Volunteer grants available for community organisations

The Australian Government is backing volunteers, with up to $20 million available to support volunteers across the nation.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said up to $132,450 was available in Bonner as part of the 2021 Volunteer Grants round.

Mr Vasta said he eligible, not-for-profit community organisations were invited to submit their expression of interest before 14 April.

“I am liaising with community leaders and relevant committees to identify priority volunteer support for our local area,” Mr Vasta said.

“Volunteers across Bonner freely give their time to support local organisations in a variety of ways, and make an extraordinary contribution to our community.”

Volunteer Grants of between $1000 and $5000 will help volunteers and volunteer groups to buy small equipment for volunteers, by reimbursing volunteer fuel, transport or training costs, or support promotional activities.

Organisations must have been nominated by their Federal Member of Parliament and meet the eligibility criteria which can be checked here.

Each Member can nominate organisations to apply for funding in their electorate up until 29 April 2021. The Department of Social Services will then send an application form to nominated organisations to apply for funding in May 2021.

Successful applicants will be announced in November 2021.

More information is available by emailing ross.vasta.mp@aph.gov.au or by visiting the Australian Government’s GrantConnect website at www.grants.gov.au


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Extra funding boost for Bonner’s volunteer organisations

Three community groups in Bonner will benefit from a share in $2.7 million from the Morrison Government to support the work of local volunteers.

The grants awarded are between $1000 and $5000 and will enable local organisations to better support their volunteers to purchase small equipment, pay fuel, transport and training costs.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said volunteers played an integral part on our society, particularly during times of hardship.

“On December 5 we mark International Volunteer Day and celebrate the contribution of charity and community groups across Bonner as they continue to support the vulnerable and strengthen our community,” Mr Vasta said.

“From fire to floods and a global pandemic, Queensland has been significantly impacted this year and help is always needed by people in our community.

“I am very pleased this Morrison Government funding will support the volunteers in Bonner to continue doing their great work.”

Recipients include:

  • Hope Foundation – Mt Gravatt – $4970
  • Indians Baseball Club – Wakerley – $3925
  • The Corporation of The Synod of The Diocese of Brisbane – Manly – $3000

“Now more than ever our community organisations, sporting clubs and charities rely on the selflessness of volunteers who step up to lend a hand,” Mr Vasta said.

“Often their time and work can incur a cost and I am glad that funding will help these groups better support our volunteers.”

The 2020-21 Volunteer Grants round is expected to open mid-2021 and you can subscribe on the Community Grants Hub to be alerted to this and other grant listings.

For more information on volunteering, visit the Volunteering Australia website.

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Sailability Bayside awarded Volunteer Grant

Salaibility Bayside volunteers have been able to obtain their First Aid and Resuscitation certification thanks to a $3000 Morrison Government Volunteer Grant.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said while the work of volunteers was unpaid, it was not unrecognised and the Volunteer Grant program went a long way to supporting organisations and their volunteers through what has been a trying year.

“Sailability is a fantastic volunteer organisation that offers a fun, safe and welcoming environment for people with disability to enjoy sailing and other water-based activities,” Mr Vasta said.

“I was very pleased to secure $3000 for the club as part of this program, which has funded their First Aid and Resuscitation certification.”

Mr Vasta said covering the out of pocket costs for Sailability volunteers to obtain their first aid would better support the organisation and clients who selflessly give their time to create a fun experience for people with disability.

“It takes a special kind of person to become a volunteers and help people with disability to enjoy a hobby like sailing,” Mr Vasta said.

“Sailability Bayside is a very deserving recipient of this Volunteer Grant.”

Nationally, volunteering has an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion.

The awarded grants are between $1000 and $5000 and this funding recognises the sacrifices volunteers make to help deliver vital services to those who need it most.

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Heartwarming donations needed for the Bonner Winter Essentials Drive

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP has officially launched the Bonner Winter Essentials Drive to donate goods to local charities and organisations supporting people in our community doing it tough.

Mr Vasta said the coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on local communities and as a result, local organisations supporting vulnerable people were finding their resources stretched.

