Kindred Spirits, founded by Rhonda Renwick, is made up of a group of people connected through personal and professional relationships and a desire to make a difference.
Rhonda is a transport industry proprietor, organisational psychologist, educator and mother of three.
In 2008, Rhonda became the sole director of her family’s company, Latrobe Valley Bus Lines, with depots in Morwell, Traralgon and Moe. After 35 years living in the Latrobe Valley, and witnessing substantial social and economic change, Rhonda began to develop her vision for the bus line, to further its community involvement. She recognised that public transport was a vital link for a healthy community and a healthy environment, and a great way to be socially connected.
As Latrobe Valley’s leading public transport provider began to grow and develop through working closely with her employees and the community, Rhonda sought to extend her vision to encompass engagement with other local communities; some living with mental illnesses and physical disabilities. In observing communities who could benefit from small amounts of funding, consistent networking and local support, the underpinning of her vision became a reality.
As a working legacy, Rhonda established The Kindred Spirits Foundation, a philanthropic trust that would enable wider community connection and support, with the aim of Empowering People and Communities to achieve their dreams. Kindred Spirits is dedicated to giving a hand. Through acts of kindness the foundation supports people and their communities make the connections they need to stay on track and reach their destination.
Rhonda was joined by like-minded founding members Kathy Havers, Operator of Catalyst Financial Group, and Ann Shanley, a social welfare and business development professional, both of whom are Directors of the Foundation. Pam Usher, philanthropist was a Director from 2009 to 2013. Pam was previously a bus company owner. Rhonda's three children Gregor, Karissa and Rebecca became Directors in 2011.
“The Kindred Spirits Foundation support people to make the connections they need to stay on track and reach their destination …. Connections, tracks and destinations …. It all sounds a bit like public transport. And, in reality, public transport with the Latrobe Valley Bus Lines, has been the catalyst in establishing the Kindred Spirits Foundation.” Rhonda Renwick.