Hi, how can we help?
Everyone on the FRRR team has a strong affinity with rural communities, with most either growing up in small towns, or currently living in regional Victoria, New South Wales or South Australia.
We are all very passionate about understanding community needs, wants and aspirations, and enabling our partners to support these communities in ways that meet their objectives.
Most of our team is based in Bendigo, Victoria, however, we are regularly on the road visiting communities and providing opportunities for our partners to join us as we visit projects and regions and build stronger networks.
So, if you have a question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GAICD
Natalie Egleton is the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR). With a 25-year career in the non-profit and philanthropic sector in consulting, fundraising and partnerships, and organisation development roles, she is passionate about facilitating effective and enduring responses to issues facing rural communities.
Since becoming CEO of FRRR in 2015 she has led the organisation through a period of significant growth and impact, facilitating over $80m in funding to remote, rural, and regional communities through hundreds of partnerships and collaborations. Before joining FRRR, Natalie consulted with Matrix on Board, working with numerous not-for-profit organisations in program evaluation, undertaking research analysis and developing business plans. She also worked with clients to develop financial policies and procedures, strategic plans, organisation reviews, service mapping, feasibility studies and governance models. Natalie has also held in-house roles at Evolve (Typo Station) and at ANZ Banking Group, implementing projects that made a tangible difference to the lives of people living in rural, regional and remote Australia. She has also held voluntary roles on Boards and Committees of a rural RTO and her local Pre-school.
Natalie holds a B. Social Science (Public Policy/Research/Public Relations), Grad Dip Applied Science (Organisation Dynamics), and is a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors.
She lives in the small rural town of Maldon in central Victoria.
General Manager, Partnerships & Services
Sarah is our Partnerships and Services Manager, focused on supporting FRRR’s partners to facilitate impact across rural, regional and remote Australia. She oversees FRRR’s donor care and stewardship, corporate service delivery and develops opportunities for FRRR to utilise its knowledge by providing assistance to others.
Sarah joined FRRR in August 2017. She has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, having held a range of volunteer, board and staff roles over nine years with Engineers Without Borders Australia, and volunteer roles at environmental and arts organisations. A chemical engineer and lawyer, Sarah has also worked at a global commercial law firm.
Corporate Services Manager
Karen Fazzani is FRRR’s Corporate Services Manager. Karen is responsible for overseeing, leading and managing the business operations of FRRR including the Finance, Human Resource and IT functions.
Prior to FRRR, Karen was the Executive Officer of the Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group, a statutory authority under the Environment Protection Act. Karen has over 25 years’ experience in senior public sector management positions, predominately environment related.
Karen holds a Bachelor of Business, Master of Business Administration (Public Sector), is a Certified Practising Accountant and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Karen is passionate about the environment and the rural farming community she lives in and loves to travel. She is a current Board member of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, Wedderburn Tourism Board of Management, Wedderburn Community House and Treasurer/Secretary of the Wedderburn Fire Brigades Group and a player for the Wedderburn Tennis Club.
Insights and Learning Manager
James joined FRRR in 2019 as a Grants Officer working on grant making in NSW / QLD / ACT. In 2020 he moved to the Philanthropic Services team, where he supports a breadth of national programs. He moved into the Insights and Learning Manager role in February 2021.
James comes from a Local Government and project management background, with an emphasis on environmental protection and responding to the challenges of climate change.
People Portfolio Lead
Deb joined FRRR in April 2022 as the People Portfolio Lead.
With a career in not-for-profit leadership spanning more than two decades, Deb has extensive experience across executive, fundraising, finance, and program development functions. Her lifelong passion for connecting people with purpose and opportunities can be traced all the way back to her first job as a volunteer camp counsellor and organising campus fundraising events while completing her Business degree at UTS Sydney.
Early in her career, Deb’s passion for travel and unlocking opportunities for young people took her to the US where she spent two decades leading youth-focused not-for-profits, launching the C5 Leaders program providing at-risk youth with leadership and tertiary education opportunities. In early 2018 she returned home to Australia to settle back in regional NSW, immediately diving into not-for-profit work in out of home care, Indigenous mentoring and youth mental health. Before joining the FRRR team, Deb was working with a portfolio of emerging not-for-profit organisations in regional Australia, supporting small teams to build capacity and strategically grow programs and fundraising capability to increase impact and sustainability.
Deb feels very blessed to live in the regional town of Ballina, NSW on the land of the Nyangbul People of the Bundjalung Nation. Outside work you will find her in her happy place walking on Angels beach, volunteering in the community, catching up with friends over coffee, and exploring all the hidden natural and cultural gems across the beautiful Northern Rivers region.
