Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Black Saturday funding available for community-led initiatives

Twelve years on from the devastating 2009 Victorian bushfires, FRRR is offering another round of funding to support impacted communities as they continue to rebuild, reconnect and recover.

Black Saturday funding available for community-led initiatives
Whittlesea Community Garden

Supported by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), the funding is available through FRRR’s Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) program and the Grants for Resilience & Wellness Kinglake Ranges (GR&W Kinglake) program. The grants of up to $20,000 will support not-for-profits and community-based organisations to lead projects that aid recovery and build community resilience.

The GR&W and GR&W Kinglake Ranges programs fund initiatives that:

  • Improve mental health and wellbeing of communities and individuals;
  • Enhance wellbeing and resilience of pre-school, primary and secondary school-aged children and young people;
  • Strengthen community connections, sense of place and community identity; and
  • Increase the community’s ability to prepare for future disasters.

To date, FRRR has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to local groups, thanks to VBAF funding, which comes from the generous contributions by the general public following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. Through this round of funding there is a total of $360,000 available for GR&W grants and a total of more than $700,000 available for GR&W Kinglake projects.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that the impact of COVID-19 has increased the need to support recovering communities to reconnect socially and continue to enhance their wellbeing.

“Despite the restrictions that the pandemic has put on people coming together, local groups report services and activities that enhance wellness and resilience are still well attended. One program funded twice previously by FRRR, the Be Well in the Ranges program, has been fully booked out, and the Yinnar Memorial Hall exercise group continues to attract 30-40 participants each week,” Ms O’Brien said.

“The GR&W programs provide flexible support to respond to issues as they emerge. More than a decade since the fires, communities are focusing on building resilience for the future,” Ms O’Brien explained.

Applications for both GR&W and GR&W Kinglake close at 5pm AEDT, Wednesday 21 April 2021.

Potential applicants should visit the GR&W and GR&W Kinglake webpages and review the guidelines before applying.

Funding for communities impacted by 2009 Black Saturday fires

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has awarded nearly $725,000 in grants to support 31 projects that will help communities impacted by the February 2009 Black Saturday bushfires continue to rebuild, reconnect and recover.

Supported by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), these grants are funded through three grant programs – Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W), GR&W Kinglake Ranges and the final round of Community Group Futures (CGF).

The VBAF funding comes from the generous contributions by the general public following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. More than a decade on from Black Saturday, FRRR has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to local groups through these programs.

Grants for Resilience & Wellness

The GR&W program is tailored to support community-led projects that focus on strengthening and building the resilience of those places impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

Now in its nineth year, this round of GR&W sees $233,089 in grants awarded to 15 community groups. The funded projects will support and improve the wellbeing, resilience and mental health of community members, help people keep coming together, and help build community capacity and preparedness for future disasters.

Nina O’Brien, Disaster and Recovery Lead at FRRR, said that this round, there were many communities wanting funding for projects that help people connect and also retain their sense of place and community identity.

“Many communities reach a stage in their long-term recovery where reconnecting with place, the environment, and community becomes an important part of the healing process,” explained Ms O’Brien.

“Rediscovering and rebuilding these connections can happen in many different and meaningful ways, and this round of GR&W is a perfect example of that. For some communities, it involves improving community meeting places and venues for activities. Others are using arts and cultural projects to both increase community connectedness and grow community identity and awareness of local history. Other places are helping their community to connect through events and activities like concerts and walking trails.

“Recovery takes time and the process is different for every place, so it’s important that we listen to communities and their local leaders and let them decide what priorities need to be addressed, as things evolve,” Ms O’Brien said.

Some of the projects funded in this round of the GR&W program include:

  • Buxton Primary School, Buxton – Buxton Bush Tucker Trail – $15,000 – Enhance curriculum through delivery of an innovative environmental and Indigenous education program that supports custodianship of local ecology.
  • Yarra Valley ECOSS, Wesburn – Crops for Community to Market – $20,000 – Build a vibrant resilient local food economy through employment of a disability support worker to deliver and develop programs for disaster affected residents.
Grants for Resilience & Wellness Kinglake Ranges

The GR&W Kinglake Ranges program gives community groups and local not-for-profit organisations in the Kinglake Ranges the opportunity to work together and increase local capacity to get initiatives off the ground. This round, $461,993 has been awarded to 14 projects in the region.

