ANZ Commits $250,000 to Regional Education and Employment
26 July 2016 at 2:25 pm
Grant applications for the ANZ’s Seeds of Renewal program have opened with the bank committing $250,000 in funding for education and employment projects in rural, regional and remote Australian communities.
The program was launched by ANZ and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) at an event in Bendigo, Victoria on Tuesday.
ANZ general manager regional business banking Christine Linden said the Seeds of Renewal investment has had a substantial impact on rural communities for more than a decade, with ANZ investing almost $4 million to improve social and economic benefits in regional communities.
“The program focuses on community groups and small grass-root initiatives that are foundations for building vibrant, sustainable rural communities. The grants aim to build local capacity, increase access to employment and develop greater community participation,” Linden said.
FRRR chief executive officer Natalie Egleton said that education and employment were critical factors for maintaining a sustainable and economically prosperous community.
“The Seeds of Renewal investment provides much needed capital to help get essential educational and employment programs off the ground and set up a for a successful future,” Egleton said.
“The programs encourage locals to develop relevant skills and pursue career pathways that benefit the region. By empowering passionate local leaders to make a change, we see positive outcomes for the whole community.”
Since being established in 2002, the Seeds of Renewal program has funded over 750 rural projects, including helping to promote the Maldon Market. Located half an hour from Bendigo, the Maldon Market has created an opportunity for locals to sell their goods, and enjoy a positive social environment.
President of the Maldon Neighbourhood Centre Jenny Merkus said: “Maldon and the surrounding communities are bursting with growers, as well as talented artists, jewellery designers, sewers and bakers – so we thought a monthly market, utilising the local talent, could fill this gap.
“Our vision for the market was to provide a genuine service, social activity and pride of place for local residents. Since launching at the end of 2013, we have certainly achieved this and the local residents are enjoying the benefits.”