New approach to helping Lachlan Region solve big issues!
Tammy Bugg, Executive Officer at Western Plains Regional Development, believes that this is a chance for community groups to "think big, to think long-term and to really make a difference."
Since 2012, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) has provided funding to run the Lachlan Region Community grants program, which is designed to address place-based issues and needs within the area.
The program is delivered by Western Plains Regional Development (WPRD) Inc. with support from FRRR and VFFF. FRRR hosts a donation account for this program.
This year, 17 community organisations in the Lachlan Shire shared $87,200 in funding in the second round of the program. Projects varied from a cultural week for the Aboriginal Lands Council, new starting blocks at the swimming pool, a PA system upgrade for the Arts Council to Christmas hampers for St Vincent De Paul to reach more local families in need and this FRRR-facilitated workshop.
Working through the big issues together
In August 2013, representatives from the Lachlan region community came together at the Condo Café for a two-hour workshop, facilitated by FRRR's CEO, Alexandra Gartmann. At the workshop, 50 community members discussed the big issues facing the region in the next 10 years.
The conversation generated thirty BIG issues, and about the same number of solutions, which fell into four priority categories:
- Education and Young People;
- Employment and Industry;
- Community Spirit and Stability; and
- Services and Infrastructure.
Funding plus mentoring support will help deliver projects
The grants program has been reconfigured for 2014/15 and successful recipients will now receive both cash and mentoring / coaching support to help them deliver a project that will make a BIG difference to the Lachlan Shire. The aim is to support one project in each of the four workshop categories. With $50,000 from VFFF, plus up to a further $50,000 to match local community fundraising, the funding and mentoring will support local groups to implement practical solutions.