Lady McEwen’s legacy benefits young and old

Bendigo, 22 June 2016: The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and Equity Trustees today announced that another eight projects in the Goulburn Valley will receive $67,500 in grants to support the young and elderly, thanks to The McEwen Foundation.

McEwen Foundation logo

Tabitha Lovett, General Manager, Philanthropy, Equity Trustees, which manages the McEwen Foundation, explained that Lady Mary McEwen, who was the wife of Sir John McEwen, Member for Murray and 18th Prime Minister of Australia, bequeathed funds for the benefit of the young and elderly in the Goulburn Valley in Victoria.

“Lady McEwen was very specific that she wanted her bequest to benefit youth development and vulnerable young children; support early learning and development services; and accommodation that benefits older people,” Ms Lovett said.

“Over the last decade the McEwen Foundation has worked with FRRR to distribute more than $607,500 in accordance with the wishes of the late Lady McEwen.

“This year, there is a focus on health and wellbeing, with funds going to support projects addressing childhood heart-disease, Hepatitis C, managing autism; education, with a focus on early learning and first-aid skills for kids, and enhancing the facilities at a local aged care facility.”

Ms Lovett said this is the last round of the McEwen Foundation Grants for the Goulburn Valley, as the Trustees have decided to fulfil Lady McEwen’s wishes by deepening their partnership with the Lighthouse Project, a collective impact initiative to support the wellbeing and positive outcomes for young people from conception to career in the City of Greater Shepparton.

“We have been a partner in the Lighthouse Project for the last three years, and believe that we can now best achieve Lady McEwen’s wishes by deepening our support. We’ve enjoyed the partnership with FRRR, who have done a great job administering the grants program, and we are delighted to have been able to support such a wide range of projects.”

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR said that the Grants program has had a significant impact over the last 10 years and reassured local community groups that FRRR will continue to support them.

“We have enjoyed working with the McEwen Foundation to help distribute the bequest on behalf of Lady McEwen. The projects funded via the McEwen Foundation Grants for the Goulburn Valley have all helped to create stronger, more vibrant communities. Often these small grants have been catalytic and led to local organisations attracting more funds. In other cases, they’ve helped to address a gap or create opportunities that may otherwise not be possible to fund locally.

“FRRR will continue to support community groups in the Goulburn Valley, through grant programs such as Small Grants for Rural Communities, REAPing Rewards and Caring for Ageing Rural Australians, to help address the kinds of needs that this program has supported.

“We wish the McEwen Foundation and the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse project all the best with their partnership,” said Ms Egleton.

A cheque presentation ceremony, to which all past grant recipients and local media were invited, was held on 22 June at The Greater Shepparton City Council’s Board Room.

Grants were made to the following projects:


Project & Description



Euroa Health Inc.

Small is Good

Enhancing facilities at Euroa’s new high level aged care facility, by fitting out a sitting room and dining room to create a homely environment for dementia patients.



Heartkids Vic Inc.

Outreach Family Support Program

Delivery of an outreach program for families with childhood heart disease, strengthening relationships with health workers and providing social support and increasing community awareness for vulnerable children.





Hepatitis Victoria Inc.

HepAware Mitchell

Education of young people in the dangers and risk reduction strategies for Hepatitis through the extension of a photography project and exhibition.

Broadford Seymour



Resource Information Support & Education Centre

Secret Agent Society

Provision of a world class behavioural change education and skills program to support families with Autism Spectrum children.



Shepparton Retirement Villages Inc.

Overhead Lifting System

Installation of 12 ceiling hoists in line with best-practice patient handling to maximise dignity, comfort and quality of life for residents in aged care facility and improve staff OH&S.



St John Ambulance Australia (VIC) Inc.

St John First Aid in Schools Community Program

Delivery of a first aid training program for Prep to Year Six students improving students’ capacity to help when injuries occur.

Kyabram Tallygaroopna Tatura Yarrawonga


TTF Save the Children Australia Trust

Supporting School Readiness

Provision of a teacher’s aide for individual support of disadvantaged kindergarten children for two terms, assisting development of school readiness, socialisation and cognitive skills development.



Warramunda Village Inc.

Media Centre

Installation of a media centre, improving the quality of life for elderly residents and improving community and staff training facilities. 



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