Strengthening Rural Communities program delivers more than $640,000 in grants

Media releases: 16 December 2019

Bendigo, 16 December 2019: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is providing $643,401 in grants to communities across Australia through the third round of its Strengthening Rural Communities program. 

Helping out the Victoria Valley CFA

Grants range from $2,134, for a new hot water service at the Monteagle Hall in the New South Wales South West Slopes, to $25,000 for a range of workshops and community infrastructure projects that enhance community or organisational capacity, particularly in remote communities where the costs are greater.

Most of the grants awarded will go towards developing organisational resilience and capacity, building community resilience or promoting individual and community health and social wellbeing.

Grant recipients are spread from Tibooburra in far northwest NSW, Kowanyama on the western Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Mingenew in the northern Wheatbelt of Western Australia, Coffin Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, Queenstown in Tasmania’s west coast regions and to Tempy in Victoria’s Mallee.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, says that the significant hardship being experienced across NSW and QLD, as a result of prolonged drought, floods and recent bushfires was evident throughout the applications.

“Dedicated community groups are fighting hard to maintain community spirit through difficult times and projects to revitalise community halls, streetscapes and schools are seen as important initiatives to support this.

“In Queensland, some of the grants will go towards infrastructure projects in towns with fewer than 1,000 people to strengthen community and organisational resilience,” Ms Egleton explained. “These relatively simple things, such as shelter, seating and safe play equipment, will make enormous differences to their respective communities. Several projects will seed new initiatives to promote individual wellbeing and enhance community identity.”

The importance of cultural events and festivals to build community engagement and resilience, particularly in smaller communities, was a strong theme, particularly in applications from South Australia.

“These events allow communities to celebrate their local culture and identity and are typically projects that involve many volunteers. These grants will help keep operational costs down, which means community groups can instead focus on ways to improve their offering for visitors,” says Egleton. 

Successful projects include:

  • Bermagui Preschool Cooperative Society Limited – $10,000, NSW: Acting on environmental challenges by supporting the expansion of Moodji Farm, a community education site inspired by Indigenous writer and anthologist, Bruce Pascoe and his critical work Dark Emu, that incorporates ancient Aboriginal agricultural practices and permaculture to regenerate the land and grow Indigenous cultural awareness.
  • The Corner Shop Museum Inc. – $2,250, WA: Contributing to a culturally vibrant community by supporting the full digitisation of the historical records and rich cultural history of the region, including oral accounts. 
  • Puuya Foundation – $25,000, QLD: Building community resilience by developing a new program for parents and carers (Everyday Leaders Development) to support this highly disadvantaged, remote community in Lockhart River. 
  • West Coast Connect Inc – $9,200, TAS: Building economic strength and sustainability by supporting the development of a horticultural training facility on the grounds of the Old Queenstown Hospital. 
  • Coffin Bay Progress Association – $5,914, SA: Building community resilience by upgrading the kitchen facilities and installing eight ceiling fans in the Coffin Bay Hall, encouraging broader use in this remote community.
  • Northern District Community Health (NDCH) – $10,000, VIC: Promoting individual and community health and social wellbeing is vital by purchasing equipment that NDCH requires to deliver the AgriSafe program which aims to improve access to medical treatment for farmers. 

A full list of grant recipients is available below.

Strengthening Rural Communities is collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors including: Australia Post, Aussie Farmers Foundation, The Bertalli Family Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts, Sidney Myer Fund, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Vertel, The Yulgilbar Foundation, Scenic World Shared, Westpac Group, The Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, Baxter Charitable Foundation, The William Buckland Foundation (managed by Equity Trustees), Perpetual Foundation: Julian Flett Endowment, Perpetual Foundation – various donors, Doc Ross Family Foundation, Portland House Foundation, Kapikarnpi Community Fund, Good Thnx, and Private Donors.

This program is always accepting applications, but the next cut-off date for applications to be assessed is 19 December. Expressions of interest (EOI) for the next round of Larger Leverage grants must be received by 4 February 2020, with successful EOI applicants being invited to submit a formal application. All applications for the next round must be received by 24 March 2020 for funds awarded in mid-June 2020. 

Small & Vital





New South Wales

Embassy Arts Incorporated Skills for Life – Sewing 101
Develop textile working skills and micro business capability through five workshops held in Baradine for youth aged 10 to 25.



Bermagui Preschool Cooperative Society Limited Moodji Farm Urban & Indigenous Agriculture Project
Raise environmental and Indigenous awareness and knowledge with practical hands on learning at community permaculture project.



Eden Service and Social Club Inc Marine History of Twofold Bay
Build a stronger local economy and celebrate a historically rich culture through informative educational boards on popular tourist walkway.



The Trustee for Elong Elong Public Hall Land Manager Getting Elong Elong women moving
Improve coping skills, mental and physical health and wellbeing with yoga and mindfulness classes for drought-impacted community.

Elong Elong


The Eleanor Dark Foundation Wheelchair-accessible Writers’ Studio
Promote inclusivity and access to the arts through building an ‘all abilities accessible’ writer’s residency studio.



Monteagle Hall Committee
Hilltops Council
Monteagle Hall- Hot Water Unit
Create community hub and build social connectivity with installation of a new hot water service and revitalisation of Community Hall.



Pius X Aboriginal Corporation Mungindi Outreach Health Week
Improve community health and wellbeing with informal outdoor meeting area at Indigenous owned Community Health Centre.



Poets Out Loud
RealArtworks Inc
Poets Out Loud – Organisational Expansion Phase
Support artistic endeavour and cultural engagement with purchase of PA system and promotional material for spoken word artists.



North Star Parents & Citizens Association Providing an awesome, outdoor eating / learning area for a small, remote and drought affected school community
Improve amenity and environment of school lunch area through concreting outdoor eating area, providing shade and upgrading outdoor tables.

North Star


Quirindi Village Miniature Railway Upgrade of Function Area
Improve amenity and increase capacity to self-fund through improved picnic facilities for self-catered events at Miniature Railway.



Tenterfield and District Community FM Radio Association Inc. Installation of Essential Radio Transmitting Equipment to Service Rural Communities
Improve access to and coverage of local news, community events and emergency warnings with better reception for local radio station.



Tibooburra & District Progress Association Saving our Rainwater!
Support essential infrastructure development with purchase of 9,000 litre tank for community hall.



Warren Community Homes Association Inc Retirement with Dignity Unit 3 renovations
Enable elderly and frail community members to remain independent through renovations in aged care accommodation unit.



Warren Shire Council Keeping Warren Seniors Active
Support improved health and fitness outcomes for aged care and hospital patients, with purchase of two arm-leg exercise machines and two stationary exercise bikes.



Wingham Chamber of Commerce Colour for Isabella Street
Boost town’s economy through revitalising shopping precinct with fresh plantings of bright petunias and violas.



Young and District Family History Group Incorporated Updated Computer for Young and District Family History Group Research
Support historical research and sharing of information with new computer for active genealogical group.



Northern Territory

Guts Dance Central Australia Incorporated Community Day at Dance Fest
Support artistic development and social connectedness in Alice Springs through participation in free community dance workshops and performances as part of a cultural dance festival.

Alice Springs



Whitsundays Arts Festival Inc Whitsundays Arts Festival 10th – 11th and 12th July 2020
Enable cultural and artistic expression of community members through establishment of new Arts Festival, that will draw tourists back to disaster impacted community and revitalise economy.

Airlie Beach


Bororen State School Parents and Citizens Association Bororen Brain Boosters
Improve cognitive and language skills to better develop preschool learning via rubber softfall for yarning circle.



Friends of RM Inc. Friends of RM Sing!
Create social connections and enhance community wellbeing through starting a Community Choir.



Hannaford Club Inc Catering Clubs are Profitable Clubs
Improve capacity of local community to host events by upgrade of BBQ and catering facilities.



Hughenden State Emergency Service (SES) Group
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
Kitchen for SES facility
Support emergency services capacity with an upgrade of the kitchen at the Hughenden Unit.



Out There Kowanyama Building Community Connectedness through Meeting Places.
Create social connectivity and cohesion through picnic table and fire pit in public park.



FNQ Aviation Museum Ltd Preservation & Rebuilding of Heritage Assessed Building
Preserve and celebrate Australia’s aviation history through relocation a hangar to Mareeba’s Aircraft Museum.



