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ANZ Seeds of Renewal grants $250,000 to rural and regional communities

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NZ and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) have awarded $250,000 in grants to 20 community groups and not-for-profit organisations through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program. 

The program, which is now in its 21st year, provides grants to community groups across remote, rural and regional Australia. The awarded funds will support projects that improve access to housing, financial well-being, and environmental sustainability. 

“During the past 21 years, Seeds of Renewal has helped more than 800 communities in remote and regional Australia to thrive while promoting community vibrancy and sustainability,” said ANZ General Manager for Strategic Delivery Jenefer Stewart.

According to Stewart, the program is something they are really proud of, and it was very pleasing to see a diverse mix of applications, all with strong alignment to the four focus areas such as environmental sustainability, financial wellbeing, housing access and projects that assist local communities to thrive.

“Many Australians are presently facing uncertainty and environmental, financial, housing or wellbeing concerns. For people living outside of metro regions, practical support is harder to access and sustainable solutions require both committed funds and local people with the capacity to lead the change,” said FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton. 

“Across remote, rural and regional Australia, local organisations continue to show up for their communities, to help address the critical needs of locals that would otherwise likely be unmet.”

Since 2003, ANZ Seeds of Renewal has awarded $5.75 million to more than 800 community groups for approximately 900 projects. Some examples of the projects funded this year include: 

Improving access to housing:  

  • Office AU Limited, Wilya Janta: Making Bricks on Country, Tennant Creek, NT – Enhance local housing and employment opportunities through supporting a community house build designed for the Tennant Creek climate using locally produced bricks. $15,000.  

Improving environmental sustainability:  

  • ReForest Now Limited, Expansion of the ReForest Now Nursery, Mullumbimby, NSW – Build organisational capacity to increase rainforest regeneration, engage local community in environmental sustainability, and create new local employment opportunities via the expansion of native plant nursery operations. $10,000. 
  • Trillion Trees Australia Inc., Healing West Australia’s Wheatbelt – One Tree at a Time, Westdale, WA – Restore Indigenous plants and shrubs to regenerate cleared landscape to benefit the environment and the local community with volunteer planting of 20,000 saplings. $14,400. 

Improving Financial Wellbeing: 

  • South West Community Foundation, Financial Know-how in the Digital World, Warrnambool, VIC – Improve financial literacy to reduce vulnerability to digital fraud and increase money management skills through local workshops in South West Victorian communities. $15,000. 

Assisting local communities to thrive: 

  • Warialda Cultural Community Centre Craft Shop, Building Capacity and Helping Volunteers, Warialda, NSW – Enhance community facilities and volunteer safety at the Warialda Cultural Community Centre Craft Shop with kitchen equipment, chairs, tables, a shade tent and security cameras. $14,932. 
  • PCYC Innisfail Braking the Cycle (BTC), Innisfail, QLD – A learner driver mentoring program that empowers young people facing barriers to undertake the mandatory 100 hours of supervised driving required to obtain their licence. $15,000. 

“Through partnerships such as this one with ANZ, we can support these organisations to fill these gaps. For example, in Bairnsdale, Victoria, the community’s Recycling Enterprise is building local capacity to recycle. With their $10,000 grant, the Enterprise will purchase the machinery needed to process polystyrene and promote waste reduction practices across the region,” Egleton said.

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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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