Cultural & Charitable Foundation

Our Projects

Learn more about our exciting projects including our imminent announcements of the 'Aspire Precinct' development which will be located adjacent to the Sacred Heart Cathedral – a project of great vision that will build Australia's first inter-faith precinct with benefits for the whole community.

New Generation Quilt:

aspire quilt 350px

The Strathdale Quilters have prepared a replica of a Heritage Signature Quilt from 1895, as a fundraising activity for the Aspire Foundation. As per the original quilt, donor names are being incorporated into the new quilt. The quilt was officially unveiled to the public at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Bendigo on October 17, 2013, during a special event to thank the Bendigo Strathdale Quilters who restored the quilt and donated it to the Aspire Foundation. The quilt is on display at the Sacred Heart Cathedral until it can be housed permanently in the new Faith on the Goldfields Interpretive Centre.

Are You a Descendant?
We are on the hunt for descendants of the signatories on a Heritage Signature Quilt from 1895. The quilt features 270 signatures, including some of Bendigo’s most prominent figures of the time. The list of signatures is available on our Facebook page – Aspire Heritage Signature Quilt 1895 by clicking here  If you or someone you know is a relative of one of the signatories, we would love to hear from you. Contact us via Facebook ‘Aspire Heritage Signature Quilt 1895’ by clicking here.

Organ Scholarship:
SAMUEL Whitehead has been awarded The Aspire Cultural and Charitable Foundation’s inaugural Eileen Denton Organ Scholarship.

Sam scholarship 350pxThe Most Reverend Bishop Leslie Rogers Tomlinson, Catholic Bishop of Sandhurst, presented the scholarship at the conclusion of the 11am Easter Sunday Mass on March 27 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo.  

Samuel, 25, is a talented musician who began playing the piano at the age of seven. For the past seven years he has played the organ as a student of Sandhurst Diocesan Director of Sacred Music Mr John Hogan.

 His achievements include playing pieces in organ recitals in Melbourne, most notably at Melbourne Town Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Scots’ Church. Locally, Mr Whitehead has played for services at the former Golden Square Uniting Church.

He wrote a Toccata for Organ dedicated to John Hogan and a Mass Missa Profunda for choir and organ which Sacred Heart Cathedral Choir has premiered.
Mr Hogan said the scholarship is the first scholarship of its type to be presented in regional Victoria.

Mr Whitehead played the final Organ Voluntary at the end of Easter Sunday Mass, when he performed the Finale from Alexandre Guilmant’s First Organ Sonata, a piece that Eileen Denton often performed.

Eileen Denton’s son, Noel Denton, was present at the Mass and told of his mother’s great love of music and of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, and of the central role these played in her life.

Eileen was the Sacred Heart Cathedral’s organist from 1920-1931 and Choir Director from 1941-1948.

The Denton family has assisted in funding the scholarship and expects to continue this endowment annually.

The scholarship awards Samuel with weekly 45 minute lessons (35 per year), a $2000 stipend, $300 in additional costs and attendance at an annual conference. The scholarship will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Photo Caption: Noel Denton congratulates Samuel Whitehead on being awarded the inaugural Eileen Denton Organ Scholarship, with Bishop Leslie Tomlinson and Fr Tony Shallue.

Statue to honour Saint Mary MacKillop

mackillop statue reveal group1 350pxOn 17 October 2014, we unveiled our St Mary MacKillop statue, which is the Sandhurst Diocesan expression of gratitude for the life, achievements and legacy of St Mary of the Cross and her Josephite sisters. The statue formed Stage One of the precinct development.
The statue serves as a reminder of the deep connection she shares with our community connecting the thread of daily life, spirituality and purpose. We remember her incredible journey across the Diocese, establishing the first Josephine School in Victoria at Numurkah on January 12, 1890. She went onto establish sister schools in Eaglehawk, Pyramid Hill, Rushworth, Nagambie, Tallangatta and Corryong.
The two-metre-high sculpture is created from various materials including bronze, glass and light. Illuminated images of school children from the late 1880s appear at the back of the sculpture and glass shafts at each side reinforce the saintly quality of her work.
The masterpiece is the work of award-winning sculptor Jenny Steiner, of Melbourne.  “The commission is an incredible honour,” she said. “It’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever done - it’s a career defining project.”

If you would like to donate to the Aspire Foundation,  pdf  click here to download the Aspire Cultural & Charitable Foundation Donation form or call (03) 5441 2544.