Victorian dairy communities share $113,000 in grants

Media releases: 27 June 2016

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced the 31 recipients that will share $113,000 from the 2016 Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program. The Aussie Farmers Foundation, which supports grass-roots initiatives to improve the lives of rural Australians, has contributed an additional $12,000 toward the program, while a private donor contributed a further $1,000.

Working in Dairy Communities provides grants of up to $5,000 for projects that aim to strengthen small Victorian dairy communities, build their capacity to deal with local issues and enhance existing community infrastructure. The grant recipients, which come from all three Victorian dairy regions, received their cheques at a reception at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne earlier today.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chairman, Dr Bruce Kefford, said that supporting dairy communities through programs like this is critical to a sustainable dairy industry.

“The dairy industry makes an enormous contribution to the economic viability of regional Victoria and the Gardiner Dairy Foundation is proud to be investing in a vibrant dairy future. We have supported this program for 14 years and contributed more than $1.5 million to strengthen Victorian dairy communities in Gippsland, Northern Victoria and South West Victoria.”

The Aussie Farmers Foundation’s Executive Director, Julia Hunter, said the current dairy crisis had triggered a wave of generosity from Foundation supporters. “We’re very grateful to those Australians who’ve pitched in to support our dairy farmers. By adding our support to the Working in Dairy Communities program, we believe we will make a real difference in local dairy farming regions during these trying times,” Ms Hunter said.

FRRR Chairman, Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC, said small grants play an important role in rural and regional Australia and they are pleased to be supporting Victorian dairy communities, particularly in light of the current industry issues.

“Rural and regional communities face many challenges and experience many gaps in services and infrastructure. Small grants help to address local issues and priorities and enable community groups to implement local solutions to local problems.

“The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s support of communities through this program ensures the locals have control over what their community needs,” Mr Sinclair said.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s investment of $100,000 is widely and evenly distributed across Victoria’s three principle dairying regions. Since the launch of the annual program in 2002, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has invested more than $1.5 million in this program, supporting 394 community projects. This year, the average community supported by a grant has 3,758 people, with the smallest community being Tatong in Northern Victoria, with just 150 people.

Details of the 2016 grant recipients and their projects are listed below. 






Bass Valley Community Group Inc.

Op Shop Shed Replacement

New storage shed to create a safer environment for volunteers and room for large items to support low income families.



Bass Valley Music Festival Inc.

Serenade at Sunset

Hire professional lighting to enhance cultural experiences and youth/tourism opportunities for the local area.



Briagolong Community House Inc.

Easy Learning through Technology

Internet connection to expand training and skill development opportunities.



Fish Creek Memorial Hall Inc.

Fish Creek Memorial Hall Restoration

Refurbish the Memorial Hall to create a safer environment for volunteers and an all abilities accessible venue.

Fish Creek


Heyfield Wetlands Committee of Management Inc.

Trees for the pond 2016

Tree and shrub planting to increase education opportunities for local students and improve environmental outcomes.



Hillview Bunyip Aged Care Inc.

The Walls are Alive

Installing a vertical garden wall in the aged care dementia ward, leading to increased wellbeing of residents and greater community connectivity.



Newmerella Primary School*

From Chicken Coop to Veggie Garden

Raised garden beds and a chicken pen for primary school students to safely participate in hands-on learning in horticulture, animal husbandry and business management.



Venus Bay Tarwin Lower and District Men’s Shed Inc.

Cutting grass for safety

Ride on mower to improve OHS for volunteers and establish an additional income stream.

Venus Bay & Tarwin Lower


Wonthaggi Neighbourhood Centre @ Mitchell House Inc.

L2P – Steering to Safety

A contribution towards a new vehicle, enabling ongoing access to driving instruction for local youth, and increased opportunity to access employment, education and training.



Yarram Toy Library*

Welcome to the 21st Century

New catalogue system and increased range of toys available at Toy Library to grow the current service that provides socially inclusive early childhood educational opportunities.




Cohuna Neighbourhood House Inc.

