Nearly $2M granted to drought-affected communities

Media releases: 19 May 2020

Bendigo, 19 May 2020: Fifty-eight community-led projects that help drought-affected rural, regional and remote Australian communities are sharing in nearly $2 million in grants, through the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program

While COVID-19 and the bushfires have taken centre stage over the past six months, the drought and long-term rainfall deficiencies remain severe across much of the country. Despite the good rainfall earlier in the year, the drought is far from over. Many communities, like those throughout New South Wales and across the Murray-Darling Basin (which runs through Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia), who are experiencing the driest 36-month period on record. In Queensland, 67.4 percent of the state is drought-declared. Other areas affected by extended periods of rainfall shortages include eastern Victoria, eastern and northern Tasmania, eastern South Australia and parts of southwest Western Australia.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton says these communities haven’t been forgotten and FRRR is here to help them get through these dry times.

“We know that large parts of the country are still in drought, and coupled with the impacts of COVID-19, and for many the bushfires too, this is a particularly challenging time. Keeping money flowing into rural areas is a priority for FRRR, so that these communities can continue to work at building capacity and long-term resilience,” said Ms Egleton.

TTTT Program Coordinator, Deanne Cavalier, says that Tackling Tough Times Together grants support projects that aim to reduce social isolation, develop leadership and skills training, social and educational participation, stimulate economic activity and build the capacity of local not-for-profit organisations.

“This round of TTTT saw the most applications since the program’s 2018 national expansion. It’s clear that these communities still need help to access the resources they need to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought. 

“It’s vital to be flexible and support local recovery efforts in a way that meets the needs of each community now, and into the medium to long-term. That’s why we are open to project variations and supporting organisations pivoting and thinking laterally when it comes to their projects and how grant funds are used during COVID-19 restrictions,” said Ms Cavalier.

Some of the 58 projects awarded this round include:

  • Quilpie Cultural Society Incorporated, QLD – Defying the Drought through Creativity – $31,466 – Relieve current stressors of drought and improve community health and social wellbeing through the installation of new resources at the Cultural Society, and the delivery of a variety of art and craft workshops.
  • Kingaroy BaconFest Inc, QLD – Kingaroy BaconFest 2021 – $58,300 – Support fatigued volunteers and reduce social and economic issues by showcasing local industry and produce and highlighting the importance of buying 100 percent Australian pork product.
  • Lions Club of Ulladulla Milton Incorporated, NSW – Farmers at Burrill (FAB) – $17,138 – Support local industries, economy and tourism, and reduce social isolation through the delivery of a local Farmers’ Market that will showcase local producers and encourage tourists to the region.
  • Colbinabbin & District Historical Society, VIC – The Development of Colbinabbin Silo Art Viewing Area – $59,800 – Reinvigorate local community spirit and the economy by developing land adjacent to the Colbinabbin silo art project into parklands featuring a native garden, walking tracks, and a silo viewing platform.
  • Arno Bay Progress Association Incorporated, SA – Tasting Arno – $3,606 – Reduce social isolation and stimulate the local economy by encouraging the broader community to participate in an accessible, low cost, local event.

Tackling Tough Times Together is possible thanks to the collaborative support of a number of donors, including the Australian Government which committed $15M to be distributed over three years. Generous contributions have also been made by NRMA, Pratt Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Snow Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Henroth Group and private donors from across the nation.

Applications for the TTTT program are always open and groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply for funding to help their community come together to tackle the drought.

The next cut-off dates for applications to be considered are:

  • 28 May 2020. Outcomes will be advised late August 2020.
  • 27 August 2020. (Note, expressions of interest for the $150,000 tier must be received by 16 July 2020.) Outcomes will be advised late November 2020.

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

Jump to : NSW | QLD | SA | VIC






Up to $60,000

Billimari Public Hall & Recreation Reserve Land Manager

Kitchen in Billimari Hall
Upgrade Billimari Hall kitchen to increase safety and amenity for local community cultural events and meetings.



Boggabri and Districts Historical Society

Installation of Vinyl Cladding
Increase comfort and reduce ongoing maintenance of Boggabri Men’s Shed and Museum buildings through recladding.



