Giddy Up Noosa! Noosa Chances

Image source: Photographer Dave Gleeson

One local charity is giving talented kids the chance to shine and are harnessing the razzle dazzle of the Melbourne Cup to raise much-needed funds, as Carlie Wacker discovers.

Every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential but sadly there are many in our region that simply do not have the resources or support to succeed in school. That is where one local charity is stepping up to provide the necessities for talented kids in our shire.  

Noosa Chances provides scholarships of up to $1,500 per year to students to assist with educational expenses, such as laptops, music lessons, textbooks and art materials. Not only does this organisation financially support the recipients but they continue to do so for the duration of their education, through their tertiary studies until they are employed, subject to an annual performance review. 

CEO and founder of Noosa Chances Tara Bell said they were currently supporting 39 talented young people that live or study in Noosa. 

“Talents of our inspiring recipients range from all-round academic excellence to the arts to hospitality, including two recipients that received the inaugural Noosa Chances Matt Golinski Hospitality Scholarship this year,” she said. “Both students will have the opportunity to work with Matt at the Noosa Chances Noosa Cup Day and I heard that one of them burst into tears when she heard she was nominated, let alone successful! 

“She plans to buy knives – a chef’s most important tool and something she previously could not afford.”

 Recipients of these scholarships are largely high school students as well as several now in first year university including one at UNSW studying Medicine. Each has been personally selected by the school principals of Sunshine Beach and Noosa District State High Schools, who have also verified their families’ financial and personal situation. 

 “In this way, the means testing component is handled discreetly and sensitively by the schools and us,” adds Tara. “I’m privy to the students’ backgrounds and I can only say how much I’m in awe of their achievements, given their incredibly challenging backgrounds. 

“It is important to emphasise our scholarships are unapologetically merit-based, with the financial hardship criteria merely a filter for selection.” 

This makes my heart sing as I have personally seen the self-confidence and skill set grow of one of the recipients in the field of fashion. This human is destined for a big career in his chosen field and with the help of Noosa Chances he will realise this dream. Every kid deserves the chance to shine like this. 

Tara is thrilled at the community support for Noosa Chances since its inception in late 2019, including more than $230,000 raised from just three functions.

There are more fundraising events ahead powered by a team of professionals that volunteer their time and mentorship. 

Noosa Chances have two signature annual fundraising events including a Gala Dinner and Noosa Cup Day. This year they are adding a Racing Fashion lunch to the line-up in the lead in to the Spring Racing Carnival. 

In even more exciting news this innovative fundraising co-op have just announced the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) selected Noosa Chances to host the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour in our region – yes, the cup is coming to town! The Tour is scheduled to visit Noosa on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th of October. This is such a brilliant coup, testament to Tara’s tenacity and an awesome chance for the community to come together for the grand tour of the Melbourne Cup.  

Giddy up Noosa!


Noosa Cup Racing Lunch, Friday 27 August Gusto Restaurant, $175pp

Three courses, arrival champagne and wine

Noosa Cup Day, Sunday 3 October 

Champagne Garden, Sunshine Coast Turf Club, $250pp
5-course menu by Matt Golinski, premium wines including 2x Pol Roger bottles per table, race book and  free bus from Noosa.

2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour, October 3 and 4 

Gala Dinner, Saturday 27 November

Noosa Waterfront Restaurant, $250pp

A degustation with 5 local celebrity chefs, fine wines and Veuve Cliquot on arrival.

Silent and live auctions

About the Author /

Carlie Wacker has worked in the media entertainment industry for over 20 years. From television to stage and radio she has been lucky enough to work her way around the whole country. Over the last 10 years she has styled and choreographed innovative fashion parades and talent shows and brings her love for fashion and entertainment as our Fashion Editor and Editor for Hello Sunshine Magazine. She is also an MC, voice-over artist and radio announcer.

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