North West community groups can today apply for a share of $250,000 in national funding as part of the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program. Now in its 15th year, the program continues to support initiatives that help to build vibrant and sustainable rural communities, ensuring the ongoing prosperity of regional Australia.

The 2017 program, launched by ANZ and the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal (FRRR), and supported by Lenovo, seeks to identify and support projects that will deliver demonstrable medium-to-long-term economic benefits to the community.

ANZ Seeds of Renewal has a proud history of supporting regional Australia, with $4.3 million invested by ANZ since 2003 to help 779 community groups achieve their goals.

ANZ Regional Executive for North West SA, Peter Noel, said “This is a fantastic initiative and we are proud to support local programmes that help our regional communities thrive. I am hopeful to once again be in a position to hand out a number of grants to local community groups in 2017.”

In 2015, the Seeds of Renewal program supported the Oodnadatta Arts and Crafts Collective run by Volunteering SA and NT. The program sought to collaborate with young Aboriginal volunteers in the remote rural community to work towards the establishment of a women-led arts and crafts social enterprise in Oodnadatta’s Women’s Shed.

Evelyn O’Loughlin from Volunteering SA and NT said, “The Seeds of Renewal support for the project has broadened the horizons of a diverse group of Aboriginal women from Oodnadatta, providing opportunities for the women to recognise their own skills and talents and exposing them to the array of potential opportunities for creating a social enterprise.”

Since inception, Seeds of Renewal grants have contributed to a variety of initiatives in communities of fewer than 15,000 people, including the construction and restoration of community facilities, education, training and mentoring programs, and the development of social enterprises.

FRRR Chief Executive Officer, Natalie Egleton said Seeds of Renewal grants often kick-start sustainable change within the community.

“A key focus of the program is to empower regional communities to build a strong and sustainable future for themselves. Last year alone, Seeds of Renewal funded 26 grant applications, contributing to the delivery of successful programs that upskilled and educated individuals and community groups – opening doors to new opportunities,” Ms Egleton said.

Applications are now open: go to the FRRR website to review the guidelines and access the application form.

Applications close at 5:00pm on 4 August 2017.

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