Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

The Buchan Rodeo has been the highlight of the local event calendar for more than 50 years. Despite significant challenges, strong community leadership and strength overrode the challenging conditions and ensured this event proceeded in April 2021, considerably lifting local spirits and pride. 

Traditionally held on Easter Sunday, the event was postponed in 2020 due to impacts of the bushfire crisis six months prior. The bushfires began near Buchan in the East Gippsland region of Victoria in October 2019, well before the media began reporting on the crisis. Residents endured the threat for more than four months, often losing communication with the outside world.   

Buchan Rodeo Committee

Given their isolation and the lack of communication and media coverage, the remote community of Buchan has felt largely overlooked in their recovery phase. However, Buchan is a strong and resilient community, with sharpened skills in post-disaster recovery. 

In planning the 2021 Buchan Rodeo, there was much to consider in staging a COVID safe event. Despite this, the local volunteer committee was determined to proceed for the benefit of their community.

With only a 10-week lead time, much-needed funding and support came in the form of a $25,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by the Firefight Australia Fund. This grant, along with support from other partnerships, not only allowed the Buchan Rodeo Committee to meet their safety guidelines and enhance their offering, but also enabled them to proceed with confidence.

The 2021 Buchan Rodeo was an electric event and though it saw many changes, it was heralded as one of the best-ever. It brought smiles back to those who worked so hard on the project and to the greater community who had endured so much.

“While the entire planet is enduring the COVID-19 crisis and looks to methods of recovery, we are still repairing our community in the aftermath of bushfires. A strong rural community is key and the staging of community building initiatives is of vital importance to us.” Buchan community member

Includes more than $600,000 for Black Summer bushfire recovery

Ninety locally-led initiatives that are set to strengthen remote, rural and regional communities across Australia are sharing in $1,057,044 in funding, thanks to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) grant program.

More than $1M hits the ground in rural communities across the country

The SRC program supports a broad array of projects that address locally determined needs and priorities of smaller remote, rural, and regional communities, including places impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires.

For communities affected by the Black Summer bushfires, 34 community-led projects are sharing $602,958 in grants through SRC’s Bushfire Recovery stream of funding. These grants range from $2,618 for a communications upgrade for the Rocky Glen community in New South Wales, to $25,000 for a project that will improve the safety and security of the community hall at Tamrookum in Queensland.

A further $454,086 in grants have been awarded through SRC’s Small & Vital funding stream to 56 projects that local communities have prioritised for their long-term viability and vitality. Funding ranges from $550 for an equipment safety upgrade for the Riding for the Disabled WA group at Mount Barker in Western Australia, through to $10,000 for a grief support program for young people in Drysdale, Victoria.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said FRRR is seeing a wide range of requests from across the country, reflecting the diverse needs in each place.

“Rural communities continue to inspire and move forward despite the numerous difficulties they’ve faced and the uncertainty ahead. They want something to hope for, to build towards, and we continue to be here to support and celebrate their achievements and are ready to walk with them through any challenges they may be dealing with, or to harness any opportunities they have in front of them.

“With COVID-19 restrictions still being unpredictable, we want groups to know that if you have received a grant from us and, for whatever reason, you have had to delay, postpone or cancel your project, please reach out to our team. We want to work with you to adapt or redefine your project so that the funding stays in your community,” Ms Egleton explained.

With the 2021-22 bushfire season approaching, disaster preparedness is key, especially for those communities devastated by the 2019-20 bushfires.

“Being better prepared means different things for different places. For some, this means improving access to community meeting places, for others it’s ensuring they have the proper equipment and training so that volunteers can protect and support their community through a disaster event. But for some places, preparedness means completely rebuilding community infrastructure that was lost due to the bushfires,” Ms Egleton said.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this support to the communities that have been affected by the fires. And we’ll continue to support them as time goes on and their needs evolve and change.”

Some of the 90 projects awarded include:

  • Lions Club of Ulladulla Milton, NSW – FAB (Farmers at Burrill) – $14,896 – Boost local spending with improved marketing and entertainment at the farmers markets.   
  • Engawala Arts Centre Aboriginal Corporation, NT – Developing the Engawala Arts Centre – $8,595 – Facilitate the set up and development of an Arts Centre that will build tourism-based income in a very remote community.
  • The Little Pocket Association, QLD – Resilience through Nature Play – $25,000 – Support children and young families to build resilience and disaster preparedness through nature play, storytelling and strengthening connection to place.
  • Tatiara District Council, SA – Tatiara Multicultural Food Festival – $9,900 – Encourage whole community engagement and build cultural awareness through the delivery of a food festival.
  • Swansea Primary School Parents and Friends Association, TAS – Nature Play for Rural Families – $10,000 – Strengthen community connection to the natural environment and enhance educational activities for school children through the development of a Nature Play Garden area.
  • Lakes Entrance Mechanics Institute Management Committee Inc, VIC – Replacement of Furniture as part of Maintaining and Redeveloping the Lakes Entrance Mechanics Institute Hall – $17,249 – Provide a fit-for-purpose facility and help volunteers to support their community through the purchase of stackable chairs.
  • Active Farmers Ltd, WA – Active Farmers Games WA – Increasing Awareness of the Link Between Physical Activity and Improved Mental Wellbeing – $6,340 – Encourage rural communities to be physically active and more connected with inaugural WA Active Farmers Games.

The SRC program is collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors, which are listed on FRRR’s website.

The next round of SRC applications is currently being assessed and will be announced in December. The current round is accepting applications until 23 November 2021, with funds to be awarded in March 2022.

More information is available on FRRR’s website – https://frrr.org.au/ strengthening-rural-communities/.

To support grants like this through FRRR, make a tax-deductible donation at frrr.org.au/giving/.

