The ANZ Seeds of Renewal program has been running since 2003 and in 2020 the program specifically focussed on supporting groups running projects to address environmental sustainability, financial wellbeing and accessible housing initiatives in remote, rural and regional Australia.
ANZ’s technology partner Lenovo contributed more than $18,000 in IT equipment to five community groups, which was in addition to the money ANZ provided.
This year special consideration was given to projects that were in bushfire affected areas, with eight of the 26 grants awarded to groups in those regions.
ANZ General Manager Business Banking Jenefer Stewart said: “Australia’s regional, remote and rural communities have been hit particularly hard this year with the pandemic and the bushfires and we are proud of our track record in supporting them with these grants.
“The applicants show a real passion for their local communities and we are honoured to play a small part in helping these important projects come to fruition and make a positive impact to people’s lives,” Ms Stewart said.
FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said it was inspiring to see so many groups finding innovative ways of practicing environmental sustainability in their communities and offering support to more vulnerable groups.
"The environment, housing equity and financial wellbeing, are national priority issues and are all critical to maintaining the social and economic vitality of rural Australia. It’s wonderful to partner with ANZ to provide this targeted support for local groups as they seek better ways for their communities to live," Ms Egleton said.
Some of the locally-led projects funded this round include:
- Community Maker Space - Plastics rePurposed - Berry Springs, NT - $15,000: Build community capability to recycle and repurpose plastic to address the environmental issues
- Gunbower & District Development Group Inc - Gunbower Lions Park Wetlands Project – Gunbower, VIC - $12,700: Improve the environmental sustainability of community facilities by enhancing the native vegetation and habitat
- Pambula Beach Surf Life Saving Club Inc Environmental assessment for a healthy sustainable environment, and a fire-ready club and community – Pambula, NSW - $3,390: Support community preparedness and environmental sustainability with review of habitat and use
- Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation- Responsive Emergency Accommodation Service – Gunnedah, NSW - $15,000: Provide additional crisis accommodation support that enables the organisation to support those most in need and bring them back into systems for more permanent housing
- Sisterworks Inc – Remote Activities Project – Bendigo, VIC - $10,800: Support the economic empowerment of migrant, refugee and asylum seeking women in regional centres by addressing isolation issues
A full list of recipients can be found on FRRR website.