New South Wales
This year, New South Wales received the largest proportion of funding support, with most awarded to projects relating to emergency or disaster response (EDR) (nearly 65%, $4,064,171). Nearly 42% of all funding was through the Tackling Tough Times Together program. The average of these grants was $32,768, reflecting the reduced ability for local fundraising.
Our partners responded quickly to the Summer bushfires. For example, the place-based Visy Tumut Region Recovery Fund program was established in partnership with the Pratt Foundation. Through this Fund, $728,750 (18% of all EDR grants funded in NSW) supported the recovery of people in the Snowy Valleys Council region.
Tenterfield and the Beat of the Bush
Recently ravaged by drought and fires, the small town of Tenterfield in northern NSW was experiencing hard times. Hartbeat of the Bush teamed up with the Cuskelly College of Music’s Winter Music School to offer Tenterfield and the surrounding communities a brief respite. The result was the week-long ‘Beat of the Bush’ music school and festival, led by more than 50 teachers, many of whom are internationally acclaimed.
Musical experiences like this help develop social skills and build confidence. Children from all over the region, many of whom had never met one another, played an instrument nor sung in a choir before this program, amazed their family members with the talent and skills they learnt in just five days.
What’s more, the economic benefits for the town were significant, with cafes, restaurants and retail outlets benefitting from a lot of foot traffic at a time when the impacts of drought were being deeply felt.
The $20,000 grant received by Hartbeat of the Bush was funded by the Australian Government through FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together program. This covered the costs of running free daily buses within a 100 km radius for commuters from Warwick, Bonshaw, Glen Innes and Tabulum, as well as accommodation for tutors and volunteers.
Nambucca Heads’ future makers
A practical vocational skills program at Nambucca Heads High School in northern NSW led to many students gaining work in the community. It also resulted in an increased understanding and celebration of local Indigenous culture.