Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

The community of Copmanhurst in the Clarence Valley in New South Wales is a strong and resilient group of around 300 people. In 2019/2020, Copmanhurst was severely impacted by the Black Summer bushfires, as well as flooding. For so many in the area this created a stressful environment. Many families were forced to evacuate and sadly leave livestock and other animals behind. Between the financial and emotional stress and hardship caused by these disasters, the community also saw a rise in mental health incidents.

For the youngest residents, stressful family situations, orange smoky skies and the loud noises from helicopters landing behind the preschool was causing a lot of anxiety.

Copmanhurst Pre-School wanted to create a space that would support the recovery of young children and provide a place nurtures respectful sharing of thoughts, ideas and knowledge. Their plan was to construct a Healing Circle that included a native garden. To help achieve this goal, the Pre-School secured a $8,650 grant through The Yulgilbar Foundation Fund.

They were able to establish the Healing Circle and also repair and upgrade a memorial of a past student. The memorial stone was moved to the Healing Circle and the family was very pleased to be included and remembered.

The garden was created under the guidance from local Elders and Ngroo, a local Aboriginal education program, to incorporate native plants and ideas for the healing circle including logs sourced from Bundjalung Country.

Since completing the project, the average day now begins around the healing circle for a talk before everyone goes off to play. This gives the children and educators an emotionally meaningful way to start the day in an area they all feel, safe, secure and supported.

Because of COVID lockdowns and restrictions, there was a delay on the opening celebrations for the new space. The Pre-School wanted to invite all the community services to the opening so they could acknowledge and thank them for all the hard work they did to keep their community safe during the fires and floods.

On Ngadju Country

Late 2019 / early 2020 saw 13 bushfires devastate approximately one million hectares of Ngadju country in southern WA, including large tracts of the Great Western Woodlands, the largest temperate woodland remaining on Earth. It is estimated that the extent of the area of Ngadju country impacted by the fires was equivalent to about half the size of Victoria. The bushfires burnt tracts of old growth forest, overran spiritual sites and destroyed the habitat and nests of threatened species.

Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation (NCAC) works with the Ngadju community to increase the understanding of conservation and land management opportunities and assist in building capacity to achieve them. Ngadju Rangers use cultural knowledge, refined over thousands of years, to care for the environment and work on Country to manage fire, feral animals and weeds, and to protect mijalkarru (rockholes), the Granites, water places and the flora and fauna of the Great Western Woodlands and the Nullarbor plains.

Following the fires, NCAC received a $25,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant funded by IKEA Australia through FRRR to help the Ngadju Rangers to both repair the damage and undertake work to protect the environment and cultural sites from the devasting impact of the bushfires. Their approach involves a detailed program of cultural burning to protect sites, old growth and water trees. The mosaic effect of landscape-scale burning benefits biodiversity by reducing the extent and severity of large-scale fire and creates a range of vegetation growth stages and habitats that suit different species. Prior to a burn, Ngadju Rangers and Elders walk through the planned burn site to survey for cultural and environmental values. However, access to the tracks leading to these sites were heavily impacted by the recent fires and also from years of neglect.

NCAC used the grant to commission a specially fabricated trailer with hydraulic tipping for use with their tractor to help the Rangers clear the tracks, enabling safe access to undertake their important cultural and environmental work. This improved access will also allow other Ngadju community members to attend sites and undertake voluntary maintenance and management, which will help them reconnect with Country and transfer knowledge across generations.

Helen Langley, NCAC’s CEO, said that the project wasn’t without its challenges.

“The challenge was the amount of time it took for the trailer to be fabricated and then wired. It took eight months for the trailer to be built and we have only recently received delivery. We are developing Safe Operating Procedures and have organised training for the Rangers so that we can commence clearing tracks and making fire breaks around areas of mosaic burns.

“We are proud that the Ngadju Rangers can now access their Country for cultural burning and they can use machinery to make fire breaks. The project has assisted in rebuilding the Ngadju community and provided healing for community who are mourning the loss of Country.”

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

The devastating impacts of the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires were particularly harsh in the East Gippsland region of Victoria.

To help revive spirits and bring people back to the region, a group of locals came up with the idea of The East Gippsland Winter Festival, an event to be held over the Winter Solstice. It would bring people back to the region during the traditionally quieter period to celebrate and showcase the art, food, culture and nature, as well as help the community heal and recover.

Then COVID hit, making the challenges all the greater. However, the volunteer committee was determined to proceed – just 12 months later than originally planned.

FRRR supported this new Festival with a $25,000 grant. The grant funded a Community Engagement Manager to help connect artists, schools, community groups and individuals with local venues, galleries, businesses and organisations and to provide support to event organisers.

And what an event it was, with 85 local events plus 24 lantern-making workshops held in the lead up to the Festival. In total, it attracted nearly 20,000 people and more than 75 local businesses were involved, ensuring the impact was widespread.

Adam Bloem, Festival Founder and Committee Chair, said they were absolutely blown away by the response!

“It was much bigger and better than we ever expected for a first-year event. While COVID was still a big and stressful challenge, we were very lucky that the festival fell within a four week window of no lockdowns and Melbourne open to travel to regional Victoria!

“The community support and engagement was fantastic. Virtually every town across East Gippsland got involved and organised their own events or installations to be part of the program.

“I think the best thing was the free lantern making workshops. They were very popular and people loved them! They loved coming together and getting creative, making something with their hands and many people commented on the great sense of community that was felt at the workshops.

“The thing I am most proud of is the many comments that I have received from people saying the Winter Festival has helped the region to come together and heal after the devastating Black Summer bushfires,” Mr Bloem said.

Check out some of the amazing photos from the Festival.

The restoration of an historic jetty trolley has had unexpected benefits for men’s shed and community members on Kangaroo Island. The trolley was first used in the 1840s to transport basalt along the jetty onto waiting ships. The Kingscote Men’s Shed restoration project has seen the revival of rare trade skills using tools that were used 100 years ago to make the trolley, and the formation of new connections in the community.

The Men’s Shed received a $3,683 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by the Waislitz Family Foundation, in partnership with Australian Community Media, to support recovery from the 2019/20 bushfires that devastated much of Kangaroo Island. This project is one of many FRRR supported across the island to strengthen community connection and support recovery activities.

Graeme Connell, Chair of the Kingscote Men’s Shed said, “The Kingscote Men’s Shed volunteers are very proud of their achievement to restore a 100-year-old jetty trolley and preserve the history of these trolleys that were used on jetties around Kangaroo Island. The older members of the Men’s Shed were able to share their knowledge about the skills and tools used in the old ways of construction of steel products with the younger members.”

The group used social media to stimulate interest and encourage new volunteers. New skills and friendships were formed between Men’s Shed members and community volunteers working together on this historic project, which included a local secondary student. Many passers-by were keen to see the restoration in progress, with a cup of tea at the ready for anyone interested in learning more or just having a chat.

The newly restored trolley sits proudly at the Pioneer Memorial Park as a monument both to past activities that forged the town, and as a marker of recovery. It has already become a favourite destination with local visitors and community members, particularly given its location overlooking the old wharf and beautiful coastline.

The Men’s Shed has well and truly achieved its goal of delivering a shared community project to create “meaningful interactions”. The sense of achievement and confidence from the project, and the camaraderie that has come from it has boosted mental health and wellbeing, which will have lasting impact on the group and wider community.

Nearly half of the funding to go towards COVID-19 recovery

Thanks to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program, 130 projects across remote, rural and regional Australia will share in $1,663,531 in grants.

HEADING: Rural communities given a $1.7 million boost. IMAGE: Group of people smile and wave at camera with birdfeeders.

These projects are all community-led initiatives that will have a direct benefit to the people living in the local area.

For the first time, the SRC grant recipients have been divided into three streams: the Small & Vital stream, 2019/20 Black Summer bushfire recovery and a new Rebuilding Regional Communities stream, which focuses on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in remote, rural and regional Australia.

Funding to support COVID-19 recovery

In this round, 50 of the projects receiving funding are helping to support their community’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the RRC stream, these projects will share in $834,892. This includes initiatives like the Texas Country Music Festival, which will receive funding that will help to bring community members together again and improve social connectedness after extended periods of isolation.

Black Summer grants

This round will also see 25 projects receive funding to support the ongoing recovery from the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires. These projects will share $410,519, with organisations like Kingscote Men’s Shed using the grant for a project focused on empowering the men of the bushfire impacted region, as well as a coastal habitat rehabilitation.

