Working in Dairy Communities provides grants of up to $5,000 for projects that aim to strengthen small Victorian dairy communities, build their capacity to deal with local issues and enhance existing community infrastructure. The grant recipients which come from all three Victorian dairy regions, received their cheques at a reception at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne earlier today.
Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chairman, Dr Bruce Kefford, said that supporting dairy communities through programs like this is critical to a sustainable dairy industry.
The dairy industry makes an enormous contribution to the economic viability of regional Victoria and the Gardiner Dairy Foundation is proud to be investing in a vibrant dairy future. We have supported this program for 14 years and contributed more than $1.5 million to strengthen Victorian dairy communities in Gippsland, Northern Victoria and South West Victoria.
The Aussie Farmers Foundations Executive Director, Julia Hunter, said the current dairy crisis had triggered a wave of generosity from Foundation supporters. Were very grateful to those Australians whove pitched in to support our dairy farmers. By adding our support to the Working in Dairy Communities program, we believe we will make a real difference in local dairy farming regions during these trying times, Ms Hunter said.
FRRR Chairman, Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC, said small grants play an important role in rural and regional Australia and they are pleased to be supporting Victorian dairy communities, particularly in light of the current industry issues.
Rural and regional communities face many challenges and experience many gaps in services and infrastructure. Small grants help to address local issues and priorities and enable community groups to implement local solutions to local problems.
The Gardiner Dairy Foundations support of communities through this program ensures the locals have control over what their community needs, Mr Sinclair said.
The Gardiner Dairy Foundations investment of $100,000 is widely and evenly distributed across Victorias three principle dairying regions. Since the launch of the annual program in 2002, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has invested more than $1.5 million in this program, supporting 394 community projects. This year, the average community supported by a grant has 3,758 people, with the smallest community being Tatong in Northern Victoria, with just 150 people.
The 2016 grant recipients are listed below. Details of the projects they are undertaking are available on FRRRs website: http://www.frrr.org.au/cb_pages/news/Gardiner_Grant_Announcement_2016.php.