Thirty-two community groups from around Australia will receive a share of $2 million as the flying kangaroo boosts its commitment to regional Australia.
The Qantas Regional Grants program is providing $10 million in grants over five years – $2 million each year – to support not-for-profit groups and projects directly benefitting regional Australia.
Grant winners were selected from a record 1600 applications from every state and territory, almost 40 per cent more than when the program first launched. Grant recipients will receive a combination of flights, cash and marketing support.
SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY GROUPS
Of the 32 successful grant winners, 10 are based in New South Wales, which had the most applications from any state or territory. Queensland, Victoria and Northern Territory have five grant winners each. Western Australia had four and South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory had one. The winners include:
- Aussie Ark (New South Wales) – to build eco-tourism accommodation and support the conservation of threatened native animals.
- Ability Enterprises (Queensland) – to build a plastics recycling facility and provide employment to 45 vulnerable people.
- Eat Up Australia (Victoria) – to purchase ingredients and train more volunteers to provide free lunches to disadvantaged school children in eight more regional areas.
- FABalice Festival Inc. (Northern Territory) – to encourage more interstate and international tourists to visit Central Australia and build the festival’s inclusive profile.
- John’s Vision Inc (West Australia) – to buy a portable eye camera and transform the business into a mobile optometry, providing high quality eye care to aged care and community centres in West Australia’s regions.
- Royal Flying Doctors Service SA / NT (South Australia) – to develop a telehealth unit at the newly established William Creek Clinic and provide healthcare access to remote communities.
- Navigate Family Services Inc. (Tasmania) – to provide free therapy for school aged children, their parents and siblings who present mental health and neurodevelopmental challenges.
- The Indigenous Marathon Foundation Limited (Australian Capital Territory) – to work with remote and regional schools to increase school attendance and improve health outcomes of First Nations primary school children.
The full list of recipients can be viewed at qantas.com/regionalgrants.
QantasLink Chief Operating Officer Petrea Bradford said the volume and quality of applicants demonstrated the strength of community spirit in regional Australia.
“We’re very much a part of the communities we fly to and we’re really proud to be giving more back to regional Australia now our recovery is in full swing.
“Community groups play a vital role in our regions, and providing them with financial, flight and marketing support will help them continue to support their communities.
“Our judging panel had a really difficult task selecting the grant recipients given the high standard and record number of applicants. There were many very deserving groups that we couldn’t support this year and we encourage those who were unsuccessful this year to apply again next year.”
The Qantas Regional Grants program launched in 2019, with the first year of funding distributed among 20 community groups from more than 1200 applications, before it was paused during the pandemic.
Federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain said the funding would support local-led ideas across regional Australia get off the ground.
“We know there are a number of significant challenges and opportunities in our regions, which is why it’s fantastic to see Qantas continue to invest in diverse priority projects that are high impact.
“From supporting employment and economic opportunities, boosting community engagement, enhancing access to key services, and improving health and environmental outcomes – these projects will have lasting benefits in these regional communities.”
The judging panel was chaired by QantasLink Chief Operating Officer and included two independent community panellists and two QantasLink pilots. The panel was tasked with allocating grant funds based on the strength of each application.
Applications for the 2024 Regional Grants Program will open on 28 February 2024 at qantas.com/regionalgrants.
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