Cool Men

Split system air conditioner in the Men’s Shed to enhance participants’ well-being and capacity to contribute to the community.



Dederang Primary School*

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen to provide learning opportunities and an environment for the school and wider community to meet and strengthen community wellbeing.



Greta Valley Landcare Group

Connecting the cockies – a new website for the Greta Valley

Development of interactive website and newsletter template, facilitating better communications with members and the wider community.



Heartkids Vic Inc.*

Outreach Family Support Program

Strengthening the Shepparton Echuca region outreach program in best practice family support and basic fundraising, improving capacity to support 10 families in the region with children suffering from heart disease.

Echuca & Shepparton


Leitchville Community Sporting Complex

Storage Wars

Building a new equipment and storage shed, improving volunteer OHS and enabling multi-purpose use of the community facility.



Lions Club of Tatura Inc.

Community BBQ

Constructing a BBQ to enhance local amenities, promoting tourism and strengthening community connectivity.



Moyhu & District Pre School

Lighting up our future stars

Improvements to building efficiency by installing lighting, ceiling fans and acoustic roof tiles to create better learning conditions and reduce energy costs.



Nathalia District Hospital

First Aid for Us

First aid resources will enable locally delivered first aid training for community groups, improving community health outcomes and strengthening the capacity of the community to respond to emergencies.



Oxley Primary School Council

Eating Places and Learning Spaces – A new outdoor area for Oxley

Installing a shade sail to improve OHS and encourage learning through outdoor play, supporting educational outcomes.



Rochester & Elmore District Health Service

It’s all about Respect

Improve young people’s sexual health and wellbeing through delivery of a series of educational forums and a social media campaign relating to sexual behaviour including teen pregnancies and safe sex; sexting, cyber bullying and social media; and positive body image.



Tatong Recreation Reserve Committee of Management Inc.

Tatong needs water!

Replacing the water tank and pump to ensure access to running water at community reserve used for disaster recovery.




Camperdown & District Historical Society Inc.

Dairy Tales – A history of the Dairy Industry in the Camperdown District

A permanent historical display showcasing the dairying industry in and around Camperdown to create a sense of place and strengthening local identity and tourism.



South West Healthcare**

Dairy Farmer Mental Health

Outreach program delivered in conjunction with other local mental health initiatives and dairy organisations to support dairy farmers and their families to have the skills and knowledge to access support and services for good Mental Health.



Cobden and District Kindergarten Inc.*

Swinging into the future

Installing play equipment suitable for all abilities, improving gross motor skills and enabling all students to reach the full potential of their early childhood development.



Cobden Playgroup Inc.

Little Green Thumbs

Installing a tank and vegetable garden in the play area to support sustainability education, early childhood development and promoting community inclusion.



Deans Marsh Community Cottage Inc.

Running for the Marsh

Supporting the inaugural fun run to promote active healthy lifestyles, improve community health and connectedness, and raise funds for local initiatives.

Deans Marsh


Friends of St Brigid’s Assoc.

Keeping Crossley Hall Cool & Comfortable

Refurbishing the hall to improve the sustainability, OHS and usability of the well-used, community owned and operated venue.



Kirkstall Recreation Committee

Cooking up Community

Constructing a public BBQ area to enhance local amenities at the recreation reserve, promote tourism and strengthen community connectivity.



Simpson & District Community Centre Inc.*

Community Garden Stage 2

A new community garden to improve disabled access and strengthen social connections, while also improving fruit and vegetable consumption, food accessibility and reducing obesity.



Simpson & District Kindergarten Inc.

Simpson Community Three Year Kinder Project – Before the Bell

Enabling the kindergarten program for three year olds to continue through until the end of 2016.



The Scout Assoc of Australia Vic Branch – 1st Noorat Scout Group

A breath of fresh air for Noorat

Installing heating and cooling to improve amenities in the community hall, and increase attractiveness of venue to user groups.



* Projects marked with one asterisk also received additional funds of $2,000 each from the Aussie Farmers Foundation.

** Project marked with two asterisks also received additional funds of $1,000 from the Flew Family Foundation.