A tapestry class aimed at bringing together Iranian women in Whittlesea is among 18 community projects to receive money in the latest round of community development grants.

The council-run grants program recently awarded community groups and organisations with more than $76,000.

The Ava Iranian Women’s Choir – which began in Whittlesea – was given $5000 for its connecting cultures through craft project, during which women can work on a style of tapestry making from Iran. It follows a similar project developed with the Victorian Multicultural Commission and run at Amnesty International’s headquarters in Fitzroy.

Other projects to receive funding include an indigenous community garden in Lalor, leadership initiative for girls and women in scouting and a festival celebrating Punjabi culture.

Mayor Ricky Kirkham said the grants program provided financial support for community groups and organisations that build people’s skills and encourage them to engage with their community.

“It’s always really tough selecting which projects will receive grant funding, as we receive so many great applications from across the City of Whittlesea,” he said.

“The program aims to provide more opportunities for people to get out and about, meet new people or learn new skills.”

A second round of grants will be announced in December, with applications now open.

Details: www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au