Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

FRRR has today welcomed the extension of DGR-1 status for the country’s Community Foundations, in particular those in regional areas, which was confirmed in Tuesday night’s Budget announcements. This special status means that from 1 July, they can directly receive tax deductible donations from a broader range of donors to support more place-based philanthropy, which FRRR has long-championed.

HEADING: FRRR welcomes extension of DGR1 to Rural Community Foundations
IMAGE: Group shot of community group members with their hands in the air

Place-based approaches are critical, especially given the compounding impacts of back to back disasters and the challenges and opportunities in each community. They allow local people to prioritise resources to deliver outcomes that they know will make the most impact, taking account of the unique circumstances of every place.

For the rural and regional communities that have a local Community Foundation that is a member of Community Foundations Australia, this legislative change will mean that they will soon be able to directly accept tax deductible donations to channel toward their local community needs, as well as give to local community organisations that do not have DGR-1 status.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, says that this reform paves the way for much-needed additional local giving, and that FRRR will continue to support rural communities across Australia to address local and regional issues.

“FRRR was established in 2000 through a partnership between the Australian Government and philanthropy to facilitate long-term and flexible funding to reach and stay in remote, rural and regional communities. In fact, we were set up to address many of the issues raised in the Pride of Place Inquiry, which recommended this DGR extension. We have long championed the important role of place-based philanthropy and indeed, have channelled more than $135 million to in excess of 12,000 projects to support local projects in remote, rural and regional Australia.

“Of this, more than $22 million has gone to support Community Foundations, with some $6 million via the 22 Community Foundations that we have partnered with through a Community Foundation Account. We are proud to have been able to help these Foundations raise and distribute those funds, and to have played a key role in the establishment, development, and promotion of the sector as a whole. We welcome this legislative reform, which will enable even more funding to be channelled locally,” Ms Egleton said.

Over the coming months, FRRR will work closely with the 19 Community Foundations that currently hold Community Foundation Fundraising Accounts and are in a position to take advantage of this legislative reform.

“FRRR will continue to back regional Community Foundations and to facilitate funding and collaborations for other remote, rural, and regional not-for-profits and community groups to advance resilient, vibrant, sustainable regional communities. Our role in connecting resources and supporting the capacity of local leaders and not-for-profit organisations, and having a long-term focus in our work, will remain a key pillar of FRRR’s work.”

Community Foundations Australia commented that “FRRR has been the engine room for the development of Community Foundations in regional Australia, where four out of five of these Foundations operate. This reform may change how we work with each other, but it does not change our shared ambition of working together to support regional community development. Our sector as a whole very much looks forward to building on our well established relationship with FRRR for mutual benefit.”

For more information on the services that FRRR offers, visit www.frrr.org.au.

FRRR has awarded $3,084,346 to 60 local not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in remote, rural and regional Australia for grassroots initiatives that will build their community’s resilience to drought.

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 agriculture-dependent communities. It’s designed to give local NFPs access to the funds and resources they need to prepare and strengthen their community’s response to future drought and climate change.

This second round of grants, which range from $10,120 to $150,000, sees several First Nations organisations receiving grants. The successful groups include Outback Academy Australia Ltd, which has received a grant of $146,966 to strengthen drought resilience through collaborative Aboriginal networks across several states.

There is also more funding to help women in rural communities come together, with support for projects like the Rural Women’s Gathering 2022 in South Australia. Their $27,000 grant will help to build drought resilience by facilitating professional, social and community connections among women.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that this diversity in applications is what allows these programs to make a meaningful difference in local communities.

“We’ve seen community-led projects that address the needs of First Nations people, women and young people. It’s this kind of tailored approach, responding to the unique challenges of each place, that will enable these communities to build long-lasting networks to build their enduring ability to manage the future impacts of drought.”

Ms Egleton also said that despite facing many challenges, these local organisations are committed to building a better future for their communities in the long run.

“Local leaders are so impressive. Many groups were still dealing with the impacts of COVID lockdowns and restrictions, not to mention extreme weather events. These circumstances have left volunteers feeling very fatigued (as we confirmed in our Heartbeat of Rural Australia study last year), and yet these rounds saw proposals for great ideas and innovative projects put forward“.

“We’re proud to partner with the Australian Government on this program, and grateful for the additional funding we have received from our many other donors. These partnerships are vital when it comes to equipping grassroots organisations with the resources, they need to ensure their regions can thrive into the future,” said Ms Egleton.

