Northern Victoria community groups are kicking goals thanks to the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund


The Stanhope-Girgarre-Rushworth (SGR) Giants Football Club is on its way to unearthing the next Buddy Franklin, Patrick Cripps, or Jeremy Cameron, with the Club just one of the deserving community groups receiving a leg-up in the latest round of funding from the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund. 

Six community groups across the region will receive funding under the program which is designed to sustain healthy, vibrant communities. The projects that are making a real impact in this round range from swimming programs to cooking classes, and school events to fire safety equipment.

SGR Giants President Andrew Hipwell says the Club is the feeder club to the Stanhope, Girgarre and Rushworth senior sides, and this grant means it can now provide its junior players with footballs, giving all players an opportunity to develop their skills.

“A large number of our players come from a mix of different backgrounds, some families are unable to purchase the equipment the children need to play. To succeed in the sport, players need to keep active and healthy, while refining and developing their skills outside of training and game days.

“We want to make sure that all of our junior players have means to this and provide each of them with same opportunity to succeed in the sport, and thanks to the funding from Fonterra we’re able to do this,” says Andrew.

Jason Wright, Fonterra Stanhope Site Manager, says the Fund is all about supporting groups that keep our local communities thriving and make a real difference to peoples’ lives.

“At the heart of every community, there are groups like the SGR Giants that bring our communities together. Behind them are people who are willing to volunteer their time and create spaces where everyone is welcome. They help make our rural towns a better place to live, and we’re lucky to have them.  

“The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund is our way of providing much-needed help to support the valuable contribution they make to the region, our farming families and their neighbours, and our people.

“This year, we’ve supported some great community groups and I love having the opportunity to see their ideas and initiatives come to life,” says Jason.

Since 2011, Fonterra has supported almost 450 initiatives across Victoria and Tasmania that focus on bringing communities together, caring for the environment, and promoting healthy lifestyles and dairy nutrition. The Fonterra Grass Roots Fund provides grants of between $500 and $5,000 for projects and initiatives that make a real difference in Fonterra’s dairy communities.

The 2019 recipients in Northern Victoria include:

  • Stanhope Fire Brigade
  • Stanhope Primary School Parents Club
  • St Joseph’s Primary School
  • SGR Giants
  • Stanhope Community Aquatic Centre Inc
  • Blighty School Parents & Citizens Association