Fresh seating for community facility

December 11, 2023 BY

Have a seat: Chris and Kate Gordon are set to overhaul the Buninyong Community Facility with about 120 new chairs thanks to a grant from the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal. Photo: TIM BOTTAMS

NEW seating is on the way for the Buninyong Community Facility, with the venue’s management committee sharing in a more than one-and-half-million-dollar grant pool through the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal.

The local team is one of 151 recipients in round 18 of the organisation’s Strengthening Rural Communities grant scheme, which delivers up to $10,000 to grassroots and community initiatives within Australia’s smaller communities.

The Buninyong Community Facility Management Committee is receiving $9600 to overhaul the venue’s seating, which president Chris Gordon said will be a much-needed update.

“Our current furniture, especially the chairs, were sourced from the food court from the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne so they’re getting quite old, worn, and brittle,” he said.

“We started with 150 chairs all those years ago and we’re down to 90 due to breakages.

“They’re wooden chairs so they don’t handle the sun and the weather very well so they’ll be replaced with UV-resistant moulded chairs so they’ll be a lot more durable.”

The committee is one of 18 to have received funding under the program’s Rebuilding Regional Communities – Micro category.

Mr Gordon said the new furniture is especially important given the regular use of the venue by community groups.

“It’s a safety thing,” he said. “Our chairs are nearing end of life and we have quite a number of different groups that have used the facility over the last few years.

“The Senior Citizens club had their Christmas party here last year. Damascus use it for their retreats. The kindergarten will be using it, and of course there’s the Buninyong Football Netball Club, and Buninyong Cricket Club.

“The majority of these functions are seated.”

FRRR’s place portfolio lead Jill Karena said the program has been giving small communities a boost for more than two decades.

“FRRR’s small grants have supported rural Australia for the past 23 years,” she said.

“Within our Strengthening Rural Communities program alone, we have awarded nearly $18 million in small grants since 2019 and the program’s flexibility is one of the key reasons why it continues to be so popular.

“Grassroots organisations, which are often led by volunteers, play an important role in the vitality of rural Australia, because they drive the projects that maintain and sustain their communities. But to do this, they need funds.

“We’re honoured to play a small part in helping rural Australia thrive and we encourage others to join with us to support local initiatives that really do make a difference.”

Round 20 of the funding program is open now until Monday 26 February.