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Posted on : 27 March 2018

Six bright leaders from regional and rural NSW will share $98,000 in funding via to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RAS Foundation) Community Futures Grant Program.

Elizabeth Munn from Leeton, Claire Johnson from Crookwell, Megan Coyle from Walbundrie, Rob Witts from Gunnedah, Katrina Thomas from Condobolin and Naomi Kauter from Gresford will each receive a grant from the RAS Foundation, up to a value of $25,000, to help fund a community project within their local area.

RAS Foundation Manager, Cecilia Logan, said that although this grant once carried an age limit of 35, it had since been lifted, however the Foundation remains committed to fostering youth leadership and earmarks a portion of the available grant funding each year to projects driven by young people.

“The RAS selection panel was impressed with how passionate our current batch of young rural people are in embracing the opportunity to bring their ideas to life through this program,” Ms Logan said.

“The program allows young individuals to take on a role of leadership within their community.

“Through sales of the Foundation Ag Bag at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, the RAS Foundation can champion young Australians as they rise to meet challenges and shape the future of regional and rural NSW,” Cecilia Logan said.

Since the RASF Community Futures Grant program began in 2010, more than $700,000 has been invested into rural and regional communities across NSW.


RAS Foundation Community Futures Grants Recipients for 2018 are:

Elizabeth Munn - Leeton

Partner: Leeton Show Society

Project: Young Farmer’s Challenge Trailer

Elizabeth Munn’s project will see her build a Young Farmer’s Challenge trailer for use by the communities in her zone so that more shows can compete in this event. The ultimate test of skill and ability, the Young Farmers Challenge gives young people the chance to showcase their expertise in a series of on-farm tasks. This can be anything from animal handling to fencing, driving tractors, putting out fires, first aid, heavy lifting and transport challenges. Elizabeth is very keen to get young people involved at community level and is positive the Leeton Young Farmer’s Challenge Trailer will get well used in the Leeton and surrounding areas.


Claire Johnson - Crookwell

Partner: Crookwell AP & H Society

Project: New Cattle Shed 

Cattle committee member Claire Johnson knows that the new cattle shed she and her committee build will be of great benefit to the Upper Lachlan Shire cattle producing community.  With an increase in entries in the stud cattle competition this new facility

will be more than adequate to accommodate these numbers and host a variety of other events throughout the year, bringing further economic benefit to the wider community.

Megan Coyle - Walbundrie

Partner: Walbundrie Show Society

Project: Multi-purpose Equestrian Arena

The Walbundrie Show is a popular event within the Walbundrie community and has a very well patronised horse section.  Megan Coyle’s application to improve the facilities for horse events at the showground will see her hardworking group of local volunteers building a purpose-built arena with proper drainage and fencing which can be used for other events outside of Show.

Rob Witts - Gunnedah

Partner: Gunnedah Show Society

Project: Upgrade of Showground Kitchen and Servery

Local farmer and Gunnedah Show Society President, Rob Witts, acknowledges that with over 50,000 patrons attending the various events held at Gunnedah Showground the current facilities are far from adequate. Rob and his team of skilled volunteers plan to upgrade the makeshift facilities so that they can better cater for the many events held at the Showground and provide a workable space for those working in the kitchen.

Katrina Thomas - Condobolin

Partner: Condobolin High School P & C Association

Project: CHS Agriculture – Rebuilding to Learn for Tomorrow

Condobolin High School agricultural science teacher Katrina Thomas and her fiercely determined colleagues are focused on improving the ageing agricultural facilities at Condobolin High School. Katrina wants to create a positive and safe learning space for students with an all-purpose shed, chicken enclosure, hot house and aquaponics set up. Ultimately Katrina and her students hope to set up two small enterprises, a chicken breeding and vegetable/plant seedling enterprise.

Naomi Kauter - Gresford

Partner: Gresford District Agricultural Society  

Project: Stable Block Restoration

The deterioration of the Gresford Showground stable block has meant that the facility is not being used to its full potential. Naomi Kauter plans on changing this by replacing the rafters and roof and installing water tanks to collect water for reuse. Naomi is sure that the new stable block, in conjunction with existing facilities, will attract out of area organisations who wish to host horse related events in Gresford. Naomi has a well-thought-out project plan that will make use of local volunteers on weekends to complete the project over sixteen weeks.

The RAS Foundation is a charitable foundation that encourages educational opportunities and helps build strong and sustainable rural and regional communities through a range of targeted community grants and scholarships.


For further information, interview and high-res image requests please contact

Roger White

Manager, Public Relations

M: 0478 092 425



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