Mareeba State Emergency Service
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
Training & Operational Room Equipment
Support training needs and operational readiness with smart TV and chairs for training room at Mareeba SES.



Johnstone Ecological Society Inc Bulguru Wetlands Wildlife Monitoring and Continuing Revegetation
Protection of endangered species through monitoring wildlife movements and planning lay out of pathways and viewing platforms in environmentally sensitive Wetlands.



South Australia

Angas Valley Recreation Hall and Tennis Club Incorporated Upgrade Kitchen Appliances and Equipment for Community Events and Activities
Support participation in community events with purchase of kitchen appliances for community hall.

Angas Valley


Coffin Bay Progress Association Inc Hall to HUB
Support social activities and reduce isolation through renovations to community hall.

Coffin Bay


Barossa Region Community Foundation Incorporated Foundation Barossa Awareness & Fundraising Video
Build capacity to support and drive local community driven projects via storytelling videos promoting the aspirations and achievements of local philanthropy.



Peterborough Festival Incorporated Revitalisation of the 2020 Peterborough Art & Cultural Festival
Support local arts and cultural engagement with Opening Smoking Ceremony and three musical events at Community Festival.



Seafood on Spencer Inc Seafood on Spencer

Promote tourism through the creation of an annual local seafood festival, which will educate visitors on the sustainability of the seafood industry whilst providing an enjoyable event.

Port Broughton


Yorketown Community Childcare Centre Safe Storage & Undercover Learning Environment
Foster early childhood learning and creative play through provision of an undercover outdoor play area and larger secure storage area.




Okines Community House Inc Food Co-op Building Extension
Strengthen community connectivity and engagement through a building extension at a local community house.

Dodges Ferry


Huon Valley Council Huon Beings
Strengthen community engagement and cultural connectivity through delivery of a storytelling program.



West Coast Connect Inc Establishment of a Horticultural Education and Training Facility
Strengthen opportunities for employment, education and cultural engagement through the construction of a horticultural training centre.



Glenhaven Family Care Inc Meals 4 Home
Promote health and social wellbeing and support community capability through the delivery of a healthy food program.




Ladybird Education
Beechworth Kindergarten Inc
Ladybird Music Incursion Program at Beechworth Kindergarten.
Support early childhood pre-literacy development with musical program for four-year-old kindergarten program.



Donald Primary School Donald Primary School Outdoor Sensory Classroom
Improve learning outcomes in Donald by building a sensory space and outdoor classroom.



Northern District Community Health AgriSafe for Farmers – Getting Health Right
Improving farmer health in Gannawarra and Loddon by purchasing medical testing equipment.



H11 H12 Community Action Group Beyond Bolac Wildlife Monitoring Program
4Building community capacity and local knowledge through the purchase of wildlife monitoring equipment in the Lake Bolac catchment
Improving environmental outcomes in the Lake Bolac Catchment by purchasing wildlife monitoring equipment.

Lake Bolac


The National Vietnam Veterans Museum Ltd Triple A: Antics, Artefacts, and Antiques – Supporting the Local Community
Building social cohesion in Newhaven, by supporting local cultural activities.



Peechelba Public Purposes Reserve Peechelba Medical Emergency Support Project
Support community safety and health outcomes via purchase of defibrillator for community sports area.



Pyramid Hill Progress Association Inc. Come Rain Come Shine – Weatherproofing the Pyramid Hill Fiesta
Increase social cohesion and participation through purchase of marquees for local events in Pyramid Hill.

Pyramid Hill


Rupanyup Public Hall Committee Rupanyup Hall Theatre System
Support social inclusion and cultural engagement with audio visual system for community hall.



St Arnaud Community Resource Centre Inc. St Arnaud Community Resource Centre – Equipment and Volunteer Development
Provide access to office services with purchase of binding and folding equipment and upskill three volunteers with first aid training.

St Arnaud


Tempy Primary School Council Supporting Students- Skill Development and Participation
Nurture gross and fine motor skill coordination and development through occupational therapy training for educators, parents and carers.



Western Australia

Augusta River Festival Inc The Augusta River Festival Second Stage
Build capacity of the Augusta Margaret River Festival and extend artistic and cultural engagement of young people in festival activities through the purchase of a mobile event stage.



