Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

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.

17 November 2020: ANZ and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced 26 community groups across regional Australia will share $250,000 in grants.

The ANZ Seeds of Renewal program has been running since 2003 and in 2020 the program specifically focussed on supporting groups running projects to address environmental sustainability, financial wellbeing and accessible housing initiatives in remote, rural and regional Australia.

ANZ’s technology partner Lenovo contributed more than $18,000 in IT equipment to five community groups, which was in addition to the money ANZ provided.

This year special consideration was given to projects that were in bushfire affected areas, with eight of the 26 grants awarded to groups in those regions.

ANZ General Manager Business Banking Jenefer Stewart said: “Australia’s regional, remote and rural communities have been hit particularly hard this year with the pandemic and the bushfires and we are proud of our track record in supporting them with these grants.

“The applicants show a real passion for their local communities and we are honoured to play a small part in helping these important projects come to fruition and make a positive impact to people’s lives,” Ms Stewart said.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said it was inspiring to see so many groups finding innovative ways of practicing environmental sustainability in their communities and offering support to more vulnerable groups.

“The environment, housing equity and financial wellbeing, are national priority issues and are all critical to maintaining the social and economic vitality of rural Australia. It’s wonderful to partner with ANZ to provide this targeted support for local groups as they seek better ways for their communities to live,” Ms Egleton said.

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

  • Community Maker Space – Plastics rePurposed – Berry Springs, NT – $15,000 – Build community capability to recycle and repurpose plastic to address the environmental issues.
  • Gunbower & District Development Group Inc – Gunbower Lions Park Wetlands Project – Gunbower, VIC – $12,700 – Improve the environmental sustainability of community facilities by enhancing the native vegetation and habitat.
  • Pambula Beach Surf Life Saving Club Inc Environmental assessment for a healthy sustainable environment, and a fire-ready club and community – Pambula, NSW – $3,390 – Support community preparedness and environmental sustainability with review of habitat and use.
  • Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation- Responsive Emergency Accommodation Service – Gunnedah, NSW – $15,000 – Provide additional crisis accommodation support that enables the organisation to support those most in need and bring them back into systems for more permanent housing.
  • Sisterworks Inc – Remote Activities Project – Bendigo, VIC – $10,800 – Support the economic empowerment of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women in regional centres by addressing isolation issues.

The full list of recipients is below:

ApplicantsProject LocationGrant
Barnabas House Crisis Care Incorporated
Barnabas Community Garden and Composting Program
Build capability in program participants to improve environmental sustainability of community garden.
Pambula Beach Surf Life Saving Club Inc
Environmental assessment for a healthy sustainable environment, and a fire-ready club and community.
Support community preparedness and environmental sustainability with review of habitat and use.
Pambula Beach$3,390
National Indigenous Culinary Institute LimitedMuswellbrook Skills for Success Program
Provide training and mentoring opportunities for indigenous youth at risk to develop skills for employment in hospitality and agriculture. 
Early Links Inclusion Support Service IncorporatedTeen Life Skills
Develop the life skills of young people who live with a disability to improve their independent living capability.  
Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal CorporationResponsive Emergency Accommodation Service
Support individual and community housing access with additional crisis accomodation options.  
Western Murray Land Improvement Group Incorporated
Laptop resources contributing to vibrant and sustainable communities in the mid-murray region.
Build community capacity for youth and seniors with 3 laptops to develop IT and Employment skills
Tirkandi Inaburra Cultural & Development Centre Inc
Work Readiness Support
Build capability with access to 2 laptops for youth who are training for employability. 
Weddin Landcare Steering Committee Incorporated

