Small grants contribute to vibrant communities

Media releases: 13 March 2020

Bendigo, 19 March 2020: Fifty-two community projects from around Australia will share in $394,127 in grants through the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s Strengthening Rural Communities program.

Several successful projects will benefit communities impacted by the recent bushfires, with the projects’ importance further elevated as locals begin the road to recovery.

Collaboratively funded by FRRR’s donor partners, Strengthening Rural Communities provides grants of up to $10,000 to help local leaders respond to a broad range of needs in rural, regional and remote communities.

Successful applicants are spread from Broken Hill in New South Wales, Cardwell in Far North Queensland, Yiyili in the West Australian Kimberley, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Arno Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, Tea Tree in Tasmania, and Numurkah in Victoria. Around a third of grants this round are going towards building community resilience, which according to FRRR’s CEO Natalie Egleton can put them on the path to a future where they can thrive.

“The internal and external pressures and stresses in rural, regional and remote communities are increasing – whether climate related, the result of a changing local economy, a lack of volunteers or a lack of access to services. To prepare, adapt and become stronger in the face of these challenges, local leaders need support from outside the community.

“When communities are supported to take action, they can not only respond better when there are challenges, but it’s also an easier step for them to look towards continual improvement in their environmental, social, and economic health and wellbeing,” says Ms Egleton.

“The way in which each community goes about creating this change varies. In this round of Strengthening Rural Communities, community groups were mostly looking for support for infrastructure and equipment, to provide access to services or activities, or to increase awareness, knowledge and skills.”

Among the 52 projects funded this round:

  • Local and Family History Project – Country Women’s Association of NSW, Gilgandra Evening Branch, NSW – $8,271 – Ensuring that local stories are preserved for future generations by establishing an oral history collection at the local Shire Library. Grant funds will go towards a workshop for local CWA volunteers, and to purchase the necessary equipment for the trained volunteers to then undertake oral history interviews, and the production of an initial booklet capturing the first completed interviews.
  • Destination Cardwell – Cardwell UFO Festival Inc, QLD – $4,060 – Improving the organisation’s resources and sustainability for the future by purchasing a printer and materials to produce the publication ‘Destination Cardwell’, a promotional tool to encourage visitors to extend their visit to the region beyond the UFO Festival weekend. The publication will promote Cardwell as a base from which to explore North Queensland, thereby increasing the time visitors spend in the region.
  • Improving Mental Health in the Central Australian Pastoral industry – Centralian Land Management Association Inc, NT – $5,000 – Improving awareness of and access to individual and community wellbeing support by delivering an accredited 12 hour mental health first aid course, across two days, to 15 Association members who live and work with staff, many of whom are youth, in rural and remote areas.
  • Creating Strong Leaders – Jigalong Community Incorporated, WA – $9,700 – Strengthening the organisation by supporting governance training for the board and staff, giving the board a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities so they can make positive, informed decisions for the community’s benefit.
  • Pathways to Empowerment Regional Program – Zahra Foundation Australia, SA – $7,840 – Connecting participants to further education and employment opportunities through the ‘Pathways to Empowerment’ program that gives women who have experienced domestic violence greater understanding and control of their personal finances.
  • Tables Please – Tea Tree Community Association Inc, Tas – $1,892 – Improving the organisation’s future sustainability by purchasing four flip-top tables to replace ones that are currently either borrowed, in disrepair, or difficult to move and a safety risk to volunteers who transport them.
  • Volunteer Safety and Health Project – Country Fire Authority, Tallangatta Valley Fire Brigade, VIC – $5,890 – Enhancing the Brigade’s ability to respond to emergencies by purchasing two defibrillators and mounting them on tankers used by the Brigade.

This round of Strengthening Rural Communities – Small & Vital was collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors including: Australia Post, Bertalli Family Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund, Vertel, The Yulgilbar Foundation, Perpetual, Scenic World Shared, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, The Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, The William Buckland Foundation (managed by Equity Trustees), Portland House Foundation, The Ross Trust, Baxter Charitable Foundation, Kapikarnpi Community Fund, FRRR, Friends of FRRR and Private Donors.

Applications for the next round of Strengthening Rural Communities grants will close on 24 March, with the following round of the program not opening until mid-July, so organisations seeking funding for projects later this year are encouraged to apply now.

A special stream of the Strengthening Rural Communities program will be available specifically for bushfire-affected communities from September, so they can begin their recovery. Communities can stay up to date with FRRR’s programs by checking our Grant Calendar.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

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Caragabal Memorial Hall IncRefurbishment of Caragabal Sportsground Toilets
Increase the usage of the Caragabal Sportsground by fixing the sceptic system and toilet block.



Coursing Park Tennis and Community Centre IncCoursing Park Tennis and Community Centre Clubhouse repair
Help people stay connected in Coursing Park through repairs to a damaged ceiling in the local Tennis Club and Community Centre.

Coursing Park


Gilgandra Evening Branch
Country Womens Association of NSW
The Gilgandra Evening CWA Branch Local and Family History Project
Preserve Gilgandra’s past by initiating an Oral History project and training volunteers.