Small & Vital stream

Through the Small & Vital stream, 55 initiatives will share $418,120 in grants. This stream funds projects that locals prioritise to take advantage of opportunities, address gaps in services or generally enhance the vitality of remote, rural and regional communities. For example, the Akurra Walking Trail will get bilingual signage, which will expand opportunities to learn about First Nation’s history, language and connection to the environment.

Jill Karena, Place Portfolio Lead at FRRR, said that this round of applications really highlighted the need for initiatives to tackle the negative impacts of the pandemic.

“This is the first SRC round where we’ve received applications for COVID recovery support through the RRC stream and there were some obvious trends. A large majority of the applications we received were related to mental health issues and social dislocation, which is a strong indicator of how remote, rural and regional Australia is faring in the wake of the pandemic and successive disaster events including fires, floods and drought. This is often exacerbated by the housing crisis and increased costs of living.

“We also clearly saw the impacts of COVID on the sustainability of these backbone organisations, with 30 percent of applications seeking support to ensure they can continue their day-to-day work, providing critical services and support, often to the most vulnerable members of the community.

“When it came to the Bushfire Recovery stream this round, a lot of the applications were focused on reducing the burden on volunteer, whereas in previous rounds we’ve seen more of a focus on infrastructure. This aligns with the findings of our Heartbeat of Rural Australia survey, which showed that volunteers in rural Australia are feeling more fatigued than ever. There was also a strong trend toward greater community connection, with projects to help bring the community together to share their experiences and support one another in their ongoing recovery.

“Meanwhile, in the Small & Vital stream, we continued to see a focus on projects that address food security, although many now also incorporate multiple community-building aspects, such as a community garden also acting as the base for training horticulture students, boosting vocational skills and employment readiness.

“The fact that we’re seeing such distinct and varied trends in each stream of the SRC program really speaks to how important it is that rural communities have access to more flexible funding that can be used as local groups see fit,” Ms Karena said.

Some more of the 130 projects funded include:

  • ShoreTrack Ltd – Nambucca Heads, NSW – ShoreTrack Recovery – Improve employability and civic participation levels of disengaged youth through work experience with the SES and RFS, including gaining essential qualifications. $25,000 (Bushfire Recovery)
  • Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Alice Springs Branch – Alice Springs, NT – First Aid Training for Home Tutors – Upskill home tutors and station workers in remote communities with first aid training. $5,000 (Small & Vital)
  • Steaming on the Downs Inc. – Oakey, QLD – Community Skills Workshop / Mechanical Skills Demonstrations – Gazebos and Banners – Expand organisational capacity by purchasing a trailer and three teardrop banners, enabling wider social engagement and broader mechanical skill development. $4,110 (Small & Vital)
  • Copley & Districts Progress Association Inc – Copley, SA – Copley Bicycle Repairs Program – Boost physical health and community engagement, and foster new skills in young people through the delivery of a bicycle repair program in a very remote region. $7,886 (Small & Vital)
  • Squid Theatre Incorporated – Wynyard, TAS – Saturday Radio Theatre 2023 Season – Sustain the creative activities of a community theatre company by supporting a weekly radio drama, providing a vital point of connection for isolated community members. $2,842 (Rebuilding Regional Communities)
  • Culgoa Development Group Inc – Culgoa, VIC – “Reconnecting Culgoa” – Reduce social isolation and foster a more resilient Culgoa through establishing a landscaped outdoor space for community gatherings and events. $50,000 (Rebuilding Regional Communities)
  • The Nintirri Centre Incorporated – Tom Price, WA – Midwife Services – Sustain antenatal and postnatal care and support for very isolated remote communities in the Pilbara. $10,000 (Rebuilding Regional Communities)

A full list of grant recipients can be found below.

The SRC program is collaboratively supported by many generous donors, which are acknowledged on FRRR’s website.

This program always accepts applications. Local NFPs and community groups are encouraged to review the expanded program guidelines and apply. More information about the SRC program is available at

