Australia’s rural and regional communities are home to some of the most impressive young changemakers in the country.

From succession planning to mental health treatment, young Australians are starting initiatives and running projects that are helping their local communities and playing a huge role in helping entire industries evolve as the next generation steps up.

The ABC’s Trailblazers initiative builds on the success of its Heywire regional youth program, and provides professional support to individuals and groups of up to three people who are aged 18-28 to promote their projects and help make regional Australia a better place.

This professional support includes media, networking and mentorship opportunities to help them share the story of their work with the entire country, including having the project covered through the ABC. It also includes an all-expenses paid trip to the Trailblazers Lab in Canberra, which is a five-day intensive experience that empowers participants to make the most of this huge opportunity.

The projects being undertaken can have a local focus or be aimed at helping an entire sector succeed. Previous Trailblazers winners have included:

  • Fledgling Farmers, which is developing a communications framework about succession planning to help farming families around the country navigate these sometimes-awkward conversations.
  • Little Brick Pastoral, an initiative using Lego to inspire a new generation to get into agriculture and combat the misconception that the only agricultural career is being a farmer.
  • The Entrepreneurs Facilitators Program, which offers courses to help people turn their skills, passion and ideas into employment, whether that’s by setting up their own business or finding a job doing what they love.

If you’re aged 18-28, live in a regional community and have a project that’s working to improve life in regional Australia, take a look at the ABC website to find out more about this program.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 3 July 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!