Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

ANZ and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) have awarded $250,000 in grants to 20 regional community groups and not-for-profit organisations through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program.

ANZ celebrates 20 years of Seeds of Renewal by awarding 20 grants to rural communities

Jenefer Stewart, ANZ General Manager Business Banking, said: “We understand small communities face unique challenges in terms of access to services and community facilities. Programs like Seeds of Renewal aim to support these communities by funding projects that address some of these challenges.

“This year is really special as it marks 20 years of ANZ delivering Seeds of Renewal. In that time, we have provided more than $5.5m to around 900 community groups to build vibrant and sustainable rural communities and ensure the ongoing prosperity of regional Australia,” Ms Stewart said.

The 2022 program supported remote, rural and regional communities across Australia to improve their town’s environmental sustainability; increase financial wellbeing in communities, particularly those with disadvantaged or minority groups; or improve housing access for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness and for people living with a disability; and other projects that help communities to thrive.

FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that long-term partnerships like this mean that community groups know that there will be funding available to help them respond to the myriad of challenges and opportunities that they face now, and in the future.

“These communities are extremely resilient and self-reliant but sometimes they need support to help them bring their ideas to fruition. Partnerships like the one that FRRR has had with ANZ over the last 20 years mean that they know that funding will be available, and so they can plan and work toward improving their community for the challenges ahead. We greatly appreciate ANZ’s ongoing support and look forward to it continuing for many years to come,” Ms Egleton said.

Since being established in 2003, ANZ Seeds of Renewal has awarded $5.5 million to around 900 projects. Some examples of the 20 projects funded this year include:

Environmental Sustainability

  • Narrabri Shire Community Radio Incorporated, Narrabri, NSW – Install Roof Top Solar Panels and Battery. Boost organisational capacity using green solar energy to reduce emissions and operation costs at Narrabri community radio station. $15,000

Financial Wellbeing

  • Australian Agricultural Centre, Crookwell, NSW – Australian Agricultural Centre Limited Youth AG Activation. Provide key skills training to increase employability of young people in Crookwell in agriculture. $15,000

Housing Access

  • Phoenix Place Inc, Mackay, QLD – Teen and Adult Social Connection Space. Enable people living with a disability in Mackay to access a drop in social space for connecting with peers. $8,900

Thriving Communities

  • Hub Foundation Castlemaine Limited, Castlemaine VIC – YIMBY Gymby. Boost the capacity of backyard composting through engaging young volunteers to support older community members in Castlemaine. $11,330

