Communities receive grants to implement youth-developed ideas

Media releases: 15 August 2016

More than $150,000 shared across 19 communities

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced that 19 communities will receive grants to pilot eight youth-developed ideas, thanks to the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants program.

In partnership with The Pratt Foundation, The Sally Foundation, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, The Myer Family Grants Program, the SAGE Foundation and several private donors, FRRR awarded grants totalling $152,118 at an event held today in Melbourne, which was hosted by the ABC.

The communities receiving grants are located across Australia, including Yeppoon in central Queensland, Kalgoorlie in WA and various locations across Tasmania.

The ideas originated at the 2016 ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit, and all deal with big issues affecting young Australians, such as mental health and healthy lifestyles, revitalizing small towns, the impact of drugs, anti-racism, youth disengagement, gender equality, LGBTQI wellbeing and accessibility challenges for people with a disability.

The diverse projects involve a mix of social enterprises, community events, exchange programs, mentoring, social media, education and advocacy campaigns.

Fitina Maulidi was a 2016 Heywire winner from Shepparton, Victoria, and was part of the group that developed the Magnify Mentoring idea. It involves connecting teenagers in their final years of high school with a local mentor who can support them in making the transition from school to further study or into rural industries. She’s also one of the recipients of a grant to implement the idea, having teamed up with Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Inc to apply for a grant.

“I was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and spent time in a refugee camp, before coming to Australia. In the camp, children didn’t have access to education and living in Australia, I have realised that a lot of kids take education for granted. So I’m excited that we’ll be able to implement this idea to help disengaged kids to see the opportunities that are all around them, by connecting them with mentors who’ve been through similar things,” Fitina said.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants are special because it allows community groups to come together with young people in their communities.

“Each of the projects we are funding today involves young people in their community. These grants allow local leaders to implement ideas that have been developed by young people to address the issues that matter to them in a way that other young people believe will resonate well. Hopefully it will be the start of ongoing relationships, and a voice for young people,” Ms Egleton said.

“We congratulate all the groups that have received grants – they have a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference in their community. The 35 Heywire projects we’ve funded in the past have made a big difference in their communities, with some sparking a national movement. So we are really looking forward to seeing these projects implemented and the legacy that they leave.”



Grant Amount

Idea / Project

Eurobodalla Youth Committee

(Eurobodalla Shire Council)

Moruya, NSW


Back to Bush

Production of a youth led tourism campaign and materials to encourage visitors to experience rural, regional and remote communities through a local’s eyes, by showcasing the hidden gems of the region.

Hindmarsh Shire Council

Nhill, VIC


District Council of Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy, SA


Cooking for Cohesion

Increasing understanding and tolerance in regional communities through the delivery of a program whereby young people work with local home cooks from different ethnic backgrounds in practical and interactive educational workshops.

Illawarra Sports High School

Wollongong, NSW


Snowy Monaro Regional Council

(Cooma-Monaro Shire Council)

Cooma, NSW


The Roman Catholic Trust Corporation for the Diocese of Rockhampton – Emmaus College

North Rockhampton, QLD


Northern Grampians Shire Council

Stawell, VIC


Dot 2 Dot

A volunteering and community engagement project that enables young people, who may be disconnected because of isolation, disability or mental health, to gain valuable skills, which can open doors to future employment and other opportunities.

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Kalgoorlie-Boulder, WA


Magnify Mentoring

A mentoring program to connect young, local role models with students in their community, to help the students continue educational engagement and reach their own definitions of success. 

Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Ltd

Shepparton, VIC


South Coast Beef Producers Assn Inc

Nowra, NSW


Gladstone & District Christian Broadcasting Assn Inc

Gladstone, QLD


No Limits Network

A job network event with a difference – bringing together young people with a disability and local employers at a an inspiring and empowering event, showcasing speakers who have excelled in their field and happen to have a disability and practical advice, such as tips for employers to create disability-friendly workplaces.

Greater Hume Shire Council

Culcairn, NSW


Operation Defrost

A media project that creates a safe place for young people who have experienced ice abuse in their families to publicly share their stories, helping to build understanding and support within regional communities and to combat the spread of ice.

Uniting Communities Inc

Mount Gambier, SA


Goulburn Mulwaree Council

Goulburn, NSW



RAGE (Rural Australians for Gender Equality) is a youth led event for the whole community which celebrates people in rural, regional and remote Australia who are pushing back against the expectations of traditional gender roles – showcasing and sharing experiences of living with and overcoming the constraints of gender expectations.

Mitchell Shire Council

Seymour, VIC


Young Leaders in Livingstone

 (Livingstone Shire Council)

Yeppoon, QLD


Mansfield Shire Council

Mansfield, VIC



A series of Podcasts to connect LGBTQIA teens in rural, regional and remote communities via conversations by LGBTQIA people and straight allies. The youth led project will work to normalise queer issues and invite listeners from all backgrounds to tune in and contribute.

Regional Youth Support Services Inc

Gosford, NSW


Working it Out Inc

Various, TAS