Setting the Weddin Community Native Nursery up for Success with a Lenovo Laptop
Build organisational capacity to enhance environmental sustainable practice at the Weddin Community Native Nursery
The trustee for Karrkad-Kandji TrustMayh Recovery Project – protecting culturally important species in west Arnhem Land
Improve organisational capacity to protect biodiversity by monitoring vulnerable habitats in Arnhem Land.
Berry Springs School Council IncPlastics rePurposed – Community Maker Space
Build community capability to recycle and repurpose plastic to address the environmental issues.
Berry Springs$15,000
Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation Pty Ltd
Life Skills Development Program for Families and Women distressed with Domestic Violence (DV) and Homelessness
Support individual and community financial wellbeing with lifeskills programs for vulnerable women and families.
Mossman Botanic GardenToday’s seeds for tomorrow’s trees – Identification, collection and propagation of locally-sourced tropical, lowland rainforest trees.
Build organisational capacity by developing capability in classifying and preserving native habitats.
Daintree National Park
The Creche and Kindergarten Association LimitedSupporting Environmental Sustainability at C&K Middlemount
Develop organisational capability to better manage and use water with a new irrigation system
Tablelands Regional CouncilTablelands Smarter with our Water
Support community education on water conservation for environmental sustainability through an engagement and training program.
LifeChanger Foundation LimitedLifeChanger Community Programs with Tree-planting (Tribe Event) Workshop Celebration Support individual and community wellbeing through engaging local mentors with youth to deliver environmental projects. Penneshaw, Kingscote, Pengilly$15,000
Wangaratta Community Toy Library
Recyclable Party Time
Enable sustainable environmental practice in the ommunity with the purchase of recyclable party ware for lending for childrens parties.
Barham-Koondrook Historical Society IncUpgrading a Community Multi-Purpose Facility
Build community resilience by supporting local residents to live well in place with upgraded community facilities. 
Western District Employment Access IncorporatedSolar Power Systems supporting employment equality at WDEA Works Social Enterprise – Nigretta Disability Employment
Strengthen environmental practices in disability enterprise spaces through solar power installations.
Gunbower & District Development Group Inc
Gunbower Lions Park Wetlands Project
Improve the environmental sustainability of community facilities by enhancing the native vegetation and habitat.
YWCA AustraliaMoney Savvy – Empowering young women in Broken Hill through financial literacy education
Build resilience of young women with a program to develop their financial literacy.
Broken Hill$15,000
Country Fire Authority – HeadofficeWoodend CFA Fire Resistant Garden Education Project
Build community resilience with education in fire resistant and sustainable species through a demonstration garden at the Woodend CFA Station.
Stanhope & District Development Committee Inc

Upgrading Computer and Printer Facilities
Build community capacity by upgrading public IT facilities to support education and personal use.
Cann River Community Centre IncIT  Upgrade
Build community capacity with public access to 2 laptops for personal tasks, education and employment seeking.
Cann River$5653
SisterWorks IncRemote Activities Project Support the economic empowerment of migrant, refugee and asylum seeking women in regional centres by addressing isolation issues.Bendigo$10,800
Bendigo Family and Financial Services IncBFFS Student Financial Resilience Program
Support the financial wellbeing of young people experiencing financial hardship through a program of emergency relief, case management and advocacy.
Karajarri Traditional Lands Association (Aboriginal Corporation) RNTBCQuality Foundations for Indigenous Enterprise in Native Botanicals – Caring for Country through Sustainable Harvest Practices
Build organisational capability and implement environmentally sustainable practice to manage nature resources on country.
Karajarri Country

Beltana is a remote town with a permanent population of around 35 people, located 540 kilometres north of Adelaide in South Australia. The picturesque place is a state heritage listed town, with many of the original buildings still standing and in use. Despite the incredible remoteness of the community, they have approximately 50 cars pass by the town every day, and this can be up to 150 cars per day in peak tourist times.

The Beltana Progress Association begun restoration works on the local Assembly Hall to establish a local gallery and artefacts exhibit and a small café for tourists and locals alike. An underground cellar measuring 20m x 7m and 3m deep hadn’t been accessed in years but provided an opportunity to create a new historical space and also a cool gathering space in the warmer months. However, it was unsafe to enter and needed significant restoration works.

