More than $250,000 in grants to seed 27 rural community initiatives

Media releases: 5 December 2018

Bendigo, 5 December 2018: The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced that 27 community groups will share in $250,000 in community grants, plus a further $12,990 in IT equipment, through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal Program.

The funds donated by ANZ and the IT equipment provided by Lenovo will help build vibrant and sustainable rural communities, ensuring regional Australia’s ongoing prosperity.

FRRR Chief Executive Officer, Natalie Egleton said the aim of the grants was to empower regional communities to build a strong and sustainable future, and to kick-start many of the great ideas that exist in regional and rural Australia.

“This year most requests were for funds to help purchase infrastructure and equipment, particularly IT equipment. Another strong theme was knowledge and skills development – from vocational skills that lead to employment opportunities, through to performing arts.

“The range of groups receiving funding is a great example of the diverse needs in rural, regional and remote communities, and reinforces why flexible programs like ANZ Seeds of Renewal are so important for building strong, vibrant and sustainable communities.”

ANZ General Manager of Business Banking, Isaac Rankin, said the program played an important role in supporting regional Australia, with $4.6 million invested by ANZ since 2003 to help more than 800 community groups achieve their goals.

“Many small communities rely on locally-led projects to engage community members and to provide a sense of place and inclusiveness,” Mr Rankin said.

“ANZ believes vibrant communities are diverse and inclusive with facilities and programs that are accessible to everyone. We proudly support communities to innovate, expand and create opportunities that will deliver economic sustainability.”

Since its inception, Seeds of Renewal grants have contributed to a variety of initiatives in communities of fewer than 15,000 people, including the development of social enterprises, education, training and mentoring programs, and improving community facilities.

Some of the locally-led projects funded this round include:

  • Arapiles Community Theatre Inc, VIC – $13,856 – By establishing a small recycling plant that converts used plastic items into material for 3D printers, the community of Natimuk will reduce its environmental impact, as well as support the local economy. The recycling plant, 3D printers and laser cutters will be part of a Maker’s Space where local artists and community members can produce art or functional items, such as replacement parts for agricultural equipment. Students at Natimuk Primary School will also learn about the challenges posed by plastic waste by exploring creative responses / solutions to the challenge.
  • The CAD Factory, NSW – $10,000 – 15 artists with learning disabilities will work with artists from five Riverina organisations to develop and present a professional two-day exhibition. This project will encourage inclusion and discussions about intellectually disabled artists and the cultural vibrancy that they bring to their regions.
  • Warwick Development Group Inc, QLD – $2,710 – This project will facilitate the third annual Bunya Festival, an event that invites non-Indigenous people to engage and learn from others from the Indigenous community and form ongoing relationships. The festival will include workshops on using fire for land management, dance, ecology, native fauna and native plant foods.
  • Keith Area School, SA – $9,677 – This school is establishing a farm to plate project, engaging students from foundation through to Year 12. Students will be involved in all aspects of the project from growing and cooking food to running a micro-business. Students will receive leadership opportunities and develop new skills, including horticulture, land management, food hygiene and budgeting.

The full list of grant recipients is below.





Bega Valley Meals on Wheels Co-operative Ltd

Computers for Meals on Wheels

Enhance organisational capcity through the acquisition of two Lenovo Yoga laptops.


Byron Youth Service Inc.

Cottage Connect

Improve service delivery for disadvantaged and at risk young people in Byron Shire through the purchase of five new computers.


Dunedoo Central Parents and Citizens Association

Growing Stronger Together

Increase community connection and support participation across the Dunedoo community through the creation of a community garden, outdoor yarning circle and an Indigenous art program for students.


The CAD Factory

YIELD – changing attitudes and access barriers faced by regional artists with intellectual disability

Supporting artists with learning disabilities to develop their skills through training and a final exhibition, that will encourage inclusion and discussions about intellectually disabled artists and the cultural vibrancy that they can bring to their regions.


Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Lands Council

Wanaruah IT Systems Management Project

Enhance organisational capacity of the Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Lands Council through acquisition of two new computers, a laptop, three Microsoft Office licenses, product care and application development training for a staff member.



Artists of Ampilatwatja

Update IT for Art Centre

Build economic strength and sustainability of, and skills development within, this remote community, through purchase of IT equipment for use within the arts centre.