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

Jump to: NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Bushfire Recovery
Mad Proppa Deadly Indigenous CorporationReVibe - Northern NSW Music Workshop Tour (Tamworth/Armidale)
Inspire community to come together to celebrate culture through music writing, production and recording workshops.
Armidale$25,000
Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn as Trustee for Marymead Child and Family CentreRural Rugby: Resilient Recovery
Encourage young people to be active and enhance their mental health and nutrition through a school based after-school rugby enrichment program.
Batehaven$25,000
Campfire Co-op LtdParticipatory Leadership Training for South Coast Bushfire Affected Communities
Develop leadership skills by training community members in bushfire-impacted areas the Art of Hosting Conversations.
Bega Valley$25,000
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AlliancePower on the Move
Boost the community’s ability to respond to future disasters by purchase of a mobile generator, to be made available free of charge for use by the community.
Bodalla$25,000
Capital Region Community Services LimitedBungee Youth Resilience Program in Braidwood
Boost and strengthen the resilience of young people by running a creative art based program.
Braidwood$21,432
Lions Club of Ulladulla MiltonFAB (Farmers at Burrill)
Boost local spending with improved marketing and entertainment at the farmers markets.
Burrill Lake$14,896
Comboyne Community Association IncTowards Opening Day
Boost and strengthen the local economy by restoring the original farmhouse fireplace in the Comboyne Museum complex.
Comboyne$9,200
Copmanhurst Pre-School IncAboriginal Mural and Art Lessons
Improve access to local recovery activities for children and families at Copmanhurst Preschool by providing a local Indigenous artist to offer Indigenous Art classes and a mural at the centre.
Copmanhurst$3,750
Eden Community Access Centre IncBuilding Social Capital and Enhancing Social Outcomes
Boost and strengthen the local economy by employing a Resilience and Recovery Officer to help find local solutions to bushfire recovery.
Eden$25,000
Marine Rescue Merimbula
Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW
Marine Rescue Merimbula Training Computer
Boost capacity of Marine Rescue Merimbula to provide essential volunteer training through the purchase of computer equipment.
Merimbula$5,000
Catholic Parish of St Mary's Star of the Sea MiltonShoalhaven Rising from the Ashes - Stage 2
Boost the community’s bushfire recovery by hiring a coordinator to facilitate & create art-based community workshops.
Milton$13,587
Salt CareWarehouse Food Storage Expansion
Support for individuals and families living with disadvantage through the purchase and fit out of additional warehouse storage for distribution of needed personal and household items.
Nowra$24,600
Oberon and District Museum Society IncFitout of New Forest and Timber Interpretive Center
Boost local spending in Oberon by developing the Forest and Timber Interpretive Centre.
Oberon$21,614
Pambula Chamber of Commerce & Associates Inc Pambula Art Project - Stage 2
Boost and strengthen the local economy through creation and installation of art trail murals.
Pambula$25,000
Borah Creek Public Hall Land ManagerSupply and Install Telstra and Optus YAGI Communications Systems in the Hall
Improve the community's ability to communicate with the outside world in cases of emergency by installing a mobile phone signal boosting antenna.
Rocky Glen$2,618
First Steps Count IncorporatedMany Hands Build, Create and Unite - Our Design Journey
Encourage people to come together and celebrate through art workshops leading to a collaborative artwork.
Taree$25,000
Manning River Aero Club IncMRAC Solar
Boost the community’s ability to respond to future disasters by installing a solar power and battery system to provide a backup in case of power failures.
Taree$25,000
One Vision Productions LimitedEMPOWER our Community
Celebrate and cultivate a sense of identity and cultural connection for Indigenous youth through Caring for Country music and film workshops.
Tweed Heads$25,000
Small & Vital
Bellingen Youth Orchestra IncorporatedVolunteer Management Strategy
Increase the sustainability and profile of Bellingen Youth Orchestra and reduce volunteer fatigue through implementing a Volunteer Management Strategy and website.
Bellingen$8,000
Berry Branch
Country Womens Association of NSW
Community Craft Workshops for a Sustainable Future
Boost creativity, connection and support for local artists by providing a series of sustainable craft workshops.
Berry$3,300
Forbes Public School P&C Association IncWiradjuri Mural Project at Forbes Public School
Enhance community connection and cultural identity through Forbes Public School students painting a mural with local Wiradjuri Indigenous artist.
Forbes$5,000
Adavale Lane Community Centre IncorporatedLight Up and Cool Adavale Lane Community Centre
Increase community usage and functionality by lighting up and cooling down the Adavale Lane Community Hall.
Goonumbla$10,000
Mona Magazine
Western Riverina Arts Inc
Mona Women's Magazine - Second Edition
Enhance rural women's identity, wellbeing and sense of place by printing the 2nd edition of Mona Magazine, paying for the contributors' pieces and contributing to wages for the editorial staff.
Leeton$10,000
Boori Dreaming Womens GroupAwakening the Dream
Increase cultural identity and creativity through purchasing sewing machines, equipment and craft supplies for Boori Dreaming Women's Group.
Narrandera$2,860
Umina Beach Branch
Country Womens Association of NSW
Build Accessible Ramp
New entry and accessible bathroom with one accessible toilet and second toilet plus a shower. Increase accessibility of the Umina Beach CWA hall by installing a wheelchair accessible ramp.
Umina Beach$4,325
Tharpa Choeling IncorporatedRed Rattler Community Garden
Increase community participation and connection by converting a vintage train carriage into a new community garden.
Wellington$9,247
Circartus Incorporated Governance Guidance and Review
Enhance community connection and creativity by engaging an industry- experienced governance consultant to ensure the sustainability of Circartus.
Wingham$9,750
Woodstock Branch
Country Womens Association of NSW
Improving Our Street Cred
Increase community participation and functionality through the refurbishment of the Woodstock Branch CWA hall.
Woodstock$9,865
NORTHERN TERRITORY
Small & Vital
Engawala Arts Centre Aboriginal CorporationDeveloping the Engawala Arts Centre
Facilitate the set up and development of an Arts Centre that will build tourism based income in a very remote community.
Engawala$8,595
West Daly Regional CouncilWadeye, Nganmarriyanga and Peppimenarti Annual Clean-up Day
Reduce health and safety risks via a Community Clean Up Day to remove rubbish in remote communities.
Wadeye$7,578
Wagait Shire CouncilWagait Youth Program
Encourage young people to be physically active and participate in community activities, with Youth Group excursions and skateboard clinics.
Wagait Beach$6,000
QUEENSLAND
Bushfire Recovery
The Little Pocket AssociationResilience through Nature Play
Support children and young families to build resilience and disaster preparedness through nature play, storytelling and connection to place.
Beechmont$25,000
Wildlife Noosa LtdNoosa Bushfire Readiness & Myna Bird Project
Support recovery from bushfires and volunteer training through purchase of a vehicle and equipment to improve disaster preparedness and conservation efforts.
Cooran$12,248
Charters Towers State Emergency Service
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
Ladder Racks for Operational Response Vehicles
Support volunteers' safety and capacity to respond to emergencies through provision of ladder racks on response vehicles.
Pentland$5,680
Tamrookum Memorial Hall IncorporatedHall Restoration
Increase safety and support recovery through upgrade of community owned hall.
Tamrookum$25,000
Tin Can Bay Community and Mens Shed IncorporatedStorage Shed
Support community recovery and wellbeing through purchase of a storage shed for materials and equipment.
Tin Can Bay$15,336
Small & Vital
Atherton Performing Arts IncAtherton Performing Arts Lighting Equipment - New Lighting Desk Console
Expand the use of the Atherton Performing Arts theatre by installing a new lighting console.
Atherton$7,997
Barcaldine Rugby League Football Club Inc"Bluey Live!" Kids' Concert, Meet & Greet
Strengthen social connection and encourage culturally vibrant communities through a "Bluey Live!" kids' concert for the remote community of Barcaldine and surrounds.
Barcaldine$10,000
Beeron Road Country Club IncBeeron Road Country Club Community Hub Development
Grow ways to support the community through refurbishment of a disused school into a vibrant rural Community Hub.
Beeron$10,000
Selectability LtdSelectability Mental Health Toolbox
Improve mental health of remote communities by developing an online training course to strengthen community capacity to identify and support one another.
Cloncurry$9,775
Cooktown School of Art Society IncComputer System Plus Reception Area Upgrade
Strengthen and increase volunteer capacity and access to online training, by installing a new computer system and reception desk.
Cooktown$10,000
Gloucester Sports and Recreation Ass IncOutdoor Theatre
Promote recovery centre and encourage people to come together by installing an outdoor venue screen and projector.
Hideaway Bay$10,000
Malanda Chamber of Commerce IncorporatedMalanda’s Adventure Park
Encourage children's development and increase community connection through installation of a fence around a new adventure playground.
Malanda$10,000
Gidgee Healing
Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Limited
Women's Group
Boost social inclusion and wellbeing through delivery of a monthly Women's Group for Indigenous women in Mount Isa.
Mount Isa$10,000
Highways and Byways LtdSeeds of Connection - Healing and Belonging Through Culture
Enhance cultural identity, resilience and wellbeing of Indigenous children and their families in Roma by providing a two week cultural immersion program for 7-12 year olds.