With thanks to the ANZ Seeds of Renewal Program, FRRR was able to provide the Beltana Progress Association with a $15,000 grant to contract a local carpenter to carry out the restoration works and create a new space for residents and tourists alike!

Upon gaining access to the cellar it became apparent that there was significantly more dirt and debris that initially anticipated. Residents came together and worked to remove nine tons of it, bucket by bucket. Pleasingly, the original stairs were still there, although they needed a significant restoration to be made safe.

Local tradespeople worked together to reset the original stones that were used to establish the stairwell when it was originally constructed, before creating new timber treads. Finally, a new balustrade was constructed to ensure that the stairs could be used safely.

The Beltana Progress Association also discovered that rather than a stone floor, they cellar actually has a natural sleet reef, and received advice on how to safely preserve that floor, while still allowing for the space to be operational as a gallery.

Jan Ferguson AM, who is the President of the Beltana Progress Association, said of the project; “There were 468 hours of volunteer time in the project as well as significant donations from the community. There has also been significant interest from tourists in the cellar even though it is not open to the public yet.

“The cellar has not been in use for at least 70 years. The fact that it is now a usable space and has been restored meticulously has brought a great deal of community pride. Our volunteers faced with 9 tons of rubble that had to be manually removed just stuck at it day after day in very difficult circumstances.

“We are most proud of the replacement of the original staircase which looks amazing and that as a very small community we have been able to achieve the project.

“The local tradespeople talked about it as once in a lifetime project and worked tirelessly to achieve the result in partnership with the community.”

In 1979, an idea was formed between a bunch of country music loving mates over a few drinks around a campfire in the south west of WA. It became the Country Music Club of Boyup Brook (CMCBB), and before long, they were putting on a show on a regular basis.

Since 1986, the Boyup Brook Country Music Festival has been a major drawcard for this small farming community, attracting more than 10,000 visitors. The CMCBB does a lot more than put musicians on a stage though – there is a strong commitment to upskilling and training it’s volunteers and trainees in all aspects of event planning, including administration, bookkeeping, budgeting, grant writing, event management and office procedures, supporting them to gain financial literacy and job readiness skills. This benefits a core group of 20 volunteers that contribute to pre-planning throughout the year, and 150 during the Festival weekend. The Festival also provides the main fundraising event for more than 36 local community groups that participate during the weekend.

A couple of bad years recently set the club back: in 2017, flooding required the festival to be relocated; and in 2018 the club was hit by a sophisticated ticket scamming operation. On top of all this, the IT equipment available to the group was ageing and unreliable, often freezing unpredictably. Two of the computers were classed as ‘vintage’ by Apple, and the club said they could take a “very long time before they decide to boot up and one makes a noise like crickets are in the building.” This hurdle was adversely affecting the efficiencies and upskilling of the core group volunteers, not to mention the security of ticket sales and smooth running of the festival. But the tough luck the Club had run into had affected their capacity to invest in new equipment.

Daly and Sharon Winter, CMCBB’s President and Music Director, say the Festival helps a small rural community build a vibrant and sustainable community.

“It has wider audience appeal with a multiplier effect for injecting new capital into the local economy, and improves financial well-being within our community. The Festival is a celebration of our country lifestyles and community spirit. The event encourages hundreds of visitors to our state, providing a great boost to our tourism.”

Through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program, the Club was successful in gaining new equipment. Via the Lenovo stream of the program, the Club was delivered three new Lenovo Thinkpads to support the events future operations, productivity and skill development of the group and volunteers.

The Club also plans to train staff and volunteers to scan, edit, and save photographs and documents to preserve its history as one of the oldest Incorporated Country Music Clubs in Australia and Western Australia.

Some of the volunteers use the equipment throughout the year, and under the guidance of the committee a young employee of the club recently completed her Certificate II and III in Business, plus Event Management modules. In their report, the Club wrote: “Learning new skills through the Club has led past volunteers to new employment options and keeps people living within our rural town and region.”

