Projects supported in 2016

Benalla Flexible Learning Centre – Healthy Body/ Healthy Minds

Benalla Flexible Learning Centre caters for young people who have disengaged from regular school.  Many of the students have complex needs and struggle to meet everyday requirements for health.

This grant enables the purchase of food so that students at the Centre can prepare and eat healthy meals for breakfast and lunch.  It will also fund students to attend a gymnasium to participate in exercise with a trained instructor to improve fitness and wellbeing.

Benalla Health – Benalla Grow Your Own

Building on a successful 2015 pilot, this project empowers disadvantaged people living in the Benalla community to improve their food security – growing their own fruit and vegetables using wicking beds.

The program assists families who have accessed emergency food relief from Benalla’s St Vincent de Paul in the past six months.  Garden coaches teach children in the family how to care for the beds, when to harvest and how to prepare the vegetables in tasty and nutritious snacks and meals.

Benalla P-12 College/ FCJ College joint project – Mental Health Week Forum

Poor youth mental health continues to be a significant issue in Benalla. The Benalla Youth Service Providers Network will coordinate a one day event for all 15-16 years olds from across Benalla.  Expert speakers, performances and creative workshops will all contribute to increasing knowledge of local mental health supports for youth, de-stigmatising mental health issues and promoting good mental health.

Benalla P-12 College – Polish Program

The Polish Program is a one day workshop for Year 9 students run for Benalla College by the Beacon Foundation. The day focuses on career and work related topics and allows students to network with local employers with a view to raising student aspirations to remain engaged with learning through to Year 12 and beyond.

Capability Building Inc – Puppy Dog Tales 

Puppy Dog Tales is a literacy program built around the idea of children and young adolescents reading to dogs, promoting an enjoyable relaxing approach to reading aloud. Ten senior students from Edspace, supported by Ed Space and Dogs for Life staff, will be involved in the program.  They will work with the dogs to support early readers in schools and kindergartens as well as visiting residents in local Aged Care facilities. This project has many positive benefits for the Ed Space students as well as those they read to and will help improve student literacy levels and wellbeing.

Cooinda Village Inc. – Let’s Find Our Voice!

This project brings young FCJ secondary students together with our community elders to find their singing voices and capture the remarkable life stories of some of the Cooinda residents.  It fosters social connectedness, emotional and spiritual wellbeing through learning between young and old; culminating with a performance at BPACC.   The project has positive effects on student literacy and wellbeing and many psychological and health benefits for the elderly.

Living Culture Together – Living Curriculum 

Innovative new units of work for students in middle years classes are being developed by Living Culture Together working in partnership with Benalla P-12 College, Catholic Education, Winton Wetlands and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation.

Focused on Winton Wetlands, the units examine environmental, cultural and social themes using the eight Aboriginal Ways of Learning.  This will help build awareness and understanding of Aboriginal perspectives and have educational and social benefits.

North East Artisans – The Door of Hope

Designed to foster a sense of belief in self and to help people develop marketable skills, this art skills development program is modelled on the Sydney City Mission Arts Program.

Professional artists will focus on teaching skills and techniques of form, dimension and perspective.  Workshops are free of charge and are open to young people, the elderly and those who are socially and economically disadvantaged.

Ride Avenue Pre-School Inc. – Expressing Our Diversity

Many Benalla children go on to study Indonesian after transitioning from kinder to school.  Ride Avenue Pre-School will hold a two day celebration of cultural diversity, featuring workshops with an Indonesian artist, preparation of simple Indonesian dishes and a final celebration with song, dance and food.  This will introduce children and their families to Indonesian culture and help prepare children for school.

Victorian YMCA Community Programming – Scoot, Skate, Activate

This youth leadership and participation program is based at Benalla’s Skate Park. Up to 10 local young people will receive training as coaches from qualified YMCA staff in Melbourne. The young people will become casual employees of YMCA, enabling them to deliver workshops in scooting and skating for Benalla children and youth.

The project includes a substantial volunteer component from a local parent who will also coordinate social Skate n BBQ events to encourage families with younger children aged 6 – 12 to participate.

Projects supported in 2015

Benalla Cultural Exchange – Living Culture Together

Provide cultural insight training for up to 30 local educators, community workers and community members to develop their understanding of local Aboriginal history, knowledge, traditions and culture.

Conduct a significant cross cultural celebration during Benalla festival to showcase the artworks, writings, and stories of the local community alongside a cultural program including contemporary Aboriginal music, dance, food, storytelling and cultural activities

Benalla P-12 College – Polish Program

One day workshop run by the Beacon Program in conjunction with Benalla P-12 College to support exploration of careers by Year 9 students. Interactive program focussing on mock interviews, work ethic, etiquette, employer expectations and other work related topics. Brings students together with local employers and business representatives.

Benalla Flexible Learning Centre – Healthy Body/ Healthy Minds

Benalla Flexible Learning Centre was established in January 2015 to cater for young people in Benalla aged 15 to 19 who are not currently engaged in education, training or work. The Centre offers support and mentoring to young people via individual learning plans tailored to their needs. The Centre currently has over 30 enrolments and three staff.

