CARA grants support ageing and elderly rural Victorians

Bendigo, 6 January 2020: Older Victorians will be able to enjoy improved facilities and support in their communities, after sharing in $225,000 in grants in the 14th round of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal's Caring for Rural Ageing Australians (CARA) grants program.

Improving social connections is an important element of the CARA program.

The grants are funded with the generous support of the Ian Rollo Currie Estate Foundation and will help deliver projects with a total value of $436,000.

CARA recognises that the responsibility for supporting older people in rural, regional and remote Australia to age in place is increasingly falling to community groups, many of which are volunteer-run, and not-for-profit. These grants provide support for these vital facilities, services and activities that improve the well-being of older Australians, through proactive, positive community-based ageing programs, as well as practical help such as equipment for centres and community-based residential facilities.

"While older Victorians are the obvious beneficiaries of CARA grants, the wider community also benefits with the aged-care workforce also empowered in their roles through upgrades to equipment," says FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton.

"We know that older Victorians are more likely to be socially isolated and digitally excluded, and have poorer access to health, housing, transport and other essential services. I'm pleased that many of the grants that are being awarded in this round of the CARA program will work towards alleviating these pressures."

Among the successful recipients in the small grants stream is R M Begg Kyneton Aged Care Inc which will run two dementia training sessions for 30 staff. This training has been developed by the Centre for Dementia Learning and includes the use of virtual reality to examine the mealtime experience in residential aged care from the dual perspectives of an aged care worker and a person living with dementia.

Through the large grant stream, Healesville Interchurch Community Care Inc will be able to purchase a new community car for its Volunteer Community Transport program, which transports elderly community members to health appointments in Healesville, Lilydale and Melbourne.

To find out more about this program and to keep an eye on application dates, go to the FRRR website.

Below is the list of this round's grant recipients.

Small Grants





Beolite Village Ltd


Community Centre Renewable Power Project

Strengthen organisational capacity through the installation of a solar panel system at an independent retirement village.




Birchip Neighbourhood House Inc

Together Birchip Can Age Better

Develop a community engagement program to improve health and social wellbeing for older people in Birchip, while strengthening organisational resilience through contracting a community engagement support worker.



R M Begg Kyneton Aged Care Inc

In My Shoes

Improve the health and social wellbeing of people living with dementia by providing a virtual reality program for residents and training for staff. 



Wonthaggi and District Elderly Citizens Homes Inc

The Magic of Music-Participation in Music as a Therapy for Residents in Aged Care

Improve social participation and the health and wellbeing of residents at Rose Lodge through the enhancement of a music therapy program.



Large Grants





Chaffey Aged Care Inc (Merbein Community Men's Shed)

Merbein Men's Shed Expansion Project

Encourage social participation for older community members and develop organisational capacity by expanding the size of the existing shed.




Eventide Homes (Stawell) Inc


Eventide Strength and Balance for Greater Mobility Project

Improve the strength, balance and mobility of residents through the installation of age appropriate exercise equipment and implementation of individual programs to improve health and wellbeing.



Healesville Interchurch Community Care Inc


HICCI Community Car

Increase volunteer capacity and provide a safe transport service for disadvantaged older community members in Healesville and Yarra Glen, through the purchase of a vehicle.



Maldon Hospital

Maldon Hospital Community Car

Improve the health and well-being of elderly members of the community and volunteers through the purchase of a new vehicle to establish a medical transport service.



Murrabit Men's Shed Inc

Murrabit Men's Shed - Let Us Grow!

Reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing by extending the workshop capacity of the Murrabit Men's Shed.



The Old Colonists Association of Victoria

Enhancing the Lives of Older Adults with New Technologies: The ‘Technology Tuesdays’ project

Reduce social isolation and strengthen engagement through the establishment of an information technology program.



West Wimmera Health Service

Rainbow Outdoor Living - A Garden to Bring Alive the Senses

Support health and wellbeing and encourage positive ageing, by creating an accessible garden and activity area, providing Rainbow Hostel and Nursing Home residents with a secure and partially shaded outdoor area to enjoy with other residents, family and friends.




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