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

FRRR Board
Pictured L-R: Hon Simon Crean, Andrew McKenzie JP, Annie Grinrod, Sue Middleton, Tim Fairfax AC, Hon John Sharp, Georgie Somerset AM, Annabel F. White, Natalie Egleton. Absent: Bruce Scott OAM, James Flintoft, Patrick Myer and Paddy Handbury.
  • Tim Fairfax AC – Chairman
  • Annie Grinrod – Deputy Chairman, Chair, Nominations & Appointments Committee
  • Patrick Myer – Myer Family representative
  • Dr Rachel Bacon – Australian Government representative
  • Paddy Handbury
  • Annabel White
  • Bruce Scott OAM
  • Sue Middleton
  • Andrew McKenzie JP
  • Hon Simon Crean
  • John Sharp AM
  • James Flintoff (from Nov 21)
  • Georgie Somerset AM (from June 22)
  • Ian Allen AM (until Feb 22)
  • Fred Grimwade (until Feb 22)

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

Heywire Assessment Committee

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.

  • The Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC, FRRR Patron
  • Ajay Williams, ABC Heywire Alumnus
  • Allan Cameron, Gardiner Dairy Foundation
  • Alyssa Duncan, ABC Heywire Alumnus
  • Amabel Grinter, Gardiner Dairy Foundation
  • Amanda Leck GAICD (formerly) Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience
  • Andrea Gordon, Community Representative
  • Andrew Coghlan, Red Cross
  • Ann Kelly, Community Representative
  • Anne-Louise Lindner, Inspector General for Emergency Management
  • Assoc Prof Ben Lyons, University of Southern Queensland
  • Benjamin Barrett, ANZ Volunteer
  • Bronte Gorringe, ANZ Volunteer
  • Bryony Callander, ANZ Volunteer
  • Carissa Buckland, Nutrien Ag Solutions
  • Cath Stewart, Suncorp
  • Charles Thomas, National Farmers Federation
  • Christine Aughey, Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment
  • Christopher Bright, ANZ Volunteer
  • Connor Harris, ABC Heywire Alumnus
  • David Hardie, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
  • David Richards, ANZ Volunteer
  • Debra Morgan, Helen Macpherson Smith Trust
  • Donna Digby, Northern Territory Government
  • Dr Janice Hirshorn, Donor Partner
  • Assoc Prof Ben Lyons, University of Southern Queensland
  • Dr Karyn Bosomworth, Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation
  • Ella Jayne Credlin, ANZ Volunteer
  • Fleur Anderson, Community Representative
  • Georgina Byron, Snow Foundation
  • Geraldine Roche, Sally Foundation
  • Gina Fairfax, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation
  • Glenn Cox, ANZ Volunteer
  • Ian Allen OAM, Community Representative
  • Imogen Archer, ABC Heywire
  • James Flintoft, Member Finance & Audit Committee
  • James McKeefry, ANZ Volunteer
  • Jane Thomas, Sidney Myer Foundation
  • Jason Hunt, ANZ Volunteer
  • Jenefer Stewart, ANZ
  • Jenny Wheatley, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
  • Jeremy Yipp, CCI Giving
  • Joe Kenny, ANZ Volunteer
  • Jonathan Atkins, ABC Heywire
  • Josh Kelland, Suncorp
  • Karly Pidgeon, Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
  • Kate Burke, Think Agri
  • Kelvin Wise, Resilience NSW
  • Kirra Hampson, ABC Heywire Alumnus
  • Lauren Collier, Suncorp
  • Linda Norquay, Lachlan & Sarah Murdoch Foundation
  • Maddison Fogarty, ABC Heywire Alumnus
  • Maree Shelmerdine, Sidney Myer Fund
  • Margaret Smith AO, Community Representative
  • Margot Beach, Dusseldorp Forum
  • Mary Lyons-Buckett, StreetConnect
  • Megan Snaidero, ANZ Volunteer
  • Melissa Currie, ANZ
  • Melissa Hamilton, Aboriginal Affairs
  • NSW Nicole Engelman, MaiTri Foundation
  • Nina Braid, Yarra Valley Water
  • Penny Fowler, News Corp Australia
  • Phillip Black, ANZ Volunteer
  • Pravin Madhanagopal, Suncorp
  • Prue Pateras, Donor Partner
  • Rachel Au, ANZ Volunteer
  • Rachel Bangoura, Resilience NSW
  • Rachel Kerry, Cages Foundation
  • Renae Bice, ANZ Volunteer
  • Richard Meredith, Gardiner Dairy Foundation
  • Sallyanne McInnes, Suncorp
  • Sam Lonard, Department of Families, Fairness and Housing Victoria
  • Shelley Nolan, Nutrien Ag Solutions
  • Silvia Shamir, ANZ
  • Steve Cameron, Emergency Management Victoria
  • Tan Lanagan, ANZ Volunteer
  • Teresa Haywood, ANZ Volunteer
  • Tim Eyes, The Food Farm
  • Zoe Butt, ANZ Volunteer