Media releases: 19 June 2023
FRRR has awarded $213,343 via Telstra’s Connected Communities Grant Program to 30 local groups and not-for-profits (NFPs) across remote, rural and regional Australia for projects embracing technology to foster the resilience, environmental sustainability and liveability of their communities.
This is the first round of Telstra’s Connected Communities Grant Program, which is the core of its new partnership with FRRR (announced February 2023). The focus of the program is on fostering a resilient community, a more sustainable community or a more liveable community.
Awarded grants range from $1,849, which will be used to provide the Victorian community of Strathbogie with access to free Wi-Fi at the local hall, through to $10,000, for projects such as Collinsville Connect Telecentre Group’s cyber security workshop for older members of their Queensland community.
Loretta Willaton, Regional Australia Executive and Regional Customer Advocate at Telstra, said the program’s impacts go beyond simply supplying internet or technology.
“We’re really excited to see this program beginning to come to fruition and to see funding going to rural communities that have been doing it really tough the last few years.
“This round of grants has highlighted the ways in which digital connectivity goes hand-in-hand with social and cultural connectivity. How these factors complement one another has a strong impact on the liveability of a community, so it makes sense that a majority of funded projects are designed to equip locals with the skills to live, learn and work in a digital society.
“That’s what this program is all about – keeping people connected in the most important sense of the word,” Ms Willaton said.
This round saw most projects fall into the liveability category, with a range of initiatives being funded like the provision of Wi-Fi connectivity, new digital equipment, the training of volunteers and community members to build their digital knowledge, be it for cyber security, social media or simply navigating new computing hardware and software that would contribute to better operations of community events and organisations.
Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that there was a lot of interest in the program, with the Foundation receiving many applications for high quality projects.
“Keeping rural communities connected has never been more important, which was reflected by the strong response we received from communities all over remote, rural and regional Australia.
“Community organisations and local not-for-profits (NFPs) in rural communities are clearly keen to make sure locals have the equipment and the knowledge they need to engage in activities that are often taken for granted in metro areas. That might be spreading important information quickly, increasing opportunities for education or providing access to the electronic resources that become vital in emergency situations.
“With so many impressive initiatives on the table, we are grateful that Telstra increased its commitment this year to more than $213,000. There are so many different ways to keep a community connected, and more importantly, a lot of positive outcomes that can be achieved and we look forward to seeing these ideas come to life,” Ms Egleton said.
Some other examples of the projects being funded are below:
A full list of grant recipients is detailed below.
|NEW SOUTH WALES|
|Bathurst Information and Neighbourhood Centre Incorporated||Connecting Our Community |
Build community capacity to meet, train and connect by providing Wi-Fi internet to the Bathurst Neighbourhood Centre community meeting room.
|Broadwater Rileys Hill Community Centre||Strengthening IT Access and Literacy for Broadwater Residents |
Boost technological skills and digital connectivity for vulnerable residents in Broadwater by conducting IT training sessions and upgrading computer software.
|Eden Community Access Centre Inc||Southern Cyber Safety |
Boost community knowledge around cyber safety in Eden and surrounding communities by providing specialist IT training for six months and offering a weekly drop-in service for checking device security.
|Lachlan and Western Regional Services Inc||Empowered Connections |
Boost organisational digital capability to better support remote community members' social and economic outcomes.
|RiverSmart Australia Limited||Using Digital Technology to Discover Tiger Bay |
Grow cultural and environmental knowledge of the rivers and wetlands around Warren by the creation of an app to provide information and digital upskilling to the community.
|Wardell Community Organised Resilience Effort Inc||Wardell Community Organised Resilience Effort |
Boost community resilience with training and equipment to support digital capability and connectivity during disasters.
|Cape York Digital Network Pty Ltd||Fall-back Server |
Build capacity of the Cape York Digital Network to enable connectivity in remote Queensland with a new server to manage increasing demands.
|Collinsville Connect Telecentre Group Incorporated||Cyber Security Sessions for Seniors |
Boost digital capability for older people through a cyber security workshop to enhance skills and risk management.
|Goondir Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Corporation for Health Services||Improving Digital Capability for Better Collaboration |
Improve digital capability of First Nations health service with video conferencing equipment to enhance staff and stakeholder communications, improving overall service delivery to clients.
