Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
Community groups in Gippsland, northern Victoria and south-west Victoria can apply for up to $5,000
In partnership with the Gardiner Foundation, FRRR has announced the opening of this year’s round of the Gardiner Foundation Community Grants Program.
The Program aims to strengthen small, Victorian dairy communities. Community organisations in the three recognised dairy regions – Gippsland, northern Victoria and south west Victoria – can apply for grants of up to $5,000. In total, there is $120,000 available.
Funds can be used to support a broad range of community projects including those that strengthen the community socially and economically, support environmental sustainability, make the community more culturally vibrant, support education and training or improve health and social wellbeing.
Allan Cameron, Gardiner Foundation Chief Executive Officer, said the Foundation is committed to continuing to invest in local not-for-profits in dairying regions.
“Vibrant communities are essential for the long-term sustainability of the Victorian dairy industry. This is our 21st year collaborating with FRRR to provide support for initiatives that regional communities prioritise. We are once again looking forward to supporting great local ideas,” Mr Cameron said.
Sarah Matthee, Acting CEO of FRRR, said that it’s wonderful to have partners that understand the importance of supporting grassroots groups.
“Gardiner Foundation recognises the importance of the local community groups in helping to capitalise on opportunities for the future or fill gaps in access to services. For example, last year one of the groups we funded together was Katamatite Bush Kinder, who run a program taking the four year-old Kinder group out to the bush, rain or shine. The grant helped them fund technology to capture the activity, report on it and share it with parents to engage them in their child’s experience. Parents reported that the children had such a wonderful time that all they did when they went home was discuss the day at bush kinder! Funding these kinds of initiatives helps create lasting connections to the environment, not to mention stimulate their creativity.
“Another example was funding some equipment for a community hall, to make it quicker and easier for volunteers to serve meals following cricket training. The Secretary told us the appliance upgrade made a real difference as it meant more people stuck around to catch up with neighbours, improving their overall mental and physical wellbeing. I look forward to seeing what comes forward this year,” Ms Matthee said.
Once again, grants will be awarded at local ceremonies in each region, providing valuable networking opportunities as well as the chance to celebrate local grantees.
Applications for the Gardiner Foundation Community Grants Program close Thursday, 16 March 2023 at 5pm AEDT. A dedicated online grant seeking workshop will be held online Monday, 13 February 2023, 12 – 1pm AEDT. More information on the Gardiner Foundation Community Grants Program can be found on the FRRR website.
While it had a short life as a gold mining area, the Tanjil Valley in eastern Victoria is a long established dairy farming area with a keen local History Gatherer’s Group.
The Group brings together older people from across the district to share family stories and evoke long forgotten memories of farming techniques and innovations. These evenings, held at the Hill End Community Centre (HECC), are very popular and the social interaction contributes to a strong sense of community belonging and connectedness.
As the elders in the settler families age, their families, as well as more recent community members, were keen to preserve and capture their local history. Some short stories have been shared in the free monthly ‘Hill End Herald’ community newsletter, which is distributed to almost 500 families throughout the Tanjil Valley. The community always responds positively and people urged the Group to collate their histories into book form. So, some local historians got to work, extending and gathering these stories into a manuscript.
With a $3,400 grant from the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community grants program, the History Talks – Settlers’ Histories A Generation On was collated and published.
By all accounts, the collation of the book was a monumental effort! It hardly needs saying that COVID presented a major challenge, especially as the contributors to the book were mostly older community members for whom the risks of COVID were great. The authors themselves are older people with significant health challenges, who live in different towns, yet these two women determinedly worked together to get the project finished. All the final checks and corrections were done by phone or by emails and, as the two authors also live in different towns, they had to do all their final editing in the same way.
The book launch occurred at the Australia Day 2022 community event to great acclaim. Despite COVID risks and stormy weather, which did affect numbers at the event, nearly 80 copies were sold on the night. The book, which features stories from more than 30 district families, and cover art by well-known local artist Liz Bowley, has been featured in The Hill End Herald, and mostly sold through word of mouth. The book has almost sold out in the four months since it was launched and the group is planning a re-print.
