South Australia and Tasmania
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FRRR is always seeking to deepen its knowledge and insights, and extend networks, awareness, and reach, particularly beyond the eastern seaboard. This has seen FRRR move to a state-based staffing model, increase time spent with community leaders and not-for-profit organisations, and deliver more grant-seeker workshops and project development support.
This effort is paying off, as there have been year-on-year increases in the number of grants in both South Australia (up 58%) and Tasmania (up 100%). In the case of SA, this is due in no small part to the worsening drought, with $990,702 supporting 32 projects distributed via the Tackling Tough Times Together program. Our new partnership with Fay Fuller Foundation, who are focusing on increasing wellbeing and moving towards mentally healthy futures by building on the strengths, skills and talents in various communities, has also seen funds go into the state.
The pleasant nature of volunteers
Mount Pleasant is a thriving and innovative rural community, 55 km east of Adelaide, that acts as a hub and provides services for a range of nearby smaller towns. The town hosts regular community events, and has several local groups and service clubs, including the Mount Pleasant Natural Resource Centre Inc (MPNRC). MPNRC realised their building needed a revamp to increase the workshop’s capacity and volunteer workspace to make it into a safer, all-weather environment.
With a $4,800 Small Grant, collaboratively funded by individual donors, and the enthusiastic assistance of volunteers and local tradespeople, MPNRC refurbished The Share Shed (as the locals call it). Community and tradespeople joined forces to weatherproof, install, refit, replace, and repurpose the shared workspace. The new space has had a positive effect throughout the community, with new workshops and events held, more locals putting their hand up to volunteer at the Centre, and they’ve even been able to employ additional staff.
“Thankyou – this project means a lot to our volunteers and community. It is fantastic to find funding to build on projects to increase our community support and engagement.”
Faye McGoldrick, MPNRC Coordinator
Bundaleer’s nature play trail
A $5,000 Small Grant, funded by The Yulgilbar Foundation, supported the design and construction of seven nature play structures along the Maple Walk in the Bundaleer Forest Picnic Ground. This is the first step in delivering a larger vision to develop Bundaleer as the largest nature play space in regional South Australia.
The project has created an exciting nature play trail, where families can reconnect with nature and each other. The trail gives local children a much-needed space to imagine and explore, and is proving to be a drawcard for visitors, which has a flow-on effect of boosting the local economy.
Kingston Beach SLSC
Kingston is one of the central points on southern Tasmania’s Kingsborough sandy coast, and it is the home to about 1,990 people. Though small, this town plays a big role in keeping the coast safe.
The Kingston Beach Surf Life Saving Club is the most accessible lifesaving club in the south, and therefore part of Surf Life Saving Tasmania’s emergency response services. Run by a group of volunteers, the Club wanted to increase their preparedness for, and ability to respond to, emergency flood and bushfire events.
They received a $3,382 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by Australia Post, which allowed them to purchase what they needed to conduct their new water rescue and evacuation training, making them now ready for any emergency.
Connecting community in COVID times
The George Town Neighbourhood House is a vibrant community centre in the very north of Tasmania, offering a range of programs to support disadvantaged people and families in the local community. To help spread the word about their services, they used a $10,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by the Sidney Myer Fund, to hire a communications officer.
Despite COVID-19 disrupting many of their planned activities, the Neighbourhood House showed great resilience and adapted to the new circumstances with grace. Networking, online bake-offs and collaborations with other local organisations are just some of the things they achieved with their new staff member.