$100,000 available to implement youth-developed projects in rural and regional Australia

Communities invited to apply for locally led grants

Bendigo, 10 April, 2017:  The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and its partners are offering $100,000 in grants to community groups in rural, regional and remote areas to help them adopt one of seven innovative, youth-driven ideas that emerged at the annual Heywire Regional Youth Summit.

At this leadership development program, young people from across the country engaged in national conversations on issues that matter to them. Then, working with mentors from government, philanthropic and corporate sectors, they developed practical solutions to combat them.

The FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants program helps community groups implement these ideas. This year, they cover a range of big issues, including racism, youth working in agriculture, mental wellbeing, access to technology, substance abuse, keeping young people out of youth detention and LGBTQI+ leadership and equality. You can learn more about them and the people behind them in the grants booklet.

FRRR's representatives at the 2017 Heywire Summit

FRRR’s CEO Natalie Egleton says there are grants of up to $10,000 available to help not-for-profit community groups to adopt, adapt and then implement one of these seven project ideas in their local area.

“The young participants are passionate about these ideas because they have experienced the issues first hand. By combining the insights of the Heywire youth with the experience and networks of local community leaders in regional Australia, we know these projects will drive positive change for the future,” explained Ms Egleton.

“The outcomes we have seen from previous projects have been nothing short of extraordinary. We can’t wait to see these new ideas become reality and strongly encourage not-for-profit community groups to work with young people in their community and apply for a grant to adopt, adapt and act on one of these ideas and create positive change.”

Mikayla Mayoh, one of this year’s Heywire winners, explains that the One Drop project will provide information and support for friends and families affected by the drug abuse of a loved one, helping to start the conversation about drug abuse in their community.

“When I lost my older cousin due to substance abuse, our tight-knit family was rocked to its core. We soon became witnesses to the stigma surrounding drug abuse. For me, One Drop is a chance to give other families the opportunity to come together, connect and share stories of their loved ones in a safe environment and to realise they are not alone in their fight.”

Grant applications close 15 May 2017. Communities selected to implement their projects will be announced early August.

For more information about the ideas and a grant application form, visit frrr.org.au/heywire , or email info@frrr.org.au for a hard copy of the report.  Applicants can also call 1800 170 020.

To date, FRRR has funded more than 50 projects through this program. This short video showcases how some of previous ideas have created real change.


The Ideas

In February, 40 young people from across Australia gathered in Canberra for the annual ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit. The 16-22 year old’s shared their views on issues that matter to them and worked together to develop seven ideas:

Project idea



Dear CRIS (Connecting Rural and International Students)

Combating racism, thinking globally

A ten-week program for senior Primary school students that connects them with students from other countries and cultures via technology and writing letters.

Ag Boom

Education and engagement of youth in agriculture

Year 10 Students explore opportunities for a career in agriculture by undertaking hands on experiences on a working farm, through a term-long education program.

Common Connections

Mental wellbeing, resilient communities

An early intervention program that connects young people to non-clinical support through a community mentoring program.

Tech Hub in the Scrub


Access to technology in rural and remote Australia

A program through which superseded computer hardware from the corporate sector is relocated to rural and remote communities, with appropriate software and connectivity to enable students to have equitable access to technology.

One Drop


Substance abuse, resilient communities

Based on the idea that one drop of fresh water changes the salt content of the ocean, a One Drop community event would provide information and support for friends and families affected by the drug abuse of a loved one, helping to start the conversation about drug abuse in their community.

Need a Nanna Network (NANN)

Keeping young people out of youth detention

An arts-based therapy program to connect young people just out of juvenile detention with adult mentors (male or female), providing stable and mature individualised support to minimise the risk of young people reoffending.


Youth Leadership, LGBTQI+ and equality

Providing opportunities for LGBTQI+ young people to take up leadership positions within existing community festivals, events and arts programs to provide new and inclusive side events that help empower and give them a voice on issues that are important to them.


About FRRR: The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) was established in 2000. Its mission is to champion the economic and social strength of Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities through partnerships with the private sectors, philanthropy and governments. Since inception, FRRR has managed the distribution of more than $66 million in grants to over 8,000 community groups and provided substantial capacity building support across the nation. To find out more about FRRR, visit www.frrr.org.au.


About ABC Heywire: The ABC’s Heywire Regional Youth Summit has been held annually in Canberra since 1998, in partnership with the Australian Government. It is the culmination of the ABC’s Heywire competition – open to people aged 16-22 living in regional or rural Australia and designed to involve them in the national conversation. Over the past 19 years, more than 10,000 young Australians have shared their stories with Heywire. Learn more: http://www.abc.net.au/heywire/  


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