To support grants like this through FRRR, make a tax-deductible donation at

Rebuilding Regional Communities Large
Happy Boxes Project LtdNyami Gawbarri (Women Gathering)
Enhance the process of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for Gumbaynnggirr women by supporting the expansion of services aimed at reconnection to culture at the Nyami Gawbarri community hub.
Human Nature Adventure Therapy LtdWellbeing Sessions with a Therapeutic Mentor
Reduce isolation and foster resilience through supporting therapeutic mentor sessions for Northern Rivers youth to enhance their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regional Community Care LtdStrengthening Regional SA and NSW Communities through Suicide Prevention Training and Support
Sustain the work of Lifeline Broken Hill by supporting them to run suicide prevention training sessions across seven locations in Far West NSW and SA, providing the community with a suicide prevention safety net.
Broken Hill$49,000
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
The Scout Association of Australia NSW BranchCommunity Cuppa and Chat - Reinvigorating and Reconnecting our Community
Reduce social isolation and build community resilience in Ulladulla by providing equipment and supplies for the local Scouts Association to host a weekly community morning tea.
Clarence Valley Conservatorium IncForget Me Nots - A Community Singing Group
Reduce social isolation and assist older residents of Grafton living with memory impairment and loneliness to recover through participation in the Forget Me Nots singing group.
Coomealla Health Aboriginal CorporationPurchasing of Infrastructure
Sustain the work of the Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation through the purchase of a handheld ultrasound device to reduce travel times for patients and help assess illnesses, including COVID-19, in the remote community of Dareton.
Country Womens Association of NSWSpring Lunch Entertainment
Reduce social isolation in Weemelah by supporting the return of the annual spring lunch through provision of hall hire, food, and entertainment by the Moree Ukulele Band.
Hay Mardi GrasRainbow on the Plains Next Step, Step it Up
Reduce social isolation for the LBGTQIA+ community and build resilience both locally and nationally for this vulnerable cohort through support for Rainbow on the Plains.
Kendall Community BoatshedInstallation Of Vermin Proof Ceilings In Four Rooms Of Kendall Community Boatshed
Enhance the recovery of the Kendall community by providing a safe and hygienic community space through repairs to the ceiling of the Kendall Boatshed.
Kentucky Memorial Hall and Literary Institute IncPurchase of Projector and Associated Equipment
Reduce social isolation and foster social connectedness in Kentucky through the purchase of a projector and film licensing fees to facilitate a series of community movie nights.
The Big Scrub OrchestraBuilding Resilience for Young People in Regional NSW Impacted by the Black Summer Bushfires, Covid-19, and 2022 Floods through Modern Band Program
Reduce social isolation and foster stronger, more resilient youth in northern NSW through participation in the Big Scrub Orchestra's modern band program.
2019/2020 Bushfire Recovery
Ashby Rural Fire BrigadeReplacement of Roller Doors For Ashby RFS
Rejuvenate Ashby Rural Fire Brigade’s shed by replacing roller doors, which will enhance functionality and efficiency for volunteers in responding to bushfires and emergencies.
Association of Bell Clarence Dargan IncABCD Inc Community Coordinator
Ensure the continued delivery of community bushfire recovery activities for the communities of Bell, Clarence, and Dargan by employing a local 'start-up' Community Coordinator.
Bega Local Aboriginal Land CouncilBega Aboriginal Community Connections Project
Support social connection for isolated Aboriginal elders, while also ensuring they are informed and supported in the case of future disasters, by supporting fortnightly lunches and activity sessions.
Big Hart IncFrom the Ground
Improving health and social wellbeing of bushfire impacted youth through creative arts and digital storytelling workshops and showcase events.
Braidwood Life CentreCreative Spaces for Trust and Healing in Community
Foster community health and wellbeing through a part time counselling service to support bushfire recovery.
Community Defib ProjectCommunity Defib Project - Lowanna Ulong Community
Strengthen resources in bushfire impacted communities with lifesaving equipment, by purchasing three Automatic External Defibrillators to enhance preparedness in townships of Lowanna, Ulong & Brooklana.
Goulburn Agricultural Pastoral & Horticultural Society IncRetaining Water for Future Use on the Showground
Support bushfire preparedness at the Goulburn Showgrounds through installing rainwater tank.
Gwymac IncProviding Support to Communities to Increase Wildlife Habitat Back into Bushfire Affected Landscapes
Promote community bushfire awareness and preparedness and encourage the return of wildlife into bushfire-affected habitat by presenting educational nesting box construction workshops facilitated by a conservation expert.
Killabakh Public Hall Land ManagerImprove Killabakh Hall's Protection Against Fire through Better Water Catchment and Retention
Increase capacity of the Killabakh Hall for bushfire preparedness and resources for water catchment by installing gutters, leaf guards, downpipes and works to connect rainfall to existing tanks.
Rally for RecoveryLightening the Load
Support volunteer safety and build organisational capacity and efficiency through the purchase of pallet jacks and pallets to assist the removal and storage of heavy furniture items donated to people in need after the Black Summer bushfires.
ShoreTrack LtdShoreTrack Recovery
Improve employability and civic participation levels of disengaged youth through work experience with the SES and RFS, including gaining essential qualifications.
Nambucca Heads$25,000
Welfare Rights Centre LtdSocial Security Training Program in the Northern Rivers Region, NSW
Empower community organisations to support vulnerable residents in the Northern Rivers region, providing targeted communications and training workshops on navigating the social security system.
Woodenbong Progress AssociationWoodenbong Community Resilience
Strengthen community resources and bushfire preparedness for Woodenbong Hall as an evacuation place. Purchase of operational equipment including radios, laptop, lighting, medical supplies, toiletries, a shipping container for storage, communication tools, internal fittings, household items and supplies.
Small & Vital
Dundaloo Foundation LtdDundaloo Enterprises – Community Awareness, Accessibility and Branding
Create employment opportunities for people with disabilities by creating a website for microbusiness e-sales and providing work safety clothing for job readiness.
Dunoon Pre-school IncEnhance the Structure of Our Roof
Create a structurally safe and sound environment for children to play and learn by repairing the damaged roof at Dunoon Pre-School.
Hargraves & District Progress Association IncPurchase of Digital Printer and Laminator
Build connections and keep the community informed of local issues and events by purchasing a printer and laminator for the production of the 'Nugget News' local newsletter.
Indigenous Futures Foundation LtdFirst Nation Food Security Project
Reduce food insecurity by supporting a flood-impacted community with a purpose-built shipping container to store frozen meals for distribution.
Neville Equine Performance IncMulti-Purpose Horse Arena with Holding Yards Providing a Safe Environment for a Wide Range of Equine Events
Build connections and provide protection from the elements for community events by purchasing a marquee.
Northern Rivers Women and Children's Services IncHeartfelt House: Healing Pathways Program
Support the community with recovery from flood and previous childhood trauma with therapeutic 10-week workshop to build awareness, healing and recovery skills.
Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary IncStrengthening Volunteer Base
Support volunteer wellbeing and grow new ways for the volunteers to engage meaningfully with young people at the Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary.
Rankin's Springs and District War Memorial HallBollards for Hall Safety
Improve safety for preschool children, staff and hall visitors by installing removable bollards around the Rankins Springs Hall.
Rankins Springs$3,000
RiverTracksPost Flood Weekend Youth Engagement and Outdoor Adventure Therapy
Engaging at-risk youth with an accessible outdoor adventure therapy experience, encouraging personal and professional growth.
The Brunswick Heads Breakfast Club IncBrekkie Expansion Project
Provide those in need access to nutritious, ready-to-eat food by expanding capacity and broadening local knowledge of available services.
Brunswick Heads$10,000
The Showground Workshop IncTaree Showground Men's Shed Renewal
Reduce social isolation and improve health and well-being by replacing workshop equipment damaged in the floods at the Taree Men's Shed.
Volunteer Marine Rescue NSWJason's Cradle
Improve emergency response first aid capability and strengthen community health and safety outcomes by purchasing a Jason's Cradle device to aid in the recovery of man-overboard victims.
Walcha and District Historical Society IncLawn mower purchase
Reduce volunteer fatigue and enhance accessibility to the Walcha Museum by purchasing a ride-on lawn mower.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Large
Tracks IncWuyal - Sugarbag Man
Reduce social isolation and build resilience amongst older First Nations community members by supporting participation in dance workshops connecting participants with culture and each other.
Small & Vital
Director of National Parks
The Trustee for National Parks Conservation Trust
Anangu Caring for Tjakura on Country
Augment Indigenous knowledge and support participation in a research program to save the Great Desert Skink from extinction.
Gapuwiyak School Council IncCairns Work Exposure for Graduating Students
Foster lifelong learning in a remote NT First Nations community through an excursion to Cairns to connect with tertiary education and employment opportunities.
Guts Dance Central Australia IncBrave Bodies
Encourage youth engagement and participation in the creative arts with 'Brave Bodies' Dance Program for remote youth.
Alice Springs$9,920
Isolated Children's Parents' Association Alice Springs BranchFirst Aid Training for Home Tutors
Upskill home tutors and station workers in remote communities with first aid training.
Alice Springs$5,000
Pertame Language Revival Project Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education"Pertame Relha Tningka Purta-irrema Kaltya-irretyeka": Strengthening and Connecting the Pertame Community Through Language and Culture
Strengthen culture, revive the Pertame Language and bring community together on-country through camps and using digital technology.
Pwerte Marnte Marnte $25,000
Rebuilding Regional Communities Large
Talwood Race Club IncRenovations to Revitalise the Talwood Community
Support the social and economic recovery of the Talwood community by upgrading facilities at the Talwood Race Club to enable a long-standing community event and broader community use.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Bribie Island Gem & Fossicking Club IncPurchase of Equipment and Supplies for Training Up Members to be Next Generation Tutors
Sustain the Bribie Island Gem and Fossicking Club and their ability to recruit and retain volunteer tutors by upgrading essential equipment.
Bribie Island$8,615
Burrum District Community Mens Shed IncUpgrade Outdoor Work and Assembly Areas
Reduce social isolation and enhance community resilience by undertaking concreting works to improve the usability of the outdoor spaces at the Men's Shed.
Clifton Dabblers IncArt and Craft Expo in the Park 2022
Reduce social isolation and foster community-led recovery by raising awareness of, and supplying materials and infrastructure for, the Clifton Arts and Crafts Expo in the Park 2022.
Nanango Tourism & Development Association IncNanango's 175th Anniversary Celebrations 2023
Reduce social isolation and build community resilience by supporting an historical re-enactment at the Australia Day Spectacular as part of the Nanango 175th Anniversary celebrations.
Texas QLD IncTexas Country Music Festival
Improve social connectedness and build resilience in Texas by supporting the hosting of the 2022 Texas Country Music Festival.
2019/2020 Bushfire Recovery
Beaudesert Quilters Group IncQuilters Crafting 4 Community
Build organisational capacity with purchase of laptop to further support the operation of local art and craft group and hosting of activities that support social connection in bushfire impacted regions.
Condamine Headwaters Landcare Group IncLearning to Love the Bush - Building a Junior Landcare Movement
Increase engagement in environmental awareness and land care practices for children and young people in bushfire impacted regions through field trip learning experiences.
Zonta Club of Stanthorpe IncZonta Club Of Stanthorpe Remarkable Women
Foster a sense of identity and celebrate community connection by memorialising remarkable women of Stanthorpe in a garden, enhancing tourism and educational opportunities in local bushfire recovery.
Small & Vital
Bamaga Productions Pty Ltd Inala Wangarra IncBamaga Heritage Project
Ensure the unique cultural history of Bamaga, and its founding by Torres Strait Islanders, is not lost through the recording of oral histories and restoration of the Bamaga Cemetery.
Booringa Heritage Group IncPreserve Historical Machinery
Strengthen tourism and engagement with local history by reinstating a steam tractor back to its original condition and creating a covered area to showcase it at the Mitchell museum.
Goobidi-Bamanga Community Advancement Cooperative Society LtdCooling Our Kids & Community
Maximise capacity of the organisation to deliver programs for children and elders through the installation of two air-conditioners in the Goobidi Community Centre, enabling use of the space all year round.
Gympie South Primary P&C AssociationHall Upgrades
Enable educational and engaging activities of the community groups that use the Gympie South Primary School through upgrading the hall PA system.
Kalyan Youth Services IncYarning Circle
Support relationship building and provide a safe space for homeless youth by installing a Yarning Circle at Kalyan House.
Kilkivan State School (Cattle Team)
Kilkivan Primary P&C Association
Cattle Show Team - Kilkivan State School
Develop the educational offerings and pre-vocational connections of the Kilkivan School Cattle Team by purchasing the necessary equipment to care for and handle show cattle safely.
Leading in the Central West IncGrowing Our Region
Provide leadership training in remote locations, that will upskill volunteers and community members to increase confidence, capabilities and networks of people in Central Western Queensland.
QCWA Branch Abergowrie & Long PocketStorage Solutions
Strengthen organisational resilience and capacity by purchasing a 20-foot shipping container to store and keep furniture safe from theft, vermin or extreme wet weather and free up space in the QCWA hall.
Returned & Services League of Australia (Queensland Branch) Mundubbera Sub-Branch IncHelp us to Help our Veterans
Reduce volunteer fatigue and enhance accessibility of a local community facility through acquisition of reliable gardening equipment for grounds maintenance.
Steaming on the Downs IncCommunity Skills Workshop / Mechanical Skills Demonstrations - Gazebo's and Banners
Expand organisational capacity by purchasing a trailer and three teardrop banners, enabling wider social engagement and broader mechanical skill development.
Tara & District Family Support Committee IncEnclosing a Community Space for Year-Round Use
Improve useability of the outdoor deck at the Tara Neighbourhood Centre through the installation of outdoor blinds and strip lighting, increasing comfort for community groups all year round.
Texas Golf Club IncDisabled Access Doors
Increase inclusivity of community events for those with mobility issues through the installation of large accessible doors to the Texas Golf Club.
The Creche and Kindergarten Association LtdInteractive Learning at C&K Longreach
Support improved educational outcomes for local children through the purchase of an interactive whiteboard.
Yelarbon Primary P&C AssociationSafer and Prepared Community
Improve emergency response first aid capability and strengthen community health and safety outcomes via purchasing and installing an Auto External Defibrillator at the Yelarbon Recreation Grounds.
Laura District Rodeo & Camp Draft Assoc IncLaura Race Club Reserve Water Supply Project
Encourage people to come together to improve relationships and strengthen the local economy through the installation of a bore and a water reticulation system at a local Reserve.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Large
Murray Bridge Community Centre IncWorkshops to Wellbeing
Reduce social isolation and foster a more resilient community through running workshops to re-engage a community impacted by COVID-19.
Murray Bridge$50,000
2019/2020 Bushfire Recovery
Kingscote Mens Shed IncImproving Social Wellbeing and Coastal Habitat Post-Bushfires; Meaningful Activity to Enhance Connection for Men on Kangaroo Island
Empower the men of a bushfire impacted region to engage in social activities whilst supporting a coastal habitat rehabilitation project.
Lobethal Recreation Ground Sports Club IncFitout of Community Kitchen
Strengthen community resources that enable bushfire preparedness by installing a community kitchen in a newly constructed building at Lobethal Oval.
Parndana Bowling Club IncThe Disability Accessibility Project
Increase community access for all abilities and enhance bushfire recovery opportunities by improving disability access at a community gathering space.
Parndana Community Children's Centre IncParndana Community Children's Centre Business Establishment
Foster organisational capacity by engaging a consultant to undertake operational and strategic planning to boost community economic recovery post bushfires in Parndana and surrounds.
Small & Vital
Copley & Districts Progress Association IncCopley Bicycle Repairs Program
Boost physical health and community engagement, and foster new skills in young people through the delivery of a bicycle repair program in a very remote region.
Foodbank of South Australia IncAnnexing Resilience in the Riverland
Boost the capacity of Foodbank SA Riverland to meet demand for food assistance, through the installation of a covered annexe at the distribution warehouse.
Leigh Creek Community Progress Association IncAkurra Walking Trail Bilingual Signage
Expand opportunities to learn about First Nation’s history, language and connection to the environment, through the installation of signage interpreting Adnyamathanha cultural heritage.
Leigh Creek$10,000
Mannum Agricultural Society IncMannum Show Infrastructure and Environment Improvements Project
Broaden community engagement and support organisational capacity through the refurbishment of a gathering space and installation of a shade sail at the Mannum Showground.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Large
West Coast Connect IncQueenstown Community Nursery
Enhance the process of community-led recovery in Queenstown by supporting establishment of a new community nursery and garden.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Squid Theatre IncSaturday Radio Theatre 2023 Season
Sustain the creative activities of a community theatre company through supporting a weekly radio drama, providing a vital point of connection for isolated community members.
Small & Vital
Forth Primary School Department of Education TasmaniaSprouting Life Long Healthy Habits @ Forth Primary School
Enhance student health and wellbeing outcomes and develop connections between community and local industry through establishing a school garden.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Large
Cire Services IncBuilding Resilient Children in the Yarra Ranges
Reduce social isolation and foster resilience in the Yarra Ranges youth by supporting mental health and wellbeing programs for school aged children.
Yarra Junction$43,388
Culgoa Development Group IncReconnecting Culgoa
Reduce social isolation and foster a more resilient Culgoa through establishing a landscaped outdoor space for community gatherings and events.
Into Our Hands Community Foundation LtdActivate VRC: Re-activating Volunteer Engagement, Resilience and Capacity in North East Victoria
Sustain community organisations and volunteer capacity in northeast Victoria through dedicated support to strengthen governance, planning, volunteer recruitment and grant seeking activities.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Foggy Mountain Inc Foggy Mountain Primary School Song Writing & Performance Project
Reduce social isolation for school children and support recovery from the pandemic through participation in song writing workshops and a community concert.
Kinglake $6,340
Mission Australia Volunteer Mentors: Driving Good Mental Health for Disadvantaged Young People
Sustain volunteer capacity by providing mentors with training and support to respond to increased anxiety and distress in young people.
Tatura Blue Light IncRe-starting Tatura Blue Light Disco
Reduce social isolation and build a stronger, more inclusive community by providing activities for youth to connect.
Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce IncPurchase of Event Infrastructure for Apollo Bay Community Events and Activities
Enhance recovery by encouraging people to come together and celebrate community spirit through a foreshore events hub.
Apollo Bay$10,000
Boolarra Folk Festival Committee2023 Boolarra Folk Festival
Enhance the process of recovery from the pandemic for Boolarra by supporting the return of the Boolarra Folk Festival.
Camperdown Theatre Company IncPurchase of Uniforms and Technical Equipment
Facilitating a workshop to improve members' technical knowledge. Foster creative arts recovery and volunteer capacity through purchasing new equipment and volunteer uniforms.
Chiltern Racecourse CommitteeChiltern Horse Festival - Celebrating 150 Years Of The Chiltern Equine Park
Encourage people to come together and enhance economic recovery of a small community impacted by the pandemic by hiring equipment to stage a three-day horse festival.
Clunes Neighbourhood House IncRebuilding Capacity through Volunteering
Reinvigorating local volunteering to support the process of recovery in Clunes through an online volunteer skills bank and community events.
Creswick Neighbourhood Centre IncBuilding Capacity and Strengthening Community Engagement in Events in Creswick and Clunes
Enhance volunteer sustainability and skills development through an event management training program.
Inglewood & Districts Health ServiceEnhancing the IDHS Residential Aged Care Outdoor Environment
Enhance social engagement and connection with nature by upgrading an outdoor area to provide a more inviting space for the elderly residents and their visitors.
Murtoa Progress Association IncMurtoa By Twilight - Moving Forward Together
Reduce social isolation and promote community resilience by providing a local event that encourages people to come together post pandemic.
Progressing Cobden IncCobden Connection and Kindness Activation Series
Reduce social isolation by supporting the community to reconnect through the Cobden Connection and Kindness Activation Series.
SisterWorks IncCapacity Building for CALD Women in Wodonga and Surrounds
Reduce isolation for culturally & linguistically diverse (CALD) women in a regional centre and support development of new skills, through the delivery of a localised training program.
Talbot Action IncTalbot Market Square Renewal Project
Enhance the process of recovery by enhancing places for community connection and tourism through revitalising an outdoor public gathering space.
The Latrobe Chorale IncTrying Not to Lose our Voice: Keep the Latrobe Chorale Singing
Foster social connection and connection to the arts by delivering facilitated choir workshops and community concerts.
Woodside Public Hall Committee of Management IncReplacement Fridges
Enhance the process of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging increased use of a public hall through kitchen upgrades.
Youth Art @The Colac Makers Space -ReGenZ
Creative Otways Inc
Outside the SQUARE- ReGenZ
Strengthen youth recovery from pandemic impacts by running a creative arts and mentoring program for vulnerable youth.
2019/2020 Bushfire Recovery
Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House IncBairnsdale Neighbourhood House Bushfire Recovery and Preparation - Strategic Review and Capacity Building Project
Expand organisational capacity of the Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House to support bushfire recovery in East Gippsland by developing a strategic plan.
Ecoportal, C/- Parklands Albury Wodonga
Parklands Albury Wodonga Ltd
Ecoportal Website Rebuild
Increasing capacity and capability of local community organisations to support preparedness and recovery through upgrading a web platform to promote environmental grassroots activities across bushfire impacted regions.
Ensay Recreation ReserveRejuvenating the Ensay Recreation Reserve / Bushfire Relief Centre
Increase capacity of volunteers to support bushfire preparedness through purchase of a ride on mower and storage shed.
Kiewa Catchment Landcare Groups IncA Strategic Planning Journey to Build Resilience and Capacity of the Kiewa Valley Landcare Community
Empower collaborative partnerships and environmental initiatives in bushfire impacted communities through employing a facilitator to develop a strategic plan.
Mount Beauty$10,000
Mallacoota & Genoa Broadcasting Association IncRadio for Recovery - Community Capability and Connectivity in Far East Gippsland
Grow community broadcasting in Mallacoota and surrounds by purchasing audio technical equipment for mobile broadcasting unit.
Small & Vital
Barham-Koondrook Historical Society IncTurning the Pages of History
Boost volunteer engagement and connection to local history through safeguarding a significant newspaper collection.
Cobrico Public Hall ReserveUpgrades to Cobrico Hall
Improve opportunities for community connection by providing a comfortable environment with upgraded plumbing and amenities at the Cobrico Community Hall.
Dingee Pre-School IncArt Magic to the Paddock
Provide an opportunity for young children to share and identify with local culture through the creation of a mural illustrating the district's history.
Macedon Community House IncMacedon & Mount Macedon Community House Early Years Program - Start Up Procurement Project (2022-2023)
Improve social wellbeing and development outcomes for young children by providing a local early years program.
Mooroopna Mens Shed
Mooroopna Education and Activity Centre Inc
Solar System
Enhance social and wellbeing activities, and improve environmental practices by installing a solar PV system at a men's shed.
Nhill Silo Heritage ProjectWater Pumps to Protect Underground Assets
Encourage tourism to an iconic regional town and preserve an historical community asset, through the installation of a water pump system at the Nhill Silo complex.
Pyalong Neighbourhood House IncAirconditioning and Heating for Op Shop Module
Support vulnerable community members to live well in a place and encourage volunteer engagement through the purchase and installation of a climate control system.
Stratford & District Historical Society IncPurchase of Ride-on Mower and Multi Tool for use at Museum Grounds
Improve capacity of older volunteers to maintain historic gardens and outdoor exhibits through the purchase of a ride on mower.
Talbot Arts and Historical Museum IncPreserving our Past for the Future: Repainting the Former Amherst Hospital Isolation Ward
Celebrate local culture, boost tourism and community engagement in Talbot by preserving an important heritage building.
Tatyoon Recreation Reserve IncRegenerating Old Grounds
Strengthen community capacity to protect the environment and increase preparedness for fire events through rejuvenating a disused area at a recreation reserve.
The Koondrook Swimming Pool IncSustainable Water Quality Improvement
Foster health and safety and develop organisational capacity through upgrading the water treatment system at a community-run pool.
Toongabbie and District Mens Shed IncMobile Reception Booster Tower for Toongabbie Men's Shed
Provide a safe environment and support social interaction for older people participating in Men's Shed activities, by installing a booster tower to improve mobile phone reception.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Large
Broome Community Information Resource Centre and Learning Exchange Incorporated
City Information Resource Centre and Learning Exchange Incorporated
Broome CIRCLE Community Nursery and Universally Accessible Garden
Boost community-led recovery and connection by supporting the establishment of a new all-abilities community garden in Broome.
Glass Jar Australia LtdArt with the Stars – Spanning Western Australia from Kununurra and Tom Price to Narrogin
Reduce social isolation and build resilience for Aboriginal girls in remote northern WA by supporting the Art with the Stars program.
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Merredin Community Resource Centre IncSpreading the Words, Sounds and Music at Community Events
Reduce social isolation by encouraging people to come together and celebrate at community events by upgrading PA equipment to improve audio quality.
Nungarin Heritage Machinery & Army Museum IncThe Barracks
Sustain the work of the Nungarin Museum by supporting their 'Visiting Volunteers' program through renovations to the rustic accommodation for travelling volunteers.
Quairading Community Resource Centre IncKwirrading Noongar Tracks: Adding Casts of Local Fauna Footprints to the Pathways of Kwirrading Koort Community Park
Foster a more resilient community with acknowledgment of traditional owners' knowledge and culture through incorporating local Noongar Indigenous animal icons into park pathway.
Shire of Christmas IslandChristmas Island Senior Programs & Activities
Reduce social isolation for the elderly and offer a variety of weekly activities to improve mental cognition and physical health and wellbeing.
Christmas Island$8,979
Shire of TamminCommunity BBQ
Reduce social isolation by encouraging community gatherings and support social inclusion with disability ramp leading to electric BBQ area.
The Nintirri Centre IncMidwife Services
Sustain antenatal and postnatal care and support for very isolated remote communities in the Pilbara.
Tom Price$10,000
WA Bush Poets and Yarnspinners Ass IncToodyay Bush Poetry Festival
Enhance regional recovery through an infusion of arts and culture at the Toodyay Bush Poetry Festival.
Small & Vital
Denmark Community Resource Centre IncEmergency Relief Service 2022/23
Reduce food insecurity and financial stress with provision of emergency food supplies for people experiencing crisis.
Kalannie Community Resource Centre IncKalannie CRC Coffee Cart
Entice tourists to stop in town and increase opportunities for locals to gain employability skills with purchase of mobile coffee cart to service community events.
Otitis Media Group (Inc)Listen, Learn, Live
Provide local access and improve public health outcomes via education and treatment of middle ear disease in remote communities.
South Hedland$10,000
Telethon Speech & Hearing LtdHealthy Ears Project
Improve health outcomes and build capacity for early diagnosis and treatment of hearing problems in remote disadvantaged communities.
Yuna CWA
The Country Womens Association of Western Australia (Inc)
Upgrade 1957 Kitchen
Improve functionality of volunteers' working space with renovations to 70 year old kitchen.

