Rural communities share in more than $1.4M to build drought resilience

Media releases: 15 October 2021

FRRR has awarded $1,413,319 to 33 remote, rural and regional communities across Australia for locally-led initiatives that will help build their region’s resilience to drought.

Rural communities share in more than $1.4M to build drought resilience

Funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and a range of other donor partners, the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program focuses on strengthening social connectedness, building social capital and funding transformative local initiatives that will enable agricultural communities to be more prepared for the impacts of drought.

The grants, which range from $10,000 to $139,000, were awarded to local groups to support community projects such as events that will bring people together, training that will increase knowledge and skills, and infrastructure that will facilitate and enable networking.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that when it comes to building drought resilience, resourcing initiatives that enhance social connectedness and networks is more crucial than ever.

“Rural communities are typically pretty self-reliant, and depend on being able to come together and work as a community to prepare for and respond to most challenges. That includes building resilience to respond to the changing climate, and this round we saw some great projects and initiatives that will strengthen resilience and respond to local needs.

“With many of these rural communities impacted by COVID-19, plus drought, fires, and for many the mouse plague, local fundraising has been even more difficult than usual. So it’s wonderful to be able to offer the support these places need to strengthen community connectedness and build their networks.

“We’re grateful to be partnering with the Australian Government, and to have the support of our other donor partners, because it allows us to back these grassroots organisations who are making significant strides when it comes to preparing their communities for future drought,” said Ms Egleton.

Some of the 33 initiatives funded include:

  • Women Together Learning (WoTL Ltd) – Rudall, Cowell, Karoona, Pinnaroo, SA – Building the WoTL Ambassador Network to Support Women in Ag – $29,625 – Building the WoTL Ambassador Network to support women in agriculture through a series of workshops.
  • Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers – Bundaberg, Gayndah, QLD – Connecting Producers with an Invisible Support Network – $16,200 – Build capacity among growers for training in mental health and wellbeing and to access local support services through a series of BBQ workshops.
  • Gippsland Agricultural Group, Bairnsdale, VIC – Gippsland Connect and Prepare Field Days – $50,000 – Increase community connection and networking activities through the delivery of field day events and installing an accessible ablution block.
  • FarmLink Research Ltd, Temora, NSW – Improving Young Farmer Mental Resilience in Times of Drought – $10,000 – Expand capacity for resilience through an interactive seminar.
  • The Liebe Group Inc – Dalwallinu, Mingenew, Dandaragan, WAWomen in Ag Networking and Diversification (WAND) Program: Strengthening Social Connection and Farm Business Resilience in the Regional Agricultural Community – $13,100 – Foster increased business acumen in drought resilience through the delivery of workshops.

MEANWHILE, Applications are currently open for Round 2 of the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program. To be considered, they must be received by 15 November, with funds announced late February. Projects must be completed by 29 August 2022. Learn more at

