Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)

The townships of Loxton and Waikerie are the main service centres in the Riverland of South Australia, around 200 kms north‐east of Adelaide. In 2021, the Riverland was drought declared, with population, economic and environmental challenges evident.

Little Town Productions saw an opportunity to leverage the annual Loxton Lights Up Festival to bring new people to town to boost the local economy, as well as connect and engage locals, while also building skills, especially among the young people in the region, and having some fun.

The District Council of Loxton and Waikerie received a $55,859 Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) grant on behalf of Little Town Productions, enabling them to bring their ideas to fruition.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Lights Up Festival, Little Town Productions created and coordinated a spectacular and innovative illuminated production featuring a unique animated projection mapped to the façade of the historic St Peter’s church. The first of its kind in Loxton and the Riverland region, SHINE ran for eight days in the lead up to Christmas and drew thousands of visitors from Adelaide, regional South Australia and interstate.

The management team was very focussed on utilising and developing local talent, with a view to building skills and training that lead to career and employment pathways for young and unemployed people. The project provided the opportunity for these people to work alongside a key partner – world renowned illumination creative artists Illuminart, who advised on creative design, direction and animation services, immersive and interactive concepts. They also mentored young people and others in the community on technical and creative installation, and conducted training workshops to help build skills to seek employment in animation, theatre, leadership, music, digital sound and technology and production management.

The creative team was set up and led by a local 19-year-old and included other local artists, musicians and representatives from Loxton High School. Several year 11 and 12 students, and their teachers, played a key role in creating the animations, projections and filming of the event. Five of the seven artists who created the background illustrations for the animation were from the Riverland, and three of these were from Loxton. With input from the creative team, two 2020 Loxton High School graduates undertook the storybooking of the animation, working closely with and being mentored by Illuminart animators and illustrators. They were both subsequently offered contracts with Illuminart to work on similar projects while at university.

The local input extended to the music, with all the music in the production composed and recorded by Loxton’s Karyn Skewes. Others involved included the Loxton Community Choir and the Lead Principal of Opera SA. Many of Loxton’s service clubs, community groups and residents were involved and contributed in various ways, including an enthusiastic group of older ladies who created a floral display inside the church, one of the key venues. Artworks related to the project, as well as other art produced by members of the local community, were displayed in Peace Hall on all the nights of SHINE, showcasing the amazing talents of the community.

All this work was captured by Six Foot Productions, who worked with and mentored the town’s young people to create a mini-documentary of the project from start to finish, with behind-the scenes footage capturing the passion and enthusiasm of all involved. The file was posted online a week after the event, reaching 30,000 people, with 12,700 views on Facebook, 264 likes and was shared 89 times.

The TTTT grant, which was funded by the Australian Government, contributed to engaging local companies to provide event equipment – audio, filming, lighting, security, event hire, container and marquee hire and contributed towards creative design by Illuminart.

Andrew Waters from DCLW said that there was no doubt that SHINE was an outstanding success, both for the local community and for the people it drew to the town to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Loxton Lights Up. While COVID presented challenges with restrictions, capacity limits and check-ins, it wasn’t a huge factor, given the event was held outside. A plus to come from it was that the organisers were able to obtain a relatively accurate count, with the registration app indicating that more than 6,000 people were present within the church grounds during the eight days of SHINE!

Andrew said, “On the final two nights we reached a near COVID-capacity of 1,000 people at any one given time. Total numbers on these nights would have been greater, as people came and went throughout the night. The project provided new opportunities to showcase the talents of local artists, musicians, actors and dancers and provided greater opportunity for the community to access the arts… a visual and auditory masterpiece.”

Beyond this, the project addressed the economic decline and disadvantage brought about by extended drought conditions across the Riverland Region. It was a celebration of creative and cultural experiences that are the lifeblood of the region, and was a key driver in re-activating the Riverland arts and entertainment industry. The project directly benefitted the region’s businesses that had been economically impacted by drought, injecting an estimated $1.8M into the local economy and creating new jobs in hospitality, retail and the arts.

As thousands of Australians continue to be impacted by floods in Victoria and Tasmania, FRRR is seeking donations to meet the recovery needs of the remote, rural and regional communities that will need help and support in the coming months and years.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Foundation has already seen local people and organisations once again step up and come together to support one another in the lead up and, as waters start to recede in some places, with the long road to recovery that they have ahead of them.

“The people and places in flood affected regions throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania will continue to feel the impacts of what’s unfolding for months and years to come. We really can’t stress enough just how big the long term social and economic consequences can be as a result of these kinds of natural disasters.

“Many of these regions, particularly those in Central Victoria, have been through this kind of disaster before, making the current floods all the more traumatic. Many members of the FRRR team themselves have spent the last few days evacuating, helping loved ones to evacuate or have been out sandbagging in their local communities.

