Support for bushfire recovery on offer

Media releases: 13 January 2021

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is encouraging community groups in regions affected by the 2019-20 bushfires to apply for recovery funding, with more than $380,000 in grants available thanks to News Corp’s generous support.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund supports a wide range of recovery projects in impacted areas across New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland and the ACT. Not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and community groups are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $25,000 for projects designed to seed recovery.

Since April 2020, the Fund has awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to regions working hard to recover from the Black Summer bushfires. This final round of grants will see News Corp’s contribution total $1.5 million. So far the Fund has supported 61 recovery projects that have helped to address a spectrum of needs as affected communities work to unite, rebuild and recover.

Sarah Matthee, FRRR’s Acting CEO, said that recovery looks different for every community that experienced the Black Summer bushfires.

“Rural communities are incredibly resilient. Each place has unique needs and priorities when it comes to recovery. Working with partners like News Corp, who understand that supporting recovery is not a one-size-fits-all solution, means that we can get funds out for projects that respond to the needs identified by each community – projects that are important for them, as and when they are ready.

“For example, Buxton Primary School students returned to school to find the play equipment had been destroyed. But with a $25,000 News Corp Bushfire Fund grant the school was able to install an eco-friendly playground that has been a hit with the kids. The playground gives them and their families a fun-filled place to play and a safe space to talk about their experiences of the fires and their own recovery,” Ms Matthee explained.

News Corp Australia’s community ambassador Penny Fowler said it has been a humbling experience to be a part of the recovery process for these communities.

“The program objectives are far reaching, meaning the grants can go towards a wide range of recovery activities. We are proud to have already funded so many initiatives that are now actively helping those working in recovery to deliver outcomes today and in years to come. We look forward to the next round of projects,” Mrs Fowler said. Applications for the News Corp Bushfire Fund grants are now open and community groups in Local Government Areas with a bushfire disaster declaration from September 2019 to April 2020 are invited to apply. The round will close 17 February, with funds expected to be awarded in March.