The full list of the recipients is below.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Adelong Community Enterprises IncAdelong LPO Sustainable Energy & Education
Strengthen Adelong community social enterprise with solar and battery installations to enhance operations and develop local understanding of alternative energy.
Adelong $15,000
Australian Agricultural Centre LimitedYouth AG Activation
Provide key skills training to increase employability of young people in Crookwell in agriculture.
Crookwell $15,000
Key Employment Association LimitedFreedom to Participate
Increase disability access to outdoor spaces with all terrain mobility equipment and vehicles to be made available in Kempsey.
Kempsey $13,688
Narrabri Shire Community Radio IncorporatedInstall Roof Top Solar Panels and Battery
Boost organisational capacity using green solar energy to reduce emissions and operation costs at Narrabri community radio station.
Narrabri $15,000
Wardell Community Organised Resilience Effort IncGrow Well Wardell
Support local food production via garden support initiatives enabling capability and building resilience.
Wardell $15,000
Weddin Landcare Steering Committee IncorporatedVaughn's Dam Reserve Masterplan
Enhance the understanding and appreciation of Vaughn's Dam Reserve with a masterplan to guide environmentally sustainable management.
Grenfell $5,400
NORTHERN TERRITORY
The Trustee for Karrkad-Kanjdji TrustPreserving Anbinik Rainforests Through Indigenous Fire Management
Sustain the endemic anbinik rainforest species in Arnhem land by employing indigenous rangers for fire management and ecosystem preservation.
West Arnhem $15,000
QUEENSLAND
Bayside Transformations LtdBayside Transformations - Enterprise Development
Improve social enterprise operations of Bayside Transformations Op Shop and Vegie Supply with storage containers and kitchen equipment increasing security and productivity.
Hervey Bay $15,000
Eacham Community Help Organisation IncNeighbourhood House Community Demonstration Garden
Build community resilience by establishing a community garden to educate and engage Eacham community members.
Malanda $9,340
Johnstone Region Landcare Group IncConstruction of Potting Shed
Increase capacity for volunteers to pot trees that deliver benefits to environmental initiatives in the Johnstone Region.
Innisfail $15,000
Phoenix Place IncTeen and Adult Social Connection Space
Enable people living with a disability in Mackay to access a drop in social space for connecting with peers.
Mackay $8,900
Warwick Community Kindergarten Association IncUpgrade Solar Power System
Upgrade solar installation at Warwick Kindergarten to support environmental sustainability and affordable local early childhood learning opportunities.
Warwick $14,500
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Wilmington Bowling Club IncorporatedWilmington Bowling Club Inc - Facilities Rejuvenation
Rejuvenate the facilities at Wilmington Bowls Club to sustain operations for broad community engagement.
Wilmington $2,340
TASMANIA
King Island Landcare Group Building Community Capacity to Restore Native Vegetation and Monitor Impacts of Restoration Effort
Building community capacity to restore native vegetation and monitor impacts of restoration efforts at King Island.
Currie $14,766
VICTORIA
Heyfield Community Resource Centre IncFinancial Wellbeing for Women in Remote Rural Communities: Wellington & East Gippsland Shires
Build capability and confidence by providing practical financial literacy skills and awareness training to women in East Gippsland.
Maffra $13,728
Hub Foundation Castlemaine LimitedYIMBY Gymby
Boost the capacity of backyard composting through engaging young volunteers to support older community members in Castlemaine.
Castlemaine $11,330
Rex Theatre Museum LimitedCascade of Culture –A Roadmap for Rural Creative Diversity
Build a vision for community vibrancy and sustainability by developing a 10 year roadmap for community activity at the Charlton Rex Theatre.
Charlton $10,000
Strengthening Goldfields Community Radio IncorporatedGoldfieldsfm, Music Powered by the Sun
Boost environmental sustainability and reduce operations costs by installing solar panel at the community radio station.
Daisy Hill $13,581
The Fringe Thing IncThriving: Castlemaine Fringe Supports Youth & Disability Arts
Engagement Create opportunities for young people and people with a disability to participate in arts projects that inspire and engage the community.
Castlemaine $12,600
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Mission Australia The Women’s House, Free from Domestic Violence
Provide fit out of accommodation to support women at risk of domestic violence and homelessness in remote WA.
Meekatharra $14,827

The small community of Bowen, on the north Queensland coast, is economically diverse, boasting agriculture, tourism, fishing and mining. Despite this, it experiences high levels of youth unemployment.

PCYC Bowen branch manager Sergeant Michelle O’Regan explains that having high youth unemployment does not necessarily mean a high youth crime rate, as some might assume, but it does present challenges for the community.

“We take a proactive approach by giving young people leadership and building their employability skills. We tap into local resources and connect schools with businesses to build that sense of community. They say it takes a village to raise a child, so our customer is the whole community – it’s about working together and opening up opportunities for both sides to connect,” said Sergeant O’Regan.

Seed funding

PCYC Queensland’s Greener Futures program aimed to support ten students from Bowen State High School gain hands-on experience in the horticulture industry and assist them to become more employable.

Four years ago, PCYC Queensland received $8,000 through FRRR’s ANZ Seeds of Renewal program to buy some basic equipment for the initiative.

“Without that initial funding, we would have never have got the program off the ground. While the program has evolved over time, looking back [the grant] was pivotal to where we are now,” Sergeant O’Regan explains.

She says that the long-term plan for Greener Futures was two-pronged; to expand quality employment opportunities in local industries for young people facing barriers in the labour market, and to strengthen the economic vitality of the local sector through strategic support and consumer education.