Nicki Jones, a volunteer, was ecstatic when the new laptops arrived, and with them, she says she achieved much more than she anticipated. 

“Not only were they efficient, user friendly and supported current applications, they had a webcam and sound!  This might initially sound silly, but in the big picture, this allowed me to join webinars and learn new software packages and how to use the computer to better capacity. I found one of the new software packages extremely useful and have now produced several documents with it for the Club. These documents are up to date, professional and easy to read.”

The experience and access to technology, she said, has built her self-esteem and confidence, and she has since been successful in seeking full-time employment, bringing her new skills to her position.

“I cannot thank FRRR and ANZ enough for making life so much easier.”

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 rural areas to support the ongoing prosperity of regional Australia.

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 2020, the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program is offering a share of $250,000 to community organisations in 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 supported hundreds of community-based, grassroots programs and initiatives that have created new opportunities for regional communities. It is truly humbling to see the difference these grants are able to make in rural and regional Australia,” Ms Stewart said. 

Last year, ANZ and FRRR provided grants to 25 community groups for projects ranging from saving an endangered bee species on Kangaroo Island to supporting young people at risk of homelessness in the Port Hedland region of Western Australia. These projects shared in $250,000 in cash, and a further $16,728 in IT equipment provided by ANZ’s technology partner Lenovo.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton said, “Rural and regional communities play such a vital role in the prosperity of Australia. Yet they face far greater economic inequity and limited housing opportunities compared to those living in the city. Additionally, rural areas are also often at the forefront of environmental disasters, like drought and bushfires. The ANZ Seeds of Renewal program is a great opportunity to help address these challenges with locally-appropriate solutions. We look forward to seeing what inspirational ideas rural and regional communities put forward this year,” Ms Egleton said.

Applications open on Tuesday, 14 July and close Wednesday, 19 August 2020.

Bendigo, 3 December 2019: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has today announced the 21 community groups that will share in $250,000 in grants through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal Program.

ANZ has contributed $250,000 in funds and in addition, its technology partner Lenovo has contributed more than $16,000 in IT equipment to four community groups. These grants will go towards building vibrant and sustainable rural communities and ensure regional Australia’s ongoing prosperity.

Now in its 17th round, the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program will this year focus on helping communities in rural, regional and remote Australia address environmental sustainability, financial wellbeing and housing initiatives.

These three issues clearly resonated with small communities, with most applications coming from places with fewer than 3,000 residents.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton said that this program allows local leaders to apply for funding to support priorities they identify as important to their community.

“People living in rural and regional areas often wear multiple hats for their community. This round, we saw several groups looking for ways to build on their existing skills and knowledge to help them tackle key issues in their community – and several grants will do just that.

“Projects acting on environmental challenges and opportunities proved popular, with around a third of applications seeking support to create a greener, more sustainable future for their communities.

“There is a significant focus on the health of our planet at the moment, and so it’s not surprising that at a local level, communities are looking to do what they can to improve the health of the environment around them,” said Ms Egleton.

ANZ General Manager Business Banking Jenefer Stewart said that she was impressed by the ingenuity shown across the community groups.

“The creativity of the projects illustrates a genuine passion by local community groups to build and strengthen communities in rural, regional and remote Australia. Fundraising in smaller communities can be a hard task, so we’re pleased to be able to provide vital support that will help these local communities thrive,” Ms Stewart said.

