charity sector.
“Australia has a wonderful tradition of sporting heroes using their profiles to build awareness, fundraise, develop resources and effect change – a tradition supported by Paul Newman during his lifetime and continued by his Foundation,” said Mr. Forrester.
“Aussie sporting identities give their time freely and willingly as voluntary ambassadors for a range of charitable causes close to their hearts to help promote awareness of the physical, psychological and social challenges faced by many in our community.”
The six other athletes who have nominated charities to receive $100,000 Newman’s Own Foundation grants are Craig Lowndes, Alisa Camplin, Kurt Fearnley, Johnathan Thurston, Ellyse Perry and Patrick Dangerfield.