Junee Business & Trades IncorporationJunee Can-Do Recycling Trailer
Supporting fundraising efforts for community groups in Junee through the construction of a Can Recycling Trailer for use at events.



Murrurundi Public School Parents and Citizens AssociationEvery Drop Counts
Improve the environmental sustainability of the Murrurundi Public School through the installation of two rainwater tanks.



Woodstock Memorial Hall CommitteeLight up the Hall
Restore a sense of heritage to the Woodstock Memorial Hall by upgrading electrical wiring and installing replica light fittings in the hall.



Greenridge Memorial Hall & Social Activities Club IncorporatedHall Maintenance, Repairs and Rejuvenation projects
Increase the viability of the Greenridge Memorial Hall by enhancing its appearance through minor repairs and repainting.



Gunning District Association IncUpper Lachlan Youth Connect
Foster community connections and social cohesion for youth in the Upper Lachlan region through a program of youth focussed events.



Toolo LtdRepair Cafe
Reduce waste in the Blue Mountains by funding hardware and part time staff to develop a Repair Café.



Young Men’s Christian Association of SydneyYouth Voice and Action
Provide a platform for the voice of youth in the Broken Hill region by supporting three youth focussed events in 2020.

Broken Hill


Vermont Hill Tennis Club
Lachlan Council
Vermont Hill Hall
Improve accessibility and usage of the Vermont Hill Tennis Club rooms through the installation of a disability accessible toilet, and repairs to the kitchen facilities.

Vermont Hill



Smile-A-Mile Fun Bus & Toy Library IncorporatedDiscovering the Wonderful World of Dinosaurs
Maximise early years learning opportunities in remote communities via delivery of Children’s Dinosaur Fun Day and  purchase of additional resources for mobile toy library.

Humpty Doo


Centralian Land Management Assn IncImproving Mental Health in the Central Australian Pastoral industry
Build the capacity of remote drought affected Central Australian communities to support health and wellbeing through delivery of two day mental health first aid course.

Alice Springs


Jabiru Golf Club IncorporatedJabiru Golf Club painting works
Strengthen social connection and community engagement through refurbishment of clubrooms at Jabiru.




Inkmasters Cairns IncThe Big Print Community Event
Strengthen inclusivity through the delivery of printmaking workshops and creation of a collaborative art piece in the Yarrabah, Wujal Wujal and Cardwell communities.

Wujal Wujal


FGP Moreton IncSupport, Sustain, Empower Early Childhood
Increase the retention of skilled staff in the Maranoa region through the establishment of a professional development network for early childhood educators.



Cardwell UFO Festival IncDestination Cardwell
Grow tourism in Cardwell by purchasing equipment and supporting the development of a ‘Destination Cardwell’ tourism guide.



North Stradbroke Island Aboriginal and Islander Housing Cooperative Society LtdMinjerriba Respite – Transport
Maximise comfort and quality of life for clients of the Minjerriba Respite Centre by investing in a new vehicle for patient transport.



Kilkivan Veteran’s and Community Men’s Shed Assoc IncSui Chou Pha (Little River)
Increase volunteer capacity at the Kilkivan Mens Shed through the purchase of a ride-on mower.



Topology Inc.Top Up North of the Border
Support access to arts education for rural youth through funding equipment and travel/accommodation costs for a creative bootcamp.



Amiens History Association IncConstruction of toilet block
Improve the amenity of the Amiens Legacy Centre by construction of a unisex toilet block with disability access.



Home Hill Choral Society Inc.Movable Stage
Increase the capacity of the Home Hill Chorale Society’s new venue to stage events by purchasing a moveable stage.

Home Hill


The Cecil Plains Crier Association IncorporatedLaptops
Increase the capacity of the Cecil Plains Crier Association through the purchase of a new computer for editing.

Cecil Plains



Arno Bay Community Sporting Association IncAir-Conditioning for the ABCSC
Strengthen community connectivity and engagement through installation of two split systems and ceiling tiles, creating a comfortable, year round gathering space.

Arno Bay


Mannum Community CollegeA Community Common Language
Strengthen young people’s social, health and well-being outcomes and enhance volunteer’s skill through participation in social capability workshops.



Port Germein Progress Association IncEquipping Community Engagement
Improve and maintain the amenity of a Community Hub as a fit for purpose venue and increase volunteer and community engagement through the purchase of equipment.

Port Germein


Saddleworth District Community Associat1on IncSeating and Table for the Shelter Shed
Improve civic pride and amenity of the town through the purchase and installation of seats and tables in a public shelter, where visitors, locals and community can socialise and connect.



Zahra Foundation AustraliaPathways to Empowerment Regional Program
Improve education and economic outcomes for Women, their families and the wider community through the delivery of an employment program addressing trauma caused by domestic violence.

Murray Bridge



Tasmanian Seafood Industry CouncilStay Afloat – Supporting Tasmanian Fishers and Marine Farmers Mental Health and Wellbeing
Strengthen mental health and well-being outcomes for seafood industry communities across regional Tasmania, through the production and distribution of a mental health support resource.



