Pen to paper: Grant writer secures clubs nearly $1 million
FOR many sporting clubs and community groups in the South Burnett, grant money is a lifeline and often is the difference between a leaking shed and a clubhouse.
Linda Watt has been nominated for an Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award after dedicating the past 14 years of her life to securing grants for clubs and groups across the region.
In those 14 years she has secured around $800,000, which has been used to build new clubhouses, secure training equipment and uniforms as well as support numerous community groups.
Ms Watt said her favourite thing about writing grants is ringing someone to tell them they have been successful.
“It feels like Christmas when a successful grant comes through and I get to ring the club or group to tell them the news,” Ms Watt said.
“The smile it puts on kids faces when they get new equipment or have new uniforms is the reason I love it so much.
“We just don’t get the funding in these rural areas and there is so much potential within the kids.”
Despite working full time at Taabinga State School and running her three kids around to various sporting events, Ms Watt said she always finds the time to write grant applications because she knows how important it is to the community.
“Grants are vital, it’s how some clubs survive and without that money clubs will struggle to get kids on the field and attract members and volunteers,” Ms Watt said.
“There are so many flow on effects of securing grant money, it allows clubs to grow and therefore attract other clubs from outside the region, which helps both financially and socially.
“It’s so important the South Burnett gets funding, it helps our kids and our community.”
Ms Watt said the funding also significantly helps the parents who often volunteer across multiple clubs.
“Out here most parents are volunteers or coaches at two or three clubs and they mostly do it without and training or knowledge,” Ms Watt said,
“If I can the training to help them learn more, it means the kids get more help and the parents also get something out of it.
“A lot of parents that don’t work or are just looking for something to do volunteer, and if they can gain some valuable skills through training it may lead to work or opportunities down the track.”
Ms Watt said one of her most memorable moments in her grant writing career was getting the South Burnett Little Athletics club out of a leaking shed and into a fantastic new clubhouse full of equipment.
Finalists and winners for the awards will be announced at an Awards Gala Presentation Dinner on Friday 27 November.