Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Students Against Racism (SAR) is a youth organisation based in Hobart, Tasmania. They believe that ‘in diversity lies strength’ and they seek to build a stronger more welcoming and supportive community by sharing stories and addressing misconceptions.

Tassie Youth teach Anti-Racism

It was formed in 2008 by multicultural youth with lived experience in just how damaging direct acts of racism from their community can be. Recognising that ignorance was a big part of these acts, they sought to change the way their community saw people from different cultures through the path of education.

For over a decade SAR have developed and delivered integral and multi award-winning learning tools that have since been incorporated into various organisations – including schools and community groups, the Tasmanian police recruit training program and a number of TasTAFE courses. A part of these programs involves teaching participants about the issues and challenges facing multicultural youth who are new to the Tasmanian community. 

As the proud recipients of a $7400 grant from FRRR’s HEYWIRE program, supported by the Sally Foundation, SAR attended the 2019 HEYWIRE Conference and made some long-lasting and vital connections that have since flourished into a greatly beneficial foundation for interstate learning. 

The funding allowed 18 SAR representatives from various cultural backgrounds to travel from Hobart to Bendigo and present their flagship educational anti-racism program ‘Living in Between’ to 110 local youth at Eaglehawk Secondary College in the Bendigo region. The workshop involved presentations, small group work, activities and training, and allowed a safe environment to ask questions in order to foster understanding and compassion for those with multicultural backgrounds.

“The program gives the students the platform to explain why they left their homelands, the journey that brought them to Australia, and their lives now.”

Seeing the deep-seated impact that the SAR representatives could make via their anti-racism program, the students and youth from the Bendigo region indicated that were inspired to hold their own similar workshop and have since done so with great effect. 

Through delivering this invaluable program, the youth of SAR have significantly gained self-confidence, increased teamwork and support, and have fostered deeper connections not just within their group but with the greater community. Helen Hortle who has been integral in the coordination of the educational adventure is pleased as punch with the outcome.

“It has been a fantastic experience for young members of SAR – one that wouldn’t have been possible without FRRR funding and support. Thank you!”

Wiradjuri Country

The transition from teenager into adulthood is widely acknowledged as a tough one. As we leave behind childhood and enter our formative years, a greater sense of responsibility, identity and independence can be extremely overwhelming for some. For those living in remote, rural, and regional Australia, this new life-stage can be even more daunting, especially as many young people are forced to move out of familiar environments to further their education or find employment.

Wagga Wagga, in the Riverina region of New South Wales, currently has around 11,800 young people living in the area. While Wagga Wagga has a lot to offer its younger residents, from education to a vast range of sporting clubs, the youth unemployment rate sits at 11.6% (2016 Census data).

With a large portion of the population transitioning from adolescence into adulthood, headspace Wagga Wagga wanted to help make the process a bit easier.

Partnering with local organisation Youth Reference Group (YRG), headspace Wagga Wagga developed a program called “Adulting”, based on an idea developed at the Heywire Regional Youth Summit. The YRG is an active group of individuals aged between 16-25 who dedicate their time to issues that impact young people’s mental health. Through a mix of brainstorming and lived experience, the group was able to identify 10 aspects of adult life they wished they knew more about before they had to deal with the issues. The list included the voting process, understanding tax and superannuation, the maintenance of rental properties (including cleaning), organising healthcare (both private and public), the job interview process and making important appointments.

Using a $7,000 FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation grant, funded by The Sally Foundation, headspace Wagga Wagga and YRG were able to hire a videographer to help produce a video for each topic, which was then distributed on social media.

Heywire adulting workshop

The videos were released over 10 weeks, via a Facebook page moderated by the YRG team. The “Adulting” videos reached 500 young people who now have resources to build practical life skills.

At the end of the program, the “Hindsight Project” took place for the ten young people who were instrumental in creating and curating the content. This provided an opportunity for reflection and discussion about the project and also a chance for networking.

COVID-19 restrictions made promoting the videos and authentic engagement with the content challenging. However, with the content still online and available for those who need it, the videos will continue to reach young people and provide them with tips and advice for their big move into adulthood.

Sally Foundation Trailblazers Development Fund grants awarded
E-Raced – 2020 Trailblazers grant recipient

The Sally Foundation Trailblazers Development Fund has awarded grants totalling $26,650 to support six youth-led initiatives that address the needs of remote, rural and regional communities in Australia.

Trailblazers are invited to apply for funds to help them to take their project ideas to the next level, or for personal development opportunities to build their skills and networks and boost their capacity to strengthen their community.

Joanna Kemp, FRRR’s Philanthropic Services Manager, said:

“The Trailblazers program builds the capacity of young people that have come through the ABC Heywire program by activating their ideas and vision for a vital and vibrant remote, rural and regional Australia.

“As an initiative of the Sally Foundation, and supported by the ABC, the Trailblazers program has shown to be an important stepping stone for the young people involved to achieve and exceed their goals within their communities, it’s a great opportunity for them to gain confidence in applying for and delivering a grant,” Ms Kemp said.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good (DIYDG) Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander CorporationSaltwater Sistas Levelling Up
Build capacity of Trailblazer participant to promote marine conservation among Indigenous girls and women through support to develop skills in ocean photography to share via social media channels.
Coffs Harbour / Lady Elliot Island$5,000
QUEENSLAND
Cunnamulla & District Show Society IncorporatedFocus on Female Ruralpreneurs
Build the capacity of Trailblazer participant to support rural and regional women in business by attending a certificate course in Training & Assessment and delivering a podcast and webinar program.
Cunnamulla$4,535
Rotary Club of Sunnybank Hills IncWCMX & Adaptive Skate
Increase community awareness and accessibility for people with disabilities across Australia to participate in wheelchair motocross and build mobility skills through development of demonstration wheelchairs for adults and children.
Holmview$5,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The South East Junction, Mental Health Activity and Resource CentreEveryone has a Role to Play
Grow awareness and education of mental health issues in the Limestone Coast region through the delivery of two community Mental Health First Aid programs.
Mount Gambier$4,400
VICTORIA
Mindfull Aus LtdChanging the Narrative - In Motion
Boost education and awareness of mental and wellness in rural and regional communities through a series of video interviews featuring Gippsland residents.
Warragul$4,115
Right Mate IncorporatedSober Mates is Changing the Way Australians Socialise!
Grow community awareness about how alcohol use can affect mental health and wellbeing in rural and regional communities and create opportunities for young people to socialise at alcohol free events.
Geelong$3,600

When teachers at Nambucca Heads High School in northern NSW decided to embark on a practical vocational skills program to help their students become job-ready, the community came on board to help out.

Principal Simon McKinney and Trade School Coordinator Gary Cattanach were looking for an innovative, student led project that would lead to higher retention rates for students and would also boost employment opportunities for Aboriginal students in the community. They settled on designing, creating and constructing a total of five sculptures with cultural significance that continue to be celebrated in a community sculpture installation. The project allowed students to lead their own learning, a method that had already been successful in improving student retention and engagement.

Aboriginal students worked together with community groups, who offered workspaces, mentorship and other in-kind support. The work was completed before, during and after school, in both paid and voluntary capacities, to create these fantastic sculptures. A $20,000 grant from the Innovation for Community Impact (I4CI) program, funded by the NSW Dept of Family and Community Services and The Sally Foundation, meant they could afford the materials they needed, making their dream a reality.

Students who participated in the program also had the opportunity to earn their Bronze Medallion and learn valuable small business skills, increasing both their employability and social capital in the community. By the end of the program, many students had achieved full time, part-time or casual employment.

In the acquittal report, Simon McKinney said, “The project allowed all students – girls, boys, and those with special needs – to be on an equal footing. Training and development for future employment were at the centre of all their achievements. The wider benefit is that Aboriginal people are developing and leading communities in employment and youth development.” The project came together in the Maagunda Festival, held on the main beach in Nambucca. The whole community came together to view the statues and learn about the cultural motivations and meaning behind them. To this day, the presence of the sculptures has become a tourist attraction; a welcome outcome for a community heavily reliant on tourism and recovering from bushfires.

Outstanding young leaders who are creating positive change in regional Australia are chosen annually to attend the Heywire Summit. These ‘Trailblazers’ are a new generation of change-makers busy making regional Australia a better place, tackling issues from climate change to period inequality. The Sally Foundation and ABC recently partnered with FRRR to support these emerging leaders to build their leadership skills, and their capacity to make a difference in their communities. 

The Sally Foundation Trailblazers Development Fund awarded seven grants totalling $20,000. One of the recipients was E-raced Inc in Mt Gambier, who is using their $2,000 grant to deliver cultural awareness programs in rural SA and Victorian schools.  

E-raced fights racism through storytelling. The organisation has a team of storytellers who share their experiences as refugees or migrants with students at schools, breaking the stigma around refugees and migrants.     

The Trailblazers Development Fund grant allowed E-raced to purchase the equipment they needed for their organisation to grow, including a printer, camera and children screenings and police checks for each E-raced Mount Gambier team member. 

“This grant is very appreciated and lifts the weight off our team”, E-raced branch manager Chanceline Kakule said. 

Partner Organisation

Project Name

Location

Awarded

Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good (DIYDG) Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Corporation

Deadly Science

Improve educational outcomes and nutrition among young people, and increase food security in three remote Indigenous communities through the installation of greenhouses.

Robinson River NT
Dareton NSW
Purnululu Frog Hollow WA

$4,000

Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good (DIYDG) Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Corporation

Autism Our Way – No Shame in Sharing PODCAST

Build awareness of autism and support for Indigenous communities in managing autism through a podcast on Autism and Cultural Safety.

Cardiff NSW

$2,000

Mindfull Aus Ltd.

Digitally Mindful

Improve education and awareness of mental health and wellness in rural and regional communities through a series of online interviews.

Gippsland VIC

$2,131

North Stirlings Pallinup Natural Resources Incorporated

Pallinup River Monitoring – Connecting our Community and Culture to Science

Improve water quality in the Pallinup River through a river monitoring and community education program.

Gnowangerup WA
Borden WA
Ongerup WA

$2,180

E-Raced Incorporated

Erasing racism one story at a time

Build capacity of E-Raced to deliver cultural awareness programs in rural SA and Victorian schools through the purchase of technology equipment and contribution to travel expenses. 

Mount Gambier SA
Warrambool VIC
Penola VIC

$2,000

Woomelang & District Development Association

Look at these Endangered Species of Mallee

Improve town amenity and build community pride in Woomelang, Victoria, through installation of lighting and signage for a local mural art project depicting endangered animal species.

Woomelang VIC

$3,689

Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good (DIYDG) Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Corporation

Systems Check

Improve organisational capacity of Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good to provide support to Indigenous young people through finalisation of their Human Service Quality Framework. 

Cairns QLD

$4,000