Some more of the 60 initiatives, which are spread across every state and territory, include:

  • Tharwa Community Association Inc – Tharwa, ACT – Tharwa Community Hall Critical Repair and Remediation –  $20,000 – This project will support crucial repairs for the Tharwa meeting hall. The hall is a central meeting place for local farming families and fosters connectedness and the community’s capacity to respond to future drought events.
  • Tamworth Regional Landcare Association – Wallabadah, NSW – Regenerative Practices on the Liverpool Plains: Learning & Working Together to Build Drought Resilience – $22,600 – This project will build drought resilience through two education events and a farm tour day to build understandings of risks posed by drought and climate change in agriculture-dependent communities of the Tamworth region. The project will encourage participants to shift from ‘season to season’ thinking to developing a long-term vision and plan which considers the impact of climate variability on their farming business.
  • Young Livestock Exporters Network – Darwin & Katherine, NT and Townsvillle, Qld – YLEN Leadership Program: Future-Proofing the Livestock Industry – $45,867 – This project will support educational opportunities through two training events, a leadership program and stockperson course, designed to bring rural youth together to discuss the impacts of difficult times, including drought. These events will enable the youth participants to discuss with industry experts, topics to understand the risks posed by drought, how to plan for and manage the risks, and stress, self-care and communication during difficult times, giving the participants tools that they can share with their communities, and draw on during difficult times, including times of drought.
  • Burnett Catchment Care Association – Monto, QLD – Connecting Monto producers to build resilience – $19,000 – This project will support hosting of three workshops on strategies to prepare for drought, sustainability practices and soil health during drought. Focussing on discussion about new information presented and sharing of ideas and experiences, the workshops will build locally relevant knowledge required to support the rural community’s response to the impacts of drought.
  • Tumby Bay Progress Association – Tumby Bay, SA – Improving Farmer Skills in Effective Communication and Digital Literacy, Lower Eyre Peninsula – $45,000 – This project will build drought resilience through enabling 50 locals to participate in a 16-week communication and literacy training program, focussed at building participants’ capacity to network with their communities, thus building participants’ readiness to face the impacts during times of drought. The project will support ongoing community engagement through an online networking tool for the community to continue sharing ideas and experiences to continue building connectedness and a shared sense of purpose.
  • Big Hart – Wynyard, TAS – The Watershed Project – $140,000 – This project will support community engagement events including three community dinners, a networking breakfast, two film screenings and two workshops across the North West coast of Tasmania to discuss topics such as water and eco anxiety, water and well-being, and water and local production. The events will be targeted across the local community to involve producers, local clubs, youth and businesses for the communities will work collaboratively to solve problems on environmental and agribusiness topics that are central to drought resilience at the local level.
  • Partners in Ag Incorporated – Rupanyup, VIC – Wimmera Rural Table Gathering – $28,608 – This project will support a full day event to bring rural women together to discuss the impacts of drought and a changing climate for the region. Including a panel discussion of industry experts, participants will be involved in discussions and learnings to understand the challenges faced by communities in times of drought and how community members can develop skills and strategies to deal with difficult times, including during times of drought.
  • Lower Blackwood Land Conservation District Committee – Karridale, WA – Lower Blackwood Online Community Forum & Information Hub – $49,850 – This project will build the community’s capacity to understand & implement sustainable agriculture objectives and drought resilience through an online Community Forum & Information Hub, which will provide an interactive platform to access information and resources with locally relevant information.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Tharwa Community Association IncTharwa Community Hall Critical Repair and Remediation

This project will support crucial repairs for the Tharwa meeting hall. The hall is a central meeting place for local farming families and fosters connectedness and the community’s capacity to respond to future drought events.

Tharwa$20,000
NEW SOUTH WALES
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Active Farmers Ltd.100 Mental Health Champions

This project will support trainers and community members across 47 rural communities to attend a two-day mental health first aid course. Through the course, participants will share their skills to work with their communities to respond to the challenges that arise in rural communities during times of drought.

Mangoplah$10,120
Community College-Northern Inland IncorporatedNamoi Womens Shed

This project will support improvements to increase the Namoi Women’s Shed as a venue for training and collaboration. This will support the community to meet, and develop skills and social connections, that support drought preparedness.

Narrabri$13,731
Central West Farming Systems Inc.CWFS Rural and Regional Women and Youth 'Just Brilliant' Conference 2022

This one-day conference will bring together rural women and young leaders with agricultural leaders to discuss personal, rural and drought resilience. The event will provide opportunity for participants to network across communities and seek guidance and mentorship to deal with the impacts of difficult times, including drought.

Condobolin$16,210
Cookamidgera Community Landcare IncSaving Cooka Hall

This project will support critical upgrades to the central community hall. This will make the hall accessible for more of the community to gather, strengthening connections and sharing of knowledge to prepare for the impacts of drought.

Cookamidgera$16,370
Eurobodalla Shire CouncilFor the Farmers - Finding connection in the country

This project will support two community networking events and a podcast series. It will strengthen community networks and engagement through regular meetings, and disseminate key drought information for the community.

Moruya$17,270
Adavale Lane Community Centre IncorporatedSetting Up a Connected Educational Environment to Run a Workshop on How to Prepare for a Drought

This project will support a workshop that will include insights, demonstrations and strategies that can be implemented locally to prepare for future droughts. The project will also include small upgrades to the local meeting place to improve its use for the community to share knowledge and support each other before, during and after times of drought.

Goonumbla$17,491
Weemelah HallProvide additional outdoor facilities and beautification to the Weemelah Hall Yard

This project will support improvements to indoor and outdoor facilities at the Weemelah Hall. The improvements will enable the facility to continue its vital role as a central meeting place for the community to meet, including preparing for drought.

Weemelah$18,832
Gwymac IncorporatedBuilding Farm Resilience Through More Dynamic Soils and Pastures

This project will host three workshops that will provide information on drought resilience farming and climate change. The workshops will build farmers’ and the communities’ knowledge through sharing of case studies, personal experiences and learnings.

Inverell$18,950
Monaro Farming Systems CMC IncorporatedDrought Preparedness on The Monaro – Feed Evaluating & Drought Planning

This project supports a three day drought preparedness workshop that will build local producers’ skills and capacity to evaluate and manage the impacts of drought. It will include sessions on risk management and planning, strategies on drought planning, and pasture management to prepare for, and during times of drought.

Cooma$19,050
Funding Tier 2: $20,001- $50,000
Tamworth Regional Landcare AssociationRegenerative Practices on the Liverpool Plains: Learning & Working Together to Build Drought Resilience

This project will build drought resilience through two education events and a farm tour day to build understandings of risks posed by drought and climate change in agriculture-dependent communities of the Tamworth region. The project will encourage participants to shift from ‘season to season’ thinking to developing a long-term vision and plan which considers the impact of climate variability on their farming business.

Wallabadah$22,600
Destination Tweed LtdCross-Sector Connectivity: Food + Nature + Arts

This project will build drought resilience through four agri-food networking forums to strengthen understanding of risks posed by drought and climate change, and ensure the community is better positioned to adapt to future drought challenges.

Tyalgum$25,000
Mid Lachlan Landcare IncorporatedUsing the Future to learn from past droughts

This project will support four local field days on drought resilience, on-farm drought preparedness plans and agricultural sustainability practices in the region, to build the skills of local land managers to enable them to make timely on farm decision making when dealing with the warning signs and effects of drought.

Canowindra$27,560
Clarence Landcare IncorporatedClarence Landcare Agriculture Network (CLAN)

This project will support monthly field days and other events, training and meetings to provide training on best practice land and natural resource management skills for communities preparing for and responding to the impacts of drought.

Grafton$40,520
Glenrac IncorporatedCultivating Skills and Community Connections for Glen Innes

This project supports a series of nine training workshops for community members and farming businesses, focussed on drought and risk management planning. The project provides additional benefit in fostering networks for new residents with limited social connections in the community.

Glen Innes$48,340
Bermagui Pre School Co-operative Society LimitedThe Moodji Futures Project

This project will support local events including a sustainability workshop and Long Table Dinner.  The events will focus on drought mitigation practices and support a shared sense of purpose and community belonging.

Bermagui$49,000
Caragabal Country Golf Club LtdImprove access, safety and efficiency of the Caragabal Country Golf Club as a community meeting place

This project will establish an online forum to increase knowledge sharing and stories across the community, and support small upgrades to the central community meeting place.  These activities will improve the community’s ability to share knowledge and improve social connectedness and improved mental health and wellbeing throughout the drought cycle.