“In the last 20 plus years, FRRR has built strong networks and relationships with the people and the community organisations that are being impacted right now and, as always, we’ll be waiting and ready to support them throughout the medium to long term recovery process. Donations to our flood appeal will help to rebuild infrastructure in these areas, address the physical and mental health challenges that occur as a result of this disaster, build the capacity of community groups and strengthen community-led recovery efforts,” Ms Egleton explained.

People can support FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal by donating to the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund, the Central Victorian Fund or the Strengthening Rural Communities: Prepare & Recover program.

Donations to the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund are pooled and invested to ensure that remote, rural and regional communities affected by natural disasters can access flexible, fit-for-purpose funding to support local preparedness and recovery efforts, when it’s needed. For those specifically wanting to support Central Victoria, FRRR also offers the Central Victoria Fund, which continues the legacy of the Central Victoria Community Foundation and focuses solely on that region.

Alternatively, donations can be made to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities: Prepare and Recover program, with FRRR offering one-off, flexible grants through this program to support community organisations in these flood-impacted regions.

FRRR has supported remote, rural and regional communities across the country prepare for and recover from natural disasters since 2006. To date, FRRR has distributed around $46 million for community-led disaster recovery and resilience initiatives.

If you’d like to provide immediate assistance, below is a list of some local organisations that are helping to coordinate support in affected areas:

Finally, if you would like to volunteer, BlazeAid is currently in the process of recruiting and assembling crews of volunteers.

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.

Applications are now open for ANZ’s Seeds of Renewal program, with grants of up to $15,000 available for not-for-profit organisations in remote, rural and regional areas to support the ongoing prosperity of regional Australia.

ANZ commits $250,000 to help rural and regional communities through Seeds of Renewal, a group of female volunteers standing around a metal table

Celebrating 20 years in 2022, the program is administered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and has provided more than $5 million to more than 800 community groups to help build vibrant and sustainable communities.

This year, the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program is offering a share of $250,000 to community organisations in remote, rural or regional locations for projects aligned to four focus areas: 

  • Environmental sustainability: initiatives that restore and conserve the natural environment or which contribute to lower carbon emissions, water stewardship and waste minimisation;
  • Financial wellbeing: particularly for under-represented and disadvantaged people in the community, including initiatives that improve economic participation. For example, building financial literacy and vocational skills and providing access to meaningful work;
  • Housing access: initiatives and programs that support those experiencing or at risk of homelessness or that provide supports for people living with disability; or
  • Projects that assist local communities to thrive.

ANZ Head of Agribusiness Mark Bennett said: “Now in its twentieth year, the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program has provided hundreds of groups in regional and rural Australia with funds to deliver projects to help their communities thrive. We are incredibly proud of the partnership and the contribution it has made to regional Australia,” Mr Bennett said.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said: “It’s been a particularly tough year for many rural communities, with the impacts of COVID on top of fires, floods and drought. Programs like ANZ Seeds of Renewal offer funding to help the local groups that are the backbone of their communities address local needs, issues and opportunities in a way that will help create stronger places to live and work.,” Ms Egleton said.

Last year, ANZ and FRRR provided grants to 21 community groups for projects including: upgrading a facility that improves financial outcomes for indigenous women and girls in Port Lincoln; improving community meeting space for people with a disability in Atherton; and educating students in Coffs Harbour on career opportunities in bee propagation and environmental sustainability.

Applications open on 5 July and close 5pm AEST, 3 August 2022.

A grantseeker workshop will be held online from 1 – 2pm AEST, 14 July 2022.

For more information about ANZ Seeds of Renewal, to apply for a grant or to register for the webinar, please visit FRRR’s website.

A much-loved playgroup is going from strength to strength in the Flowerdale community in Victoria, following the engagement of a qualified facilitator to assist parents to develop their skills and confidence to support their child’s wellbeing and development. More than 20 families now participate in the facilitated weekly program, after the Flowerdale Community House received $26,000 from FRRR via the Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Kinglake Ranges program in 2020 to engage a qualified Early Childhood Educator to plan and deliver the program. Previously, families who wished to access these services would have had to travel more than 30 km to either Kinglake or Yea. 

While there were a few hiccups due to COVID lockdowns, the program has bounced back and is once again supporting children and families across the Kinglake Ranges. Led by experienced educator Jill, the program provides opportunities for parents to learn about local services, to meet with other parents for support and friendship and to build social support networks in the communities in which they live. It also provides the space for the participants, both children and adults, to forge new friendships and have fun. 

“We know that relationships and community connectedness is at the heart of our community’s ongoing recovery. Playgroup plays a vital role in all communities to bring parents together, to share experiences and break down isolation; this is even more important here [in Flowerdale] as our town stretches a long distance, so meeting in the street is not a likely option as people need to travel by car to get to locations,” said Flowerdale Community House coordinator Rebekah Grant. 

