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We live in your world - September 2011

We live in your world - September 2011

Supporting rural and regional communities

Supporting rural and regional communities

A grant from our Seeds of Renewal program is helping children living on remote properties across Queensland access pre-prep education for the first time.

The Longreach School of Distance has offered education from Prep to Year 10 for nearly 25 years – but lacked a pre-prep level until the school applied for a ‘Seeds of Renewal’ grant to help develop a program.

One year on, new pre-prep kits have been introduced containing parent learning guides, activities, resources and toys to promote hands-on learning for pre-school age children, living in remote communities.

Rowena Arthur from the Longreach School of Distance, said, “Early years learning is a vital part of every child’s educational journey and we were concerned that a lack of access to pre-prep was placing younger children at an educational disadvantage. This program also helps mothers with younger children in the property school room, to provide a quality program for their four year olds, while their older brothers and sisters are completing their school work.”

“The Seeds of Renewal grant provided a much-needed injection of funding to help us establish the kindy-level program, which is now being used as a key learning tool by parents of young children living on large, and often, remote properties,” Rowena said.

Seeds of Renewal provides small grants of up to $15,000 for Australian communities with a population of 15,000 or less.  We partner with the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal (FRRR) to run the program, with FRRR managing the inquiry and assessment process for applications.  

Our General Manager of Regional Commercial Banking, Tania Motton said, “The program gives local projects a funding boost to help them get off the ground.  Since its inception eight years ago, Seeds of Renewal has provided more than $2.5 million in small grants and assisted around 568 projects around regional Australia.”

Applications for the 2011/12 Seeds of Renewal program are now open and will close at 5pm on Friday, 23 September, 2011.  This year, preference will be given to applications that help advance education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged and under-represented groups in regional communities.  Successful applicants will be notified in November, 2011.

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