$100,000 of grants for small Victorian dairy communities

Twenty-eight community groups from Victoria’s three dairy regions have shared $100,000 of grants in the Working in Dairy Communities program.  The Program is funded by the Gardiner Foundation and is delivered collaboratively by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) across Victoria.

This is the eleventh year in which the Gardiner Foundation and FRRR have worked together to deliver the Small Grants Program, which offers funds of up to $5,000 for individual local projects to improve existing infrastructure and strengthen small rural communities. The grants were announced today at a reception at Parliament House in Melbourne.

Gardiner Foundation Chairman Mike Taylor said that it is very important to support people in small regional communities to find their own community based solutions to local problems.

“In many small towns, public halls and reserves are the focal point for community, social and sporting activities and we have found that a small cash grant can be the catalyst which enables community groups to achieve projects of impressive scope, often well beyond the original expectation,” he said. 

“This not only achieves improved infrastructure of lasting benefit for the town and district, but can strengthen the community through volunteers, dairyfarmers, local business and trades people coming together in endeavours for the common good”, he added.

Ian Sinclair, Chairman of FRRR, said, “The real strength of the Grants is that they address issues that are fundamentally important to communities and they support solutions proposed by the people themselves.”

“The grants are widely and evenly distributed across the State’s three principle dairying regions and include some communities supported by this program for the first time,” Gardiner Foundation CEO Mary Harney said.

She added, “Total funding requested well exceeded the amount of funds available, demonstrating a strong need for this type of support.”

The projects proposed are of considerable diversity, including:

  • Upgrades of infrastructure for young people, including at schools and kindergartens as well as facilities used by youth groups such as scouts and guides;
  • A program to bring together isolated women in the dairy industry;
  • Delivery of a two day accredited first aid course for dairy farmers;
  • Refurbishment of community assets such as meeting halls and recreation reserves;
  • Support for facilities used by Agricultural and Pastoral societies, and
  • Support of men’s sheds, which provide such a wonderful resource for local men to come together, support one another and learn new skills.

The full list of successful projects is below.

  Organisation Project Town Awarded
1 1st & 2nd Cohuna Scout Group Flash Floor
Installation of new floor coverings for the showers, toilets and kitchen, as part of the major upgrade of this community meeting facility.
Cohuna $4,590
2 Alvie & District Kindergarten Inc Inspirational Outdoors
New cubby house and the garden revitalisation to create an engaging learning space for children.
Coragulac $3,499
3 Alvie Consolidated School Parents & Friends Reading Rocket
Updated readers for across all year levels to provide educational equality.
Alvie $1,463
4 Camperdown & District Community House Women in Dairy Seminar- Laugh Your Scarf off with Nellie Thomas
An event to bring together isolated women involved in the dairy industry.
Camperdown $2,200
5 Coleraine & District Development Association Inc Sheltering Our Future
Constructing a solid structure to provide all weather protection to the playground.
Coleraine $1,600
6 Dederang Primary School Council Building Student and Community Wellbeing
Support for resilience and social and emotional health and wellbeing program.
Dederang $4,000
7 Dhurringile Community Centre Rural Health is Rural Wealth - First Aid for Farmers
Delivery of a two day accredited first aid course for dairy farmers.
Dhurringile $1,728
8 Girgarre Community Kindergarten Parent Advisory Committee Outdoor Wonderland
Construction of a pergola in the play area to provide shade and protection from the weather.
Girgarre $5,000
9 Katandra West Junior Guides Garden Revival
Revival of an unused garden area between the Guide hall and local Early Childhood Centre, creating a new learning and recreation space.
Katandra West $1,703
10 Gormandale Recreation Reserve Committee Inc. Sun Shade Area for Community Playground
Provision of a shade structure for the community playground.
Gormandale $5,000
11 Great Southern Rail Trail Committee of Management Re-Sprouting the Fish Creek Community Garden
Establishing a thriving community garden at Fish Creek, providing an alternative recreation activity, as well as a new place for the community to gather.
Fish Creek $5,000
12 Hallston Mechanics Institute Inc Hallston Hall West Wall Reclad
Replacement of four windows and recladding of the western wall of this important community meeting place. 
Hallston $5,000
13 Kawarren Recreation Reserve Committee Kawarren - Letting the Light Back In!
Replacing broken windows to make this former school site safe and inviting for community use. 
Kawarren $4,000
14 Kirkstall Mechanics Hall Kirky Kitchen Kleen-up
Much needed kitchen improves including new equipment and bench tops for this community meeting facility.
Kirkstall $3,000
15 Koroit Bowls Club Inc Heat 'em up and Cool 'em down
Installation of a wall mounted inverter split system, ensuring the Club is better able to cater to the community’s meeting needs.
Koroit $4,895
16 Korumburra Agricultural & Pastoral Society Dairy Extension
Installation of nine 4 x 4 meter steel bays, with power and water in each partition in the cattle pavilion, enabling more people to show their animals at events that bring the community together.
Korumburra $4,750
17 Labertouche & District Men's Shed
(Labertouche & District Community Centre Inc)
Improve Meeting Facilities for Men's Shed
Equipment for the kitchenette at the Mens’ Shed, which will enable the Shed to host meetings over longer periods. 
Labertouche $1,394
18 Lake Bolac College Parent Council Get on Board
Purchase of a near new 22 seat diesel mini bus for use by the school and for local community transport, providing improved access to services and educational opportunities.
Lake Bolac $5,000
19 Leitchville Community Sporting Complex Bums on Seats with No Splinters
Replacement of old timber seating near the complex with new metal seating, to encourage more people to attend community events and enjoy the surrounding recreational area.
Leitchville $2,500
20 Murrabit Special Project Committee Inc Murrabit Men Get Moving!
Repairs to former scout hall so it can be used as the Men's Shed club room, enabling local men to come together to support one another and learn new skills.
Murrabit $3,000
21 Murray Human Services Inc Toasty Warm Toes and Fingers for Task Force Kerang
Installation of a large free standing heater and a safety guard to keep supported workers warm.
Kerang $3,995
22 Naringal Baptist Church Operation Child Play
Contribution towards an outdoor play area as part of establishing a community Occasional Child Care Centre.
Naringal $2,095
23 Noorat & District Agricultural & Pastoral Society Inc. Homescraft Recraft
Creating enhanced, inclusive access to the building by concreting the entrances.
Noorat $3,000
24 Tongala Community Activities Centre Inc Kids in the Cottage
Contribution towards the material and supplies costs for the 2014 community-based child care program.
Tongala $5,000
25 Toolamba Primary School Council Rising from the ashes: Resilience and spirit of our community
Hosting a professional mental health presentation to raise awareness of mental health issues, followed by a community BBQ to bring people together.
Toolamba $3,850
26 Venus Bay Tarwin Lower and District Men's Shed Inc. Community Miniature Portable Putt Putt Golf Course
Materials to build a miniature, portable putt-putt golf course for use by community groups at events.
Venus Bay $3,138
27 Whorouly and District Preschool From Woeful to Welcoming!
Refurbishing the hall foyer which is used as the preschool reception and waiting area.
Whorouly $4,600
28 Yarragon Preschool Centre Inc Early Childhood Hub
Transporting the preschool building to the new site at the primary school to create an education hub.
Yarragon $5,000


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