Now in its thirteenth year, ANZ Seeds of Renewal aims to help build thriving communities by supporting education and employment projects. In 2015, 138 groups applied.
This year, technology company Lenovo also donated $30,000 of IT equipment giving applicants the chance to apply for laptops or tablets instead of a cash grant.
ANZ Regional Business Banking General Manager Christine Linden said: “Strong rural communities rely on smart, skilled community members. By focusing on education and employment projects, particularly for young people, these grants will help to build the foundations for rural communities to grow.
“We continue to be impressed with the ingenuity and passion that local groups have for building sturdier, more vibrant rural communities. This year’s applications, which included initiatives such as computer training for indigenous women in Tambellup and Kojonup in Western Australia and agricultural workshops for land holders in Queensland’s Mary Valley, continue that tradition. We are delighted to help bring these projects to fruition.”
In addition to these grants, the program will award an extra $25,000 to support the economic recovery of Winton, Queensland. The town has struggled since one of its key tourist attractions, the Waltzing Matilda Museum, was destroyed by fire.
FRRR Chairman the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC said: “The projects funded this year will continue to build skills and capacity in regional communities, which is essential to developing sustainable economies.
“Rural and regional communities are adept at solving their own challenges, because they know what suits their capacity and local culture. Small grants, like those awarded through this program, are vital funding injections into communities where fund-raising is really challenging. This year nearly 60 per cent of applications came from towns with fewer than 5,000 people, which shows small communities highly value this kind of support.”
Since 2001, ANZ Seeds of Renewal has distributed more than $4 million for 750 projects.
For more information on the recipients and their projects visit www.frrr.org.au