|North Burnett Regional SES Queensland Fire and Emergency Services||North Burnett State Emergency Service Digital Connectivity |
Improve digital connectivity with equipment to improve connectivity operation to enhance operational capacity and better quality training for QFES in North Burnett.
|Numabulla Men's Shed Inc.||IT Education and Access Program |
Improve digital capability and literacy with technology equipment at the Men's Shed to deliver access and education.
|QCWA Branch Upper Stone||Connecting our Community |
Build community resilience and preparedness with an inverter generator and mobile booster to ensure power and connectivity in disasters and emergencies.
|St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland||Expanding Our Virtual Reach in Far North QLD|
Enhance digital capacity and literacy of volunteers with equipment and training that will benefit the broader community accessing services.
|State Emergency Service - Charters Towers Queensland Fire and Emergency Services||Mobile Operations Centre |
Build preparedness and resilience in communities by upgrading the QFES Mobile Operation Centre with radios and back-up solar power to deliver disaster preparedness education and enable connectivity in extreme weather events across the Charters Towers region.
|Whitfield Community Kindergarten Association Inc||Water Tank and Weather Station |
Support early child development and learning on environmental sustainability with digital tools to understand weather and water accessibility.
|Callington A & H Society Inc||Callington Show - Online Software |
Build organisational capacity with software to improve local show operations, developing digital capability for volunteers and efficiencies for participants.
|Moorook Bowling Club Incorporated||Future Connections |
Increase community capacity with digital connection via a mobile booster to support access to the internet in Moorook.
|Parndana Soldier Settlement Museum Parndana Progress Association||Adding to the Mosaic |
Improve digital literacy and capability of local museum volunteers with software, equipment and a website upgrade to better present and promote local history.
|Southern Yorke Peninsula Community Hub Incorporated||Let's Get Social! Social Media Content Marketing 101 for SYP Volunteers & Community Groups |
Upskill community group volunteers to increase their efficiency in navigating the digital world.
|Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre Inc||Communities Connect |
Foster a more inclusive and connected community, by providing access to digital resources.
|King Island Regional Development Organisation Inc 2520||Digital Literacy Workshops and Buddy Program |
Improve digital literacy for the King Island community with an upgrade of technology and delivery of digital training and mentoring to build capability.
|Live Well Tasmania||Community, Power and Communications Resilience Equipment|
Build community resilience with preparedness by purchasing equipment to provide power during outages including a generator, solar panels and rechargeable radios and torches.
|Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance Inc||Connecting People to Restore and Reconnect Nature |
Build organisational capacity of Biolinks Alliance with computer equipment, software and subscriptions to increase dissemination of educational information for repairing regional ecosystems.
|Poowong Public Hall Inc||Equipment for Training in Meeting Room 2 of the Poowong Public Hall Inc |
Improve community facilities with a digital TV and laptop for the Poowong Hall meeting facilities to enhance functionality and support increased use.
|Strathbogie Memorial Hall Incorporated||Strathbogie Memorial Hall Wi-Fi |
Boost digital connectivity for the community of Strathbogie by providing free Wi-Fi access at the local hall.
|Wodonga Urban Landcare Network||Strive to Thrive - Connecting Environmental Volunteers |
Build community capability for improved environmental sustainability practice via a new website to share information and educate volunteers and the wider community surrounding Wodonga.
|Woomelang & District Development Assoc||Website Redevelopment Project |
Strengthen community engagement and connection through the creation of a website for Woomelang township to share information for locals and tourists.
|Albany & Regional Volunteer Service Inc||Community eSafe Clubs - Equipping Clubs to Confidently Embrace the Use of Digital Technologies |
Build volunteer capacity with cyber security workshops to develop digital literacy and upskill people working in community to manage information online with confidence.
|Broome Community Resource Centre Inc||Public Access Computers - Technology Refresh and Enhancement |
Support community digital access with upgraded computers, ensuring people in and around Broome have access and can be trained in current software use for social and economic needs.
|Harvey Aboriginal Corporation||Connecting Community, Culture and Computers |
Provide access to digital resources and First Nations language and culture learning opportunities to students of Harvey by purchasing an interactive whiteboard, tablets and monitors.