Small & Vital grants strengthen Australia’s rural, regional and remote communities

Media releases: 17 June 2019

Bendigo, 17 June 2019: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), in collaboration with a number of donor partners, is supporting 46 inspirational projects from around Australia with a share of $342,620 in the first distribution of its Strengthening Rural Communities – Small & Vital grants program.

Koyuga Hall

This inaugural round of the quarterly program saw significant demand for support, with 178 applications requesting close to $1.3 million. Successful applicants are spread from remote Thursday Island in Queensland, to the village of Burren Junction in NSW, Mataranka in the NT, Leonora in the WA Goldfields, and down to Tasmania’s King Island and the wheatbelt town of Murtoa in Victoria.

“It’s testimony to the breadth of projects that Strengthening Rural Communities is able to fund that we received so many applications,” explained Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR.

“Australians in rural, regional and remote locations are facing significant challenges at the moment, especially off the back of drought, natural disasters and the range of issues that stem from these conditions, so it’s not surprising that most of the organisations are applying for grants to bolster their capacity in order to better support the local community.

“We often say that the Strengthening Rural Communities program can fund just about anything, including the kitchen sink – and I’m very happy to say that five projects will indeed be using their funds for kitchen upgrades,” said FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton.

“All jokes aside, the impact of something like a kitchen upgrade can be significant in a rural community. It can help attract more people to events, create new income sources for the community – or mean a little bit of comfort in the event that a community facility is used as a place of refuge in a natural disaster.

“The next most in-demand area was for building community resilience, with a number of applications specifically seeking to address loneliness and mental wellbeing among isolated populations – again, not something surprising given the ongoing pressures in rural communities.”

Full details of the projects funded can be found below, but some examples include:

  • Careflight Limited – $7,333, NSW – Support skill development and confidence of volunteer first responders in Tocumwal by facilitating an eight-hour Trauma Care Workshop run by highly skilled medical professionals.
  • Indigenous Remote Communications Association Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation – $7,500, Qld – Build Indigenous archiving skills for the preservation of ageing media through the delivery of a three-day workshop at the 20th Remote Indigenous Media Festival.
  • Murtoa Stick Shed Committee of Management – $9,918, Vic – Contribute to a culturally vibrant community through the purchase of equipment to deliver a sound, light and projection spectacular event to be presented in the Shed during the Murtoa Big Weekend in October, 2019.
  • Port Neill War Memorial Hall – $6,883, SA – Building community resilience by investing in community infrastructure through carrying out repairs to the Hall’s stone wall.
  • Roper River Landcare Group Inc – $10,000, NT – Acting on environmental challenges by building the capacity of land managers and traditional owners in the Roper region to engage in sustainable land management practices.
  • Boyup Brook Community Resource Centre Inc – $4,419, WA – Promoting individual and community health and social wellbeing by improving the strength, balance, flexibility and general health of community members aged 50+.
  • Circular Head Council – $10,000, Tas – Contributing to a culturally vibrant community by holding a month-long celebration of local arts and culture.

This round of Strengthening Rural Communities – Small and Vital was collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors including: Sidney Myer Fund, Kapikarnpi Community Fund, Australia Post, The William Buckland Foundation, The Yulgilbar Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts, The Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, Portland House Foundation, Third Link Investment Managers, Bertalli Family Foundation, Perpetual Foundation: Julian Flett Endowment, Hannaford, David Mactaggart Foundation, and various Friends of FRRR.

FRRR welcomes additional contributions to this ongoing grant program, the next round of applications for which close on 25 June.

Jump to your state:  NSW | NT | QLD | VIC | SA | TAS | WA

Organisation Project Location $ Awarded


Araluen Progress Association Incorporated Araluen Federal Hall Restoration Project
Facilitate strong community cohesion through the repair of the Araluen Hall floor so that it can continued to be used for weddings, wakes, meetings, film and musical evenings, training sessions, yoga classes, and the like.


Behind the Seen
San Remo Neighbourhood Centre Incorporated
Stress Less Conversations
Strengthen the capacity of Behind the Seen to deliver their Stress Less Conversation packs via eight workshops and conduct an evaluation of the workshops.
San Remo


Braidwood Life Centre Community Eating Together
Promote individual and community health and social cohesion through weekly cooking workshops, the creation of a small garden and the distribution of a simple, healthy eating cookbook.


