Message from the Chairman
As different parts of the country faced different challenges, the need for grant support remained and our team stepped up, despite many experiencing the effects of pandemic lockdowns. For our predominantly Victorian-based team, they assessed and made recommendations to the Board on which projects to support, despite enduring the toughest COVID restrictions of anywhere in Australia. I thank them most sincerely for their efforts, especially when many were home-schooling or caring for others alongside their day jobs. I particularly acknowledge the strength and skills of our CEO, Natalie Egleton, and her leadership team, who have once again shepherded the organisation through a challenging period.
I also thank FRRR’s donor partners and supporters for continuing to put your trust and faith in our organisation to ensure that funds reach communities that need it most. Your ongoing support, including the way in which you collectively stepped up to help us achieve co-funding goals around drought resilience funding, in addition to contributing to FRRR’s flood appeal, are particularly appreciated. I also thank the private donor who generously contributed to the operational costs of the organisation. This kind of investment means that we can focus our core funding, and efforts, on supporting more communities.
Thank you too, to my fellow directors, especially Anne Grindrod, Deputy Chair, and Directors who also chair our various Program Assessment Committees. I also acknowledge Fred Grimwade, the chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, and Ian Allen AM, a long-standing director, both of whom retired from the Board this reporting year. They both made an enormous contribution during their combined 31 years of service, and their active support of FRRR has been greatly appreciated. I welcome James Flintoft and Georgie Somerset AM to the Board and know that they will both make an excellent contribution.
In closing, I note the passing of our esteemed Patron, Sidney Baillieu Myer AC, in February 2022. Bails was the key instigator in the formation of FRRR, broaching the idea with our fellow Patron, Hon John Anderson AC, and being instrumental in Hon John Howard OM AC announcing FRRR’s formation during the 1999 Regional Australia Summit. He leaves an extraordinary legacy in the many organisations he supported, including ours, and personally, I feel privileged to have known him and worked with him.
I trust that you will enjoy reading this review, including exploring some of the wonderful projects we supported this year thanks to our collaborative efforts.
Tim Fairfax AC
On Turrbal and Jagera Country
In every action, FRRR seeks to further our vision – in our grant-making to not-for-profit organisations, conduit funding partnerships, insights, choice of investments, and choice of donor partners. We acknowledge the tensions that exist in the social, economic, cultural, and environmental opportunities and threats to remote, rural, and regional communities. We act with ethical exclusions, and positive screens – and take steps to consider and articulate how each of our choices contributes to positive social, environmental, cultural, and economic change across remote, rural, and regional Australia.
The FRRR Board is ultimately accountable for FRRR’s activities and plays a critical role in guiding and providing oversight. At each quarterly meeting, the Board reviews the performance of the organisation, approves grants and provides strategic oversight.
FRRR’s Directors share a passionate belief in the critical role that remote, rural and regional Australia plays in the prosperity of Australia and each brings different skills and expertise to the table in this important voluntary role.
Our Board and Patrons
The Foundation acknowledges His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC as our Patron in Chief. We also record our appreciation of the ongoing support of Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC, Bill Kelty AC and Hon John Anderson AC as Patrons.
Thank you to our Committee Members and Volunteers
Behind the scenes, there are many people who willingly volunteer their time and expertise to participate in our Program Advisory Committees. Each committee is led by an FRRR Director and performs an important governance function to ensure that the FRRR Board has confidence in programmatic reach, engagement and impact, and in decisions on grant distributions.
In addition to advising on the appropriateness of recommended grants and supporting the evaluation of programs, members contribute insights that assist in strengthening the rigour, relevance, and effectiveness of our programs.
Each of the people below brings an independent perspective and critique, and we thank them for their voluntary support and ongoing commitment to vibrant rural communities.