Reports, evaluations and submissions
Report: What we’ve learnt so far from our Investing in Rural Community Futures program
This report captures the learnings and insights of the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program to date. Over the past five years IRCF has worked alongside the not-for-profit sectors and it’s leaders in eight rural communities, co-designing and supporting capacity building initiatives across four pillars of People, Systems, Strategy, and Efficiencies. Focusing on an approach grounded in the key elements of trust, time and tenacity, the report shares both quantitative and qualitative outcomes so far, along with highlighting emerging areas of longer term impact as communities have come together to collaboratively navigate local challenges and develop sustainable strategies for the future.
Submission to the Independent Review of Commonwealth Disaster Funding
FRRR appreciates the opportunity to make a submission to the Independent Review of Disaster Funding. The Review follows significant government financial support to communities impacted by significant events over the last three years. FRRR welcomes ongoing conversations with the Commonwealth relating to a diversified funding model that facilitates a greater diversity, balance, geographic spread, flexibility, and tenure of support to community-based organisations that play a critical role in reducing risk in communities across Australia.
New National Drought Agreement Review: FRRR Submission
FRRR welcomed the opportunity to make this submission to the Australian Government regarding the National Drought Agreement (NDA) Review, as a follow on from earlier public consultation in mid-2022.
The National Drought Agreement is the Australian Government policy document that underpins all drought support across the drought cycle.
Future Drought Fund: Response to the Productivity Commission Inquiry Interim Report
The Productivity Commission released an interim report – Review of Part 3 of the Future Drought Fund Act, inviting further views on the Commission’s initial findings and recommendations on ways to improve the operation and design of the Future Drought Fund (FDF). FRRR welcomed the opportunity to provide input based on our experience with the FDF including evidence of the effectiveness of the programs in supporting drought resilience for communities; and recommendations and considerations for the future of the program.
Impacts of Creative Recovery Report
Creative Recovery Network and FRRR partnered to investigate the valuable role that creative projects and processes play when communities are recovering from disaster or other significant climate impacts. This study investigated the impact-legacy of five FRRR funded creative recovery programs to determine their long-term outcomes and impacts. The research found that creative recovery projects have a a marked impact on lasting social capital and connection whilst permanently strengthening complex and comprehensive partnerships for both creative practise and disaster management processes.
Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity in Regional NSW: Community Insights Report
Commencing in early 2021, Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity in Regional NSW (INFPC) was a place-based program designed and delivered by FRRR that ran in three communities affected by the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires – Bega Valley, Glen Innes, and Taree and Wingham. Funded by Paul Ramsay Foundation, INFPC’s primary aim was to support the capacity of local grassroots organisations, helping them to respond and recover in the face of challenges and disruptions. This Community Insights Report captures our shared learnings and the future priorities and opportunities identified, for communities, their supporters, and interested donor partners.
Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience: Program Implementation and Learnings
In February 2021, FRRR was awarded $3,750,000 to deliver the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Networks to Build Drought Resilience program. In total, the 87 community groups that completed their projects undertook 791 activities and reached 37,841 participants. The real legacy however lies in the networks that were created or strengthened and in the skills and knowledge gained by the participants. This report reflects on the implementation and outcomes of the program.
Future Drought Fund: Submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry
In 2023, the Productivity Commission invited submissions to the inquiry into the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of Part 3 of the Future Drought Fund (FDF) Act 2019, which covers the processes for allocating funding to activities that support drought resilience.
Our submission provides a summary of FRRR’s experience with the FDF including evidence of the effectiveness of the programs in supporting drought resilience for communities; and recommendations and considerations for the future of the program.
Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Resilience Inquiry
The Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Resilience was appointed in November 2022 to inquire into Australia’s preparedness, response and recovery workforce models, as well as alternative models to disaster recovery.
FRRR’s expertise is in supporting the needs and aspirations of remote, rural and regional communities across Australia. Consequently, FRRR’s submission to this Inquiry is focused on the vital and often under-resourced preparedness and long-term recovery roles played by community organisation.
Submission to the Measuring what Matters consultations
In 2022, Treasury invited submissions to the Measuring what matters consultation process, seeking to better understand the Australian economy and society while informing policy making.
Our submission covers four key points that we believe should inform the development of a Wellbeing Framework to help move away from purely economic indicators toward a broader assessment of wellbeing, equality and progress in Australia.
Response to Pride of Place: Senate Standing Committee Inquiry into the future of Regional Australia
It is with optimism and deep interest that FRRR noted the release of Pride of Place: Inquiry into the future of Regional Australia. FRRR is broadly supportive of the recommendations and findings of Pride of Place, but they are just one piece of the puzzle for the sustained improvement of remote, rural and regional Australia. In this response, we share our learnings and reflect the voice of our communities to help build an even better solution.