Roma$9,740
Care Balonne Association IncProvide Safe Accessibility Services to Care Balonne Clients and Staff
Improve the use and accessibility of the Care Balonne community hub through toilet facility upgrade.
St George$10,000
Texas Show Society Upgrade to Showground Facilities
Increase amenity and participation in community events by providing a grandstand for the Texas Showgrounds.
Texas$10,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Bushfire Recovery
Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue - 1300KOALAZ IncorporatedVegetation Regeneration Planting
Conserve native habitat and support recovery from 2019 bushfires through the restoration of bushland.
Cudlee Creek$24,289
Edithburgh Football Club and Sports AssocCommunity and Sporting Clubs Working to Improve Community Safety
Improve a location that provides refuge in times of emergency through the installation of water tanks.
Edithburgh$22,090
Small & Vital
Andamooka Progress and Opalminers Association IncCommunity Facility Rationalisation & Development Project – Upgrade 'Old Community Church' to Passive Recreation Facility
Encourage community engagement and social wellbeing by enhancing facilities.
Andamooka$10,000
Tatiara District CouncilTatiara Multicultural Food Festival
Encourage whole community engagement and build cultural awareness through the delivery of a food festival.
Bordertown$9,900
Cummins & District Enterprise CommitteeWinter Wonderland - Platform for Success
Improve an organisation’s ability to support the community and strengthen the town's revenue through developing a storage shed used for the Cummins Christmas display.
Cummins$4,140
Bedford Kadina
Bedford Phoenix Incorporated
Kadina Pergola and Deck for Supported Employees
Expand supported employment opportunities for people living with a disability in Kadina through the construction of pergola and deck.
Kadina$10,000
The Food Embassy IncorporatedSupporting Citizens in Creating Local and Sustainable Food Systems
Provide opportunities for local people to gain knowledge about growing and consuming healthy foods, through the delivery of the Food Matters program in Strathalbyn and Milang.
Strathalbyn$9,585
TASMANIA
Small & Vital
Lions Club of Lilydale IncorporatedLilydale Men's Community Shed
Support volunteer skill development and encourage social interaction, through the establishment of a Men's Shed in Lilydale.
Lilydale$10,000
Freycinet Volunteer Marine Rescue Association IncPutting You Through Now!
Boost safety and disaster preparedness by installing telecommunications hardware at a remote Marine Rescue facility.
Swansea$2,244
Swansea Primary School Parents and Friends AssociationNature Play for Rural Families
Strengthen community connection to the natural environment and enhance educational activities for school children through the development of a Nature Play Garden area.
Swansea$10,000
Coastal FM IncDevelopment of Recording Studio
Improve connection to community and broaden the capability of a community-run radio station through establishing a recording studio.
Wynyard$5,000
VICTORIA
Bushfire Recovery
Bright Spring Festival
Bright and District Chamber of Commerce Incorporated
Bright Spring Festival Drive-In Movie
Boost a community festival by providing a family-friendly activity and support recovery from the 2019/2020 bushfires by holding a drive-in movie night.
Bright$5,000
Cassilis Recreation Reserve Committee of ManagementLiving it Up
Increase opportunities to support local connectedness and recover from the 2019/2020 bushfires through the delivery of a whole community music event.
Cassilis$4,290
Lakes Entrance Mechanics Institute Management Committee IncReplacement of Furniture as part of Maintaining and Redeveloping the Lakes Entrance Mechanics Institute Hall
Provide a fit-for-purpose facility and help volunteers to support their community through the purchase of stackable chairs.
Lakes Entrance$17,249
Traralgon Men's Shed and Woodworking IncMallacoota Picnic Tables and Benches
Increase connection to place and build community partnerships through the provision of outdoor furniture for Mallacoota township.
Mallacoota$20,000
Mitta Valley Community TV IncMitta Valley Community Translator Project
Provide reliable communication transmission and safeguard the community through the upgrade of telecommunications equipment in a remote valley.
Mitta Mitta$10,000
1st Myrtleford Scout Group
The Scout Association of Australia Victorian Branch
Community is Key
Provide a refuge in times of emergency and boost an organisation's capacity to offer a fit for purpose space through the upgrade of facility.
Myrtleford$24,954
Ramahyuck District Aboriginal CorporationRamahyuck Connection through Art Project
Promote local culture, and support health and social recovery post-bushfires for First Nations people through painting the exterior of the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation building.
Sale$8,910
Community Centre Swifts Creek IncRoofing Rescue
Improve the amenity of a community centre and create a safe, fit-for-purpose environment through the upgrade of a roof.
Swifts Creek$21,660
Wyeeboo Recreation Reserve Wyeeboo Recreation Reserve - Water Tank
Increase preparedness for future disaster events through the provision of a water tank.
Tallangatta Valley$19,555
Small & Vital
East Gippsland Ceramic Group IncFiring Up
Encourage development of skills and social connection through the purchase of a pottery kiln and wheels.
Bairnsdale$10,000
Bendigo Queer Film FestivalBendigo Queer Film Festival Post-COVID Relaunch
Foster mental health and celebrate local culture and identity for a marginalised group through the delivery of a community film festival.
Bendigo$6,565
Wombat's WishPost-Camp Counselling Sessions
Increase opportunities for bereavement support and improve the health, wellbeing and education outcomes for young people through the initiation of a grief support program.
Drysdale$10,000
Everton Primary SchoolAssisting with Cost of Construction of Outside Decking
Encourage community gathering, and children's learning and development by installing decking at the local primary school.
Everton$10,000
Mittagundi Outdoor Education CentreA Sustainable Kitchen for Mittagundi: Providing Life-Changing Experiences for Young People
Increase connection to the environment and enhance educational experiences for young people through the upgrade of a communal kitchen.
Glen Valley$3,200
Eventide Lutheran HomesGolf Buggy Funding
Support health and wellbeing and encourage positive ageing, through the purchase of a mobility aid.
Hamilton$10,000
The Trustee for The MAC TrustThe Mac Goes Online
Strengthen opportunities for employment, education and social engagement by providing an electronic ticket system for a community-run cinema.
Mansfield$9,000
Murtoa CollegeMurtoa College in Full Swing
Encourage youth engagement and improve health and wellbeing through the installation of specialised playground equipment for senior students.
Murtoa$10,000
Murtoa's Big Weekend
Shared Learning & Activities Murtoa Incorporated
‘Light Up’ Murtoa’s Big Weekend in 2021
Support Murtoa township's economic recovery and strengthen social engagement through the delivery of a community festival.
Murtoa$10,000
Repair Cafe Bellarine
Bellarine Training and Community Hub
Repair Cafe Bellarine
Increase reach of a repair cafe service through the development and delivery of social media and marketing.
Ocean Grove$2,515
Romsey Neighbourhood House IncYOUTHINK
Expand employment opportunities for youth by purchasing a barista machine for hospitality training.
Romsey$9,145
Surf Coast Energy Group (SCEG)Spring Creek Sustainable Futures - Surf Coast, Victoria
Boost the community’s ability to learn about conservation management and increase connection to place through the delivery of community engagement workshops.
Torquay$9,930
Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House IncConnecting our Community through Education and Information
Enhance the delivery of first aid training programs and encourage further education, by purchasing appropriate equipment that reflects real-life medical trauma.
Yarrawonga$9,406
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Small & Vital
Albany Youth Support AssociationSafe Space for Homeless Youth to Sleep in Swags
Increase access to temporary housing for young people sleeping rough by enclosing verandah at emergency accommodation facility.
Albany$7,230
Live To Tell Your Story IncDjinda Ngardak - Making it My Business
Promote healthy lifestyles and improved health and wellbeing while growing opportunities for Indigenous students to pursue careers in hospitality, with week-long cooking skills camp.
Albany$10,000
Enterprise Partnerships WA LimitedPiriwa Place Making Project
Support economic opportunities for Indigenous women while increasing access to affordable clothing with expansion of innovative Op Shop project.
Balgo $10,000
Jarlmadangah Burru Aboriginal CorporationCultural Centre Entrance Improvements
Increase comfort and amenity through refurbishment of Cultural Centre’s entrance with installation of a shade sail.
Derby$9,196
Greenbushes Community Resource CentreThe New You - Working Through Change And Loss
Help people to recover and adapt through delivery of workshop on coping with change and loss.
Greenbushes$1,650
Marble Bar Primary SchoolSTEM Education
Increase engagement in school in remote community through provision of virtual reality equipment to enhance innovative digital arts program.
Marble Bar$9,958
Riding for the Disabled WA Plantagenet Group IncEquipment Maintenance and Safety
Support riding program for children with a disability, with OH&S upgrade of trailer used for transporting riding equipment.
Mt Barker$550
Nungarin Heritage Machinery & Army Museum IncAunty Jim's (re) Store
Enhance authentic historical shop display within the Nungarin Machinery & Army Museum, with new linoleum floor coverings.
Nungarin$6,500
Active Farmers LtdActive Farmers Games WA - Increasing Awareness of the Link Between Physical Activity and Improved Mental Wellbeing
Encourage rural communities to be physically active and more connected with inaugural WA Active Farmers Games.
Torbay$6,340

