Community groups share in $731k in grants

A total of 135 local clubs and organisations will share in $731,840 in funding through a range of grants awarded as part of Council’s 2021-22 Community Grants program.

The grants, ranging from $260 to $10,000, will support arts projects and festivals, community events, environmental sustainability initiatives, equipment purchases and community-based projects.

Mayor Stephanie Asher said the grants were a vital way for the Council to assist community groups who make a huge contribution to Greater Geelong.

“Most of the clubs and groups we support through the grants program are volunteer-led, and they almost always run on a very tight budget,” Mayor Asher said.

“We hope these grants will relieve some financial pressure, and help the recipients continue making a positive difference in our community.”

Among the successful applicants is the East Geelong Little Athletics Club, which has received an $1860 grant to buy discuses, hurdles, shot puts, a rake, agility equipment and an equipment trolley.

Club President Kylie Harris said she was overjoyed for the 47 little athletes in the club who will benefit from the funding.

“The club name might be old but the club as a whole has transitioned over the past two years to all new members and as the smallest club of the Geelong Little Athletics Centre I want to establish East Geelong as a club that can provide team training with proper equipment – something we have been unable to do since I took over the club two years ago,” Ms Harris said.

“With the purchase of this equipment the kids will be able to not only do running but also learn warm-up skills and practice for field events, and the best thing is that it will help build confidence in a fun team environment.”

The list of grant recipients also includes:

  • sixteen environmental sustainability projects, such as Geelong Sustainability Group’s ‘100 per cent Electric Vehicle Project’ (awarded $10,000);
  • seventeen arts projects and eight arts festivals, including the Jazz in a Hat Festival, Reconciliation in the Park and the Geelong Arts Festival – Youth Edition (each awarded $10,000);
  • twenty-six groups receiving up to $2000 for equipment purchases, including the Bellarine Keen-agers Table Tennis Club, Geelong Mums, Grovedale Toy Library and Waurn Ponds Deakin Cricket Club;
  • thirty-two groups receiving support for community projects, such as the Victorian Skateboard Association with its ‘Greater Geelong Skate Park Activation Project’ ($10,000) – a 15-event development program; and
  • thirty-six community events, including the Bellarine Agricultural Show ($3000), City of Geelong 2022 Lunar New Year Discovery Experience ($5000), and the Geelong Classic Truck and Machinery Show ($5760).

For the first time this year, community event organisers were able to apply for funding specifically to support COVID-safe compliance.

All grant applications were assessed by an independent panel using set criteria before being signed off by the Council.

Councillor Anthony Aitken, Chair of the Council’s Finance portfolio, said further grants would be announced soon.

“Our major grants of up to $350,000, which help fund new community facilities, will be awarded before the end of the year, as will our Geelong Heritage and First Nations Cultural Heritage grants,” Cr Aitken said.

“We have also just allocated an extra $590,000 for a new round of COVID recovery grants for the arts, community groups and events.

“So the Council absolutely recognises the importance of grants in terms of supporting community-based groups, and we continue to heavily fund the program through our annual budget.”

A full list of recipients for this initial group of 2021-22 community grants is available here.

A second round of applications for Environmental Sustainability grants will open early in 2022 to award the remaining budget of $44,438.

With the addition of the newly allocated $590,000 in COVID recovery grants, the Council’s total Community Grants budget for 2021-22 is now just over $4.934 million.

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