At Our P&C: Palmerston District Primary School Fete

Hosting a successful fete is often seen as the crowning achievement of a P&C.

While they can be a daunting task to organise, the rewards through fundraising and community building can be enormous.


The team at Palmerston District Primary School P&C were delighted with the results of their fete last month.

“I’m incredibly proud of our P&C,” says President Sarah Rullis.

“We are looking at a $13,000 profit, we had over 55 volunteers on the day, choirs, bands, horses and so much fun!”

“Honestly even the weather was on our side. We had a great day!”

Sarah’s top tips for organising a fete:

Have a clear fundraising goal.

The community is much more likely to support your fundraising events and efforts if you have a clear aim and can link the fundraiser with a much needed or appreciated purchase for the school.

Businesses are more likely to donate prizes, and parents are more likely to promote the fundraiser and encourage others to purchase or participate if there is a clear need or benefit.

“Ours was bringing the community together and raising money for a new PA system to support our students with hearing difficulties,” Sarah says.

Plan and talk it through.

Start planning for your fete well ahead of the intended date. Break big jobs down into easily achievable tasks and spread the workload around.

Before you commit valuable volunteer time or resources, be sure to check Council's Insurance and Regulation fact sheets to ensure your plans are all above board.

Some activities - such as jumping castles and other inflatable attractions - are not allowed on ACT public school grounds, are not covered by our group P&C insurance policy and must be avoided.

Read our fact sheet to find out more.

Make sure you meet regularly and have open lines of communication to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to planning. Use technology to help keep everyone in touch.

“We had eight P&C run stalls with families logging on every Monday night for a Zoom meeting to work out logistics” Sarah says.

Sarah also recommends using pre-sold tickets - with bonuses for families to get “free” tickets at a pre-purchase “sale” - to encourage attendance and reduce the need for cash on the day.

Get sponsors and donations.

The more items your P&C can collect through sponsorships and donations, the less your P&C will need to buy - and that means more profit from your event.

Look for support from outside your school community by approaching businesses well ahead of your fete. Use a template letter and be sure to include information about what you are fundraising for.

“Get as many sponsors as you can to help reduce costs,” says Sarah.

“Plus get the school community to donate where they can.

“We did the plastic container bake sale, lob-a-choc had junior families donate, and lucky dip had senior school families donate.”

Reach out for help.

The wider public school P&C network was also an invaluable resource for planning and organising the Palmerston District Primary School P&C fete.

Sarah communicated with other Canberra P&C Leaders through Council’s Facebook group, gaining advice in the lead up to the event and resources needed for the fete to run smoothy.

"Latham P&C lending a popcorn machine and Giralang P&C lending square readers for online sales came to the party and really made a difference to our day,” she says.

All public school P&C executive committee members can join our Facebook Leaders group.


Image: Palmerston District Primary School Principal Kate Smith & P&C President Sarah Rullis