GrainCorp has launched a new, integrated program that champions the health and wellbeing of rural and regional communities across the globe.
The GrainCorp Community Foundation (GCF) will offer funding and support for projects, artworks, organisations and events that have a positive, long-term impact on communities throughout Australia, New Zealand and further abroad.
The GCF encompasses three major programs: a Community Fund, which includes sponsorships and grants funding, Silo Art and Volunteering.
GrainCorp Community Engagement Manager Kyle Docherty said many of the company’s staff members live in and work in the communities that the program will support.
“Regional towns in Australia, New Zealand and beyond are more than a place to conduct our operations – they’ve been our home for more than 100 years,” he said.
“Now, through our new Foundation, we can truly partner with our communities and support initiatives that provide infrastructure and capability upgrades, promote connectedness and provide peace of mind.”
“We’re looking forward to hearing how we can help, whether that’s sponsoring a local sporting team, funding an event or painting one of our towering silos,” he said.
Bringing the town together through a beloved sport
Sport plays an important role in rural and regional communities; it improves physical and mental health and brings communities together, as it did for the town of Numurkah in Victoria.
GrainCorp proudly supported the Numurkah Football and Netball Club, in north-east Victoria, through funding a major redevelopment and upgrade of their netball court facilities in recent years.
President John Beitzel said GrainCorp’s generous contribution enabled them to create an impressive setting.
“It’s used not only by our own football and netball teams, but by other Leagues and local schools for premierships and sporting events,” John said.
“We are extremely pleased with the end result and are grateful for the continued support GrainCorp provides to our club and our local community.”
Silo art: A lifeline for local communities
Since 2015, GrainCorp has helped to turn silos into towering canvases for world-class murals.
One of the many grain-growing towns now linked by the Australian Silo Art Trail is the tiny township of Thallon, in southwest Queensland.
With a population of 257, Thallon was at risk of being wiped off the map by climate and population changes until, in 2017, a mural was erected on GrainCorp’s 98-foot-tall silos.
For Thallon Progress Association Secretary Leanne Brosnan, the 500 cans of spray paint used to execute the artwork were worth it.
“‘The Watering Hole’ mural on our GrainCorp silos has achieved far more for the Thallon community than we could have envisaged. It has been a lifeline for the community, providing a beacon of hope and a splash of colour during one of the worst droughts in living memory.”Leanne Brosnan
“It has attracted many thousands of visitors to our tiny town, kept the last remaining business open and reinvigorated Thallon, with national exposure on ABC Back Roads and an Australia Post postage stamp, to name a few.
“The mural has also inspired a biennial event ‘Grazing at the Watering Hole’, where the local community and visitors come together to celebrate local produce and live music against the magnificent backdrop of the silos.”
She added: “Above all, the mural has instilled a renewed sense of pride and connectivity among our community and we’re so grateful that GrainCorp provided this incredible canvas for our special little town.”