Grants available for first responder organisations in places impacted by Black Summer bushfires

Porepunkah was just one of many communities that was badly affected by the 2019/20 bushfires, but a recent grant is helping ensure that the local Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigade has the resources it needs to better prepare and serve the community when the next emergency occurs.

Volunteer Emergency Services encouraged to apply for funding

Porepunkah CFA was awarded a $10,875 grant through FRRR’s Volunteer Emergency Services Fund to support volunteer training and wellbeing through IT training technology and appliance upgrades for the kitchen at the Porepunkah CFA Shed. Porepunkah was one of 19 emergency services to share in $311,049 in grants, through the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund’s first round of funding.

Renee Lee, Porepunkah CFA’s Secretary said the funding will also help the group to facilitate community outreach during non-disaster times.

“While our volunteers take pride in our role and are committed to make Porepunkah a safer and better place for the community, we cannot express how much this grant means to us. As volunteers, it means recognition for our time and sacrifices.

“In addition, the grant approval came in a timely manner as it will uplift the spirit of community as we are faced with the numerous lockdowns,” Ms Lee said.

Made possible thanks to a significant private donation, the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund provides grants 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.

FRRR is encouraging local volunteer emergency services groups serving rural communities affected by the 2019/20 bushfires to apply now for the second round of grant funding to support their recovery needs and/or strengthen their emergency response capabilities ahead of the 2021/22 bushfire season.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to meet local agencies needs, and we want to encourage groups who may not have a large project in mind to consider making a small grant application of up to $6,000 to be better prepared with small essential equipment, i.e. Go bags that might contain torches, fire blankets and traffic wands. At least $100,000 in funding will be provided to meet such essential requests.

Danielle Griffin, FRRR’s Philanthropic Services Manager – Corporate, said that with this summer’s bushfire season fast approaching, first responders should feel confident in their preparedness and volunteers should feel supported, especially those in regions that are still recovering from the 2019/20 bushfires.

“Preparing for future disasters and adapting to changing conditions after a disaster are integral parts of the recovery process. In practical terms, preparedness can mean upgrades to infrastructure and equipment and providing up-to-date training, which can have a big impact on the security and safety of first responders.

“These grants can fund important projects to care for the mental health and wellbeing of volunteers that generously give their time to support and protect their communities.

“The Volunteer Emergency Services Fund is specifically designed to support the disaster recovery needs and priorities of first responder organisations at a local level, and we look forward to funding initiatives that will assist these vital community members and services,” Ms Griffin said.

The Volunteer Emergency Services Fund grant program is now open. Applications close 5pm AEDT 20 October 2021, with grants to be announced November 2021.

For more information, visit FRRR’s website – https://frrr.org.au/volunteer-emergency-services-fund-grant-program/.

The town of Stanthorpe, in Queensland is no stranger to hardship. After years of drought and bushfires, the community was already feeling the pressure when COVID-19 hit. Like many rural, remote, and regional towns, social isolation is a huge issue, now more than ever with strict rules on social interactions and gatherings. These restrictions made it particularly difficult for visitors to come to the area and spend money at local businesses, putting more financial pressure on the community already feeling the effects of years of severe drought. It was so bad, the town was even trucking in water for residents.


The Granite Belt Art and Craft Train Inc (GBART) was determined to push through all these challenges. GBART’s purpose is to support community wellbeing and economic diversity through improving the Granite Belt’s cultural vibrancy and identity. The region stretches from the Great Dividing Range in Queensland all the way to the New England region of New South Wales. 


Thanks to a $20,000 Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) grant, GBART was able to hold the highly anticipated annual culture and tourism event, Open Studio, which took place over three days and attracted approximately 4,000 visitors.


Open Studio involved hands on workshops, classes and demonstrations, while also engaging with Australian art and craft in active, inclusive ways. The events were hosted at 27 different venues, including wineries that saw visitors stopping to taste, shop and eat.


The TTTT grant allowed GBART to fund a range of supporting resources such as the training and up-skilling of volunteers, purchasing office and IT equipment, venue hire, advertising and marketing material, COVID-19 cleaning equipment and training, plus salaries for an event coordinator, administration support, and a media consultant.


The event was a major success, bringing the community together and engaging visitors from surrounding towns. Best of all, there were little to no changes needed to their original plan. Event organisers said they were “proud of the venues, the accommodation and hospitality businesses that supported the artisans and hosted them in their venues, and we are proud of the artisans who provided the engagement that brought everyone here.”

FRRR has awarded $311,049 in grants to volunteer emergency services organisations impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires for projects that will help them to respond to local disaster recovery needs and address preparedness priorities ahead of the 2021/22 bushfire season.

Volunteer Emergency Services Fund awards more than $300,000 in grants

Funded through the Volunteer Emergency Services Grant Program, grants range from $4500 for Audio Visual Equipment, to $25,000 for the installation of a solar power battery backup system.

Made possible thanks to a generous private donation, funded initiatives will support fire-affected local volunteer emergency services and first-responder organisations in communities across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria. 

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that she was pleased to see this targeted funding going to initiatives that will build and strengthen the capacity of these vital members of impacted communities.

“We saw strong demand for equipment and infrastructure improvements through this round of applications. Providing safe and secure facilities and equipment not only allows these services to better support their communities and respond to emergencies and future disasters, but they are also important to the recovery of the volunteers, building their resilience and caring for their mental health and wellbeing.

“The mental health and wellbeing of the volunteers will also be supported through funded training and education projects. These initiatives will increase the capacity of these volunteer-run emergency services, so that they are better equipped to care for their local community as they continue to recover from the bushfires,” Ms Egleton said.

Some of the projects awarded this round include:

  • Tinonee Rural Fire Brigade, NSW – Disaster Response Go Bags for Support Vehicles – $6,713 – Improve the capacity and enhance the safety of volunteers through the provision of fire safety equipment for community evacuation notifications and emergencies.
  • South Eastern Region QLD Rural Fire Service Division, QLD – Upgrade Emergency Services Response Command Vehicle – $25,000 – Boost operational capacity of the Beaudesert RFB Group through the upgrade of the Group Command vehicle.
  • Country Fire Authority – St Arnaud CFA, VIC – Connecting Our Group – $5,000 – Support volunteer capability through the provision of a laptop computer for operations at the St Arnaud CFA.
  • Onkaparinga CFS Group, SA – Onkaparinga CFS Group Tablet Grant – $19,628 – Enhance organisational capacity through the provision of information technology equipment at the Onkaparinga CFS.
  • Surf Life Saving Lower North Coast Branch Incorporated, NSW– Provision of emergency response equipment for frontline lifesavers during bushfire emergencies – $25,000 – Improving preparedness and capability for Surf Life Saving volunteers in the Lower North Coast.

