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$124,478K in grants awarded to local not-for-profits

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FRRR and Gardiner Foundation have awarded $124,478 to 27 community groups across Gippsland, South Western and Northern Victoria for local initiatives that will support, strengthen and sustain their dairying regions. 

For 22 years, the Gardiner Foundation Community Grants program has empowered not-for-profit organisations in Victoria’s dairy communities to create and lead projects that help locals connect and support their farming regions to be sustainable and vibrant places to live and work. 

This year, Victoria’s dairying regions will be boosted by a wide range of community-led projects including: 

  • Building resilience and cultural vibrancy in Lockington, by providing musical equipment for the Locky Ukers’ community ukele practice and performance; 
  • Improving Anam Cara House Colac Inc’s organisational infrastructure by installing a solar panel system to reduce operational costs and allow for savings to increase care services; and 
  • Supporting Fabelo Incorporated to improve community health and social well-being by contributing to young children’s learning activities at a local festival in Fish Creek. 

“The Community Grants Program aims to support purpose-driven, not-for-profit organisations in rural and regional Victoria by enhancing their capacity to serve their local communities effectively,” said Gardiner Foundation CEO Allan Cameron. 

Cameron added that the organisation’s longstanding partnership with FRRR has enabled it to invest more than $2.4 million in Victoria’s dairying regions. 

“Since the program began in 2003, we have supported over 600 projects across the state. These grants provide crucial financial support to community groups, helping them overcome challenges as they work to revitalise their communities. 

“We take pride in recognising the remarkable efforts of these groups within their communities, often carried out voluntarily, and in assisting them by funding projects that they believe will significantly enhance community resilience,” said Cameron. 

FRRR Place Portfolio Lead Jill Karena highlighted that the impact that the Gardiner Foundation Community Grants program has had over the past 22 years is a testament to what is possible through collaboration with partners like Gardiner Foundation. 

“Not-for-profits work tirelessly to strengthen and grow the social and cultural fabric of their communities.” 

“But with current the economic landscape and climate-related transitions impacting Victoria, keeping these organisations up and running is becoming exceedingly difficult,” Karena added that it’s not surprising that this year we saw a predominant need from community groups for funding to develop organisational resilience and capacity. 

“Victoria’s dairy regions are resilient and resourceful, and we have seen, firsthand, the transformational change and outcomes that local people can achieve when they have access to funding.” 

“We are proud to play a small role in enabling these groups to drive change, build connections and share the vibrancy and determination of those living in Victoria’s dairying regions,” said Karena. 

A full list of grant recipients and funded projects can be found on FRRR’s website. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.

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