Local councils, community groups, and individuals must keep working together for the renewal of Australia’s regions, says the head of a charity that has helped more than 9,000 applicants receive a combined $85m in funding.
The Foundation works with parties including local governments and community groups to help bring local ideas to fruition.
“Local Council leaders need to be encouraging their communities to work together, to work collaboratively so there is a more joined-up approach to resolving the issues and capitalising on the opportunities,” Natalie, a rural Victoria-based executive, says.
“They should share their ideas, but not be too closed if someone else has a better idea”.
“Everyone needs to think laterally about who they know that might support a project, or how they could facilitate an introduction or make a connection”.
“Each of us as individuals, no matter our role, can make a difference by doing the same, by caring, and doing something proactive.”
The Foundation was established in 2000, after the 1999 Regional Australia Summit in Canberra, with the specific remit of channelling philanthropy into rural, regional and remote Australia, to support renewal and regeneration.
While the average amount it distributed to applicants is $5,000, groups usually turned that to their advantage at least three times.
Therefore, of that $85m distributed, the Foundation estimates it has helped drive at least $340M in investment in rural, regional and remote communities.