July 3 - 9, 2011: Issue 13

In July we Profile local Organisations who contribute so much to our Community and its individuals. Previous Profiles on Jo Brigden Jones and Katie Spithill reminded us of the great work and core principals of Layne Beachley's Aim For the Stars Foundation. We are honoured this week to share information on their current projects and past recipients of grants to pursue Dreams with.


Grant applications close November 2011. Grants will be awarded at the discretion of the Foundation, to deserving applicants who best meet the criteria and best demonstrate their aspirations to further their education and/or personal development.
Interested persons can get additional information by referring to the website:
General enquiries can be made to the Aim for the Stars Office:
Ph: 0422600733, Email:

Please click on logo to be taken to the Aim for the Stars Website for more information on the upcoming Gala and further details on the Foundation


Above: Sailing Day with 2010 Recipients of Grants. 

Copyright Pittwater Online News, 2011. All Rights Reserved. 

  Aim For the Stars Foundation

Anyone who has a dream or passion they work hard at knows how exhausting it can be. Working to pay the bills incurred by dreams, the paper and ink, the running shoes or kayak paddle, the airline ticket, and then doing the work itself required by your passion is two full time jobs. On top of these you have households to run, study programs to fulfil, family commitments to keep. That’s three full time jobs and only twenty four hours in each day, and, add on top of that often trying to squeeze in three times the amount of anything required into those same three areas to keep yourself maintaining high standards in whatever you do. It’s a recipe for failing in all three, for exhaustion, and ultimately, not doing as well as you could, not excelling at what you’re here to do. Whether it’s climbing a mountain, playing the notes of a nocturne so your audience never forgets five precious moments, or gradually feeling your skill and speed rising and rising in any chosen sport, twenty four hours is sometimes not enough. The Russian phrase ‘He who chases two rabbits catches none’ could be appropriate here.

Then there is another phrase in ‘May the road rise to meet you’. Anyone who experiences two whole weeks to finish the story, two whole weeks to climb the mountain, well rested and fully focused, free of all other pressures, knows the results will be different simply because you can finally concentrate on just what you’re trying to do and aim to achieve. Such relief from paying the rent, from paying the training fees allows you to bring into sharp relief the details you need to better and also allows you five moments to step back and look at the whole picture and how it may better come together.
Keeping your eyes on the prize is ever present, but your ability to get there, to see it clearer, to reach for, is naturally going to be more achievable if you have supporters rather then detractors and the funds needed to take those steps rather then dance triple-quick time to earn the passage while trying to make it.
Layne Beachley is no stranger to this hard slog. Her road has been arduous and testing, to say the least.

Since 2003 Layne’s foundation, Aim for the Stars, has worked to allow other girls to come up for air, take a deep breath, and focus on where they are trying to get to. The impetus and function of Aim for the Stars?
This Foundation is about supporting females with initiative, drive and passion. Through encouragement and the knowledge that someone believes in you – sometimes that’s all it takes to achieve your dream.

Further From the Aim for the Stars website:

“The Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation was built to prevent girls and women alike from having to go through this same amount of adversity. My desire is to encourage, motivate and provide for all aspiring women. Encompassing academic, sport, cultural and community pursuits, Aim for the Stars offers ambitious and dedicated females an opportunity to receive financial and moral support to help them achieve their goals. My support will give them the opportunity to maintain a determined focus on their goal, to achieve their dreams earlier in life and allow them to further their ambitions and aim for the stars.

In addition to a financial grant, recipients are also provided with personal coaching, media advice and mentoring. The Foundation is passionate about helping shape the lives of aspirational women that deserve recognition and financial assistance to achieve their dream.” (From: http://www.aimforthestars.com.au/About/tabid/1332/language/en-AU/Default.asp )

This week, to commence our first month of Profiling organisations that invest in community and the individuals who are part of these, we are honoured to share a little on Aim for the Stars and its current developments.

Aim for the Stars 2012 London Squad; what is it, and what are its aims?

The Aim for the Stars 2012 London Squad is a select group of girls we are delighted to support and encourage in their journey to competing at the Olympic Games in London 2012
Introducing the “Aim for the Stars London 2012 Squad”
Caroline Buchanan (BMX)
Laura Coles (Clay Target Shooting)
Jessica Fox (Canoeing)
Jane Moran (Water Polo)
Katie Spithill (Sailing)
Olivia Price (Sailing)
Sharleen Stratton (Diving)
Lishan Sung (Fencing)
Jayde Taylor (Hockey)
Anabelle Smith (Diving)

Could you tell us a little about the wide range of interests of girls you’ve supported and share any current updates on past Grant Recipients?

The Foundations goal is to provide moral and financial support to young, female achievers across Australia, to help them realize their dreams in sporting, academic, community or cultural pursuits. The Foundation invites girls and women across Australia whether they are an academic, an athlete, an artist or even an archeologist to apply. An opportunity exists for all females striving to achieve their goals. In 2007 AFTS provided financial support to Trapeze Artist Emma Henshall. Emma is now living her dream of pushing the boundaries of trapeze and is employed with the world renowned Cirque du Soleil in Paris. Emma says “I’d like to say that having the opportunity to realize your dreams is almost beyond words, Thank you so much Aim for the Stars.”
2007 recipient Olivia Wright made her Commonwealth Games debut last year in the Australian Diving Team, and this year will complete her Law degree. Her mum writes “Aim for the Stars has been such a great supporter of Olivia, her sporting and life ambitions and we wanted you to know how much we as her parents appreciate the support…Please keep up the great work with these young women and be aware of what a positive influence and realistic role model you are and continue to be”
Hockey player Casey Eastham received an AFTS scholarship in 2005. During her 3 year scholarship she achieved her ultimate dream of competing at the Beijing Olympic Games, not only that she was part of the gold medal winning team! Hockey coach Frank Murray recently claimed that Casey had the potential of becoming the best hockey player in the world. Last year she was named in the World Hockey All Star Team and Junior Player of the Year. In 2010 Layne nominated Casey for Pride of Australia medal.

In 2011 the foundation is again helping many young women dare to dream. Ame Barnbrook with only the lower half of her left leg, a small foot and three toes is supported by the funding she receives for accommodation and travel expenses for training. Ames dream is to compete at the Paralympics in the sport of Sailing. Kristen Nightingale is a rurally isolated Squash player who before Aim for the Stars was missing tournaments due to lack of finances, she has recently been ranked No.1. Stephanie Wallace is using her Aim for the Stars funding to assist at risk children with literacy education and Deanna Lockett has her sights set on Speed Skating for Australia at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

We contacted Jo Brigden Jones for a comment on how her own Grant helped her;

The Aim for the Stars Grant greatly assisted me to achieve my goals. It provided me with the inspiration to keep dreaming big and financial assistance to allow me to maintain my commitment to kayaking.
I used the money from the grant to help purchase a new kayak as my old one got smashed in a truck accident. It also provided me with the opportunity to gain great advice from Layne Beachley, her experiences and success are inspirational. Jo

The Black and Bling Gala on August 5th, can you tell us about what and where it is and what its 'Aim' is ? 

WHEN: Friday, 5th August 2011 at 7:00pm for 7:30pm  WHERE: Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, Sydney,   COST: $250 per ticket or $2500 for table of 10, DRESS: ‘Black and Bling’

All of the proceeds will go directly to inspire and motivate more aspiring women across Australia. Tickets are on sale now for the Gala dinner with MC confirmed as Channel Ten’s Natarsha Belling, Extreme Sportswoman, base jumper Heather Swan is guest speaker and Layne will introduce guests to the inspiring 2011 Grant Recipients. Entertainment on the night will be from 80’s cover band “Groove Robbers” certain to get everyone up dancing! In addition there are some exclusive and unique auction items such as; a Sailing Experience on Super Maxi Investec “Loyal”; an INXS signed fender guitar; a feature in a TV commercial; your very own Masterchef experience with a deluxe dinner party cooked for you and your guests in your own home and have the chance to win a seven nights luxury holiday experience on the beachfront in Phuket, Thailand.
To purchase tickets or to receive your official invitation
call Megan on 0422 600 733 or email

If Aim for the Stars were an animal what would it be; feathered, finned or furred or some congolmorate of all of these ?

Think the Lion King infused with a bit of Kung-Fu Panda; emanating from humble beginnings to become head of the tribe through challenge and sacrifice but always remaining true to ones self, hardworking and focussed on having fun.

What are the Aim for the Stars Foundation's future plans?

We strive on a daily basis to develop the awareness of AFTS as a foundation and a recognisable brand - especially on  a national basis and through a  series of regional and local developments.  Importantly to help more young women we need to increase our capacity for grants via donations from individuals, corporates or groups who share our belief in supporting those who dare to dream and who have proven they are really dedicated to achieving.  Currently this means building our online presence, maximising media opportunities and increasing the sense of community, interaction and online possibilities for our recipients  - including past and potential  - to connect with like minded individuals and tap into the resources we provide. AFTS is something that is so close to my heart - my passion and energy for the foundation grows every time I can share it with others and the team we have working to make it all a success.

What is Aim for the Stars Motto for Life?

Dare to Dream, Pursue Your Passion, Aspire to Achieve