In September 2021, FRRR commissioned the Heartbeat of Rural Australia study, exploring how not-for-profits and community groups in remote, rural and regional Australia are faring, in the wake of nearly two years of constant disruptions. The study was undertaken through The Xfactor Collective Foundation, by specialist member Survey Matters.
It is FRRR’s firm belief that access to reliable telecommunications in remote, rural and regional Australia is fundamental for communities to thrive. As an organisation that operates from a regional base and through our daily interactions with these community groups across Australia, FRRR is aware that lack of accessibility and reliability in telecommunication options is common.
Led by FRRR in partnership with Resilience NSW and researchers from the University of Sydney, the ‘Get Ready Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) pilots project’ worked with three diverse NSW communities to explore how best to ensure that rural communities are more disaster resilient and future ready.
Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the 2019/20 Bushfire Response
FRRR has made a submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committees’ inquiry into lessons to be learned in relation to the preparation and planning for, response to and recovery efforts following the 2019-20 bushfire season.
In reviewing close to 800 grant applications across rural, regional and remote Australia per year, FRRR is able to see first-hand the innovative proposals presented by these communities in seeking to address mental health and wellbeing challenges in their communities.
‘The arts’ come in many guises and play diverse roles in remote, rural and regional communities. To explore this, FRRR received support from the H&L Hecht Trust to undertake a project known as Art Resides Here. Authentic community voices and stories from five Victorian communities have been captured by Julie Millowick, photographer, photo-journalist and creative producer. Each community has engaged with the arts in a different way and for different purposes, and each has been supported by FRRR to deliver arts-based projects. Community leaders shared these stories at Artlands Victoria in October 2018.
In August 2017, FRRR had the opportunity to contribute to an independent review of rural, regional and remote education, with recommendations to be put forward to Government. This report is a summary of our submission to the Review. The final report is now available here.
In August 2017, FRRR had the opportunity to submit a response to the Tax Deductible Gift Recipient Reform Opportunities discussion paper in an effort to create a simpler and more accessible system to enable the charitable and philanthropic sectors to grow and continue to support a more prosperous and equitable nation..
Disaster Resilient: Future Ready July 2017
FRRR and our partners are working on a project to help communities better prepare for disasters, and be more resilient should they eventuate.
Impact Report 2000-2016
This Report, which has been compiled with the generous support of the Sidney Myer Fund, provides an
overview of the grant making activity that FRRR undertook from the time of its establishment until
The lasting impacts: Pratt Foundation FRRR water projects
FRRR began partnering with the Pratt Foundation in 2002 to realise the vision, held by the late Richard Pratt, for more efficient water use and healthier ecosystems in Australia.
There were thirty community projects funded through this partnership and this report revisits five of them which reflect the diverse size and scale of funding, and to explore the legacy of targeting grants at community-led water projects.
Leadership Programs for and in Rural, Regional and Remote Australia
This report explores the leadership programs in, and for, rural, regional and remote community leaders. It highlights available programs, as well as gaps and opportunities.
Lessons in Disaster Recovery: Learning from FRRR’s response to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires
This is a summary of an independent review of our collective response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires commissioned in late 2011. The review of the outputs and outcomes of the twenty-one member philanthropic partnership was conducted by Helen Morris, thanks to a grant from Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.
Evaluation of Performance Over the First Ten Years and the Contribution FRRR Makes to Rural and Regional Australia
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) distributed more than $25 million in grants over its first ten years. During this period, FRRR has demonstrated strengths in the effectiveness, efficiency and reach of its programs as this evaluation attests.
Rural Education Program, Third Report 2008
When Rural Education Program (REP) began in 2003 it was meant to run for two years, to assist children during the drought. Such a short time ago, we believed that droughts came and went, and that REP would only be needed during the (then) current drought. We now know that drought is likely to be the normal condition of many parts of Australia and there will be continuing effects on the education of rural children.
This report explores the leadership Since the Rural Education Program (REP) was established in 2002, the six Founding Donors have personally donated and attracted other donors to FRRR through REP for almost ten years now, to a variety of organisations to improve the opportunities for children in the bush. Some of the program’s achievements are summarised within this document.
Rural Education Program, Second Report 2004 -2006
Rural Education Program (REP) was established in 2002, as a program of Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, by private donors as a short-term response to their concerns about the effect of drought on children living in rural and remote areas of Australia. Some of the program’s achievements are summarised within this document.
Rural Education Program, First Report 2003 -2004
The Rural Education Program (REP) seeks to ensure that quality education remains accessible to children in rural and remote communities regardless of weather and financial adversity. Through collaboration with local agencies and sponsored partnerships with individuals and corporations, the REF will be able to extend the educational resources and individualised learning support that rural students need and deserve.