Water project grant recipients announced

Ten schools and community recreation facilities from across regional Australia have been selected to receive grants for water-related projects as part
of an exciting national initiative now in its second year.

The Philmac Project was established by leading Australian poly fittings manufacturer Philmac to provide cash grants of up to $5,000 for projects that benefit
local communities, particularly schools and sports associations.

A judging panel selected recipients from across the country, working from short-lists determined by community voting.

Irrigation Australia chief executive Duane Findley, who was one of the judges, said the projects submitted by more than 80 organisations were of a very
high quality, indicating considerable thought had gone into ideas to save water and improve water quality.

“I was impressed by the level of engagement and involvement from regional communities in the Philmac Project. The entries clearly demonstrated the important
roles that water and irrigation play in this country and in particular regional Australia,” Mr Findley said.

Another judge, AgChatOz co-founder Sam Livingstone, was struck by the level of broader community involvement in the proposed projects, and some of the
creative ideas and innovative technologies being proposed.

“It’s great to see people coming up with ingenious ways to save water and look after the environment, whether they are from a small isolated rural school
or a better-resourced organisation in a larger regional town. It’s something that needs to be encouraged,” he said.

Managing Director Mark Nykiel said Philmac was delighted with the response to the initiative, launched in 2012 as a way of giving something back to rural

“This is an important campaign because those communities have stood by us in tough times by continuing to buy Australian-made products,” Mr Nykiel said.

“And that support has allowed Philmac to continue manufacturing in this country, producing high-quality fittings that stand the test of time and provide
true value for money.

“The initiative has obviously met a significant need, particularly in smaller communities, and we are certainly keen to offer another round of funding
later this year.”

The Philmac Project involves community groups applying via a dedicated Facebook page for cash grants of up to $5,000. Entries opened in September 2013
and closed on December 20. Community supporters then had to vote for their local project to determine the short list for each region.

The short lists were reviewed by a panel of judges, including Mr Findley and AgChatOz co-founder Sam Livingstone. The judges were looking for projects
that would make a genuine difference to their local community, and have the potential to reduce water use, improve water quality or benefit the environment
in some way.

The 2014 recipients are:

  • NSW/ACT: Blayney Public School, $2,500 and $500 in Philmac products to install rainwater tanks; and Orange Public School, $2,500 and $500 in Philmac
    products to install a bore and pumping system.
  • Queensland/NT: Mapleton State School, $3,500 to improve water quality in a waterway accessed by students for pond studies, science and art; and Goomeri
    Show Society, $1,500 in cash and Philmac products valued at $1,000, to help establish new piping and watering systems at the community’s flood-damaged show
  • SA: Pinnaroo Kindergarten, $2,500 and $500 in Philmac products to install a new watering system; and Mount Burr United Football Club, $2,500 and $500
    in Philmac products to install irrigation at the town oval.
  • Victoria/Tasmania: St Peter’s Primary School (North Bendigo) $5,000 to improve its community garden; and Smithton High School, $1,000 in Philmac products
    to help install an acquaponics system.
  • WA: Hyden Primary School, $5,000 to link rainwater supplies into a reticulated watering system; and provide a lawn area for an early childhood centre;
    Giggle Pots Day Care (Corrigin), $1,000 in Philmac products to help establish an interactive garden.

For more information about the Philmac Project and the successful projects visit www.facebook.com/PhilmacAustralia

Editor’s Note:

In addition to publishing The Groundsman, I also hold the position of Secretary for the Mount Burr United Football Club. I was ecstatic to learn that the entry I had submitted had not only made the short-list, but was a successful joint winner of The Philmac Project’s South Australian allocation.

I’d like to thank those advertisers and readers that voted for my submission and allowed our football club’s oval irrigation project to receive much needed funds.

I’d also like to thank Philmac for holding a successful and vital competition for regional Australian communities and selecting Mount Burr United Football Club’s submission as a winning entry. Congratulations to all of the other recipients and I wish them all the best with their water projects.

If you are a sporting club, school or community group in need of funds to give your water project a kick-start, I highly recommend keeping an eye on The Philmac Project Facebook page for information on the next round of funding.

Good luck!

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