Sergeant O’Regan goes on to say that the initial funds were a catalyst for attracting further support and gave credibility to the initiative and what we were trying to achieve.

“The initial pilot program was a successful partnership between the high school, Stackelroth Farms, and Prospect Agriculture, with in-kind support from other local businesses and organisations that ensured the program’s success.

“This program morphed into the Resilience for life (R4L) program, which focussed on more the psychological wellbeing of our youth and attracted funds from Perpetual. From there R4L eventually became our now hugely successful WORKFit program. We received $20,000 in funds from the Queensland Government, which enabled us to employ a community development officer.

“But without the initial injection of funding from ANZ and support from FRRR, we would have struggled to get the pilot program up and running and, therefore, we would not have ended up with the program we are delivering now.

“All I know, when you build a house you need first the foundation. Small grants – five or six years later we look back and see that those funds were really pivotal to where we are now. We could never have pre-planned that.”

“There are multiple layers – from small things big things can grow. For example, if we don’t have a working kitchen, we can’t hold community events or run mental health awareness programs. A bus, even, can really make a big difference to a small community.”

The role of Philanthropy

Sergeant O’Regan believes that communities need to help themselves rather than being entirely reliant on money.

“The role of philanthropy is about giving that a bit of a boost. That confidence that what they are working towards is going to be beneficial.

“It should be a hand-up, not a hand-out. Some communities are reliant on money coming in from outside, rather than working together. If you want something, you have got to work towards it. Whether it is a raffle or something else. Our young people have put in around 5,000 hours – they really want to be part of what we do.”

Sergeant O’Regan explains that people want to help, but they don’t always know how. Corporates may not have the time or the connection within the community to initiate support, but by spending time with a group, they can often work out where they can help best.

“It’s not always about money. Support can be in time and expertise. For example, I would love to be able to connect with a good business mentor, who would give up a bit of their time, so I can share my vision and ideas.

“It is about working in partnership. Come and have a look, philanthropists – see for yourselves. Let’s work together.”

On Bigambul Country

Macintyre Ag Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation, is based in Goondiwindi, a four-hour drive west of Brisbane. They work collaboratively with the community to enhance agricultural productivity in the area and create healthy land, with the goal of passing on a more stable environment to the next generation.

With the help of a $10,365 FRRR grant through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program, Macintyre Ag Alliance was able to implement their Skilling Her Enterprise project. The project consisted of a series of workshops focused on upskilling regional women with the key skills they need to build and maintain successful off farm businesses. FRRR funds went toward the costs of some of the speakers who led the workshops as well as venue hire, catering, bookkeeping and admin.

Over a period of five months, three workshops were held which covered topics like business vision and direction, budget, bookkeeping, mindset and mental health, setting up for sustainable success and social media marketing.

At the time of the workshops, the area was being impacted by border closures. Goondiwindi is right on the NSW / QLD border, which meant that some of the women who had planned to attend were unable to make it in person. However, Macintyre Ag Alliance was able to adapt in order to make that particular workshop both an online event and an in-person event, which meant that everyone who wanted to was still able to benefit from the knowledge and insight that the speakers had to share.

It was a great opportunity to showcase some incredible local women, as both the attendees and speakers had a lot to contribute. It provided an opportunity for these women to come together, form a bond and support one another.

“We are most proud of the fact that these like-minded women are now connected through workshops that they all took part in. These sessions facilitated really wonderful and safe discussions and the women went away saying they felt more confident, empowered and motivated to make changes to the way they live their lives and run their businesses.”

Louise Carroll, Coordinator.

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

Located on the Eyre Peninsula is the town of Port Lincoln in South Australia. This is the home of essential organisations like Yarredi Services, whose purpose is to create a space where those who need assistance can receive it.

