Community projects backed

Grateful: President of The Morwell Historical Society appreciates the $10,000 in funding from the Foundation for Regional & Rural Renewal. Photograph Zaida Glibanovic



LOCAL community groups can rejoice as the Foundation for Regional & Rural Renewal (FRRR) has funded several regional projects.

The successful Latrobe Valley groups were the Morwell Historical Society, Next Gen Theatrical and the Budgeree Hall Reserve Committee, who will share $24,000 in funding.

The federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, said the Foundation for Region & Rural Renewal had awarded grants to seven Gippsland groups through the Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) Program.

“Grants of up to $10,000 were awarded to groups to help with local priority projects, disaster recovery and also recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Chester said.

Morwell Historical Society received $10,000 to upgrade the dated kitchen and make it suitable for the volunteers.

Grants like those go a long way for community groups, the president of the Morwell Historical Society, Allan McFarlane, said.

“This [The Morwell Historical Society] building was built in 1927, so it’s nearly 100 years old, and the kitchen was really archaic, so that’s been a wonderful grant that we’ve received; it has allowed us to have a kitchen that’s at least presentable.”

The local historical group has been in debt since buying the historic 12 Hazelwood Road building in 2015. Still seeking around $60,000 to pay off their loan, every dollar counts.

Mr McFarlane explained the difficulty of managing an ageing society that always needs funding and volunteers.

“Every opportunity, I’m sort of calling out to the community if there’s anyone out there who would like to support us.”

Explaining that the upgrades could prove to bring more revenue for the society, Mr McFarlane said the building was getting in better condition in a great location, and now with a functional kitchen, it could be used as a function or meeting room.

In appreciation for the funding they have received, Mr McFarlane wished to thank both state and federal governments, but also the local supporting sponsors and the Latrobe City Council.

Another community group, Next Gen Theatrical, received $10,000 to develop and provide a well-being support program to help disadvantaged communities in the region and help with performance venue hire costs.

The Budgeree Hall Reserve committee will use its $4500 grant to buy a shipping container to safely store equipment.

Mr Chester said Gippsland received $74,560 in grants throughout the electorate.

“These projects will make a real difference to each community and ensure facilities are suitable for all users and volunteers.”

“The FRRR receives funding from a range of sources, including the federal government, to directly support our regional and rural communities,” Mr Chester said.

“It is fantastic to see so many local projects receiving support and improving facilities for the community now and into the future.”

Gippsland groups receiving funding include the Cowwarr Recreation Reserve committee of management, Golden and Paradise Beach Ratepayers and Residents Association, East Gippsland Festivals and Raymond Island Community Association.

The Foundation for Regional & Rural Renewal is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to connect everyday purposes and funding from government, business and philanthropy with the genuine local needs of rural people and places. The FRRR both create and seeks grants to fund projects. Since its start in 2000, they have delivered $155 million to nearly 13,000 projects.