A grant of $299,300 over three years for the Lungs of the Lake project run by the East Gippsland Landcare Network heads up a strong commitment to biodiversity conservation, reflected in the decisions of the Ross Trust Trustees at their latest grant meeting.
With a diverse array of projects going before the Trustees, the timing couldn’t be better in terms of supporting climate resilience projects in landscapes such as in East Gippsland.
The health of the Gippsland Lakes is internationally significant under the Ramsar Convention and with a combination of work in and around the Lakes, the Lungs of the Lake will help restore habitat for the endangered Red Gum Grassy Woodlands, the Green and Golden Bell frog (pictured), the Australasian Bittern and more.
Expanding on past work with Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater, the Trust has funded a three-year Challenge and Change grant to the value of $164,000 for the Yarra Ranges-based volunteer-run conservation organisation, to continue its work restoring the habitat of our Victorian State emblem.
This latest grant will help secure the long-term financial viability of the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater and expand on their habitat extension work, which has already met with significant success in increasing bird population numbers.
Another significant three-year biodiversity conservation grant ($220,000 over three years) awarded in February was an Advocacy Grant to The Wilderness Society on behalf of the Places You Love (PYL) Alliance.
This important piece of work is about strengthening the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2019, which is currently under review. The PYL Alliance will run a strong advocacy campaign to ensure there is wide consultation and input to the review, to build momentum for positive and far-reaching environmental law reform.
The other biodiversity conservation grants awarded in February included:
• $84,000 to the Euroa Arboretum for mentoring young naturalists to develop practical conservation skills
• $40,000 to Remember the Wild to use storytelling as a technique to attract community interest and investment in the work of conservation groups
• $40,000 to The Conversation to build public awareness of Victoria’s biodiversity.
One educational equity grant was awarded in February, with batyr receiving a $39,000 Smart Grant to address mental health education and support in two low socio-economic, high risk communities in Ballarat and Greater Bendigo.
batyr is a preventative mental health organisation run by and for young people with a focus on lived experience to engage high school young people and build individual and community resilience, particularly in regional and rural communities.
This grant will enable school programs across two communities – Eaglehawk and Werona – reaching close to 1000 secondary school students, many of whom will be experiencing mental health challenges without support. The program will also connect with approximately 40 teachers and 2000 parents and community members.