Place Portfolio Lead
Jill joined FRRR in 2021 as Place Lead.
Having grown up in a farming community in New Zealand, Jill has lived and worked in rural and regional communities throughout her life. Her strong commitment to strengthening how communities prepare, react and respond to change and crisis, particularly in rural and regional areas, has seen her take the lead on community recovery after major emergencies such as the Black Saturday fires in Bendigo and multiple bushfires in the Macedon Ranges.
Jill has worked in the private and not-for-profit sectors and all levels of government, including 14 years in leadership roles in emergency management and community development in local government. Her previous roles have also included journalism, wool classing and natural resource management. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural and Regional Planning and is a graduate of the LGPRO Executive Leadership Program.
Outside of work, Jill and her partner enjoy life on a rural property in Elphinstone with lots of animals including the Bullmastiffs that she breeds and shows.
Disaster Resilience & Recovery Lead
Nina is passionate about advocating for the people that call regional Australia home and making their communities great places to live. Raised in the Mallee scrub of western South Australia, her skills in strategic thinking, project management, governance, communication, and community engagement position her well to lead the Disaster Resilience & Recovery team at FRRR.
Nina has recently taken on the challenge of studying an MBA and holds a Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma of Community Sector Management, and certificates in Governance and Training and Assessment. She has previously worked in not-for-profit management, community services, regional arts development and local government in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. In her spare time, Nina is a practising artist and also volunteers in the Echuca Moama community.
Grant & Develop Team
(QLD / NT / WA)
Starting with FRRR in August 2022, Katrina is the Programs Manager for QLD, NT & WA.
Katrina is a Darug Aboriginal woman, with traditional connections to Western Sydney and Blue Mountains area of NSW.
Katrina has lived in Cairns since 2007, working with the remote communities of North Queensland, including in Cape York and the Torres Strait. She has a Bachelor of Business (Environment Tourism) and has 15 years experience in leading community development initiatives across multiple sectors.
She has a strong personal interest in supporting culturally based economic opportunities for First Nations people, along with facilitating local leaders’ voices in the design and implementation of externally funded programs and projects. Katrina maintains cultural ties with her country and community, and as an artist enjoys expressing her identity through modern mediums and styles, including photography.
Karly Smith Whelan
Karly is the Grants Program Manager for Victoria, joining FRRR in March 2021. She is temporarily holding the reins for NT and WA while we complete the recruitment process for that position. She brings extensive experience working in project management and research in corporate, university and not‐for‐profit community organisations to the role. Prior to joining FRRR, Karly was the Executive Officer for a not-for-profit organisation in central Victoria, working across community and stakeholder partnerships governance, strategy, and communications portfolios.
Her previous role as a researcher at Monash University’s School of Rural Health saw her working with rural and remote communities in NSW and Victoria. Karly holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) majoring in Geography, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
Outside of work Karly keeps busy hiking, camping, bushwalking and reading, and has recently rediscovered her love of playing tennis. She is an active volunteer in her local community.
(NSW / ACT)
April is the Grants Program Manager for NSW, joining FRRR in July 2021. She brings to the role extensive experience in grant management, application and assessment in both a government and philanthropic context. She is passionate about supporting rural and regional communities to prosper by connecting them to funds, resources and knowledge.
April has previously worked in Local Government, State Government, the Charity sector as an Executive Officer, as an Agronomist and a consultant working with communities across regional NSW and Victoria to improve grant writing skills and governance of community organisations.
Following her passion for organisational governance April has been a director, chairperson and committee member of many Government and community boards and committees.
Outside of work April keeps busy going on adventures with her family camping, kayaking, bushwalking, chilling at the beach and participating in Parkrun. She is an active volunteer in her local community.
Future Drought Fund Programs Manager
Kristy started with FRRR in May 2021 as the Program Manager for the Future Drought Fund programs.
She is passionate about regional and rural communities, and is an advocate for regional and rural people, families, and regional business.
Raised in the Gannawarra community in Victoria, on a family farming enterprise of sheep and cropping, her skills in business, events, hospitality, marketing, stakeholder management, industry engagement, product, account and project management, position her well to manage the Future Drought Fund. Kristy believes there is no better place to live or be raised than in the country.
Kristy has mentored both professionals and students, has led student living, has a Bachelor of Business, and has previously worked in the Kimberley remote area of Western Australia, in regional radio Victoria, and the Higher Education sector. In leisure time Kristy can be found courtside and by the oval at the netball and football in her Netball Operations and committee roles in Loddon Valley, at the Football following the Hawks, at the Country races, walking, at the Farm, Waterskiing, at the theatre or gallery or supporting regional events.