A great example of the collaborative and innovative local thinking is Bees for the House, which will increase access to infrastructure that supports community education, through development of an apiary at the Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House.

Among the other GR&W Kinglake Ranges awarded grants are:

  • Flowerdale Community House, Flowerdale – Flowerdale Playgroup Program – $26,250 – Increase support for local parents, and enhance early childhood education, through facilitated playgroup program at Flowerdale Community House. 
  • Kinglake Ranges Children’s Centre, Kinglake – Indigenous Sensory Bush Tucker Garden with Community Mural – $17,530 – Increase cultural and environmental learning through establishment of a yarning circle, firepit, and student inspired mural at a newly developed bush tucker garden.

The next rounds of GR&W and GR&W Kinglake Ranges open early March 2021 and close April 2021. Applications for the GR&W Kinglake Ranges program are now invited from all community groups in the wider Kinglake Ranges, not just those that participated in the initial consultation process in 2017.

Community Group Futures

The CGF program focuses on not-for-profit groups in communities impacted by Black Saturday. It was designed to provide them with the tools to create strong and lasting improvements within their organisation. This is the final round of the CGF program, with $898,237 granted across ten rounds.

Some $29,483 has been awarded to two projects to support the Yackandandah Fire Station and the Stanley Athenaeum and Public Room. The funds will increase their capacity through the purchase of equipment and by funding professional administrative support.

Ms O’Brien said that more than a decade on, these community organisations continue to experience operational and service delivery challenges due to the 2009 bushfires.

“For these community groups, they have had to face the challenge of managing their own recovery while also continuing to provide support and services the people in their communities. The CGF program has supported these organisations to look ahead to the future and implement longer term climate resilience initiatives that will help them achieve their aspirations,” said Ms O’Brien.

“For some community groups, these goals have included greater organisational capabilities, for others it’s been about long-term viability and sustainability, while others looked for ways to improve cost efficiencies for community infrastructure.

“The CGF grants have helped strengthen and sustain these community groups so that they can continue to do what they do best and support their community,” Ms O’Brien explained.

The final projects funded through the CGF program are:

  • Totally Renewable Yackandandah, Yackandandah – Yackandandah Fire station – Resilient Power Supply – $9,983 – Increase the capacity of the organisation to reduce costs and remain available during emergencies through the purchase of a generator that will enhance the Fire Station’s new battery and solar system’s capacity.
  • Stanley Athenaeum and Public Room Indigo Shire Council, Stanley – Prepare and Protect – $19,500 –Increase organisational capacity by employing professional support to catalogue and preserve Stanley Historical Space’s significant local collection. The project will include training that will leave a legacy in the organisation.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationAwarded
GRANTS FOR RESILIENCE AND WELLNESS
Alexandra Football & Netball Club IncReserve Development
Enhance facilities that support community connectedness and fitness, via upgrade of power supply for new community hub at Alexandra Football & Netball Club
Alexandra$15,000
Art Resource Collective IncPottery and Print Equipment Fund
Increase access to the arts, and local connectedness through, upgrade of ceramics equipment and infrastructure for community arts group
Yinnar$18,997
Arthurs Creek Fire Brigade
Country Fire Authority – Head office
Spreading the Knowledge-Bushfire Education Program 2020
Build community resilience, through development of resources to deliver local CFA bushfire awareness program across five schools impacted by the 2009 bushfires.
Strathewen$20,000
Bruarong Community CentreProtecting and Sharing – Developing the Bruarong Collection Research Resource
Preserve and protect the community’s heritage, through uploading and cataloguing images, objects, and documents.
Bruarong$18,500
Buxton Primary SchoolBuxton Bush Tucker Trail
Enhanced curriculum through, delivery of innovative environmental and Indigenous education program that supports custodianship of local ecology.
Buxton$15,000
‘Honour the Taungurung’ Community Project Group
Yea Community Service Group Inc
Honour the Taungurung
Work towards reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional owners through creation of a community meeting place featuring Taungurung designed artwork celebrating local Indigenous culture.
Yea$28,734
Kilmore District Men’s Shed IncSolar Power
Enhance sustainability of local Men’s Shed, through the installation of solar panels.
Kilmore$8,960
Kilmore District Men’s Shed Inc  Plastering
Enhance sustainability of local group, through the completion to construction of a local Men’s Shed
Kilmore$6,054
Marysville Community Action Team
Murrindindi Cycle Club
Feasibility Study for more cycling options in the Marysville Area to increase tourism
Explore potential for ecotourism development and rejuvenation of community’s economy by extending visitor season with feasibility study into Cycle Trails
Marysville$14,000
More Murals
Rubicon Forest Protection Group Inc
Life of a Leaf: Notes from the Forest
Enhance creative development and recovery, through creation of a 16-track compilation CD reflecting on the Black Saturday fires
Marysville Buxton Taggerty$15,200
Rotary Club of AlexandraMusic in the Park Increase local connection and enhance culture, through supporting the delivery of community music event.Alexandra$5,450
St Matthew’s Church
Saltbush Community Initiatives Inc
Hope…It Grows! Renewal
Increase community access and renew facilities, through upgrade to community garden and space.
Long Gully$15,300
Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group IncProvide Seating along the Say G’Day trail at Wandong
Enhance local walking trail and increase accessibility for residents with different abilities, through installation of seating areas.
Wandong$6,695
Whittlesea Men’s Shed IncDust Extraction and Air Filtration System
Improve the health and well-being of community participants, by upgrading the air filtration system in the wood working workshop.
Whittlesea$20,000
Yarra Valley Ecoss IncCrops for Community to Market
Build vibrant resilient local food economy, through employment of a disability support worker to deliver and develop programs for disaster affected residents.
Wesburn$20,000
GRANTS FOR RESILIENCE AND WELLNESS – KINGLAKE RANGES
Flowerdale Community House IncFlowerdale Playgroup Program
Increase support for local parents, and enhance early childhood education, through facilitated playgroup program at Flowerdale Community House. 
Flowerdale$26,250
Kinglake Football Netball ClubCommunity coming together with healthy mind and body
Increase local connectedness and reduce social isolation, through delivery of a family focused event at local Sports ground.
Kinglake$3,530
Kinglake Ranges Children’s Centre IncIndigenous Sensory Bush tucker Garden with Community Mural
Increase cultural and environmental learning through, establishment of a yarning circle, firepit, and student inspired mural, at a newly developed bush tucker garden.
Kinglake$17,530
Buzz of the Bees
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc  
Bees for the House
Increase access to infrastructure that supports community education, through development of an apiary at the Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House.
Kinglake$7,508
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncDindi Collective: Supporting Organisational Capacity of Neighbourhood & Community Houses across Murrindindi
Increase capacity and collaboration between seven Community Houses in Murrindindi Shire, though establishment of a supportive Network and delivery of professional development.
Kinglake$64,173
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncKinglake Ranges Fund – Community Grant Development Officer
Increase local capacity to develop community projects and apply for grant funds, through employment of a Community Grants Officer.
Kinglake$41,941
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncMakerspace Mates
Increase opportunities to support connection, reduce isolation, and learn about new interests, through the delivery of free, no skill needed, creative workshops.
Kinglake$19,763
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncThe Matanya Effect – Healing with Horses – Skills for a Calmer Life
Increase access to locally based support for mental health, through the delivery of equine assisted learning to residents of the Kinglake Ranges.
Kinglake$17,700
Kinglake Trust Reserve IncEllimatta Centre Periodic Maintenance Project
Increase access to spaces where the community connect, through preservation and maintenance of community hub at Kinglake Trust Reserve.
Kinglake$25,850
Kinglake Historical Society
Kinglake West Mechanics Institute Hall and Reserves Committee Inc
Strengthening Community Understanding of Kinglake’s Heritage
Increase space and resources for Historical displays and research, through expansion to Kinglake Historical Society and purchase of additional equipment.
Kinglake$162,334
Middle Kinglake Primary SchoolProviding Opportunities for Positive Social Interaction
Increase use of outdoor areas at Middle Kinglake Primary School for learning and socialising, through purchase of outdoor cushions and beanbags.
Kinglake Central$1,000
Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges IncRotary and Lions Storage Facility
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase local capacity, through the installation of a centrally located storage shed for community equipment.
Kinglake$39,910
Toolangi-Castella Local History Action Plan Working Group
Toolangi District Community House Inc
Toolangi-Castella Local history Action Plan
Increase local connectedness to culture and heritage, through development of an oral history and photographic display, and website for Toolangi-Castella.
Toolangi$14,742
Toolangi Tennis Court Action Team
Toolangi District Community House Inc
Toolangi Tennis Court and Surrounds Re-development
Enhance local meeting space and increase safety, through upgrade of pathways, retaining walls, and landscaping at Toolangi Tennis Court reserve
Toolangi$19,762
COMMUNITY GROUP FUTURES
Stanley Athenaeum and Public Room
Indigo Shire Council
Prepare and Protect
Increase awareness of local historical collections significance, and protect it from future disasters, through engaging a Collection Management Consultant.
Stanley$19,500
Totally Renewable Yackandandah IncYackandandah Fire station – Resilient Power Supply
Increase local resilience and preparedness through installation of a generator at the Yackandandah Fire Station.
Yackandandah$9,983

Bendigo, 12 July 2018: Thirty community groups impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires have received grants to support the ongoing local needs that continue to emerge.

Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), these community groups will share in $341,438 across two grant programs to implement their locally-led projects.

Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) will fund 19 community groups, distributing $244,667 for 21 local projects. To date, the GR&W program has now funded 173 projects and distributed over $2 million.

Community Group Futures (CGF) will distribute $96,771 across 10 community groups. To date, CGF has now funded 34 projects, valued at $382,775.

It’s been nine years since Australia saw the highest-ever loss from a bushfire. More than one million acres of land were decimated: lives changed forever, and the aftermath continues to be felt in families and communities affected by the fires.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, explains that despite the time that’s passed, the recovery is ongoing.

“Grants from the VBAF were first distributed in 2010. Rebuilding a community does not happen overnight, it takes time. This is why we continue to provide support to the communities impacted by fires, nearly a decade on. Both these programs are flexible and designed to meet the evolving needs of the fire-affected communities.”

In the latest round of the GR&W program, the majority of applications FRRR received were for projects focused on strengthening community connectedness and enhancing local community identity and sense of place.

For example, Firefoxes Australia have received $15,620 for their Murrindindi Women’s Forum and Women’s Health and Wellbeing Expo to employ an events co-ordinator. This will help relieve fatigued volunteers, as well as support catering, venue hire and transport. These events have proven important in connecting women from across the Shire and tackling the challenges of isolation, thereby helping to deal with the mental health issues that have arisen due to the devastation of 2009.

Earlier this year Community Group Futures was awarded an additional $338,237 from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund Panel, bringing the total funds for this program to $898,237. Its aim is to ensure there are strong, sustainable and focused local community organisations and leaders that can support their communities and the activities they wish to engage in.

Projects such as the Toolangi Castella District Community House – C J Dennis Hall project – will use a $2,240 grant to support the creation of processes and procedures and to increase their capacity and readiness to assume the management of the local community hall. The C J Dennis Hall continues to be an asset to the Toolangi community, serving as a meeting place that encourages community connectedness, and in the event of future disaster events, as a place of refuge.

Ms Egleton noted that there is still funding available for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires with the next GR&W and CGF grant rounds opening on 6 August 2018.

“As the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires occurs in February 2019, any community organisations in the impacted areas that wish to hold commemorative activities should apply in the next round of GR&W, which will open on 6 August.”

The projects funded in this round are listed below.  GR&W Program | Community Group Futures Program

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Round 13 recipients

Organisation

Project

Amount

Alexandra Indoor Heated Pool Inc.

Alexandra Indoor Heated Pool
Support health and wellbeing through access to swim classes, hydrotherapy and aqua aerobics by constructing an indoor heated pool for the local community.

$20,000

More Murals
Alexandra Primary School

Alexandra’s Beasties
Improve connection to place, the natural environment, and engagement in cultural activities, through delivery of youth focused community mural project.

$18,850

Boolarra South Landcare Group

Mechanical Weed Control for Environmentally Sensitive Areas
Boost access to the local environment and management of noxious weeds through the purchase of a Billy Goat mulcher to support local volunteer to maintain public areas and walking trails at the historic Boolarra Mill site.

$5,000

Chapter Seven Ltd.

Fun Mudder Project Planning and Delivery
Develop work ready skills and experience for local disengaged youth, through participation in a program of activities that will contribute to the delivery of a major community tourism event, Fun Mudder.

$18,000

Clonbinane Community Action Group

Paving the Road to Resilience
Improve access and additional space for community activities, through sealing of uneven carpark at Clonbinane Hall.

$16,912

Coleraine & District Development Association Inc.

Toolang Walk
Increase safety and amenity for the local community and visitors to the area who access the area for wellbeing activities by repairing local walking track.

$16,941

Ellimatta

Stem Makerspace
Reduce barriers to educational opportunities and support engagement with science and technology for primary school aged students, by creating a “STEM makerspace” at Ellimatta Youth Service.

$14,567

Firefoxes Australia

Women of Murrindindi
Support the recovery of women in Murrindindi Shire with community events and activities through the employment of an event coordinator and funding event costs.

$15,620

Flowerdale Community House

And So, We Sew!
Build social connections and practical skill development by purchasing sewing machines and equipment enabling the delivery of low cost sewing classes.

$2,895

Foggy Mountain Inc.

Foggy Mountain Music Project
Increase sense of place and connectedness for local children, through participation in song writing about community and performance at local festival.

$8,000

Freedom Care Inc.

Project Squirrel II
Improve access to stock for clients and volunteers at local food relief service by purchasing and installing shelving.

$4,212

Healesville Interchurch Community Care Incorporated

A bus of new beginnings – HICCI Community Bus Project
Increase capacity and safety of the volunteer transport service for disadvantaged residents in Healesville and Yarra Glen through the purchase of a bus.

$11,990

Kilmore District Men’s Shed
 

General And Disabled Toilet Facilities
Support accessibility for all community members by adding an accessible toilet block at the site of the new Kilmore Men’s Shed.

$20,000

Men’s Shed at St Andrews Inc.

Safeguarding the health of members

Protect the health and safety of all users and remove barriers to participation for members of the community with health concerns with the installation of dust and fume extraction systems at the Men’s Shed at St Andrews.

$13,400

Mount Beauty Neighbourhood Centre Inc.

Kitchen Upgrade
Ensure Mount Beauty Neighbourhood Centre availability for community activities, courses and initiatives with the renewal of the kitchen floor to meet OH&S requirements.

$5,100

Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

Kinglake Ranges Community Stadium Project
Increase capacity to deliver large locally driven community activities and events through purchase of floor covering, heating and lighting to enable use of basketball stadium.

$19,419

St Matthew’s Church
Saltbush Community Initiatives Inc.

The People’s Pantry Long Gully
Increase food security and social connections in the disadvantaged and fire affected community of Long Gully by purchasing storage and support for start-up costs for the cooperative food share program.

$6,000

St Andrews Community Centre Inc.

St Andrews Recovery and Community Building
Drive participation in community events and activities, through delivery of special interest classes, community meals and events at St Andrews Community Centre.

$12,747

Toolangi Castella District Community House Inc.

Upgrade of Maternal Health rooms
Provide additional space for community activities and initiatives with upgrade of disused community building.

$9,900

Traralgon South and District Association

Community access to defibrillators
Increase perception of safety and access to life saving equipment, through installation of Automated External Defibrillator at Traralgon South.

$2,949

Traralgon South and District Association

Traralgon South and Callignee Youth Group – “Place to be Me”
Support local youth in small community to remain connected, through the provision of subsidised social activities.

$2,165

Community Group Futures (CGF) Round 6 recipients

Organisation

Project

Amount

Bushfire Education Foundation Inc.

Bushfire Education Centre and Museum Project Officer
Support local volunteers to establish feasibility and support the development of a National Bushfire Museum, Education and Research Centre in Marysville through the engagement of a Project Officer.

$20,000

Firefoxes Australia

Firefoxes Future Focused (FFF)
Increase individual board member and organisational capacity and enhanced direction, through the facilitation of training and planning workshops for the Board of Firefoxes Australia.