HEADING: Technology for Women's Wellbeing Hub. IMAGE: Yarredi Services

Yarredi Services works hard to support local women and children who are victims of domestic and family violence (DFV). Working in collaboration with the South Australian Police, local health services, Aboriginal health services and other not-for-profit agencies, Yarredi focuses on a diverse range of ways to address the needs of the people affected by DFV.

Founded in 1979, Yarredi Services currently works out of a centre that provides resources for their clients to take control of their own lives; the “Women’s Wellbeing and Safety Hub”. In partnership with ANZ, FRRR awarded Yarredi Services $5,184 through the Seeds of Renewal program, to fund the purchase of a range of laptops and office equipment to be used by clients.

The laptops at the centre will be in a safe environment where women and children can study, work, find housing and any other services they may need to access online. The benefit of using the laptops at the facility ensures a level of safety and privacy. According to Executive Officer Sharyn Potts, while access to technology can be empowering, it can also come with risks.“

Technology can be used to abuse or track individuals. It’s important our clients have access to computers and technology in an environment that’s supportive and informative. We want them to be able to put resumes together and manage their banking while learning information about how to avoid being tracked.”

Adapted from an article published by ANZ.

Applications are now open for ANZ’s Seeds of Renewal program, with grants of up to $15,000 available for not-for-profit organisations in remote, rural and regional areas to support the ongoing prosperity of regional Australia.

ANZ commits $250,000 to help rural and regional communities through Seeds of Renewal, a group of female volunteers standing around a metal table

Celebrating 20 years in 2022, the program is administered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and has provided more than $5 million to more than 800 community groups to help build vibrant and sustainable communities.

This year, the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program is offering a share of $250,000 to community organisations in remote, rural or regional locations for projects aligned to four focus areas: 

  • Environmental sustainability: initiatives that restore and conserve the natural environment or which contribute to lower carbon emissions, water stewardship and waste minimisation;
  • Financial wellbeing: particularly for under-represented and disadvantaged people in the community, including initiatives that improve economic participation. For example, building financial literacy and vocational skills and providing access to meaningful work;
  • Housing access: initiatives and programs that support those experiencing or at risk of homelessness or that provide supports for people living with disability; or
  • Projects that assist local communities to thrive.

ANZ Head of Agribusiness Mark Bennett said: “Now in its twentieth year, the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program has provided hundreds of groups in regional and rural Australia with funds to deliver projects to help their communities thrive. We are incredibly proud of the partnership and the contribution it has made to regional Australia,” Mr Bennett said.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said: “It’s been a particularly tough year for many rural communities, with the impacts of COVID on top of fires, floods and drought. Programs like ANZ Seeds of Renewal offer funding to help the local groups that are the backbone of their communities address local needs, issues and opportunities in a way that will help create stronger places to live and work.,” Ms Egleton said.

Last year, ANZ and FRRR provided grants to 21 community groups for projects including: upgrading a facility that improves financial outcomes for indigenous women and girls in Port Lincoln; improving community meeting space for people with a disability in Atherton; and educating students in Coffs Harbour on career opportunities in bee propagation and environmental sustainability.

Applications open on 5 July and close 5pm AEST, 3 August 2022.

A grantseeker workshop will be held online from 1 – 2pm AEST, 14 July 2022.

For more information about ANZ Seeds of Renewal, to apply for a grant or to register for the webinar, please visit FRRR’s website.

FRRR and ANZ have awarded $250,000 in grants to 22 regional community groups and not-for-profit organisations through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program.

ANZ Seeds of Renewal gives rural and regional communities a $250,000 boost

The 2021 program supported remote, rural and regional communities across Australia to: improve their town’s environmental sustainability; increase financial wellbeing in communities, particularly those with disadvantaged or minority groups; or improve housing access for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness or for people living with a disability.

Jenefer Stewart, ANZ General Manager Business Banking said: “Every year, we are impressed by the innovation and desire that these local groups have for the long-term stability and sustainability of their communities.

“Over the past 20 years ANZ Seeds of Renewal has helped more than 800 community groups bring local projects to life and it’s a program we are really proud of,” Ms Stewart said.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that these grants will give communities a much-needed boost by funding initiatives that will help to build vibrant and sustainable rural and regional communities.

