Nearly a quarter of all funds granted in FY20 were distributed in Victoria, via 20 different programs.

Victoria benefits as many donor partners nominate either the whole state or specific places for support. Funding continued for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, with 32 grants valued at $654,230 awarded during FY20. The Strengthening Rural Communities program also drew a strong response from Victoria, with more than $590,000 distributed to 67 community groups. The effects of drought were also felt in Victoria this year, with more than $870,000 awarded via 33 grants.



Spreading ‘Harmony’ across the Wimmera Southern Mallee region

Tourism and hospitality are key drivers of economic development in the Horsham Council and Regional Strategic Plans. However, local businesses were experiencing a shortage of trained cooks, chefs, baristas and food
service assistants. By providing training and experience in hospitality, food handling and barista skills to marginalised groups, the Centre for Participation knew they could address the skills gap and be confident that trainees would gain employment in the community. But their ‘Harmony Van’ needed some new equipment to allow them to provide hospitality and food handling training to migrant women and
disabled youth across the Wimmera Southern Mallee region.

A $4,944 Small Grant, co-funded by The Ross Trust and Portland House Foundation, meant they could get a coffee machine and other accessories to equip their trainees with better experience. Since then, they have served the community at more than 40 events, run weekly training sessions, and started a social enterprise café for the community.

“While there are multiple benefits to our rural community as part of this funding, the most successful to us was that eight migrant ladies and two young people with a disability have gained employment as a result of taking part in the program.”

Robbie Millar, Project Coordinator

Tambo’s ‘Living River Water Bugs’

Agricultural chemicals can have adverse impacts on local rivers and waterways, often without people realising. Thanks to a $5,000 Small Grant funded by the William Buckland Foundation (managed by Equity Trustees), farmers and community members in Swift Creek in East Gippsland were able to learn about the importance of river-care and how they can make an important difference.

Local artists were commissioned to create sculptures of the water bugs that had been collected from the Tambo River by school students. The art installation on the river’s edge helped to raise awareness and engender community participation and ownership in keeping the river water clean.