2019 Grants Media Release


The South West Community Foundation is championing self-help projects proposed by smaller community groups as it shares $126,083 among 39 groups in its 2019 grants program

Five of the funded projects were for community and school-based food production either through community garden plots or free meal programs at Colac, Camperdown, Heywood, Narrawong and Portland.

Small community halls were another focus in the granting.

Chair Barrie Baker said the focus on self-help projects was in line with the Foundation’s mission.

“For example, the little local hall is often the key social centre for a small community,” Mr Baker said “It’s vital that the hall be kept operational and well equipped.”

Hall works have been supported at Bahgallah, Melville Forest, Yeodene, and Mailors Flat and a new community social space is being created at Lismore.

The full range of projects being funded directly or facilitated through the Isobel and David Jones Family Foundation or Cumorah Foundation cover a wide range of activities and locations across south west Victoria. They include grants for the arts and cultural events, social support programs, community festivals, health, education and environmental activities.

However, the grant giving program is still a source of some frustration to the Foundation Board. “It’s pleasing to see what has been achieved but each year there are many other worthy projects that we don’t have the resources to fund,” Mr Baker said. “Our base of invested funds that generate the money for grants just isn’t growing due to the impact of lower interest rates over recent years. We are very grateful to the community donors that support the Foundation, but we could do so much more if we had more supporters.”

With this year’s grants, the Foundation has provided about $880,000 over the 11 years of its existence, all targeted at strengthening and enriching community life in the region. Donations to support the Foundation’s work can be made through the website www.southwestcommunityfoundation.org or by contacting the Executive Officer, Karen Norris at 0437 756 082.