16 July 2018: The Gardiner Dairy Foundation and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) on Friday, announced that 27 Victorian dairy community groups have been awarded funds, as part of the 2018 Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants Program.

The Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for projects that aim to strengthen Victorian dairy communities. This year, community groups across the Gippsland, Northern and South Western dairy regions are sharing in $118,226.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Clive Noble, said that the Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s partnership with FRRR plays an integral role in ensuring that Victorian dairy communities have the means to complete local projects that benefit local communities and the overall economy.

“Supporting the Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants Program has been a proud investment for the Gardiner Dairy Foundation for the past 16 years. The grants strengthen grass-roots community projects to deliver lasting benefits  and to drive positive change and improvement to regional Victoria,” said Dr Noble.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that the small grants make a large impact to the people residing in rural and regional Australia.

“It can be very difficult for local groups in small communities to attract philanthropic support and so the Gardiner Dairy Foundation is making an important contribution to keeping these small communities vibrant and sustainable and, ultimately, strengthen Australia’s agricultural sector,” said Ms Egleton.

In many cases these kinds of small grants have been catalytic. For example, the Foster Art, Music and Drama Association, received a $5,000 grant to go toward the purchase and installation of retractable seating for the local art centre, the only venue of its kind within 40 kilometres. Last week they secured further funding to enable its completion, and said that without this grant, this additional support would not have been possible.

A complete list of theprojects supported is available on FRRR’s website  www.frrr.org.aubut they include:

  • Gippsland Dairy Region: Yarram Agricultural Society Inc received $5,000 to strengthen community engagement and participation at the annual Yarram Agricultural Show. Each year, the Show Committee programs a wide range of activities to appeal to a broad demographic reach, while ensuring that the event is affordable. This funding will be allocated to free entertainment including chainsaw carving, reptile encounters, petting zoo, face painting and balloon twisting.
  • Northern Dairy Region: The Girgarre Community Group Inc received a $4,500 grant to assist with the running costs of their free monthly newsletter, Girgarre Gazette, which is distributed to about 450 households. This newsletter was established in 1984 and is prepared by volunteers, and it has become a necessity for local residents. The grant will offset running costs for the next 12 months, including paper, printing and delivery.
  • South Western Dairy Region: The Crossley Men’s Shed received $4,500 to fireproof their precinct at Crossley. The funding will assist with repairs to a bore, pump shed and tank stand, and a damaged water tank will be replaced. The Men’s Shed members will supply the labour and the project will enhance the site’s fire ready capacity, as well as create opportunities to extend the scale and range of activities being delivered at the site.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s investment of more than $100,000 is widely 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 $1.7 million in this program, having supported a total of 445 community projects.