Congratulations to Healthy Kids Bus Stop – recipient of the $50,000 Rural Hero Grant for 2016

Australia has voted for its Rural Hero!

Nearly 9000 Australians went online to choose their Rural Hero in the Aussie Farmers Foundation’s inaugural $50,000 Rural Hero Grant, with the Healthy Kids Bus Stop topping the public vote.

You can still check out the amazing videos and donate to support the projects via the links below.

Aussie Farmers Foundation – Rural Hero Grant 2016 Shortlist Announced

Aussie Farmers Foundation is excited to announce the amazing projects that have been shortlisted for the 2016 Rural Hero Grant. Four projects have been shortlisted for the $50,000 grant, each bringing an innovative approach to addressing issues that are currently impacting rural Australia. These four projects will progress to the final stage of the Rural Hero Grant process where they will share a video showcasing their project which the public will be invited to vote on.

Aussie Farm Stories
(Economic Wellbeing of Farms, Food Provenance, Sustainable Agriculture)

The Aussie Farm Stories project will produce a series of books, using student participation as a key part the project. Aussie Farm Stories will be written by children, for children. The project will link 750 students from 50 schools/communities with local farmers in the Murray Darling as well as rural industries and experts to explore topics including agricultural activities, sustainable farming, food security and food provenance. Students will use this knowledge to produce a series of ‘Aussie Farm Stories’ books that will then be made available to Aussie kids across the nation. The project will improve connections between young Australians and farming – growing students understanding of our Australian agriculture industry and inspiring future generations of sustainable farmers.
The project will be delivered by Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre who have over 10 years’ experience delivering community programs in rural Australia working with schools, farmers and community organisations.

Get Set: Enhancing Wellbeing Amongst Rural Women
(Mental Health, Economic Wellbeing of Farms)

Concerned with the challenges faced by women living in isolated rural communities, this project proposes a multi-partner initiative to offer support to rural women. A series of workshops will be delivered across six rural communities throughout the NSW Eastern Riverina covering topics that will help rural women thrive in their communities. Topics include mental health, economic wellbeing and technology/online training. In addition, local female heroes will be invited to speak at each workshop to share their stories and inspire other women. “Get Set” will both celebrate rural women and the vital role they play in their communities, as well as empowering participants to build capacity and tackle challenges such as mental health issues and economic resilience which unfortunately are more prevalent in our rural communities. The project will be delivered by Riverina Community College in collaboration with local partners. Riverina Community College has a strong history of supporting the local community and in particular, addressing the needs of agricultural communities.

Camp Cobbold
(Drought Relief, Mental Health)

Camp Cobbold will provide the opportunity for around 220 people from cattle stations and small communities across North Queensland to come together – providing families with programs and support mechanisms that strengthen social cohesion and grow community capacity to cope with the ongoing disadvantage and devastation caused by the drought which has been impacting these areas for four consecutive years.
Adults attending the camp will participate in business and personal development programs, access mental health support and wellbeing services as well as building friendships with other farming families that will provide an essential network for years to come. In addition, the children who will attend Camp Cobbold do not have access to mainstream education and most are schooled at home. Camp Cobbold will provide these children with the chance to build friendships and participate in courses including swimming lessons, healthy lifestyle and science education.
Camp Cobbold will be delivered by SU Queensland, who have been delivering similar experiences for rural Queenslanders for 8 years. SU Queensland also work with community partners to ensure the successful delivery of their programs.

Healthy Kids Bus Stop
(Kids Health, Healthy Eating)

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is a mobile clinic that provides thorough health screening for children aged 3-5. As part of this project, the bus will visit remote communities of NSW where children do not have access to the same health services that are available in the city. The bus will visit each community for 3-5 days bringing with it a team of trained medical practitioners. All children will receive a health check, hearing and oral health check and a food and nutrition check. Speech/language development and fine and gross motor skills are also assessed. The program is designed to be fun and interactive – Children progress through health stations on the bus – hopping on and off at each station until their health assessment is completed. During this time, parents or carers are provided with an opportunity to consult further with the clinicians and understand referral pathways available to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for vulnerable children. The project will be delivered by Royal Far West, who have been caring for country kids for over 90 years. They are the only organisation in Australia dedicated solely to providing allied health services to families in rural and remote areas of New South Wales.

Aussie Farmers Foundation was thrilled to receive many applications, literally from far and wide across Australia. In its first year, the Rural Hero Grant, is already helping to highlight both the tough living conditions of our rural communities as well as the inspiring people and organisations that are out there making a difference. We are excited about helping these projects to raise the profile of rural Australia. The organisations behind these four projects have now been invited to produce a short video that shows how their project is a “Rural Hero”.

Commencing the 2nd of May and ending the 22nd, the public will have the opportunity to get online at http://www.aussiefarmersfoundation.org.au/, watch the videos and vote for what project you think will benefit rural and regional Australian communities most. The project that has the most votes will be awarded the $50,000 Rural Hero Grant.

Communications and updates will be posted on the Aussie Farmers Direct Facebook page – simply follow the page to stay up to date. For more information contact info@aussiefarmersfoundation.org.au


February 15: Launch of the Aussie Farmers Rural Hero Grant
February 15: Expressions of Interest Applications Open (Written Application).
March 21: Expressions of Interest Applications Close (Written Application).
April 4: Shortlisted projects announced. Shortlisted projects invited to produce a short video showcasing their project and how it will benefit rural Australian.
April 25: Shortlisted organisations submit their video.
May 2 – May 22: Voting period.
May 23: Winner announced.

A special thank you

Aussie Farmers Foundation would like to acknowledge Constance May Sutton whose generous donation upon her passing in 2014 has allowed us to provide this grant opportunity. Constance lived in country New South Wales for 35 years where she was active in the CWA and local community affairs. She was an avid reader and was aware of the plight of the many needy people in country Australia including the impact of drought. Constance was 100 years old when she passed away.

We thank Constance for her involvement in country Australian and for her generous gift which we will ensure helps make a positive difference for many people in our rural communities.