Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

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.”

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.

Applicant

Project Title & Description

Location

Awarded

NSW

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.

Alstonville

$15,000

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.

Bellingen

$14,909

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.

Dungog

$15,000

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

$4,980

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

$14,265

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.

Forbes

$4,182

NT

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

$15,000

QLD

Central Burnett Landcare

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

Mundubbera

$15,000

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.

Goondiwindi

$10,975

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.

Georgetown

$15,000

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.

Goondiwindi

$10,365

SA

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.

Jamestown

$9,250

Workshop26
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.

Kimba

$14,146

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

$15,000

Willunga Environment Centre Inc

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

Kangarilla

$7,895

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

$4,182

VIC

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.

Bass

$14,820

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.

Drouin

$12,000

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.

Echuca

$13,200

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.

Ballan

$8,000

WA

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

$15,000

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.

Dalwallinu

$4,200

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

$5,995

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.

Avon

$4,182

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

$4,182