Final round of Black Saturday funding for community-led initiatives

The final round of the Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Kinglake Ranges program opens Tuesday 5 July, with FRRR inviting applications from local not-for-profit groups. The program is designed to assist communities to rebuild, reconnect and recover from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

HEADING: Grants for Resilience & Wellness for Kinglake Ranges communities. IMAGE: Flowerdale Playgroup.

Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, funding is available to not-for-profit groups in Kinglake, Kinglake Central, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek, Toolangi and Flowerdale. In total, there is approximately $570,000 available, with no minimum or maximum amount per grant. However, applications for more than $30,000 should be discussed with FRRR before being lodged.

Applications must be for new projects that directly assist those individuals and communities that were affected by the 2009 fires and must identify a specific hardship or distress caused by the bushfires, which the activity intends to relieve.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, encouraged local communities in the Kinglake Ranges to apply now to fund their community-strengthening and resilience-building projects.

“We know that the fires had an immense impact across the Kinglake Ranges, and despite it now being more than 13 years ago, recovering communities still need support to reconnect, share experiences, enhance wellbeing and resilience and build capacity for the future.

“The community consultations during May and June were a great opportunity to hear directly from communities about how these grants can best support Kinglake’s ongoing recovery and we look forward to reading about the projects the community has prioritised,” Ms O’Brien said.

FRRR staff in Kinglake Ranges to chat about applications

FRRR team members Karly Smith-Whelan and Brooke Williams will be in the Kinglake Ranges area on Tuesday 5th (Kinglake) and Wednesday 6th July (Toolangi and Flowerdale) to chat to community groups about their project ideas. To book an appointment, email or call 1800 170 020.

As a reminder, the GR&W Kinglake program has a focus on supporting projects that benefit the wider community, and applications should demonstrate community support and the involvement of a range of community groups or representatives.

Applications close Wednesday 16 August 2022, at 5pm AEST, with successful applicants announced in December 2022. For more information and the guidelines, visit .

To date, through GR&W Kinglake, FRRR has awarded over $1.1M for 35 projects to local groups in the Kinglake Ranges.  Any community impacted by 2009 bushfires and not located in Kinglake Ranges region can apply for support through FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program.

