People and Community Development

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation, People and Community Development portfolio (PCD) invests in the people and communities of the dairy industry in Victoria. We provide support across the sector from students to emerging industry leaders. It is vital that support is given to the industry by addressing skill and capability gaps, investing in education and training opportunities and developing future leaders.

Small rural and regional communities within the Victorian dairy regions can find it difficult to source funding for community facilities, infrastructure and initiatives. By supporting the community, is not only beneficial for community spirit and connection but also essential to attract and retain people in Victoria’s dairy industry.

The following active People & Community Development projects are being funded by Gardiner Dairy Foundation:


Australian Rural Leadership Program

The Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) is seen as the flagship leadership development program for emerging leaders in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Each year Gardiner Dairy Foundation sponsors one ARLP scholarship for an individual who is contributing to the dairy industry through their commitment to leadership.

Applications are now closed and will reopen mid 2022.

Monash Industry Teams Initiative

Monash Industry Teams Initiative (MITI) offers a unique opportunity for dairy industry manufacturers to put forward a specific challenge for Monash University students to investigate.

Each year, Gardiner Dairy Foundation supports students to undertake their 12 week internships.


Nuffield Farming Scholarship

Gardiner Dairy Foundation has partnered with Nuffield Australia to provide a Victorian dairy farmer with a Nuffield Farming Scholarship each year. This scholarship is a unique opportunity for a Victorian dairy farmer to experience agriculture from a global perspective, investigate their chosen agricultural topic, and to innovate on their own farms and within their dairy communities.

Applications are now open and close June 2022.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation/UDV Vic Study Tour

The Victorian Study Tour is an annual tour for up to ten high-potential Victorian dairy industry representatives to travel to all regions within the state where they learn about the local dairy industry, build their networks and gain valuable insights into world-class farming practices.

Applications are now open and close 9am 16 May 2022.



Gardiner Dairy Community Grants Program

The Community Grants Program (formally the Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants Program) is run annually in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)  The purpose of these grants (up to $5,000 each) is to fund grass-roots community projects that strengthen small dairy communities.

Every year Gardiner Dairy Foundation allocates $120,000 to support the continuation of this well regarded program.

Applications are closed and will open in February 2023.

Tertiary Scholarships

Gardiner Dairy Foundation is proud to offer tertiary scholarships to up to seven individuals residing in Victorian dairy communities, who are pursuing a career that will either directly benefit the dairy industry and/or benefit dairy communities. Each scholarship is worth $10,000 per year and is available for the first three years of a scholar’s University or TAFE course.

Applications open September 2022.

Community Leadership Programs

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation provides scholarships for up to 10 emerging dairy leaders (one dairy farmer and one service provider from each region) each year, across the five key dairy regions of Victoria.

The scholarships are available for programs offered by the Gippsland Community Leadership Program, Fairley Leadership Program (Goulburn Murray), Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program, Community Leadership Loddon Murray and Leadership Great South Coast.

Applications open September 2022. 

Our Farm Our Plan

Our Farm Our Plan is designed to help farmers answer some of the big questions, clarify business and personal goals, and prioritise what to do next. Farmers will work through their goals in a combination of group sessions and one-on-one sessions with consultants.

This program is freely available to all dairy farmers and can be accessed year round.