Aussie Farmers Foundation searching for community heroes

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 Aussie Farmers Foundation searching for community heroes  Aussie Farmers Foundation searching for community heroes

The Aussie Farmers Foundation is putting up $50,000 for a winning idea to help Australian rural and regional communities in need.

The Rural Hero Grant gives charities the opportunity to propose an innovative solution to help fix an issue which impacts on the lives of the Australian farming community.

Grant applicants with the most impressive ideas will be shortlisted and then invited to create a short yet engaging video depicting how their idea will be the ‘Local Hero’ in their community.

The winning project will then be decided via a casting of the public’s vote.

Any eligible charities operating in VIC, NSW, ACT, QLD, WA and SA, or any charities operating at a national level are encouraged to apply for the grant.

Aussie Farming Foundation executive officer Julia Hunter says that the project has its focus firmly on ideas that will help current and emerging rural issues.

"In its first year, the 2016 Rural Hero Grant helped to highlight both the tough living conditions of many rural communities as well as the inspiring people and organisations that are out there making a difference," Hunter says.

"It’s a way to start a conversation about rural and regional issues, while supporting projects that make a positive impact on the ground. We hope the Rural Hero Grant draws attention to the challenges facing these communities, and inspires all Australians to get behind them."

The recipient of the inaugural Rural Hero Grant last year was the Royal Far West’s Healthy Kids Bus, which is a mobile clinic that provides free health screening for young people.

One in three children in NSW living in rural areas struggle to access health services and some children are on specialist waiting lists for up to 16 months. Thanks to the grant, the program visited five rural communities in NSW in 2016 and 2017.

Royal Far West chief executive officer Lindsay Cane says the organisation was thrilled to win the Rural Hero Grant in 2016.

"The Rural Hero program is an inspired way for many great community organisations to tell their stories and showcase the needs of rural communities," Cane says.

"With the support of Aussie Farmers Foundation, Royal Far West was able to send our award-winning Healthy Kids Bus Stop to the Hunter Valley, NSW mid-north Coast and West Wyalong.

"Over 200 vulnerable country kids were screened and given support to new pathways to care.

Cane says they loved the approach the Foundation took to the grant application process: "Creating the entry video and securing support from our friends and partners across Australia was great fun and an excellent way to engage with the community."

The video finalists for 2017 will be posted on the Aussie Famers Foundation website and public voting will commence at the beginning of August. 

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