Over $20,000 has been granted to local organisations by the Community Foundation of Central Victoria to support and strengthen our community. A wide variety of projects are being supported across the region.
- Summer School for Students with a refugee background in Bendigo supported by the Glass Slipper Fund,
- Cactus spears in Wedderburn supported by the Bank Australia Fund,
- Read Along Dads project for children of prisoners in Castlemaine support by the Adroit – Insurance Group Fund
- Access for people with a Disability to the Discovery Centre with Amicus supported by the Bendigo Stadium Ltd Fund
- Dances Old and New with the Village Festival supported by the Bendigo Stadium Ltd Fund
- Living Together Event embracing diversity during Multicultural Week supported by the Glass Slipper Fund
“We are blown away by the amazing work that local groups are undertaking” said Ann Lansberry Executive Officer of the Foundation “It’s a privilege to be able to support these organisations and their projects.”
Summer School for Students with English as a second language
Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services have been granted $8440 to run a Summer School for young people from refugee backgrounds going to secondary school in 2016. This program has been developed in consultation with newly arrived communities and local schools, who have highlighted the difficulties being faced by these students. The purpose of this two-week summer school program will be to reintroduce students into an English speaking environment after the school holidays, to increase the student’s spoken English, literacy and numeracy skills in preparation for the school year, as well as acclimatise students to the Australian classroom environment.
“Karen community leaders have indicated how thrilled the parents would be to send their children to summer school to improve their English, especially the children going to high school next year” says Noemi Cummings Executive Officer of LCMS “we hope to deliver this program every year and this seed funding provides an important trial of the concept.”
Spearing Cactii in Wedderburn
Bush Heritage will buy five new cactus spearing units with $1,100 support from the Bank Australia Fund. The new spears will support an ongoing volunteer cactus control program where Bush Heritage volunteers spend 520 hours a year controlling weeds including cactus on Nardoo Hills Reserves which are part of the Wedderburn Conservation Management Network.
“We are currently limited in our ability to manage wheel cactus as we only have six units.” says Bush Heritage regional manager Jeroen van Veen. “The purchase of an additional five units will allow Bush Heritage and other groups borrowing our equipment to increase the number of volunteers working at one time.”
Read Along Dads
‘Read-Along Dads’ helps keep the children of prisoners in touch with their parent through reading. The Community Foundation is supporting Friends of Castlemaine Library to provide program for the second time with a $2000 grant from the Adroit Insurance Fund.
“Read-a-long Dads” provides the children with a recording of their dad reading them a book. Both the CD recording and a copy of the book itself are sent to the child who can listen to their parent’s voice whilst reading or looking at their book. Already the program has involved more than 300 prisoners and studies of similar projects have indicated reduced re-offending among participants.
Expanding Community Access to Discovery for People with a Disability
The Bendigo Stadium fund has granted $1950 to help people with a disability access the Discovery Centre. Amicus staff will create access to the Discovery centre for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford membership along with the structure so they can fully take advantage of the facilities. As a hands-on, interactive science centre, Discovery is well placed to provide inclusive activities for people with varying abilities. This project supports community engagement of Amicus participants, building their capacity for making community connections. It also facilitates social connections through educational, science, and cultural experiences.
“Most people think of Discovery as a centre for school groups to visit, or a place to take the kids or grandchildren” said Kate Barnard Discovery Manager. “In fact, Discovery serves the whole community, and a program like this demonstrates that point well.”
Dances Old and New at the Village Festival
Through a series of guided walks and talks with Dja Dja Wurrung elders Dances Old and New will collect the indigenous stories of the region. Selected stories will be interpreted and brought to life in several ways with a focus on dance and movement. The various artistic threads will come together in a community performance as part of the Village Winter Festival in Castlemaine’s central Victory Park in June 2016.
The Bendigo Stadium Fund is delighted to support this project with $2000.
Ariel Valent the Director of the Festival commented “The Dja Dja Wurrung used the ritual of dance to share important stories from one generation to the next but now very few residents (indigenous or otherwise) are familiar with them. This project will re-educate the local community about the historical importance of dance.
Living Together In Bendigo
This project by Make A Change Australia will provide Bendigo a collaborative event during Multicultural week on the topic of embracing diversity. The Community Foundation is supporting this initiative with a $2000 grant.
“Bendigo has been known as an inclusive city” said Make a Change Director Karen Corr “but recent incidents of cultural unrest have portrayed our city as intolerant. Although disheartening this also provides Bendigo with a an opportunity to focus on cultural diversity and encourage respect.”
The Community Foundation for Central Victoria encourages locals to give where you live to support similar projects that benefit our community.