Category Archives: Fundraisers

Why Startups Need To Solve Real Problems Again

Alexis Madrigal thinks our modern entrepreneurial climate has a problem: we’re not solving big problems anymore. The startup boom in the late 90s gave birth to revolutionary mobile devices. Now, the best we can do is Facebook.

Madrigal offers two solutions: stop the pervasiveness of “free” web apps and increase the diversity among founding teams. Fresh perspectives, he argues, will bring a new paradigm for startups — and for creativity in general.

Project Possibility

Hear and Say Case for Support Cover

Hear and Say Case for Support Spread 1

Hear and Say Case for Support Butterflies

Hear and Say Case for Support Spread 2


If you are not already aware, we here at Brio are proud supports of Hear and Say. It is an honour for all of us here to be sponsors of Rhylee, who last year through the help of our donation, was given the gift of a cochlear implant. This of course was all made possible by the wonderful organisation, Hear and Say.

Hear and Say is one of the leading non-profit Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and cochlear implant centres in the world. Since 1992 the Centre has taught children who are deaf or hearing impaired to listen and speak.

In this time they have seen incredible growth in the numbers of children and families that come through their programs. As the numbers grow each year, the current Hear and Say Centre location in Brisbane is reaching full capacity and the team want to help as many as they can. Looking to the future and thinking big are key ideas that Hear and Say live by. With this in mind they decided that to keep up with the growth, they needed a new premises to support them now, and into the future. Thus came about the ‘Project Possibility: Under Construction’. With new premises found and purchased, their aim now, is to raise the funds needed to build their dream Centre.

Through our relationship with Hear and Say it’s exciting to see their ideas for the future grow and become a reality. At the same time, it has been fun to work on the look and feel of this booklet which aims to inform who Hear and Say are, what they do, their dreams for the future and how you can help them reach their goals (see image samples above). Our aim was to develop the branding of Hear and Say to be fun and inspiring, because that is what the experience is to be a part of Hear and Say. Whether this experience is as a child and their family within the program, a team member of Hear and Say, or the experience of being a sponsor, it is inspiring and amazing.

So as we have done, we encourage you to help Hear and Say build a future that helps give the gift of speech and sound to so many, by donating here.

Yours in honour of giving,


Number 31

When joining Brio Group (then Red-I Design) I was encouraged to write my 101 Dreams and I have been crossing them off ever since (and enjoying every last one of them).

But in the time it has taken me to write this blog someone in Australia has been given the news they have blood cancer.

This said, on Saturday 17 March 2012 I will be completing Number 31 on my list… to shave my head for a cure. I have signed up to take part in the World’s Greatest Shave.

You can view my fundraising page and see how my progress is going (or even better sponsor me) here.

Why this cause is so important

Today 31 Australians will be given the devastating news that they have leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood disorder. That’s more than 11,500 people this year. Although survival rates are improving, blood cancers like these are the second biggest cause of cancer death in Australia. The Leukaemia Foundation receives no ongoing government funding, so supporting this event makes our Vision to Cure and Mission to Care possible.

The money raised will go towards research, which is needed to find better treatments and cures for leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders. Your donations and sponsorship will also support families when they need it most, providing leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma patients with a free home-away-from-home near hospital during their treatment.  It will also mean we can transport them to appointments and provide as much practical assistance and emotional support as we can, all free of charge.

All the Leukaemia Foundation’s services are free. Let’s keep them that way.

Yours in baldness,

Philanthropic Entrepeneurs

Philanthropy is emerging as a key activity of wealthy entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship in the field of philanthropy involves finding new and better ways for mobilising and deploying resources to make the world a better place The following entrepreneurs have each played a significant part in making this possible.

Stuart Zadel , the mastermind behind the Think And Grow Rich® Cashflow Conferences
Stuart runs the Think and Grow Rich® Seminars in Australia, as, over the next 10 years he intends to achieve 5 major goals, these being:
• To create 1,000 Prosperity Millionaires (individuals that choose to give back)
• To donate $1,000,000 to worthwhile causes
• To distribute 1,000,000 copies of our books
• To plant 1,000,000 Trees in Australian soil
• To educate more than 50,000 Australians live
Stuart says, “In short, we figure the best way to ensure we reach more than 50,000 Australians live within the next 10 years is to provide education free of charge!”

The Fred Hollows Foundation is inspired by work of the late Professor Fred Hollows, (1929 – 1993) , Eye Doctor (Ophthalmologist)
whose vision was for a world where no one is needlessly blind. 

Working to continue Fred’s vision, The Fred Hollows Foundation in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have come together to form a global network to increase our collective impact in eradicating avoidable blindness around the world.

Roger Hamilton – the creator of Wealth Dynamics.
Roger donates to and is a School Board Member of Green School – Bali, Indonesia. Green School opened in Sibang Kaja in Badung Province, Bali, Indonesia in 2008. It is an organisation delivering sustainability in education through the medium of an international school. Its students are children of locals and expatriates.
It is administered by Yayasan Kulkul – a not-for-profit foundation registered in Indonesia – and is governed by a School Board.
Green School is an amazing project, pioneering sustainability within education. It is pushing boundaries in schooling at a time when the world must review whether more of the same is acceptable.

