More than $30,000 awarded to youth-led projects by rural Trailblazers

Media releases (soft launch): 31 August 2023

In partnership with the Sally Foundation and the ABC, FRRR has awarded $33,350 in grants to eight youth-led community projects in remote, rural and regional Australia as part of the Trailblazers program. The young people have partnered with local community organisations to receive the grants.

Project Vulcan participants
Self Help Workshop Inc is a 2023 grant recipient for Project Vulcan: a play by disabled artists about climate action and disability rights.

Through a Giving Sub-Fund, the Sally Foundation partners with FRRR to ensure that funding reaches groups and young people in all corners of the country. The priority of this fund is to invest in young regional leaders to build their leadership skills, and their capacity to make a difference in their communities. To achieve this, FRRR leverages our networks across rural and regional communities, draws on our expertise and systems to administer grant rounds, and provides skill development through workshops and direct one-on-one support around project development, grant writing, and understanding eligibility criteria.

Geraldine Roche of the Sally Foundation said, “The overall aim is to boost the skills of these emerging leaders to take on future funding opportunities with confidence and experience behind them.”

This year, Trailblazers attended the annual ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit, where they received leadership and communications training and presented their projects on ABC radio and at Parliament House. Trailblazers from the 2022 and 2023 cohorts were then invited to apply for grants, funded through the Sally Foundation’s Trailblazers Development Fund, to help them bring their project ideas to life, or to help take their existing projects to the next level.

Joanna Kemp, FRRR’s Philanthropic Services Manager, said that young people are an integral part of of the process.

“There were three Trailblazer alumni on the Advisory Panel for this round of funding, and two of them had previously received grants through this fund, so their input is invaluable. They were able to draw on their Trailblazer experience and bring a youth-focused perspective to the process. Not only that, but they can speak from the perspective of being young people who live in regional areas.

“I’m always inspired by their curiosity and thoughtfulness about each application. They include constructive feedback for the applicants to help them continue building their grant writing skills for future funding opportunities. Equally, their experience on the panel is a great opportunity for them to learn about the grant process from a funding perspective, which broadens their view of the whole cycle,” Ms Kemp said

In this round, we saw some recurring themes. It’s clear that young people are eager to grow awareness around disability, environment and social inclusion. They are also wanting more access STEM activities that are delivered in a fun and engaging way. Two of the grantees this year were also successful in the 2022 round and their new projects continue to build on their activities, this time in a collaboration that will see them visiting schools in remote and rural Queensland towns and bringing their hands on programs to raise awareness and exposure to STEM learning and aviation pathways.

Receiving a grant through the program can help to build confidence for these young people to continue their leadership journey and be a springboard to further funding opportunities. You can see the full list of grant recipients below.

Now I Can Run IncRacerunner's Take Over Aus
Grow awareness and participation of people living with disabilities to participate in physical activity through a coaching course and training activities.
Various locations$4,950
RoboCoast Sunshine Coast Robotics AssociationRed Dirt Robotics
Increase access to STEM learning and activities for children in remote and regional Queensland through transport costs and repairs for touring education program.
Various locations $4,237
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (Queensland Section) LimitedTrailblazer Tour - Aviatrix Australia x Red Dirt Robotics 3 month QLD Tour
Improve awareness and exposure to STEM learning and aviation pathways for children in remote and regional Queensland communities through an outback educational tour of schools.
Various locations $6,907
Now I Can Run IncFighting Island State Tasmania (FIST)
Improve social connections, reduce isolation and grow a connected community for people interested in Esports through the first Tasmanian Esports major competition.
Self Help Workshop IncProject Vulcan - A Play by Disabled Artists about Climate Action and Disability Rights!
Raise awareness about climate change, disability and inclusiveness through a touring theatre production across Tasmania and Victoria featuring actors with disabilities.
Launceston $6,660
Gnarly NeighboursGnarly STEM
Increase access to STEM based activities for youth in Seymour, Victoria, through purchase of IT equipment to expand activities at local youth centre.
Lake Boga Waterski ClubLake Boga Bank 2 Bank
Improve social connections, health and wellbeing of young people and the wider community in the Swan Hill area through an annual community event at Lake Boga, Victoria.
Lake Boga$2,000
Forrest Personnel LtdWings Without Barriers
Raise awareness and acceptance of autism across remote, rural and regional communities through a solo light plane tour around Australia by Hayden McDonald visiting communities to share information about living and thriving with autism.
Various locations $1,500