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Students planning with notebook over coffee

15 December 2017

We’ve got funding available to help your community project

Did you know that you can apply for funding from Deakin if you’ve got a great idea for a community project?

Deakin University Community Bank Community Strengthening Fund provides financial assistance to Deakin projects, events and other initiatives. The fund is currently accepting applications for projects in 2018, so now’s the time to apply.

Earlier this year, Reuben Williams received funding for his project for sports graduates. His project was voted for by students during O Week. He recently completed a double degree in Exercise and Sport Science and Business (Sport Management). He also completed an internship in Taiwan with Australian University Sport.

We spoke to Reuben about how the funding transformed his project from a dream to a reality.

Student Reuben Williams in Taipei

Deakin Life: Tell us about your project: what is it and how is it designed to help the Deakin community?

Reuben: I first got the idea for my project Sports Grad after spending a whole year seeking coffee dates, networking and absorbing everything I could from those already working in sport. This was extremely daunting for me at first and I can clearly remember pacing around my backyard for 20 minutes trying to muster up the courage to call the former Melbourne Demons Welfare Manager to arrange a coffee! Eventually I became comfortable doing this, had great access to new contacts through the ones I’d been making, and was quickly learning heaps about the industry. After talking to other students, I realised many of them shared the same barriers I once had, which stopped me reaching out to industry professionals. Sports Grad aims to overcome this by making the insights of sport industry professionals more accessible to students. This is achieved through an online resource I’ve created containing short interviews that highlight different roles and various pathways people have taken. The goal is to ultimately create more well informed and employable sport studies graduates. 

DL: How have you spent the funds that you received?

R: The funds have helped me pay for developers to bring my idea to life, as well as upgrade my interview equipment and software in order to create better content.

DL: What are your long term and short term goals for the project?

R: Long term, I’d love to create a community for students all over Victoria (and eventually Australia) who are interested in making the most of their sport degree. The goal then is to run events involving industry guests, so that they can then network face-to-face and create their own contacts and opportunities. Short term, I want to get my content into all universities with sport-related degrees and increase my audience as much as possible.

DL:  What advice do you have for other students that might have a great idea that needs funding?

R: Don’t sit on it! Put in the effort and take a chance on your idea, because you may not have the same freedom later in life to try it out. If you’re serious about getting the funding then take the time to submit a serious proposal. First thing I did was find an example of a real-life grant proposal so that I had a standard of professionalism I could hold myself to. Finally, get it proof read by everyone. Ask your Mum, your Dad, your boss, your lecturer, everyone! Chances are they’ll know more about writing a grant proposal than you.

Funding from the Deakin University Community Bank is easy to apply for and it can make a big difference. It’s also a great opportunity to give back to the Deakin community. Visit the Community Bank website now for more information about eligibility and application guidelines.

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