Clare Public School Parents and Citizens Association

Sustainable Community Kitchen at Clare Public School
Enhance catering and cooking activities for the community and school students through the construction of a kitchen at Clare Public School.



Community College-Northern Inland Incorporated

Capacity Building for Community Education Futures in the Northern Inland
Increase the capacity and viability of education provider in drought affected areas that provides job ready skills and training.



Condobolin and District Landcare Management Committee

Recovery Festival
Strengthening local communities by providing a platform to drive economic growth, social cohesion and cultural identity through delivery of a free Festival at Condobolin.



Cypress View Lodge Limited

Cypress View Lodge (CVL) Solar Upgrade
Increase viability of Cypress View Lodge through installation of solar system, supporting locals to stay within their community as they age and need more assistance with daily living and health needs.



Dunedoo Bowling Club Limited

Air Conditioning Replacement
Increase comfort and amenity of meeting area in drought affected community through air conditioning upgrade at Dunedoo Bowling Club.



Growmolong Incorporated

“The Molong Story” Mural Artworks
Increase economic growth through attracting tourists to view silo and tank art at Molong.



Guyra Adult Learning Association Incorporated

The Guyra Gazette Lifeline
Increased capacity to produce local newspaper to support the community to; maintain strong connections; raise awareness of local events and activities; encourage social interaction; and inform community of local issues during a period of drought.



Gwymac Incorporated

Community Planting Bees – For a healthy and Connected Inverell Region
Reduce social isolation and increase community connectedness through redevelopment of local community hub, Inverell Community Garden.



Hartbeat of the Bush Incorporated

Beat of The Bush Festival 2020
Reduce social isolation and support opportunities for educational participation for children and young people through the delivery of the Beat of The Bush Festival in Tenterfield.



Manilla Community Renewable Energy Incorporated

Renewable Manilla
Increase social connections and provide activities that support learning at the Renewable Manilla Festival.



Mungindi Community Preschool Incorporated

Optimal Start for Parched Children
Continued delivery of early childhood education regardless of low enrolments in Mungindi through support for program costs. 



South West Arts Incorporated

Youth Community Radio Station
Enhance leadership development and skills training opportunities for young people of Deniliquin and surrounds through the creation of the Youth Community Radio Station.



UCA – Greenthorpe

Going To Print
Increase opportunities for the community to connect, support each other and express themselves through the arts.



Up to $20,000

Age of Fishes Museum Incorporated

Three Fossil Stands for the Age of Fishes Museum
Encourage local tourism and enhance educational opportunity through the provision of three fossil display stands at the Age of Fishes Museum, Canowindra.



Borah Creek Public Hall Land Manager

Solar Panels to the Borah Creek Hall
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase organisational capacity through the installation of solar power to the Borah Creek Hall.

Rocky Glen


Delungra Public School

Exploring the Ocean Landscape
Enhance social and educational participation for children disadvantaged through drought by the delivery of a weeklong excursion for students of Delungra and Gilgai Public Schools to Lake Ainsworth.



Hope Bathurst Incorporated

Upgrade of Hopecare Café Kitchen
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase organisational capacity through the upgrade to the Hopecare Café Kitchen.



Lions Club of Ulladulla Milton Incorporated

Farmers At Burrill (FAB)
Enhance economic recovery and renewal through the development and delivery of the Farmers at Burrill (FAB) Farmers Market as a pilot market over the 2020/2021 Summer.

Burrill Lake


Mungery Recreation Reserve Land Manager

Mungery Skillion
Enhance and repair local meeting place that supports the delivery of community events and activities that increase local connectedness and reduce isolation.



Narrabri Shire Community Radio Incorporated

Fit Out of a New Studio
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase organisational capacity through the fit out of a second radio studio at Narrabri Shire Community Radio.



Scout Association of Australia First Dubbo Scout Group

Water Tanks for Hall
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase organisational capacity through the installation of water tanks at the First Dubbo Scout Group Hall.



Tibooburra & District Progress Association

Outback Lock-Up
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase organisational capacity through the provision of two shipping containers at the community Albert Hall and Cemetery.




Up to $60,000

Balonne Shire Council

Bollon Park and Riverland Revitalisation
Upgrade local parklands through installation of new seating, lighting and irrigation, to encourage social connection and enhance local events and activities.



