By Tyler Wright
Community groups, not-for-profits and event organisers are now able to apply for funding of up to $40,000 a year through Yarra Ranges Council’s Partnership Program.
Applications for the program opened on Saturday 1 October, with the funding stream for successful applicant flowing from 2023 to 2027.
Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC), who was a successful applicant of the Partnership Program for 2018 to 2022, used the funding stream of $20,000 per year to provide legal advice on the ground in the Yarra Ranges and educating school children about sexting, cyberbullying and consent.
“We’ve probably done about 14 workshops across seven schools in the last year alone on those issues across Yarra Ranges; and this funding really drives that kind of work in schools,” ECLC CEO Michael Smith said.
Through the funding, and working alongside other community organisations, ECLC was able to respond to community need after the June 2021 storm event in the Yarra Ranges.
“There’s always issues around insurance… the impact by the power issues, and sometimes there’s issues with neighbours and fences and things like that, but also there’s issues like family violence that might be either as a result of the storms or kind of exacerbated by that too,” Mr Smith said.
ECLC also started their ‘Hidden Voices’ initiative this year, creating a space for sexual abuse survivors, family violence survivors and those impacted by mental health issues to tell their stories.
Mr Smith said ECLC will be applying for the most recent Partnership Program, helping to continue work with young people in schools and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health organisations.
“We’ve actually had really smooth referral options between us, as well as doing community projects that really helped the community, so we’re looking forward to continue to do that,” Mr Smith said.
Yarra Ranges Council is encouraging community groups to apply for funding for projects that align with the council’s Health and Wellbeing and Creative Communities Strategies.
“Grant applications take significant amounts of time and effort – they also go through a rigorous assessment by Council staff and an independent panel, and there’s heavy competition for this funding,” Yarra Ranges Council Mayor, Councillor Jim Child said.
“We get incredible proposals through all of our grant streams and we can only fund a fraction of these.
“For the best chance of success, applications should demonstrate a strong alignment to Council’s strategies, meet the selection criteria, demonstrate a willingness to work collaboratively, and outline previous experience delivering Council funded initiatives. These are a must.”
Applications for the Partnership Grant round will close on Tuesday 15 November 2022, with successful applicants to be announced in 2023.
The first year’s funding will be delivered on 1 July 2023.
To learn more about the application process, call Yarra Ranges Council’s grants team, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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