THE Working in Dairy Communities (WIDC) Small Grants program, which is run in a partnership between the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and Gardiner Dairy Foundation, has awarded $121,584 in grants to support 26 projects in Victoria’s three dairy regions.
And one of the organisations to benefit is the much-loved Hassett Street Kinder in Leongatha.
So did the Yanakie Recreation Reserve and Public Hall Reserve.
Now in its 18th year, the WIDC Small Grants program offers up to $5000 to support community-driven projects that strengthen Victorian dairy communities through enhancing community infrastructure and local capacity.
And that’s exactly what Hassett Street got, $5000, to replace the centre’s worn-out blinds.
Dr Clive Noble, Gardiner Dairy Foundation chief executive, said this year the Working in Dairy Communities grant program is supporting projects that support early childhood and adult education and stimulate economic recovery. These projects will have long-lasting benefits for these communities.
“Things have been tough for small towns reliant on dairy. These grants will help communities on their renewal journey by supporting projects that will encourage community engagement and social connectedness.
“The diversity of the projects reflects the differing needs of dairy communities too. For example, in Murrabit, a street beautification project will boost morale and add cultural vibrancy, while the funding of children’s activities at the Tarwin District Auto Festival should help to bring families into town for the November event.”
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said the longstanding partnership with Gardiner Dairy Foundation has been so successful because both foundations share the belief that local groups are best placed to know what their community needs; they just need some support to turn their ideas into reality.
“Working with Gardiner Dairy Foundation over the past 18 years we’ve seen just how passionate and dedicated local not-for-profit groups are in meeting challenges and creating their own opportunities.
“This year the program is supporting some fantastic initiatives to rejuvenate and extend the capacity of community spaces so that locals have access to high quality facilities – including the addition of an all-abilities access ramp at Scotts Creek Hall, gas heaters to warm the many elderly citizens who use the Girgarre Hall, and audio visual equipment to improve local film nights at Yanakie Recreation Reserve and Public Hall.”

List of projects
Some of the 26 grants awarded this round include:
• Gippsland Dairy Region – Leongatha Community Preschool received a $5000 grant to replace Hassett St Kindergarten’s worn out and damaged outdoor blinds, which will improve the kindergarten’s learning environment.
As well as: Anglican Trusts Corporation of the Diocese of Gippsland, Boisdale-Briagolong Football Club Inc, Foster Primary School, Leongatha Community Pre School Centres Inc, Manna Gum Community House Inc, Venus Bay Tarwin Lower and District Men’s Shed Inc, and Yanakie Recreation Reserve and Public Hall Reserve.