Grants set to help address biggest challenges facing rural youth

More than $113,000 shared across 35 communities

Bendigo, 8 August, 2017:  Rural youth and their mentors in 35 rural and regional communities will soon be implementing projects to address some of the biggest issues facing young Australians, thanks to grants from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).

Youth Innovation GrantsThe FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants will help these communities to pilot ideas that were developed at the 2017 ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit in February. The projects tackle issues ranging from mental health, the impact of drugs and anti-racism, to youth disengagement and detention, LGBTQI wellbeing, revitalising agricultural careers and access to technology.

The grants were presented to recipients at an event in Melbourne earlier today, hosted by the ABC at their new studios in Southbank. While not all recipients could attend, the communities benefiting from the grants are located across Australia, including 21 Aboriginal communities in the Central Desert in NT, Strathalbyn in SA, Whitsundays in QLD, Deloraine in TAS, Pannawonica in WA, Tumut NSW and Bendigo in VIC and Canberra.

Mikayla Mayoh from Townsville, in far north Queensland, participated in the Heywire Summit and was part of the group that developed an idea to build resilient communities as an approach to tackling substance abuse. Their idea was to host a community event called ‘One Drop’, inspired by the fact that one drop of fresh water changes the salt content of the ocean. The One Drop event will provide information and support for friends and families affected by the drug abuse of a loved one, and helping to start the conversation about drug abuse in their community.

Mikayla brought a personal perspective to this project, after losing her cousin to an ice addition just before his 30th birthday. Mikayla partnered with Althea Projects Inc, which has received a grant to implement the One Drop idea in Townsville.

“Receiving this grant is an absolute honour and I can't wait to bring One Drop to Townsville. This project is so close to my heart, as my family has experienced first-hand the devastation that ice can cause. One Drop will help families going through similar hardships to source the help they need,” said Ms Mayoh.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants enable young people to work with community groups in their communities to make the ideas developed at the Summit a reality.

“The Summit allows young people to come together, talk about the issues that matter to them and then workshop solutions to those challenges. These grants then enable local leaders to work with local youth to implement these solutions in a way that will resonate in their communities,” Ms Egleton said.

“The groups that have received grants in this round now have a fantastic opportunity to make a real and lasting difference. We’ve seen many projects seed-funded with FRRR Heywire Youth Innovation grants over the past five years still going strong, and continuing to have an impact. We look forward to seeing the legacy of this year’s grants.”

The grants are possible thanks to support from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, The Sally Foundation, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, The Betty Fulton Fund and several private donors.

Full details of the grant recipients and their projects are below.



Grant Amount

Idea / Project

Alexandrina Council

Strathalbyn, SA


Ag Boom

Encourages young people to investigate careers in agriculture by connecting them with local farmers.

South Coast Beef Producers Assoc Inc

South Coast, Shoalhaven area, NSW


Australian Migrant Resource Centre

Mount Gambier, SA


Common Connections

Helps young people take the vital first step in reaching out for support with mental illness.

Northern Australia Primary Health Limited

Mackay, Whitsunday, Sarina & Moranbah, QLD


Tumut Youth Council (Snowy Valley Council)

Tumut, NSW


Greater Bendigo City Council

Bendigo, VIC


Dear CRIS (Connecting Rural and International Students)

Helps regional students make friends with people from different backgrounds to broaden their awareness.

The Henry Lawson High School

Grenfell, NSW


The Unconformity Inc

Queenstown, TAS


Young National Writers' Festival Inc

Newcastle, NSW



Gives queer young people the skills they need to take up leadership positions in regional areas.

Boambee East Community Centre Incorporated

Coffs Harbour, NSW


White Lion Incorporated - Newstead Branch

Deloraine, TAS


Need a Nanna Network

Helps young people coming out of youth detention by giving them the support they need to reduce the risk of re-offending.

Canberra Police Community Youth Club Inc

Canberra, ACT


Althea Projects Incorporated

Townsville, QLD


One Drop

Supports the families of those impacted by substance abuse.

Pannawonica Youth Club Inc

Pannawonica, WA


Tech Hub in the Scrub

Brings technology to rural communities so residents can further their education.

Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation

21 Central Desert Aboriginal communities via Alice Springs, NT



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