12 Volunteer Emergency Services organisations awarded more than $190,000 in grants

Twelve volunteer emergency services organisations supporting remote, rural and regional communities impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires have been awarded $191,628 in grants for projects that will assist in their disaster recovery efforts and strengthen their emergency response capabilities for future disasters.

HEADING: First-responders receive a Black Summer recovery boost. IMAGE: Kangarilla CFS in South Australia.

Funded through FRRR’s Volunteer Emergency Services Fund (VESF) program, generously supported by a private donor, the funding supports local volunteer emergency services and first-responder organisations in eligible fire-affected communities across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria.

The grants range from $2,996 to provide a rural fire service brigade with wet weather personal protection equipment, to $25,000 for equipment to maintain low bushfire fuel loads in a high risk area.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that the VESF program was important for dedicating funding to local initiatives that are a priority of volunteer first-responders.

“Programs like this are vital for fire-affected communities to ensure long-term resilience and preparedness. In this round, we saw requests for support to purchase and upgrade emergency equipment, technology and communications systems, as well as wellbeing activities. With funding provided for the purchase of emergency support vehicles, personal protection equipment and maintenance equipment, these organisations are now better placed to save lives.

“While this is the last round of grants through the VESF program, it has allowed us to learn more about what these groups need and respond effectively. It has bolstered the response capacity of many organisations and FRRR have built new connections in communities with whom we look forward to continuing to work with through their long term recovery. FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program continues to offer bushfire recovery grant opportunities,” Ms Egleton said.

Some of the projects funded this round include:

  • Burragate Rural Fire Service, NSW – Roof insulation for Burragate fire shed – $23,710 – Boost volunteer vitality and comfort while reducing the carbon footprint of the Burragate Fire brigade through the installation of foam insulation at the fire shed.
  • Far South Coast Rural Fire Service, NSW – Fire Shed Friday’s – $20,026 – Boost volunteer vitality and general wellbeing with the provision of Fire Shed Friday activities in four impacted communities.
  • The Caves Rural Fire Brigade, QLD – New Storage Shed Project – $19,303 – Enhance operational activities and emergency response times with the provision of a storage shed for The Caves Rural Fire Brigade.
  • Mt Lofty Group Operations Support Brigade, SA – Enhancing Mount Lofty CFS Group Operations Brigade Communications for Critical Incidents and Community Preparedness – $23,577 – Upgrade technology and increase access to support volunteer development and learning and organisational operations.
  • Ensay Fire Brigade, VIC – An Ultralight Vehicle (ULV) for Tambo Crossing – $21,000 – Support emergency response activities by contributing to the purchase of an emergency response ultra-light vehicle for Tambo Crossing community.

For more information, visit FRRR’s website –

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

Braunstone Rural Fire BrigadeCommunication, IT and Facility Enhancement - Braunstone Rural Fire Brigade
Increase technology capability, security, and general maintenance of equipment at the Braunstone Rural Fire Brigade.
Braunstone $11,325
Burragate Rural Fire ServiceRoof Insulation for Burragate Fire Shed
Boost volunteer vitality and comfort while reducing the carbon footprint of the Burragate Fire brigade with the installation of foam insulation at the fire shed.
Burragate $23,710
Far South Coast
NSW Rural Fire Service

Fire Shed Friday's
Boost volunteer vitality and general wellbeing with the provision of Fire Shed Friday activities in four impacted communities.

Eden $20,026
Grafton City Rural BrigadeLockers for Brigade Members & Gazebo for Community Engagement
Support emergency response volunteers with the provision of lockers and a temporary gazebo for the Grafton Rural Fire Brigade.
South Grafton $8,030
Iluka Rural Fire ServiceFirst Response Evacuation Resources- Iluka
Support emergency preparedness with the provision of furnishings to meet evacuation needs and appropriate storage facilities for Iluka Fire Brigade.
Iluka $22,342
Johns River Rural Fire ServiceSupporting and Protecting Our First Responders
Boost the vitality of volunteers through the provision of wet weather personal protection equipment for members of the Johns River RFS.
Johns River $2,996
Wallaby Joe Rural Fire ServiceWallaby Joe Operational Equipment Procurement
Boost volunteer vitality with the provision of wet weather gear, helmet torches and emergency flares for use during community emergencies.
Wingham $7,213
Aratula Rural Fires BrigadeAratula Multi Purpose Vehicle
Increase the capacity and capability of local volunteer Fire Brigade to support response during disasters by contributing to the purchase of a support vehicle.
Aratula $7,106
The Caves Rural Fire Brigade
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
New Storage Shed Project
Boost operational activities and emergency response times with the provision of a storage shed for The Caves Rural Fire Brigade.
The Caves $19.303
Mt Lofty Group Operations Support Brigade
Mt Lofty CFS Group
Enhancing Mount Lofty CFS Group Operations Brigade Communications for Critical Incidents and Community Preparedness
Upgrade technology and increase access to support volunteer development and learning and organisational operations.
Bridgewater $23,577
Ensay Fire Brigade Country Fire AuthorityAn ULT (Ultralight Vehicle) for Tambo Crossing
Support emergency response activities by contributing to the purchase of an emergency response Ultra-Light vehicle for Tambo Crossing community.
Ensay / Tambo Crossing $21,000
Old Tallangatta Fire Brigade Country Fire AuthorityMaintaining a Low Fuel Load Location for the Old Tallangatta Community
Increase volunteer vitality with the provision of a ride on mower, brush cutter and concrete pad to support maintaining a low bushfire fuel load.
Old Tallangatta $25,000

More than half of the funding to go towards bushfire recovery

Sixty-seven projects across remote, rural and regional Australia will share in $776,583 in grants thanks to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.

HEADING: Nearly $800,000 awarded to strengthen rural communities. IMAGE: Three people sitting at a table smiling and facing the camera.

These projects are grassroots initiatives run by organisations led by local people that will strengthen their communities and have direct benefits for those living in them.

In this round of funding, 26 of the projects receiving funding support ongoing recovery from the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires. These initiatives, which will share $444,552, include purchasing fit-for-purpose health equipment for three divisions of St John Ambulance NSW – all of which were directly involved in the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfire response.

There are also 41 projects being funded through the Small & Vital stream of the SRC program, which will share in a total of $332,031. These grants range from $1,455 to upgrade the NSW It’s Heaven website to make it more accessible for those who have a disability, to a $10,000 grant for the Northern Australian Aboriginal Charitable Trust that will help to deliver three new, free-of-charge laundromats to remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

Jill Karena, Place Portfolio Lead at FRRR, said that a noticeable trend emerged in this latest round of applications.

“Interestingly, we saw a strong interest for community gardens in this round. With the cost of living rising on top of the food shortages that are happening as a result of the pandemic and natural disasters like drought and floods, there are growing concerns in rural areas about food security and the lack of access to nutritious, affordable food.

“This is why flexible programs like SRC are crucial. The funding from this program can be used where community leaders see the greatest need. Our climate and our economy are rapidly evolving and these grants can be used to support a broad range of community-led, grassroots initiatives that are helping to address very current issues in real time,” Ms Karena said.

Some of the 67 projects funded include:

  • OpenField Arts Festival Inc – Berry, NSW – OpenField Arts Festival – Facilitate community and social connection through a multidisciplinary arts festival. $10,000 (Bushfire Recovery)
  • Riding for the Disabled in the Top End – Palmerston, NT – Optimisation of Volunteer Management at Riding for the Disabled in the Top End – Improve the management, rostering and training of volunteers by installing a database program and employing a volunteer coordinator. $9,948 (Small & Vital)
  • Girls from Oz Ltd – Kowanyama, QLD – Helping to Keep Language Alive in Kowanyama – Support language revitalisation and student engagement through a performing arts project in a remote school. $9,212 (Small & Vital)
  • Fat Farmers: Rural Health Initiative Incorporated – Cummins, SA – Eyre Peninsula Expansion Project – Enhance physical and mental health by promoting a community fitness group at a local social event. $8,500 (Small & Vital)
  • Fingal Valley Neighbourhood House – St Helens, TAS – Building Blocks: Play and Learn Together – Support delivery of playgroups, early learning and parenting support programs in rural areas through the purchase of a vehicle. $25,000 (Bushfire Recovery)
  • Dunsborough Yallingup Chamber of Commerce – Dunsborough, WA – DYCCI Skills Development and Capacity Building Workshops 2022/23 – Boost and strengthen the local economy by running a series of workshops to help community members improve their business skills. $9,994 (Small & Vital)
  • Country Fire Authority Corryong Country Fire Brigade (CFA) – Corryong, VIC – Corryong Fire Station Kitchen Modernisation – Improve capacity of Corryong Fire Brigade to support bushfire recovery and preparedness by upgrading kitchen. $24,040 (Bushfire Recovery)

A full list of grant recipients is available on FRRR’s website.