Burren Junction Parents & Citizens Association Burren Junction Public School’s Creative Extravaganza
Reduce social isolation and advance artistic educational opportunities by performing an all-school play for the entire community at the newly renovated community Hall.
Burren Junction


Burringbar School of Arts Installation of Stainless Steel Canopy Rangehood with Galvanised Ducting, Light and Stainless Steel Splashback
Support the ongoing use of an important community Hall through the purchase and installation of a rangehood in its commercial kitchen.


Careflight Limited CareFlight MediSim Trauma Care Workshop
Support skill development and confidence of volunteer first responders in Tocumwal by facilitating an eight-hour Trauma Care Workshop run by highly skilled medical professionals.


Evans Head Business & Community Chamber Computer Equipment
Develop organisational capacity through the purchase of a computer, software and printer to facilitate Chamber projects.
Evans Head


Stuarts Point Preschool Association Incorporated Community transport
Enable access to preschool education through the purchase of a 12-seater bus for disadvantaged children.
Stuarts Point


Yenda Public School P&C Association Continuation and Improvement of Yenda Public School’s Music Program
Support the musical education of students at Yenda Public School through the purchase of guitars, ukuleles, and preserve the long-term future of the instruments through the purchase and installation of an air conditioner for their storage unit.



Junior Police Rangers Land Association Staying Cool in the Top End – Ice machine for Goanna Park
Increase health and improve safety of community camp groups, through the provision of an ice-making machine at a community campsite.


Roper River Landcare Group Inc. Building Capacity of Land Managers and Traditional Owners in the Roper Region to Engage in Sustainable Land Management
Build knowledge and capacity of local land managers to deliver sustainable environmental stewardship through the hosting of two field day workshops and on-ground activities.



Atherton Performing Arts Inc Wow Forty Years Celebration of the Atherton Performing Arts 1979 to 2019
Increase participation in quality artistic experience via the purchase of an air conditioner and laptop with the works completed in time for the anniversary performance.


Ayr Surf Lifesaving Club Inc Windows to the World at ALVA
Promote the ongoing use of a vital community asset through replacing deteriorated windows, louvres and a door at the Ayr Surf Lifesaving Club.


Babinda Harvest Fest Inc Babinda Harvest Festival Incorporation
Build community resilience through the purchase of a free-standing, portable, industrial marquee for the Babinda Heritage Festival and other community events.


Burrum District Community Men’s Shed Inc Construction of an All Weather Carpark
Encourage social inclusion for isolated seniors in Howard through the construction of an all-weather carpark at the Burrum District Community Men’s Shed.


Far North Community College Ltd Digital Tech for Seniors
Reduce social isolation through technological skill development of seniors in the Malanda, Port Douglas & Kuranda regions, enabling online communication with family and friends.


Indigenous Remote Communications Association Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation Building Indigenous Archiving Skills for Preserving Language and Culture: Archiving Skills Workshop at the 20th Remote Indigenous Media Festival
Build Indigenous archiving skills for the preservation of ageing media through delivery of a three-day workshop at the 20th Remote Indigenous Media Festival.
Thursday Island


Theodore Early Childhood Centre Association Inc. Bike Track Shade Shelter
Enable sun-safe, early education through the purchase and installation of two shade umbrellas for the Theodore Early Childhood Centre Association bike track.



Mid Murray Landcare SA Inc Supporting Our Community Through Upgrading Facilities at Meldanda
Strengthen organisational resilience and capacity through an upgrade of amenities at Meldanda, an environmental education facility owned by the local school and managed by Mid Murray Landcare SA.


Port Neill War Memorial Hall The Hall Wall
Improve community infrastructure that generates town pride and builds community connectivity by conducting repairs at the Port Neill War Memorial Hall.
Port Neill


The Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia in the Diocese of Willochra Inc Encouraging Fitness for the Residents of The Willochra Home and the community of Crystal Brook
Build local capacity to support the physical health and social well-being of residents of an aged care facility through the installation of outdoor exercise equipment.
Crystal Brook


Western United (SYP) Sports Club Inc Keep Calm and Upgrade your Kitchen Dishwashing Area!
Improve the amenity and the long-term sustainability of the Western United (SYP) Sports Club, through an upgrade of kitchen equipment to meet OH&S standards.



