Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

In the 12 years since the 2009 Bushfires, almost half of the residents of Kinglake are new to the area. So the work of Kinglake Landcare Group is important in helping to improve the new residents’ understanding of their natural environment and the importance of fire safety. As a subsidiary of Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House (KRNH), Kinglake Landcare Group provides support to the natural environment of Kinglake by undertaking community engagement activities and promoting sustainable agriculture.

With support from our Grants for Resilience & Wellness – Kinglake Ranges (GR&W Kinglake) program, Kinglake Landcare Group was able to make quite an impact on the community with their organised activities. The Group used their GR&W Kinglake grant to facilitate bushwalks and workshops to provide a practical way for residents to become familiar with the native flora, including how to care for it.  

Geordie Scott-Walker, a botanist from Wildlife Experiences, guided a group of 22 enthusiastic participants on a walk from Captains Creek Road. Along the way Geordie would stop and identify local plants, explaining each ecosystem and the importance of the relationships between plants and the environment. After a quick lunch break, the walkers were then led to the nearby Wombelano Falls where the lesson continued. Social media posts allowed residents from surrounding areas, including Whittlesea and Strath Creek to participate in the activity as well.

The grant also made it possible for Kinglake Landcare Group to hold a propagation workshop with horticulturalist, Michael Cincotta, from the Latrobe Wildlife Sanctuary. Residents were shown how to grow indigenous flora through seeds and cuttings. The pots, soil and stakes were provided at the workshop. Attendees were able to take home their own small clipping of the Round-Leaf Pomaderris plant, which is endangered in the Kinglake area.

The success of these events prompted Kinglake Landcare Group to schedule more walks that have been postponed due to the coronavirus. With the enthusiasm and support from other nearby towns, the natural environment of Kinglake ranges will continue to improve and flourish.

By attending either of the activities these local communities were able to build on the knowledge and understanding of their natural environment. The hope is that each resident who participated in the walk or workshop will continue to share the information with others. The skills learnt at the bushwalk and the workshop have given individuals the power to help maintain the natural flora and take an active role in their community.

Applications now open for Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program

Community organisations and networks can access a share of $4.5 million under the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program, with grants on offer to drive action on drought resilience. The program will be delivered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).

Networks to Build Drought Resilience

Through the Networks to Build Resilience program, the Australian Government’s investment of $3.375m, together with a $1.125m contribution from FRRR, will enable $4.5 million to be available for on-ground community capacity building projects, across two funding rounds. 

The Networks to Build Drought Resilience program will support the community organisations, networks and infrastructure that help people and communities prepare for, and live through, times of drought. The program will fund events, activities, training and small-scale infrastructure that assist communities to build their capacity.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said local community networks are the foundation of resilient communities.

“Through this program we’re helping to invest in the future of agriculture-dependent regions by enabling them to prepare now for periods of ongoing dryness,” Ms Egleton said.

“A key element of this program will be to build stronger networks, and to encourage greater sharing of learnings and more collaboration within and across networks.”

Applications are now open and close at 5pm AEST, 5 July 2021. Grant recipients will be announced October 2021. For more information or to apply visit FRRR’s website – www.frrr.org.au/networks.

Read the full announcement from The Hon David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management here – https://minister.awe.gov.au/littleproud/media-releases/fdf-networks-build-drought-resilience.

For more information on the Future Drought Fund, visit agriculture.gov.au/fdf.