Belinda Vesey-Brown – Managing Director – Brio Group Pty Ltd – 365 Ways We Care
A turning point in Belinda’s life was whilst trekking Kokoda, where she was confronted with realising her life’s purpose – to help people through giving vision. The foundation of Brio Group was formed and gives inspiration for its future through philanthropy.
365 Ways We Care – Brio Group’s Charity Program.
At Brio, Our team goal is to tithe 1% of our turnover to a charity every financial year. So the more successful we become, the more people we can help!
In the 2010/11 financial year Brio donated the equivalent of 365 gifts of sight by supporting The Fred Hollows Foundation. During the 2011/12 financial year we are supporting the Hear and Say Centre by sponsoring a child to give the gift of sound, changing their life forever. The Hear and Say Centre is one of the leading Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and Cochlear implant centres in the world. Since 1992, the centre has taught children who are deaf or hearing impaired to listen and speak.

Yours in Philanthropy
Angie Rapisarda

“Enthusiasm as it should be – Loud Shirt Day at Hear and Say”

Brio Group was recently invited to attend the launch of Loud Shirt Day at the Hear and Say Centre. After sponsoring hearing impaired, Rhylee, we’ve been actively involved in the centre’s events. One thing that really struck me walking through the Centre was seeing their interaction with the children and their parents was their enthusiasm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, infamous American lecturer and poet once said “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” This is more than reflected through the Centre’s enthusiasm for what they do. Making such a positive impact on a child’s and their families lives is not a job to those involved with the Centre – it’s their passion. You can see this simply by asking the General Manager a few simple questions. It’s the communication through his words and body language. There’s a physical vibrancy that’s extremely contagious. The successful growth of the Centre and the increased contribution of the community can be relayed back to the incredible efforts of all those involved.

The enthusiasm and drive that the staff and volunteers exude at the centre is most certainly the driving force behind the achievements and contribution of the Hear and Say Centre. Upon arriving at playgroup you are instantly made aware of the ‘can do’ attitude of all involved. It’s a little bit magic :)

Yours in enthusiasm,

What’s your work philosophy?

At Brio Group we have the pleasure of being a part of the Hear and Say Centre’s weekly play group sessions where we have the chance to witness so many beautiful families interact.

Last week’s play group was a great chance for me to capture some amazing images for the Hear and Say Centre Annual Report (see the images below) while this week’s play group was super special as it was the launch of Loud Shirt Day.

Loud Shirt Day is a fun one day event on Friday 21 October when you can wear your brightest clothes and raise money to help give the gift of sound and speech to deaf children. Wally Lewis and Romelda Aiken (Firebird Champion) kicked off the festivities and were a great inspiration to us all.

Visiting these play group sessions has really shown me the meaning of ‘industriousness‘ – which is about encouraging ‘focused, hard work’ rather than ‘workaholism’. Really it’s about quality – not quantity.

The small amounts of quality play time that these children receive each week is imperative to their development and teaches them so many life skills. It’s not about how much play time they have together, but how good that playtime is – their parents, their siblings and the magical people at the Hear and Say Centre work very hard to ensure that every minute counts. Wally Lewis and Romelda Aiken have such busy schedules but take time out for the things that matter – and they’re always there giving 100%.

At Brio Group I always try to make the most of every minute of the day. Time is precious, deadlines are tight and I value my personal life so I always give 100% to make sure I can go home at a reasonable hour and have a little balance in my life.

What’s your work philosophy? Do you work hard (and play hard)? Or would you prefer to take things a little slower? Do you live to work, or work to live? Keen to hear your thoughts!

Yours in industriousness,


Thank you Fred Hollows Foundation

Throughout the 2010-11 financial year Brio Group worked closely with The Fred Hollows Foundation to give the gift of sight to the equivalent of 365 people. The team surpassed this goal by giving the Foundation 545 gifts of sight (or raising $13,627).

The Fred Hollows Foundation is an independent and non-profit international development organization that focuses on blindness prevention and Australian indigenous health.

We chose The Fred Hollows Foundation as our team felt strongly about this important cause, because for us, vision is an integral part of our business. We help give vision to our clients by providing meaningful design and strategic branding services. So, we thought what better way to give back to the community, than by supporting an organisation that works hard towards repairing and restoring vision. Plus we’re very inspired by Fred Hollows – an Australian who has left a legacy to help people long after he has gone.

Brio is thrilled to have supported the Foundation and contribute to their mighty achievement of performing 194,903 eye operations and treatments in 2010.

We thank the Fred Hollows Foundation for the relationship we formed over the year and for the beautiful framed photo, signed by Fred Hollows widow Gabi, that now hangs proudly in Brio HQ.

Fred Hollows Foundation 2010 by the numbers

  • 194,903 eye operations and treatments
  • Examined over 1.3 million people
  • Trained 12,961 health professionals, providing essential eye care to some of the world’s poorest regions

To find out more about the Fred Hollows Foundation visit

Yours in 365 ways we care,


Brio Group’s running the Bridge to Brisbane!