The next round of the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant program will open 24 September 2021. For more information, visit – https://frrr.org.au/volunteer-emergency-services-fund-grant-program/.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Emmaville Rural Fire BrigadeLockers for Firefighters at Emmaville RFS Shed
Enhance emergency response times through the provision of volunteer lockers at the Emmaville Rural Fire Brigade.
Emmaville$6,200
Far South Coast Branch Surf Life Saving Association of Australia IncDisaster Preparedness for Volunteer Lifesavers and the Community
Increase organisational capacity through the provision of Bushfire Response Kits for South Coast Surf Life Saving clubs.
Bermagui$23,411
Merriwa and District Rescue Squad IncIt's a Long Way to the Top, if You've Tripped and had a Fall!
Increase organisational capacity through the provision of vertical rescue equipment for the Merriwa and Districts Rescue Squad.
Merriwa$22,000
Liverpool Ranges RFS
NSW Rural Fire Service
Group 1 Liverpool Range
Strengthen local volunteer emergency groups and their activities through facility and equipment upgrades for the Cassilis RFS.
Merriwa$16,587
Pambula Beach Surf Life Saving Club IncExpansion of Pambula Surf Life Saving Club Patrol and Emergency Search and Rescue Capabilities
Increase organisation capacity with an additional IRB Zodiac to ensure timely volunteer emergency response.
Pambula$24,979
Surf Life Saving Lower North Coast Branch IncorporatedProvision of Emergency Response Equipment for Frontline Lifesavers During Bushfire Emergencies
Improve volunteer emergency response capability wiith items including a defibrillator and portable radios.
Forster$25,000
Tarana Volunteer Bushfire BrigadeInstall Solar Power Battery Backup System
Boost organisational capacity through the provision of a solar power system including backup battery.
Tarana$25,000
Tinonee Rural Fire BrigadeDisaster Response Go Bags for Support Vehicles
Improve the capacity and enhance the safety of volunteers through the provision of fire safety equipment for community evacuation notifications and emergencies.
Tinonee$6,713
QUEENSLAND
Beaudesert Rural Fire Brigade Group
South Eastern Region QLD Rural Fire Service Division
Upgrade Emergency Services Response Command Vehicle
Boost operational capacity of the Beaudesert RFB Group through the upgrade of the Group Command vehicle.
Scenic Rim Regional Council Area$25,000
Gatton State Emergency Service Social Club IncCapability Enhancement Program
Boost organisational capacity through the replacement of electric tool, batteries and radio holsters at the Gatton SES.
Gatton$10,178
Maroochydore State Emergency Service Support Association IncorporatedAudio Visual Equipment for Volunteer Training
Boost capacity of the Maroochydore SES with the provision of technology equipment to enhance the training of volunteers.
Maroochydore$4,500
Woodhill Rural Fire BrigadeFirefighting ATV
Increase community safety with the provision of an off road ATV and emergency response trailer for Woodhill Rural Fire Brigade.
Kooralbyn$25,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Onkaparinga CFS GroupOnkaparinga CFS Group Tablet Grant
Enhance organisation capacity through the provision of information technology equipment at the Onkaparinga CFS.
Lobethal$19,628
VICTORIA
Buffalo River CFA
Country Fire Authority - Headoffice
Buffalo River Scrolling Electronic LED Notice Board
Increase community awareness by installing a scrolling notice board for public safety announcements and information sharing at the Buffalo River CFA shed.
Myrtleford$12,400
Porepunkah CFA
Country Fire Authority - Headoffice
IT Training Equipment and Kitchen Appliances
Support volunteer training and wellbeing with technology and appliance upgrades at the Porepunkah CFA Shed.
Porepunkah$10,875
St Arnaud CFA
Country Fire Authority - Headoffice
Connecting Our Group
Support volunteer vitality through the provision of upgraded information technology equipment at the St Arnaud CFA.
St Arnaud$5,000
Corryong Ambulance and Walma Ambulance
Ambulance Victoria
Corryong Ambulance Community Officer and Walwa Community Emergency Response Team Uplift
Support organisational capacity of the organisation through the provision of training and operation equipment.
Corryong$17,928
Mallacoota SES
Victoria State Emergency Service Authority
Mallacoota-Genoa Community Emergency Preparedness and Resilience Project
Enhance community safety through the provision of portable fire fighting equipment and PPE for emergency volunteers in the Genoa community.
Genoa$12,650
Tallangatta SES
Victoria State Emergency Service Authority
Turn Out Bay Upgrade
Boost community safety through turn out bay upgrades at the Tallangatta SES.
Tallangatta$18,000

Support needed now more than ever for communities hit by multiple disasters

Port Macquarie, on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, is just one of many towns reeling from the effects of cumulative disasters. In their case, it began in July 2019 with devastating bushfires that affected many communities across the region. The fires burned until January 2020. Homes, livelihoods and, sadly, lives were lost.

Then in March 2020, COVID-19 hit, decimating visitor numbers and the vital income they bring with them, and restrictions hampered bushfire recovery activities. These cumulative impacts meant many retailers, cafes, pubs, restaurants, tourism and accommodation providers were forced to let staff go or, for some, to close.

In March 2021 – with COVID-19 and bushfire recovery still ongoing – the region was inundated by a one in 100 year flood. Thousands of people were evacuated, and five months later, many have still not been able to return to their homes. Today, pockets of the community are still without electricity.

Port Macquarie
Flooding in Port Macquarie

Fewer resources, but more to do

The struggle for small organisations trying to support their community is very real, even in normal times. So, when events like the bushfires, floods and COVID-19 place greater demands on their services, their capacity is challenged. But they fight on!

Make a Difference Port Macquarie (MAD PMQ) is a local support agency helping their community to respond to these events. Over the last year, they’ve had to work through how to do more, with fewer people. When COVID-19 hit, MAD lost their volunteer base almost overnight because most of their volunteers are elderly or retired and are very vulnerable. The pandemic also had a huge impact on the organisation’s fundraising. Like many small community organisations, MAD PMQ relies heavily on events to raise the funds required to deliver their services.

Volunteer Erin Denham said they generally run four or five fundraising events a year but were only able to run one in the last year, and that’s had a massive impact on revenue. MAD PMQ was supported by an FRRR grant that funded the stage for that event and the fit out of their mobile coffee van. 

“When we got the FRRR grant, it took so much pressure off us as a charity – we hadn’t been able to run a fundraising event in nine months, and we couldn’t see a way out of COVID-19. The grant allowed us to continue our plan for our projects and support our community.”

As successive disasters have hit the community, MAD PMQ has adapted and expanded its role.

“Our focus has shifted dramatically since our inception,” Erin said. “It was originally homelessness. Now we’ve moved to supporting a wider range of disadvantaged people, so our work shifts and adapts based on the needs of the community and what’s happening around us, like fires or floods. The homeless population is transient, but there are just as many people in the community who need our help that go beyond that demographic.”

When the floods hit in March, their greatest priority was helping to address the immediate needs of those affected by the floods, particularly getting people back in their own homes by supplying white goods such as fridges, washing machines and ovens.

“It’s been a massive effort,” Erin explained. “We’ve raised approximately $50,000 so far, which we’ve since redistributed in white goods and other requests. But it feels like the funding is starting to dry up, and the demand is greater now than it was immediately after the floods.”

Post flood clean up in Port Macquarie
Post flood clean up in Port Macquarie

Emerging impacts

In fact, demand for MAD’s services is the highest they’ve ever seen, and Erin says she thinks it will continue to increase as the full impact of the “triple-whammy” of disasters takes effect.

Erin said that while there was lots of help immediately following the fires and floods from external organisations and agencies, the responsibility is now falling on the small organisations within the community to pick up the load and continue to meet the ongoing needs of a community impacted by natural disasters.

“Most of the people provided with emergency accommodation until the end of June or early July are starting to have to move on, and demand for assistance to MAD PMQ is increasing.

“Everyone’s gone back to business as usual, you can’t tell by driving through town that anything happened,” Erin said.

“Just last week we came across a gentleman who is still living in his flood-affected caravan, with no power or running water. His caravan was written off, but he’s got nowhere else to go. We provided him with a generator, so he at least has some power.

“And I’m aware of a 65 year old man who was living in a tent in his back yard, while his wife was in emergency accommodation. They were separated for months after the floods happened. The housing crisis and gentrification are big problems, with people relocating from Sydney, and many people being pushed out of the rental market. And while they might be eligible for grants, often they can’t meet all of the requirements that’s needed and therefore they miss out on funding.”

Erin said that support through FRRR, such as the new Suncorp Rebuilding Futures program, allows community organisations to be responsive in the aftermath of the situation. By offering funding support for charities like MAD, the program will allow them to help residents get back into their homes faster.

