Hydro community grants supporting life-changing initiatives

16 February 2022

COVID-19 had far reaching impacts across communities and for Smithton High School, it created a need to reconnect with their students. What began as a small study group back in 2020 is now a dedicated space and program called Life Lab. Students participate in project based learning opportunities and develop work ready skills alongside basic literacy and numeracy.

Smithton High School’s Life Lab was a delighted 2021 Hydro Tasmania community grant recipient, receiving $10,000 in funding, which supported expansion of the space to include an all-weather outdoor area and boundary fence, built by the students.

Assistant Principal, Lindsey Blake, explains that from that initial need to reconnect with the school community, Life Lab has grown into an essential facility that allows for the widest possible variety of learning to take place, right in their own community.

“The initial funding from Hydro Tasmania has allowed Life Lab to realise its first dreams and show the students and community what a facility and program of this type can provide for our community.

“Without this seed funding support, it would have been very difficult to establish the program in its fullness and we can now dare to aim bigger again in the years to come.”

A disused building was transformed into Life Lab, with the students hands-on in its renovation. It is now a space where students can obtain work ready qualifications and learn practical life skills - maintaining the lawns, washing and drying school laundry, and cleaning and maintaining the space and gardens.

“Alongside literacy and numeracy learning, they can work on projects like creating new gardens beds from old tractor tyres, or reconditioning engines. Hydro Tasmania’s funding has allowed us to make the space more practical and useable in all weather conditions which means Life Lab can take on more students and projects,” Lindsey added.

Hydro Tasmania is launching the 6th year of our Community Grants Program. Applications are now open, with up to $5,000 available to not-for-profit groups for projects that help make their communities more resilient and empowered. We also have up to $10,000 available as part of our Innovation Grant program.

In 2021, we provided over $50,000 in funding for initiatives like a school fruit box program, a community hall renovation, a sustainable heating project and new kitchen facilities for a community group.

Hydro Tasmania Community Advisor, Kate Hickey, said that Hydro Tasmania welcomed applications from across the state and from a diverse range of community groups.

“Our grants have supported so many important and inspiring services and projects. We’re excited to again offer grants that give tangible and direct support to community groups to achieve great outcomes.

“A grant can make all the difference in what a community group can achieve. They often operate on small budgets and are reliant on volunteers. The most rewarding part of my role is seeing what our funding has enabled these groups to accomplish. So get those applications in!” Kate said.

Find out how to apply for a grant here.



Released for Hydro Tasmania by Lyn Southon / 0409 722 359 / media@hydro.com.au


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