$20,000

Healesville Community Renewable Energy Inc.

Strategic Planning and Implementation Support for Healesville CoRE
Support more sustainable living for the Healesville community through the development of a strategic plan to guide renewable energy strategies.

$7,208

Healesville Toastmasters Club Inc.

Good Governance in Healesville
Improve skills and capacity for grass root Committees, through the delivery of governance training to 10 community groups in Healesville.

$12,200

Mitchell Shire Concert Band

Solar4MSCB
Reduce energy costs and increase the viability of an entity that supports community events and fundraising opportunities with the installation of solar panels for the Mitchell Shire Concert Band Hall.

$6,493

Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre

Myrtleford – Building Sustainable Community Futures
Strengthen planning and direction for Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre through the engagement of external support to lead strategic planning and a review of management systems.

$10,000

Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

Communications and Innovation
Build capacity for volunteers supporting the initiatives of the Rotary Club of Kinglake, through the purchase of a computer and iPad.

$4,600

Taggerty Community Progress Group Inc.

Setting up training on a Financial System for CH@T
Improve capacity to support the establishment of the Community Hub @ Taggerty (Neighbourhood House) through the purchase of accounting software and the engagement of professional training and implementation support.

$6,396

Toolangi Castella District Community House Inc.

C J Dennis Hall
Increase the capacity of the Toolangi District Community House to assume management of the local community Hall by creating processes and procedures, and clean-up of storage areas.

$2,240

Whittlesea Showgrounds & Recreation Reserves Committee of Management

Strategic Plan Development and Implementation
Create direction and support for volunteer Committee of Management to manage the Whittlesea reserve facility for the use of the wider community through the development of a Strategic Plan.

$7,634

Bendigo, 23 February 2017: Today 24 community groups impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires received funding to support the community needs that continue to emerge post the devastating disaster.

Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, these community groups will share in $344,856 across two grant programs to implement their locally led projects.

  • Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) will fund 15 community groups, sharing in $254,634, to implement their local projects. To date, the GR&W program has funded 111 projects to a total value of $1,413,705.16  
  • Community Group Futures (CGF) program will fund $90,222 across nine community groups. To date, CGF has funded 24 projects, valued at $286,004.

Rebuilding a community after a natural disaster takes many years. This month marks the eighth anniversary of the Black Saturday fires and the impacts are still being felt.

FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that the projects being supported via the GR&W and CGF programs reflect the need to facilitate long term recovery and to continue to build resilience through community identified solutions to support all parts of the community.

“Recovery takes time and while immediate support is vital, the ongoing demand for this support reinforces the need for people wanting to help in situations like the recent NSW fires to consider putting some funds toward long-term support programs.

“From our work with communities affected by the 2009 fires, we know that it’s been a tough journey and there are still challenges. Together with our donors, FRRR continues to support the impacted communities through the rebuilding and recovery process,” Ms Egleton said.

The Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) program recognises that an important part of community recovery is having opportunities to connect, share experiences, enhance individual and community wellbeing and resilience. This round, there was a common theme of strengthening community connectedness through local events, and a strong focus on supporting students of all ages through skills development, raising self-esteem and school preparation. 

The Community Group Futures (CGF) program is designed to help community groups experiencing operational and service delivery challenges post the bushfires, helping them look forward and build their sustainability, viability, capability and capacity. The most common projects funded this round were solar panel installation to reduce energy costs, paid positions to increase community engagement and participation, and developing strategies for long-term viability in the community.

Ms Egleton noted that there is still funding available for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

The projects funded in this round are detailed below:

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) – Round 10 recipients

Organisation

Project

Location

Amount

Bendigo Baptist Community Care Inc.

MADCOW (Make A Difference Change Our World) Community Garden – Bike Butcher

Support and empower disadvantaged and disengaged young people via the MADCOW Community Garden Bike Butcher project, an educational bike, scooter and skateboard workshop program. The GR&W grant will fit out a 40ft shipping container for the project to operate.

Eaglehawk

$19,466

CFA – Arthurs Creek / Strathewen

Strathewen Fire Education Partnership

Engaging Strathewen Primary School students in Grade 5 & 6 in a fire and country education program, culminating in the creation of a story book to present to the local community, and a DVD documenting the process for wider distribution.

Strathewen

$15,730

CIRE Services Inc.

Bringing Up Great Kids

Supporting respectful, caring and nurturing relationships for parents and carers of 0-6 year old children, through a suite of free parenting programs.

Yarra Junction

$3,900

Clonbinane Community Action Group

A More Resilient Clonbinane

Addressing a priority item from the newly developed Clonbinane Neighbourhood Emergency Plan, by purchasing and installing a 55Kva Diesel Generator at the Community Hall.

Clonbinane

$10,000

Continuing Education & Arts Centre Alexandra Inc

90 Up: Living Links to Alexandra and District’s Past

Celebrating the stories of resilience shaped by disaster and adversity of Alexandra and District residents who are 90+ years of age, via an oral history project will capture, record.

Alexandra

$19,000

Dixons Creek Landcare Group

Dixons Creek School Walking Track

Improving community connectedness to the Community Safe Area by construction a 1.5km walking track between the Dixon’s Creek Primary School and Dixon’s Creek Reserve.

Dixons Creek

$20,000

Ellimatta Inc.

A Bright and Positive Future for Youth

Ensuring high quality youth services continue to be offered to the Kinglake Ranges through a multi-year grant to fund the Youth Development Officer and Executive Officer wages for three more years. FRRR funding is matched by Kinglake Ranges Foundation (VBAF) and project costs by Kinglake Rotary. Funding will be staged over three years to facilitate building sustainable business and funding strategies.

Kinglake

$80,000

Glenburn Hall and Progress Assoc. Inc.

Glenburn Growth – Fly Screens and Refrigeration

Support volunteers and enhance community cohesion, by installing new refrigeration to store food and screen doors and windows for better ventilation to make community meetings more comfortable.

Glenburn

$6,941

Healesville Living & Learning Centre Inc.

Bush Works

Supporting local bush knowledge and bushfire preparedness through a practical, all ages program of up-cycling bush materials into furniture and creation of ‘found object’ art.

Healesville

$8,964

Marysville Motoring Expo Inc

Marysville Motoring Expo

Encouraging social and economic recovery post the Black Saturday Bushfires by supporting the three-day Motoring Expo community event.

Marysville

$7,065

Mirboo North Primary School

Provision of a Disabled/Universal Toilet Facility for Community Use                     

Supporting community cohesion and community resilience by upgrading the Primary School toilet facility to universal/ disabled functionality for the numerous local groups that access the school facilities.

Mirboo North

$19,000

Rotary Club of Alexandra

Sesqui Alexandra

Building a strong sense of place and contributing to economic recovery by engaging the community to co-create a one-day event to celebrate the sesquicentenary of Alexandra.

Alexandra

$5,012

Toolangi District Community House Inc.

KEYS – Kinglake Early Years

Support for local families to get children school-ready by researching and documenting family engagement in early childhood services in the Kinglake Ranges district.

Toolangi

$16,995

Yarra Glen Living & Learning Centre

Centre Community Edible Food Garden  

To aid ongoing recovery from the bushfires, a self-managed edible garden will be established.

Yarra Glen

$15,381

Yarram Community Emergency Planning Committee (Yarram & District Traders & Tourism Inc.)

Yarram & District Emergency Registration Point

Educating district communities on the Emergency Registration Point in Yarram, by developing and disseminating an information brochure to communicate actions to take in an emergency.

Yarram

$7,180

Community Group Futures (CGF) – Round 3 recipients:

Organisation

Project

Location

Amount

Boolarra Men’s Shed Inc.

Purchases of Computer

Improve communication and connectedness of the Men’s Shed members by purchasing a desktop computer and lessons in IT.

Boolarra

$3,170

Broadford Living and Learning Centre (Mitchell Shire Council)

Community Engagement Officer Broadford Living and Learning Centre

Build capacity and increase community ownership and participation through a community engagement strategy for the new Community Centre for Broadford.

Broadford

$14,976

Churchill and District Community Assoc.

Burned Out and Burnt Out  

Minimise volunteer fatigue and recruit new members to the Churchill District Community Association (CDCA) with the assistance of a consultant to engage with local community groups and individuals to build wider ownership.