MAD PMQ
MAD PMQ volunteers

Images: Alex McNaught

Support continues for communities impacted by 2009 Black Saturday bushfires

FRRR has awarded $499,959 in grants through its Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) programs, for 31 projects to help Victorian communities continue to build back better following the February 2009 Black Saturday fires.

Nearly $500,000 in grants awarded to grow community resilience and wellness

These grants are funded by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF) thanks to generous contributions by the general public following the 2009 bushfires. More than 12 years on from the disastrous fires, FRRR has awarded more than $6.1 million in grants to local groups in impacted communities.

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W)

Since 2011, the GR&W program has funded projects that strengthen and build the resilience of communities in regions affected by the 2009 fires including Gippsland, Greater Bendigo, Alpine and Whittlesea. To date, $3,560,842 has been granted to 257 community-led projects through the GR&W program.

This round of GR&W sees 22 community groups from impacted regions sharing in $268,821 in grants for projects designed to support locally-led recovery. The initiatives include projects that will improve and enhance community meeting places and events that promote and support local arts and culture activities.

Nina O’Brien, Disaster and Recovery Lead at FRRR, said that over the past 10 years the Foundation has seen the needs and priorities of the recovering regions develop and evolve and the projects funded through the GR&W program have reflected this evolution.

“This round saw community groups wanting to continue to build back better and support their region’s resilience and wellness through projects that bring locals together, provide relevant support and opportunities, and help community members develop practical skills.

“Projects that improve and enhance community meeting places continue to be a focus for groups seeking support, with funds provided this round for improving accessibility of community spaces including the Alexandra Indoor Pool and the community garden in Long Gully, as well as equipment to boost the capacity of several local Community and Men’s Sheds. 

“The importance of arts and culture in disaster recovery continues in this round. Funding will support a comedy night at Clonbinane, and a variety of festivals and music sessions at Redesdale, Marysville, and St Andrews.

“A number of men’s sheds received funding, highlighting the important ongoing role of these facilities in providing opportunities and resources where people connect, develop skills, and create useful items for the benefit of the wider community,” Ms O’Brien said.

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

  • Traralgon South and District Association – Traralgon South Billy Cart Construction and Derby – $5,360 – Encourage generations to come together and gain new skills through a billy cart building project.
  • Redesdale Recreation Committee – Pavilion Completion – $13,992 – Improve the accessibility and amenity of a community gathering space through the installation of shade sails and safety upgrades.
  • Y Water Discovery Centre Inc – Yea Wetlands Precinct Educational and Directional Biodiversity Signage Project – $20,000 – Increase connection to place and enhance the educational experience through the installation of updated educational and directional signage at the wetlands precinct.
  • Whittlesea Secondary College – Restore, Grow, Perform – $24,364 – Increase education opportunities and the amenity of the performing arts centre at Whittlesea Secondary College through upgrades and the purchase of technical equipment.

The full list of grant recipients can be found below.

Grants for Resilience & Wellness Kinglake Ranges (GR&W Kinglake Ranges)

The GR&W Kinglake Ranges program awards grants to community groups and local not-for-profit organisations in the Kinglake Ranges for projects that build resilience and increase the wellbeing of communities across the 2009 bushfire-affected region including Kinglake, Kinglake Central, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek, Toolangi, and Flowerdale.

To date, 32 projects have shared in $882,913 in grants through the GR&W Kinglake program, which is now in its third year. This round there are nine projects sharing in a total of $231,138 in grants.

The program provides community groups and local not-for-profit organisations the opportunity to work together to get initiatives off the ground.

“Dindi Arts Trail is one such collaborative approach, with a series of murals to be painted across Flowerdale, Kinglake, Kinglake West and Toolangi. The arts-based recovery project will see each community work with a lead artist and local artists to paint the artworks. The initiative will enhance community pride and sense of place, as well as boost the local economy by encouraging people to visit the region and follow the Dindi Arts Trail across the Ranges,” Ms O’Brien said.

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

  • Kinglake West Primary School – NAIDOC Week Celebrations – $3,500 – Foster knowledge and strengthen connection to local First Nations culture by celebrating NAIDOC week and building a bush tucker garden.
  • Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc – ‘Kinglake Ranges Digital Archive for Arts Recovery’ Hardcover Book – $18,404 – Enhance local culture and identity, and ongoing recovery and resilience by publishing the story of arts-led recovery projects.
  • Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges Inc – The Next 10 Years – $3,925 – Build organisational resilience and attract new members through the development of a strategic plan for the Kinglake Ranges Rotary Club.
  • Toolangi District Community House Inc – Toolangi Tennis Courts & Surrounds Redevelopment – $33,007 – Expand the use of a community meeting place and increase safety through restoring pathways linking shared community facilities, repairs and landscaping.  

The full list of grant recipients can be found below.

Next round

The next round of GR&W Kinglake Ranges will open later this year. Applications for the GR&W Kinglake Ranges program are encouraged from all community groups in the wider Kinglake Ranges, not just those that participated in the initial consultation process in 2017.

More information on these grant programs is available here.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are listed below:

