Supporting Rural Communities
Recognising rural communities as the backbone of Australia’s society and economy
Since 1992 the Foundation has devoted significant resources over a long period to initiatives that address many areas of rural need. The links below provide more detail on these projects.
The thirty-year operation of Vizard House continues to provide a vital accommodation service and support network for individuals from the country who are caring for hospital patients, and who may not otherwise be able to stay in Melbourne. Up to 4,000 room-nights of accommodation are provided annually at a subsidised cost, largely to rural guests.
The provision of quality farmland at South Roxby Farm during the 1990’s provided a venue for award-winning research undertaken with the aid of participating farmers and the scientific community. Projects included genetic improvement of sheep, wool quality, improved parasite control, grazing management systems, automated systems, low-cost pasture renovation, and evaluation of fibre measurement.
Long-term involvement with the restoration of the Coranderrk Bushland, under the management of Zoos Victoria, has helped begin the restoration of this unique remnant of Yarra Valley floor forest, significant for its relatively intact vegetation, diverse biota and rich cultural heritage.
Aboriginal Burial Sites in the semi-arid zones and sand dunes in the north-west of Victoria are being uncovered and exposed due to damage caused by erosion, introduced species (rabbits and cattle) and visitors to the area (predominantly 4WD). Many burial dunes some dating back 10,000 years – have already been damaged, and the exposure of remains has caused great distress to the Traditional Owners. Resting Places – Ponnun Pulgi is a long-term project championed by the Foundation, which aims to engage with local indigenous and other communities to remediate damage to hundreds of burial sites and restore the ecology of the affected areas.
The Foundation is a recent supporter of the Fur Life Foundation which provides funding to organisations addressing mental health issues in rural communities.
Support for the Melinda Harper exhibition at the Castlemaine Art Museum will add to the already rich cultural life of that community.