Place Program Coordinator
Deanne moved into the role of Place Program Coordinator in August 2021, and prior to that, she managed the Tackling Tough Times Together program. Dea commenced with FRRR in 2019, and has over ten years experience in corporate philanthropic and community investment in a number of organisations and state government, with a focus on grant programs, employee volunteering and engagement.
Deanne grew up on a farm near the small town of Wycheproof in north-western Victoria, and remains connected to primary producers with her ongoing involvement at the local Bendigo farmers market. She is passionate about building capacity in regional communities to enable them to thrive. Deanne lives in Bendigo with her husband and three busy boys.
People Programs Coordinator
Lauren joined FRRR in July 2021 as the People Programs Coordinator. In her role she is responsible for coordinating the Heywire Youth Innovation grants and the Investing in Rural Community Futures grants for Bay & Basin.
Lauren has a background in rural and regional economic development, having worked in tourism and economic development in local government and the not-for-profit sector. Lauren loves a good volunteer role whether it be a sport committee or volunteer jobs that utilize her sector experience, from community event committees to judging in the NSW Tourism Awards.
Working remotely, Lauren lives in Deniliquin with her partner and two young girls. In her spare time, she can be found on the netball court, travelling, or taking up a new crafting hobby.
Disaster Resilient: Future Ready Program Coordinator
Jacqui joined FRRR in March 2021 as the DR:FR Program Coordinator. In this role, Jacqui will work alongside a group of Victorian communities to build their capacity and overall resilience through the exploration, development and application of community-led, evidence-based methods approaches.
An Architect by background, Jacqui draws on over 10 years of experience in both the private and for-purpose sectors working across the areas of strategic and participatory design, social innovation, business and enterprise development, partnership brokering and capacity building.
Jacqui is passionate about mobilising people and organisations to use their unique skills, knowledge, resources and networks to effectively collaborate to tackle complex challenges and create sustainable positive change. She enjoys spending her spare time outdoors, with her family, working on personal design projects and volunteering on climate change initiatives.
Disaster Resilience & Recovery Officer
Brooke commenced with FRRR in August 2021 as the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Grant Support Officer. She has qualifications in Social Work & Social Planning and has extensive experience in the community services sector working for government agencies as well as not-for-profit organisations.
Brooke has primarily worked in case management, coordination and project management roles where she has supported individuals, families and communities to achieve positive outcomes. She maintains a strong connection to rural living having been raised in a farming community in the West Wimmera, and has spent her career working across the Loddon Mallee Region whilst living in Bendigo.
Investing in Rural Community Futures Program Manager – VFFF Sites
Nancy Sposato ‘s professional career kicked off as a Melbourne based physical theatre performer and director, working with high profile arts organisations whilst developing independent contemporary theatre projects. Out of necessity Sposato honed her administrative, publicity and grant writing capabilities to support her ongoing arts practice and collaboration.
Since relocating to Nambucca Heads, Nancy repurposed her story telling skill set to support not-for-profits and community groups to enhance their profiles and thereby engagement.
Nancy has spent the last year supporting FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures Program engaged as a Local Facilitator to support local not-for-profits in the Nambucca Valley to access program funding and to develop understanding about their organisational capacity building needs.
Nancy maintains a community engaged creative practice through a recent focus in Creative Recovery to support the bushfire impacted residents of the Nambucca Valley.
Investing in Rural Community Futures – Nowra Facilitator
Kate joined FRRR in June 2020, to support the roll out of the Investing in Rural Communities Futures (IRCF) program in the Shoalhaven region. She has since moved into the role of Facilitator for the program in the Nowra region.
Kate has extensive experience working with community groups, not-for-profits, cultural organisations and social ventures to help them increase their perceived value and economic sustainability, with a key focus on business development, sponsorship and fundraising strategies.
Kate has degrees in both art history and business. She is active within her community, having held roles as Board Director, committee member and as a regular volunteer for a range of cultural and community groups. Kate recently relocated back to the Shoalhaven region.
Investing in Rural Community Futures Program Manager – South Coast
Carolyn joined FRRR in 2022 as the IRCF Program Manager for the South Coast, and brings a diverse skill set to support community development and empowerment.
Carolyn’s experience is varied across local and state government and she has delivered corporate services and program management within the Commonwealth for 15 years. Working across many facets as a public servant in the Office of Rural Health and the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health throughout the Northern Territory, Carolyn has extensive knowledge of remote and rural Australia.
Carolyn has a passion for community-driven capacity building and development. Carolyn lives with her husband and young daughter on Yuin country on the South Coast, and enjoys all the outdoors can offer.