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
GRANTS FOR RESILIENCE & WELLNESS
Alexandra Community Shed / Eildon and District Woodworkers Guild IncSafety First
Encourage expanded use of a community program through the installation of an all-abilities entrance way and boost organisation capacity through the purchase of a forklift to safely move heavy materials.
Alexandra$18,279
Alexandra Indoor Heated Pool IncAquatic Wheels
Enhance accessibility for people with mobility issues to participate in swim classes and hydrotherapy through the provision of new equipment.
Alexandra$3,600
Allwood Neighbourhood House IncorporatedLa Luna Open Mic and Groove Nights – St Andrews
Encourage community connection and strengthen local arts through the establishment of a series of music events held at St Andrews Hall.
St Andrews$7,364
Alpine Health / Communities That Care AlpineAlpine Youth Voices - A Youth Strategy
Increase protective factors for youth in the Alpine Shire through the development of a Youth Support Strategy.
Bright & Kiewa Valley$30,000
Art Resource Collective IncorporatedThe ARC Print Studio Redevelopment Project
Increase access to the arts and local connectedness through the upgrade of a print studio for community arts group.
Yinnar$11,919
Bushfire Resilience IncBushfire Resilience - The Community Digital Presence
Help residents to better prepare and respond to bushfires through interactive webinars and an upgraded website.
Strathewen$6,828
Clonbinane Community Action GroupLaugh Out Loud
Improve community vitality and build social connections with a comedy night at Clonbinane Hall.
Clonbinane$3,500
Kiewa Valley Historical Society Apple Laptop Computer
Boost organisation capacity and support volunteer skill development through the purchase of a laptop computer.
Mt Beauty$2,226
Kilmore District Men's Shed IncUpgrades to Equipment and New Mower
Promote learning and development, and build organisational capacity through the purchase of 3D technology and a ride on lawnmower.
Kilmore$6,837
Men’s Shed at St AndrewsPortable Saw Milling Capability
Reduce social isolation and improve delivery capacity by purchasing portable equipment for the Men’s Shed at St Andrews.
St Andrews & Panton Hill$16,866
Nillumbik Shire CouncilNillumbik Place Shapers
Increase preparedness for future disaster events through the delivery of a placemaking program to develop community-led projects.
Hurstbridge, Christmas Hills & Strathewen$20,000
Redesdale and District Association IncorporatedRedesdale Arts Festival – Getting the (Arts) Show Back on the Road in 2021
Strengthen economic recovery and social engagement through the delivery of a community festival.
Redesdale$4,539
Redesdale Recreation CommitteePavilion Completion
Improve the accessibility and amenity of a community gathering space through the installation of shade sails and safety upgrades.
Redesdale$13,992
Reedy Creek Progress Association IncorporatedRCPA 2021-2022 Calendar of Events
Provide opportunities to build community resilience and connection, through the delivery of community gatherings at Reedy Creek Hall.
Reedy Creek$4,871
Saltbush Community Initiatives Inc / St Matthew's ChurchHope...It Grows! - Ramp Up
Allow whole of community access and renew facilities, through the installation of an all-abilities access ramp at a community garden.
Long Gully$19,000
St Andrews Primary SchoolKitchen Garden Community Space
Improve access to healthy food and educational activities by developing a school garden project.
St Andrews$20,000
Traralgon South and District AssociationTraralgon South Billy Cart Construction and Derby
Encourage generations to come together and gain new skills through a billy cart building project.
Traralgon South$5,360
Triangle Arts Group IncMarysville - Inside and Out, Music in the Park and more
Strengthen connection to local culture and encourage people in the community to access arts events by running a local music festival.
Marysville$14,000
Whittlesea Men's Shed IncorporatedAcquisition and Installation of New & Replacement Equipment
Create a safe environment, and improve the health and wellbeing of community participants with the purchase of safety equipment and band saw.
Whittlesea$4,576
Whittlesea Secondary CollegeRestore, Grow, Perform
Increase education opportunities and the amenity of the performing arts centre at Whittlesea Secondary College through upgrades and the purchase of technical equipment.
Whittlesea$24,364
Y Water Discovery Centre IncYea Wetlands Precinct Educational and Directional Biodiversity Signage Project
Increase connection to place and enhance the educational experience through the installation of updated educational and directional signage at the wetlands precinct.
Yea$20,000
Yarram Campdraft Club IncYarram Campdraft Emergency Community Access Project
Boost the community’s ability to prepare for future disasters by improving a track to provide access to a safe holding location for livestock during emergency events.
Yarram$12,250
GRANTS FOR RESILIENCE & WELLNESS KINGLAKE RANGES
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncDindi Open Studios
Boost tourism and the local economy, and increase access to the local arts scene with a pilot Open Studio project featuring local artists' exhibitions.
Kinglake$15,405
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc‘Kinglake Ranges Digital Archive for Arts Recovery’ Hardcover Book
Enhance local culture and identity, and ongoing recovery and resilience by publishing the story of arts-led recovery projects.
Kinglake$18,404
Kinglake West Primary SchoolNAIDOC Week Celebrations
Foster knowledge and strengthen connection to local First Nations culture by celebrating NAIDOC week and building a bush tucker garden.
Kinglake West$3,500
Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges IncThe Next 10 Years
Build organisational resilience and attract new members through the development of a strategic plan for the Kinglake Ranges Rotary Club.
Kinglake$3,925
Toolangi District Community House Inc / Toolangi Tennis Court Action Team Toolangi Tennis Courts & Surrounds Redevelopment
Expand the use of a community meeting place and increase safety through restoring pathways linking shared community facilities, repairs and landscaping.
Toolangi$33,007
Dindi Arts Trail projects
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc / Kinglake Ranges Arts
Dindi Arts Trail – Kinglake
Enhance community identity and awareness of local culture, and boost local economy through the development of a community arts project across the ranges.
Kinglake$86,052
Dindi Arts Trail projects
Kinglake West Mechanics Institute and Reserve Committee Inc / Kinglake Historical Society
Dindi Arts Trail – Historical Mural
Promote connection to Kinglake region's history with murals depicting historical scenes.
Kinglake West$19,500
Dindi Arts Trail projects
Toolangi District Community House Inc
Dindi Art Trail – Toolangi
Rejuvenate and enhance the town landscape, and boost community identity with the addition of murals in Toolangi.
Toolangi$30,640
Dindi Arts Trail projects
Flowerdale Community House Inc
Dindi Arts Trail – Flowerdale
Build community pride and enhance the urban environment with the creation of a mural featuring local iconic images.
Flowerdale$20,705

Grants part of $2M funding commitment for region

Thanks to a new partnership between the FRRR and The Yulgilbar Foundation, 22 projects in the Clarence Valley and surrounding region have received a much-needed boost this year, with community groups sharing in $1,214,206 in grants.

Local groups secure more than $1.2M in funding

Funded through The Yulgilbar Foundation Fund program, these grants are part of $2 million investment across the region over a three-year period. Funded initiatives include 19 one-off grants and two multi-year grants that will strengthen community capacity and resilience in the wake of the 2019/20 bushfires, drought and continued challenges across the region.

A broad cross section of groups has received support for a wide range of initiatives, with grants ranging from $1,600 for a creative writing workshop to $571,000, distributed over three years, for the Changing Lanes Community Youth Garage program run by The New School of Arts. Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation has also been awarded multi-year funding, totaling $148,413, for a project focused on resilience and wellbeing of Indigenous boys and men from Clarence Valley and surrounds.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that the breadth of the projects funded reflects the diverse needs of communities in the Clarence Valley and surrounding areas.

“Great ideas and initiatives to create strong, vibrant communities are prevalent across the Clarence Valley and neighbouring regions. However, the last 12 to 18 months have made it pretty challenging to find the funding and resources to bring them to fruition.

“These grants, which are generously funded by The Yulgilbar Foundation, mean that these 22 ideas will become reality and have a positive impact on the capacity and resilience of their communities. It is fantastic to have dedicated funding available to support this region,” Ms Egleton said.

The projects supported range from creative arts, heritage and culture projects, events and festivals, gardening, street-scaping, creating employment-pathways, IT equipment and business, leadership and mental health workshops.

Further opportunities for grants will be available through The Yulgilbar Foundation Fund in the coming year. More information is available here.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are listed below by LGA:

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Clarence Valley

North West Film Festival Inc.

Arts North West Incorporated

Drought Recovery Outreach Program - Sara Storer Tour

Encourage people to come together and improve community spirit in 12 drought affected northern NSW townships by bringing live music events featuring Australian singer/songwriter Sara Storer.

Clarence Valley Shire, Tenterfield Shire, & Kyogle Council$70,000
Richmond Valley Business & Rural Financial Counselling Services Incorporated

Family Farm Succession Planning

Support and strengthen the local economy by running six community information workshops to help farming families in drought and bushfire affected communities plan for the future.

Clarence Valley Shire, Tenterfield Shire, Inverell Shire, Gunnedah Shire$24,000

North West Film Festival Inc.

Arts North West Incorporated

Choir of Fire

Encourage bushfire affected communities in regional NSW to come together and unwind by running a touring music concert event in 12 towns.

Clarence Valley, Tenterfield, & Inverell Shires$30.000
Copmanhurst Pre-School Inc

Healing circle surrounded by native garden

Enhance areas that support local recovery at Copmanhurst Preschool, through establishment of a healing circle and native garden.

Copmanhurst$8,650
Blicks Community Incorporated

LET’S CONNECT- The Blicks Community Communication Strategy

Grow community resilience, connectedness, and emergency preparedness in the Dundurrabin area through the development and implementation of a Community Communication Strategy.

Dundurrabin$25,000

Ewingar South Tabulam Community Sports Center

Clarence Valley Council

Ewingar Rising

Enhance local recovery and increase wellbeing, through delivery of community music festival on anniversary of disaster event.

Ewingar$19,860
Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation

Rising Warriors Program - Healing Our Way

Boost resilience and wellbeing of Indigenous boys and men in the Clarence Valley and surrounds through culturally relevant activities and events.

Grafton$148,413 *
OZ Green-Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (Australia) Incorporated

Resilient Communities - Clarence Valley Shire

Build community awareness and skills in disaster preparedness with the delivery of Resilient Communities program in the Clarence Valley.

Grafton$85,815

The Long Way Home

Byron Writers Festival

Creative writing workshops with Cate Kennedy

Encourage the development of creative writing skills through accessible workshops for Clarence Valley residents.

Grafton$1,600
The New School of Arts Neighbourhood House Incorporated

Changing Lanes

Improve social connection, leadership skills, and employment pathways for young people in the Clarence Valley through the Changing Lanes Community Youth Garage program.

Grafton$571,000 *
The Susan and Elizabeth Islands Recreation Land Manager

Ceremonial Stone placement and seating on Susan Island

Celebrate local Indigenous culture and heritage by placing a Ceremonial Stone, seating and signage at a gathering place on Susan Island, Grafton.

