Calling all charities with a great idea on how to support rural and regional Australians doing it tough!
Aussie Farmers Foundation is offering up to $50,000 for a winning idea that makes a difference to Australian rural and regional communities in need.
The Rural Hero Grant gives charities the chance to pitch an innovative solution that addresses key issues impacting on farming communities, with the winning project decided via public vote.
Shortlisted grant applicants will be invited to create a short, engaging video that shows how their project is the ‘Rural Hero’ needed in their community. The videos will be uploaded online, and the Australian public can vote for the project they’re most passionate about.
The grant of up to $50,000 will be awarded to the project with the most votes.
Projects must address at least one of the Foundation’s five key areas of focus:
• Economic and environmental sustainability for Australian farmers
• Disaster relief for farming communities
• Country kid’s health and healthy eating
• Food waste and food relief
• Mental health of farming communities.
Eligible charities operating in Victoria, NSW, ACT, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, or whom run national programs, are encouraged to apply.
Foundation Executive Officer Julia Hunter said projects that focus on current or emerging rural issues would be highly regarded.
“In its first year, the 2016 Rural Hero Grant helped to highlight both the tough living conditions of many rural communities as well as the inspiring people and organisations that are out there making a difference,” she said.
“It’s a way to start a conversation about rural and regional issues, while supporting projects that make a positive impact on the ground. We hope the Rural Hero Grant draws attention to the challenges facing these communities, and inspires all Australians to get behind them.”
The winner of the inaugural Rural Hero Grant in 2016 was Royal Far West’s Healthy Kids Bus Stop, a mobile clinic that provides free health screening for young children.
In NSW alone, over one third of kids living in rural areas have difficulty accessing health services and some children are on specialist waiting lists for up to sixteen months. Thanks to the grant, the program visited five rural communities in NSW in 2016 and 2017.
Lindsay Cane, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Far West said the organisation was thrilled to win the Rural Hero Grant in 2016.
“The Rural Hero program is an inspired way for many great community organisations to tell their stories and showcase the needs of rural communities,” she said.
“With the support of Aussie Farmers Foundation, Royal Far West was able to send our award-winning Healthy Kids Bus Stop to the Hunter Valley, NSW mid-north Coast and West Wyalong. Over 200 vulnerable country kids were screened and given support to new pathways to care”.
Lindsay Cane added: “We loved the approach the Foundation took to the grant application process. Creating the entry video and securing support from our friends and partners across Australia was great fun and an excellent way to engage with the community.”
The video entry is required to be a maximum length of 90 seconds and should tell a story, however Ms Hunter emphasised that it doesn’t need to be professionally shot.
“We’ve seen firsthand with the Healthy Kids Bus Stop the level of positive change that can be achieved, so we encourage charities that are making a difference in their communities to get involved and put in an Expression of Interest,” she said.
“There are wonderful examples of videos produced with nothing more than a smartphone and free video editing apps. Our aim is to create awareness of the issues addressed, and we anticipate that with a bit of creativity and imagination, shortlisted applicants will be able to produce simple videos that speak to the hearts of the Australian public.”
The final videos will be posted on the Aussie Farmers Foundation website, with public voting to kick off in August.
All eligible charities need to complete and submit the official Expression of Interest (EOI) application form. Following the closing date for the EOI, shortlisted organisations will be invited to participate in the Rural Hero vote.
Expressions of Interest close on Wednesday 31st May 2017.
Details of the Rural Hero Grant program, applicable terms and conditions and the application process are online here