Established in 1995, and incorporated in 1997, The Dr Edward Koch Foundation was a non-profit organisation focusing and supporting public health activities in regional Queensland.  

After nearly three decades of dedicated service, the Board of Directors has made the decision to close the Dr Edward Koch Foundation as of 30 April 2024.

Thank you all for your connection to, and support of, the Foundation.

It has been an immense privilege to serve as CEO of this community-based charity for the past 29 years. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the countless volunteers whose dedication and expertise have been instrumental in our endeavours as well as the Foundation’s Directors who have contributed to the success of the Foundation during this time.

We take immense pride in the achievements of the Dr Edward Koch Foundation, which has tirelessly served the health and well-being of Far North Queenslanders since its inception in 1995. Over the years, we have spearheaded numerous ground-breaking initiatives, including the delivery of projects through the establishment of the Koch Foundation Community Fund and the Declan Crouch Fund. We initiated the FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce to deliver vital resources such as the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Handbook and the Healing Our Way toolkits. We organised several events including the All of Us Festival, the FNQ Suicide Prevention Week and the Koch for Kids Festival and hosted the largest suicide prevention conference in the Southern Hemisphere, bringing together experts from across the globe – not once, but four times.

Our commitment to research and public health programs, ranging from dengue fever to ciguatera in fish, has also left an indelible mark on the region. We have taken pride in being pioneers of programs such as our standalone Life Suicide Prevention and Awareness Workshop, which was delivered across Queensland and the Torres Strait to numerous councils and the police service from 2008. The trial of the Youth Suicide Prevention Program, tailored for primary and secondary school students, was another breakthrough for the Foundation. And we were the first to champion Mental Health First Aid in North Queensland.

However, as times have changed, so too have the challenges faced by our organisation. With the proliferation of competing entities vying for government funding, sustaining our projects has become increasingly difficult. While we acknowledge the emergence of other organisations poised to address the needs of the community, we recognise that our journey with the Dr Edward Koch Foundation has come to an end.

As we bid farewell to the Foundation, and I welcome retirement, I am eager to continue contributing to our dynamic community, particularly in the realms of mental health and suicide prevention. I am confident that the values and principles upheld by the Dr Edward Koch Foundation will endure, leaving a lasting legacy in the hearts and minds of North Queenslanders.

Thank you once again for your invaluable support of the Foundation.

Dulcie Bird, CEO.

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