Circular Head Council Art About Town
Strengthen local engagement, capacity and connectivity through delivery of a month-long program of arts and cultural events.
Circular Head


George Town Neighbourhood House Inc Project Manager
Strengthen organisational and community resilience through the contracting of a communications / engagement project officer.
George Town


King Island Childcare and Early Learning Centre Inc Educating the Future of King Island
Support children’s educational outcomes and wellbeing through the purchase of equipment for the King Island Childcare and Early Learning Centre.
King Island



Castlemaine Primary School Castlemaine Primary School Writer Residency Program
Improve language development outcomes of students at Castlemaine Primary School by delivering a creative writing program across years three to six.


Improve health and well-being outcomes for young people in the Hamilton region through the provision of on-line drug education resources.


Donald Kindergarten Inc Donald Children’s Centre – Sensory Play area Project
Improve educational outcomes for children attending kindergarten programs through the purchase of new play equipment.


Gannawarra Shire Council The Whale’s Tale Theatre production
Improve educational outcomes and enhance environmental awareness by presenting performances of The Whale’s Tale to primary school students in Kerang and Cohuna.
Kerang, Cohuna


Moorngag Public Hall and Recreation Reserve Kitchen Equipment and Toilet Amenity Refurbishment
Improve the amenity of the Moorngag Public Hall by purchasing and installing a commercial refrigerator, an air conditioning unit and refurbishing a toilet.


Murrabit Playgroup Inc Reconnecting with Murrabit Playgroup – Enhancing Social Engagement and Utilisation of Murrabit Playgroup
Improve the educational and social outcomes of children and families participating in the local playgroup by upgrading the amenity of the building used for the program.


Murtoa Stick Shed Committee of Management Stick Shed – Reimagined
Strengthen cultural and economic vibrancy through the development of a performance event to be held at a local heritage listed site.


Nhill College School Council Sun Smart Shady Outdoor Classroom Learning and Sandpit Play
Improve educational, health and social outcomes for students at Nhill College through the purchase and installation of a shade sail in the playground.


Speewa Heritage Collectors Club Inc Window Insulation
Strengthen community resilience by upgrading the amenity of the Speewa Hall through the installation of internal blinds.


View Street Public Hall Committee New Roof for the ‘West End Hall’ in Castlemaine
Strengthen community connectivity and engagement by replacing the roof of a well-used local hall in Castlemaine.


Wangaratta Community Toy Library Early Learning for Rural Minds
Support improved educational outcomes for children aged 0 to 6 years through the acquisition of new resources for the local toy library.


Woorinen District Progress Association Inc Verandah Out the Back
Strengthen community connectivity and resilience by improving the internal climate control at the local Hall with the addition of a north-west facing verandah.


Wycheproof & District Historical Society Preserving the Past, Celebrating the Present, Informing the Future
Strengthen community identity and engagement with local history through an upgrade of storage and display capacity at the Wycheproof museum.



Boyup Brook Community Resource Centre Inc Seniors Exercise and Activity (SEA) Program
Improve cardio-fitness and mobility of elderly community members via a weekly one-hour pilot of Seniors Activity and Exercise Program across one year.
Boyup Brook


Chapman Valley Menshed Inc. Ready for the Next Step
Increase access to the arts in the communities of Chapman Valley, Mt Magnet, Yalgoo, Mingenew and Nabawa with investment in an retractable movie screen, and design and painting of the group’s mobile ‘Shinema’ bus.


Dwellingup Creative
Shire of Murray
Busy Bee – Dwellingup Community Hall
Increase community connection and economic activity through investment in seating, trees, garden beds and earthworks at the community hall, creating an attractive public outdoor space for locals and visitors to enjoy.


Glass Jar Australia Ltd Shooting Stars Cultural Rewards Camps
Increase school attendance and engagement with two rewards-based youth leadership camps for 25 to 30 girls from Leonora District High School.


Lake Grace Artists’ Group Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo
Support access to arts and cultural education for rural school children in remote south eastern WA, through bus hire to attend an interactive arts and science animatronic dinosaur show.
Lake Grace


Ngangganawili Aboriginal Community Controlled Health and Medical Services Aboriginal Corporation Provision of Ventilator for Emergency Critical Care
Improve community health service’s ability to treat critically unwell patients and directly save lives through investment in a ventilator.


Quairading Rainmakers Inc Converting Travellers into Foot Traffic
Drive economic activity and enhance community pride through a contribution towards an arresting, large-scale sculpture in the main street.


Wiluna Town Bush Fire Brigade Inc Security Cameras for Wiluna Fire Station
Increase community safety and reduce criminal activity through installation of security cameras at the fire station.