Twenty community groups from around Australia will share in the first $1 million round of grants as part of the national carrier’s continued commitment to regional Australia.
The Qantas Regional Grants program offers $5 million in grants over five years to not-for-profit community groups, individuals, charities, projects and organisations that are seeking funding to provide a direct service or benefit to regional Australia.
The successful groups were selected out of more than 1,200 applications from across the country and will receive free flights, cash and marketing support. These include:
The full list of winners can be viewed at qantas.com/regionalgrants.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the airline was overwhelmed by the number and calibre of submissions, demonstrating the community spirit that exists in regional Australia.
“Qantas is very much part of the regional and remote communities we serve, and we believe it’s our role to give back and provide as much support as we can to regional Australians,” Mr Gissing said.
“There are many regional community organisations doing their bit to make the lives of those around them better and I’m delighted we’ve been able to support 20 outstanding groups through this inaugural round of grants.”
“From tackling mental health and gender inequality, to encouraging kids to engage in science, technology, engineering and maths, the successful organisations all help address difficult challenges facing regional areas.
“It’s always a difficult decision when there are so many strong applicants. We encourage those who were unsuccessful this year to apply again next year and welcome new and creative applications for the 2020 round.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Riverina MP Michael McCormack welcomed the initiative.
“Many of our regional communities are doing it tough at the moment,” Mr McCormack said.
“While these communities should be admired for resilience, it is great to see corporate Australia doing its bit to help our regions through this rough patch.
“Aviation is key enabler for regional economies, and this announcement reflects Qantas’ important role in connecting in our regions to the world.”
QantasLink Chief Operating Officer Andrew Monaghan chaired the judging panel, together with two independent panelists, and two QantasLink pilots. The panel was tasked with allocating grant funds based on the strength of each individual application.
The Qantas Regional Grants program adds to other initiatives designed to strengthen regional communities, drive local economic activity, stimulate tourism and support jobs. This includes $3 million in drought relief efforts from Qantas and its customers, year-round discounts of at least 20 per cent for residents in 16 regional and remote towns to make air travel more accessible and the establishment of the Qantas Group Pilot Academy in Toowoomba.
The Qantas Group contributes more than $5 billion to the economy in regional Australia each year and supports more than 40,000 jobs.
Applications for the 2020 regional grants program will open on 11 June 2020 at qantas.com/regionalgrants.