Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.

Norlane Community Initiatives

Norlane Community Initiatives

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Developed by the community, for the community, Norlane Community Initiatives works to address community needs, including social isolation, family support, food insecurity, health and wellbeing.

There is an urgent need for access to affordable, nutritious food in the Norlane area. Norlane Community Initiatives is committed to cultivating the Geelong community and providing a place where people can connect and belong. 

2018 Pitch

Funds raised: $23,300

Simon was pitching at TFN Geelong for funding to deliver initiatives that address food security issues in the neighbourhood of Norlane. Speaking passionately about the stigma attached to the area, Simon spoke about reversing that and working with the community to create spaces to connect. 

The impact…

A sense of community can be a hard thing to find in modern life, which is why Norlane Community Initiatives (NCI) is working to cultivate it in Norlane. In one of the most disadvantaged areas in Victoria, people are coming together eat and share with each other. To feed themselves, the family and their neighbours. Simon was pitching for funding to employ more staff to run these vital programs to the Norlane Community.


Thanks to the generosity on the night, the People’s Pantry was open for 40 weeks and the community distributed $100,000 worth of food amongst themselves. They have facilitated 40 neighbourhood lunches over 12 months - providing over 1,000 meals. Finally, they’ve also gone on to initiate two social enterprises; The Farm Next Door an urban farm and The Aviary a cafe.

“During this funding period, Peoples Pantry has become a refuge for growing number of refugees recently settling into the neighbourhood. Abid* has been our newest member of the food cooperative, having been in the country for only 3 months. With limited english and a young family to feed, the pantry has not only created a place to belong, meet new friends, practice his english but also put food on the table.

His membership through the pantry has led to him know joining a neighbourhood sporting team. Abid brings a smile and joy to the pantry and works diligently as part of his contribution to the membership of the cooperative and in this way not just helps feed his family but others in the neighbourhood as well” - Simon Reeves, Co-CEO

* Name changed.

Read their Impact Report

Learn more about Norlane Community Initiatives

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