The Gardiner Dairy Foundation and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced the recipients of more than $100,000 of funds through the 2015 Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program.

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 28 grant recipients, from all three dairy regions, received their cheques at a reception at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne earlier today.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chairman, Mike Taylor AO, said that supporting dairy communities through programs like this is critical to a sustainable dairy industry.

“Family farms and strong local businesses are critical to maintaining strong and vibrant local towns, and we are proud of the enormous contribution the dairy industry makes to the social fabric of regional Victoria. We are delighted to play a small part in helping build those strong communities by supporting the community groups that do such vital work.”

The Right Honourable Ian Sinclair AC, Chairman of FRRR, said small grants play an important role in local communities.

“These grants help address the issues and priorities and enable local groups to implement local solutions to local problems. The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s support of communities through this grant program has a transformative effect. This year, on average, for every dollar we are granting the local community has raised more than four times that amount to bring the projects to life, through either in-kind support or other local fundraising. This demonstrates how small communities leverage and grow any amount of support they receive – delivering big outcomes for their communities.”

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s investment of $100,000 is widely and evenly distributed across Victoria’s three principle dairying regions. Since the launch of the annual program in 2002, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has invested more than $1.4 million in this program, supporting 363 community projects.

The 2015 grant recipients are listed below. Details of the projects they are undertaking are available on FRRR’s website: