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Emotional scenes after the inaugural running of the Canberra Community Chest

The Canberra Community Chest has provided $56,000 in funds to deserving charities and community groups from the Canberra region. 


Rise Above – Capital Region Cancer Relief were the winning partner, securing $25,500 for their programs which support cancer patients and their families throughout the ACT and region, after their equine hero Super Helpful won the thrilling contest on Saturday, 25 November.

There were emotional scenes in the mounting yard post-race with Good Omen Goodeze’s Executive Officer Mary  Liondi-Barlow overwhelmed by the result, with her horse, Clarry Conners’ Peace Officer, finishing third to secure the small community group $5,500.


“I had goosebumps.” Liondi-Barlow said. “That was my first race day and to be so close when they came thundering by was such as thrill, they we’re going so fast.”


Perhaps the smallest organisation involved in the Canberra Community Chest, Good Omen Goodeze Inc. provide needle and hand-crafted comfort items for patients and their loved ones across hospitals in the ACT.

“This is one of our biggest contributions of the year.” Liondi-Barlow said of the $5,500 earned through the community chest.


“It’s going to enable our great members to join our workshops, pick up new skills, and have everything they need to give back and make a difference in the community.”


 “It's such an amazing feeling to make something and know that it will be a gift that will be loved and treasured by someone when they need it most.


“The share of the chest gives us the ability to do more and it means so much to us, we’re so thankful for the opportunity.”


Good Omen Goodeze are one of 12 benefactors for the inaugural Canberra Community Chest. Originally a $50,000 fund, winning Trainers Barbara Joseph, Paul & Matt Jones, generously donated 5% of Super Helpful’s prizemoney to raise the chest to $56,000.


Canberra Racing Club Chief Executive Darren Pearce said, “To see all of our community partners in the mounting yard so excited to cheer their horse on, was such a wonderful thrill.”


“The Canberra Community Chest was created for this very purpose, to unite community heroes with equine heroes.”

“Our Club is delighted to be able to support these meaningful groups through the $56,000 community chest as well as giving their volunteers and community an enriching and rewarding experience.”


A full list of how the $56,000 community chest will be shared in 2023:





Charity Partner



Super Helpful

Rise Above




Win The Day



Peace Officer (NZ)

Good Omen Goodeze Inc



Cavalier Charles

Lifeline Canberra



I've Bean Tryin'

The Daniela Dwyer Foundation



Rocket Tiger

Belconnen Magpies Football Club




Canberra Hospital Foundation



Handle The Truth

Roundabout Canberra



Secret Plan

Wests Rugby



Deep Snow

ACT Volunteer Brigades Association



Al Mah Haha

The Ricky Stuart Foundation




Riding for the Disabled (Pegasus)* 


*Riding for the Disabled (Pegasus) receive automatic entry into the 2024 Canberra Community Chest due to the scratching of their representative.