“Nationally our government has delivered emergency relief funding to many of these organisations, including an additional $200 million under the Community Support Package,” Mr Vasta said.

“However, with more than 21,000 people in Queensland living rough, either through boarding houses, supported accommodation or sleeping out in the cold, at a local level there is always more we can do.

“Bonner’s local charities and organisations always go above and beyond to support vulnerable people in our community and this is our chance to make a difference and give back.”

Mr Vasta said he was seeking donations of non-perishable food items, hygiene products and blankets to donate to Bonner charities.

“My office in Wynnum will be a drop off point for donations, and local Councillors Steven Huang and Ryan Murphy have also offered to be collection points for the Bonner Winter Essentials Drive,” Mr Vasta said.

“This is the first global pandemic we have faced and just like in times of natural disaster, we need our community to come together and help each other out.”

Drop off locations:

  • Office of Ross Vasta MP – 69 Clara Street, Wynnum
  • Office of Cr Ryan Murphy – Shop 8 Millenium Centre, 14 Millenium Blvd, Carindale
  • Office of Cr Steven Huang – 2072 Logan Rd, Upper Mt Gravatt

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Volunteer grants now open in Bonner

Volunteers are the lifeblood of local communities and to further support the work they do local community groups can apply now for a Morrison Government Volunteer Grant.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said $66,000 in funding was available for his electorate and he encouraged eligible community groups to apply.

“Volunteering adds social and economic benefits to our region such as increased confidence and skill development, which is why I am pleased to offer these grants to further support Bonner’s volunteers,” Mr Vasta said.

“The grants form part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to supporting organisations whose volunteers assist in our communities and encourage the inclusion of vulnerable people in our society.

“My office will liaise with community leaders and relevant committees to identify priority volunteer support for our local area.

Mr Vasta said the grants could be used to buy small equipment for volunteers or for the reimbursement of volunteer fuel, transport or training costs. “Community groups can apply for grants between $1000 and $5000,” Mr Vasta said.

Each Federal Member of Parliament is able to nominate organisations to apply for funding in their electorate between now and 28 January 2020.

The Department of Social Services will then send an application form to nominated organisations to apply for funding in February 2020.

Successful applicants will be announced in May 2020.

For more information about the grants, please go to the Government’s GrantConnect website at www.grants.gov.au

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Bonner Blanket Drive a success

The generosity of the community resulted in more than 30 blankets being donated to Rosie’s and Mt Gravatt Community Centre as part of the Bonner Blanket Drive during Homelessness Week.

Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP and Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth MP visited a number of community organisations on Friday (August 9) to thank volunteers for supporting those doing it tough.

“I would like to thank everyone who dropped new and cleaned pre-loved blankets into my office so we could pass them on to community groups that support people in need,” Mr Vasta said.

“Homelessness Week is about raising awareness of people experiencing homelessness and it was great to take Mr Howarth to a number of local organisations dedicated to helping people who have found themselves without a safe and secure home.”

Mr Vasta said winter was an extremely hard time for people who did not have a safe place to sleep, and the Bonner Blanket Drive was just one way he could help support the community organisations that do so much.

“There’s always more that we can do as a community to help our vulnerable, but even the smallest act of selflessness can make a tremendous difference to someone’s life,” Mr Vasta said.

Homelessness Week is on from August 4 to 10. For more information visit www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au

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Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta today held a special ceremony to congratulate the recipients of the inaugural Bonner Volunteer Awards and present them with their awards.

“These awards are intended to give thanks to individuals and teams that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer qualities. They recognise volunteers who’ve made a significant and lasting contribution to the community, who’ve set a good example for fellow volunteers and have inspired others to volunteer,” Mr Vasta said.

This year’s winners include:

Mr Allan Tennent (Adult 25 to 64 years) – Allan is part of the Australian Volunteer Coastguard Flotilla (known as Coastguard Brisbane) for over 30 years. He freely gives his own time to teach and mentor others and is committed to his community and crews.