Caragabal$50,000
Funding Tier 3: $50,001 - $150,000
Kempsey Shire CouncilThe Macleay Valley River to the Sea Festival

This project will support a community festival, involving a primary producer workshop to build long-term success in a post drought region, as well as mental health and resilience in times of drought. Participants will build local connections and an understanding of risks posted by drought and the changing climate.

Kempsey$56,960
NORTHERN TERRITORY
Funding Tier 2: $20,001- $50,000
Kulgera Gymkhana Club IncorporatedKulgera Gymkhana Club - Upgrade Facilities

This project will support connectedness in this very remote region through supporting small scale community infrastructure improvements at a main community facility, thus enabling the community to connect and share experiences and knowledge, and improve the community’s wellbeing during tough times, including during drought.

Kulgera$29,724
Young Livestock Exporters NetworkYLEN Leadership Program: Future-Proofing the Livestock Industry

This project will support educational opportunities through two training events, a leadership program and stockperson course, designed to bring rural youth together to discuss the impacts of difficult times, including drought. These events will enable the youth participants to discuss with industry experts, topics to understand the risks posed by drought, how to plan for and manage the risks, and stress, self-care and communication during difficult times, giving the participants tools that they can share with their communities, and draw on during difficult times, including times of drought.

Darwin, Katherine & Townsville$45,867
QUEENSLAND
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Burnett Catchment Care AssociationConnecting Monto producers to build resilience

This project will support hosting of three workshops on strategies to prepare for drought, sustainability practices and soil health during drought. Focussing on discussion about new information presented and sharing of ideas and experiences, the workshops will build locally relevant knowledge required to support the rural community’s response to the impacts of drought.

Monto$19,000
Funding Tier 2: $20,001- $50,000
Connecting Communities Australia LtdBright Spaces, Bright Faces: Renovation of the Isisford District Hospital Museum and Multi-Purpose Centre

This project will support small upgrades at a community centre to enable this formal and informal community meeting space to be used year-round and host a community event on drought preparedness for the region.

Isisford$28,508
Queensland Families and Communities Association Inc.Neighbourhood Centres Engaging to Strengthen Community Connections and Wellbeing

This project will support capacity building events including information evenings and drought preparedness packs, to share information to prepare for the impacts of drought. Community events through the project will share information for communities to adapt to future drought challenges.

Diamond Valley$46,740
Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA) IncorporatedSPAA Community Field Days - Supporting Drought Resilience

This project will support five community field days that will build knowledge about agricultural practices relevant to the regions, assisting these farming communities to understand and discuss the risks posed by drought and climate change.

Goondiwindi (Qld), Dalwallinu (WA), Kyalite (NSW); Underbool (Vic); Waikerie (SA)$48,658
Northern Gulf Resource Management Group LtdDrought Resilience Awareness and Networking Forums for the Northern Gulf region of Queensland

This project will fund a series of three drought and farming forum events across regional Queensland about the risks posed by drought in the Northern Gulf region. Farmer focused forums will include guest speakers and interactive discussions and planning sessions, to build participants’ knowledge and networks to build the rural communities’ capacity to better respond to the impacts of drought.

Dimbulah, Chillagoe & Croydon$49,700
Stanthorpe Agricultural Society"Connect with the world!" LED sign installation project

This project will support community infrastructure improvements to the Stanthorpe Agriculture Showgrounds that will increase community usage of the venue to foster connectedness, improve wellbeing and increase knowledge sharing, by engaging sections of the population that are not able to access key community information in other means.

Stanthorpe$50,000
Momentum Mental Health LimitedWellbeing and Drought Resilience training for Darling Downs QLD small business teams

This project will support wellbeing and mental health workshops to rural businesses to provide training, skills and strategies to support the community prepare for and during times of drought. The workshops will build the confidence of participants to check in across the communities, identify signs of mental distress during times of drought and take action during hard times.

Toowoomba$50,000
Funding Tier 3: $50,001 - $150,000
Warra Public Memorial Hall IncRe-roofing and installation of insulation of the Warra Memorial Hall

This project will support small upgrades to a central community centre used by farming groups and the community to share ideas, network and hold community information sessions. This local meeting place will provide the community to support each other and share ideas to prepare for the impacts of drought.

Warra$115,500
Flinders Shire CouncilThe Hub: Creating connection, strengthening resilience, and activating opportunity

This community project will build drought resilience through small scale community infrastructure improvements to a main local meeting place, and through this, foster connectedness, improve wellbeing and share knowledge during hard times, including drought.

