Our kids are the future of the bush. Whites Rural Community Grants are designed to make a difference to kids in regional, rural, and remote areas. We are committed to regional Australia and the communities that make it great. We have just finished awarding our first round of grants for 2015 to the applicants listed below - each grant was for $4,000 and will help kids in rural communities through art, music, sport, sustainability, or social well-being.
Thank you to everyone who applied this year, and thank you for already making a difference in your local community.
We received an overwhelming number of requests for grant assistance, and we have been inspired by the ideas and sheer number of people assisting kids in communities all around Australia. The good news is that we are already planning next year’s Community Grants programme. While we are still working on the details, it does mean that we can help another set of applicants next year in rural, regional and remote areas.
The list of ten successful grant recipients are shown below, with two from each region representing four key grant areas:
science & sustainability • arts & music • sport & recreation • social well-being
Tenterfield Girls Group
New South Wales : Tenterfield
Tenterfield NSW is ranked fourth in the state for poverty and lack of employment. In 2011, a local resident started a beauty club for Aboriginal girls to give them a greater sense of self, motivating them and improving opportunities around education and employment. The Girls Group run by a 2013 Citizen of the Year, is held after school. The Grant will ensure that the girls continue to meet up and learn valuable life lessons from the volunteers with guest speakers including Rotary, Lions Club, local solicitors, police, and the local clinic.
The Dramatic Minds Festival
New South Wales : Albury
Music and the Arts
The Dramatic Minds Festival is an annual Albury event that brings together 60-80 high school students from 6 schools in surrounding areas. Focuses on mental illness, exploring the mental health issues which affect young people the festival is lead by community health professionals. The Grant will assist in getting the festival up and running again in 2016 for kids from neighbouring schools create short plays, poems and films that bring about discussion on various mental health issues.
Southerners Sporting Club
Western Australia : Hopetoun
Sports & Recreation
Hopetoun is a small mining town of 780 people which has suffered mine closures and many residents leaving over the past few years. Southerners Sporting Club’s range of sports activities brings families in the community together as well promoting healthy lifestyle options. The Grant will support the club with uniforms for 5-15 year olds playing hockey, netball and football, and also offset pressure as it introduces new initiatives like dance and martial arts. The purchase of 60-80 new uniforms for the junior members who are currently just wearing coloured shirts or school clothes will boost local morale and help the kids be proud of their club and community.
Geraldton Community Toy Library
Western Australia : Geraldton
Toy libraries are a great community initiative where donated toys, puzzles and games are loaned to families, providing a wider variety of toys, cost effectively, and without the landfill. The Geraldton Toy Library has a high interest in children’s welfare. Engaging with children with disabilities, the Autism Association of WA, giving regular talks to new mother’s groups, and most recently assisting a 9 year old girl with cerebral palsy overcome depression. As a family hub servicing 0-6 year olds in areas as far away as Binnu in the north and Greenhead in the south, the toy library will use the Grant to create a 'figure 8' bike path for its members. Visiting families will have another reason to visit the play area and ride their bikes.
Jeparit Communal Garden
Victoria : Jeparit
Jeparit is a small town of 630 people in Victoria who have a small community permaculture garden which promotes water conservation and organic gardening for the whole community. The Grant will help build 10 raised garden beds at a suitable height for kids, and also install 4 large water tanks for irrigation. This allows Jeparit Communal Garden to instil the principles of growing sustainable food and recycling to children from the local primary school and kindergarten at a young age.
Victoria : Warrnambool
Music and the Arts
Let's Dance holds dance classes for kids with various disabilities and challenges in their community to help kids connect and learn together and celebrate music and movement. The Grant will cover the cost of a dance instructor and hall hire over the course a whole year for approximately 40 children.
Blyth Community Farm
South Australia : Blyth
Blyth is a small town of 300 people which has very few activities and local opportunities for kids. A Community Farm Committee was formed to create garden and animal farm that would service Blyth and surrounding communities. In all hundreds of students will the opportunity to participate in the community garden, horse stabling, animal husbandry and their innovation centre. Run by volunteers, the Grant will help with the initial set up and purchasing of materials needed.
South Australia : Coonalpyn
The Y-Cook initiative is a youth cooking programme which helps young people get an appreciation of cooking fresh foods while providing home-made lunches for senior members of the community. The programme teaches important life skills to children, provides social interaction for seniors and helps build a bond between generations. The grant will assist in providing equipment and a kitchen upgrade, engaging primary school children to prepare meals and make preserves and cakes for a whole school term for seniors with dementia.
Ilfracombe Sports Club
Queensland : Ilfracombe
Sports & Recreation
Ilfracombe is a small town of 300 people devastated by drought. The sports club run by volunteers, quite often funding extras from their own funds, draws players and their families from local and surrounding districts for weekly touch football games.
The club also focusses on teaching respect and sportsmanship, getting kids away from the TV, and providing a friendly social environment for all in attendance. The strong sense of pride and community will be supported by the Grant with the purchase of sports gear, teaching aides, and uniforms for kids to participate.
Charleville School of Distance Education
Queensland : Charleville
Music and the Arts
The Charleville School of Distance Education has a classroom size of 440,000 square kilometres. It’s annual conference brings together children and their families from across the state. The Grant will fund 2 artists for the conference, meeting one of the key conference objectives of engaging the students in activities that rural children do not normally have access.