Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

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.

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.
PlantingSeeds ProjectsThe Bathurst B&B Highway
Foster environmental sustainability in communities by delivering biodiversity education and planting projects in the Bathurst region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The South Burnett Pantry IncFood Hampers for 250
Help alleviate poverty through the provision of food hampers.
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
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.
Health Futures Australia LtdSHIFT Young Growers for our Future
Build capability to enable agriculture employment for young people.
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.
Terang RSL Sub BranchInstallation of 13.32kWp Solar Panels
Increase cost efficiency to support community facility with installation of solar panels.
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.
The Old Colonists Association of VictoriaNet Zero Carbon Retirement Community
Improve environmental sustainability by supporting a retirement community to achieve net zero emissions.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.