This browser is not supported. Please upgrade your browser.

News

News

Articles and stories about the RAS Foundations and its grant and scholarship recipients

Articles and stories about the RAS Foundations and its  grant and scholarship recipients

There was a problem loading some of information on this page. Please try again later.

No result text goes here

More description text goes here

Space to grow

12 Jan 2017

WORDS: Nicola Conville Article first appeared RAS Times November 2016 Two years ago a teacher had a vision to create a natural play space for her rural community and thanks to funding from an RAS Foundation (RASF) Community Futures Grant in 2015 her goal has been achieved. School teacher Katie Rowe was inspired to create a play area for young children at her local café, Two Eight Two Eight, in her adopted home of Gulargambone in the central west plains of NSW. The building was purchased by the local community in 2002 and has been renovated slowly over the years, evolving to encompass a visitor’s centre and café. “As the building took shape, I felt it needed something to engage the school children and help them feel proud of their community, and that’s where the idea for a natural play space came about,” Katie explains. The RASF Community Futures Grants encourage rural youth leadership by providing financial assistance for community projects. The program has been running for three years, and in that time, 23 grants have been awarded, with a total sum of $510,000 in funds distributed to help community projects come to life. When Katie learned about the Community Future Grant, she felt it was the perfect fit for her project. She put together a very detailed proposal but says the hardest part of the process was keeping it a secret once she knew the application had been successful. “I knew about it for three weeks before the announcement at the 2015 Sydney Royal Easter Show, it was hard to stay quiet!” On receipt of the grant, volunteers spent five months building the new play area, which includes a herb garden that provides for the café kitchen, and an interactive leisure and learning space for local kids aged up to seven years. “There was a lot of work to do,” Katie says. “We cut down trees, replaced the shed and put in a new drainage system – and you’d be amazed and how much dirt it takes to fill a space like this too,” she laughs. Local school children helped out by creating beautiful handmade stepping stones for the space. “It was a lot of work, but when it all fell into place it was worth every second. In April we had a launch party and Kate Ross from the RASF came down for it. The place looks amazing now – it’s so colourful, with plenty of shade and a beautiful garden.” Katie had only been living in Gulargambone for a few years when her vision for the play space began to take shape, but she had a strong desire to give back to her local community. “It’s so nice to be able to do something significant and it’s lovely that the kids have somewhere safe to play,” she says. “I love rural living for the sense of community, the fresh air and open spaces. But it’s also a beautiful environment for kids. Country living also gives them a lot of resilience and teaches them that when people work together, that’s how things get done. “The Community Futures Grant is a great initiative because even going through the process of application gets you thinking about what you would like for your community and the skills you would like to learn. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their community and themselves.” In 2015 David Ryan and Helen DeCosta were also awarded Community Future Grants achieving excellent results for their communities. Learn more about RASF’s scholarships and grants . Read more

Growing a better future

11 Jan 2017

WORDS: Nicola Conville Article first appeared RAS Times November 2016 Two years ago market gardener, David Ryan, applied for funding to lead a project in his rural community. In 2015 he was awarded an RAS Foundation (RASF) Community Futures Grant and is now seeing his hard work come to fruition. The RASF Community Futures Grants encourage rural youth leadership by providing financial assistance for community projects. The program has been running for three years, and in that time, 23 grants have been awarded, with a total sum of $510,000 in funds distributed to help community projects come to life. For David, the funding and his project has improved his community. David has a passion for sustainable living, land regeneration, food production and natural building. He has been involved with the Uralla Community Garden since its inception in 2014 and saw the Grant as an opportunity to take things to the next level. “We had been seeking grants for the community garden for a while and I felt this was the perfect opportunity,” he says. “I was in the right age bracket, it was a strong, community-based project and a unique idea. I put the effort in and was thrilled when we were told our application was successful.” David’s vision was to create an environment where young and old alike could enjoy the gardens, learn about sustainable food production and alternative building practices. He proposed to build a new shed and pond, plant fruit trees and build a compressed earth brick machine. “Community cohesion was a really important outcome for the project too,” he says. The Uralla Community Garden has been flourishing thanks to the RASF Community Futures Grant. Working bees are carried out regularly to help build and nurture the space. David has built a compressor and although it is still in the prototype stage he says it has helped him and other volunteers to build up their skills, and eventually hopes it will become an asset that can be hired out, generating an income for the garden. “So far we have built a wall using the machine and now we’re doing a small shed on a property,” he says. “We’ve also been talking to Adam Blakester from Starfish Initiatives, a charity which supports rural and regional sustainability, to see if we can work together. “Personally, I’ve come from quite a troubled background and doing good in the community has been very beneficial to me,” David says. “But inspiring people from a gardening and building perspective has been a really big thing for me too. It’s the conversations I have with people when I’m working in the garden that make it all worthwhile.” In 2015 Helen DeCosta and Katie Rowe were also awarded Community Future Grants achieving excellent results for their communities. Learn more about RASF’s scholarships and grants . Read more