People Portfolio Support Officer
Michelle commenced with FRRR in July 2021, and has a strong administration background, especially in NFPs working with unemployed people, people with disability and the elderly. She also worked as a case manager following the completion of her Diploma in Community Services.
Michelle has a passion for the environment and, before moving from NSW to Victoria in late 2019, was a very active member of WIRES. She was Chair of the local branch, as well as actively involved in rescuing and fostering animals and training others in the care of possums.
Travel is her other big passion, going to such diverse places as Norway, Kenya, South Africa, and Russia to name a few.
(National / NT / WA)
Lisa joined FRRR in 2009, initially as a casual Grants Assessment Officer and is now the National / NT & WA Programs Officer. She has a background in emergency services and agriculture and is passionate about increasing food security through localised community led food systems.
Lisa has extensive experience supporting rural communities to become more resilient and achieve their goals. She works across a large number of programs, assessing grants and providing administrative support for FRRR.
(VIC / TAS / SA)
Vivienne joined FRRR in October 2017 as a Grants Officer. She has a background working in community-based organisations in areas of emergency services, homeless programs and migrant settlement.
Vivienne has extensive experience in program administration and supporting volunteers throughout regional Victoria.
(QLD / NSW)
Jaclyn joined the FRRR team in 2022 as a Grants Officer. Prior to Joining FRRR her experience included Office Management, Community Engagement, Program Coordinating, Early Childhood Education, and she has been involved in volunteer work throughout the Heathcote and Bendigo region. Jaclyn also has a strong customer service background.
Outside of work Jaclyn loves being a mum to her 3 young children, taking them on adventures, reading and spending time with friends and family.
Grants Officer, Tackling Tough Times Together
Jane joined FRRR in May 2021 to work as a Grants Officer with the Tackling Tough Times Together team. She has a background in agriculture with a strong affinity for regional and rural people.
Jane grew up on a sheep and cattle family farm in North-East Victoria and completed a degree in Agriculture Science at The University of Melbourne. This has been followed by roles in agriculture research, communication and event management. She is keenly interested in supporting rural communities.
Jane has lived in Bendigo since the early 2000’s and has 3 children currently in secondary school. Outside of work she enjoys bush walking, camping, reading and watching her kids play sport.
RRC Facilitation & Communication Officer
Marjolein is the Rebuilding Rural Communities Facilitation & Communication Officer, joining in April 2022. She brings over a decade of experience in grants applications and contract management, stakeholder engagement, communications, and research.
Prior to joining FRRR she was in the University sector in New Zealand, working with researchers to attain and manage grant funding from across government, philanthropic and private sectors. She also has experience in State Government and the private sector.
Marjolein lives in the Whitsundays with her family. Outside of work she loves exploring new parts of Australia, bush walking, reading, and spending time with her kids.
RRC Admin Officer
Melanie joined FRRR in April 2022 as the Administration Officer for Rebuilding Rural Communities. She has over 15 years of experience in local government, library services, stakeholder engagement, youth services, and research.
Prior to joining FRRR she completed a Master of Information Studies full time and is excited to be able to work in the philanthropic sector and contribute to helping communities develop and thrive.
Melanie has lived in regional areas all her life, and currently lives in Dubbo NSW with family, a German Shepherd named Loki and what seems like innumerable cats. When she is not working, Melanie enjoys reading, movies, gardening, dog obedience training, photography, and writing.
Leverage & Broker Team
Jillian Kirwan Lee
Jillian Kirwan Lee has a background in partnership development and relationship management, having developed corporate and channel partnerships across multiple industry segments including foreign exchange, executive development and leadership events with such organisations as OzForex and The Growth Faculty.
Jillian is passionate about the importance of thriving regional and rural communities to Australian society and our economy, and frequently heads out to the wild yonder to enjoy the wide open skies of our remote regions. Jillian and her family are based in Mudgee in NSW.
Carolyn Munckton comes to FRRR with extensive knowledge and experience in the philanthropy and for purpose sectors. She has worked in the philanthropy team at Equity Trustees, was General Manager of the Benevolent Trust at the Victoria Women’s Trust, and spent three years with The Funding Network contributing to growing its reach in Victoria.
After 30 years of living in Melbourne, Carolyn returned to her childhood roots and now lives part-time in Avenel where she contributes to many community organisations and is strategic adviser to the Seymour District Charitable Fund.
Carolyn holds a Master of Social Investment and Philanthropy.
Philanthropic Services Manager
Jo has more than fifteen years experience in the community development and social services sector, working in both local government and not for profit settings. During this time she has facilitated successful programs engaging a broad range of stakeholders including schools, businesses, government and community organisations. Her work has had a strong emphasis on supporting culturally and linguistically diverse communities living in Victoria.
