Cotton grants bearing fruit for local communities

Media releases: 13 December 2016

$450,000 distributed to 90 community groups over three years 

13 December, 2016: A further 30 not-for-profit and community organisations across cotton growing regions will benefit from a $5,000 boost just before the festive season, as the 2016 Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants are awarded again. $450,000 has now been distributed over the last three years across New South Wales and Queensland.

For three consecutive years, cotton farmers have nominated local not-for-profit or community organisations they think deserve one of the 30 grants on offer. Since it was first launched in 2014, the program, offered by the Monsanto Fund in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has benefited over 250,000 people directly and indirectly, by funding a diverse range of community-oriented projects.

“After three years, the true impact of these grants on our recipient communities is becoming more obvious,” Natalie Egleton, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) said.

“The nature of the projects funded offer sustained and wide-reaching benefits to the recipient communities,” Ms Egleton said.

“In 2015 alone, 150,000 people benefited from the projects supported by these grants, including over 6,000 farmers and 40,000 low-income individuals.  This year, we expect a further 268,000 to benefit as well.

“There is wide evidence to suggest that strong social capital enables communities to better withstand challenges including natural disasters, interruptions to local economies, and climate variables.

“Many of the projects funded through the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program – such as the upgrading of local community facilities, health services, education programs, community gardens and improvements to community engagement resources – reinforce this,” Natalie said.

Cotton Australia Chief Executive, Adam Kay, said it was fantastic to see another 30 diverse projects awarded grants, giving cotton growing communities an important boost just prior to Christmas.

“Over the last three years, we’ve seen the impact of these grants on the recipients themselves and their communities. In some cases, the grants have acted as seed funding, enabling organisations to get projects off the ground, or they’ve been the missing piece between a project going ahead or not.

“Going into the festive season, this year’s recipients can be confident they’ll be able to continue their good work into the new year, which is a real boost. We congratulate all of this years’ recipients and look forward to seeing what is accomplished this year,” Adam said.

Monsanto Fund Representative in Australia, Helen Maccan, said it is the cumulative impact of the grants over the last three years that tells the most compelling story about how they’re benefiting the community.

“Education and infrastructure projects have been prioritised by nominating farmers, suggesting that these communities have a great need for funds to support projects that will be enduring in the community.

“What this program has achieved over the last three years is quite remarkable with large populations benefiting. Congratulations to this year’s recipients,” Helen said.

Organisation and Project Summary





Biddeston Primary P&C Association

Purchase of an electronic whiteboard and projector, building engagement of students with educational technology and enhancing educational outcomes.




Blush Cancer Care Inc

Purchase of five iPads, preloaded with wellness, health and breast cancer recovery information, providing breast cancer patients with an invaluable resource during their chemotherapy treatment.




Borilla Community Kindergarten Association Inc

Construction of a solid shade structure over swings and a purchase of a water tank, encouraging sun safety and waterwise habits amongst young people.




C&K Dirranbandi Community Kindergarten

Culturally appropriate resources, promotional events and training for educators and the community, providing greater access and awareness to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community about the benefits of early education programs.




Care Goondiwindi Association

Installation of a vehicle access lift in the community bus, enabling residents who use mobility aids to attend community programs and medical appointments with ease.




Comet School of the Arts

Installation of signage along a historical walking trail, building a sense of pride for locals and visitors alike.




Dalby Day Nursery & Pre School Association Inc

Upgrade of children’s toilet and bathroom amenities, increasing hygiene and functionality and bringing the space up to regulatory standard.




Dirranbandi P-10 State School

Development of a sustainable locally based Agriculture Program, providing students with an in-depth knowledge of the industry followed by potential vocational and employment possibilities.




Jimbour State School P&C Association

Purchase and installation of a watering system and shade for the school’s vegetable garden and vegetable coop, building students’ understandings of healthy lifestyles and connecting with the curriculum.




Lions Club of Cecil Plains Inc

Establishment of an outdoor gymnasium in Henry Stuart Russell Park, building health and fitness across the Cecil Plains Community.

Cecil Plains



Rotary Club of Biloela

Purchase of a custom built trailer to permanently store and transport catering equipment, enabling Rotary to attend more fundraising events and secure volunteer safety.




St George Tennis Club

The replacement of a tennis ball machine and the provision of scholarships, enabling the continuation of the Hot Shots Program for young people, developing motor skills, physical agility and increasing engagement in Indigenous students.

St George



Toowoomba & District Down Syndrome Support Group Inc

Support for an annual family camp, promoting education, resilience and self-esteem amongst people with Down Syndrome and their families.





Anglicare Northern Inland Diocese of Armidale

Development of a specialised service program, assisting teen mothers and their support circle to develop a healthy family environment, improve school retention, teen’s self-esteem and future aspirations.




Baan Baa Community Hall Inc

Repairing the hall’s ceiling and internal paintwork, increasing the aesthetics, function and use of the hall.

Baan Baa



Bellata War Memorial Hall Committee Inc

Purchase and installation of evaporative air cooler, increasing the viability of the hall and building general community wellbeing during extreme summer months.




Boomi Amateur Thespian Society

Installation of a roof and storage container to safely and securely house performance costumes, props and sets, providing artistic opportunities for the community.




Bourke & District Children’s Services

Creation of an outdoor kitchen, encouraging a more stimulating environment and place to engage children with food and cooking activities.




Breeza Progress Association

Installation of a 24,000L rainwater tank at the Fire Brigade Shed, providing water for firefighting, tree watering and a backup supply for the Breeza Park toilets in times of drought.




Corinella Takes a Village

Refurbishment of community facility toilet block and repair of the sewerage system, improving hygiene and encouraging more use of the venue, attracting training, cultural and social activities.




CWA NSW – Burren Junction

Modernisation of the kitchen facilities and the paint and a refit of the nurse’s room, increasing the hire of rooms and enhancing the group’s main income of in-house catering.

Burren Junction



Gilgandra Show Society Inc

Provide support for local school students to attend show judging schools and competitions, increasing involvement in the show movement while building confidence, developing specialist skills and enabling personal growth.




Hay Public School P&C Association

Purchase of equipment for a school and community Perceptual Motor Program, assisting in the development of fine and gross motor skills and motor planning and coordination.




Moree Plains Gallery Society Inc

Purchase of materials for a local art program, furthering creative expression for disadvantaged participants in a safe environment.




Narromine We Run

Purchase of a commercial grade solar blanket for the community pool, extending the amount of time the pool can be used throughout the year for children’s learn to swim programs, Golden Oldies exercise classes and the general community.




Ooranga Family Mobile Resource Unit Association Inc

Purchase of educational resources, play equipment, furniture and electronic devices for the establishment of a mobile preschool, providing greater access to early education.




Paediatric and Maternity Support Inc

Contribution to the purchase of a Bilisoft Phototherapy System, enabling an effective treatment therapy for babies with jaundice.




Tharawonga Mobile Resource Unit (Gwydir Shire Council)

Installation of soft fall at Crooble Hall, enabling children to play outdoors, enhancing the development of gross motor and social skills.




TTF Western Rosella Trust

Updating old floor coverings and installing new outdoor shade sails at the local early learning centre, providing a safe floor inside and sun protection in the outdoor play area.




Warren Historical Society Inc

Undertaking urgent repairs to the hall floor and installation of an air-conditioner, improving safety for frail and ageing residents underfoot and increasing comfort for users of the facility during hot summer months.