That’s right! The kids at Brio Group are going to attempt to run (yes run) the Bridge to Brisbane next Sunday. It’s going to be tough – my body is really only equipped to exercise in short bursts (lasting no longer than a hornpipe – sometimes not even that long) and as we’re glued to our computers most days, we aren’t the fittest bunch. But we think it’s time we all got out and did some exercise for a good cause.

We’re raising money for the Hear and Say Centre, our charity for the year. Hear and Say is one of the leading Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and cochlear implant centres in the world, teaching children who are deaf or hearing impaired to listen and speak since 1992.

We’ll be sponsoring Rhylee for the next 12 months and following his journey. Rhylee is a 4 year old boy who lives in the south of Brisbane, who needs a cochlear implant in each ear to regain his hearing. On August 10 we were invited to join Rhylee’s family and friends at his ‘Switch On’ ceremony where his cochlear implants were switched on for the very first time. It was an incredibly moving experience to see Rhylee hear again and see the beginning of his sound and speech training.

We’d love it if you joined us on our run or if you spared a few clams here:

And remember donations make us run faster :)

Yours in fun and fitness,

Fred Hollows Foundation – A Year in Review

With Brio Group having just ‘smashed’ our team goal of donating the equivalent of 365 gifts of sight to the Fred Hollow Foundation we thought it would be a great way for us to cement this achievement by getting a run down on what the foundation has done over the last 12 months. So we invited Sue Larsen from the Fred Hollows Foundation to join our monday morning team meeting today to fill us in.

From my perspective it was really inspiring to see a Foundation that continues to grow and support the vision of one man who died almost 20 years ago.

Sue told us about her recent trip to Vietnam and The Foundations work over there that she experienced first hand. In Vietnam they preformed 14,147 cataract operations and 15,498 other sight saving or improving interventions.  It was a shock for me to realise that for many in third world countries hospitals mean the end of your life, meaning that you have to be so so sick to be taken to one and in most cases that person ends up dying. Sue was lucky enough to see a few operations taking place and could sit with an reassure the nervous family who for some had travelled for 4 days on foot to get there. Sue said she could see the family members in the waiting rooms with such fear on their faces thinking the worst. I guess it will take time for these new hospital facilities to be accepted as a place where ‘miracles’ can happen and not a place to be feared.

In 2010 The Foundation trained 12,961 medical and support staff, preformed 194,903 eye operations, took delivery of $3,475,629 dollars worth of equipment, did 1,310,226 eye screenings and constructed and renovated 41 medical facilities.

Sue said that The Foundation is active in around 18 countries. Thank you Fred Hollows Foundation we are so pleased to have been able to contribute in some small way to your amazing success in the last year.


Brio Group celebrates Rhylee’s ‘Switch On’ Ceremony at the Hear and Say Centre


Everyday at Brio Group our team works hard to help our clients’ businesses grow, blossom and become the best they can be. This is made possible because of our amazing team, who together become the life force of Brio.

One day we asked: what if we could use our skills to help people on a larger scale – to really make a difference to somebody’s life every single day? Enter: 365 Ways We Care – Brio Group’s Charity Program.

Our team goal is to donate a percentage of our turnover to a charity every financial year. So the more successful we become, the more people we can help!

Last year Brio Group supported the Fred Hollows Foundation – a wonderful independent and non-profit organisation that focuses on blindness prevention and Australian indigenous health. We gave the gift of sight to the equivalent of 545 people – smashing our team goal of 365 – which was one for every day of the year.

This year we’re proud to announce that Brio Group has set a team goal – to support the Hear and Say Centre by sponsoring a child. This will allow us to help give the gift of sound and speech, changing our sponsor child’s life forever. We’ve just met Rhylee, a 4 year old boy who lives in the south of Brisbane, who’s journey we will follow over the next 12 months.

Yesterday we were invited to join Rhylee’s family and friends at his ‘Switch On’ ceremony where his cochlear implants were switched on for the very first time. It was an incredibly moving experience to see Rhylee hear again and see the beginning of his sound and speech training.

Rhylee hasn’t always had a hearing loss – Rhylee passed his newborn hearing screen test only for his parents to find his speech wasn’t clear at 2 years of age. Rhylee’s hearing has deteriorated over the past 6 months, so much that hearing aids are no longer strong enough and cochlear implants were needed for each ear. Rhylee’s friends, family and the dedicated staff at the Hear and Say Centre are all working hard to help him regain his hearing and improve his speech as he begins prep next year.

The Hear and Say Centre is one of the leading Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and cochlear implant centres in the world. Since 1992 the Centre has taught children who are deaf or hearing impaired to listen and speak.

The Brio Group team felt really inspired to support the Hear and Say Centre, and Rhylee, as we believe helping a child to communicate is one of the greatest gifts we can give.

Check out the pictures from Rhylee’s ‘Switch On’ ceremony.

To learn more about The Hear and Say Centre, visit their website at: