GROW project shortlisted for National Award

The G21 Region’s innovative Geelong Region Opportunities for Work (GROW) project has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
GROW is one of 11 projects in the running for $1 million of assistance as part of The Search, an initiative of the Centre for Social Impact. GROW is a Geelong region joint initiative of G21 and Give Where You Live in response to growing employment challenges facing the region. GROW is funding a business plan specifically to focus on increasing employment through
procurement processes, fostering small-to-medium sized business and helping people from areas of high unemployment across the G21 region. G21 CEO Elaine Carbines and Give Where You Live CEO Bill Mithen welcomed today’s announcement of GROW’s shortlisting by the Centre for Social Impact. “This is really important recognition of the work being done as part of GROW, and the prospect of further financial support for our work is a powerful incentive to go to the next stage,” Ms Carbines said. “GROW’s origins go back to 2011 when the G21 Board commissioned its Addressing Disadvantage Taskforce to examine models for tackling disadvantage across the region.” Mr Mithen said Give Where You Live had also been looking to do work in this field. “Given our common objectives it seemed logical for our organisations to combine efforts and resources to benefit the wider regional community,” Mr Mithen said.
“GROW this year received $100,000 from the State Government’s Regional Growth Fund, which has been matched by Give Where You Live and G21 on behalf of its five member
councils. “GROW is not about replacing existing projects. To a large extent it’s designed to complement and enhance work that is already underway, or planned, to assist employment
within Geelong region,” Mr Mithen said.

“GROW is a bold, exciting and challenging project and its real benefits will be felt over coming months and years,” Ms Carbines said. GROW now has to complete the next stage in the phased application process by lodging more detailed material to The Search by March next year. If successful, GROW could receive up to $1 million of resourcing over three years from the Centre for Social Impact. The Search program is the first of its kind in Australia to help develop the capacity of communities in the early stages of tacking social challenges such as multi-generational unemployment, homelessness, and crime and poverty. The Centre for Social Impact is a collaboration of four universities: the University of New South Wales, Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Western Australia and The University of Melbourne.

The Centre of Social Impact media statement can be accessed here.