Grants help small dairy towns

By Country News

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is offering grants of up to $5000 to not-for-profit groups to strengthen small Victorian dairy communities across the state, including in northern Victoria.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program, which is delivered through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, will provide a total of $120000 in grant funding in 2019, an increase of $20000 on the previous year.

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

Gardiner Dairy Foundation chief executive officer Clive Noble said 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,’’ Dr Noble said.

‘‘Every year we are truly inspired by the initiatives put forward by local groups.’’

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal chief executive officer Natalie Egleton said the small grants program was 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,’’ Ms Egleton said.

‘‘In past years, projects have ranged from regenerating libraries to wellbeing 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.’’

Applications for the Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program opened on February 5 and close on March 19.

Priority will be given to projects that assist in strengthening rural communities of less than 5000 people — to build their capacity to deal with local issues or enhance existing community infrastructure.

■For more information, visit: gardinerfoundation.com.au/current-projects-community/#WIDCGrants