As the worst drought in history continues to take its toll, Rural Aid is launching a campaign aimed at providing 10 country towns impacted by drought, with a makeover.
Established within Rural Aid’s ongoing Sustainable Community program, the 10 country towns will receive a minimum of $100,000 each over five years.
Working with town leaders, the money will be spent developing plans, through facilitated workshops, to support the long-term sustainability of the town and local community. Rural Aid will partner with experts in rural/regional town renewal who will work with town leaders to develop the long-term renewal strategy.
Rural Aid’s Farm Army of volunteers (usually between 50 – 100) will also spend a week in the town undertaking a range of infrastructure projects which town leaders identify as important to the town and community.
Small country towns play a critical role in supporting the social and economic fabric of their local communities.
They have unique symbiotic relationships with the farms located around them. Farmers rely on their local town for off farm income through employment, farm employees and services from the local doctor, teachers, dentists, accountants and government support staff. Then there’s the small businesses like the local pharmacy, grocery, butcher, bakery, bank and rural supply company.
Rural Aid believes in community. Unfortunately, small town decline is real with some suggesting over 70 percent are at risk. Take these towns out of the equation and the local ecosystem is impacted forever. There are enough case studies of rural towns that have reversed the trend and created successful thriving communities to know that anything’s possible.
Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show that since 2012, many parts of rural Australia have lost thousands of people due to the decline in the agricultural and mining sectors. This was highlighted in a Sydney Morning Herald article, published 30 August 2019, by Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw, As cities grow, parts of regional Australia disappear and get angry.
Our community program lifts morale and injects much needed capital into the local community.
To help your application, please consider the following
To help us choose your town to consider the following:
- Why does your town need help?
- Do you have a long-term plan for your town, do you have a vision?
- Do you have a leadership team within your community?
- Do you have projects your town has had on hold and needs to complete?
- Do you have a plan to grow your community, grow or maintain your population?
To undertake Infrastructure projects:
- Our team and volunteers will need a camping space/ showground with amenities for up to 40 caravan/ campers
- To feed everyone, we’ll need undercover facilities to feed and cater for up to 70 volunteers
- Shower and toilet facilities at the venue.
For more information and to nominate your town, go to https://www.ruralaid.org.au/nominate/
Nominations close on 30 September 2019