The votes are in! After a three week online campaign that saw almost 9,000 people cast their votes for their favourite Rural Hero, the “Healthy Kids Bus Stop” has been awarded the inaugural Aussie Farmers Foundation $50,000 Rural Hero Grant.

Four projects had been shortlisted for the Rural Hero Grant. Each of the four produced a video which was then published on the Aussie Farmers Foundation website – sharing the great ideas and asking the public to vote for their rural hero.

All four project received well in excess of 1,000 votes, with Healthy Kids Bus Stop in front with 3292 votes.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop project will use the $50,000 grant to send a mobile health clinic into remote NSW communities. The mobile clinic will provide health screening for children aged three to five years who struggle to access to the health services available to city-based children.

The project is called Healthy Kids Bus Stop as the children will progress through “bus stops” as their health checks are completed.  Training clinicians, nurses and specialists will complete a general health check, hearing and oral health check and a food and nutrition check for each child.

Over one third of kids living in rural NSW have difficulty accessing health services and some children are on specialist waiting lists for up to sixteen months. The Aussie Farmers Foundation Rural Hero Grant will help more country kids get the health checks they need to reduce these statistics.

Royal Far West CEO Lindsay Cane said she wanted to thank the Royal Far West’s many supporters who helped to ensure the ‘Bus Stop’ was successful.  “We have been inspired and invigorated by the amount of support we received from our families, communities, corporate and government friends who have affirmed Royal Far West’s great work.” “This grant is very important to us, as it allows us to bring this vital child health program to isolated communities, to support the health and wellbeing of many more country kids.”

Aussie Farmers Foundation is thrilled will the result of the Rural Hero Grant. “We were blown away by the response from the Australian people” said Julia Hunter, Executive Officer of the Aussie Farmers Foundation.

“Healthy Kids Bus Stop is a great initiative, the health and wellbeing of kids growing up in rural communities in close to our hearts at the Foundation and clearly an area that the Australian people are passionate about too.”

This is the first year that the Aussie Farmers Foundation has offered the Rural Hero Grant.

“To have nearly 9,000 Australians votes is well beyond our expectations” said Julia. “The Rural Hero grant has been a wonderful way for the Foundation to be able to shine a light on just some of the issues that are impacting our rural communities.”

The Foundation have also announced that they will be providing a grant to the project “Get Set: Enhancing Wellbeing Amongst Rural Women” as part of their regular annual grant process. In addition, $1,500 will be donated to the remaining two shortlisted Rural Hero projects in recognition of their amazing efforts to support rural Australians.

Final Vote Tally 

3292 Votes – Healthy Kids Bus Stop

2415 Votes – Aussie Farm Stories

1683 Votes – Get Set: Enhancing Wellbeing Amongst Rural Women

1523 Votes – Camp Cobbold