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$100,000 to Tackle the Tough Youth Issues

Communities across rural and regional Australia are being invited to share in a grant of $100,000 from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) to adopt 1 of 7 innovative, youth-driven ideas that emerged at the annual Heywire Regional Youth Summit.

Heywire, a leadership development program, engages young people from across Australia in national conversations about issues that matter to them.

The youth then have the opportunity to work with mentors from government, philanthropic and corporate sectors to develop practical solutions to their issues.

The FRRR then supports these ideas by funding and supporting them – with this video depicting previous youth initiatives supported by FRRR.


This year, the initiatives range from issues of racism, to youth working in agriculture, mental wellbeing, access to technology, substance abuse, keeping young people out of youth detention and LQBTQI+ leadership and equality.

Initiatives include:

  1. Need a Nanna Network (NANN) – keeping young people out of detention
  2. Dear CRIS – a pen-pal program to connect rural and international students and address racism
  3. Tech Hub in the Scrub – creating better access to technology in rural and remote Australia
  4. Ag Boom – getting more youth into agriculture
  5. One Drop – supporting people affected by substance abuse and creating resilient communities
  6. LGBTQ&A – empowering young LGBTQI+ people and creating equality
  7. Common Connections – encouraging mental wellbeing and building resilient communities

FRRR’s CEO Natalie Egleton says there are grants of up to $10,000 available to help not-for-profit community groups to adopt, adapt and then implement one of these seven project ideas in their local community.

“The young participants are passionate about these ideas because they have experienced the issues first hand.

“By combining the insights of the Heywire youth with the experience and networks of local community leaders in regional Australia, we know these projects will drive positive change for the future,” Ms Egleton said.

“The outcomes we have seen from previous projects have been nothing short of extraordinary.

“We can’t wait to see these new ideas become reality and strongly encourage not-for-profit community groups to work with young people in their community and apply for a grant to adopt, adapt and act on one of these ideas and create positive change.”

Mikayla Mayoh, one of this year’s Heywire winners, told FRRR her team’s One Drop project will provide information and support for friends and families affected by the drug abuse of a loved one, helping to start the conversation about drug abuse in their community.

“When I lost my older cousin due to substance abuse, our tight-knit family was rocked to its core.

“We soon became witnesses to the stigma surrounding drug abuse. For me, One Drop is a chance to give other families the opportunity to come together, connect and share stories of their loved ones in a safe environment and to realise they are not alone in their fight.”

Grant applications close 15 May 2017. Communities selected to implement their projects will be announced early August.

For more information about the ideas and a grant application form, visit or email for a hard copy of the report.  Applicants can also call 1800 170 020.