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HorsePower Australia: horses, healing and happiness | Telethon Community Cinemas

Telethon Community Cinemas screens outdoor movies from November to April each year and donates its profits to children’s charities in Western Australia. 

We caught up with local Telethon Community Cinemas beneficiary, HorsePower Australia, to learn about the positive impact the organisation has on the community.

The HorsePower experience

HorsePower Australia (HorsePower) is a registered voluntary, charitable not-for-profit organisation supporting individuals with diverse abilities across WA.

HorsePower Hills riding for the disabled logoIt offers horse-assisted therapeutic, educational, recreational, and sporting activities that aim to empower children to break through physical, cognitive, and emotional barriers.

Previously known as Riding for the Disabled Association of Western Australia, HorsePower Australia operates 14 member centres in WA – including in Perth, Geraldton, and the South West and Great Southern regions.

Its programs range from riding and carriage driving to vaulting, hippotherapy (balance and core stability), and walking with horses.

Nicky Bushell, Vice President at HorsePower Swan Valley, has been volunteering with HorsePower for 25 years and considers the organisation’s Telethon Community Cinemas partnership vitally important.

“Fundraising is essential for helping to provide the basic items that keep our centre going. We’ve been providing children with unique life-changing activities for over 45 years and take great pride in the fact that our organisation is over 90% volunteer based.”

HorsePower’s team of 600 volunteers includes two experienced coaches, educational assistants, teachers, physiotherapists, and business administrators who each donate their time because they love helping others in need.

HorsePower’s mission is simple: to help children one hoof beat at a time. Nicky explains horses offer a special bond with children; they’re non-judgmental, willing to do what’s asked of them, and warm and comforting for kids.

“Our HorsePower team has seen plenty of success over the years, from clients simply enjoying a fun day out developing their skills and confidence, through to participants going on to excel at the Olympic level.”

What does the future hold for HorsePower?

HorsePower helps people in the community who suffer from disabilities of all kinds, including physical, emotional, and socially isolated issues.

They’re now looking to expand our organisation to be a full-time service, offering daily programs for our local community.

“HorsePower receives no government funding and relies on riding fees as a key source of income. Telethon Community Cinemas is our main sponsor, which together with associated partners and sponsors including Kleenheat offers incredible support for us. We wouldn’t have this centre without them.”

Getting involved.

Shelly handling a horse at HorsePowerHorsePower Australia’s team welcomes all inquiries, whether it’s volunteers looking to get involved or parents or carers with a child they think would benefit from HorsePower’s programs.

If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved, check out the HorsePower website.

Telethon Community Cinemas gives back to the community.

Telethon Community Cinemas Founding Director and Event Coordinator, Ken Gibbons, describes the popular WA attraction as a place to socialise and picnic together, while raising funds for charities.

Since 2001, Telethon Community Cinemas has raised almost $12 million for local charity beneficiaries. This has been achieved with the help and commitment of approximately 700 volunteers across four venues each season.

“Telethon Community Cinemas is an all-volunteer organisation dedicated to raising funds for programmes through charities that seek to improve the quality of life of children in a health or physical ability crisis. Our emphasis is on people, primarily family and friends, having the opportunity to socialise and picnic together before watching the films.”

For more information on Telethon Community Cinemas locations and screenings, or to join the volunteering team, head to

Jaxon riding with assistance from HorsePower volunteers

Over ten years of supporting Telethon Community Cinemas

We’ve been proud supporters of the Telethon Community Cinemas since 2010. Learn more about our partnership then pack your picnic and treat yourself to a night at the movies.

We hope you enjoy your next open-air movie experience knowing you’re making a positive impact on the lives of young people in WA.

You can find a cinema at Bassendean, Burswood, Murdoch University, and ECU Joondalup Pines, between November and April each year.