Grafton$4,700
Lawrence Historical Society Incorporated

Technology to Preserve Local Cultural History and Easy Public Access

Build organisational capacity to maintain and share information about the local area through new technology and website for local museum in Lawrence.

Lawrence$19,220
The Mend & Make Do Crew Incorporated

She He Shed

Increase social connectedness and improve facilities delivering arts and craft-based activities in Grafton through fit-out costs and equipment at the She Shed He Shed maker’s space.

South Grafton$30,000
Woombah Residents Association Incorporated

Woombah Wellness Community Garden Raising Videos & Media Makers Mentoring Program

Build organisational capacity to promote local environmental sustainability through development of virtual resources for Woombah Community Garden.

Woombah$12,100
Port of Yamba Historical Society Incorporated

Expanding stories of Yaegl people and their culture at Yamba Museum

Build organisational capacity of Historical Society in Yamba to celebrate local Indigenous culture through the installation of artwork and enhancements at local museum.

Yamba$20,000
Coffs Harbour
Glenreagh School of the Arts Incorporated

Cedar and Steam Art and Photo Exhibition 2021

Boost capacity of Glenreagh School of the Arts to support local artists and community access to artworks by upgrading display systems.

Glenreagh$4,000
Goondiwindi
Lanescape Goondiwindi Incorporated

Masterplan Art Trail

Enhance the amenity and vibrancy of Goondiwindi through a public art project engaging the local community.

Goondiwindi$25,000
Kyogle
Proprietor Bundgeam Preschool Incorporated

Community Bike Track & Solar Installation

Boost community preparedness, resilience and wellbeing in Terrace Creek, NSW, through the development of a community bike track and solar installation at local preschool site.

Terrace Creek$42,000
Border Ranges Riding Club Incorporated

Supporting the activities of Border Ranges Riding Club 2021-2022

Boost access to inclusive community activities in Woodenbong through local riding club fostering skill development, social connection, and resilience.

Woodenbong$6,975
Woodenbong Progress Association

Upgrade of the median strip in MacPherson Street, Woodenbong

Enhance the streetscape and boost community spirit in Woodenbong through the beautification of the main street.

Woodenbong$5,600
Tenterfield
Tenterfield Show Society Incorporated

Connecting 1876-2021

Build capacity of Tenterfield Show Society to preserve local history and culture through restoring and digitalizing the photographic collection of the region dating 1876 to 2021.

Tenterfield$4,906
Arts North West Incorporated

CreativiTEA - Seasonal Stories of the New England North West

Boost community resilience and connections in four townships in Inverell and Tenterfield Shires through a series of creative workshops over two years.

Tenterfield & Inverell Shires (Drake, Ashford, Tingha, Torrington)$55,367
* Funding to be distributed over multi-year projects

Supporting capacity of organisations in Victoria’s bushfire-impacted communities

FRRR has announced a multi-year partnership with the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust (HMSTrust) and the Sidney Myer Fund to build the capacity of local organisations playing a central, coordinating or networking role in the recovery of Victorian communities affected by the 2019/20 bushfires.

New partnership backs community-led recovery

The Bushfire Recovery Fund will award grants of up to $90,000 to community groups and local not-for-profit organisations working in Victorian fire-affected regions. The program will fund initiatives that enhance, improve or sustain operations of these keystone organisations for up to three years, and therefore strengthen community-led recovery over the medium and long-term.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the partnership is a result of a shared vision for aligning funding and support to community-led solutions that build resilience and continued viability and vitality.

“FRRR and our generous donor partners HMSTrust and the Sidney Myer Fund have come together to help local groups to be more viable, resilient, and sustainable. The program is designed to help address organisational needs, and strengthen capacity to adapt and respond to the changing or emerging needs of communities.

“FRRR’s role will be to act as a facilitator, to encourage and support these community groups so that they can continue to do the work that is so important to the ongoing recovery of their communities,” Ms Egleton said.

HMSTrust Executive Officer Lin Bender said that the Trust believes the key program goal of building organisational capacity is critical to ensuring local groups can operate in what are challenging economic, emotional, and ecological conditions.

“By supporting applicants that are deeply engaged with their communities to sustain or adapt their model or way of working, we aim to ensure more viable, resilient and sustainable organisations that can support ongoing recovery efforts,” Lin said.

Sidney Myer Fund CEO Leonard Vary said the broader intent of the program is to inform disaster recovery best practice by understanding and addressing the needs of critical community ‘backbone’ organisations.

“The capacity to manage normal day-to-day operations along with the demands of recovery has been identified as a challenge for many organisations in bushfire-affected communities,” Mr Vary said. “By engaging directly with these organisations, we can facilitate and fund not only the development of locally relevant, multi-year projects that build capacity and resilience but potentially identify new approaches to long-term community recovery.”

To reduce the burden on potential applicants, a shortlist of organisations from declared fire affected areas in Victoria, identified through broad stakeholder consultation, will be invited to apply for funding. The first successful grantees are expected to be announced in October 2021. Organisations who consider this opportunity to be aligned to their situation should contact FRRR to discuss their needs.

More information about the program can be found here.

More than 6,800 Back to School vouchers distributed

More than 6,800 students and families in places recovering from the 2019/20 bushfires will head Back to School in semester 2 with a little extra support, thanks to the generosity of donors from across Australia and overseas.

Support continues for students impacted by Black Summer bushfires

Funded through a special Bushfire Response round of the Back to School (BTS) program, FRRR has partnered with local community groups and Community Foundations in impacted regions to distribute 6,814 $50 gift vouchers to families in need.

Students can redeem the vouchers for school essentials such as winter uniforms, school bags, shoes or stationery. To date, BTS vouchers valued at more than $822,000 have been distributed to families in fire-affected communities since June 2020.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that for these students and their families, the vouchers provide a little extra help as they continue to navigate the recovery journey, which has certainly been complicated by the pandemic.

“Last year many of these families were home schooling throughout the colder months. So, with most back at school, some are only now realising there are items that still need replacing following the bushfires.

“Fifty dollars may not seem much, but for these families it can have a big impact, helping to cover the cost of a couple of school jumpers or a winter uniform, new books to start the term or even a sleeping bag that a child can use for school camp.

“We’re grateful to our Community Foundation partners and other groups that are working on the ground in the impacted regions. Their discreet distribution of the vouchers to those in need means families can receive support without having to ask for it,” Ms Egleton said.

Tenterfield Lions Club is one of the organisations helping to distribute the vouchers to students in their region. Club President, Lisa Dalton, said that the vouchers will help parents with the costs of winter school essentials and will also benefit the Shire when the vouchers are redeemed locally.

“We’ve been through the wringer over the last couple of years, and I hope this is just a small way of letting the wider community know we are all in this together,” Ms Dalton said.

The BTS program distributes vouchers to students and families across Australia, including those in regions not impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires. In total, 64 Community Foundations and locally-based community groups have helped FRRR to distribute $1,075,400 in vouchers to through the BTS program this year.

BTS vouchers are funded by FRRR and its donor partners, which include News Corp, Australia Post, Fire Fight Australia concert, Counter Point Community Services (Cycle Recycle), Portland House Foundation, UNICEF Australia, J & M Nolan Family Trust, Bertalli Family Foundation, June Canavan Foundation, and Origin Energy Foundation, as well as individual donors.

Vouchers were awarded to support the following bushfire-affected Local Government Areas:

Towong (VIC)
East Gippsland (VIC)
Wellington (VIC)
Greater Hume Shire (NSW)
Snowy Valleys (NSW)
Eurobodalla (NSW)
Mid-Coast (NSW)
Bega Valley (NSW)
Tenterfield (NSW)
Ballina (NSW)
Clarence Valley (NSW)
Lismore (NSW)
Richmond Valley (NSW)
Kyogle (NSW)
Kangaroo Island (SA)
Yorke Peninsula (SA)