Boulia Golf Club Incorporated

Rejuventation of Boulia Golf Club – The Hub of the Shire
Improve and repair Boulia Golf Club to encourage community connectedness and reduce social isolation during period of drought.



Centre For Rural and Regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Limited

Tucka-Time Program – Fruit and Vegetable Box Addition
Increase access to fresh fruit and improve nutrition for aboriginal primary students in the Gladstone Region.



Goondiwindi Pastoral and Agricultural Society

“Putting Rubbish in its Place, With a Hop, Skip and Dump”
Increase the capacity of volunteers to deliver events and activities that support economic and social benefits for the drought affected community of Goondiwindi.



Junction View Hall Association Incorporated

Junction View Hall Upgrade
Continued access to Junction View Hall through roof repair and external painting, allowing locals to connect and support each other at locally driven activities.

Junction View


Kingaroy BaconFest Incorporated

Kingaroy BaconFest 2020
Increase capacity of Festival Committee through support and infrastructure for Kingaroy BaconFest event delivery.



Lockyer Multicultural Association Incorporated

Connecting and Empowering the Lockyer Valley Community Through Local Produce
Improved use of local produce through training opportunities for businesses and the wider community in the Lockyer Valley.



Monto Magic Tourism Action Group Incorporated

Silo Mural – Revitalisation of Monto
Support local economic recovery and renewal through increased tourism through the painting of four grain silos at Monto.



Quilpie Cultural Society Incorporated

Defying the Drought Through Creativity
Enhance opportunities to participate in creative activities for the Quilpie community through the purchase of resources and the delivery of art workshops.



Red Ridge (Interior Queensland) Limited
Channel Country Ladies Day Committee

Building Resilience in Isolated Outback Women Through the Channel Country Ladies Day
Reduce social isolation and enhance coping skills for women in Western Queensland through delivery of the Channel Country Ladies Day 2020.



South Burnett Woodcrafters Incorporated

SBW Workshop Development
Increased space for members of the community to interact with others in a supportive and activity driven environment, through fit out of the new South Burnett Woodcrafters building.



UCA – Longreach Congregation

Kitchen Renovation in Edgely Hall
Increase function and expand capacity of local meeting space through kitchen upgrade at Longreach UCA Hall.



Yelarbon Primary P&C Association

Greener Fields
Reduce the dust and dirt through upgrade of place space at Yelarbon Primary School supporting social and educational participation and address disadvantage for children and young people.



Up to $20,000

Allora Community Circle

Keeping Allora’s Spirit Alive
Enhance community cohesion and reduce social isolation through the delivery of two community events in Allora.

Southern Downs Region


Alpha Amateur Swimming Club

Outback Drowning Prevention Program
Enhance opportunity for social and educational participation and address disadvantage for young people caused by drought through the delivery of an 8 week swimming safety program in Alpha.



Ballyneety Rodeo Club Incorporated

Ballyneety Rodeo Campdraft & Gymkhana
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase organisational capacity through the purchase of 20 tables and 50 chairs for the Aramac community.



Thallon Progress Association Incorporated

Protecting our Future
Reduce social isolation through the installation of a permanent shade structure over the iconic “William the Wombat” playground sculpture in Thallon.




Up to $60,000

Greenock Institute Management Committee Incorporated

Greenock Institute Kitchen Renewal
Upgrade to the kitchen at Greenock Institute to enhance community events and functions with catering.



Lucky Bay Shackowners Association

Laughter at Lucky Bay
Support a stronger social fabric and enhanced wellbeing through the installation of a playground at Lucky Bay foreshore.

Lucky Bay


Parachilna Community Association Incorporated

Parachilna Community Association Airstrip
Increase visitation and economic benefits, and access to services such as the Flying Doctor through construction of an airstrip at remote Parachilna.



Port Vincent Progress Association Incorporated

Port Vincent Water Tower Mural Project
Increase tourism and economic benefits for the Port Vincent community through creation of an art installation on 20 metre water tank.

Port Vincent


Up to $20,000

Arno Bay Progress Association Incorporated

Tasting Arno
Reduce social isolation through the delivery of the Tasting Arno event.