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

  • The Wheen Bee Foundation Limited – Bee Sanctuary – Saving Australia’s largest and iconic Green Carpenter bee on Kangaroo Island, SA – $15,000: Provide artificial nesting materials for the Green Carpenter bees on Kangaroo Island after their habitat was destroyed by fires in 2017. This is part of an interim conservation strategy to support threatened bee populations until the local native Banksia flora recovers to pre-bush fire levels.
  • The Shift Project Byron Inc – The Linen SHIFT, NSW $14,265: A laundry service that will provide training, employment and support to women experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Funds requested will purchase an ironing roller to contribute to laundry operations.
  • Cocos (Keeling Islands) Shire Council – 58 Plants, WA $15,000: Re-establish a community garden space and refurbish an ageing nursery to propagate 200 native tree seedlings via cuttings or seeds. Established trees around the two islands will be labelled to assist with identification and community education of the native species. A series of educational sessions will be conducted with local school children engaging them in the propagation process.
  • Northern Gulf Resource Management Group Ltd – Bush Business: Resilience, Growth and Connection, QLD $15,000: Free business workshops for 45 participants across three locations to build economic renewal and improve skills and capacity for local community members recently affected by drought and then flood.
  • Murray Human Services Inc – Design for Access and Mobility, VIC $13,200: Upgrade the ramp at Burke House, a residential service offering 24/7 care to up to six residents. The new ramp will be compliant with regulations, ensuring the facility meets contemporary standards, and is accessible to those with wheelchairs or other mobility issues.

The full list of grant recipients is below.


Project Title & Description




North Coast Community College Inc

Indigenous Land Management Employment Pathway
Strengthen economic participation and employment related activities for Aboriginal communities through the establishment of a training program to be run as a social enterprise.



OZ Green-Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (Australia) Inc

Bellingen Riverwatch – A Pioneering Citizen Science Program and A Catalyst for Change
Develop environmental awareness and increase volunteer engagement by running an awareness raising campaign.



Sustaining the Williams Valley (SWV) Inc

REPAWA (Renewable Energy Paterson Allyn Williams Area)
Reduce the environmental footprint and increase the creative capacity of the district by establishing a Community Owned Renewable Energy Cooperative.



Tabourie Lake Ratepayers and Residents Association Inc

Tabourie Lake Waterwatch
Improve organisational capacity to deliver community-based environmental programs through the purchase of a water testing kit.

Lake Tabourie


The Shift Project Byron Inc

The Linen SHIFT
Improve health and financial well-being of women, whilst providing employment opportunities, through the purchase of equipment to establish a new social enterprise.

Byron Bay


Forbes Youth Action Team
Forbes Shire Council

Connecting the Youth of Forbes
Build organisational capacity to deliver computer-based vocational training and services through the purchase of IT equipment, improving young people’s ability to access online services and opportunities.




Ti Tree CRC Church Incorporated.

Ti Tree Accommodation Project
Increase availability of appropriate housing and reduce overcrowding in the remote Ti Tree community in Northern Territory through installation of a septic system in a new housing development.

Ti Tree



Central Burnett Landcare

Regenerating the Central Burnett
Improve sustainable farming practices while protecting the natural environment, through the delivery of workshops on regenerative agriculture.



Goondiwindi Aboriginal Corporation

Skilling Her…
Improve education, social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal women, their families and the wider community through the delivery of an Employment Support program.



Northern Gulf Resource Management Group Ltd

Bush Business: Resilience, Growth and Connection
Strengthen economic participation and community resilience through a small business program for drought affected communities.



Waggamba Landcare Group Inc

Skilling Her Enterprise
Build the capacity of rural Women by engaging in business training and employment related activities through a series of skill development workshops.




Jamestown Apex Club

Jamestown Community Irrigation
Strengthen environmental sustainability and community financial well-being through the development of a local irrigation system and the growing of crops, which will be sold to support local health and education initiatives.



Kimba Community Development Group Inc

Workshop26 – Supporting the volunteers to more effectively manage and operate Kimba’s Creative Quarter
Improve levels of financial participation and well-being in the local economy by establishing a shared retail / workshop / office space for local micro-businesses.



The Wheen Bee Foundation Limited

Bee Sanctuary – Saving Australia’s largest and iconic Green Carpenter bee on Kangaroo Island
Support local biodiversity and environmental sustainability through the provision of artificial nesting materials for Kangaroo Island’s Green Carpenter bees and raising community awareness of the importance of bees in the environment.

