Announcement: VFFF Backing the Future cohort three

The Backing the Future grants program supports individuals and groups of individuals working to back young people aged 12-30 in rural and regional NSW and QLD. Backing the Future grants award $50,000 over 12 months to work that is focused on rural and regional young people across one or more of VFFF's four focus areas: Decent Work, Caring for the Environment, Contributing to Society and Exploring Christian Faith and Values.

The third round of VFFF’s Backing the Future grants opened in August 2023, for individuals based in NSW. In November 2023, a group of amazing individuals from rural and regional NSW were selected as the third Backing the Future cohort. Below is a brief summary of their early stage ideas to support rural and regional young people.

The fourth round of Backing the Future applications from individuals and groups of individuals in QLD are currently being assessed. VFFF is looking forward to sharing the work of the selected QLD cohort later this year. To find out more about this grants program, click here.


Annabelle Hickson: Young Regional Storytellers 

A pilot program to equip young people in regional NSW with the skills and confidence to write for media publications


Bianca Bellicanta: The Bush & Us

A creative learning program where participants will be given the opportunity to create a project over 12 months with one directive: 'Address a community issue in the Bega Valley’


Carmen Stewart: Circular Youth

To support young people to design, plan and implement local projects in the Northern Rivers region that accelerate the adoption of a local circular economy.

Julie Charlton

Julie Charlton: Youth Accountability Impact Group

A project bringing together young people from different parts of regional NSW to define the concept of ‘youth accountability’.


Lara Warren: Levelling the Playing Field

The development of an online platform that showcases and sponsors activities in Taree and surrounds, to increase the participation of young people in organised sports by removing financial barriers.


Nathan Weatherall: In His Footsteps

To support young Gumbaynggirr people from Armidale and surrounding communities to participate in multi-media courses where they research and tell stories of historic local Gumbaynggirr leader, King Bobby Malawangi.


Nathaniel Diong: Creative Careers

A school careers program in the Hunter and Illawarra regions teaching entrepreneurial skills and exposing young people to emerging careers through workplace excursions within each region.


Simone Eyles: Studioversity

An in-person pilot program in Merimbula that provides a nurturing and inclusive environment for young people living with a disability to explore and learn about various creative disciplines whilst developing skills for future work.


Simone Roseler: Ocean Voices

A youth-focused environmental program in the Northern Rivers region working to nurture the next generation of ocean stewards and environmental leaders.

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