LONDON – Australian national carrier Qantas is relaunching and doubling its multi-million-dollar grants program to support regional communities across Australia.
Following a three-year pause due to COVID, the Qantas Regional Grants program will return in early 2023, providing $10 million in grants over five years.
It will be apportioned as $2 million each year to support Australian based not-for-profit community groups and projects seeking funding to provide a direct benefit to regional Australia.
The grants include a combination of flights, cash and marketing support, and will be determined by a panel made up of internal and external appointments, based on eligibility criteria.
The program launched in 2019, with the first year of funding distributed amongst 20 community groups from every state and territory from more than 1,200 applications, before it was paused when the airline was effectively grounded by the pandemic.
QantasLink Chief Executive Officer John Gissing said the boost in funding will give much needed additional support to regional Australia after a challenging few years for the regions.
“Qantas was founded in regional Australia more than 100 years ago, so we know how important it is to support the communities that support us,” Mr Gissing said.
“Doubling the funding for these grants means we’ll be able to reinvest more to support regional organisations who do so much for their local communities.
“We know it’s been a tough few years for many parts of regional Australia, most recently with the huge flood events across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic meant we had to put almost all of our community partnerships on hold which we’ve gradually been restarting as flying has ramped back up and look forward to doing even more throughout 2023.
“We were blown away by the interest and quality of the applicants when we first launched the program, so we’re very excited to be restarting it now.”
Supporting regional Australia
Some of the 2019 recipients included Country to Canberra (ACT) which empowers young rural women to reach their leadership potential and provides advocacy and education opportunities, and Fair Game Australia (WA) which provides health and fitness education to young people in Australia’s most remote communities.
Recipient Red Dust Role Models (NT) works with remote Indigenous communities to create stronger futures for youth and their families.
Expressions of interest
The program is open to Australian-based not-for-profit community groups, individuals, charities, projects and organisations that are seeking funding to provide a direct service or benefit to regional Australia.
Interested organisations are encouraged to register their interest at qantas.com/regionalgrants to be the first to hear when applications open in February 2023. Successful recipients will be notified in June 2023.
Qantas is Australia’s largest regional airline, connecting more than 50 regional communities with capital cities.
Since the start of the pandemic, Qantas has launched 38 new regional routes providing even more tourism and economic opportunities for regional Australia.
The Qantas Regional Grants program complements a broader range of initiatives the national carrier provides to regional Australia.
This includes capping fares from eight flood affected communities, year-round discounts for residents in 16 regional and remote towns to make air travel more accessible.