Hummingbird Promotions Inc. Capel Makers Trail 2020
Build local economy and support business expansion through business commercialisation workshops across an Arts Trail Weekend.



Gondwana Link Ltd Healing the Land, Healing the People at Nowanup
Build community resilience and capacity of a Noongar Traditional Owner ranger group to manage environmental and cultural activities through the purchase of a tractor.



Margaret River Mens Shed Inc Project Wood Lathe
Increase community engagement, social wellbeing and connectedness of men in the Margaret River region through the purchase of a lathe for the recently-formed Margaret River Men’s Shed.

Margaret River


Mingenew Community Telecentre CheckMate Men’s Mental Health Initiative
Improve community health and wellbeing and build resilience through mental health workshops for men in the Mid West region of WA.



Pemberton Mill Restoration Committee Floor for Functions
Improve the usability, safety and longevity of the heritage-listed Pemberton Mill Community Hall in South West WA by replacing the deteriorated aged floor.



The Corner Shop Museum Inc. The Corner Shop Museum Digitisation of Collection & Oral History Project
Preserve and improve access to historical records of the Tambellup region of WA through purchase of equipment to enable the local museum to digitise their collection.



Wongan Hills Anglican Church
The Perth Diocesan Trustees
Meals on a Shoestring
Increase the health, wellbeing and social connectedness of Wongan Hills community members through the delivery of weekly cooking and life skills workshops.

Wongan Hills


Wyalkatchem Community Resource Centre Inc. Reception Realignment to Allow Persons with Disabilities Access
Improve access at a community facility in Wyalkatchem WA for people with a disability and the elderly through alterations to the reception area.




Larger Leverage





New South Wales

Drake Village Resource Centre Inc Solar Energy Upgrade for Drake Village Resource Centre
Build community resilience during emergencies and deliver climate change solutions with solar system upgrade at Drake Village Resource Centre.




Tablelands Regional Council Disaster Resilience Training on the Tablelands
Build community resilience with disaster preparedness training for community and volunteer first responders.



Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (BNTAC) Bigambul Ten-Year Economic Development & Prosperity Strategy
Creating economic prosperity in Bigumbul by supporting the development of a ten-year Economic Development Strategy.



AgForce Queensland Farmers Ltd. 2020 Cape York Grazing Forum
Build community resilience and increase community health and social wellbeing through two-day Cape York Grazing forum.



Puuya Foundation Developing Everyday Leaders
Strengthen community resilience and build leadership skills with design and delivery of six half day workshops for parents and carers.

Lockhart River


Pomona Arts Inc Installation of air conditioning units in the Majestic Theatre
Increase opportunity for social participation and connection at community events and performances held at the Pomona Arts Majestic Theatre through installation of air conditioning.



St John Ambulance Australia Queensland Limited Roof Restoration at St Johns, Townsville
Increase St Johns Ambulance Queensland’s capacity to provide health services to the Townsville community by upgrading the roof.



South Australia

Loxcare Incorporated Loxcare Community Hub
Extend the services and programs of Loxcare, a relief aid community centre, through the fit out of a new building, thereby more strongly meeting the needs of its community.




Furneaux Historical Research Association Inc Furneaux GeoTrail Stage 2 Mountains, Coast and Islands, Community Engagement
Support the economic sustainability of the remote Flinders Island community through the development of a GeoTrail, extending it into the more remote areas and outer islands.




Tomorrow Today Education Foundation Ltd Powering Tomorrow Today’s future
Maximise capacity of organisation to deliver early childhood education programs via reducing overheads through installing a 7.2 kW solar system.



South West Healthcare Mt Elephant Community House
Support the development and initiation of a much-needed Community House through the provision of a Project Worker and utility costs for the new building.



Western Australia

Indigenous Desert Alliance Limited Supporting Indigenous Rangers through regional knowledge and skill sharing
Build the capacity, knowledge and networks of emerging Indigenous Ranger Groups through attendance at an annual Indigenous-led forum in Warrakurna, WA.



Tjiwarl (Aboriginal Corporation) RNTBC Tjiwarl On-Country Participatory Planning
Improve the capacity, knowledge and connection to country of an emerging Indigenous Ranger Group in the Northern Goldfields desert region through a land management planning expedition.