Innovative next-gen ideas get grants boost

Rural, regional and remote communities receive grants to implement youth led projects

Bendigo, 12 August, 2015:  The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced that 15 community groups will implement projects based on eight ideas developed by young people from across rural, regional and remote Australia, thanks to funding from the Heywire Youth Innovation Grants program.

The Sally Foundation, The Pratt Foundation, The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and The Myer Foundation Family Grants have joined with FRRR to provide $125,394 in grants to 15 community groups to address issues that affect young people, and the communities in which they live and work.

The ideas originated at the 2015 Heywire Regional Youth Summit and address a range of big issues, including relationship violence, mental health and healthy lifestyles, youth in agriculture, access to education, anti-racism and the impact of drugs and alcohol.

The solutions will be piloted in rural, regional and remote communities across Australia through a range of initiatives, including social enterprises, community events (film screening, dance parties, festivals and ‘races’), exchange programs, mentoring, social media, education and advocacy campaigns.

FRRR Chairman, the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair, said that the program aims to bring young people’s ideas to reality.

“These young leaders have used their life experience to develop innovative ideas for change that address issues that affect them and their peers. We are really pleased that other youths and community leaders in rural, regional and remote communities have put their hands up to implement the ideas to make a lasting difference,” Mr Sinclair said.

“The grant recipients have a once in a generation opportunity to make a positive change in their community and local people should be proud of their local organisations making the valuable ideas a reality over the coming year.”

The impact of this program goes far beyond just the projects themselves: it also encourages young people to speak up, and have confidence in their voice.

Justice King, from Mt Isa in Queensland, was part of the group that developed the Raise Your Cards idea and her group received a grant to implement the project in remote North West Queensland.

“It’s amazing to receive a grant to run the Raise Your Cards youth mental health program here in North West Queensland. Mental health is a big issue out here and we‘re going to challenge the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental illness by helping young people to share their stories and get help.”

“We know this youth-led project will make real difference to the wellbeing of young people in the Mount Isa region.”

Details of all the projects funded are listed below.

This is the third year of the Heywire Youth Innovation grants. To date, 35 communities have received support to implement, many of which have left a lasting legacy in their communities.

Grant recipients

Project Idea




The Race: The Racial And Cultural Experience (RACE) is a youth led competition open to the whole community, where teams race to complete multicultural challenges. The aim is to reduce racism in the community.

Multicultural Youth NT (Multicultural Council of the NT Inc)




The Barossa Council




Don’t Need Drinks to Dance: A youth led drug and alcohol free dance party and educational event.

Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation




Okines Community House Inc

Dodges Ferry



Gen Aware: An education, awareness and merchandising enterprise, run by young people, to educate school students about safe relationships, relationship violence and how to access support services.

Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc

Upper Coomera



Break the Chain: A youth led expo of healthy living and eating, incorporating sporting and recreation clubs, cooking and skate demonstrations and the launch of a say no to soft drink campaign to battle obesity.

Mitchell Shire Council




Hands Up! An education and careers program to link rural and disenfranchised youth with mentors in their dream careers and facilitate three career dream scholarships for work placement and training.

Tasmanian Leaders Inc




Raise Your Cards: Production of films about young people’s experience of mental illness and their journey towards mental health, and an associated outreach and educational campaign to reduce stigma and increase help seeking behaviour.

Headspace Kalgoorlie (Hope Community Services Inc)

Kalgoorlie Boulder



Headspace Broome (Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Ltd)




Pathfinders Ltd




Young People Ahead Youth & Community Services Inc

Mount Isa



Ag Gap: A rural training and experience program designed to encourage youth to embrace careers in Agriculture and rural life in their gap year after high school.

Hay Inc




TAFE NSW - New England Institute




Boots for Change: A youth led outreach campaign to grow awareness of local food production and support family farms. The program encourages the community to wear boots to their local farmers’ market on ‘Boots for Change Day’ as a show of support.

Australian Farmers Markets Association Inc






Northern Gulf Resource Management Group Ltd





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