The SRC program is collaboratively supported by many generous donors, which are acknowledged on FRRR’s website.

This program always accepts applications and thanks to recent support from the Australian Government, there is now a COVID-recovery stream – Rebuilding Rural Communities. Local NFPs and community groups are encouraged to review the expanded program guidelines and apply. More information about the SRC program is available at

To support grants like this through FRRR, make a tax-deductible donation at

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

Bushfire Recovery
Cobargo Wellness GroupGinger the Frog Community Arts Project Tour
Support children and families impacted by bushfires to process complex emotions resulting from trauma through performance, storytelling and mindfulness.
Coffs Harbour$19,500
Container of Dreams LtdContainer of Dreams Lockup Workshop
Expand the capacity to provide affordable housing and workshop space for bushfire-affected communities by building a shed.
Gwymac IncorporatedFostering Inclusive, Friendly, Stronger and More Resilient Communities in Small Rural Towns
Strengthen community recovery and improve health and social wellbeing outcomes and connection through creative workshops.
Nambucca Valley Phoenix LimitedFostering Recovery and Resilience through Creative and Connected Communities
Increase capacity of arts organisation to build sustainability and delivery of projects in bushfire-impacted areas through employing a coordinator.
Kendall Community Centre Reserve Land ManagerKendall's Co-working Hub
Strengthen community recovery and improve health and social wellbeing outcomes and connection through creative workshops.
Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service LimitedWestpac Rescue Helicopter Service Annual Volunteers Conference – Narrabri
Support volunteers of Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue to connect with one another through attending an annual conference.
OpenField Arts Festival IncOpenField Arts Festival 
Facilitate community and social connection through a multidisciplinary arts festival.
Sanctuary Point Men's Shed Inc

Extension to Existing Men's Shed
Build capacity for Sanctuary Point Men’s Shed to continue to support local community, increase engagement and reduce social isolation through building a shed extension.

Sanctuary Point$19,263
South East Arts (NSW) Inc Navigate ArtsRegeneration Roadtrip
Promote healing through reconnection to Country in bushfire-impacted communities with an interactive road journey and map.
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AllianceBushfire and Heatwave Haven ‐ Batemans Bay Uniting Church Facility
Support establishment of a heatwave and bushfire haven by upgrading toilet, shower and storage amenities.
Batemans Bay$24,080
St John Ambulance Australia (NSW)Building Emergency Response Capabilities
Support volunteer emergency responders to increase preparedness for natural disasters through purchase of equipment.
Tenterfield Players Incorporated"Let There Be Light" 
Expand capacity of a bushfire-impacted town by boosting ability to host local stage productions through purchase of portable lighting.
The Circle Foundation Cooperative LtdSinging for Health, Wellbeing and Recovery
Enhance social connection, health and wellbeing through a community choir program.
Small & Vital
Equine AngelsHorses 4 Healing Youth Project ‐ Horses Helping Humans Program ‐ Byron Shire
Engage disadvantaged young people to participate in an equine therapy program to build resilience and emotional wellbeing.
Mullumbimby Creek$8,492
It's Heaven IncorporatedUpgrade Platform
Increase inclusiveness through upgrade of an inclusive tourism website, designed to provide accurate and easily accessible information for travellers with a disability.
Quandialla Soldiers Memorial Hall IncorporatedQuandialla Soldiers Memorial Hall Mural
Increase tourism and commemorate history within the local community by painting a large mural on the hall depicting the area's history, development and attractions.
Weemelah HallBBQ Cover and Lighting Project 
Increase community involvement and engagement, by installing shade and lighting over the BBQ area.
Woodstock Progress AssociationLet's Tell Some Stories! 
Enhance visitor engagement and improve connections within the existing community, by developing information boards that tell the stories of significant Woodstock locations.
Young Public P&C AssociationEndemic Showcase Garden, Aboriginal Yarning Circle, and Outdoor Classroom at Young Public School
Create an inspiring and inclusive space with an endemic garden and yarning circle where Aboriginal students can come together to connect with each other and Elders.
Small & Vital
Atyenhenge‐Atherre Aboriginal CorporationAlternative Education Program (AEP) ‐ An Alternative Curriculum for Remote School Engagement
Encourage disengaged young people to re‐engage in their education via a culturally appropriate life skills program.
Santa Teresa$10,000
First Nations Bushfood & Botanical Alliance Australia LtdFirst Nations Bushfood and Botanical Alliance Australia
‐ Remote Digital Connectivity
Support First Nations Leaders to promote Indigenous economic interest and initiatives through investment in digital capability.
Alice Springs$9,654
Northern Australian Aboriginal Charitable TrustRemote Laundries – Stage Three
Improve health and social wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal people in remote communities, by providing access to free specialised washing machines that destroy scabies mites.
Riding for the Disabled in the Top EndOptimisation of Volunteer Management at Riding for the Disabled in the Top End
Improve the management, rostering and training of volunteers by installing a database program and employing a volunteer coordinator.
Bushfire Recovery
Tannymorel Hall Committee IncPainting the Tannymorel Hall Roof
Foster connection to place and community pride by painting the Tannymorel Hall roof, championing the community’s social, economic and tourism aspirations.
Tin Can Bay Community and Men’s Shed IncorporatedStorage Shed
Support community recovery and wellbeing through purchase of a storage shed to securely house materials and equipment.
Tin Can Bay$4,000
Small & Vital
Audrey's Angels of HopeComputing for Compassion
Ease administration tasks for volunteers who support cancer sufferers and their families with purchase of a printer and computer.
Banana Shire Community Arts Assoc IncRestore, Refurbish, Revive: Reconnecting Community Part Two
Build community connectivity, participation and capacity through the installation of a split system air conditioner and table / chairs.
Blackall Cultural Association IncorporatedBushman's Artisan Gallery Project
Foster and strengthen local engagement with the arts by refurbishing and extending a gallery.
Charleville & District Community Support Association Incorporated Charleville Blue Light Association (Charleville Police)Safer Driving Skills on Outback Queensland Roads: Better Drivers; Safer Roads; Employment Opportunities
Provide young people in a remote area with access to a supervised driver training and education program, to increase road safety awareness and reduce road accidents.
Community for Coastal & Cassowary Conservation IncHistorical Photographic Exhibition in Mission Beach - Echo of the Past
Increase awareness of environmental issues through recent history with an exhibition of photographs of local historical significance to the Mission Beach area.
Mission Beach$8,925
Eacham Historical Society IncorporatedComputers and Archive Map storage
Help local community retain and access region’s history with investment in IT and storage cabinet.
Girls from Oz LtdHelping to Keep Language Alive in Kowanyama
Support language revitalisation and student engagement through a performing arts project in a remote school.
Herbert River Men's Shed IncMen’s Shed Equipment Upgrade
Strengthen the capacity of local people to connect with each other and respond to community need, by upgrading the equipment of a Men’s Shed.
Kilkivan & District Community Care Association IncExpanding the Home of the KilkiVAN
Boost the ability of residents to live well in place while ageing, by purchasing equipment to expand community support services.
Muttaburra Community Development Association IncUnion Hole Camp - Shearers' Strike
Boost tourism and commemorate the Great Shearers' Strike of 1891 with installation of a large sculpture.
Bushfire Recovery
Port Vincent Progress Association IncUpgrade Projector and Sound System at the Port Vincent Institute
Restore communications and build capacity to host community activities at the Port Vincent Institute Hall through upgrading audio visual equipment.
Port Vincent$10,000
Small & Vital
District Council of Streaky BayThe 'Developing Community Leaders and Capacity through Equipping our Volunteers' Program
Develop volunteer capability and build leadership skills by providing a not-for-profit operations training program designed to upskill volunteers.
Streaky Bay$10,000
Fat Farmers: Rural Health Initiative IncorporatedEyre Peninsula Expansion Project
Enhance physical and mental health by promoting a community fitness group at a local social event.
Goolwa Surf Life Saving Club IncorporatedExpansion of Lifesaving Capabilities at Goolwa Surf Life Saving Club
Boost the organisation’s capability to deliver surf life‐saving services by purchasing new equipment.
Keyneton Soldiers' Memorial Hall IncKeyneton Soldiers' Memorial Hall ‐ Accessibility Upgrade to Supper Room Entrance
Provide a safe environment for volunteers and visitors through the upgrade of Keyneton Soldiers’ Memorial Hall’s supper room entrance.
Bushfire Recovery
Broadmarsh / Elderslie Progress Association IncBEPA Water Tanks
Improve essential facilities of community hall by installing water tanks to enhance capacity for bushfire preparedness and recovery.
Fingal Valley Neighbourhood HouseBuilding Blocks: Play and Learn Together 
Support delivery of playgroups, early learning and parenting support programs in rural areas through the purchase of a vehicle.
St Helens$25,000
Small & Vital
Southern Midlands CouncilEncouraging Active Ageing
Encourage social connection amongst Southern Midland Council’s ageing population by hosting four activities developed by community members.
Bushfire Recovery
Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House IncRural Minds Mental Health Workshops
Boost and strengthen mental health and wellbeing in the Bairnsdale community through the provision of workshops.
Bemm River Recreation Reserve Committee of Management IncorporatedEncouraging Connectedness
Rejuvenate a place of gathering by replacing an old barbeque with a new community barbeque.
Bemm River$13,563
Country Fire Authority Corryong Country Fire Brigade (CFA)Corryong Fire Station Kitchen Modernisation
Improve capacity of Corryong Fire Brigade to support bushfire recovery and preparedness by upgrading kitchen.
Destination Gippsland LtdEvent School
Foster the planning of rural and regional community events by employing a project manager.
Ensay Mechanics Institute Reserve IncEnsay Community Hall Revitalisation ‐ Kitchen Equipment and Outdoor Seating Upgrade Project
Enhance social cohesion, connectedness and wellbeing by upgrading kitchen facilities and outdoor dining area of the Ensay Community Hall.
Mount Beauty Cricket Club IncSafe, Supportive and Social Spaces
Expand capacity of volunteers to maintain valued community outdoor open spaces through purchase of a large area mower.
Mount Beauty$25,000
Myrrhee Primary School Breath CircleMyrrhee School Mental Health and Wellbeing Program
Promote improved health and wellbeing for children through school incursions on mindfulness and movement.
Small & Vital
Buxton Progress Assoc IncBuilding Buxton Strategy Consultation
Boost organisational and volunteer capacity through community consultation and development of a strategic plan for a local progress association.
Committee for MaryboroughCreating a Vibrant Community ‐ Phase One: Planning
Facilitate networking and opportunities for intergenerational collaboration through story telling in the Central Goldfield Shire.
Country Fire AuthorityHose Drying Rack
Support volunteer safety and build organisational capacity through the installation of a hose drying rack at Arcadia Fire station.
Flowerdale Community House IncFlowerdale Community Garden Project
Enhance health, wellbeing, and connectedness of the community through building a community garden.
Highlands Community Hall Committee IncHighland Hall going Forwards
Strengthen local capacity and skills through governance and strategic planning workshops and support.
Kilmore District Men's Shed IncShade Sail
Promote social connections in older age groups and protect physical health through the installation of a shade sail.
Lions Club of Benalla IncToilet Facilities in the Benalla Lions Shed
Boost volunteer engagement and provide an inclusive and comfortable facility through the installation of accessible toilet amenities.
Millewa Advisory GroupMillewa Silo Art
Boost tourism and strengthen the local economy by establishing silo art installations in Werrimull.
Southern Otway Landcare Network IncShrub Club Community Nursery Bench Restoration
Improve the safety of volunteers through installing new potting benches at a community‐run nursery.
Apollo Bay$3,320
St Arnaud Neighbourhood House IncCommunity Vegetable Garden
Improve nutrition of low‐income residents through the installation of a community garden.
St Arnaud$7,300
Tri Gym IncStrengthening Our Community - Healthy Body and Mind
Support better health and wellbeing outcomes by enabling older community members to access local pilates classes.
UCA Queenscliff Point Lonsdale"Clearing the Air" - Installation of Air Purifiers in Public Spaces
Encourage people to come together safely by installing air purifiers in a community hall and meals space.
Queenscliff-Point Lonsdale$7,990
United Way Glenelg Victoria IncorporatedWinter Care Packages
Reduce social isolation and decrease financial pressures for aged residents with provision of care packages.
View Street Public Hall CommitteeNew Window in the Kitchen of the West End Hall (Castlemaine)
Increase the comfort of hall users and lower greenhouse gas emissions by installing double glazed windows that will moderate the temperature inside the View Street Public Hall.
Woorak Community and Land Management GroupInternet Connection and Data Projector
Increase functionality of hall with provision of projector and internet connections to enable video conferencing, workshops, on-line training and presentations.
Bushfire Recovery
Denmark Community Resource Centre IncDistributed 15 ‐ Dance in Porongurup
Cultivate connection to environment, climate action and climate hope through creative workshops and performance.
Small & Vital
Dunsborough Yallingup Chamber of Commerce IncDYCCI Skills Development and Capacity Building Workshops 2022/23
Boost and strengthen the local economy by running a series of workshops to help community members improve their business skills.

