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.

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
NSW
Barnabas House Crisis Care Incorporated
 
Barnabas Community Garden and Composting Program
Build capability in program participants to improve environmental sustainability of community garden.
Griffith$9,282
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. 
Muswellbrook$15,000
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.  
Muswellbrook
Maitland
Cessnock
Singleton
$11,916
Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal CorporationResponsive Emergency Accommodation Service
Support individual and community housing access with additional crisis accomodation options.  
Gunnedah$15,000
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
Barham
Moulamein
Koraleigh
Wakool
$5,640
Tirkandi Inaburra Cultural & Development Centre Inc
 
Work Readiness Support
Build capability with access to 2 laptops for youth who are training for employability. 
Coleambally$3,760
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
Grenfell$1,880
NT
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.
Kabulwarnamyo$15,000
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
QLD
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$11,900
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.
Mossman
Daintree National Park
$15,000
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
Middlemount$2,248
Tablelands Regional CouncilTablelands Smarter with our Water
Support community education on water conservation for environmental sustainability through an engagement and training program.
Atherton
Malanda
Ravenshoe
Herberton
$15,000
SA
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
                                                                                                            VIC
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.
Wangaratta$621
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. 
Koondrook$5,000
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.
Hamilton$15,000
Gunbower & District Development Group Inc
 
Gunbower Lions Park Wetlands Project
Improve the environmental sustainability of community facilities by enhancing the native vegetation and habitat.
Gunbower$12,700
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.
Woodend$10,000
Stanhope & District Development Committee Inc

Upgrading Computer and Printer Facilities
Build community capacity by upgrading public IT facilities to support education and personal use.
Stanhope$10,260
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.
Bendigo$13,850
                                                                                                            WA
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.
Broome
Karajarri Country
$14,900

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.”