Churchill

$9,000

Flowerdale Community House Inc.

Improving Flowerdale’s Operational Capability

Improve and build operational capability, with the support of a paid employee to develop financial management, reporting and compliance policies and procedures for Flowerdale Community House, Flowerdale Landcare, and Flowerdale Men’s Shed.

Hazeldene

$17,062

Glenburn Hall and Progress Assoc. Inc.

Glenburn Growth Project                           

Lower the energy costs to improve operational capital by purchasing and installing 4.5kw solar panel on the roof of the Glenburn Hall.

Glenburn

$7,350

Happy Valley Hall

Shining the Light on Sustainability         

Reduce ongoing energy costs for funds to be redirected to other community activities by purchasing and installing a 3.9kw solar panel.

Rosewhite

$9,848

Quercus Beechworth

Connecting Beechworth

Increase the connectivity, cohesion and resilience of the community through a collaborative project to analyse, develop and implement a town-wide communication strategy.

Beechworth

$13,400

Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

Governance Training                                    

Supporting existing members of the Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges to effectively fulfil their responsibilities by running Governance training.

Kinglake

$1,100

Women’s Health Goulburn North East

Learning From Lessons in Disaster             

Engage with partner groups to be disaster prepared and resilient by co-design a ‘train the trainer’ program to deliver Gender in Disaster education.

Wangaratta

$14,316

In the many years it takes to rebuild a region following a disaster like the 2009 Victorian bushfires, success in driving tourism back to the area can be make or break. It takes a concerted effort from a cohesive community to start seeing positive growth again.

In the Kinglake Ranges, the Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, held for the second time in 2015, achieved both of these important factors of recovery – driving community engagement while supporting wider economic development in a unique and exciting way.

The three day festival held last October (16th – 18th) attracted 1,500 attendees, 70% of which were visitors to the region. It included a Bush dance, music workshops, Bluegrass concerts, local produce, local talent, street performers, community concerts and a beard competition to support the Charity White Ribbon to raise awareness and funds to help stop violence again women. It brought local musicians back out in the open and connected a huge range of groups in the area, from the Kinglake CFA and Police to the Mountain Pickers Association of Victoria and the Australian Bluegrass and Old Timey Music Association. Many local food and accommodation businesses were booked out or sold out of products.

President of Foggy Mountain Inc, Brad Quilliam, said, “Overall we were extremely buoyed by the positive feedback from all involved and the festival achieving so many of its goals. The micro businesses in our area had rave reviews from all visitors which enhanced their confidence.”

Funding support came from a variety of sources – from the Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges, CERT, CFA, SES, Kinglake Neighbourhood House, Kinglake Foundation, and Kinglake Lions, with in-kind support from local organisations and businesses, and an estimated $6000 of volunteer labour – vital to the festival’s smooth operation.

Children given a voice through song

Foggy Mountain Inc applied to FRRR’s Grants for Resilience and Wellness program (GR&W) in order to run a special part of the music festival program – the song-writing program for local primary schools, which would culminate in 100 students performing their songs at the Sunday Community Concert at the Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival (with free entry all day to ensure the whole community could participate.)

GR&W granted $4,850, funded by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, to support workshops for six primary schools in the region (Kinglake East, Kinglake West, Middle Kinglake, Strathewan, Toolangi and Flowerdale Primary School) as well as a sound engineer to record the children’s songs and stage for their performance, as well as chairs and an MC for the Community Concert. The workshops gave their students the opportunity to learn song writing skills and were facilitated by the acclaimed Carter and Carter.

“The workshops give the children a voice through song and in 2014 the children wrote about what they had lost and now what they have gained” Mr Quilliam reported.

Mr Quilliam said the students were the highlight of the day!

“It was a perfect platform to encourage participation, give self-confidence and show the work that the students had done in the song writing workshops leading up to the festival. The children were so excited to be performing to a capacity crowd in the main marquee.”

The community day also included workshops to learn new musical skills, benefitting up and coming musicians of all ages, and a Gospel Concert. Organisers are already talking about running a program for youth in production and video to expand on the value the festival can give to the area’s young people.

“This part of the program gives the locals a sense of pride and optimism,” Mr Quilliam said.