New South Wales

New South Wales received the most funding support both proportionally (37%) and in dollar terms ($7.3M). The Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program accounted for 21% of the distributions, with more than $1.5M awarded to support the capacity building of not-for-profits in six specific communities. A further $837,152 was paid out through grant programs targeted specifically to NSW communities (Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity; COVID Regional Community Support; and the Yulgilbar Foundation Fund), and $1.125M was distributed to community-led projects and community foundations via the fundraising accounts they held with FRRR.



Strengthening Rural Communities | Firefight Australia Fund | $25,000

Creativity rises from the ashes in Mooral Creek

On Biripi Country

The small NSW community of Mooral Creek was devastated by the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires. So the Mooral Creek Hall & Progress Association Committee was determined to find a way for people to come together to support one another and to heal.

Using a $25,000 SRC grant funded by the Fire Fight Australia Fund, they organised Creative Spark – an arts project designed to encourage creative expression and develop confidence and skills. Despite local flooding and COVID restrictions, they arranged 14 different workshops – from dance and painting, to photography and music – running at least 55 sessions. More than 75 community members and 11 local facilitators participated at least once, with many others involved in different ways. The project culminated in an uplifting Showcase event that celebrated the community’s collective achievements.

The benefits were far-reaching and assisted the community to work through the trauma and experiences of living through the bushfires. The breadth of arts activities and incredible scope of the project created a vibrant energy in the community. Several activities have even continued throughout 2022 – evidence of their impact and benefit.

Strengthening Rural Communities | Jeunesse Kids Foundation | $15,000

Ngulla connects community

On Ngarigo Country

A truly collaborative approach to resilience and strengthening intergenerational connections emerged in Bombala, NSW during COVID. With drought and bushfires impacting their community, the local Preschool saw an opportunity to collaborate with three other schools and 11 associated organisations to create and maintain a community-based urban and Indigenous agriculture project and recovery program, known as Ngulla (plant-based food in the language of the Ngarigo region).

With lots of hard work from the Project Manager, Cultural Advisor, students, teachers and volunteers (often hand-in-hand with preschoolers), they made amazing progress on the community space, despite being severely hampered by COVID restrictions. They even showed it off to Costa Georgiadis, host of ABC Gardening Australia, who participated in a day of site tours, recovery and sustainability themed workshops, and a panel discussion.

“The project’s initiation has been viewed a considerable success with construction activities, social / cultural events, seasonal planting and systems-integration unfolding ahead of schedule and beyond the standard expected in the drafting of the project.”

Daniel Bakker, Project Manager, Bombala Preschool

Strengthening Rural Communities | Private Donor | $25,000

TenterLIFE offering support and reducing stigma

On Ngarabal Country

A suicide prevention network in the drought, fire and COVID-affected community of Tenterfield in northern NSW, has used a $25,000 SRC grant, funded by a private donor, to support their work to connect the community and reduce stigma.

Through a series of community events, including walks, shared meals and sing-alongs, and offering mental health first-aid training, they are reducing stigma about suicide and encouraging people to speak up and reach out.

“These events instil a sense of belonging for community members. Knowing someone cares can provide relief for a person who may be suicidal. Giving voice to their thoughts and expressing their feelings aloud, knowing someone is there to listen, can be truly lifesaving. Isolation or feeling alone can also increase suicidal tendencies, while connection with another person can have the reverse affect,” said Lexie Sherren, Chairperson of TenterLIFE Suicide Prevention Network.