Tea Tree Community Association IncTables Please
Enhance volunteer well-being and community connectedness and improve the amenity of a well-used community hall through the purchase of four tables.

Tea Tree



Cowwarr Recreation Reserve Committee of Management IncRestore Our Floor
Enable greater use of the Cowwarr Public Hall and foster community cohesion via restoration of its flooring.



Tallangatta Valley Fire Brigade
Country Fire Authority
Tallangatta Valley CFA Volunteer Safety and Health Project
Improve cardiac arrest response times and community medical capability, via investment in two Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) for first response vehicles.

Tallangatta Valley


Bass Coast Branch
Disabled Surfers Association of Aust
Disabled Surfers Association Bass Coast – Trailer Purchase
Support the long term sustainability of the Bass Coast Branch of the Disabled Surfers Association to hold annual events for people with a disability to learn to surf through the purchase of a storage and transport trailer.



Gunbower Bowls ClubPurchase and Installation of a new Gas/Electric Cooker for our Kitchen
Support volunteers and encourage community cohesion through the upgrade of the cooker at the Gunbower Bowls Club.



Friends of Baths Road Reserve, Mirboo North
Mardan-Mirboo North Landcare Group
Boardwalk Removal and Replacement, Baths Road Reserve, Mirboo North
Drive protection of ecologically significant vegetation, and increase accessibility for the community with the replacement of the boardwalk at Baths Road Reserve.

Mirboo North


Yarra Valley Ecoss IncThe Biodiversity Nursery Stage 1: Bee Happy Plants
Enhance community well-being and raise awareness of environmental issues and food security by developing a Bee Garden Project.



Art Is Festival IncArtists In Far Off Schools
Increase children’s cultural education and community engagement through sculptural design workshops and participation in an arts festival.



Castlemaine State Festival LtdCSF Youth Media Team
Increase engagement of young people in the arts through training and mentorship from media professionals, growing their skill level, confidence and future employment potential.



Gannawarra Shire CouncilChris Kennett Author and Illustrator Workshops Book Week 2020
Support young people’s learning and development through four interactive workshops with a children’s Author and Illustrator.



NCN HealthActive Kids in Numurkah – Community Consultation
Improve the health and well-being of children and families while providing new learning opportunities through the initiation of a community activity program.



Gunbower Kindergarten
Shine Bright EYM
Gunbower Kindergarten Flooring Upgrade
Enhance the learning environment of a vital community asset through the removal of old, deteriorated floor coverings with new, safe and durable vinyl flooring.



Waratah Beach Surf Life Saving Club IncWaratah Beach SLSC – Provision of Mental Health First Aid Training
Increase awareness of, and support for people with mental health issues through delivery of Mental Health First Aid training course for 100 participants.

Sandy Point


Warracknabeal & District Historical Society IncWarracknabeal Tourist Centre Upgrade
Drive local tourism and enhance community education through the upgrading of the Warracknabeal Tourist Information Centre’s facilities and appearance.



Wycheproof Community Resource Centre IncWycheproof Youth Room Sustainable Water Project
Enhance the sustainability of the Wycheproof Youth Group through the replacement of leaking and rusted water tanks and pipes and connection of the tank to the Youth Room.



Boisdale and District Progress AssociationInformation Technology Equipment for the Boisdale Stables
Build community connectivity and capacity through the purchase of Information Technology Equipment.




Bridgetown Art & Craft Centre IncorporatedConnecting the craft centre to the town’s sewerage system
Enable participation in arts and cultural activities through connection to waste water treatment plant for community owned arts and crafts facility.



Leeman Greenhead Community Resource Centre IncLeeman Green Head Community Resource Centre Kitchen Upgrade
Increase the capacity of a vital community hub to build community cohesion and provide opportunities for education, skill development, and employment by refurbishment of kitchen.



Yiyili Community Indigenous CorporationYiyili Aboriginal Community School Playground Transformation
Promote development of gross motor skills and improve physical health of disadvantaged Indigenous children, through access to play equipment that stimulates imaginative play and physical activity.

Yiyili Community


Broome Aboriginal Media Association Aboriginal CorporationYoung Indigenous Women’s Pathways Project – Goldfields Girl
Enhance the well-being, resilience and leadership capacity of young Indigenous women by delivering a personal leadership, goal setting and development program in Leonora.



Jigalong Community IncorporatedCreating Strong Leaders
Enhanced skills, capacity building and access to local job opportunities for community members, through the delivery of governance training to Jigalong Community Incorporated.



Kurrawang Aboriginal Christian Community IncorporatedKurrawang Aboriginal Christian Community (KACC) Playground Fencing
Support safe play opportunities for children under five with the construction of a dog-proof fence around play area.



Woolkabunning Kiaka IncorporatedSupporting sustainable agricultural practises and social enterprise at Roelands Village
Create local employment opportunities and support sustainable land management practices through the purchase of a trailer and post hole digger for fledgling social enterprise.