The authors generously handed over the ISBN and all the books to the Community Centre to sell and to use all the profits for the benefit of the community centre.
In acquitting their grant, Hill End Community Inc. told us how proud they are of the authors’ efforts to push through the restrictions of COVID to produce the book.
“We are also proud of the commitment of the contributing farmers and their families to provide information and search out their historical family photos. We are proud too of the contribution the book has, and continues to make, in documenting the history of the settler families of the community and sharing that with the broader community and newer community members.”
For the elderly members of the monthly History Gatherers Group, the book project reconnected them after two years of being shut down by COVID restrictions and fears. Tanjil Valley Settlers’ History will ensure that the farming histories of this district will not be lost as settler families age but will be preserved, celebrated and shared for years to come.
This case study is courtesy of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation
A new teen fitness program in Kyabram is inspiring community spirit and building fit and healthy bodies.
A health and wellbeing centre has been established by Kyabram Blue Light at the town’s P-12 College, thanks to $5,000 from the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program in partnership with Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).
The centre has proven to be a holiday hit with local teenagers and will be used regularly during the school year.
It is part of the KyFit police and teen gym-based mentoring program and, according to organiser Senior Constable Mitchell Bull, the benefits are wide-ranging.
Teenagers have played a central role in establishing the gym in an old storeroom at the school.
“The kids have done the majority of it,” Senior Constable Bull said. “They put together a wish list of equipment, posters and information and then volunteered on weekends to load trailers and remove rubbish and then helped in designing the layout and setting up and testing the equipment.
“It’s not just given to them on a silver platter – it’s a community effort and we all chip in. For six or seven weekends in a row we had up to 10 kids at the gym helping out. We removed six trailer loads of rubbish from the storeroom.”
The gym includes two bench presses, two rowing machines, two magnetic resistance bikes, two treadmills, two decline sit-up benches, sets of dumbbells from 3kg to 10kg and 13 spin bikes for classes.
The Gardiner Foundation grant also helped with installing fans, electrical power points and tiles for the floor.
“We made every cent count and called in favours left, right and centre and had a lot of volunteer assistance with everything,” Senior Constable Bull said. “It’s nothing fancy but it’s equipment tailored to young people.”
The gym is the latest development in the KyFit program that started in 2019 and is run by Kyabram Blue Light using police members, volunteers and community members.
“It was identified there was a need for a sporting or physical program that didn’t require the time, cost and travel commitments of the likes of football or netball,” Senior Constable Bull said.
“The gym will help those who may not have the opportunity to be involved in the local gyms or sports clubs.”
Personal trainers, defence force members, police and other community members help with the program, ensuring young people can access a variety of training programs ranging from boxing to swimming sessions and pitting their abilities against the police fitness test challenge.
A weekly in-school program attracts at least 13 participants and after-school programs are reaching about 30 teenagers. The school also uses the facilities for physical education classes.
Senior Constable Bull said the grant had helped to empower local young people. “We used the gym over the school holidays, allowing kids to drop in when there wasn’t much else to do – we can barely keep up with the demand,” he said.
“A lot of kids want to join the program now because they’ve seen the benefits the others are getting. It’s helping with their physical and mental health and the kids are seeing the benefits of physical activity and working out with other people.”
Police can also use the fitness programs to help break down barriers between officers and young people.
“The kids get the benefits of getting to know local police and other volunteers and mentors,” Senior Constable Bull said. “It’s about building a relationship between police officers and young people and showing we’re approachable if there is a problem in the community that needs to be discussed.”
It’s also beneficial for police. “It means we’re not always seeing the negative side of things in the community and we get to work towards positivity,” Senior Constable Bull said.
The program is free for local teenagers who also receive a free sports top when they get involved.
In recognition of his work with young people, Senior Constable Bull was named Citizen of the Year for Campaspe Shire at the 2022 Australia Day Awards.
Now in its 20th year, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program is delivered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR). Grants of up to $5,000 help not-for-profit organisations in small Victorian dairy communities deliver projects that will benefit local people and strengthen their ability to deal with local issues and enhance existing community infrastructure.
Applications for the 2022 program opened on 1 March and close on 13 April. More information can be found at https://frrr.org.au/funding/place/gardiner-communities-grants/
$120,000 in Gardiner Community Grants available
The annual Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program (Gardiner Community Grants) has opened today. Delivered in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), this round marks the 20th year of the program, which is focused on supporting communities across Victoria’s three dairying regions.
This year Gardiner Community Grants will encourage projects to focus on building the capacity of community organisations and improving digital connectivity. The new focus is in response to insights from FRRR’s Heartbeat of Rural Australia Report, which was published late last year.
The report highlighted that there was a significant digital divide in rural communities, compared to urban areas, and that local not-for-profit organisations needed capacity building support to be able to do their vital work, particularly following the impacts of back-to-back disasters, including COVID, on fundraising and volunteers.
A digital connectivity grant project might involve upgrading infrastructure and facilities, improving digital access or providing training that enables the community to benefit from digital services.
A building capacity grant aims to support organisations to sustain or grow the effectiveness of their operations. Funds may be requested for salaries to increase the organisations paid workforce, training for volunteers, upgrading office equipment or supporting strategic planning and improved governance.
The small grants program, which has $120,000 in available funds for grants up to $5,000, will continue to support a broad range of community projects that local groups identify can make their community socially, economically or environmentally stronger. Applications for events to enhance cultural vibrancy, volunteer planting projects to support environmental sustainability, extending education and training opportunities, support for infrastructure projects or programs to improve health and wellbeing are all encouraged.
Allan Cameron, Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive Officer, said Gardiner is committed to strengthening Victorian dairy communities and is pleased to be partnering with FRRR for the twentieth year to support innovative, community-driven projects.
“Investing in the communities that are at the heart of the Victorian dairy industry is critical to the sustainability of dairy farming in Victoria. Since launching the program with FRRR in 2002, Gardiner Dairy Foundation has supported over 500 local projects and distributed more than $2 million to Victorian dairy communities.
“Gardiner is committed to supporting the needs of the communities as they change and evolve, now, and in the future. That’s why, this year, we are encouraging initiatives around digital literacy and organisational capacity, to help local groups respond to the current needs of Victoria’s dairy communities,” Mr Cameron said.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Heartbeat of Rural Australia Report called for more support to go to community groups to address critical issues, and it’s wonderful to see Gardiner Foundation respond.
“Our Heartbeat Report highlighted significant gaps and challenges for rural communities, but also highlighted the critical role that local not-for-profits play in meeting the needs and filling the gaps in rural communities. That’s why we value our longstanding relationship with Gardiner, because they, like us, are committed to working together to support these vital community groups in the long-term.
“For 20 years, Gardiner’s Community Grants have consistently boosted Victorian dairy communities with contributions towards large important community projects, and significantly enabling many smaller community organisations and projects, often for items and activities that are less accessible through government or major philanthropic funding,” Ms Egleton said.
Applications for the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program open Tuesday, 1 March and close Wednesday 13th April 2022 at 5 pm AEDT. More information can be found at – https://frrr.org.au/gardiner-communities-grants/.
Anam Cara House Colac is a community owned hospice established to provide respite, palliative care and end of life care for the people of South West Victoria on Gulidjan Country. Carers, family and friends who support their chronically ill loved ones with at-home care commonly experience compassion fatigue when they are tasked with delivering the bulk of care requirements.
Supporting these carers, alongside improving the comfort of chronically ill community members, were the key drivers behind what Anam Cara House Colac aimed to achieve with their project. Community members who are either ill themselves or caring for others are often confused and/or unaware of available support services that could assist them to maintain their independence or live their lives more comfortably. For many, it is a time of vulnerability and fear, and having knowledge of, and access to, available services is critical.
Anam Cara House Colac received a $5,000 Gardiner Foundation Community Grant to run a series of three focused information sessions for community members living with, or caring for those affected by, life-limiting conditions.
Guest speakers from local health services, as well as a representative from My Aged Care, provided up-to-date and relevant information that is helpful and/or necessary to support someone with a chronic illness to live in a supported way that maximises independence. The choice of speakers was developed on the basis of anecdotal feedback from users of Anam Cara’s services.
Naomi Lettieri, Anam Cara’s Community Liaison Nurse, said that they experienced challenges with a slightly lower uptake than was expected, and they responded by involving the local radio station.
Anam Cara contacted Otway Community Radio (OCR), who agreed to record the second and third sessions. In doing so, they were able to reach more people, especially those who were unable to leave home due to their caring commitments. The sessions were aired both by OCR and shared on Anam Cara’s Facebook page as a podcast.
The grant covered the costs of advertising, catering, resources, and provision of respite to those who require it, with a portion directed to wages for planning and implementation of the events. It also included follow up for those in need, whether it be with advance care planning support or assistance in referral to other services.
Thanks to Anam Cara House Colac and the generosity of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, this project allowed those in need to access information on caring for either themselves or those with chronic illness.
Thirty projects from across Victoria’s three main dairy regions will share in $131,188 in grant funding to help build community capacity to deal with local issues and enhance existing community infrastructure.
Now in its 19th year, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program is delivered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR). The grants of up to $5,000 will help not-for-profit organisations in small Victorian dairy communities deliver projects that will benefit local people and strengthen their ability to deal with local issues.
Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive, Dr Clive Noble, said the funding ensures that Gardiner is contributing to locally identified issues.
“The Community Grants program continues to attract applications from a wide range of community organisations running varying projects. Through this partnership we are contributing to solutions unique to that community to create genuine, long-term impact.
“We also see communities leverage these funds. Often, that cash injection can be the catalyst that enables community groups to undertake projects of larger impact.”
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said the longstanding partnership with Gardiner Dairy Foundation has been successful in creating many exceptional projects within Victoria’s dairy communities.
“Our long partnership with Gardiner Dairy Foundation has enabled us to support Victoria’s dairy communities with funding for projects that tackle local challenges and meet the needs and priorities of each place.
“The program is supporting several projects that will develop young people socially and educationally, and once again, there are fantastic initiatives to improve community spaces such as the addition of tiered seating in Neerim South, a hot water urn for the residents of Leitchville, and erecting shade sails over the hall deck to increase the utility of the Kawarren Recreation Reserve,” Ms Egleton said.
Supported projects include:
- Gippsland Dairy Region – Manna Gum Community House received $4,650 to work with local youth to create provide a program for young people in the community to access to youth service, connection, and solidarity.
- Northern Dairy Region – Rochester Secondary College received $5,000 to restore an existing vegetable garden and incorporate it into the Healthy Eating components of the syllabus.
- South-Western Dairy Region – Anam Cara House received $4,501 to purchase digital equipment, which will allow the facility to offer residents and guests greater connectivity through enhanced internet service and equipment.
Since the launch of the annual program in 2002, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has invested more than $1.9 million in this program and has supported a total of 497 community projects.
The full list of 2021 Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program recipients are:
|GIPPSLAND DAIRY REGION|
|Fish Creek and District Primary School||"Kids Own Reading Pavilion" |
Grow access to literacy activities for students at Fish Creek District Primary school by funding the development of the "Kids Own Reading Pavilion".
|Hill End Community Incorporated||History Talks -Settlers' Histories A Generation On|
Grow awareness of local history in the dairy industry for Hill End and surrounding districts by developing a book of local memoires and transcripts for publication.
|Loch Memorial Reserve Incorporated||Towable Spray Unit|
Support volunteers to maintain the Loch Memorial Reserve by funding the purchase of a towable sprayer unit.
|Maffra Golf Club||Purchase a Ride on Mower for the R.V. Park|
Maintain community facilities through providing a ride on mower for the local R.V. park to benefit the local tourism economy and support community activity.
|Manna Gum Community House Incorporated||Our Place|
Improve access to support facilities and programs for local youth by extending the "Youth Pop Up” activities at the Manna Gum Community House.
|Mirboo and District Historical Society Incorporated||Cataloguing of Collection|
Support volunteers in cataloguing and collecting community history for future generations to come and visitors by providing funding to purchase technology equipment.
|Neerim District Cricket Club Incorporated||Let's Sit Together|
Improve community access to seating at the local recreation reserve by installing a grandstand at the Neerim Recreation Reserve.
|Nyora Cricket Club Incorporated||Kitchen Refurbishment Project Phase 2 – Freezer|
Grow volunteer vitality and organisational capacity by upgrading the freezer at the Nyora Cricket Club.
|State Coal Mine - Rescue Station Arts Incorporated||Wellness Warriors|
Improve the organisations ability to support the community by delivering an art therapy-based well-being program in Wonthaggi and surrounds.
|Toora Primary School||Class Set of iPads|
Improve access to technology to develop digital literacy and learning opportunities that will enhance education outcomes for rural students.
|Poowong Kindergarten / Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) Limited||Playground Refurbishment|
Improve access to sun smart play equipment for the children and families of Poowong Kindergarten by replacing worn shade sails at the centre.
|Wonthaggi Citizens Band Incorporated||Encouraging Participation in Music|
Grow opportunities for children to experience self-expression through music by providing 10 weeks of brass band lessons, additional band rehearsals and an end of term concert for the children of Wonthaggi and surrounds.
|NORTHERN DAIRY REGION|
|Kyabram Blue Light / Blue Light Victoria Incorporated||Kyabram Blue Light - KyFit - Health Fitness & Wellbeing Center|
Grow access to youth activities and services by developing the Kyabram Blue Light Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Centre.
|Eskdale Public Hall Committee Incorporated||Eskdale Community Hub|
Grow community connection and cohesion and support volunteers in offering a user friendly and welcoming community facility by enhancing the Eskdale Public Hall.
|Murrabit Public Hall Committee / Gannawarra Shire Council||Murrabit Hall - Rolling On!|
Support volunteer vitality and encourage community connection by enhancing the outdoor area at the Murrabit Hall.
|Katamatite Pre School / Goulburn Region Preschool Association Incorporated||Katamatite Pre-School - Nature and Technology|
Improve the organisations’ ability to host their Bush Kinder program with the provision of cameras and technology for offsite use and additional resources.
|Leitchville Bowls Club Incorporated||Hot Water for Leitchville|
Support volunteers and improve community facilities at Leitchville Bowls Club by installing a 5-litre wall urn.
|Milawa Primary School||Milawa Primary Community Hub|
Improve school facilities to increase capacity for broader community use through installation of new shade sails in the playground of Milawa Primary School.
|Rochester Secondary College||Edible Garden|
Grow opportunities for educational participation for students of Rochester Secondary College by funding their student developed Edible Garden project.
|Springhurst Primary School Council||Ovens Valley Mobile Arts and Crafts Centre (MACC)|
Support the Ovens Valley Mobile Arts and Crafts Centre by providing storage space for arts and craft supplies at the Springhurst Primary School.
|Lions Airfield Griffin Club Branch / The Lions Club of Cohuna Incorporated||Cohuna Airport Maintenance and Safety|
Help volunteers maintain runway safety at the Cohuna Airstrip with an airstrip sweeper.
|SOUTH-WESTERN DAIRY REGION|
|Anam Cara House Colac Incorporated||Strengthening Community Connections through Information Technology|
Improve the organisations ability to service and support the community by upgrading technology at the centre and promoting Anam Cara House.
|Camperdown Toy Library Incorporated||Camperdown Toy Library Get Active|
Encourage children’s learning and development through play by providing resources for the Camperdown Toy Library.
|Colac Otway Residents Action Group Incorporated||School Lunches for Children that Do Not Have a Lunch|
Improve the welfare and enhance educational outcomes for students in six primary schools across the Colac region by providing support for the Colac Otway Residents Action Groups School Lunches program.
|Hawkesdale and District Development Action Committee Incorporated||HADDAC Mower for maintaining the Common|
Grow volunteer vitality by providing a zero-turn mower for the regular lawn maintenance of community facilities at Hawkesdale and District Development Action Committee.