Hughenden$150,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Funding Tier 2: $20,001- $50,000
Limestone Coast Food & Agribusiness Cluster LtdImproving regional branding and recognition of local agri-food systems on SA’s Limestone Coast through the delivery of regional networking and capacity building events.

This project will build the region’s preparedness to the impacts of drought through connecting through six networking events and six webinars for local producers to discuss the impacts of drought locally and develop the necessary skills and knowledge for the region to respond to hard times, including times of drought. The project will facilitate professional, social and community connection to better understand the risks posed by drought and climate change, as well as fostering higher rates of innovation in the local area.

Penola$24,450
District Council of Streaky BayRural Women's Gathering 2022

This project will develop the community’s preparedness to the impacts of drought through a full-day networking event about understanding the risks posed by drought and climate change. The event will encourage both regional and local women across South Australia to share experiences and skills whilst also providing these women with tools and training, so they are better prepared to respond to hard times, including during times of drought.

Streaky Bay$27,000
Tumby Bay Progress Association IncorporatedImproving Farmer Skills in Effective Communication and Digital Literacy, Lower Eyre Peninsula

This project will build drought resilience through enabling 50 locals to participate in a 16-week communication and literacy training program, focussed at building participants’ capacity to network with their communities, thus building participants’ readiness to face the impacts during times of drought. The project will support ongoing community engagement through an online networking tool for the community to continue sharing ideas and experiences to continue building connectedness and a shared sense of purpose.

Tumby Bay$45,000
WoTL Ltd“100 billion reasons” – a program to upskill rural businesses in modern human resource leadership to prepare SA agricultural industries and rural communities for 2030.

This project will support two training workshops and an online forum for rural groups across four regions in rural South Australia. Learnings will include community risk management, planning and issues relating to specific communities, to build a collective knowledge to support these communities deal with the impacts of hard times, including drought.

Lameroo, Cleve, Keith & Minlaton$49,891
Funding Tier 3: $50,001 - $150,000
Wudinna and Le Hunte District Agricultural Horticultural & Floricultural Society IncorporatedWudinna Showgrounds Water Harvest

This project will support the local community build preparedness to the impacts of drought by developing strategies to enable the community to have a social meeting place to connect and support each other during difficult times, including times of drought.

Wudinna$109,417
University of South AustraliaStrengthening wellbeing and deepening social support in a drought-affected, agricultural-dependent community with the help of ‘Wellbeing Warriors’ to promote mental health and wellbeing within their networks

This project will strengthen the capacity of community networks in the regional town of Loxton, through three tailored workshops, involving industry experts to discuss ideas and experiences for the community to develop strategies to deal with the impacts of tough times. Training of wellbeing champions in the rural communities will assist the communities prepare for, and respond to the impacts of drought.

Loxton$148,458
Marama Community IncorporatedMarama Community Hall Revival

This project will support small improvements for this regional South Australian town’s central meeting place to increase its use year-round, fostering community connectedness and communal space for community support during difficult times, including times of drought.

Marama$150,000
TASMANIA
Funding Tier 3: $50,001 - $150,000
Big Hart IncThe Watershed Project

This project will support community engagement events including three community dinners, a networking breakfast, two film screenings and two workshops across the North West coast of Tasmania to discuss topics such as water and eco anxiety, water and well-being, and water and local production. The events will be targeted across the local community to involve producers, local clubs, youth and businesses for the communities will work collaboratively to solve problems on environmental and agribusiness topics that are central to drought resilience at the local level.

Wynyard$140,000
VICTORIA
Funding Tier 2: $20,001- $50,000
Trust for Nature (Victoria)Native grassland management on farms in south-west Victoria

This project will support a forum that will connect farmers, rural landholders and experts to discuss local issues faced in preparing for drought. The forum will build drought resilience knowledge and improve local collaboration and knowledge of the skills and strategies required to prepare for droughts.

Shelford$21,900
Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre IncSupporting a resilient community - mental health first aid training

This project will build the skills and understanding of the risks posed by difficult times, including during times of drought, through a series of eight mental health first aid courses to local community leaders. The participants will develop the knowledge and skills to engage with their communities and understand the risks posed by drought and the strategies needed to deal with the impacts of drought. Through the courses, a network of community leaders will support their communities prepare for the impacts of tough times, including during drought.