Shepherdson College

Trade Training Development Program

Promote community health, cohesion and engagement, through establishment of a community garden with shade-house, raised garden beds, repair café and community seating area.



Charters Towers Regional Men’s Shed Inc

Men’s Shed Expansion

Reduce isolation and encourage engagement through the construction of an awning at the Charters Towers Regional Men’s Shed.


Gympie District Show Society Inc

Gympie Show Registration Computers –  Capacity Increase

Build capacity of the Gympie District Show Society by acquiring three new Lenovo laptops to expedite the registration process for the annual Gympie Show.


Just Us Theatre Ensemble

Dare to Dream – tour and residency program in rural and remote Far North Queensland

Provide inspiration and skill development, whilst promoting self-confidence and community pride, in remote communities in Far North QLD through a 10 week Indigenous touring and theatre residency program.


Warwick Development Group Inc

Bunya Festival

Promote cultural awareness, education and cross-cultural engagement by holding an Indigenous-led festival and burning workshops in Warwick.



Berri Barmera Landcare

Educate, Participate, Protect and Conserve – Berri Barmera and Beyond

Improve organisational capacity to meet its stated aims and deliver community-based environmental programs through the acquisition of two Lenovo devices.


Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association Inc

Lenovo for Local Action – an IT upgrade to help GWLAP work on the ground

Improve organisational capacity to deliver environmental projects in collaboration with the local community, through the acquisition of three Lenovo devices.


Keith Area School

Farm to Plate

Strengthen educational outcomes for students through an extension of the school’s agriculture program involving the development of a gardening and cooking program that will be sustained by a micro-business selling fresh produce.


Kornar Winmil Yunti Aboriginal Corporation

KWY Port Augusta Aboriginal Women’s Strength and Resilience Support program

Improve health, education, social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal women, their families and the wider community through the delivery of a pilot program supporting the healing of intergenerational trauma caused by family and domestic violence.


The Beltana Progress Association Inc

Beltana Tourism Hub – Appreciating  the Flinders through history and art

Strengthen economic development and community resilience through the upgrade of an historic building for use as a gallery and function space, driving tourism and community engagement and participation.


Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group Inc

Uni Hub Spencer Gulf

Strengthen the local workforce and economy by supporting further education and life-long learning, through the development of a well-equipped university hub.



Jordan River Service Inc

Computers for Community

Build organisational capacity to deliver computer-based vocational training and services through an upgrade of IT equipment, improving the community’s ability to access online services and opportunities.



Arapiles Community Theatre Inc

Plastic Fantastic

Reduce the environmental footprint and increase the creative capacity of the town by establishing a small plastic recycling plant as a part of a makers space which is open to local artists and the community.


Bass Coast Adult Education Centre Inc

From The Ground Up!

Strengthen economic participation of migrant communities in the local economy through the establishment of a multi-cultural food hub to be run as a social enterprise.


Girgarre Development Group Inc.

Girgarre Green Thumbs Propagation Hub

Strengthen capacity to develop and support community initiatives by generating income through the building of a plant nursery and propagation facility.


Grow Lightly Connect Ltd

Grow the Growers

Improve food sustainability, economic resilience and community health outcomes through contracting a project officer to support a fresh produce growers’ network during a period of organisational expansion.



‘Walking Together’ 2019 Aboriginal On Country Gathering

Strengthen the capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and philanthropy to work together to address challenges identified by the community as they move towards self-determination.



Fitzgerald Biosphere Group Inc

Out with the Old, in with the New!

Improve capacity of local environment group monitoring of weed control and disease management in highly significant biodiversity region, through IT upgrade and office furniture.


Friends of Pingelly Railway Station Inc.

Pingelly Station Restoration

Enhance community identity and strengthen the local economy through the restoration of the Pingelly Railway Station, creating a vibrant cultural hub for the local and tourist community.


Leschenault Catchment Council Inc

Seed Collection Equipment

Increase employment opportunities for Aboriginal community members and strengthen local conservation, through purchase of seed processing equipment for a seed collection social enterprise with a growing market.


Peel Bright Minds
Regional Development Australia Peel

Building local career aspirations in the Peel region

Build youth job seeker aspiration and promote employment pathways in the entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering arts and maths fields through five video productions of local youth employment success stories.