Community grants provide path to economic recovery

September 2, 2021 BY

Jo Surkitt and Taekwondo Olympian Lauren Burns. Photo: INDIE LANE PHOTOGRAPHY

ANOTHER State of Wellness Women’s Summit is on the cards in early-2022 thanks primarily to recent funding acquired from the City of Greater Geelong.

The City announced on August 20 that 11 community groups, clubs and organisations would share in $35,000 of allocated funds as part of the 2020-21 Community Events Grants program.

The funding comes as COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions continue to challenge the events industry, and these successful events were found to have community benefits in the past which would again boost local economy and attract visitors to the region.

Notable recipients of the latest round of grants include the Geelong Baseball Association, which received a $5,000 grant to hold a Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival for players aged over 35.

Championship Pool Tables received $6,000 to run the inaugural Slate Invitational Challenge over three days, with more than 250 players signed up.

A $3,000 grant to the Friends of Geelong Botanic Gardens will support an ‘Inspired by Nature 7’ art exhibition, showcasing the works of 40 local artists and their tutors and featuring plants from the gardens.

And the Portarlington Community Information Booth will use a $3,000 grant for its Australia Day community celebrations planned for next year.

Wellness facilitator and educator, Jo Surkitt, was another person who sought out funds to help recreate a successful past event after holding a State of Wellness Women’s Summit back in 2019 at GMHBA Stadium.

She is again now able to conduct another summit scheduled for March 2022 after she acquired $2,000 in the latest round of community events grants.

“The grants are fantastic because the event that we run is based on women’s wellbeing and especially now with the pandemic it’s very important that we create that space for other women to connect and collaborate,” Ms Surkitt said.

“We will now be able to offer free tickets to women that will need them, extra PR, printing the programs and running the audio/video for the day.”

Next year’s summit will be held at the Novotel on Geelong’s waterfront.

Councillor Anthony Aitken, chair of the Finance portfolio said the events industry has suffered a massive blow over the last year-and-a-half.

The community has missed the region’s usual jam-packed events schedule over the last 18 months,” Cr Aitken said.

“Events funded through this grant stream will give the community a lot to look forward to and will no doubt provide a lot of joy and social connection.”

Other recipients of the grants include:
· Geelong Remote Control Offroaders Inc. – RCRA Victorian Large-Scale Off-Road State titles ($1,000)
· Norlane Community Centre – Winter Solstice – Northern Lights event and Technology ($5,000)
· Technology for Geelong – #RISE2021 Regional Innovation Summit & Expo ($4,000)
· Alliance Francaise De Geelong – Bastille Day Dinner ($1,000)
· At Dog Rocks Accommodation and Art Residency (MGE PTY LTD) – Exhibition ‘Unseen’: Uncovering the Island of South Channel Fort ($2,000)
· Callum Charles Watson – Geelong Jazz Soirees Summer Series ($3,000).