More than $400,000 in grants awarded for Bushfire Recovery

Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Media releases: 29 September 2020

20 community-led projects support Black Summer recovery efforts

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), in partnership with News Corp, has awarded a further $410,159 in grants to 20 community-led projects that will support the recovery of rural communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires.

With the incredible impact the News Corp Bushfire Fund is making on local recovery, News Corp will be adding a further donation of $500,000 to top up the Fund to $1.5 million. There have been over $750,000 in grants awarded to date.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund grants, of up to $25,000, help bring to life a range of recovery-focused initiatives that are designed to encourage people to connect, improve community spirit and increase community preparedness in the event of future bushfires.

In Round 2 of this program, grants have been awarded to local organisations in bushfire-affected communities from across Australia, including Glenreagh and Bermagui in New South Wales, Gipsy Point and Biggara in Victoria, Kingscote and Mount Torrens in South Australia and Beechmont in Queensland.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the resilience and determination of these communities to recover from the Black Summer bushfires, and thrive, is evident by the number of inspiring project ideas and applications that the Foundation has so far received.

“Recovery happens at different rates and there are different needs in each impacted community. So, it’s great to see communities like Onkaparinga, Cudlee Creek and Parndana, in South Australia, seeking out support as they move into their next phase of recovery.

“For some places, recovery means building community resilience with projects that will strengthen local identity and create tourist attractions for economic recovery. While another local collaboration will activate an environmental sustainability project and bring many people together, with a particular focus on supporting vulnerable members of the community, by offering support from mental health professionals.

“For the Biggara community in Victoria, upgrading their community hall was a recovery priority. The facility is central to the lives of residents and the upgrade includes expanding it to accommodate everyone in the community in one sitting. This will ensure that there is capacity for the community to come together and connect in times of celebration and in times of crisis.

“Getting funds out to all these bushfire-affected communities is crucial, especially now with the added challenges that COVID-19 has presented in small local economies,” Ms Egleton explained.

News Corp Australia’s Community Ambassador Penny Fowler said seeing the impact that this funding has on these communities makes partnerships like the one with FRRR so rewarding.

“Through the News Corp Bushfire Recovery program we get the opportunity to see the wonderful difference that funding local groups to champion the recovery of their own community has on these towns.

“We continue to be inspired by their passion and their determination to not let the recovery process, which has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, get the better of their community,” Ms Fowler said.

Some of the 20 projects awarded include:

  • Merrimans Local Aboriginal Lands Council – Bermagui, NSW – The ‘Moodji’ Regional Drought, Bushfire & Mental Health Recovery Project – $25,000 – Improve community wellbeing by enabling Grub Club and various gardening activities and events for a wide local audience to participate in and be supported by mental health professionals.    
  • Buxton Volunteer Fire Brigade – Buxton, VIC – RFS Memorial – Telopea Park – Buxton – $16,600 – Support community resilience with a memorial playground that will honour the brave lives lost in the fires.
  • The Little Pocket Association – Beechmont, QLD – Scenic Rim – Memorial and Mural Project – $25,000 – Build community resilience with a Mural project that will engage visitors and locals in the town’s story of the bushfire.  
  • Royal South Australian Deaf Society – State-wide – Talking Hands for Frontline Responders – $25,000 – Build organisational capacity and deaf community resilience with skill development of frontline responders in basic Auslan.

The News Corp Bushfire Recovery Program will provide further funds to Round 2 applicants before the end of the year. FRRR encourages all grant seekers to subscribe to our eNews and social media channels to be alerted when other funding opportunities are announced, and to be inspired to develop their own community-led projects.

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

Jump to : NSW | VIC | QLD | SA


Project & Summary




Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council

Essential Fire Equipment and Safety Gear for Bega’s Local Aboriginal Cultural Burning Team

Building organisational capacity with equipment for the Cultural Burning Team will increase individual safety and local preparedness.



Connecting Communities Australia Ltd

Bega Valley Bushfire Recovery Program – Restore Jewfish Beach Walkway

Building community resilience, the restoration of the walkway will improve local infrastructure and enable community connection.  



Country Women’s Association of NSW

A Mobile Big Screen Theatre for Community, Cultural and Educational Events

Building community connectivity and capacity the mobile big screen will enable community social activity and cultural vibrancy.



Four Wheel Drive NSW & ACT Incorporated

Recreational Road to Recovery

Improving community infrastructure and nature areas with trailers & chainsaws for dedicated working bees to clear and repair fire damage sites.

Batemans Bay


Glenreagh HeartStart Inc

Emergency Management and Training Room Equipment

Building organisational capacity to deliver enhanced community volunteer training with new equipment to enable effective facilitation and presentation. 



Merrimans Local Aboriginal Lands Council

The ‘Moodji’ Regional Drought, Bushfire & Mental Health Recovery Project

Improve community wellbeing by enabling Grub Club and various gardening activities and events for a wide local audience to participate in and be supported by mental health professionals.



Tomerong School of Arts

Making the Tomerong School of Arts Accessible to all in our Community

Building resilience by upgrading infrastructure for improved community with accessible toilets to support all community members use of the facilities.




Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare

2nd Freezer for FoodShare

Building organisational capacity the purchase of a second freezer will improve operations for meeting the increased demand for FoodShare’ services.



Buxton Volunteer Fire Brigade

RFS Memorial – Telopea Park – Buxton

Supporting community resilience, the memorial playground will honour the brave lives lost in the fires.  



Biggara Recreation Reserve Committee of Management

Biggara Valley Community Recovery Project

Building community capacity with an upgrade of Biggara Hall to increase the space twofold for community use.



Corryong Historic Machinery Club

Development of the Corryong Historic Machinery Club Museum

Strengthening economic recovery by developing local heritage infrastructure will support tourism and build local pride. 



Gippsland Disability Advocacy Inc

East Gippsland Bushfire Recovery for Persons with Disabilities

Building organisational capacity to facilitate volunteering, mental health and well-being supports for people with a disability in fire affected communities.



Gipsy Point Cemetery Trust Inc

Replacing Burnt and Damaged Boundary Fences and Upgrading Entrance Points at Gipsy Point Cemetery Trust

Building community resilience, the upgrade of Gipsy Point Cemetery will ensure the space is maintained for the local community.   

Gipsy Point



The Little Pocket Association

Scenic Rim – Memorial and Mural Project

Building community resilience, the Mural project will engage visitors and locals in the town’s story of the bushfire.  




Advance Kingscote Progress Association

Kangaroo Island Silo Art Project

Driving tourism and fostering a sense of community pride the silo art project will welcome locals and visitors. 



Disaster Relief Australia

Resilience and Capacity Building for South Australian Communities

Building organisational capacity the new equipment will expand the numbers of volunteers able to be deployed during emergencies. 

Cudlee Creek


Parndana Agricultural Horticultural and Floricultural Society Inc

Parndana Show 2020

Enabling community social connection and access by making the Parndana Show a free event for the community.



Royal South Australian Deaf Society Inc

Talking Hands for Frontline Responders

Building organisational capacity and deaf community resilience with skill development of frontline responders in basic Auslan.

South Australia (statewide)



SAVEM Field Hospital Essential Equipment Project

Building organisational capacity by preparing the mobile Field Hospital with equipment to treat animals of all species affected during bushfires.



Spring Head Trinity Lutheran Church Inc

Spring Head Fire Prevention

Improving community preparedness by removing debris and building fences for stock that will reduce the fuel load and protect this emergency shelter site.

Mount Torrens