About Us

About Our Beginnings

why kindergarten? invest in project kindy to see significant return on the lives of children, communities and the whole country.

Hi, I’m Donna Power and as the Founding President of Project Kindy I am often asked about how it began.  In 2011 I enjoyed the chance to set long term goals for myself, including how I was to be involved in charity work.  Incidentally, it just so happened that my friend, Sr Melissa Dwyer, came home briefly from her mission in Africa at that time.  Sr Mel told me about several needs of people in rural Malawi but one in particular grabbed my attention.

One of the kindergartens run by local teachers and managed by the Sisters demonstrated the extent of the material poverty the community faced. As struggling subsistence farmers, the families’ livelihoods were and still are threatened by poor weather. For this reason, as incredible as it sounded, the monthly kindergarten fee of $4 per child was and is out of reach for parents and guardians. The funding of kindergarten fees struck me as an achievable, straightforward way to provide support to people in need. In fact a sense of urgency and compelling purpose welled up within me.

I set up “Project Kindy” in September 2011 to help 40 children at 1 kindergarten and we officially registered in 2016 as an Australian Charity because we now raise funds for 10 kindergartens with nearly 900 children. With your help, we can expand to reach even more children in remote and neglected areas.


About the Executive Committee

Donna Power of Project Kindy

Donna Power is the Founding President of Project Kindy and is the (unpaid) CEO.  Donna manages the day to day running of the charity such as maintaining our high standard of relationships between our various stakeholders.  She manages the online presence of Project Kindy including this website and our social media and email communications to our stakeholders.  Donna runs the annual Evening Benefit and represents Project Kindy at fundraising events by third parties.

Julie Soh vice president of Project Kindy represents the businesses on our executive committee for Project Kindy

Julie Soh (pictured above with some of our students in Malawi) caught the Project Kindy dream in 2013 and partners with us through her own tertiary college, The Queensland International Institute, especially with her early childhood courses.  On the executive committee, Julie serves as our Vice President.

Belinda Starrenburg is the Project Kindy accountant and represents our families

Belinda Starrenburg (above), passionately cares for our little ones in Malawi.  Belinda shares the Treasurer’s responsibilities and her accounting qualifications and risk management expertise are very much an asset to Project Kindy.

Allison White offers strategy and communications expertise to Project Kindy

Allison White offers much-valued expertise in the area of strategy, business development and communications.  She is a dedicated senior leader, strategy and engagement specialist, with close to 20 years’ experience working with some of Queensland’s most respected organisations.

Peter McDade treasurer for Project Kindy

 Deacon Peter McDade has worked hard to lay the foundations of our financial and risk management policies and procedures.  Highly qualified in business and financial management with a career spanning decades in the banking, corporate, not for profit and community sectors, Peter’s breadth of experience has played a pivotal role in the formation of Project Kindy.

Kiara Palmer of Project Kindy

Kiara Palmer is the Project Kindy secretary. As a highly qualified Psychologist, Kiara has experience working across a range of Government and Community organisations providing psychological assessment, intervention and treatment services for a wide range people, especially young people.

About the Dream

Our dream is to sustainably provide as much funding for as many kindergartens, and therefore children, as we can.

We hope you will join our Project Kindy Village and catch the dream in your heart, too.


Learn more about Why Kindergarten is such an effective tool for poverty reduction

Learn more about how we operate