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

Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
The Australian Landscape Science Institute LimitedReading Your Landscape
This project will bring local landholders together to study and discuss innovative agricultural practice solutions in two field days and a series of webinars, to manage agricultural dependent regions that are vulnerable to accelerating climate impacts. Through the workshops, participants will be encouraged to network and share ideas about Climate Resilient Landscape practices, and be supported by online webinars with a wider audience.
Monaro Farming Systems CMC IncorporatedMonaro Seasonal Outlook - Building Drought Resilience and Preparedness
This project will host a Field Day in the Monaro region that includes a seasonal outlook presentation and discussion around the Farming Forecaster tool that helps farmers make informed decision to improve drought preparedness in changing climatic conditions. Facilitated discussions and reflections from past experiences will improve collaboration across the local farming network, building knowledge about drought preparedness and an understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change, to build strategies for farmers and local communities to prepare for future droughts.
Northern Rivers Community Gateway Inc - Women on The Land - Get Ready Empower YourselfWomen on The Land (WoTL) Preparedness Workshop Series
This project will deliver five workshops to improve the confidence and reduce social isolation of rural and regional women, while also providing planning and coping tools for the participants to share with their broader networks. Focussing on decision making, preparedness and land management, the workshops will provide a platform to discuss mental health issues of rural and regional women, while also providing access to service providers and the opportunity to build networks for ongoing cohesion.
FarmLink Research LtdImproving Young Farmer Mental Resilience In Times of Drought
This FarmLink project will host an event for Young Farmers to build the skills and networks required to manage the impacts of stress during drought, intergenerational relationships and communicating effectively within family farm businesses. The interactive workshop will bring together young farmers and experts in rural and regional resilience and mental health. Through facilitated discussions, the project will build awareness in practical on-farm strategies that improve the participants' capability to manage the stresses associated with drought and climate change in preparing for the future.
Murdi Paaki Regional Rugby League Council Incorporated trading as Creative Community ConceptsCCC Community Wellbeing Project
This project will improve community resilience through education and mental fitness sessions in schools, and a community dinner, to build wellbeing strategies and mental resilience across local schools and the community. The workshops will build community spirit, bringing the community together to discuss strategies to prepare for difficult times and the impacts of adversity.
Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
Glenrac IncorporatedResilience, Capacity and Community Connection - Glen Innes NSW
This project will support several activities to build resilience, capacity, and community connection across the Glen Innes district including monthly focus evenings, a gardening weekend and informal events that encourage participation and discussion across the community. This project will link into other programs that GLENRAC deliver on benchmarking natural capital, carbon footprint accounting and climate change resilience to build a broader skillset for the participants and the community.
Glen Innes$49,870
North Coast Regional Landcare Network IncPartnership Development Officer for NCRLN
The North Coast Regional Landcare Network in NSW project will support 11 local Landcare networks, facilitating community connection and knowledge sharing across the groups, as well as increasing  opportunities for these participants, and the wider regional Landcare network, to participate in networking events to build a shared understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change in the local region, while also providing the communities with an opportunity to work collaboratively to solve problems common regional issues.
Funding Tier 3: $50,000 - $150,000
Western Plains Regional Development IncShoring Up Community
This project will give local community groups the much-needed opportunity to hold meetings and get together as they prepare for future drought. Understanding the importance of the community hall for social and professional gatherings, this project will support the upgrade of the community hall to enable it to be used year-round for community gatherings, enhancing social connectedness and wellbeing in the community.
Riverine Plains IncorporatedEnhancing Community Networks for Drought Resilience In the Riverine
This project will deliver 30 workshops within the region to connect primary producers, landholders, and Indigenous custodians to build capacity and share knowledge to address the challenges of future drought and climate change conditions. The project will result in increased social connection in local networks and improved future coordination and collaboration between social networks, other community organisations and sectors in the local communities, sharing knowledge to build more resilient communities across the region.
Berrigan & Greater Shepparton$102,300
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Upper North Farming SystemsTools, Tech and Transformation – UNFS and Its HUBS 2022
This project will deliver a 'Tools, Tech and Transformation' workshop for farmers and agri-business followed by a series of nine Hub events to provide an opportunity for participants to network and share information to build their knowledge about drought resilience through learning about new farming systems and techniques to manage in a changing climate.
Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
WoTL LtdBuilding the Women Together Learning (WoTL) Ambassador Network to Support Women In Ag
This project will deliver five workshops focussing on future drought, climate projections and the impact on agricultural practices and rural communities, and support the Women Together Learning (WoTL) Ambassadors to come together for two days to participate in planning, professional development, and networking to enhance their skills to support the broader network. The project will bring women together that ordinarily may not link up and form an ongoing future network, addressing the needs of rural women in preparing for future drought, and support network for better preparedness.
Coorong District CouncilResilient Farmer Networks Building an Understanding of Managing Soil Carbon and Livestock Methane Production, Seasonal Climate Variability, and Seeking Opportunities In Times of Drought
This project will increase opportunities for a diverse group of people and communities to participate in networking through the facilitation of four workshops across the Coorong and Tatiara Districts. The workshops will build farmers' knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change, through the sharing of specialist knowledge in the areas of climate trends, soil carbon, and livestock methane. Through these workshops and networking events, a positive community culture will be built working together to build the community's capacity to respond to change and capitalise on opportunities.
Funding Tier 3: $50,000 - $150,000
Mackillop Farm Management Group IncLimestone Coast Women In Ag Network

This project will increase the resilience of women in the Limestone Coast region of SA to assist preparing for future drought through the delivery of four workshops for women in agriculture across the southeast region of SA. The project will also connect seven regional organisations and build linkages between these local groups to a state-wide organisation, resulting in broader reaches across the state. The network will provide lasting support and increased social connection for the group members across the Limestone Coast region.

