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

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New sheds and much-needed makeovers

21 Aug 2018

Each year the RASF Community Futures Grant supports local communities with funds for projects that enhance local social and economic outcomes. Two of the 2017 winning communities completed their projects earlier this year. Read more

RASF Scholarship winners recognised in Sydney Presentation

16 Aug 2018

The Royal Agricultural Society Foundation (RASF) overnight honoured recipients of the 2018 RASF Rural Scholarships program at a ceremony in Sydney. Read more

RASF Scholarship winners recognised in Armidale Presentation

26 Jul 2018

The Royal Agricultural Society Foundation (RASF) has honoured New England-based students who are recipients of the 2018 RASF Rural Scholarships program. At a function held at Booloominbah Homestead in Armidale last night, 10 students were recognised as recipients of the RASF Rural Scholarships which help towards covering the cost of their full or part-time tertiary studies. The purpose of the scholarships is to assist rural-based students in the hope that following their graduation, they bring their newfound skills and qualifications back to their hometowns or other regional parts of New South Wales. Whether that is through agriculture, the health services or education fields, the RASF scholarships aim to see qualifications targeted to where there is often a void. RASF Manager Cecilia Logan reflected on last night’s presentations and the worthy recipients; “This year’s scholarship winners have demonstrated a drive and dedication towards not only their personal pursuits, but their local communities,” Ms Logan said. “The RAS Foundation is committed to helping rural Australians realise their potential through education. 2018 rural scholar Kieran Smith from Inverell mentioned the impact a helping hand can have on achieving his dreams within agriculture.   “This scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies by reducing the hours I need to work to support myself. I have also been able to participate in important events which allow me to make industry connections and meet like-minded people,” Co-sponsored by NSW Merino Stud Breeders and the UNE Foundation, Kieran hopes to further his career in the merino and agricultural industry once he has completed his course. Last night’s award ceremony will now be followed by presentations in Wagga Wagga and Sydney in coming weeks. Scholarships are awarded to students based on financial need and desire to live, work and contribute to country NSW, and offer $6,000 for full-time study and $3,000 for part-time study. Do you have what it takes to be a 2019 Rural Scholar? See the details here . The RASF offers a range of student scholarships which can be viewed via our website For further information, please contact: Roger White Manager, Public Relations Royal Agricultural Society of NSW P: 02 9704 1453 E:    Nicola Dalby Communications Coordinator Royal Agricultural Society of NSW P: 02 9704 1401 E: 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 for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more

(RASF) scholarship to fund “low budget - big ambitions” to advance the Australian Wine Industry

3 Jul 2018

The winemaking sector in Australia is full of amazing stories of people who have been able to turn their talents or bright ambition into market-leading labels, scientific breakthroughs or world-class innovations. Read more

John B Fairfax gives young rural journalists a voice

2 Jul 2018

When successful, some people choose to give back - and that is certainly the case with John B Fairfax. Read more

Rural NSW a winner from returning scholars – Royal Agricultural Society Foundation of NSW (RASF) Scholarship applications open 1 July 2018

25 Jun 2018

The heart of a community is always its people, but for many rural and regional NSW towns, the challenge is to hold onto them and not lose them and their skills to the bright lights of the big cities. For this reason, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) established its Rural Scholarships program in 2007. The RASF Rural Scholarships provide financial support to selected part-time and full-time tertiary students to assist in their education and ideally see them return to their hometowns to roll out their much-valued skill sets. 2018 has seen 53 students from around the state receive study grants of $3000 for part-time and $6000 for full-time study. They range in scope from budding veterinarians to physiotherapists and mental health practitioners. Applications will open next week for the 2019 Rural Scholarships program. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit to discover more about the Rural Scholarships program and complete the online application form. RAS Foundation Manager Cecilia Logan says the feedback the scholarship recipients give about the importance of the financial helping hand proves just how important it is; “We constantly hear from our recipients the difference these funds make towards them achieving their qualifications,” Cecilia Logan said. “The generosity of the public and our benefactors is of an enormous benefit to not only the students but their families and communities. “Services that are rare or non-existent in some circumstances in rural NSW are being established because RAS Foundation scholarship recipients are bringing their skills back home,” Cecilia Logan said. July 1 2018 sees the opening up of the next round of applications for the RAS Foundation Scholarships, with successful applicants announced mid-2019. 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 for more information on the RAS Foundation.   For media inquiries please contact: Roger White Manager, Public Relations Royal Agricultural Society of NSW P: (02) 9704 1453 E: Read more

Bright Leaders, bright futures

27 Apr 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. Read more

Cudal’s Katrina Nash Wins JB Fairfax Rural Journalism Scholarship

27 Mar 2018

21-year-old Katrina Nash of Cudal, NSW has won the 2018 Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism. Ms Nash, a fourth-year Law and Communications student at the University of Newcastle, was presented with her award at a ceremony at the Sydney Royal Easter Show at Sydney Showground. Now in its tenth year, the highly-regarded scholarship is awarded to a journalist who displays a keen interest in reporting on issues concerning the present and future of regional communities. Created in 2008 by Mr John B Fairfax AO, the award program is continued each year by the RAS Foundation and includes a $7,500 cash prize alongside industry experience at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Media Centre and Fairfax Agricultural Media. Ms Nash said on Sunday that the award will be of immeasurable benefit to her career. “To not only be given a financial scholarship to help eliminate the burden of living away from home, but also the opportunity to intern with an extensive list of well-respected media organisations, will have the most incredible impact on my degree,” she said. Rural journalism has always been an aspiration for Ms Nash, who notes her rural upbringing as the primary motivation in determining her career choice. “I was fortunate enough to have been a part of such a close-knit community growing up, that being Cudal. ‘As such, I understand how important rural journalists are for the vitality of rural communities,” she said.  RAS Foundation Manager Cecilia Logan said that it was Katrina’s ongoing passion for the industry that earned her the winner’s prize. “Katrina was also a 2017 RASF Rural Scholar and, upon graduation, hopes to move back to the Central West as a journalist. “She recognises the need for greater discussion regarding regional issues,” Ms Logan said. Katrina is currently undergoing practical experience through her scholarship, and is continually inspired by the need for bigger regional stories. “I aim to utilise the power of the media that bring to light issues that not just impact regional communities, but all individuals. “Stories that encompass resilience, determination and compassion are all aspects of regional Australia that I want to report on,” she said. The RAS Foundation is a non-for-profit organisation that aims to strengthen rural and regional communities through supporting various scholarships and community grants. Visit for more information on the RAS Foundation. ENDS   For further information please contact: Roger White – Manager, Public Relations RAS of NSW M: 0478 092 425 E: Read more
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