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Current Projects
RDAA Autism Grant
RDA Australia Limited received a generous donation from Southern Tier Healthlink for the purpose of aiding riders with Autism. Southern Tier Healthlink is an organisation whose focus is on stream-lining healthcare through early-intervention services and minimalising hospital visits with electronic transfer of information. RDA Australia is seeking applications from affiliated RDA centres to support initiatives for registered RDA riders with Autism. Funding can be used for a variety of causes and projects related to Autism. Application for this fund will require demonstration of intended use of funds, evidence there is a need for applied for funds and an agreement to an acquittal of the received funds. This acquittal must involve any and all tax-receipts and include a report on the use of the funds, including photos and testimonials.  If it is necessary to receive a ‘lump-sum’ prior to commencement of the project, please express this in the application along with all quotes. 

Stream 1 –$300 per centre for Equipment, Resources and Education

Stream 2 – $200 per centre for Rider Scholarship

Stream 3 – $500 per centre for Autism Projects


States or centres may apply for funding from three streams, each focused upon different aspects of support for riders with Autism.

·         Stream 1 is funding for specialist equipment and resources designed specifically for riders with Autism. Your proposal may be for purchasing equipment or educational aids that primarily benefit riders with Autism. Examples include “storyboards” for the Volunteers to wear with images for riders to point to, or it might include colour-coded reins for riders to use to learn directionality (e.g. left from right) – it might even be to cover the cost of a specialist in Autism to do a special therapy day with riders. 

·         Stream 2 is available for use as a ‘scholarship’ system. Scholarship funding can be applied for and used in a variety of ways. Examples include paying for an Autistic rider’s annual registration/membership fee, or to supplement entry fees into competitions within the acquittal period. 

·         Stream 3 is a flexible funding stream which is for ‘projects’. Examples include a special morning-tea for volunteers, parents and siblings of riders with Autism, and include a guest speaker, or perhaps a project for a weekend-camp for riders with Autism, or even for a work-shop for volunteers to learn methods of communication through signing and exaggerated facial expressions. This is a funding stream designed to encourage enthusiasm and initiative in assisting riders with Autism.

Successful applications will demonstrate good planning of activities, with a maximum benefit gained, and value for money.  Applications which prove to have a long-term affect upon riders with Autism or are early-intervention focused will be given preference.
First round:      Open: October 17 2011 – December 08 2011; Approval: December 15 2011; Acquittal: February 24 2012
Second round: Open: February 2 2012 – March 08 2012; Approval: March 15 2012, Acquittal: April 15 2012

Third round:     Open: March 15 2012 – April 20 2012; Approval: April 30 2012, Acquittal: May 25 2012

 Have a look at the guidelines, print the application (perhaps look at your project ideas with the matrices or criteria to work out the best project for your centre) and apply now! 
 Please direct any enquiries or questions (as well as your applications!) to
Past Projects


Project Connect

Project CONNECT is an Australian Sports Commission initiative aimed at

Creating Opportunities Nationally through Networks in Education, Classification & Training.

It focuses on the inclusion of participants with a disability across all sporting activities to:

  • Create athlete pathways for people with a disability
  • Break down the barriers within disability and non-disability in sport for people with a disability

RDA Australia and Pony Club Australia have formed an alliance under the Project CONNECT banner to develop pathways and provide opportunities for riders with disabilities within both organizations. This will allow riders to participate in activities best suited to their needs.

What will Project CONNECT do?

  1. Provide support for riders seeking
    1. to join local Pony Clubs
    2. current members who could benefit from rule exemption or gear modification
    3. to join other equestrian organisations
  2. Create a framework which will enable Pony Club Australia and other equestrian organisations to provide a service based on individual rider's requirements
  3. Acknowledge and develop relationships with RDA Centres and Pony Club Australia and, in the future, other equestrian organisations

Project CONNECT will enable RDAA to:

  • Create a bottom-up approach to sport
  • Provide pathways for rides with a disability move from grass roots participation to elite level competition
  • Concentrate on developing the foundations for the future growth of its riders up to the elite level
  • Roll out this concept to other equestrian organisations

Project Connect Diagram

Source: Australian Sports Commission

To find out how the Project CONNECT initiatives can assist you contact RDAA at or click on the state based initiatives below:

ACT Project Connect Action Plan

RDAWA State Disability Action Plan

Tasmanian Disability Action Plan

Victorian Disability Action Plan

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