Paynesville$26,772
Partners In Ag IncorporatedWimmera Rural Table Gathering

This project will support a full day event to bring rural women together to discuss the impacts of drought and a changing climate for the region. Including a panel discussion of industry experts, participants will be involved in discussions and learnings to understand the challenges faced by communities in times of drought and how community members can develop skills and strategies to deal with difficult times, including during times of drought.

Rupanyup$28,608
Food Next Door Co-op LtdStrengthening connections between farming and young people at the Community Demonstration Farm

Through a short training course and discussion forums with Young Farmer groups and local hobby farmers, this project will support building drought resilience through increasing knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change at a local level. The training course and forums will support information sharing about climate change impacts on food production and strengthening resilience for local farms, increasing the region’s capacity to prepare for the impacts of drought.

Nichols Point$35,826
Murrabit Advancement Association IncConnecting Spaces and Places - Murrabit

This project will support improvements for a local community meeting place, to make the location more accessible to the community on a year round basis to meet in larger groups to share insights and learnings to prepare for drought.

Murrabit$37,318
Binginwarri Recreation ReserveUpgrade of Binginwarri Recreation Reserve's existing toilet block.

This project will build drought resilience through small scale community infrastructure improvements at this central meeting place for the community to support each other during hard times, and enhance the venue’s use to enable the community to share knowledge and support during disaster times, including times of drought.

Binginwarri$40,000
Gippsland Agricultural GroupGippsland Future Fodder - Connect and Prepare Initiatives

This project will support this local community group to engage with local farmers to assist farmers develop action plans to prepare for the impacts of drought. The project will also support a field day to bring together farmers to discuss key regional risk management issues and develop solutions to improve the community’s drought preparedness.

Omeo$42,920
Southern Farming Systems LtdSoil moisture and informed decisions.

This project will support training sessions across five locations in Victoria and Tasmania and online webinars to share information and resources to build local knowledge about the risks posed by drought at the local level and strategies to manage during drought times. The workshops will enable knowledge sharing, including with professionals, to expand participants’ knowledge and ability to prepare for the impacts of drought and climate change.

Inverleigh, Streatham & Bairnsdale (Vic) and Longford (Tas)$45,810
Funding Tier 3: $50,001 - $150,000
Indigo Shire CouncilCountry halls connected for farming community resilience

This project will support a Drought and Farm Resilience workshop for communities in the Indigo Shire, a collaborative Capacity Building and Drought Resilience hall committee workshop, bringing hall committees together across three communities, and small upgrades to community facilities to hold these workshops. The workshops will focus on developing the skills required to build farm resilience to the impacts of drought and will enable the agriculture dependent community to share ideas to strengthen their knowledge and build a social wellbeing that is required during tough times.

Cornishtown$98,843
Mallee District Aboriginal Services LimitedShed refurbishment to create a gathering space for Kerang Aboriginal Elders and Leaders and community.

This project will support small upgrades to community infrastructure critical for a year-round meeting place for the community to build connections and resilience. The meeting shed is a central meeting place used to share knowledge across a broad rural area in the preparation to the impacts of drought.

Kerang$136,420
Twin Rivers Men's Shed Association Inc.Twin Rivers Community Hub and Men's Shed Project

This project will support small upgrades to a central meeting space for the community to socially connect and share knowledge to prepare for the impacts of drought. The improved community facilities will build a community connectedness and support the community to bring experts to discuss strategies and skills required during tough times, including during drought.

Johnsonville$150,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Nyabing Progress Association IncNyabing Community Hub Accessibility and Functionality Project

This project will support small upgrades to this central community meeting place to share knowledge and information to assist the community to network and support each other in times of drought.

Nyabing$10,701
Shire of CoorowLeeman Community Networking Beach Shelter Project

The project will support improved social connection and community wellbeing, providing new infrastructure that will assist the community to prepare for and adapt to future drought events, improve wellbeing and increase knowledge sharing, enhancing an informal community meeting space.

Leeman$10,938
Facey Group IncFarm business forum for new and early career Farmers in the Facey Group catchment and surrounds

This project will support a full day community forum to build the community’s understanding of local risks posed by drought and climate change, and how to respond to these risks in the agriculture-dependent communities of the Avon and Black River Catchments.

Wickepin$20,000
Funding Tier 2: $20,001- $50,000
Balingup Progress Association IncBalingup – A Call to Action

This project will support a local event to improve the community’s understanding of risks posed by drought and climate change through group discussions and demonstrations across a range of risk management practices, developing sustainability and community resilience. The field day will develop a local understanding of drought mitigation practices to support rural community’s response to the impacts of drought.