Many of the students have poor diet and hygiene regimes and do little or no exercise. Funding from the Education Benalla Program will enable the purchase of healthy food so that students can prepare nutritious breakfasts and lunches and a dishwasher to promote kitchen hygiene. It will also pay for activity sessions for students at the YMCA Aquatic centre including suitable clothing and swimwear for those experiencing financial difficulty.

Benalla Street Art – Youth Engagement Phase Street Art Workshop Series

Building on the success of the inaugural street art event Benalla Street Art Inc plan to engage well known street artists to run workshops for local youth. At the end of the workshops the young people will produce a specific street art wall at a site within Benalla and district.

Broken River Potters – Spare Elements for Kiln

Broken River Potters are very inclusive of our local community, holding workshops for participants from Yooralla, GROW, TTF’s Connect 9 mentoring program as well as their own members. They also volunteer their services at a number of community events. The group needs to maintain a full set of spare elements to ensure the operation of their kiln. This grant ensures the group can remain operational.

Cooinda Village Inc. – Let’s Find Our Voice!

To foster social connectedness and learning between young (FCJ students) and old (Cooinda residents) by the sharing of singing and storytelling. Culmination of the project will be a performance at BPACC.

Benalla Support Group for Children with Special Needs – Annual Christmas Celebration

Provide a Christmas event that will bring together families with children with special needs. Enables the families to relax in a pleasant and safe environment, forget about any difficulties during the year and reflect with each other on the highs and lows during the past year.

FCJ College – Connecting with the Winton Wetlands

Funds to continue the partnership between FCJ and Winton Wetlands Committee of Management where VCAL students assist with weed eradication, revegetation, the establishment of a bike path and other restorative work. Also undertake orientation tours of the Wetlands with Year 7 students who will also assist with planting trees.

FCJ College/ Benalla P-12 College joint project – Benalla Youth Mental Health Week

FCJ College and Benalla P-12 College will partner with local youth service providers in a week long campaign to increase community awareness around youth mental health issues. The 2015 campaign will feature a number of activities and events designed to highlight mental health issues and provide information about strategies, services and help available to young people in Benalla.

North East Artisans – Art of Youth

Provide a welcoming space to enable opportunities for young people to meet and be creative outside of school with workshops and provision of materials. The program will particularly focus on disengaged youth and young people at risk.

Ride Avenue Pre-School Inc. – Relax Read Watch Learn

Purchase a projector and screen to allow the presentation of the children’s art work, videos, photos etc. It could also be utilised by the wider community for workshops or information sessions. Purchase a new children’s lounge set as current one is in severe disrepair.

Winton Primary School – Little Winton Wonders Playgroup

Tomorrow:Today provided a grant in 2014 to help establish the Little Winton Wonders Playgroup at Winton Primary School. Since being established, the playgroup has grown in numbers. This funding will help to purchase more resources and equipment

Projects supported in 2014

Australian Christian College Hume Preschool

The grant will contribute to the purchase of specialised early childhood teaching and learning resources for a variety of children’s learning needs. These resources will enable children to develop skills necessary to face everyday challenges.

Benalla and District Pre-School Partnership

The grant will contribute to the purchase of large books so that children can all see the story when the teacher is reading. The large print and extra large pictures, contribute to children’s understanding of the story.

Benalla Scout Group

Canoeing and abseiling activities will continue to be offered to Benalla Scouts with the purchase of new equipment that meets Australian Safety Standards. The grant will enable the group to purchase small Personal Floatation Devices so that younger children can access canoeing activities. It will also fund the replacement of ageing abseiling equipment.

Benalla Support Group for Children with Special Needs

The grant will contribute to the costs of the annual International Day of People with Disabilities event, which is designed to bring together families with children with special needs in a relaxing pleasant & safe environment to reflect upon each other’s highs and lows. The event is attended by more than 150 families and provides an opportunity for families (especially working parents) to network and socialise.

 FCJ College

‘Get your hands dirty and wet!’ is a partnership between Winton Wetlands ‘Friends’, Board of Management and FCJ College. The grant will enable 23 VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) students to assist with revegetation at the wetlands; establish walking/bike tracks and board walks at the wetlands and act as guides for Year 7-11 classes visiting the wetlands.

Little Footprints Community Playgroup

Sturdy outdoor construction blocks and pretend play furniture which will encourage interaction and participation of the children will be purchased by this outdoor playgroup.

Ride Avenue Pre-School

A stove & cooking utensils will be purchased to help teach children about cooking & healthy eating. A worm farm, chickens & rabbits will also be purchased to enable children to interact with the animals and learn about food production, life cycles, recycling, caring for animals and the environment.

Rotary Club of Benalla

The walking track around Lake Benalla is a much loved community asset in the heart of town. The Rotary Club has recently worked with Benalla P-12 College Hands on Learning students and Benalla Rural City to install two exercise stations. The grant will enable Rotary to again work with the students to install a drinking fountain that can be utilised for both humans and canines on the Lake Benalla Walk.

Upper Murray Family Care – Out of Home Care Program

Many children in Benalla are in kinship care, for example grandparents caring for school age children. The grant will assist with group meeting costs and activities to support kinship carers in Benalla.

Winton Primary School

Play equipment and resources suitable for children from 0 – 5 years old will be purchased so that young families in the Winton area can establish a community playgroup in a space available at the school.