Eight years on, grants still supporting recovery from Black Saturday

Media releases: 23 February 2017

Bendigo, 23 February 2017: Today 24 community groups impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires received funding to support the community needs that continue to emerge post the devastating disaster.

Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, these community groups will share in $344,856 across two grant programs to implement their locally led projects.

  • Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) will fund 15 community groups, sharing in $254,634, to implement their local projects. To date, the GR&W program has funded 111 projects to a total value of $1,413,705.16  
  • Community Group Futures (CGF) program will fund $90,222 across nine community groups. To date, CGF has funded 24 projects, valued at $286,004.

Rebuilding a community after a natural disaster takes many years. This month marks the eighth anniversary of the Black Saturday fires and the impacts are still being felt.

FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that the projects being supported via the GR&W and CGF programs reflect the need to facilitate long term recovery and to continue to build resilience through community identified solutions to support all parts of the community.

“Recovery takes time and while immediate support is vital, the ongoing demand for this support reinforces the need for people wanting to help in situations like the recent NSW fires to consider putting some funds toward long-term support programs.

“From our work with communities affected by the 2009 fires, we know that it’s been a tough journey and there are still challenges. Together with our donors, FRRR continues to support the impacted communities through the rebuilding and recovery process,” Ms Egleton said.

The Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) program recognises that an important part of community recovery is having opportunities to connect, share experiences, enhance individual and community wellbeing and resilience. This round, there was a common theme of strengthening community connectedness through local events, and a strong focus on supporting students of all ages through skills development, raising self-esteem and school preparation. 

The Community Group Futures (CGF) program is designed to help community groups experiencing operational and service delivery challenges post the bushfires, helping them look forward and build their sustainability, viability, capability and capacity. The most common projects funded this round were solar panel installation to reduce energy costs, paid positions to increase community engagement and participation, and developing strategies for long-term viability in the community.

Ms Egleton noted that there is still funding available for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

The projects funded in this round are detailed below:

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) – Round 10 recipients





Bendigo Baptist Community Care Inc.

MADCOW (Make A Difference Change Our World) Community Garden – Bike Butcher

Support and empower disadvantaged and disengaged young people via the MADCOW Community Garden Bike Butcher project, an educational bike, scooter and skateboard workshop program. The GR&W grant will fit out a 40ft shipping container for the project to operate.



CFA – Arthurs Creek / Strathewen

Strathewen Fire Education Partnership

Engaging Strathewen Primary School students in Grade 5 & 6 in a fire and country education program, culminating in the creation of a story book to present to the local community, and a DVD documenting the process for wider distribution.



CIRE Services Inc.

Bringing Up Great Kids

Supporting respectful, caring and nurturing relationships for parents and carers of 0-6 year old children, through a suite of free parenting programs.

Yarra Junction


Clonbinane Community Action Group

A More Resilient Clonbinane

Addressing a priority item from the newly developed Clonbinane Neighbourhood Emergency Plan, by purchasing and installing a 55Kva Diesel Generator at the Community Hall.



Continuing Education & Arts Centre Alexandra Inc

90 Up: Living Links to Alexandra and District’s Past

Celebrating the stories of resilience shaped by disaster and adversity of Alexandra and District residents who are 90+ years of age, via an oral history project will capture, record.



Dixons Creek Landcare Group

Dixons Creek School Walking Track

Improving community connectedness to the Community Safe Area by construction a 1.5km walking track between the Dixon’s Creek Primary School and Dixon’s Creek Reserve.

Dixons Creek


Ellimatta Inc.

A Bright and Positive Future for Youth

Ensuring high quality youth services continue to be offered to the Kinglake Ranges through a multi-year grant to fund the Youth Development Officer and Executive Officer wages for three more years. FRRR funding is matched by Kinglake Ranges Foundation (VBAF) and project costs by Kinglake Rotary. Funding will be staged over three years to facilitate building sustainable business and funding strategies.



Glenburn Hall and Progress Assoc. Inc.

Glenburn Growth – Fly Screens and Refrigeration

Support volunteers and enhance community cohesion, by installing new refrigeration to store food and screen doors and windows for better ventilation to make community meetings more comfortable.



Healesville Living & Learning Centre Inc.

Bush Works

Supporting local bush knowledge and bushfire preparedness through a practical, all ages program of up-cycling bush materials into furniture and creation of ‘found object’ art.



Marysville Motoring Expo Inc

Marysville Motoring Expo

Encouraging social and economic recovery post the Black Saturday Bushfires by supporting the three-day Motoring Expo community event.



Mirboo North Primary School

Provision of a Disabled/Universal Toilet Facility for Community Use                     

Supporting community cohesion and community resilience by upgrading the Primary School toilet facility to universal/ disabled functionality for the numerous local groups that access the school facilities.

Mirboo North


Rotary Club of Alexandra

Sesqui Alexandra

Building a strong sense of place and contributing to economic recovery by engaging the community to co-create a one-day event to celebrate the sesquicentenary of Alexandra.



Toolangi District Community House Inc.

KEYS – Kinglake Early Years

Support for local families to get children school-ready by researching and documenting family engagement in early childhood services in the Kinglake Ranges district.



Yarra Glen Living & Learning Centre

Centre Community Edible Food Garden  

To aid ongoing recovery from the bushfires, a self-managed edible garden will be established.

Yarra Glen


Yarram Community Emergency Planning Committee (Yarram & District Traders & Tourism Inc.)

Yarram & District Emergency Registration Point

Educating district communities on the Emergency Registration Point in Yarram, by developing and disseminating an information brochure to communicate actions to take in an emergency.



Community Group Futures (CGF) – Round 3 recipients:





Boolarra Men’s Shed Inc.

Purchases of Computer

Improve communication and connectedness of the Men’s Shed members by purchasing a desktop computer and lessons in IT.



Broadford Living and Learning Centre (Mitchell Shire Council)

Community Engagement Officer Broadford Living and Learning Centre

Build capacity and increase community ownership and participation through a community engagement strategy for the new Community Centre for Broadford.



Churchill and District Community Assoc.

Burned Out and Burnt Out  

Minimise volunteer fatigue and recruit new members to the Churchill District Community Association (CDCA) with the assistance of a consultant to engage with local community groups and individuals to build wider ownership.



Flowerdale Community House Inc.

Improving Flowerdale’s Operational Capability

Improve and build operational capability, with the support of a paid employee to develop financial management, reporting and compliance policies and procedures for Flowerdale Community House, Flowerdale Landcare, and Flowerdale Men’s Shed.



Glenburn Hall and Progress Assoc. Inc.

Glenburn Growth Project                           

Lower the energy costs to improve operational capital by purchasing and installing 4.5kw solar panel on the roof of the Glenburn Hall.



Happy Valley Hall

Shining the Light on Sustainability         

Reduce ongoing energy costs for funds to be redirected to other community activities by purchasing and installing a 3.9kw solar panel.



Quercus Beechworth

Connecting Beechworth

Increase the connectivity, cohesion and resilience of the community through a collaborative project to analyse, develop and implement a town-wide communication strategy.



Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

Governance Training                                    

Supporting existing members of the Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges to effectively fulfil their responsibilities by running Governance training.



Women’s Health Goulburn North East

Learning From Lessons in Disaster             

Engage with partner groups to be disaster prepared and resilient by co-design a ‘train the trainer’ program to deliver Gender in Disaster education.