“Thanks to our long-standing partnership with ANZ, we are able to fund projects that we know will make a big difference to small communities. Over the last 18 months the impacts of drought, fires, floods and COVID-19 have challenged the capacity of communities and the not-for-profit organisations that support them to thrive. 

“Gaining access to this funding will make a huge difference for these local organisations and their communities. The grants will allow them to implement initiatives that will address pressing issues and support their communities to experience better environmental, financial wellbeing and social outcomes in a time when they need it the most,” Ms Egleton said.

Since being established in 2003, ANZ Seeds of Renewal has awarded $5.25 million to more than 800 projects.

Some examples of the 22 projects funded this year include:

  • Agrifood Industry Training Advisory Body Ltd – Coffs Harbour, NSW – Bee Futures Environmental and Food Security Showcase – $12,100 Educating students on career opportunities in bee propagation and environmental sustainability through two hands-on showcases.
  • Yarredi Services Incorporated – Port Lincoln, SA – Women’s Wellbeing and Safety Hub Study Centre – $5,184Improve financial outcomes for indigenous women and girls by upgrading a facility to deliver programs.
  • Anam Cara House Colac Inc – Colac, VIC – Supporting South West Victoria’s Most Vulnerable – $15,000Improving quality of life and increasing access to care for elderly people and those who are vulnerable to homelessness by extending available respite support.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Agrifood Industry Training Advisory Body LtdBee Futures Environmental and Food Security Showcase
Educating students on career opportunities in bee propagation and environmental sustainability through two hands on showcases.
Coffs Harbour$12,100
Baradine Preschool IncorporatedBaradine Preschool - Daycare Provision
Enable community financial wellbeing through access to local childcare facilities to support working parents.
Baradine$11,116
PlantingSeeds ProjectsThe Bathurst B&B Highway
Foster environmental sustainability in communities by delivering biodiversity education and planting projects in the Bathurst region.
Bathurst$15,000
RED (Realising Every Dream) IncMoney Mates
Boost job readiness of people living with a disability in the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Kyogle regions by providing professional upskilling and mentoring programs over a 12 months period.
Lismore$5,979
The Shift Project Byron IncorporatedNgali Design Initiative
Create employment opportunities for women vulnerable to homelessness through supporting a social enterprise producing indigenous designed furnishing.
Byron Bay$9,544
UCA - Life Line MacarthurFinancial Counselling
Improve access to financial counselling through additional hours and promotion of services in small communities.
Goulburn$15,000
NORTHERN TERRITORY
The Trustee for Karrkad-Kanjdji TrustMayh Recovery Project - Protecting Culturally Important Species in West Arnhem Land
Protect and preserve culturally important species through supporting land management in Arnhem Land.
Kabulwarnamyo$15,000
QUEENSLAND
Condamine Headwaters Landcare Group Inc“Seeding” a Community Landcare Nursery
Boost environmental sustainability by developing environmental standards to develop a native plant nursery for the Condamine Headwaters region.
Warwick$14,985
Tableland Community Link Asssociation IncorporatedTableland Community Link Associated Incorporated - "The Grove" - Extension
Improve facilities to provide an inspired community meeting space for people with a disability.
Atherton$15,000
The South Burnett Pantry IncFood Hampers for 250
Help alleviate poverty through the provision of food hampers.
Kingaroy$2,418
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Yarredi Services IncorporatedWomen's Wellbeing and Safety Hub Study Centre
Create a safe environment where Indigenous women and girls can access a range of services to improve financial outcomes at Yarredi Services' "Women's Wellbeing and Safety Hub".
Port Lincoln$5,184
VICTORIA
Anam Cara House Colac IncSupporting South West Victoria's Most Vulnerable - Those with Chronic Illness and Housing Vulnerability to Live Their Lives in Safety and with Dignity
Improving quality of life and increasing access to care for elderly people vulnerable to homelessness through extending available respite support.
Colac$15,000
Health Futures Australia LtdSHIFT Young Growers for our Future
Build capability to enable agriculture employment for young people.
Daylesford$14,100
Progressing Cobden IncSustainable Economic Recovery and Growth for Cobden - Stage 2
Supporting economic recovery through implementing strategies to develop tourism and support business in Cobden.
Cobden$15,000
Terang RSL Sub BranchInstallation of 13.32kWp Solar Panels
Increase cost efficiency to support community facility with installation of solar panels.
Terang$7,490
The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation IncThe Post COVID19 Western Victorian Aboriginal Tutorial Program
Improve educational outcomes for indigenous children impacted by Covid-19 through literacy support.
Ballarat$10,000
The Old Colonists Association of VictoriaNet Zero Carbon Retirement Community
Improve environmental sustainability by supporting a retirement community to achieve net zero emissions.
Euroa$14,320
Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club IncProtection of Native Flora and Fauna through Installation of Waste Management Measures
Improve environmental standards within the community by protecting native flora and fauna through installation of waste management measures.
Cape Woolamai$11,364
Woorndoo Land Protection GroupSurveying and Diversifying Significant and Restored Native Vegetation in the Woorndoo District, South West Victoria
Improve environmental standards with drone survey and community revegetation planting project.
Woorndoo$9,700
Yarra Valley Ecoss IncCrops for Community to Market
Supporting local programs and initiatives that improve financial wellbeing through training all abilities volunteers for community market operations.
Wesburn$15,000
Zoe Support AustraliaLittle Sprouts Op Shop & Café
Support volunteer run social enterprise operations to improve women and children's life outcomes by funding the retail shop space.
Mildura$15,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
York Branch Wildflower Society of WA Wildflower Society of Western Australia IncEnvironmental Discovery Centre Equipment
Boost organisational capacity through the provision of information technology equipment and software.
York$1,700