Balingup$24,359
Blackwood Basin Group (BBG) IncorporatedStrengthening Community Capabilities and Networks for Future Drought Resilience

This project will support the grantee to provide essential training to local landholders to improve their drought preparedness through an intensive field day with leading agricultural professionals with locally specific knowledge for building drought resilience.

Boyup Brook$31,592
Southern Rangelands Pastoral Alliance Inc.Showcasing Our Resilience - Sharing Our Stories Across The Southern Rangelands

This project will produce videos and podcasts to share approaches and ideas for mitigating the effects of drought and improving rangelands condition to improve drought resilience across the district. The project will foster connectedness and build drought resilience through sharing ideas that have been tested and working collaboratively with professionals and groups within the Southern Rangelands district to share learned experiences of risks and effective changes in response to drought and climate change.

Carnarvon$34,425
The Agricultural Collective LtdLivestock Leaders Drought Resilience Workshop

This project will support a Livestock Leaders Drought Resilience event to bring together 20 young people to learn about leadership, communication and information sharing through a variety of mediums. The project will support the development of local leaders who will connect with their communities to prepare for, and during times of drought. The workshop will build participants’ confidence and skills to network and share their experiences and knowledge across their regions and more broadly.

Broome$35,000
Shire of PingellyPeople of Pingelly - Past & Present

This project supports the compilation of video stories and forums to collate community members’ experiences of droughts and the coping and support mechanisms they used to deal with the impacts of drought. The project will build the community’s knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change through local knowledge and local approaches to mitigate the impacts of drought.

Pingelly$44,895
Lower Blackwood Land Conservation District CommitteeLower Blackwood Online Community Forum & Information Hub

This project will build the community’s capacity to understand & implement sustainable agriculture objectives and drought resilience through an online Community Forum & Information Hub, which will provide an interactive platform to access information and resources with locally relevant information.

Karridale$49,850
South Coast Alliance IncClimate Conversations Conference

This project will support a conference about drought and changing climate issues and region appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies. The conference will provide an opportunity for professional, social and community networking whilst also building knowledge on strategies to adapt to and prepare for future drought.

Denmark$49,970
Funding Tier 3: $50,001 - $150,000
Saltwater Country Ltd.Saltwater Country-ACV Collaboration for Kimberley Indigenous Drought Resilience

This project will help build drought resilience by providing access to animal and land management information crucial during times of drought for the region, improving the skills, capacity, and networks of First Nations station workers. This project’s activities will facilitate professional, social and community connection whilst providing training opportunities around regional specific information required to prepare for future droughts in the north of Western Australia.

Gibb$145,316
Outback Academy Australia LimitedStrengthening drought resilience through collaborative Aboriginal networks and connected regenerative farming hubs

This project will support building drought resilience in Indigenous networks by supporting four regional events and a national online event to connect Indigenous farming communities to share methods and techniques best used to work in a changing climate. Co-ordinators will link information from professional sectors and government to the local regions and work with local communities to support learning from each other to develop locally relevant techniques.

Roelands (WA), Loxton (SA), Shepparton (Vic) & Deniliquin (NSW)$146,966

Significant funding to rebuild and recover from COVID

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has welcomed a significant boost to its flagship Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) grant program, following an investment of more than $5 million from the Australian Government.

New partnership boosts grants to strengthen rural communities

This funding, which will be available over the next two years, recognises the significant and long-lasting impacts of COVID and the localised effort needed to recover and rebuild vibrant remote, rural and regional communities.

From today, community groups and not-for-profit organisations in remote, rural and regional communities can apply for funding to support the recovery process, reduce social isolation, foster stronger, more resilient communities, or sustain these vital local organisations in their work.

The Australian Government’s support means that there will be $800,000 available in this round of SRC grants specifically for COVID-related projects. The COVID stream will have two tiers of funding  – one will offer grants of up to $10,000 to groups working in communities of fewer than 50,000 people, while a second tier will offer grants of up to $50,000 for groups in remote, rural or regional communities (as defined by Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Australian Geography Standards).

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Australian Government’s investment is sorely needed and will be greatly appreciated by local organisations that have been struggling with raising funds, and coping with the effects of volunteer fatigue.

“At the end of last year, FRRR commissioned the Heartbeat of Rural Australia study, which confirmed that the pandemic has weakened the ability of community organisations to play their various roles in the community, at a time when, for many, demand for their services has increased.

