Rural youth and their mentors in 35 rural and regional communities will soon be implementing projects to address some of the biggest issues facing young Australians, thanks to grants from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).
The FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants will help these communities pilot ideas that were developed at the 2017 ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit in February. The projects tackle issues ranging from mental health, the impact of drugs and anti-racism, to youth disengagement and detention, LGBTQI wellbeing, revitalising agricultural careers and access to technology.
The grants were presented to recipients at an event in Melbourne earlier today, hosted by the ABC at their new studios in Southbank. The communities benefiting from the funding are located across Australia, including 21 Aboriginal communities in the Central Desert in NT, Strathalbyn in SA, Whitsundays in QLD, Deloraine in TAS, Pannawonica in WA, Tumut NSW and Bendigo in VIC and Canberra.
Mikayla Mayoh from Townsville, in far north Queensland, participated in the Heywire Summit and was part of the group that developed an idea to build resilient communities as an approach to tackling substance abuse. Their idea was to host a community event called ‘One Drop’, inspired by the fact that one drop of fresh water changes the salt content of the ocean. The One Drop event will provide information and support for friends and families affected by the drug abuse of a loved one, helping to start the conversation about drug abuse in their community.
Mikayla brought a personal perspective to this project, after losing her cousin to an ice addition just before his 30th birthday. Mikayla partnered with Althea Projects Inc, which has received a grant to implement the One Drop idea in Townsville.
“Receiving this grant is an absolute honour and I can’t wait to bring One Drop to Townsville. This project is so close to my heart, as my family has experienced first-hand the devastation that ice can cause. One Drop will help families going through similar hardship to source the help they need,” said Mikayla.
FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants enable young people to work with community groups in their communities to make the ideas developed at the Summit a reality.
“The Summit allows young people to come together, talk about the issues that matter to them and then workshop solutions to those challenges. These grants then enable local leaders to work with local youth to implement these solutions in a way that will resonate in their communities,” Egleton said.
“The groups that have received grants in this round now have a fantastic opportunity to make a real and lasting difference. We’ve seen many projects seed-funded with FRRR Heywire Youth Innovation grants over the past five years still going strong, and continuing to have an impact. We look forward to seeing the legacy of this year’s grants.”
The grants are possible thanks to support from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, The Sally Foundation, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, The Betty Fulton Fund and several private donors.
Head here for full details of the grant recipients and their projects.
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) was established in 2000. Its mission is to champion the economic and social strength of Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities through partnerships with the private sectors, philanthropy and governments. Since inception, FRRR has managed the distribution of more than $70 million in grants to over 8,000 community groups and provided substantial capacity building support across the nation. To find out more about FRRR, visit www.frrr.org.au.
About ABC Heywire
The ABC’s Heywire Regional Youth Summit has been held annually in Canberra since 1998, in partnership with the Australian Government. It is the culmination of the ABC’s Heywire competition – open to people aged 16-22 living in regional or rural Australia and designed to involve them in the national conversation. Over the past 19 years over 10,000 young Australians have shared their stories with Heywire. Learn more: http://www.abc.net.au/heywire/ .