Community kitchen connects Narrandera

20 Dec 2016

WORDS: Alexandra Malfroy Article first appeared RAS Times November 2012 The community of Narrandera, in southern NSW, benefited from a community kitchen thanks to the initiative of resident Ashley Murphy and support of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation. In 2011, 21 year-old Ashley Murphy, a farm labourer from Narrandera, had an idea.  Greatly involved with his community in the Riverina district, he had visions of restoring their town's community kitchen to create a healthy, positive environment for the people of Narrandera. "Having grown up in the community and been involved with the local youth group for some years now, and more recently in a leadership role, I became aware of some of the needs in the community - especially for our youth and children," says Ashley. Among some of the social problems facing Narrandera are a higher than average level of single parent families, financial hardship for many in the community and a lack of basic life skills among many of the youth, which Ashley says he has seen first-hand through his youth work. "The Community Kitchen idea came about as a way to address poor nutrition and irregular meal patterns, while instilling positive family values," says Ashley. "Simple things like sharing a meal as a family, working together to prepare meals for one another and basic cooking skills are important for children and young people to learn." Narrandera's old community kitchen, housed in the town's old cinema as part of the local Christian Community Church, was out-dated and not compliant with health and safety standards. Demonstrating initiative beyond his years, Ashley applied for a Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) Community Futures Grant. His application was successful and he was awarded $25,000 dollars to kick-start his project. Then Ashley was dealt another positive surprise. Bunnings, the supplier of the 2012 Sydney Royal Easter Show exhibition kitchen in the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome, generously offered to donate the kitchen to a rural community. There was clearly no better home for it than the Narrandera Community Kitchen project. "I was overwhelmed with Bunnings’ generous offer and the quality and size of the kitchen," says Ashley, who inspected the kitchen with his father Trevor, at the Show. The donated kitchen included all of the cabinetry; cook tops; a sink, oven and microwave; and a smaller outdoor kitchen. Shortly after the 2012 Show, the kitchen was packed and freighted to Narrandera where it has been installed. "The kitchen, with its shiny red and grey exterior, has a modern and stylish look about it," says Ashley. "It's such an improvement of what we had before; it just looks so great." With the kitchen in place, new lighting and the new floor in progress, the kitchen and hall are set to be officially opened later this year. With the RASF's $25,000 grant Ashley and his committee were able to replace the rusty roof on the hall that houses the kitchen, as well as re-line the walls and install lighting and a new floor. Despite the project idea coming from Ashley, the humble man is quick to point out it has been a team effort. He says the project has brought many people from across the community together, from the youth group, local flooring company and electrician and the entire church community. "So many people have lent a hand and hammered a few nails, painted a wall, wired in new lighting and maneuvered the new kitchen cupboards and appliances into place.  Everyone has donated their time," says Ashley. Ashley has big plans for the kitchen, including a weekly 'soup night' to provide a healthy meal for families facing financial hardship, as well as cooking classes for young people to learn basic skills. He also says the community has plans to use the new facility for other events, such as functions, dance classes and art festivals. "In a small rural community such as ours, to have programs and activities that provide safe, family-orientated activities is important," says Ashley. "I really hope some of the programs we can now run for our youth and children will develop skills so they can have a brighter future." The project has also taught Ashley new skills and increased his self-confidence. "It's a really good feeling to do something for your community that you know will benefit so many people," he says. "I encourage other young rural people to think about what they could do for their community and have a go. It's amazing what can be achieved and the difference you can make." Read more

New kitchens rule

11 Jul 2016

People in the far western NSW town of Bourke are showing off their culinary skills thanks to $20,000 worth of kitchen cabinetry and appliances from Euromaid and a $5,000 cash grant from the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF). Read more

Applications open for JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism

1 Jul 2016

The search for the next generation of Australia's rural journalists has begun with applications now open for the 2017 Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism. Read more