Flinders Chase, Kangaroo Island


Willunga Environment Centre Inc

Citizen Science Tree Tagging Project
Improve local environmental outcomes by building a network of knowledgeable, engaged and skilled community volunteers.



Uni Hub Spencer Gulf Incorporated

IT for Pt Augusta Uni Hub
Deliver new educational opportunities to people living in the Spencer Gulf region, through the provision of IT equipment at the study hub to be established in Port Augusta in 2020.

Port Augusta



Bass Coast Landcare Network Inc

Building a sustainable Bass Coast through environmental activity days at the River Garden
Improve the quality and sustainability of the local environment through the delivery of a series of educational days for community members.



Committee for Drouin

Renewal of Trees of Nations
Increase environmental awareness and sustainability through the delivery of community-led works aimed at restoring and developing a local park.



Murray Human Services Inc

Design for Access and Mobility
Improve availability of accessible housing in Echuca through the upgrade of an access ramp at a local residential care facility.



Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority

On-ground Action for a Greener Brighter Future – Grow West Community Planting Day
Promote environmental health and sustainability by actively engaging community members in environment-based activities.




Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council

58 Plants
Improve the natural environment and amenity of the Cocos Islands through a replanting and educational program of activities involving the local community.

Cocos Keeling Islands – Home Island


The Liebe Group Inc

Encouraging Leadership and Learning for Regional Women
Increase capacity and knowledge of agribusiness and sustainable farming practices among regional women in the wheatbelt of WA through workshops at annual Field Day event.



Youth Involvement Council Inc

Housing for life
Support positive outcomes for young people at risk of homelessness in the Port Hedland region of WA through purchase of household items for a youth crisis accommodation facility.

Port and South Hedland


Avon Youth Community and Family Services

The Connecting the Dots Lifestyle Program
Reduce barriers to homelessness and build information technology skills among youth in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia through the provision of three laptops.



Country Music Club of Boyup Brook WA Inc

Make IT Happen
Improve the capacity and job readiness skills of volunteers supporting an annual country music festival in south west Western Australia through the three new computers.

Boyup Brook


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.


Four years ago, the Bowen branch of the PCYC received an $8,000 ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant towards equipment for its Greener Futures program. More recently the town of Bowen was hit by Cyclone Debbie.

A year on from that, FRRR’s team were in Bowen running a workshop for grant-seekers and explaining what support would be available to the community to help with the ongoing recovery.

Local PCYC Branch Manager, Sergeant Michelle O’Regan made a point of coming along to the session to thank FRRR for the support the PCYC had received for the Greener Futures program.

Seed funding

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

“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.

She went on to say that seed funding was really important.

“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 said.

She explained 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 said the initial funds were a catalyst for attracting further support and gave credibility to the initiative and what they 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.

“That 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. Five or six years later, we look back and see that those small grant funds were really pivotal to where we are now. We could never have pre-planned that.”

And she says that the benefits aren’t what you may expect.

“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. But it certainly helps.

“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.”

Schools are an important place for building cultural and environmental connections, and Gondwana Link Ltd realised that enhanced learning could only come from a curriculum relevant to the local context. Some of the schools and staff in the Gondwana Link region (1,000 km of south Western Australia) had no exposure to the culture of Indigenous Australians, and therefore teaching lessons with an Aboriginal perspective was very difficult for them.

The FRRR ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant program supported the Nowanup ‘Bush University’ Schools Program with a $12,500 grant for professional development for teachers and staff, deepening cross-cultural awareness and building Noongar language and cultural activities into the Australian National Curriculum.

Gondwana Link Ltd used the grant to engage Noongar Elder, Eugene Eades, and an education consultant to develop and implement a trial Professional Development opportunity for teachers and support staff from local primary schools.

