Over the years working as a tour guide and living in Central Australia, Reg saw that remote Aboriginal communities such as Lilla were neglected, disadvantaged and lacked the support to become self sustaining. Some of this was due their remote geographical location, some due to lack of coordinated resources and support organisations.
Assisting where he could through his own tour business he found his own support resources were limited, so he consulted with the traditional land owners at Lilla to join him and establish the Lilla Foundation in 2012.
Whilst Australia is known for it generous humanitarian projects overseas, Reg believes there is just as much work to be done in our own “back yard” that can make a difference to peoples lives and bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
The constitutional objects of the Lilla Foundation are:
a) To To alleviate and relieve poverty, sickness, destitution and helplessness in the Lilla Community and Watarrka region, particularly among Indigenous Australians
b) To carry out projects to relieve poverty, sickness, destitution and helplessness in the Lilla Community and Watarrka region, particularly among Indigenous Australians
c) To provide programs to promote life skills, independence and resilience of persons in need in the Lilla Community and Watarrka region, particularly among Indigenous Australians suffering from poverty, sickness, destitution and helplessness for their long-term social welfare
d) To raise money from the public and to secure funds to further the Objects.
Reg continues to facilitate educational groups to Central Australia where they can “give back” to the local communities they visit. This is done by volunteering to work in community projects whilst staying in the Watarrka area. These projects are initiated and coordinated by Reg, the Lilla Foundation and the local communities.
Because of his philanthropic work through his business and the Lilla Foundation, Reg was an NT finalist for the 2014 Australian of the Year, something which he hopes will promote awareness of the issues faced by central Australian communities and raise further support.