Diverse range of students to receive RASF Rural Scholarships

22 Jun 2016

Wednesday 22 June, 2016 The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation is proud to announce that 58 students have been awarded a Rural Scholarship in 2016, an initiative designed to ensure an increased flow of skilled people to rural and regional NSW communities. Scholarships are awarded to students based on financial need and desire to live, work and contribute to country NSW, and offer $5,000 for full-time study and $2,500 for part-time study. RAS Foundation Executive Officer, Kate Ross, said this is the most diverse group of students the RAS Foundation has supported since the inception of the program in 2011, and is thrilled the Foundation will again provide a stepping stone for bright futures. "This year the RAS Foundation will proudly support an incredibly diverse group of talented individuals, all with unique and inspiring backgrounds. We have mature aged students, a single father, a Vietnamese refugee as well as a young Indigenous woman, who is the first of 52 grandchildren to attend University; and that's just a few of the 58," Ms Ross said. "The RAS Foundation is committed to helping rural Australians realise their potential through education. Each year, we are impressed with the quality of applicants and inspired by their journeys." "We again look forward to supporting these rural-minded students as they work towards achieving their goals," Ms Ross said. Applications for the RASF’s 2017 Rural Scholarship open on 1 July 2016 and can be accessed online at rasnsw.com.au/scholarships. The RAS Foundation has awarded over $1.4m to over 300 rural scholarship recipients since 2011. The Rural Scholars will be awarded their scholarships at three presentations around the state, including Armidale (20 July), Wagga Wagga (27 July) and Sydney (3 August).   For further information, including high resolution images, please contact: Danielle Sammut - Marketing Coordinator P: (02) 9704 1239 | E: dsammut@rasnsw.com.au   About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation: 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 grants and scholarships. Visit www.rasf.org.au for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more

RASF empowers Western Plains tertiary student to reach dreams

22 Jun 2016

Wednesday, 22 June, 2016 The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation is proud to announce that 1 student; Keiley O'Brien from the Western Plains was among 58 recipients awarded Rural Scholarships in 2016, an initiative designed to ensure an increased flow of skilled people to rural and regional NSW communities. Scholarships are awarded to students based on financial need and desire to live, work and contribute to country NSW, and offer $5,000 for full-time study and $2,500 for part-time study. RAS Foundation Executive Officer, Kate Ross, said this is the most diverse group of students the RAS Foundation has supported since the inception of the program in 2011, and is thrilled the Foundation will again provide a stepping stone for bright futures. "This year the RAS Foundation will proudly support an incredibly diverse group of talented individuals, all with unique and inspiring backgrounds. We have mature aged students, a single father, a Vietnamese refugee as well as a young Indigenous woman, who is the first of 52 grandchildren to attend University; and that's just a few of the 58," Ms Ross said. "The RAS Foundation is committed to helping rural Australians realise their potential through education. Each year, we are impressed with the quality of applicants and inspired by their journeys." "We again look forward to supporting these rural-minded students as they work towards achieving their goals," Ms Ross said. Applications for the RASF's 2017 Rural Scholarship open on 1 July 2016 and can be accessed online at www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation . The RAS Foundation has awarded over $1.4m to rural scholarship recipients since 2011.   For further information, including high resolution images, please contact: Danielle Sammut - Marketing Coordinator P: (02) 9704 1239 | E: dsammut@rasnsw.com.au   About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation: 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 grants and scholarships. Visit www.rasf.org.au for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more

RASF empowers Sydney tertiary students to reach dreams

22 Jun 2016

Wednesday, 22 June, 2016 The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation is proud to announce that 7 students from Sydney were among 58 recipients awarded Rural Scholarships in 2016, an initiative designed to ensure an increased flow of skilled people to rural and regional NSW communities. The students are: Jessica Capps (Buxton), Rebecca Duncan (West Hoxton), Tayla Field (Sydney), Tara Needham (Sydney), Napassom Holmes (Phuket), Zachary Jobson (Frenchs Forest) Jaslyn Tuckwell (Bundeena). Scholarships are awarded to students based on financial need and desire to live, work and contribute to country NSW, and offer $5,000 for full-time study and $2,500 for part-time study. RAS Foundation Executive Officer, Kate Ross, said this is the most diverse group of students the RAS Foundation has supported since the inception of the program in 2011, and is thrilled the Foundation will again provide a stepping stone for bright futures. "This year the RAS Foundation will proudly support an incredibly diverse group of talented individuals, all with unique and inspiring backgrounds. We have mature aged students, a single father, a Vietnamese refugee as well as a young Indigenous woman, who is the first of 52 grandchildren to attend University; and that’s just a few  of the 58," Ms Ross said. "The RAS Foundation is committed to helping rural Australians realise their potential through education. Each year, we are impressed with the quality of applicants and inspired by their journeys." "We again look forward to supporting these rural-minded students as they work towards achieving their goals," Ms Ross said. Applications for the RASF’s 2017 Rural Scholarship open on 1 July 2016 and can be accessed online at rasnsw.com.au/foundation . The RAS Foundation has awarded over $1.4m to rural scholarship recipients since 2011.   For further information, including high resolution images, please contact: Danielle Sammut - Marketing Coordinator P: (02) 9704 1239 | E: dsammut@rasnsw.com.au   About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation: 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 grants and scholarships. Visit www.rasf.org.au for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more
Loading... Loading...

There was a problem loading some of information on this page. Please try again later.