Melbourne Airport continues community grants despite COVID-19

written by Adam Thorn | April 16, 2020
Vietnam Airlines Airbus A350-900 VN-A897 at Melbourne Airport. (Victor Pody)
Vietnam Airlines Airbus A350-900 VN-A897 at Melbourne Airport. (Victor Pody)

Melbourne Airport will again award $100,000 to local Neighborhood Houses as part of its Community Grants program, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on passenger numbers.

Ten centres within 15 kilometres of the transport hub will be eligible for a $10,000 prize, and each will be asked how they plan to deliver their proposed projects in light of social distancing measures.

Neighbourhood Houses are local organisations that provide social, educational and recreational activities for their communities.

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Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi said, “We know people are doing it tough, and as an airport, it is important we continue to support our local community.”

The grants, first launched last year, will target initiatives that improve educational and employment pathways for those in need. This can include project salaries and co-funded programs to ensure centres have adequate resourcing and can be responsive to their communities.

Each Neighbourhood House provides services and programs tailored to their community needs. The initiatives range from classes assisting people wanting to re-enter the workforce to family programs offering migrants literacy lessons and computer coding for young people.

Applications close on 13 May 2021 and the grants will be awarded in June.

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The projects supported will have to demonstrate that they:

  • Are responsive to the contemporary needs and reflect the cultural makeup of their local communities;
  • Benefit culturally and linguistically diverse or newly arrived migrant communities;
  • Have a proven track record and outcomes (or are a collection of proven elements in light of COVID-19 directives);
  • Can articulate how they are increasing social cohesion, engagement, economic participation and educational outcomes (in a safe manner in light of COVID-19 directives);
  • Have strong partnerships with complementary organisations where possible;
  • Can demonstrate an investment in forward planning; and
  • Are not already fully funded in the proposed form by existing government funding streams.

“Building on from a successful 2019 Community Grants program, we are proud to open applications for a second year and provide a helping hand for existing community programs supporting locals through this challenging time,” said Strambi.

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria CEO Nicole Battle said, “Neighbourhood Houses are adapting in the current climate providing communities with online resources in the way of training and job-seeking support for those experiencing financial hardship or marginalisation during this time.

“They continue to be vital to the social infrastructure of local communities, providing a safety net of wrap-around services and referrals to foster vibrant, healthy and supportive community cohesion.”

For a list of eligible houses, or to apply, visit melbourneairport.com.au/communitygrants.

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