Arakwal Country

Founded in 2015, The SHIFT Project Byron is a short-term educational transition program for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Five staff, 12 volunteers and a governing committee of seven oversee the program that supports women navigate the challenges from homelessness to independence.

Lack of financial stability and economic independence are major factors contributing to homelessness, and SHIFT wanted to disrupt these persistent challenges in the Byron area, increase financial wellbeing, employability, and community connection through their new project – The Linen SHIFT.

The Linen SHIFT is an innovative social enterprise laundry service, providing transitional employment coupled with training, mentoring, and skill development to help disadvantaged women sustainably enter the workforce. Programs run for between three and 12 months, adapting to the unique needs of individual women, including employment offers / shift times for mothers and accommodating physical capability. Community connections are fostered through the CWA, and SHIFT employs a qualified support worker to assist participants to achieve their individual goals, address housing needs and underlying hardships.  

The SHIFT Project applied to the ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant program at a critical point in its growth. The program was running as a small-scale, in-house opportunity for homeless women living at the SHIFT Project’s residential property in Byron Bay. The social enterprise model will allow for the program to be sustainable and self-funded in the long-term, but they needed initial funding to expand and relocate to a commercial venue, to meet increasing demand for participation from local vulnerable women. Several funders contributed to the project, including FRRR’s  $14,265 grant to purchase an ironing roller.

The program successfully launched in March 2020 and thrived during the uncertain times of COVID. Fourteen women were employed over 10 months and provided with income and stability. The program has been supported by regular customers, and the business has been at capacity and is now planning to expand.

Letters of support from clients of SHIFT give glowing reviews about its management and impact. Elizabeth Jackson, President of Liberation Larder wrote: “The SHIFT Project has shown they are intelligent, creative, hard-working & reliable in their approach to growing their service for the benefit of women at risk of homelessness. With each new project they add to the social fabric of our community.”

The SHIFT Project takes pride in the community they have created, and with very good reason.

“Our women have provided feedback that since joining our team they feel safe, connected, encouraged and valuable – directly addressing the isolation and low self-esteem that poverty can generate.”