Ms Annie Stonehouse (Adult 25 to 64 years) – Annie is a member of the Rotary Club of Carindale and many more volunteer organisations, including those that support women in need such as Chicks in Pink and The Period Project, and Peter Baines’ Hands Across the Water. Also when she owned the Cupcake Parlour she donated cupcakes to just about every event happening locally.

Mr John Bettenay (Senior 65 years+) – John has been a member of several Queensland Rotary Clubs since 1975 and has held various executive committee positions at both Club and District levels. He joined the Rotary Club of Mt Gravatt in 1996 and has been an active member of the Club and its activities in the local area since that time. He has hosted international exchange students, been a member of the Board of Directors, is current Treasurer for the Mt Gravatt Club (a position which he has held for many years) and always supports the Club's regular fundraising efforts.

Mrs Beryl Acton (Senior 65 years+) – Beryl has been running sewing workshop classes at St Bart’s Anglican Church at Mt Gravatt for the last few years. She also offers to do free mending and alteration work for the Hope Chicks who provide support to vulnerable and disadvantaged women. The Chicks love her sweetness, patience and cheerfulness. She genuinely loves the women and doesn't ever lecture or judge. She pops in from time-to-time, regardless of sewing workshops, to see how everyone is going.

Mr Andrew Walsh (Environmental Work) – Andrew has been actively volunteering and supporting community-based sustainability projects for over 14 years, including partnering Mount Gravatt High School with the Mount Gravatt Environmental Group and Bulimba Creek Catchment committee. He inspires students to care for their local environment and He has tirelessly given his time to work on projects to reclaim and rectify natural flora and fauna habitats and wildlife corridors.

Eastern Group State Emergency Service (Volunteer Team) – Eastern Group SES has a strong presence in the community. It is continuously raising community awareness about being “storm ready” and is also involved in many missing person searches. Its volunteer members continue to turn up to training every week to ensure they maintain the skills required to help out with tarping damaged roofs, sandbagging and temporary flood damage, to ensure they’re ready when the next storm comes.

Mr Kris Webb (Sports Achievement) – Kris is the president of Wynnum Bugs Rugby Club and has spent the last five years rebuilding the club. Thanks to his tireless work with no recognition or reward the Bugs is now enjoyed by hundreds of families and will be enjoyed by everyone for many more years. His actions went above and beyond that of a normal committee member and he is to be commended for saving the Wynnum Bugs Rugby Club from closure.

Mr Zac Pankhurst (Student) – Zac is a Year 10 student at Iona College and is a member of the Ride Against Drugs (RAD) group. He is a great ambassador for other boys of his age and he gives up his time to chat to them and positively influence them to make good choices. He is a great kid and also an amazing BMX rider.

“This year’s winners, and every person and group that was nominated this year, should be proud of their achievement. It’s a testament to their hard work and dedication as a volunteer and I’d personally like to thank them for the positive difference they’re making in our local community,” Mr Vasta said.

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Today I’d like to discuss the important contribution volunteers make in Bonner. I’d also like to talk about the first annual Bonner Volunteer Awards which is starting soon.

I’ve met many exceptional volunteers over the years. These men and women freely give up their time and energy to make their community a better place. They improve our schools, clean up our environment, provide a boost to emergency and health services, and help keep vital community organisations running. They give a helping hand to people in need. They’re amazing role models. And they do it all without asking for anything in return, except the knowledge they’re making a difference.

I have nothing but respect for the many thousands of volunteers all across Australia. This year I wanted to do my part to thank outstanding volunteers and volunteer groups in my electorate.

I’m now pleased to announce the Bonner Volunteer Awards. These awards will give thanks to individuals and teams that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer qualities. They will recognise volunteers who’ve made a significant and lasting contribution to the community, who’ve set a good example for fellow volunteers and inspired others to volunteer.

My office will be taking nominations from February 27 to March 17. I’ve selected a panel of three community representatives to choose the winners, who’ll be presented their awards on March 31. I can’t wait to hear the stories of Bonner’s exceptional volunteers and thank them for their service.

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