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Kickstarting events across the Greater Hamilton Region

19 May 2022

Southern Grampians Shire Council recently partnered with Regional Development Victoria via the ‘Regional Recovery Fund’ to deliver a program designed to help local event organisers to bounce back from the impacts of COVID-19.

The Kickstart program assisted community event organisers with support, skills and professional development opportunities at the annual Greater Hamilton Events Forum, and also provided a funding opportunity for upcoming events.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Bruach Colliton said the Kickstart program has helped local event organisers to get started and to develop strategies to adapt and grow.

“By partnering with the State Government, we’ve been able to offer valuable additional support for events within the Southern Grampians,” said Cr Colliton.

“We’re seeing many of our much-loved events return to our regional calendar, alongside new exciting ideas from passionate event committees. Providing our local events industry the opportunity to grow through times of adversity and significant challenges will continue to be a priority for Council,” concluded Cr Colliton.

The Kickstart program provided $35,000 to local event organisers to pay for goods and services required to assist Southern Grampians events to bounce back post COVID-19.

Across Hamilton, Dunkeld, Coleraine, Pigeon Ponds, Woodhouse and Glenthompson, 15 event committees were successful in receiving funding. Supported events included returning favourites, Sheepvention Rural Expo, Dunkeld’s Peaks and Trails Run, the Coleraine Golf Club as well as some new opportunities such as Dunkeld Writers Festival and a music event in Pigeon Ponds.

Community feedback for event funding opportunities has been overwhelmingly positive, with many funded events expressing their gratitude towards the cash injection.

“You have no idea how much this means to our committee. It is going to help us so much to be able to put on the best show we can. We are so very grateful for this money,” said Coleraine Show Committee Member, Beccy Wishart.

The grant opportunity was announced at the 11th Annual Greater Hamilton Events Forum held in February, which aimed to develop the capacity, capability and confidence of local event organisers to host professional and successful COVIDSafe events.

80 attendees participated to learn from guest speakers specialising in how to host events through COVID, tips and tricks for restarting events and attracting funding, as well as a social media and marketing workshop with international Digital Mentors, ‘The Toms’. Council also facilitated one-on-one guidance opportunities with expert Kristie Middleton for event organisers to advise committee members on unique challenges they faced through with in-person meetings and follow-up assistance.

Southern Grampians Shire Council encourages event organisers to contact to access continued support for regional events.

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