Anne Goslet, Managing Director The Linen SHIFT

And they are set to make an even bigger impact, with projections that in five years the project could support upward of 100 women to shift from disadvantage to independence.

Applications are now open for ANZ’s Seeds of Renewal program, with grants of up to $15,000 available for not-for-profit organisations in remote, rural and regional areas to support the ongoing prosperity of regional Australia.

ANZ commits $250,000 to help rural and regional communities through Seeds of Renewal

Established in 2003 and administered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), the program has provided more than $5 million to more than 800 community groups to support local projects and help build vibrant and sustainable rural and regional communities.

In 2021, the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program is offering a share of $250,000 to community organisations in remote, rural or regional locations for projects that improve:

  • Environmental sustainability: initiatives that restore and conserve the natural environment or which contribute to lower carbon emissions, water stewardship and waste minimisation
  • Financial wellbeing: particularly for under-represented and disadvantaged people in the community, including initiatives that improve economic participation. For example, building financial literacy and vocational skills and providing access to meaningful work
  • Housing access: initiatives and programs that support those experiencing or at risk of homelessness or that provide supports for people living with disability

ANZ General Manager Business Banking Jenefer Stewart said: “The ANZ Seeds of Renewal program has been providing grants to regional and rural Australia for nearly 20 years. Each year I look forward to seeing the difference the grants are able to make in these communities, many of which find it difficult to access the resources they need to grow, develop and prosper,” Ms Stewart said.

Last year, ANZ and FRRR provided grants to 26 community groups for projects including regenerating bushfire affected land in Kangaroo Island, crisis accommodation for at risk indigenous communities in Gunnedah and supporting the economic empowerment of refugees placed in Bendigo. These were some of the projects that shared in $250,000 cash, and a further $18,000 in IT equipment provided by ANZ’s technology partner Lenovo.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said: “With the cumulative impacts of drought, fires, floods and COVID-19, raising funds locally is extremely challenging in smaller communities, so access to grants is more important than ever. We encourage community groups to consider the funding opportunity that Seeds of Renewal can provide to address local issues such as improving the facilities that are available locally. This aligns with the Housing access theme that seeks to enable people to live well in place, particularly people with a disability” Ms Egleton said.

Applications open on 8 July and close 5pm AEST, 11 August 2021.

Warddeken, an Aboriginal owned not-for-profit company, combines traditional ecological knowledge with Western science to manage and protect one of Australia’s most unique environments.

Warddeken daluk (women) rangers Theona Namarnyilk and Suzannah Nabulwad setting monitoring cameras.


Arnhem Land covers 97,000 sq km of the top end of the Northern Territory.

During the second half of the twentieth century, many Traditional Owners were encouraged to move away from either remote parts of Arnhem Land and join missions, or larger communities to search for more ‘traditional’ work opportunities.

As a result, many parts of the area were left without people and ‘Country was orphaned’ – the term used for land without its people.

Over a number of decades fine-scale fire management was replaced by raging yearly wildfires, feral animals and invasive plants severely impacting the native species.

The plants and animals that make up the local ecosystems had previously evolved to rely on Bininj (the Aboriginal people of Western Arnhem Land), however the disruption in traditional Indigenous land management diminished the ecosystem and led to plummeting numbers of small to medium–weight mammals. This included culturally important species like djabbo / northern quoll and bakkadji / black-footed tree-rat. Refugia, including rainforest patches shrunk and fresh-water places were destroyed.

Getting things back on track

Warddeken is an Aboriginal-owned, not-for-profit company that combines traditional ecological knowledge with Western science to manage and protect one of Australia’s most unique environments.

Warddeken operates out of the remote homeland communities of Kabulwarnamyo, Manmoyi and Mamadawerre in west Arnhem Land. Each year up to 180 Indigenous rangers work on a variety of projects including fire management and carbon abatement, invasive weed and feral animal control, rock art conservation, education and cultural heritage management. 

In 2010 Aboriginal Elders from the Warddeken and Djelk IPAs established the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust to seek philanthropic sources of funding for land management and cultural projects.

Last year, they received a $15,000 Seeds of Renewal grant from ANZ and FRRR to help fund a network of cameras that look into the prevalence of djabbo (northern quoll) on the land to understand the impact of its own land management practices and programs on this priority mammal species.

Students in a classroom with their teacher learning about science.
Djabbo (Northern Quoll), an endangered species caught on camera in the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area.

Curbing the decline

Djabbo populations identified by the monitoring project are actively considered in annual early burning and wildfire suppression activities, and are targeted for further investigation for the purposes of building population resilience.

With meaningful involvement and employment of landowners and rangers, Warddeken will seek to define quoll and major predator feral cat population density and distribution to inform the design of predator suppression strategies if required.

Indigenous rangers, living and working on Country, are best placed to curb the decline in native biodiversity loss and improve habitat for future generations.

Rangers in West and Central Arnhem Land tirelessly blend Indigenous ecological knowledge and western science to control threats and help native species begin to thrive in their natural environment.

CEO of Karrkad Kanjdji Trust, Stacey Irving says “Warddeken’s vision is to have healthy people living and working on healthy country. The generous support of the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program is helping rangers care for species like the Djabbo.’’

Terrah Guymala, Senior Warddeken Ranger adds, “When we, Bininj people, see animals, we get excited because they play a big role in our life through our ceremonies.

“This year we have seen lots of animals that we love, but we hope this number increases so we can physically show our children rather than relying on rock art to tell the stories,” Terrah says.

ANZ General Manager Business Banking Jenefer Stewart says the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program has been providing grants for important initiatives in regional and rural Australia for nearly 20 years.

“Each year I look forward to seeing the difference the grants are able to make in these communities, many of which find it difficult to access the resources they need to grow, develop and prosper,” she says.

Written by Karly Dwyer, ANZ

‘Inspiring a curious community’ is the vision of Peel Bright Minds. Working in Western Australia’s Peel region, the organisation is particularly focused on stimulating increased engagement in ESTEAM (entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) activities, to foster a community that is positioned to up-skill and re-skill in the rapidly changing world and workforce. Population growth in the Peel region has been considerable in the past 10 years, driven by the mining boom, however the  unemployment rate is higher than average, and local research identified a mismatch between the career choices and attitudes of young people and those careers currently available.

Peel Bright Minds applied to the ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant program In conjunction with Regional Development Australia – Peel) to develop and promote a series of multimedia-based local employment success stories, to provide higher awareness of locally available career pathways and inspire local high school students.

Following focus group discussion with some local year 9 and 10’s, Peel Bright Minds selected five young local STEM professionals, storyboarded the films in collaboration with a local business, and conducted on location filming and interviews.

The five videos are available to view on YouTube, they are 2 – 3 minutes each and feature inspiring stories of the STEM journeys of town planner Sarah, Edutech business creator Sam, engineer Katie, pharmacist Brett, and Reece who works in protected species management.

The project launch event in Mandurah in November 2019 opened with a keynote from Prof. Lyn Beazley, former Chief Scientist of WA, and was attended by 49 community members. Project Co-ordinator, Sarah Curran Ragan, said the audience was engaged with the films and the Q and A’s with the films’ stars.

“The event was widely praised for being informative and uplifting and bringing a sense of pride to the community of Peel.”

The launch of the videos was promoted on local radio and shared widely on social media. A school’s pack has been developed to be used as a discussion prompt for teachers alongside the videos.

“The project has been very well received in the community. Peel Bright Minds could not have run the project without FRRR support. We have already made further plans to increase the films exposure in Peel schools, careers fair and other opportunities throughout Peel”

The videos will be shared through the Peel Bright Minds wide network of regional development and employment organisations across five local government areas, and Careers Advisers and Heads of Year in High Schools will be engaged to view the video with their students and discuss the stories and opportunities with them. The videos are expected to reach approximately 5,000 young people, educators and youth career influencers, contributing to the building of a highly skilled and high performing workforce, with fresh minds and innovative approaches to business for the Peel region.