Jo commenced with FRRR in August 2018 as our Philanthropic Services Manager responsible for looking after Not-for-Profit Fundraising Accounts, Giving Sub-Funds and Community Foundations, as well as advisory / consulting services. Jo is passionate about building local capacity and enabling individuals and community groups to achieve positive change through a community development approach. She lives with her family in the small town of Macedon.
Philanthropic Services Manager, Corporate
Danielle manages the Giving Sub-Funds of corporate donors to deliver tailored grant rounds for targeted impact. Danielle helps to develop partnerships that will connect corporate Australia to the needs of rural, regional and remote communities.
Prior to joining the FRRR, Danielle’s business and community partnership experience has included working with the Australia Red Cross on national and international projects, and other NFP roles in the arts, education and health. She is proud of working in the third sector to enable meaningful outcomes through community engagement that seeks a shared understanding and benefit for everyone involved.
In her free time, Danielle enjoys the written word in many forms, and both visual and performing arts, escaping outdoors and overseas to hike or play in water.
Jeanice is responsible for leading several targeted national and issues-based programs. Since joining FRRR in 2010, she has managed a wide variety of grant programs and has a wealth of knowledge on a diverse range of issues in rural, regional and remote communities.
Prior to joining FRRR, Jeanice’s experience included records management, historical research and community heritage, events management, grants management and working in early childhood social-emotional development programs. She has been a dedicated early childhood and primary school extension program volunteer and regular contributor to music programs in local aged care facilities. Jeanice travels off the bitumen whenever possible, to explore and support rural and remote communities.
Hayley Troy is FRRR’s Development Officer. She joined the team in 2016 and is responsible for managing our CRM and providing support to the team, as required. Her role is focused on donor information management, fundraising support and donor care and stewardship.
She also works with the Back to School team on administering the Back to School program. Previously, she has worked in retail and hospitality management across the Bendigo and Heathcote region. Outside of work, Hayley loves photography, concerts and cheering on her beloved Essendon Bombers.
Philanthropic Services Officer
Fiona joined the FRRR team in 2019 as a Grants Officer with the Tackling Tough Times Together Program, and moved into the Philanthropic Services team in 2021.
Coming from an administration and projects background, Fiona also brings with her personal experiences living in Central Western NSW and has recently returned to the Bendigo region to live. Fiona has been a community leader for a number of years and is passionate about creating opportunity, contributing to developing resilient communities, working together to better achieve and encourage community ownership.
Corporate Services Team
Grants Operations Coordinator
Kate joined FRRR in 2018 as a Grant Operations Coordinator. She has a background in heritage management for not-for-profit and government organisations with an emphasis on community planning and development.
Kate is passionate about capacity building of community groups, fostering pride of place and supporting community ownership of revitalisation endeavours from inception.
Kate has experience applying for and administering grants and has lived in Bendigo since 2010.
Administration Officer and Executive Assistant
Carolyn joined the FRRR team in March 2017, and is responsible for providing executive support to the CEO, effective coordination of the FRRR office and general administrative support to the management team. A key responsibility is supporting the administration of FRRR’s Donation Account Services.
She has over fifteen years’ experience working in local government in the Tourism and Arts Sector, Civic and Event Management and Community engagement.
Carolyn has a Bachelor of Arts in Librarianship, majoring in psychology, and grew up on farming communities in Cohuna and Echuca and currently lives in Bendigo.
Information Management Officer
Sylvia is our Information Management Officer and has responsibility for data management and analysis, keeping track of the information and systems that FRRR draws upon. She joined the team in August 2011 as Administration Officer.
Having previously worked in a range of different organisations, from Government Departments, to Minister’s Offices, as well as in health and retail, and within large corporations, Sylvia brings a wealth of practical administrative experience. She also has a strong customer service background.
Loralee commenced as the Finance Officer for FRRR in 2011, Loralee is contracted to FRRR for two days per week, although is fully considered one of the FRRR Team. Using MYOB accounting software, Loralee takes care of all financial matters for FRRR including Payroll, accounts payable and receivables, donation receipts, budgeting, general ledger, banking and reconciliations in accordance with legislative requirements and organisational policies and strategies. On the remaining weekdays when Loralee is not in the FRRR office, she assists other businesses with their finance and bookkeeping requirements, including several other Not for Profit entities. When not attending to bookkeeping and finance matters, Loralee enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, cooking and camping.
JAW Communications supports FRRR with marketing and communication. With many of the team raised in country Australia, they understand the issues facing rural and regional Australia and have been working with us since 2012.