Professional development was provided for 20 teachers and support staff within the Gondwana Link region in the format of a two-day Camp-on-Country at Nowanup.

The intention of this program was two-fold:

  1. To enable educators from the surrounding regions to develop a better appreciation of local Noongar cultural and heritage values, and to deepen their understanding of Noongar perspectives on management of the land, or Boodja, in the context of contemporary sustainable land restoration as practiced at Nowanup and throughout the Gondwana Link project.
  2. To have schools actively commit to improving their policies and procedures to be more responsive to Noongar cultural frameworks, thus presenting the ‘Indigenous content’ of the Australian Curriculum in a manner sensitive to the local Noongar context, and also better engaging with the local Noongar community.

The funding enabled two such camps to be designed, implemented and reviewed, and Gondwana Link Ltd now has a viable model to work from to move forward with future camps. The feedback was extremely positive and will also contribute to planning for the next series of professional development camps.

“I have learnt many things about the Noongar culture that I did not know. Their connection to the land is pivotal in their lives and spirit. This has made me think about my own connection to the land and how I can incorporate this into my classroom. I have found the inspirational stories of past teachers interesting and am constantly thinking about things I can change or incorporate to ‘make a difference’ to the students in my class.”

“I learnt an appreciation of the importance of incorporating local knowledge (both Noongar & white culture) into the curriculum.”

“I feel so privileged to be able to participate in such an incredible camp. I loved all of it but particularly the music and the stories. Seeing all the amazing things that are happening out here is so inspiring and beautiful, and I hope to be more involved in future. I really enjoyed seeing the breakaways and the artefacts and some of the beautiful places out here.”

Bendigo, 18 January 2018: ANZ has announced the recipients of its 2017 Seeds of Renewal program, with 26 community organisations from across regional Australia set to share in more than $250,000 in funding.

Celebrating its 15th year, the Seeds of Renewal Program funded by ANZ, administered by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and supported by Lenovo, aims to encourage initiatives that help to build vibrant and sustainable rural communities.

Since 2003, Seeds of Renewal has provided over $4.5 million in grants to more than 800 community projects from across regional Australia. 

Commenting on the participating organisations, ANZ General Manager Business Banking, Isaac Rankin, said, “This year’s recipients demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit, passion and strong community collaboration that exist in regional Australia, and we’re proud to play a role in helping to ensure these communities continue to thrive.”

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said, “The innovative approaches to supporting the growth and the sustainability of rural and regional communities were extremely impressive, with applicants addressing issues as wide-ranging as pollution, community participation, tourism and infrastructure.”

Alice Springs based Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation will receive a $15,000 grant to support its work in capturing and documenting culturally significant information for future generations in video and audio form.

Commenting on the importance of its work, Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation Community Engagement Coordinator, Cynthia Paton, said, “Across Central Australia there is a growing concern that Elders with strong cultural and complex language knowledge are not passing it down to younger generations.

“The grant will help ensure Indigenous youth have access to important cultural information, strengthening Indigenous community vibrancy and sustainability, as well as increasing wider community knowledge, understanding and respect for local Indigenous culture.”

The full list of recipients is below, or jump to state lists: NSW|NT|QLD|SA|TAS|VIC|WA




Amount Awarded


Dungog Information and Neighbourhood Centre

Bee Rapt Dungog
Help Dungog become plastic free through the purchase of sewing equipment to produce reusable fabric shopping bags and beeswax food wraps.



Steppin’ Out 4 Youth Inc

Empowering Youth to Grow!
Build employability amongst disengaged youth, and facilitate connections with business owners, in Leeton via an employment program.



Southern Tablelands Arts (STARTS) Inc

Southern Tablelands Tech Hub
Improve access to training for micro arts businesses in the Southern Tablelands through the purchase of laptops and internet for a mobile tech hub.

Binalong, Harden, Braidwood


Uarbry Hall Association Inc

Rebuild Uarbry Hall
Contribute to the replacement of the community hall lost in the St Ivan bushfire, enabling the community to have a public meeting space for community events and social gatherings.




Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation

Bush Tucker Stories
Enable local youth to record and share Elders’ stories, capturing vital culture and strengthening and sustaining community life in an extremely remote town.




Canvas Coworking Inc

AIM – Accelerating Innovative Mumpreneurs Regional and Rural Business Boot Camps
Start, grow and scale microenterprises through the delivery of business boot-camps for women across regional and remote areas of the Western Downs Regional Council. 



Cooloola Coast Medical Transport Inc

Care from Door to Door
Help to meet the demand for affordable medical transport assistance across the Cooloola Coast with the addition of another vehicle.

Tin Can Bay


Startup Gladstone Inc

Mount Larcom District’s Hi-Tech Early-preneur
Equip primary students with entrepreneurial and new technologies skills through a business building skills program at Ambrose State School.

Mt Larcom


Thallon Progress Assoc

Thallon Embracing Tourism
Improve visitor experiences in Thallon through the purchase of signage, new landscaping at the campground and an audit of social media activity.




Andamooka Progress & Opal Miners Assoc

From History to New Beginnings – Arts Re-Energising Andamooka
Create a range of opportunities for community participation in arts-based activitie, to establish cottage industries and enrich the local tourism experience.



Australian Migrant Resource Centre

Licenced to Drive
Support newly resettled migrants to participate in the local economy and community through a volunteer-run driver education and road safety program.

Border Town


Foodbank of South Australia Inc

Fruit Handling Equipment for Berri Warehouse
Enable efficient sorting and distribution of donated fruit and vegetables to welfare agencies and families in need through the purchase and installation of a fruit bin-tipper and conveyor belt.



Tumby Bay Progress Assoc Inc

Colour Tumby – Esplanade Free Public Wi-Fi project
Strengthen social connections and stimulate tourism through the purchase and installation of infrastructure to deliver free public Wi-Fi on the Tumby Bay esplanade.

Tumby Bay



The Unconformity Inc

Development of a Community Arts Hub in Queenstown
Stimulate the local arts sector and economy through an inclusive arts space for exhibitions, performances, workshops and meetings.




Corryong Neighbourhood House Inc

Nuts and Bolts
Enhance future employment opportunities and the ability to remain living locally by delivering a vocational training program to young people in Walwa via a rural services social enterprise.



Inverloch Jazz Festival Inc

25th Anniversary – Sharing Great Jazz
Enhance the quality of audience experience at the Inverloch Jazz Festival by hiring professional sound equipment.



The Reach Foundation

Changing Perceptions workshop in Robinvale
Improve students’ potential to succeed by delivering a series of workshops designed to build positive connections and mutual respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cohorts.




ABC Foundation

Don’t Let Your Crop Rot
Develop a social enterprise to increase local fresh food availability, local employment, and reduce food waste, through the purchase of a trailer and display / storage equipment.



Broome Aboriginal Media Assoc Aboriginal Corp

Bring our Radio Station into the 21st Century
Strengthen capacity of Indigenous and disabled volunteers, and media students, to broadcast culturally relevant local news, current affairs and music across the Kimberley region, via the upgrade of community radio station infrastructure.



Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence Inc

Turning Good Ideas into Extraordinary Experiences
Strengthen regional economic growth and small tourism business capacity through a 12-week mentoring and skills development program, and a series of general tourism workshops. 

Denmark, Mt Barker, Kojonup, Bremer Bay


Hidden Treasures of the Great Southern (Shire of Broomehill – Tambellup)

Unearthing the Capability – Blooming in our Communities!
Develop skills, knowledge and capacity of local volunteer groups to successfully deliver local tourism events and attractions.

Various locations in SW WA


Pingrup Community Resource Centre

Pingrup Silo Trail
Create a cultural program that will stimulate local tourism and strengthen local community identity through murals, workshops and public events.