Nestled in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, a two-hour drive from Sydney and just over the Great Dividing Range, lies the small town of Tarana. It is surrounded by local state forests and important historical sites such as the Jenolan Caves. The Tarana Volunteer Bushfire Brigade protects the Tarana community and surrounding districts from fires that threaten life and land. During the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires, the brigade worked tirelessly at this task.

The Black Summer fires underscored the need for brigades to be ready and prepared for urgent fire defence. However, a review into the fires found that loss of power to brigade sheds affected the ability of emergency services to be as responsive as was needed.

An incident in 2021, where a power pole was damaged near their shed, further highlighted this issue for the Tarana Brigade, as they went without power for several weeks. A small group of volunteers was left to man a generator to keep power going, tying up valuable resources needed elsewhere.

Through the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund (VESF) grant program, the Tarana Brigade found a solution to their power problem. Installing a solar powered battery backup system ensured ongoing continuity of their power supply, with the added benefit of producing green energy and reducing operational costs.

Thanks to the generous contribution of a private donor, a $25,000 VESF grant provided the brigade with the certainty of running their fire shed unencumbered: trucks will stay charged, roller doors and fast fill pumps will remain operational, security systems and fridges for crew supplies will continue to run. This means that the Tarana Volunteer Bushfire Brigade will be ready to support their community whenever they are needed.

First responder organisations encouraged to apply for funding to strengthen their emergency response capabilities

FRRR is encouraging eligible groups to apply to its Volunteer Emergency Services Fund (VESF) program to support local volunteer emergency services groups and first responder organisations in communities affected by the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.

HEADING: Grants available for Volunteer Emergency Services in Black Summer impacted areas
IMAGE: Tionee Rural Fire Brigade

Thanks to the generous contribution of a private donor, grants of up to $25,000 are available to strengthen local emergency response capabilities, based on identified community need and priorities, including to support volunteers’ wellbeing and mental health.

The VESF grants are available to local volunteer emergency services groups and first responder organisations in eligible fire-affected communities across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

Danielle Griffin, FRRR’s Philanthropic Services Manager – Corporate, said that funding from this grant program had already provided much-needed support, funding 54 projects across 66 communities.

“We have seen local groups upgrade their equipment and infrastructure, improve their service to communities and enhance support for their volunteers.

“This funding is a timely reminder that these communities need continued support and investment. The funding will contribute to remote, rural and regional communities’ confidence in the capacity and capability of their local volunteer first responder and emergency services groups to implement solutions for adapting to changing conditions and planning for future disasters. The volunteers themselves are critical to these outcomes and we encourage projects that build not only the skills of this unpaid workforce but wellbeing support to sustain their efforts.

“Many of these communities have endured multiple disasters in recent years, including the current floods. We encourage any groups impacted by the Black Summer fires who are also affected by recent flooding to get in touch and discuss their needs so we can support applications being developed in these difficult conditions,” Ms Griffin said.

The VESF grant program is now open. Applications close 5pm AEST 28 April 2022, with grants to be announced in July 2022. You can find out more about the program at: