Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

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.

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