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Bright Leaders, bright futures

Posted on : 27 April 2018

Left to Right. Michael Millner (Chair, RAS Foundation), Rob Witts, Gunnedah, Katrina Thomas, Condobolin, Naomi Kauter, Gresford, Elizabeth Munn, Leeton, Megan Coyle, Walbundrie, Claire Johnson, Crookwell and Cecilia Logan (Manager, RAS Foundation)


Six bright leaders from regional and rural NSW were awarded RAS Foundation Community Futures Grants at the Foundation’s Rural Scholar’s Morning Tea during the Sydney Royal Easter Show with just under $100,000 shared amongst the group.

Through sales of the Foundation Ag Bag and other activations at the Show, the RAS Foundation is able to offer these grants to community-minded individuals who are willing to partner with a community organisation in their local area.  Since 2010 the RASF Community Futures Grant program has invested more than $700,000 into rural and regional communities across NSW through this program. Applications for the 2019 Community Futures program will open in December 2018.


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

Young 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.


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