Grants continue to support Black Summer bushfire recovery

Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Media releases: 26 November 2020

Over $1 million in News Corp Bushfire Fund grants awarded to date

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), in partnership with News Corp, has awarded 18 communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires a total of $341,280 in grants for 20 projects that will support the recovery of their communities.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund has had an impressive impact in bushfire-affected regions this year, having awarded $1,119,825 in grants to date to support 61 recovery-focused initiatives across affected communities, as they continue to rebuild and recover. The next round of grants will be the final round for the News Corp Bushfire Fund and will bring the distributed funds to a total of $1.5 million.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund grants, of up to $25,000, are awarded to community groups in regions impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires for projects that address a range of needs and priorities for each community. This round saw 20 community groups from bushfire-affected regions across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria awarded grants for initiatives that build community resilience and preparedness for future disasters, help people connect and support their wellbeing as well as practical upgrades to emergency infrastructure and equipment.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the demand for a wide range of community resilience projects demonstrates how important it is to let local people decide what the need and priorities are for their community’s recovery.

“We know that local leaders are best placed to know what their community needs, especially as recovery happens at different rates for each impacted place. While projects may vary from place to place, building community resilience and making sure the community is prepared for future emergencies is a common goal for regions that have already been impacted by disaster.

“For some communities, building community resilience means repairing infrastructure damaged by the fire or purchasing emergency equipment such as generators and solar battery systems for use in future emergency situations. For other places building resilience means improving amenities or increasing the capacity of community infrastructure where people connect, engage and support one another.

“It’s great to be able to partner with News Corp to support these communities and their inspiring ideas, which will help bring people together and make recovery meaningful to them,” Ms Egleton explained.

News Corp Australia’s community ambassador Penny Fowler said these grants were especially significant considering the timing.

“Almost a year on, we know some of these communities are feeling like they lived through a ‘forgotten crisis’. But there is still so much work to be done, now and in the long-term.

“This third round of grants builds on the ongoing needs of each community to recover at their own pace – whether that be upgrading essential town halls, providing mental health programs for firefighters, or bringing people together through drive-in movie sessions.”

“Recovery takes years, not months and we are committed to standing by these communities, remembering their loss, their stories, their pain and their bravery.”

Some of the 20 projects awarded include:

  • Mann River Men’s Shed – Diehard, NSW – Empowering Community Resilience and Recovery – $25,000 – Support community preparedness and build resilience by installing a solar system to generate power.
  • 4 Aussie Heroes Foundation – Boonah, QLD – “Triumph over Trauma” – $23,000 – Support individual wellbeing of first responders with programs to address trauma from bushfire fighting experience.
  • Stokes Bay Community Hall – Strokes Bay, SA – Stokes Bay Community Hall Volunteer Hub – $23,279 – Provide a welcoming and functional space by upgrading volunteer facilities.
  • Buchan Mechanics Institute and Free Library Reserve – Buchan, VIC – Hall Re-Stumping and Upgrade Kitchen Facilities – $22,042 – Build community resilience with infrastructure improvements to enable group gatherings.

The final round of the News Corp Bushfire Fund grants will open 12 January 2021 and closes 11 February 2021. In total, there is a further $380,175 available. Applications are invited from community groups in Local Government Areas with a bushfire disaster declaration from September 2019 to February 2020. 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 | QLD | SA | VIC

Bermagui Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism IncPower to the People … of Bermagui
Build community resilience with the purchase of portable generators publicly available for use in emergency situations.
Love Long Beach IncorporatedSummer Sundays @ Long Beach
Support community connectedness and wellbeing through COVID Safe drive-in events.
Long Beach$5,682
Mann River Men’s ShedEmpowering Community Resilience and Recovery
Support community preparedness and build resilience by installing a solar system to generate power.
Moruya Antique Tractor & Machinery Association IncRebuild & Restoration of MATAMA
Build community resilience and pride through the rebuild of a museum of community significance for local residents. 
Utungun Community Hall Section 355 Committee of Management
Nambucca Valley Council
Room to Move at the Utungun Community Hall
Build community facility capacity with a storage shed to keep social areas clear of equipment.
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AllianceRebuilding Community Resilience Through the Establishment of a Eurobodalla Repair Cafe in Moruya
Connect and support community wellbeing by establishing a volunteer social enterprise.  
Tomakin Sports & Social ClubSolar Battery System
Build community resilience with the supply and installation of a solar battery system to guarantee power in emergencies.
4 Aussie Heroes Foundation Limited“Triumph Over Trauma”
Support individual wellbeing of first responders with programs to address trauma from bushfire fighting experience.
Stokes Bay Community Hall IncStokes Bay Community Hall – Volunteer Hub
Upgrade volunteer facilities to provide a welcoming and functional space.
Stokes Bay$23,279
The Cudlee Creek Soldiers Memorial Ground IncorporatedCudlee Creek Soldiers’ Memorial Hall – Roof Replacement
Upgrade community facilities with a new roof to mitigate risk and maintain a functional space. 
Cudlee Creek$25,000
Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House IncMobile Catering Support for East Gippsland Communities Following Natural Disasters
Build organisational capacity by fitting out a mobile van to cater for communities in times of crisis. 
Benambra Dinner Plain Omeo Landcare GroupBDPO Landcare Equipment Improvements
Sustain community facilities for everyday use and preparedness by purchasing safety equipment and repairing aging equipment. 
Buchan Mechanics Institute and Free Library ReserveHall Re-Stumping and Upgrade Kitchen Facilities
Build community resilience with infrastructure improvements to enable group gatherings.
Buchan Recreation ReserveFire Pumps for Community Safety
Build community resilience with new equipment to increase safety and disaster preparedness.
Cassilis Recreation Reserve Committee of ManagementFire Ready Project
Improve community infrastructure for disaster preparedness with a large tank to improve access to water.
Koala Island Foundation IncA Stronger Community and Sustainable Future for Raymond Island
Support economic recovery by upgrading park entrances for local and tourist patronage.
Raymond Island$17,718
Lucyvale Tennis Club IncMaking Lucyvale Hall a Safe Place for our Community in Times of Risk & Need
Build community resilience with air condition and quick water access to aid in disasters.
Nowa Nowa Pony Club IncorporatedFriendships Beyond Fire
Maintain community infrastructure with new equipment to allow social gatherings and events. 
Nowa Nowa$11,500
The Man from Snowy River Tourist Association IncTake a Seat and Savour the Serenity
Upgrade community infrastructure to enhance local and visitor experience at a historic site.
W Tree Promotion and Progress Association IncW Tree Food Cooperative Improvements
Build volunteer capacity with facilities equipment to reduce community food insecurity. 
W Tree$15,493