Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

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.

Celebrating a 20 year partnership funding Victorian dairy communities

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.

Victorian Dairy Communities share in over $130,000 in grant funding

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:

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
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".
Fish Creek$5,000
Hill End Community IncorporatedHistory 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.
Hill End$3,400
Loch Memorial Reserve IncorporatedTowable Spray Unit
Support volunteers to maintain the Loch Memorial Reserve by funding the purchase of a towable sprayer unit.
Loch $1,387
Maffra Golf ClubPurchase 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.
Maffra$5,000
Manna Gum Community House IncorporatedOur Place
Improve access to support facilities and programs for local youth by extending the "Youth Pop Up” activities at the Manna Gum Community House.
Foster$4,650
Mirboo and District Historical Society IncorporatedCataloguing of Collection
Support volunteers in cataloguing and collecting community history for future generations to come and visitors by providing funding to purchase technology equipment.
Mirboo North$4,837
Neerim District Cricket Club IncorporatedLet's Sit Together
Improve community access to seating at the local recreation reserve by installing a grandstand at the Neerim Recreation Reserve.
Neerim South$5,000
Nyora Cricket Club IncorporatedKitchen Refurbishment Project Phase 2 – Freezer
Grow volunteer vitality and organisational capacity by upgrading the freezer at the Nyora Cricket Club.
Nyora$5,000
State Coal Mine - Rescue Station Arts IncorporatedWellness Warriors
Improve the organisations ability to support the community by delivering an art therapy-based well-being program in Wonthaggi and surrounds.
Wonthaggi$4,040
Toora Primary SchoolClass Set of iPads
Improve access to technology to develop digital literacy and learning opportunities that will enhance education outcomes for rural students.
Toora$5,000
Poowong Kindergarten / Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) LimitedPlayground Refurbishment
Improve access to sun smart play equipment for the children and families of Poowong Kindergarten by replacing worn shade sails at the centre.
Poowong$4,950
Wonthaggi Citizens Band IncorporatedEncouraging 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.
Wonthaggi$5,000
NORTHERN DAIRY REGION
Kyabram Blue Light / Blue Light Victoria IncorporatedKyabram 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.
Kyabram$5,000
Eskdale Public Hall Committee IncorporatedEskdale 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.
Eskdale$3,020
Murrabit Public Hall Committee / Gannawarra Shire CouncilMurrabit Hall - Rolling On!
Support volunteer vitality and encourage community connection by enhancing the outdoor area at the Murrabit Hall.
Murrabit$3,390
Katamatite Pre School / Goulburn Region Preschool Association IncorporatedKatamatite 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.
Katamatite$3,570
Leitchville Bowls Club IncorporatedHot Water for Leitchville
Support volunteers and improve community facilities at Leitchville Bowls Club by installing a 5-litre wall urn.
Leitchville$1,914
Milawa Primary SchoolMilawa 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.
Milawa$5,000
Rochester Secondary CollegeEdible Garden
Grow opportunities for educational participation for students of Rochester Secondary College by funding their student developed Edible Garden project.
Rochester$5,000
Springhurst Primary School CouncilOvens 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.
Springhurst$5,000
Lions Airfield Griffin Club Branch / The Lions Club of Cohuna IncorporatedCohuna Airport Maintenance and Safety
Help volunteers maintain runway safety at the Cohuna Airstrip with an airstrip sweeper.
Cohuna$5,000
SOUTH-WESTERN DAIRY REGION
Anam Cara House Colac IncorporatedStrengthening 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.
Colac$4,501
Camperdown Toy Library IncorporatedCamperdown Toy Library Get Active
Encourage children’s learning and development through play by providing resources for the Camperdown Toy Library.
Camperdown$4,986
Colac Otway Residents Action Group IncorporatedSchool 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.
Colac$5,000
Hawkesdale and District Development Action Committee IncorporatedHADDAC 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.
Hawkesdale$2,500
Kawarren Recreation ReserveMade for Shade
Enhance community use of the Kawarren Recreation Reserve by installing shade sails over the outdoor entertaining area.
Kawarren$5,000
Macarthur Recreation ReserveStorage Shed Upgrade
Improve volunteer vitality and support by installing a storage shed at the Macarthur Recreation Reserve.
Macarthur$5,000
Terang & District Historical Society IncorporatedUpdate Terang Historical Society's Computers
Improve the organisation’s ability to support and service the community through the purchase of new computer equipment.
Terang$4,043
Terang Community Art Show / UCA - Terang Uniting ChurchTerang 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.
Terang$5,000
Warrnambool CollegeIndigenous 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.
Warrnambool$5,000

For the residents of Coragulac and its surrounding communities, having access to excellent early childhood education with the right facilities is a top priority for local families.

The Coragulac & District Kindergarten has provided care and education for their small community for many years. The facility’s three staff and local volunteers run a three-year-old program for 21 children, and a four-year-old program for 20 children.

Play-based learning helps to develop coordination, motor skills and problem solving skills, while focusing on social skills that are invaluable to kids, such as how to get along with their classmates, how to communicate and follow general rules. It also allows kids to follow their imagination and explore their interests.

The energy and imagination the kids bring to the kindergarten is endless, however their ability to play outside was often met by challenges due to weather, and between the scorching summer heat and chilly winter days, the kids weren’t able to enjoy being outside for very long. 

This made some play-based activities very difficult, as the kindergarten lacked a suitable area for things like pot planting and chalk drawing. To continue providing great childcare for local families, the kindergarten needed to upgrade their facilities.

The Kindergarten was awarded $5,000 through the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants program for their Sheltering Our Children for a Bright and Happy Future project, which built a new verandah for outdoor learning and activities.

The new space allows the kids to enjoy being outside without worrying about the weather, and provides an area for ‘messy’ play-based learning. In addition to the kids who attend the kindergarten during the week, the space is also used after school and on the weekends by families with school-aged children and children with disabilities, as it provides a sheltered, fenced and safe play space.

26 projects funded in Victoria’s dairy farming regions

The Working in Dairy Communities (WIDC) Small Grants program, which is run in partnership between the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and Gardiner Dairy Foundation, has awarded $121,584 in grants to support 26 projects in Victoria’s three dairy regions.

Now in its 18th year, the WIDC Small Grants program offers up to $5,000 to support community-driven projects that strengthen Victorian dairy communities through enhancing community infrastructure and local capacity.

Dr Clive Noble, Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive, said this year the Working in Dairy Communities grant program is supporting projects that support early childhood and adult education and stimulate economic recovery. These projects will have long-lasting benefits for these communities.

“Things have been tough for small towns reliant on dairy. These grants will help communities on their renewal journey by supporting projects that will encourage community engagement and social connectedness.

“The diversity of the projects reflects the differing needs of dairy communities too. For example, in Murrabit, a street beautification project will boost morale and add cultural vibrancy, while the funding of children’s activities at the Tarwin District Auto Festival should help to bring families into town for the November event.”

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said the longstanding partnership with Gardiner Dairy Foundation has been so successful because both Foundations share the belief that local groups are best placed to know what their community needs; they just need some support to turn their ideas into reality.

“Working with Gardiner Dairy Foundation over the past 18 years, we’ve seen just how passionate and dedicated local not-for-profit groups are in meeting challenges and creating their own opportunities.

“This year the program is supporting some fantastic initiatives to rejuvenate and extend the capacity of community spaces so that locals have access to high quality facilities – including the addition of an all abilities access ramp at Scotts Creek Hall, gas heaters to warm the many elderly citizens who use the Girgarre Hall, and audio visual equipment to improve local film nights at Yanakie Recreation Reserve and Public Hall.

Some of the 26 grants awarded this round include:

  • Gippsland Dairy Region – Leongatha Community Preschool received a $5,000 grant to replace Hassett St Kindergarten’s worn out and damaged outdoor blinds, which will improve the kindergarten’s learning environment.
  • Northern Dairy Region – Cobram Community Cinema Inc received $5,000 to purchase kitchen appliances to provide facilities for community use of the space and hospitality training programs at the new cinema facility – now in its final stages of construction – after the town’s previous cinema was destroyed by fire in 2010.
  •  South Western Dairy Region – South Purrumbete Recreation Reserve received $4,870 to rewire the Reserve’s buildings and toilet facilities as part of a larger scale project to rejuvenate the last remaining community asset, so that it is fit for regular events including markets and community gatherings.

Since the launch of the annual Working in Dairy Communities (WIDC) Small Grants program in 2002, Gardiner Dairy Foundation has invested more than $1.8 million in this program and has supported a total of 471 community projects.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

OrganisationProject

Location

Awarded

GIPPSLAND DAIRY REGION

Anglican Trusts Corporation of the Diocese of Gippsland

Mow, Mow, Mow Your Lawn: Improve volunteer support and the upkeep of a community gathering space through the purchase of a ride on Lawnmower.

Trafalgar

$4,899

Boisdale-Briagolong Football Club Inc

Re-development of Boisdale Recreation Reserve’s Outdoor Entertainment Area: Strengthen community connectivity by enhancing the amenity of a venue where locals and visitors can gather for celebrations, recreation and social interactions.

Boisdale

$5,000

Foster Primary School

Phone System Upgrade: Ensure children’s well-being and improve the amenity of the Foster Primary School through the purchase and installation of a new phone system.

Foster

$5,000

Grants Only Group Inc

Better Communication Sounds Good: Strengthen community connectivity and engagement through the purchase of a new sound system.

Tarwin Lower

$4,838

Leongatha Community Pre School Centres Inc

All Weather Screens – Hassett St Kindergarten: Upgrade the amenity of the kindergarten’s learning environment by replacing worn out and damaged outdoor blinds.

Leongatha

$5,000

Manna Gum Community House Inc

Manna Gum Gathering Place -Stage 2: Strengthen educational and social outcomes through equipping a space that is safe and welcoming and can be used for relevant programs and activities.

Foster

$4,308

Venus Bay Tarwin Lower and District Mens Shed Inc

Tarwin District Auto Festival 2020: Increase community engagement and strengthen social outcomes for volunteers through the delivery of Children’s activities at an annual festival.

Tarwin Lower

$5,000

Yanakie Recreation Reserve and Public Hall Reserve

Yanakie Community Movies: Increase community engagement and the long-term sustainability of the Yanakie Public Hall.

Yanakie

$5,000

NORTHERN DAIRY REGION

Campaspe Shire Council

Grow and Share Together: Support community engagement and participation through the creation of a sensory garden.

Stanhope

$3,649

Cobram Community Cinema Inc

Cobram Community Cinema Kitchen Project: Improve the future employment prospects of young people and increase community engagement through the purchase of kitchen appliances for a community cinema.

Cobram

$5,000

Cobram District Children’s Services Inc

Eilleen Taylor – Outdoor & Imaginative Play Promotion: Improve educational and health outcomes for pre-school children by upgrading the Punt Rd Kindergarten’s outdoor play area.

Cobram

$5,000

Cobram District Children’s Services Inc

Punt Rd Kinder & Childcare – Outdoor Play Enhancement: Support children’s learning and development through the purchase of outdoor play equipment.

Cobram

$5,000

Gannawarra Shire Council

Supporting Gannawarra: Women Take a Well-Being Vacation!: Improve health and welfare of Women through the delivery of a Women’s workshop during Women’s Health Week.

Cohuna

$5,000

Girgarre Community Group Inc

Books Bringing People Together: Improve the organisational capacity and increase community participation through the purchase of furniture.

Girgarre

$1,240

Girgarre Development Group Inc – Girgarre Hall Committee

Warmer Winters: Strengthen community connectivity and engagement through installation of a heating system.

Girgarre

$5,000

Kindred Spirits Tatura Co-Operative Limited

Opera at the Dairy Farm: Strengthen local culture and increase community engagement through the presentation of Opera at the Dairy Farm.

Tatura

$3,850

Murrabit Promotions Committee Inc

Murrabit – Colour our Town!: Drive local tourism and strengthen community connection through the delivery of a community-based street beautification project.

Murrabit

$5,000

Rochester Secondary College

The Resilience Project: Increase the well-being of children and young people in the community through the delivery of a resilience program.

Rochester

$5,000

SOUTH WESTERN DAIRY REGION

Bostocks Creek Public Hall

Building a New Kitchen: Increase community engagement and financial sustainability by conducting maintenance on a public building creating a secure hospitable meeting space.

Bostocks Creek

$3,930

Coragulac & District Kindergarten Inc

Create an Indigenous Mural/Artwork ‘Our land/One Community’: Strengthen childhood education and community identity through the creation of a mural that will extend understanding of local culture.

Cororooke

$5,000

Friend’s of St Brigid’s Association

Installing a Ceiling in our Undercover Area: Build community connectivity and capacity through the replacement of an outdoor covering, creating a secure hospitable meeting space.

Crossley

$5,000

Purnim Mechanics Institute

Lighting up the Purnim Township: Contribute to the cultural vibrancy of Purnim township through the purchase and installation of a solar light system.

Purnim

$5,000

Scotts Creek Mechanics Institute and Free Library Reserve

Disabled Ramp and Toilet: Enhance community well-being and connectedness and improve the amenity of a community hall through the installation of an all ability access ramp and toilet.

Scotts Creek

$5,000

Simpson & District Community Centre Inc

Fun without the Sun: Strengthen community connectivity and engagement through the purchase and installation of seats and tables in a public park, creating a comfortable, year-round gathering space.

Simpson

$5,000

South Purrumbete Recreation Reserve

Reconnection to Community Project Stage 1 – Restoring Power: Increase community participation through the improvement of a Recreation Reserve.

South Purrumbete

$4,870

South Western District Restoration Group

Library Extension: Strengthen organisation capacity and social outcomes through equipping a space that is safe and welcoming and can be used for relevant programs and activities.

Cobden

$5,000

The Camperdown Community Garden was originally established in 2009. Through research and analysis conducted in 2017, it was identified that the Camperdown Community Garden had not been functioning in a way that allows this community asset to fulfill the space’s academically established benefits like “enhancing the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being necessary to build healthy and socially sustainable communities.” Considerable work in rebuilding the management and physical structure of the garden was required to address this. 

Much of the local rural area, in Victoria’s south-west, supports the dairy industry which has been impacted by the drought. As a result, the Camperdown & District Community House was seeing an increase in demand for emergency food relief and social support services. Camperdown is a strong community however, the impact of mental health issues, social isolation and drug and alcohol abuse has significant impact on social cohesion and health and wellbeing.

As part of a revamp, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s Working in Dairy Communities Small Grant allowed the Camperdown & District Community House to vastly improve the community garden space.

Four new above ground garden beds were designed, built and installed, with additional soil and compost to replenish depleted existing beds. A new accessible gravel path at rear of garden and around the new accessible garden beds was also added.

New garden guidelines and signage was also implemented, allowing individual gardeners to communicate and connect with the broader community. Using the boards, for example, to communicate what they are currently planting, or why they are planting what they are planting, when the produce will be ready to harvest, or other useful and educational information. 

New tools were also purchased that will be usable by people of diverse abilities.

“A friendly and inclusive community / stronger social fabric” has been identified as the primary outcome achieved from this project, with the following being the main reasons why this was identified as the primary outcome, and what we believe the most successful elements of the project to be.

This project was a tremendous success and a delight for everyone who participated in the process.

Grow Lightly Connect (GLC) was established in response to the lack of locally grown produce available to local consumers and, conversely, the lack of local outlets available to local growers.

The group has developed a strong presence in the local community since it set up in 2015, establishing a food hub and developing a network of local consumers and producers who share their vision of southern Gippsland being enabled to feed itself. But it was time to grow.

The GLC Growing Together project was focused on further increasing access to locally grown food, improving health outcomes in the community and contributing to a more robust local economy. With their $5,000 grant, they were able to fund a consultant to undertake market research on the feasibility and requirements of this expansion, and the development of a business plan. 

Extensive community consultation across Southern Gippsland highlighted places where there was interest in local produce but no ready access. GLC developed a bulk sales program for enterprises wanting to use local produce, which now regularly supplies 13 customers. Six are located on Phillip Island, which has traditionally had limited access to fresh, locally-grown food. 

The bespoke online ordering system that was developed for the bulk sales program now also handles the weekly orders for the vegie bags, which go out to around 35 families every week. These are packed and despatched from the new Grow Lightly Green Grocer shop in the main street of Korumburra, which is open six days a week.

GLC’s Chairman Gil Freeman says there’s still room for further growth, but the issue is finding the time to build the business. 

“There are now more than 100 small growers contributing to the social enterprise, in addition to the 15 larger-scale growers. The more extensive network of local outlets is also providing local growers with greater economic security.”

Bendigo, 11 July 2019: Twenty-six projects in Victoria’s three dairy regions will share in $120,326 in grant funding from the Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program, run in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal.

In its 17th year, the Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program offers up to $5,000 to help build Victorian dairy communities’ capacity to deal with local issues and enhance existing community infrastructure.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive, Clive Noble, said the grant funding aimed to strengthen dairy communities through supporting local initiatives.

“These grants help to create more resilient communities, enhance infrastructure and assets that all local people can benefit from,” Dr Noble said.

“Many of these projects leverage support from multiple sources to build community facilities where locals gather, like halls and clubrooms; support lifelong learning through education and training; and create community arts and health programs. Others look to contribute to creating a more vibrant, cultural community.”

“The Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program continues to bring us these wonderfully creative ways of strengthening the various support mechanisms that many of us, at one time or another in our lives, will fall back on,” said FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton.

“I’m continually amazed by the exponential value and genuine long-term impact that is created from these grants funded by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation. It’s a program we are very proud of.”

A complete list of the projects supported is below. They include:

  • Gippsland Dairy Region – Fish Creek Community Garden received $5,000 to commission and install a new artwork at the community garden, connecting it to the rest of the town and engaging local residents and tourists.
  • Northern Dairy Region – Greater Shepparton City Council received $5,000 to build community resilience through delivery of mental health first aid training in the communities of Tatura and Tallygaroopna.
  • South Western Dairy Region – South West Community Energy received $5,000 to strengthen environmental awareness and education outcomes by fitting out a renewable energy education van.

Since the launch of the annual program in 2002, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has invested more than $1.7 million in this program and has supported a total of 445 community projects.

GIPPSLAND DAIRY REGIONNORTHERN DAIRY REGIONSOUTH-WESTERN DAIRY REGION
Bena Public Hall IncFish Creek Community GardenFoster Primary SchoolFriends of the Lyre Bird Forest Walk IncHeyfield Tennis ClubLoch Memorial Reserve IncMirboo North Playgroup and Toy Library IncNyora Cricket Club IncProm Coast Centres for Children IncState Coal Mine – Rescue Station Arts IncCobram District Childrens Services IncCohuna and District Progress Association IncCorryong and District Memorial Public Hall IncGreater Shepparton City CouncilGreta Valley Landcare GroupMurrabit Men’s Shed IncRochester Community House IncStanhope & District Development Committee IncTatura Civic Halls Committee IncAnam Cara House Colac IncCamperdown & District Community HouseColac Otway Residents Action Group IncEmmanuel College IncPort Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail CommitteeSouth West Community EnergyThe Courthouse Camperdown Inc  
Oxley Primary sun shade Gardiner

The Oxley Primary School in north-east Victoria wanted to ensure it could make the best use of its outdoor areas, with a strong environmental science program. The school lacked an undercover outdoor area big enough to facilitate a learning space for a whole classroom of children.

The school’s own Sun Smart policy dictated that ‘Organised outdoor activities would be held in shaded areas wherever possible in Terms 1 and 4’, and so an underutilised north-facing area that was well connected to vegetable gardens, basketball courts, the chicken shed, and the gardening area was targeted for a makeover.

It was hoped that with the installation of a shade sail, the area could be used for outdoor learning and as a lunch area for the whole school – around 70 students. With the school also the location of a vacation care program out of school terms, a local playgroup and the North East Roller Derby Group, added shade would be a welcome addition for a large section of the community.

A $4,000 Gardiner Dairy Foundation Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants Program grant funded the shade sail, with a local contractor employed to complete the work.

The shade sail created a new outdoor learning area allowing children to connect with natural elements and diversify their outdoor experience, and the use of outdoor areas for teaching improved student learning along with a range of indicators, cognitive and both physical and mental wellbeing.

The school children were also able to use the area to sit and enjoy their lunch, which was a considerable improvement over a rotunda that was previously being used at the front of the school on a busy and noisy road. The adjacent classroom also reported reduced glare through the windows in the summer months and made the room more pleasant to work in.