ABC Heywire grants encourage rural communities to change young lives

ABC Heywire is calling on community organisations to implement ideas developed at the Heywire Regional Youth Summit by applying for seed-funding through the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal (FRRR).

As reported in radioinfo, last December 38 regional young Australians were announced as the winners of the ABC’s Heywire storytelling competition.

Winners were then given the opportunity to professionally produce their stories, with the content then shared through ABC Radio, TV and digital platforms, giving audiences insight into life in regional and rural areas.

In February, a think-tank of young people from every corner of Australia drew on their own experiences to devise seven ideas aimed at making regional Australia an even better place to grow up.

Their ideas tackle issues including beating drug addiction, access to health care and supporting Indigenous culture.

FRRR and its partners are now offering $100,000 in grants to organisations interesting in implementing these ideas.

Heywire participant Nia Harrison, from Horsham, in Victoria, encourages communities to adopt one of the ideas that she and her peers have developed, and put it in to action.

“Our week at the Heywire Summit changed our lives, but these ideas can change much more. We want others, living in rural or regional Australia, to experience something life changing too.”

The Youth Innovation Grants, now in their sixth year, have led to more than 70 youth-developed projects in over 140 communities nationwide, through $1.2 million in community and philanthropic investment.

ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie says the grants program provides long-term benefits for youth in regional Australia. 

“A recent impact study by ANU found that Heywire has a lasting impact on young people and their communities in regional Australia. Not only does it give them a voice on the ABC, but the chance to make a measurable difference.” 

More information about the grants program and all the ideas can be found in the Grants Guide (hard copies available by request) or at

Applications open today and community organisations have until 14 May, 2018 to apply.

Find a full list of ideas and the young people who conceived them here