The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is offering grants of up to $5,000 to not-for-profit groups to strengthen small Victorian dairy communities in Gippsland, Northern Victoria and South West Victoria.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s “Working in Dairy Communities” Small Grants program, which is delivered through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), will provide a total of $120,000 in grant funding in 2019, an increase of $20,000 on the previous year.

The program, now in its 17th year, will assist small dairy communities to build resilience and enhance existing community infrastructure.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation CEO, Dr Clive Noble, said that it was important to support the wellbeing of Victorian dairy communities and their farming families.

“Successful farming communities rely on great local leadership to truly thrive. Every year we are truly inspired by the initiatives put forward by local groups,” he said.

“The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is very pleased to contribute funds to support the communities that underpin the dairy industry. By increasing the funds available this year more projects can be supported. These projects will enhance the quality of life in these communities and help address gaps in services and support.”

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton said that the Small Grants program is deliberately broad to cater for a wide variety of community projects.

“The applications come from the communities themselves, so we know that the projects are highly valued and address important local issues,” she said.

“In past years projects have ranged from regenerating libraries to well-being projects that assist men, women and children. The grants have helped purchase new mowers, implement education projects, refurbish halls and provide first aid resources – all manner of activities that play a role in maintaining vibrant, sustainable communities,” Ms Egleton said.

Applications for the “Working in Dairy Communities” Small Grants Program will open on 5 February and close on 19 March. Priority will be given to projects that assist in strengthening rural communities of less than 5,000; build their capacity to deal with local issues or enhance existing community infrastructure. Anyone considering applying should read the guidelines carefully and come along to one of the free information sessions.

Free grant-seeking workshops

To assist community groups to translate their local ideas into a suitable project, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and FRRR are running a free grant-seeking workshop in each of the three Victorian dairy regions. 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:

Cohuna – Tuesday 5 February 10:30 am – 1:00 pm, Northern District Community Health (NDCH) – Cohuna, 33 King Edward Street, Cohuna – RSVP
Simpson – Wednesday 6 February 10:30 am – 1:00 pm, Simpson & District Community Centre, 11 Jayarra Street, Simpson – RSVP
Bairnsdale – Wednesday 13 February 2019 10:30 am – 1:00 pm, Bairnsdale Council Corporate Centre 273 Main Street, Bairnsdale – Call East Gippsland Shire Council on 5153 9500 to RSVP
For more information or to register for the workshops, visit