Southern Cross UniversityBuilding Drought Resilience In Agriculture-Dependent Communities Through Mapping Young Farmer Information and Support Networks
In this partnership project between Southern Cross University and Agricultural Innovation & Research Eyre Peninsula, a new 'network mapping' tool will be used to provide a detailed understanding of the Eyre Peninsula young landholders knowledge network. The project will support the agricultural dependent community of the Eyre Peninsula to build drought resilience by identifying and implementing context-specific strategies through workshops and mapping. Local champions will share key knowledge with young landholders to enhance networking opportunities around drought-resilient practices.
The Flinders Ranges CouncilQuorn Quandong Festival
This project’s two-day community event will bring expert speakers to present on the impacts of drought and climate change on the region to highlight the importance of forward planning and preparedness. The event will also encourage participants to be involved in the activities and network to share knowledge, while also creating an awareness of agri-food systems opportunities by showcasing opportunities and benefits offered to agricultural businesses through diversification into production of 'bush foods' and use of Indigenous species, as an alternative to traditional practices to build drought resilience.
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Destination Scenic Rim IncScenic Rim Round-Up
The Destination Scenic Rim (DSR) project will build drought resilience and build social connection through the hosting of four events with keynote speakers across the region that will link location specific community groups, businesses, and organisations to increase collaboration and membership across the region. Held in population hubs of Beaudesert, Boonah, Tamborine Mountain, Canungra and several smaller centres, the events will bring community members together with a shared sense of purpose with an aim to increase the community's economic development and diversification.
Macintyre Ag Alliance IncRegenerative Ag Event for Adaptable & Thriving Futures
This project’s two-day event at farms across the Western Downs will provide collaborative events and opportunities to learn about new agricultural approaches to build drought resilience practices into the regional agricultural businesses and communities. Through integrating local networks with established, broader networks, the project aims to increase the social connection, networks, and capacity of landholders for best practice farm management and create drought resilient communities.
Red Earth Community Foundation South Burnett LimitedRed Earth Community Foundation Leadership Forum
Supporting young people to respond to challenges and encourage leadership, the Red Earth Community Foundation (RECF) will host a Leadership Forum to bring together community leaders in the Burnett Inland to connect individuals, groups, and businesses. Through forum sessions, the participants will build leadership skills and form partnerships to assist the region adapt and transform to meet challenges the region will face in a changing climate. The forum will build social connectedness for the region, extend networks and create a shared sense of purpose and community belonging.
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable GrowersConnecting Producers with an Invisible Support Network
This project represents a progressive opportunity to build capability of professional, social and community networks of producers in the Bundaberg region and build long term drought resilience and social wellbeing across the network. The project will support ongoing networking opportunities, including through initial activities including two Accidental Counselling training sessions and host two informal producer BBQ's to create a network of industry representatives who are able to recognise signs of stress and access local support services for local growers to support mental health and wellbeing.
Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
GroWQResourcing and Supporting GroWQ
This GroWQ Project will deliver two networking events: an Ag Industry Round Table facilitating collaboration and enabling access to support in both health services and agricultural services; and a Technology showcase on innovation and business resilience in the agricultural sector and the wider community. Industry insights provided through the workshops will increase participant knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change, providing participants with the knowledge and tools to share with their communities to respond to a changing climate.
Lockyer Valley Growers IncLockyer Agriculture Resilience and Connection (LARC) Project
This project will bring local growing groups together in two seminars to discuss the impacts of climate change and drought on the region, as well as publications in local magazines about local issues and identifying local practices used to manage the impacts of drought. The project will also facilitate training of committee members in governance training to support their organisation to continue to support the broader grower network. Through the involvement of around 200 producers and land managers across the region, the project will enhance networking and knowledge sharing, building a greater culture of connection across the region.
Longreach Regional CouncilCreating Sustainable Communities 'In the Bush'
This project will facilitate four community workshops and events across issues relevant to different sectors of the Longreach community including youth issues, women's, business and work topics. Workshops through the project will facilitate local networks, increase business planning knowledge and skills, encourage social connection and ensure access to support services to build resilience and future drought preparedness in the local region.
Northern Gulf Resource Management Group LtdCroydon Shire Food Security Project
The project will establish a community-led steering group through a central co-ordinator to build a food security strategy for the region. The project will increase community engagement, a shared sense of purpose and collaboration between social networks and sectors in local communities, bringing groups together to share knowledge to build strategies to address food insecurity issues in the local area.
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Wairewa Public Hall & Recreation ReserveSupporting Future Community Networking Opportunities
This project will provide essential support to community groups in the Wairewa region to network in the lead up, during and after future drought, through the improvement of the public hall as an ongoing social meeting place to build community connection and engagement. Upgrading the hall's kitchen and flooring will enable the local community and farmers to socially connect, as well as engaging with neighbouring communities, thus building a wider social network and community wellbeing through a common functional meeting space.
Charlton Neighbourhood House IncBuloke First Peoples Art Trail
Understanding the need for a year-round meeting place to build community wellbeing and a place for engagement, particularly during times of drought, this project will develop an open-air, self-guided Bush Tucker Garden that tell the stories of the local Djaara people and walking trail along the Avoca River that include First Nations Artworks that tell stories of the impacts of a changing climate and times of drought in the Charlton and Buloke area. Through the community’s involvement in the development of the garden and walking trail, the project will build a shared sense of community belonging in the area.
Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
Mallee Sustainable Farming IncCreating an Online Learning Community to Help Farmers Manage Soil In Drought
This project will create a new online learning community and network to help Mallee broadacre farmers prepare for future drought. The network will draw on the latest evidence-based information and resources on how to protect, manage and repair soils before, during and after drought. The project will deliver online learning to increase knowledge sharing and capacity of farmers to access local soil resources and peer forums to build drought resilience. Through joint learning and support, participants will build professional and social networks, sharing information to build an understanding of and resilience to the impacts of future droughts on the region’s soils.
Birchip Cropping Group IncFilling the GAPP – A Forum for Future Farmers
This project will involve two core activities: the first is a GAPP (Growth, Adoption, Production and Profitability) regional event for new generation farmers titled ‘Filling the GAPP, a forum for future farmers'. The second activity being a round of seven locally focussed production and business resilience focussed discussion group meetings, targeting new generation, early career farmers and supporting agribusiness personnel, to facilitate the opportunity for early career professionals to exchange ideas on farming business practice and provide communities an opportunity to work collaboratively to solve problems,  building capacity and leveraging the wider Birchip Cropping Group network of industry connections to build local drought resilience.
Gippsland Agricultural GroupGippsland Connect and Prepare Field Days
This project will increase community connection and networking through two farmer field days, bringing together local farming and community groups to discuss issues prevalent in the region. The project will increase the capacity to use this site for educational, social and networking activities for the agricultural community through the installation of an ablution block at a site frequently used for social and professional networking events, thus increasing the region's ability to support educational, social, and networking activities in the agricultural community and benefit many groups across East Gippsland.
Funding Tier 3: $50,000 - $150,000
AgBiz Assist Limited - Ovens Murray AgBiz AllianceUsing Tech to Connect, Mitigate and Manage Drought In North East Victoria
This project will bring people together informally in a series of meetups and dinners for those involved in agriculture, food and fibre, as well as a regional website to showcase agriculture, food and fibre information and newsletters and podcasts with information on provider networks across the region, providing a tool for connection and accessing regional services. Through the project, the region will have avenues to sustain community engagement and improved coordination and collaboration between social and professional networks.
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
The Liebe Group IncWomen In Ag Networking and Diversification (WAND) Program: Strengthening Social Connection and Farm Business Resilience in the Regional Agricultural Community

This project will host onsite field visits and an agricultural day show to provide participants with future planning knowledge for below-average seasons and increased business acumen to adapt to the negative effects of drought. Through the project, the local women in agriculture involved in the projects will build capacity and resilience, as well as regional networks to respond to the impacts of drought, both socially and on their farm businesses.

Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
Southern Rangelands Pastoral Alliance IncRehydrating the Southern Rangelands of WA
This project will bring together farmers to learn about drought resilience issues that are common across the Southern Rangelands area of WA. The project will bring together a farming network, for participants to build the confidence and capability to change historical management practices to restore, repair and improve management approaches in the Southern Rangelands. Through the workshops, the farming network developed will share approaches and support to continue managing the Rangelands in the changing climatic conditions.
Shire of RavensthorpeHopetoun Community Networking Support
The project will establish the connections to support networks to better connect with community members. The installation of an electronic noticeboard at the Hopetoun Community Resource Centre is to provide critical community and climate information, and promote events to build information sharing and community connection. The project will result in a coordinated and time effective response to disaster preparedness and drought resilience for the local community.
Funding Tier 3: $50K - $150K
Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management IncorporatedTalkin' Soil Health - for Drought Resilience
This project will connect a network of farmers, farming advisors and support services to an awareness of local support avenues. The Talkin’ Soil Health Conference will focus on building capacity in the WA farming community to address climate challenges with adaptive technology. An on-farm workshop, podcasts and a Community of Practice will extend networking between participants, resulting in an active network of farmers, farm advisors, support services and researchers to build capacity and awareness of local industry support to share knowledge, skills, and tools to build drought resilience.