GROW goes statewide

The innovative GROW initiative, originated by the Foundation’s partnership with the G21 Geelong Region Alliance, is now being developed in four other regional sites across Victoria.

The Victorian State Government has acknowledged the achievements of our work in the first three years and has provided funding to four new GROW initiatives across the Gippsland, Ballarat, Bendigo and Shepparton regions.

The innovative collective action approach of our GROW initiative locally, that brings together business, government, community organisations and individuals to address disadvantage in areas of high unemployment, has been recognised as best practice. The work and learnings of the 100 plus GROW Compact Signatories in our region, and the impact of this collective local economic and social contribution, is now being replicated across the state.

Over the first two years, our GROW initiative brought $44 million of local spend into our region, creating over 300 local jobs.

Our GROW Compact Signatories also created over 150 jobs and employment pathways for long term job seekers from GROW target communities.

Our region’s collective use of GROW social procurement – prioritising buying local and for social impact in our GROW target areas, is creating a new way of doing business in our region. Every year GROW Compact Signatories develop new actions and collaborations to ensure that the most disadvantaged job seekers across our region have opportunities to get and keep a job.

While each new regional site will develop their own GROW targets and priorities, we will have a key role, with Give Where You Live Foundation CEO, Bill Mithen chairing the new GROW Network. The aim of this network is to share learnings and develop opportunities across the five sites and clearly, our knowledge and experience will be important in leading the way.

Give Where You Live Foundation CEO Bill Mithen says this is great compliment to the Foundation and G21.

“We are very pleased with the results that GROW has been able to achieve so far. However, we know there is a great deal more work to do and we feel proud that the Victorian State Government has seen fit to use our model elsewhere. We’re looking forward to working with and supporting the other regions in developing GROW and pursuing the common purpose of addressing disadvantage.”

Learn more about the GROW initiative here.