|Kawarren Recreation Reserve||Made for Shade|
Enhance community use of the Kawarren Recreation Reserve by installing shade sails over the outdoor entertaining area.
|Macarthur Recreation Reserve||Storage Shed Upgrade|
Improve volunteer vitality and support by installing a storage shed at the Macarthur Recreation Reserve.
|Terang & District Historical Society Incorporated||Update Terang Historical Society's Computers|
Improve the organisation’s ability to support and service the community through the purchase of new computer equipment.
|Terang Community Art Show / UCA - Terang Uniting Church||Terang Art Show - Artist in school program|
Improve access and engagement in education for children in years 5 to 8 in the Terang area by providing access to indigenous art lessons and local indigenous elders.
|Warrnambool College||Indigenous Perspectives Project|
Improve local students to access educational opportunities relating to local indigenous culture, language, and art by providing professional development of staff at the Warrnambool College.
Up to $5,000 available, plus free grantseeker workshops
Gardiner Dairy Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), is inviting community organisations in Victorian dairy regions – Gippsland, northern Victoria and south-west Victoria – to apply for grants of up to $5,000.
The annual Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program is delivered through FRRR, which has partnered with Gardiner Dairy Foundation for the past 19 years.
Grants are made available to registered not-for-profit groups and can be used for a wide variety of community activities including community arts, health and wellbeing, environment, infrastructure, education, history and much more.
To assist community groups in preparing their grant applications, Gardiner Dairy Foundation and FRRR are running free grant seeker workshops in each of the three Victorian dairy regions. A webinar will also be hosted. (see details below). These workshops provide invaluable advice on how to put together a competitive grant application.
In 2021 Gardiner Dairy Foundation will make available a total funding pool of $120,000. Since launching the program with FRRR in 2002, Gardiner Dairy Foundation has distributed almost $2 million to Victorian dairy communities and has supported a total of 471projects.
“With better seasonal conditions in most regions, morale in dairy communities has improved over the past 12 months,” said Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive, Clive Noble. “People can breathe a little easier and now is a good time for community groups to look at some of the projects they may have deferred.
“I’d like to encourage community leaders to take advantage of these grants, to leverage the money available with other inputs and to continue to improve and enrich their dairy communities.
“Strong and vibrant dairy communities are vital to a strong dairy industry and vice versa.”
Sarah Matthee, Acting CEO of FRRR, said that the grants are designed to give dairy communities the boost they may need to make great things happen.
“Last year was tough for most rural communities, and Victorian dairy communities were no exception. We’ve seen from previous grant recipients that a small grant can open doors for further funding, and it will be great to visit some of last year’s grants recipients to see what kind of opportunities have grown from the funding, and how they have used the grants to help address the needs of their communities.
“We know that these communities are determined, inspiring and resilient and full of great ideas. That’s why the Gardiner grants are deliberately flexible – to allow local leaders to respond to what’s happening, and address the biggest priorities. In previous years, that’s been anything from community gardens to festivals, small infrastructure to training. I look forward to seeing what this year’s applications bring.”
Applications for the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program open Monday, 1 February and close Tuesday, 16 March 2020 at 5 pm AEDT.
Grant seeker workshop timetable
Join Gardiner Dairy Foundation and FRRR at one of our free grant seeker workshops. Find out how to put together a competitive grant application.
The webinar will be held:
Date: Thursday 4 February 2021
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Register at: https://events.humanitix.com/gardinercommunitygrants
Workshops will be held at:
Date: Monday 8 February 2021
Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Location: Mercure Hotel, 23 Mason St, Warragul
Date: Wednesday 10 February 2021
Time: 10:30am – 1:00pm
Location: Colac Bowling Club, 4 Armstrong St, Colac
Date: Thursday 11 February 2021
Time: 10:30am – 1:00pm
Location: Tallangatta Integrated Community Centre, 33 Towong St, Tallangatta
For more information or to register for the workshops, visit https://frrr.org.au/funding/place/gardiner-communities-grants/.