South East Water is providing grants to 16 community groups through its 2022 Community Grants Program, a grants program created to support local communities.

South East Water’s annual Community Grants program, which stretches across their service area from Port Melbourne to Portsea, is in its third year and is part of a Five-Year Customer Commitment.

This year’s grant recipients include projects to support the health and liveability of bays and waterways, and those supporting the community in areas of affordability, environment, health and liveability, and water security and literacy. 

South East Water Managing Director, Lara Olsen, said South East Water was excited to be supporting a wide range of projects across their service area.

“Every single one of the organisations we’re awarding grants to do amazing work in our community. 

“From marine conservation and garden irrigation to emergency services equipment, education programs, kitchen upgrades for community meals, new equipment and everything in between, we’re excited to see the results of these projects and the benefits they’ll bring to our customers,” Ms Olsen said.

Successful applicants include the State Emergency Service (SES) Pakenham Unit, who are using community grant funding to purchase much needed equipment to support their emergency response efforts. 

Pakenham SES Controller, Hassan Fahd, said the grant will enable the purchase of portable lighting and gumboots, ensuring the safety of volunteers when responding to emergencies. 

The funds will also go towards essential equipment such as electric pole saws to help offer a wider community response during storm events. 

“As a volunteer emergency service, it’s one of our responsibilities to contribute to the investment of our equipment and vehicles,” Mr Fahd said. 

“We’re extremely grateful that we’ve been selected as a recipient for a South East Water Community Grant. Our volunteers not only respond to emergencies, but we need to raise funds ourselves to do so. 

“The grant allows us to respond safely and more often and gives us more time with our families instead of rattling tins to get these much needed funds.”

Recipients of South East Water’s 2022 Community Grants program include: 

Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation (MMF) are a not-for-profit charity, scientific and education organisation that aspires to be a leading Australian marine mammal conservation organisation, protecting the marine environment through research, community engagement and education. 

The Foundation has been successful for the second year in a row in receiving a grant to support their school holiday programs and Marine Champions projects, which support volunteers and youth leaders for the marine environment.  

Bluearth Foundation works across both the Greater Dandenong and Port Phillip Council areas to improve the wellbeing of all Australians by making movement a part of everyday life. 

Funding for the Active Schools program will improve students’ levels of physical activity and mental health through movement and mindfulness led by a Bluearth-certified coach.  

Churches of Christ Community Care provide free programs to around 150 people from the Kingston, Frankston and Bayside Council areas each week who struggle with financial and food insecurity. 

The demand for support has increased post COVID-19. The Glade Community Garden will be made more accessible through the addition of raised garden beds and the variety of fresh food available increased by diversifying crops so that those accessing support can source fresh food; learn how to plant and reap and relax in safety.  

Derrimut Weelam Gathering Place (DWGP) was established in 2017 and is made up of Local Aboriginal Peoples with Representatives from the City of Kingston and Parkdale Secondary College. 

Children and young people learn about ocean conditions and water safety through a program delivered in partnership with the Mordialloc Lifesaving Club.  

Kananook Creek Association, an environmental friends group, strives to clean, restore and preserve the creek and its environment. 

The Association will purchase an additional boat to help them to clean the creek more efficiently. Cleaning of the creek means the flow of litter into Port Phillip Bay and onto Frankston beach is reduced.  

Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse (LSC&PH) engages over 100,000 people annually through its health and wellbeing programs through both the Albert Park Lake-based Power House and Lord Somers Campsite on Westernport Bay. 

Their programs focus on promoting good social health and wellbeing as a preventative tool for youth mental health challenges.  

Mornington Life Saving & Swimming & Youth & Social Club provide youth development programs and a safe aquatic environment for swimmers and beach goers at Mills Beach. 

The club has been successful for a second time in receiving a grant to purchase equipment for their Nippers’ program needed due to membership growth and to ensure youth can engage in their surf sports programs.  

Mount Martha House Community Garden was established during COVID-19 to increase food security, community connection, social inclusion and education about sustainable living, gardening and healthy choices. 

An irrigation system will reduce time to water plants and ensure the garden is watered when needed.

Nepean Conservation Group is an independent conservation group formed in 1973 to lead and inspire the community to appreciate, recognise, conserve, protect and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of the Nepean Peninsula. 

The group was successful in receiving a grant to support habitat restoration in four small bushland reserves on the Mornington Peninsula.  

Nourish DBC provides care and support for people experiencing financial hardship, including migrants, asylum seekers and refugees within the City of Greater Dandenong. 

Kitchen facilities will be upgraded to ensure they are able to continue to be used for community meals, meals for multicultural youth programs, and for a cooking club for migrants and asylum seekers.  

Rotary Club of Mornington is a volunteer club that has adopted environmental sustainability as one of its key focus areas. The club wishes to celebrate their 75th anniversary this year with an environment project: Hunters Crossing Rehabilitation. 

This will involve removing kikuyu grass and replanting 250 indigenous plants in the area.  

Somerville Primary School, a school located on the Mornington Peninsula, has received a grant to upgrade their drinking taps to enable students to easily fill up their reusable water bottle with tap water and replace the taps in their toilets with water wise timed taps.  

 St Kilda Police and Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) seeks to empower youth by providing employment, recreational, sporting, cultural & learning activities. 

PCYC will install a grease trap at their social enterprise Olive’s Lane, so they can extend their offering to allow young people to gain experience in food handling and service.

State Emergency Service (SES) Pakenham Unit is an emergency volunteer organisation available for call-out 24 hours, 7 days a week, responsible for storm and flood response as well as road, rail and air rescue for the Cardinia Shire. 

Much-needed equipment will be purchased with grant funds to support the response effort.  

 Western Port Catchment Landcare Network supports community groups in Cardinia Shire delivering environmental projects in the northern catchments of Westernport Bay. 

Funds will be used to revitalise a community space: Ray Canobie Reserve, Henty Lilyponds in partnership with Cardinia Shire, Pakenham Secondary College, Cannibal Creek Landcare, and Westernport Catchment Landcare Network.  

Yarrabah School is a special development school located in the City of Kingston that caters for students with intellectual, physical and/or multiple disabilities. 

The purchase of rainwater tanks for the school garden will reinforce students’ understanding of the need to conserve water. 

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