“Many community groups that took part in the study – especially grassroots organisations with revenue of less than $50,000 – saw significant reductions in income as a result of not being able to run fundraising events and income-generating activities and, in some instances, funders redirecting their support. It’s also impacted the number of people able to volunteer, meaning that those remaining have been called on to do more, for longer. It’s no wonder people are exhausted.

“This program will help to rebuild rural communities by funding projects that respond to the ongoing impacts of COVID and will help communities get back on their feet.

“We’ve deliberately kept the SRC program flexible, as we know needs will be different from place to place, and from group to group. Projects eligible for funding could include supporting, training or attracting volunteers; running events; enhancing community facilities; developing services that assist people experiencing disadvantage; or purchasing equipment or resources that strengthen local organisations. We are very grateful for the Australian Government’s support and the commitment that they are showing to strengthen and rebuild rural communities,” Ms Egleton said.

In addition to the COVID funding stream, the SRC program still has grants available to support communities affected by the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires. There is $650,000 available this round, through grants of up to $25,000. A third, more general stream of funding offers Small & Vital grants of up to $10,000 for initiatives that strengthen and support communities of 15,000 or fewer in remote, rural or regional areas.

To learn more about the program, and to apply, visit https://frrr.org.au/SRC. Applications close 31 May 2022 at 5pm AEDT.

The town of Dirranbandi, in southwest QLD, was suffering from a lack of Christmas cheer and the general community spirit was a bit flat, following relentless drought over many years. This was also having significant impacts on mental health.

In a bid to tackle these issues, while also putting Dirranbandi on the map for both tourists and locals, the Dirranbandi Progress Association used a $60,000 Tackling Tough Times Together grant, funded by the Australian Government to spark some joy in the township with a stunning lights installation.

With the support of Balonne Shire Council, the Dirranbandi Progress Association brought local tradespeople on board, as well as their local Arts Council, the business community and a work camp, which consisted of skilled prisoners who were being reintegrated back into society. Together, this dedicated team of people designed and fabricated a  beautiful display of fairy lights that were installed and displayed throughout the main streets of their town all year round.

Alongside the permanent display, the grant funded Christmas lights, which is the main feature of an annual event attended by around 300 people. Locals from the around the community gather for a BBQ and watch the Christmas lights being turned on, while school children sing carols and everyone embraces the magic of Christmas.

Since having the lights installed and hosting these events, the local community, which was crippled by drought, has been able to congregate, reconnect and have its vibrant spirit reignited. As an added benefit, the local council committed to providing extra support and resources, not only for Dirranbandi, but for surrounding towns as a result of the project.

Deep in country Victoria, a definitive before and after makeover is apparent. For years the Golf Club of Warracknabeal, about 340 km north west of Melbourne, made do with a rusty and weathered roof sitting atop a building nearly 100 years old. 

While the region is known for its grain, the town has been hit hard by the ravages of drought and subsequently COVID-19. Since the mid 1900s, the Warracknabeal Golf Club has held birthday parties, weddings, wakes, meetings and everything in between. A warm welcoming atmosphere has always been their intention, although this has become increasingly difficult to offer with the decline of the building, most notably its roof. 

But with the support of a grant through FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together program, funded by the Australian Government, the Warracknabeal Golf Club launched their Green Roof Project. 

With the $46,125 grant, and with the help of professionals and a swathe of willing and hardworking volunteers, they replaced the old leaking roof with a green’ roof. In addition to the new roof, the old and worn guttering was replaced and insulation and sisalation installed to facilitate far greater energy efficiency. 

David Baxter from the golf club commented that modernising the building has reignited interest in the Golf Club as somewhere for people to gather and come together as a community in a now very comfortable environment. 

“In recent years, we had seen very few functions but this year the increase in its use has been great. Organisations such as VFF, Lions Club, local schools, Grain Corp, the Arts Council and Lutheran Ladies have since used the facility and commented on the improvements particularly on the heating/cooling aspect.” 

Mr Baxter noted his resounding gratitude for the project being able to go ahead. 

“So much has been achieved thanks to the grant from FRRR, which made it possible earlier than we anticipated, as major fundraising over a number of years would have been required. 

“More than ever, we are looking forward to becoming an important cog in our community in providing a place to meet, socialise and celebrate”. 

Roof makeover in Warracknabeal