Australia’s national carrier has today announced a multi-million-dollar grants program, including free flights to support regional communities across the country.
The Qantas Regional Grants program will offer a total of $5 million in grants over five years – $1 million each year – to Australian-based 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 grants will include a combination of flights, cash and marketing support (where relevant) and will be determined by a panel based on eligibility criteria. The grant funding will be distributed each year and awarded to at least one recipient, or several, within each state and territory.
Visiting Wagga Wagga for the announcement, QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the grants program was designed to give much needed assistance to people in regional communities across the country.
“As an airline born in regional Australia, we know how important it is to give back to the communities we serve. And we know there is always more that can be done,” said Mr Gissing.
“Unique to our grants program is the opportunity to access flights which we know are vital to connecting people and communities right across the country.
“Whether it’s a health care program wanting to extend their services to a remote town, a local community centre that needs funding to improve their facilities or flights for a student or sports group to travel with us to attend a training course in another city, these are the sorts of initiatives our program is designed to support. The ultimate objective is to enhance the lives of people in regional communities.
“Five years of grants will help a significant number of successful recipients to further their causes and set them up for future success. We’ll be looking for applications that can demonstrate measurable impact and innovative ways to benefit regional communities.”
Making the announcement with Qantas today, Deputy Prime Minister and Riverina MP Michael McCormack welcomed the initiative.
“This is fantastic news for rural communities not only in the Wagga Wagga region, but across regional Australia,” Mr McCormack said.
“I urge and encourage eligible organisations and individuals to apply for funding.
“I am pleased Qantas is giving back to country communities with this wonderful initiative.”
Interested community groups and organisations can apply via qantas.com/regionalgrants.
Applications open today and will close on 30 August 2019 and successful recipients will be announced in October 2019.
The Qantas Regional Grants program adds to other initiatives designed to strengthen regional communities, drive local economic activity, stimulate tourism and support jobs, including Qantas’ $3 million Drought relief efforts, discounts of up to 30 per cent for residents to make air travel more accessible and the Qantas Group Pilot Academy due to open in Toowoomba later this year.
The Qantas Group contributes more than $5 billion to the economy in regional Australia each year and supports more than 40,000 jobs.