Grants helps break down barriers to education for country kids

Twenty-four groups share more than $185,000 in grants

Bendigo, 13 July: The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has awarded 24 community groups more than $185,000 in grants to fund education initiatives that help to break down barriers for isolated children and youth across Australia.

This is the sixth round of FRRR’s REAPing Rewards program and it continues to highlight the significant need for funding to enhance educational opportunities in rural, regional and remote Australia. REAPing Rewards benefits children and youth (0-18 years) and their educators in rural and remote communities.

Some of the innovative projects funded in this round include:

  • Providing at-risk and disengaged students at the Cunnamulla Secondary School in Queensland with hands on learning opportunities to complete the Certificate II Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways course.
  • Piloting a science based peer to peer teacher learning and co-operative professional development program between high school and primary school teachers in the Mt Gambier area of South Australia.
  • Assisting students from seven schools in the Derwent Valley in Tasmania to participate in the State art and science awards to improve engagement with science and art.
  • Providing Speech Pathologist assessments for four kindergartens in the Buloke Shire, in Victoria, to improve access to specialist services and language training for parents and educators.
  • Supporting an excursion to the city for youth from remote Western Australia to inspire and encourage further education and alternative career pathways.
  • Upgrading the cattle yards at the Coolah Central School in NSW to increase their capacity and safety, as part of their agriculture program.

The complete list of education projects funded is available below. These grants were possible thanks to the many donors that invested in this collaborative program, including Third Link Investment, Barr Family Foundation, Gross Foundation, The Caledonia Foundation, The Maple Brown Foundation, The Yulgilbar Foundation, and individual donors.

Demand continues to outstrip available funds

This round, the program received 218 applications requesting $1.75m toward projects valued at $8.95m. Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that these figures show the level of need, and more importantly, the opportunities to enhance education in rural areas.

“Philanthropy really can help to break down the barriers to education for country students. This program is all about providing improved access to the resources and opportunities that are so easily available to metropolitan students. This round we were only able to fund just under 12% of the projects that applied, and many worthy projects missed out.

“There is much more to be done to create educational balance for children in remote areas, and these grants make a tangible difference to rural children. We’ve seen increased attendance, engagement and motivation of students through the grants we’ve awarded previously, which is why we are so keen to see the program continue,” Ms Egleton said.

FRRR is currently reviewing this program to understand its impact and to confirm the priorities and areas of greatest need in rural education. Interested donors are invited to contact FRRR to discuss how they can help rural, regional and remote Australian students access the best education possible.

For more information on FRRR’s education programs, go to The list of projects funded is below.





Coolah Central School

Yards for Learning, Future Farmers Earning!

Upgrade cattle yards to increase capacity and safety of the school’s agriculture program.

Coolah, NSW


Molong Central School

Write On!

Deliver innovative writing workshops to engage students in literacy.

Molong, NSW


Pottsville Community Preschool Inc

Kids and Music

Conduct a preschool music program to enhance learning and development.

Pottsville, NSW


Warrumbungle Shire Council

Connect Five Mobile Toy Library

Update resources for mobile toy library to improve early education in rural and regional communities.

Coonabarabran, NSW


Young Public P&C Assoc

Building together - Learning Together - Striving together. Using STEM to put students through their HOOPS

Develop electronic kits to build the capacity of local primary and secondary teachers to deliver STEM education and increase student engagement.

Young, NSW


Clyde Fenton School Council Inc

Speaking Easy for Living and Learning

Engage a Speech Pathologist to provide student assessments, early intervention tools and professional development for teachers.

Katherine, NT


Croydon Shire Council

Yummy Healthy Crunch Munch and Exciting new resources

Purchase educational resources and staples to enhance the curriculum and provide better access to nutrition for children at a Childcare Centre.

Croydon, Qld


Cunnamulla Primary & Secondary P&C Assoc

Get Set for Work!

Provide at-risk and disengaged students with hands on learning opportunities to complete a Certificate II Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways course.

Cunnamulla, Qld


Kulpi State School

Kulpi Reading Capers

Update reading resources to increase student engagement in reading.

Kulpi, Qld


Nebo State School

Nebo's Hub

Establish an e-Kindy pod to enable local access to early childhood education.

Nebo, Qld


Yaraka Sports and Progress Association Inc

Building Blocks for Outback Education

Renovate former Yaraka State School building to accommodate a tutor who will support students to undertake distance education as a group.

Yaraka, Qld


Mt Gambier High School

Strengthening Regional Science Education & Engagement

Pilot peer to peer teacher learning and co-operative professional development between high school and primary school teachers in the local cluster, focussing on science specific activities.

Mt Gambier, SA


Derwent Valley Council

Bigger Horizons

Improve engagement in science and art curriculum by supporting students from seven schools to participate in the State Art and Science Awards.

New Norfolk, Tas


Jordan River Service Inc

Great Start 4 Kids

Support a school breakfast program to improve students' attendance, behaviour and academic performance.

Gagebrook, Tas


True Trails Community Programs Assoc. Inc.

Reading, Writing and Riding - Bridging a Gap

Provide an equine therapy program to engage students with additional needs and improve their educational outcomes.

Marion Bay, Tas


Axedale Primary School

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Village, Healthy Futures

Deliver a healthy food and wellbeing program to increase nutrition and fitness levels for students.

Axedale, Vic


Casterton Primary School

Music for Future Learning

Purchase musical instruments to support a school-wide music program.

Casterton, Vic


Cowwarr Primary School

Breaking Barriers with Auslan

Deliver Music and Auslan programs to enhance educational and social outcomes for students.

Cowwarr, Vic


Kerang Technical High School

Lit in the Sticks

Facilitate interactive literary workshop incursions to expand students’ literacy and critical thinking skills, through exposure to professional writers.

Kerang, Vic


Mallee Family Care Inc.

'Speaking' of Being Ready for School

Enhance access to specialist services and language training for parents and educators by providing speech pathology assessments for four kindergartens in the Buloke Shire,

Mildura, Vic


Pingrup Primary School

Pingrup Play

Purchase early years play equipment to improve gross and fine motor skill development for the preschool / early years area.

Pingrup, WA


Quairading Community Resource Centre Inc.

Boogie Roos

Deliver a structured early childhood music and movement  program to increase confidence and developmental skills of local children.

Quairading, WA


Sacred Heart School Beagle Bay

Deadly Youth Leaders

Conduct an experiential excursion to Sydney to inspire and encourage further education and alternative career pathways.

Beagle Bay, WA


Western Australian Debating League Inc

Boosting Educational Opportunities through Debating on Christmas Island

Deliver a dynamic, five-day intensive co-curricular program to strengthen educational outcomes across the curriculum at the high school.

Christmas Island, WA







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