Grants assist communities to tackle domestic violence, youth disengagement and other social issues

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More than $470,000 granted to projects tackling domestic and family violence, education disengagement, juvenile crime and unemployment in NSW

Bendigo, 1 April 2015: FRRR today announced that 13 projects will share more than $470,000 in grant funds through the Innovation for Community Impact (I4CI) program.

I4CI aims to create sustainable social change through early intervention, prevention, response and support, or building community capacity. Developed by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and Philanthropy Australia, the program focuses on the Hunter New England, Central Coast and the Mid North Coast regions of NSW. In a first for NSW, the program is collaboratively funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services in partnership with a number of private donors.

The program targets a range of issues and population groups including domestic violence, youth crime and disengagement, education and training, and early years’ development. There was most interest in youth focussed initiatives, with 9 of the 13 successful projects addressing youth engagement and development.

There are two levels of investment – up to $20,000 for small scale projects that have a grassroots level impact, and up to $100,000 for projects that are larger scale or require greater investment in the design and evaluation of a new approach. Some of the projects funded include:

  • Moving Forwards - Work and Business Opportunities: Providing a pathway to work or business opportunities for women emerging from domestic violence situations.
  • My Place My Pride: A digital story telling project to engage young people, giving them new skills and helping them to connect to local culture, increase participation in community, and provide them with a sense of place and purpose.
  • Pathways to Agriculture: A project that aims to address youth and indigenous unemployment through industry partnerships and employment / training pathways.

Maree Walk, Deputy Secretary from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, said that this is a rare opportunity to have local communities identify initiatives that they believe will make the most significant impact and address the most pressing issues in their community.

“We are delighted to have been able to support these initiatives, which will achieve positive things for children and young people in these communities,” said Ms Walk.

FRRR’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexandra Gartmann, said she was impressed by the approaches being taken and the level of community-driven change, across the program.

“The projects funded are based on a range of innovative approaches to some very deep and persistent issues. Many have a preventative focus and grant recipients will work closely with local communities and service providers to continue and strengthen the work beyond the grants,” she explained.

“We received very strong interest for projects supporting youth, as well as those affected by domestic violence. Given the level of community engagement, we look forward to seeing the impact each of the projects makes in these communities,” said Ms Gartmann.

Louise Walsh, CEO of Philanthropy Australia, said that this is an exciting initiative that brings together the philanthropic sector, Government and local communities to try some innovative things to drive social change.

“The generous support of a number of donors, in partnership with the NSW government, ensures that local community leaders can invest in strategies that they believe will work to solve some of these persistent issues. While it’s great to be announcing these projects today, there is more to be done, so if others are interested in joining us, there are more projects that we could fund with additional support.”

The program is currently seeking to raise another $300,000 to enable more groups to benefit.

The projects funded are listed below:





Bara Barang Corporation Ltd

Central Coast Aboriginal Youth Leadership Forums
Four Aboriginal youth leadership forums for secondary school students in the Central Coast region of NSW, which will run over 12 months.

Central Coast


Central Coast Community Women's Health Centre Ltd 

CALD DV Resource Development Project
A series of communications pieces aimed at informing and supporting women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, who may be experiencing domestic violence. The aim is to help them understand their legal rights and how to access support.

Central Coast


Regional Youth Support Services Inc

My Place My Pride: Young People's Digital Stories
A program for 12 young people aged between 12-25 years, run over two school terms in 2015. It will produce a film and photo exhibition to help build skills, reduce antisocial behaviour, connect to local culture, and provide a sense of place and purpose.

Central Coast


Youth & Family Education Resources Pty Ltd 

Core of Life - Early Education to Make a Difference
The Core of Life program will involve interactive pregnancy, birth and parenting education sessions for up to 1,000 young people / parents aged 14-24 years within the Wyong and Gosford local government areas.

Central Coast


Mid Coast Communities Incorporated 

Working to Address Adolescent Violence in the Home (AVITH)
This project focuses on reducing adolescent violence in the home by raising awareness and building the skills of those employed at criminal justice, health, education, community and youth services in the region and of families impacted by violence in the home.

Mid North Coast


Community Activities Lake Macquarie Incorporated 

Bright Minds
A multi-faceted, youth-led mental health awareness project that includes theatrical performances, video documentary, poster campaigns and distribution of mental health promotion materials, local community events, and mental health first aid training for young people.

Hunter New England


Southlake Community Services Incorporated

Skate Outreach 
The Skate Outreach project will operate once a week throughout school terms in 2015, offering 45 sessions in total, with transport provided for at-risk young people. Southlake Community Services Inc youth workers will engage them in relevant support programs and services.

Hunter New England


The Canopy Incorporated 

Back to Basics - Core Life Skills 
A support program for between 6 and 15 parents and families, focused on core family life skills such as mental health awareness and household financial skills. The eight-session program aims to support parents of young children, who are experiencing barriers to participation in parenting support programs.

Hunter New England


Bara Barang Corporation Ltd 

Guriwu - Connecting Culture & Youth
This grant will fund the employment of an Aboriginal Community Engagement Worker to support the Central Coast Aboriginal Men's Group to engage with Aboriginal youth in and outside schools. This will be done via workshops, cultural family camps, visits to schools and community gathering places, and engagement of Aboriginal youth.

Central Coast


Kempsey Family Support Services Inc.

Speak Out 4 Kids
An early intervention behaviour change program for women and children impacted by domestic violence through four, eight-week ‘Kids Can’ group programs for up to 40 children aged 8-12 years. A further 40 women will be engaged in group work programs and referral pathways.

Mid North Coast


Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast

Pathways into Agriculture 
The grant will support partnerships between job service providers and networks to connect unemployed youth and Aboriginal people with training and employment pathways.

Mid North Coast


Shine for Kids Cooperative

Stand as One – Youth Mentoring Project
Expanding the Stand as One youth mentoring project, 30 volunteers will deliver a mentoring program (three months pre-release and 12 months post-release) to incarcerated Aboriginal youth with an imprisoned family member/s to reduce their involvement with the justice system.

Mid North Coast


Hunter Women’s Working Group

Moving forward – Work and Business Opportunities
A new program to provide a pathway for women at risk or who have experienced domestic violence situations will help them participate in training and mentoring, building confidence and identifying employment opportunities.

Hunter New England



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