Funding for community groups

Hawke MP Sam Rae visited the Sunbury Basketball Association to celebrate the grant (Supplied).

Community groups in and around Sunbury have received funding from the federal government to support their volunteers under the Volunteer Grants program.

Hawke MP Sam Rae announced on May 17, that 35 community groups in Hawke received funding, including the Sunbury Basketball Association (SBA) and DREAM Group in Diggers Rest.

SBA received $1000 to fund fuel and transportation costs for volunteers, which the group said was to recognise and thank many of the SBA volunteers.

“[We are] grateful to, again, receive community funding from Mr Rae. The SBA will use this funding to recognise and thank many of our volunteers,” a spokesperson said.

“Like all community organisations, SBA relies on and is indebted to its volunteers. Without them, we simply couldn’t provide our members with the competitions and programs that we do.

DREAM advocacy group received $1500 for IT equipment, and group member John Verdon said the team is extraordinarily grateful and really excited about receiving the funding.

“[The funding helped] us purchase some IT equipment … [including] a computer, mouse and keyboard,” Mr Verdon said.

“This means the group can operate independently and not be reliant on personal equipment … [which] can lead to delicate conflict of interests.

“It allows us to stand on our own two feet … It’ll be a resource for the whole group.”

Other funded projects include equipment purchases, training costs, fuel and travel costs for volunteers, events promoting volunteerism and more.

The federal government said local volunteers put in countless hours to make the community a better place to live, whether it’s through sporting clubs, neighbourhood houses or community groups.

“Our local volunteers do so much for us. This funding is all about giving back, to help them continue their good work,” Mr Rae said.

Successful recipients in Sunbury and Diggers Rest include: Careworks SunRanges Inc, Goonawarra Neighbourhood House, Our Lady of Mt Carmel Tennis Club (Sunbury) Inc, Sunbury Basketball Association Inc, Sunbury BMX, Sunbury Community Soccer Club Inc, Sunbury Lions Basketball Club Inc, Sunbury RSL Sun-Branch, Sunbury Senior Citizens Club Inc, Sunbury Softball Association Inc, Sunbury U3A and Sunspec Support Group.