Dairy grants boost communities

Gardiner Dairy Foundation chief executive Allen Cameron, Jane Read and Tania Chiswell (Kyabram Development Board), Amanda Logie (Rochester Community House) and Jill Karena and Fiona Bradshaw (FRRR). Photo by Nicole Peters

A festival, new tools and improved digital access were among the projects funded in the northern Victorian dairy region through the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program.

The program is delivered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and has been running for 20 years.

The northern Victorian dairy region funded projects were:

  • Girgarre Community Centre: To build the capacity of Girgarre Community House to increase community access to online services in collaboration with neighbouring town Stanhope ($5000).
  • Kyabram Development Committee: To strengthen the social and economic outcomes of Kyabram through support of the Tastes and Tunes Festival ($5000).
  • Rochester Community House: To improve facilities and equipment to increase participation and safety with the purchase of new tools for the Rochester Men’s Shed ($2900).
  • Corryong Neighbourhood House: To grow the organisation’s capacity to support the community with the provision of computer equipment and software ($5000).

Gardiner Dairy Foundation chief executive Allan Cameron said he was delighted to continue supporting dairying communities.

“These grants will help local organisations in many small towns to thrive with initiatives that range from COVID recovery and disaster preparedness, to improved digital capabilities and facility upgrades,” he said.

“The grants help to ensure the viability of these organisations.”

FRRR chief executive officer Natalie Egleton said there was strong demand for this kind of support.

“Half of the projects receiving funding are geared towards building organisational capacity or improving access to the internet or digital technologies,” she said.

“This is a reflection of how the last couple of years have impacted remote, rural, and regional community groups and a great reminder of why it’s important to engage in conversations with the locals on the ground and find out how we can adapt our approach to better serve the needs of their communities.”

Community groups were presented with their funds at a series of ceremonies held during June and July.