Thanksgiving Fund

The Thanksgiving Fund originated during WWII and supports an external cause elected by Members. Members contribute funds voluntarily through money raised by branches and / or groups through donations or fundraising.

2018 Partnering with the National Centre for Farmer Health

The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) provides national leadership to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of farm men and women, farm workers, their families and communities across Australia.

The Centre is a partnership between Western District Health Service and Deakin University and is based in Hamilton, Victoria.

The Farmer Health website’s key objective is to increase knowledge transfer across the target groups of farmers, rural professionals, academics and students.


The NCFH has been operating since November 2008 and was officially opened by the Victorian Premier on 10 July 2009.

The Centre evolved from two main areas:

The Sustainable Farm Families (SFF) program – a health promotion program which addresses farmer health, wellbeing and safety issues. The core message of SFF is that the most important aspect of a healthy Australian farm is a healthy farm family.

A Victorian Travelling Fellowship which examined overseas models for working with agricultural populations and provided the five key strategic areas which have been adopted by the NCFH.

For more information visit


2017 Crohn's and Colitis Australia (Victoria)

2016 Stroke Health Professional Online Portal – National Stroke Foundation

2015 Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Victoria

2014 The Forgotten Cancers Project

2013 Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Research Trust

2012 Garvan Research Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Network

2011 Heart Kids

2010 Skin Cancer Foundation

Crohn’s and Colitis Australia is the recipient of our Thanksgiving Fund 2017.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In each condition the lining of one or more parts of the gastrointestinal tract become inflamed.

Sometimes people get confused between IBD and irritable bowel syndrome

(IBS). The two conditions are quite different, and so are their treatments. IBD is a chronic condition treatable through drug therapy…. and currently there is no cure.

Symptoms can include several or some of the following: pain in the abdomen, weight loss, diarrhoea (sometimes withblood and mucous) tiredness, fever, mouth ulcers, nausea and vomiting, pain passing a bowel motion, swollen joints, inflamed eyes, skin rashes or jaundice. The symptoms and their severity vary from person to person and may flare up or improve over time.

So you can see this is a particularly debilitating disease which can strike at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 15–30 years, and is equally common in both men and women.

More than 61,000 Australians have IBD and this figure continues to rise. Despite much research, the exact cause of IBD is still unknown. Some scientists believe IBD may be due to a defect in the body’s immune system, while others believe that bacteria or even viruses play a role. Relatives of people with IBD have a slightly greater risk of developing the condition. Stress or diet are not thought to cause IBD. There is no evidence that ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease is contagious.

Most people require medication to reduce the inflammation, promote healing and keep the disease in remission. New therapy is offering hope to patients who fail to respond adequately to traditional medication and surgery may also be necessary for some people with IBD.

Although there can be difficulties in effectively managing the disease at times, having IBD should be no barrier to leading a normal life. Many people with IBD still lead useful and productive lives.

Current medical therapy has helped to improve the quality of life of people with IBD.

There is good reason to believe that research underway today will lead to further improvements in medical and surgical treatment. Appropriate education, counselling and psychological support can greatly assist people to live with IBD, to stay positive and motivated about achieving desired treatment goals and to get support when they need it.


Source: Crohn’s and Colitis Australia brochure: ‘Introductory Guide to inflammatory bowel disease and where you can turn to for more information and support’.