Angus Taylor Southern Cross GC Grant

Federal Energy Minister and Member for Hume, Angus Taylor, with Southern Cross Gliding Club members on the flight line at Camden to let them know that their grant application to replace their clubhouse had been approved.

Southern Cross Receives $200,000 to replace Clubhouse

Southern Cross Gliding Club had been contemplating a set of upgrades and repairs to our existing clubhouse. While we have a great stream of junior pilots, our female participation is not where we'd like it to be. A big factor for our women pilots is the state of the clubhouse, particularly the toilet and shower facilities.

Courtesy of an email from the Sports Community folks, who are part of the S2F work at the GFA, we were alerted to the grants that were available from Sport Australia’s ‘Move It Aus’, a grant program within the Community Sport Infrastructure. From the time we learned about the grants, we only had about four weeks before the submission date. That didn't leave much time to marshal a group together, organise quotes and take care of everything else needed for our submission.

Angus Taylor Camden

Club President Justin Couch taking Angus Taylor for an air experience flight on an excellent soaring day.

Sport Australia is a section of the Australian Sports Commission – a federal government body to promote sport. Its best-known sub group is the Australian Institute of Sport. This year they were given an initial $30m allocation for grants to help grassroots clubs improve infrastructure, followed by an additional $30m in late November 2018. It specifically targeted capital works, such as sports grounds, clubhouses and general facilities, particularly where projects can increase participation from diverse communities.

The goal of our S2F project is to increase participation in gliding. Naturally, you can see a very nice tie-in between S2F, club goals and the stated goals of the grants.

We decided to apply for a grant for the complete replacement of the clubhouse. Clubhouses aren't
cheap, particularly on a regulated airport where there are many more concerns – PFAS contamination, for example.

While we could have gone for the top tier grant category of up to $500K, we didn't have the time to complete the much stricter paperwork requirements. Our quote for the basic clubhouse, including site preparation, came in at around $230K, which was quite reasonable in our opinion. So we opted to apply for the capped out $200K bucket. That required a sizeable contribution from the club, but we were willing support our idea with club funds and we believed this commitment would aid our application.

S2F was instrumental in how I wrote the grant application. Sport Australia want to see that you're part of a larger program to increase participation. All the great work that had been done by S2F with Sports Community to identify target markets, show a national body goal and other efforts - all became part of the text of the application.

Southern Cross is a Round 2 S2F club. We have already met most of the goals for the project, and the clubhouse will be a big booster going forward. With this grant in place, it leaves us some room to use the available S2F money for much more targeted projects, instead of spending it on patching up the old clubhouse. We are considering various possibilities, including using it to kit out a good AV system for course teaching purposes. This year the club will really be ramping up our course offerings in both airworthiness and flying training.

We are very happy that our grant application was successful for the full amount that we applied for.

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Justin Couch
Southern Cross Gliding Club