I welcome last week’s announcement by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Christian Porter MP of a $20 million Volunteer Grant funding round.
This Commonwealth Government funding provides a fantastic opportunity for community organisations to apply for grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 to assist their volunteers by helping to make their work easier, safer and more enjoyable.
Eligible organisations can use these grants to help with costs incurred by their volunteers, for example the cost of fuel to take seniors to the doctor, first aid training, background security checks or transport for volunteers with disability who cannot drive.
Community organisations can also use these grants to purchase much-needed equipment, such as computers or printers, so they can keep pace with technology.
I firmly believe that volunteers are the lifeblood and the backbone of our communities and I am so pleased to see that our local organisations can now apply for these grants to help support their valuable work.
Applications for Volunteer Grants close 2pm AEDT, Wednesday 9 December 2015.
For further information please visit https://www.dss.gov.au/grants.
Alternatively, you contact the Volunteer Grants 2015 Hotline on freecall 1800 183 374 or email email@example.com.
I was also very pleased that the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb MP last week launched a program aimed at providing new exporters with the skills they need to capitalise on the opportunities created by the landmark free trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China.
The Government will provide $2.45 million over two years to assist with training for small and medium-sized (SMEs) business owners and employees, to better understand exporting and to learn how to access and take advantage of our new trade agreements with our largest Asian trading partners.
The Free Trade Agreement Training Provider Grants will assist training activities that directly educate SMEs about how to use FTAs with the three target markets, enhance understanding of the benefits and foster greater engagement through knowledge sharing.
The eligible applicants will be organisations equipped to provide this training, such as member-based business organisations, registered training providers and educational institutions.
The grants are part of the Government’s broader efforts to empower and inform businesses about the new trading opportunities created by the agreements, with $24.6 million set aside in the May Budget for a range of advocacy activities.
Applications for the first round of training provider grants opened last week.
Guidelines for the scheme are now available online, with information sessions also being held around the country to explain the program.
Details can be found online at www.austrade.gov.au/fta-tp or by phoning 1300 136 014.