29 January 2018: The Gardiner Dairy Foundation and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) are inviting applications for the 2018 Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program.

Now in its 16th year, the program offers $100,000 in small grants up to $5,000 to not-for-profit community groups based in Gippsland, Northern Victoria and South West Victoria. The funds are designed to support projects that improve infrastructure and community facilities, and address local issues to strengthen the small rural communities that support Victoria’s dairy farmers.

The Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program is funded by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and administered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, Dr Clive Noble, said the Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants Program helps to positively impact the people in dairy communities.

“These small grants will fund grass-roots community projects that will strengthen and support the very fabric of dairy communities.

“Often the grants are seed funding and help to kick-start a project. Last year, grant recipients raised nearly three times the funding they received in additional cash and in-kind support from the community. That impacts the project significantly and we are delighted to be able to support local communities in this way,” said Dr Noble.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that because the program is very broad, it provides a rare opportunity for local communities to focus on the issues most important to them.

“The Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program recognises that every community is unique. That’s why the program is flexible and allows communities to seek funds for projects that they know will support the community. That’s means nearly everything is eligible, from projects that that encourage wellbeing and engagement, to educational resources for the local school, to an upgrade in community facilities,” said Ms Egleton.

Applications for the Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program open on 5 February and close 5pm, Monday 19 March 2018. The Foundations encourage anyone considering applying to read the guidelines carefully and to use the Strengthening Small Dairy Communities Toolkit (available from: http://www.gardinerfoundation.com.au/assets/Publications/SSDC-Toolkit-full.pdf) developed by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation.

Full details of the grant guidelines will be available from www.frrr.org.au from 5 February.

Free grant-seeking workshops

To assist community groups in translating their local ideas into a suitable project, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and FRRR are running one free grant seeking workshop in each of the three dairy regions. Referencing the Strengthening Small Dairy Communities Grant Seeker toolkit these sessions will offer invaluable advice for community groups wanting to put together a competitive grant application, for this or any other program.

Workshops will be held at: