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

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Community Futures Grants - lending more than a helping hand

24 Dec 2021

Funding projects in communities from the far north of the state to the central west and down to the southern slopes, the Community Futures Grants program lends more than a helping hand. Providing up to $25,000 in funding, supported by sales of the Ag Bag at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, this program allows communities to come together and work on projects that benefit all – from showground seating and kitchen upgrades to fencing, gardens and shade structures. Read about the projects we supported in 2022:   North Star CWA North Star is an isolated rural community approximately 742 km north north-west of Sydney, with a dedicated CWA and an 82-year-old Memorial Hall in desperate need of maintenance. The tallowwood floor in the hall has borne the weight of dancers, pre-schoolers, fitness groups, ANZAC Day service attendees, primary school students, and a lot more, and is now in need of some serious nail punching, hole filling, sanding, and sealing. The splintering of the timeworn floorboards has deemed the venue not fit for purpose – not only impacting the local groups who rely on a safe, sheltered location but also the fundraising opportunities for the community and the importance of keeping the community together. The renovated floor surface will make the Memorial Hall safer, more attractive, and the first option for groups seeking a venue for activities. Agricultural Pastoral And Show Society Of Lockhart Inc. Located in the Riverina region of southwestern NSW, Lockhart has an incredibly motivated Show Society looking for ways to increase community events and enhance the overall experience for attendees and participants. New equipment including a portable stage and steps, plus tables and chairs will reduce costs associated with continuously hiring equipment, ensuring funds raised at events will stay with the Society. The new stage with easier access will allow for greater inclusion and will benefit a wide range of community groups.  Event attendees will feel more welcomed with the addition of extra tables seating and the overall look of the Showground will be improved.  Regional towns and villages rely heavily on their Showgrounds for events, fundraising, attracting visitors, and hosting agricultural activities. The sense of community and the support offered is incredibly important and sees many drawn to the Showground to celebrate or come together in times of trouble. Cumnock Show Society In the west north-west of NSW, the small town of Cumnock has a Show Society kitchen waiting for an upgrade with more storage space, new equipment, and working areas for meal prep and cooking. The Showground is a major hub for the community, holding the annual Show, horse events, dog competitions, Council events, and seminars. The kitchen barely complies with health and safety standards and will not survive much longer, and important moneymaking opportunities and large events will be lost to other communities. The kitchen upgrade will lead to increased use of the facilities from the broader community and funds to ensure the Showground can continue to improve and enhance all of its facilities. Uarbry Hall Association In the middle of the Central West, a rest stop must be equipped with Public Use Water and Amenities, and that is exactly what the people of Uarbry are after – amenities/public toilets alongside the shaded structure weary travellers are drawn to. The shade structure was built to replace the Historic Uarbry Hall – destroyed by the Sir Ivan bushfire in 2017, but amenities weren’t included. The small community calling this village home wants to attract visitors off the highway and hope picnic tables, shade, toilets, and some peace and quiet could be just the thing to do it. Uarbry is a small village with a giant heart and is slowly but steadily rebuilding after the 2017 fires, visitors will help boost their spirits and encourage local activities. Trundle Show Trust Trundle Showground, in the Central West of NSW, is home to an impressive range of events including the annual Agricultural Show, Bush Tucker Day, ABBA Festival and Australia’s only flatland hang gliding competition – Wings Out West. Trundle may be where the wattle blooms, but it is also a place overdue for renovated kitchen, bar, and office facilities at the Showground. The Showground has a full calendar of annual events, but the current facilities struggle to cope, and volunteers are reluctant to assist due to compromised safety and incredibly poor working conditions. The revamp of the hospitality area will make the venue more functional, easier to work in, and ease the workload and stress of volunteers. Inverell Community Gardens The Community Garden in Inverell has been an absolute labour of love for all concerned since its inception in 2013. Nine years later and the land on which they grow has been reclaimed by the council and they have had to find a new home. The move has allowed for smarter planning, and they know shade is a priority for volunteers and visitors. The Garden is an amazing space, providing a social hub, educational area, sense of purpose, creative outlet, and an enhanced sense of belonging to a nurturing community. Local suppliers and contractors will be utilised for the construction of the shade shelter, along with a hardy group of volunteers – all contributing to a self-sustaining community hub. Inverell Community Garden is an incredibly valuable resource in a town that has suffered through drought and fires. Read more

Financial scholarships help regional VET students reach full potential

22 Oct 2021

As an initiative to further foster education and support in rural NSW, the RAS Foundation has launched its 2022 VET scholarship program, with funding of up to $6,000 available to students studying Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses. The scholarships are available for NSW and ACT students studying at registered VET institutions, such as TAFE or local colleges, who demonstrate a passion for a career that will support the future success of our rural and regional communities. Read more

The future of Australian wine begins with education; 2022 Sydney Royal wine scholarships now open.

13 Sep 2021

In addition to running one of the most prestigious wine competitions in Australia, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is investing in the future of Australian wine by helping to support and educate the next generation of leaders through its Sydney Royal Wine Professional Development Scholarship and Sydney Royal Wine Study Scholarship. Read more

RASF invests in next generation, announcing recipients of its 2021 Rural Scholarships Program.

26 May 2021

Sixty-six students from across country New South Wales have been given a career-defining boost today after the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) announced the recipients of its 2021 Rural Scholarship and VET Scholarship programs. Supporting students from a variety of industries, the scholarships provide financial assistance for regional and rural students studying at a recognised NSW University or TAFE who have a desire to give back to regional NSW. RASF Manager Cecilia Logan said the program provides financial freedom for students in regional areas or those looking to work in a rural community. "The RASF Rural Scholarship and VET Scholarship programs are vital in assisting students from regional NSW pursue their dream careers," Mrs Logan said. "For most regional students further study requires them to relocate and move away from their families. These scholarships are designed to help make that move or decision a little easier with funding to assist with accommodation, textbooks or income which allows them to focus on their studies," Mrs Logan said. "Our scholars come from every walk of life, but the one thing they have in common is a passion to give back to regional communities." Recipients of the 2021 RASF Rural Scholarship will receive funding of $3000 for part-time study and up to $6000 for full-time study thanks to sponsors including the UNE Foundation, Quayclean, CanAssist, ChemCert, Regional Australia Bank and The Snow Foundation. Since 2007, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) has invested over $6.2 million into country NSW through its education and community grant programs. This includes over 600 scholarships to students across NSW, including targeted scholarships for regional journalism and those pursuing careers in the Australian wine industry. Applications for the 2022 RASF Rural Scholarships program and 2022 RASF VET Scholarships open July 01, 2021 . For further information, please visit www.rasf.org.au . Media Contact: Nicola Dalby E: ndalby@rasnsw.com.au M : 0434 579 906 P: 02 9704 1041 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

From North Star to Lockhart, RASF supports six regional communities upgrade their towns.

25 May 2021

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) has today announced the recipients of its 2021 Community Futures Grant program, providing six drought and bush fire affected communities with the necessary funding to upgrade local halls, kitchens, rest stops and gardens. Read more

What is the Big Bush BBQ?

22 Mar 2021

It was lunchtime at the 2017 Illabo Show, the sun was shining, the gates were open, and two RAS volunteers were starving. Read more

RASF Community Futures Grants program offers funding for regional projects

1 Feb 2021

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) will once again provide an opportunity for regional communities to bring their bright ideas to life, with the RASF Community Futures Grants program calling for applications. Read more
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