Community Development

Supporting the communities that underpin the dairy industry is critical. Resilient, strong and vibrant dairy communities ensure a robust industry that attracts skilled people. 


Areas of support

Gardiner Dairy Foundation offers support to the small rural and regional communities that make up the Victorian dairy regions. These communities can find it difficult to source funding for community facilities, infrastructure and initiatives, which are not only beneficial for community spirit and connection but also essential to attract and retain people in Victorias dairy industry.

Our investment approach

A significant part of the Community Development investment from Gardiner Dairy Foundation is the Working in Dairying Communities Small Grants program. The program is facilitated by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and has been running since 2003. Each year, $100,000 is provided to help dairy communities enhance their community infrastructure and build their capacity to deal with local issues. These small grants (up to $5,000) often have a lasting impact, and can make a big difference to community life.

Community Development investment also enhances leadership opportunities; the Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs play an important role in ensuring future regional leaders are nurtured and empowered.

Investing in young people in dairy regions is pivotal to the sustainability and growth of the industry. Gardiner Dairy Foundation also offers a number of tertiary scholarships each year to support the development of rural students who have strong potential to make a positive impact on the dairy industry and local communities.

Current Projects

Click here for current projects


Victorian dairy communities and Victorian Government.

  • 346 Small grants awarded since 2003
  • $1.3m Amount of investment over 13 years in small grants
  • 161 Communities supported
  • $3.05 Leveraged through cash or in kind contributions, for every $1 invested