Our previous Thriving Communities grants and sponsorships programs.
2022-23 Thriving Communities program
Our first Thriving Communities program was held in 2022-23 and we awarded approximately $126,000 to community groups and organisations.
Projects we funded include music and cultural celebrations, water and environmental literacy projects, family and sporting events, and initiatives that support the health of our people, environment and wildlife.
2022-23 Local community sponsorship recipient
Victorian Youth Polo Academy (VYPA)
We gave the Victorian Youth Polo Academy (VYPA) a local community sponsorship, as part of our 2022-23 Thriving Communities program. The VYPA celebrates diversity and inclusion by encouraging young people in Victoria to play canoe polo.
Canoe Polo - it's a very interesting sport. Think basketball in kayaks as a full contact sport, like bumper cars.
Today we've got our competition day at the end of the season and everyone is just jumping in. We've got some teams going, everyone's kind of mixing and matching. We've got kids that have been playing six weeks and they're jumping in a boat to play with everyone. And we've got players that have represented Australia or other countries at World Championship events in the past. I think it's a very fun sport. It doesn't get the coverage or the participation that you do from your mainstream sports, but as a result it attracts a very quirky demographic into the sport.
I'm 16 at the moment and I originally started Polo because my mum played it way back and I wanted to try something new. It's a really great sport, it's just really like full-on and like physical, but also it's kind of the people you're playing with. Everyone's really supportive and I just feel open to try different things and like it's okay if I mess it up and it's just like a really supportive thing. It's inclusive, it allows anyone to kind of come and play, and I love seeing new people taking it on and getting excited about a different sport and being able to jump in and everyone around them just picks them up and takes them with them.
Our regular location's out of action at the moment because of the October floods on the Maribyrnong River. The funding has allowed us to pivot and have our program in the swimming pool here, and the support that we've been able to receive through grants such as Greater Western Water's has really helped being able to keep the club afloat.
The local community sponsorship funding helped support the VYPA's Canoe Polo Diversity Program, which creates opportunities for people of all backgrounds and skill levels to try out the sport. The club’s players range from beginners to world champion kayakers.
Moorabool Landcare Network in partnership with Grow West
We gave the Moorabool Landcare Network and Grow West nearly $20,000 to rehabilitate the banks of the Werribee River.
The outcomes of this project locally are going to be 5,000 plants being put back into this landscape from local genetics, so we'll be sourcing seeds from the local remnants to populate this landscape with what would have been here before European modification of the landscape. It's about linking up patches of habitat in the landscape to allow for species to move. We with our modern practices have carved up the landscape in a lot of senses - we've put roadways through it, fences and paddocks which really create some significant blockages to the movement of species. So that's where we're working with Grow West quite actively to create those linkages across the landscape between the Brisbane Rangers National Park to The Werribee Gorge to the Lederberg State Park. I've been pleasantly surprised by this landscape - like finding a platypus cavorting in the middle of the day just downstream a little bit was fantastic, and in creating this connectivity and seeing the flora and fauna thrive through here, the feeling of being on this country will be so much improved.
The grant will be used to remove serrated tussock and artichoke thistle along the banks of the river. The grant will help the Moorabool Landcare Network improve water quality and habitat potential, particularly for the vulnerable platypus who live around the site.