The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund helps Tassie communities make a difference


From surf life saving clubs to primary schools, from scout groups to sporting clubs, and even the local fire brigade, the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund has given a raft of Tasmanian community initiatives a helping hand this year. 

The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund has just announced the 13 recipients of this year’s grants, and one group is the Devonport Surf Lifesaving Club, which has been keeping the community’s beaches safe for over 90 years.

The Club has used the money to buy new radio transmitter helmets for its patrol team, which will ensure that during an emergency situation they will always remain in contact with the base station.

This contact is crucial in maintaining the safety of both the rescuers and those being rescued.

Deputy President of the Devonport Surf Life Saving Club, Lyn Norton-Smith, said that Bluff Beach has always been an iconic family gathering spot for swimming, sunbathing, picnics and surf lifesaving programs.

“We work hard to keep the beach safe so all of the community can enjoy it, but sadly we’ve had some tragic drownings in recent years outside of patrol hours. As a small community, this really hits home.

“Community funding like this means that we have the right emergency equipment, and at the same time have the ability to invest our resources into other areas, like water safety education for our local schools and the wider community.

“The Grass Roots funding gives us a sense of pride knowing that Fonterra appreciates the value of our Club and the services that we provide,” says Lyn.

Redpa Primary School, a small school of around 40 kids located in Circular Head, was another lucky recipient of the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund and will be building a new playground jointly funded by the Tasmanian Community Fund.

Dairy farmer and Fonterra supplier, Anthony Grey, said that it was great to see the school receive funding for their new playground, because small rural schools often get overlooked.

The Grass Roots funding gives us a sense of pride knowing that Fonterra appreciates the value of our Club and the services that we provide.

Lyn Norton-Smith, Deputy President, Devonport Surf Life Saving Club

“The kids love their playground, but it’s been around for a long time and needs to be replaced because of safety concerns around the old equipment. It’s great that the kids will now have a fun and safe environment to play,” said Anthony. 

Steve Taylor, Regional Operations Manager said that the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund aims to sustain healthy vibrant communities by sponsoring ideas, projects and initiatives that make a real impact, and these recipients are doing just that.

“The dairy industry is built from the ground up, and the Grass Roots Fund is our way of making a positive difference to peoples’ lives and saying thank you to our communities who’ve supported us for many years,” said Steve.

Since 2011, Fonterra has supported almost 400 initiatives across Victoria and Tasmania that focus on bringing communities together, caring for the environment and promoting healthy lifestyles and dairy nutrition.

The Fund opens the doors for a wide range of community projects with grants of between $500 and $5,000. Applications for the next round of grants will be announced later in the year.

For more information click here.

The successful recipients included:

  • Ulverstone District Cricket Club Inc
  • Ulverstone Scout Group
  •  Ulverstone Fire Brigade
  • Spreyton Crickey Club
  • Devonport Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Pyengana Volunteer Fire Brigade
  • Devonport Junior Football Club
  • Devonport City Soccer Club
  • Scottsdale Football Club
  •  Burnie Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Wynyard Football Club
  • Redpa Primary School
  • Wynyard Bowls and Community Club