“The children and parents respond very well to Jill’s calm and gentle nature, and the way she is delivering advise to sooth and encourage the children is very well received.” 

The Community House is an ideal location for the supported playgroup to operate from, as they are able to sustain this group long term. Now with a facilitator on board, they can provide more support to all families, as well as vulnerable and socially isolated families, to engage with others and the service.

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.

Black Saturday funding for community-led initiatives

FRRR today announced that the final round of grants to assist Kinglake Ranges communities to rebuild, reconnect and recover from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires will open soon.

HEADING: Resilience & Wellness grants open soon for Kinglake Ranges communities. IMAGE: KRNH Vicky Mann & Karly Whelan community conversations

While a lot has changed in the 13 years since the fires, FRRR knows that the impacts are still being felt. This funding, thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, will help to address those needs, particularly around mental health and wellbeing.

Through the Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Kinglake Ranges program, funding will be 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 will need to be discussed with FRRR before being lodged.

The GR&W Kinglake program has a focus on community-strengthening and resilience-building projects, and recognises that recovering communities need support to re-connect, share experiences, enhance wellbeing and resilience, and build capacity for the future.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that this is a great opportunity for the local community to ensure that important projects get the resources and support they need.

“This funding has always been earmarked to support the medium to long-term recovery of communities across the Kinglake Ranges, which we know were so badly affected by the 2009 fires. The focus is on improving mental health and wellbeing – of the community and individuals, and especially young people. There has been a lot of change in the community too, so the funding can help strengthen community connectedness and assist in rebuilding a sense of place and community identity.

“But now it’s up to the community to identify just what the projects are that will be put forward. We know that the best projects will be those that are community-led and which have broad community buy-in. We have supported Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House to host a series of facilitated community conversations and some smaller ‘kitchen table’ talks to explore key priorities and grant ideas to inform the final round of funds, so we encourage you to make sure that you get involved.

“If you have an idea, we’d also love to speak to you about it. Karly and Brooke from our team plan on visiting the region during July, and will be available to meet with community groups to discuss applications, and answer questions you may have. We’re really excited about what these grants can do to support Kinglake’s ongoing recovery and I look forward to reading the applications,” Ms O’Brien said.

Applications for GR&W Kinglake will open 5 July, and close Wednesday 16 August 2022, at 5pm AEST, with successful applicants announced in December 2022. For more information and the guidelines, visit .

Projects must 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.

To get involved in the local community discussions you can email To book a time to meet with the FRRR team and discuss potential applications, community members are encouraged to email

To date, through GR&W Kinglake, FRRR has awarded over $1.1M to 35 projects run by local groups in the Kinglake Ranges, which is assisting communities to re-connect, share experiences, enhance wellbeing and resilience, and build capacity for the future.

This included the Dindi Arts Trail, which received more than $150,000 to support the delivery of the art trail, featuring 11 public murals on concrete water tanks, which enhances local connectedness and will help attract more visitors to the region. The grant funded the employment of a project officer to coordinate the project.

Any community impacted by 2009 bushfires and not located in Kinglake Ranges region can apply for support through FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program.

Three regional communities to take part in multi-year initiative

FRRR’s Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) Victorian program continues to build steam, with three regional communities selected to partner with the Foundation to strengthen the resilience and preparedness of their regions.

FRRR partners with Victorian communities to support community-led resilience

Korumburra, Myrtleford and Whittlesea township and surrounds will receive support as part of a multi-year, community-led program that is supported by a number of philanthropic organisations.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that the DR:FR initiative works to better prepare communities to address the impacts of climate change, natural disasters and broader disruptions that affect the sustainability, vitality and resilience of remote, rural and regional communities across Australia.

“This is a place-based initiative, whereby FRRR works at a hyper-local level with grassroots organisations and community representatives who are interested in collaborating and leading initiatives to increase community preparedness and strengthen resilience capacity.

“The model is designed to help communities identify and then enact solutions that are held in local knowledge and the intersections of people and place. It creates space, facilitates processes, builds relationships and provides resources for community-generated resilience conversations and initiatives to be held at a pace and style that is appropriate for each local community,” Ms O’Brien explained.

Community driven

Late last year community representatives were invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to become partner communities. Over the past eight months, FRRR’s DR:FR Program coordinator has engaged with representatives from the shortlisted communities, listening and learning about what is unique and important to each place and exploring their readiness, willingness, and capacity to participate in this intensive process.

This process helped FRRR understand their shared aspirations, what they believe is important about their community and demonstrated the commitment and interest in participating in the program.

“The emphasis is on the communities being actively engaged and involved in the process. Our aim is to empower local people to build and adapt the strengths, tools and resources that already exist in each community to further strengthen the resilience and preparedness of each place. It will be community-led and tailored to each community, with support and resources provided to allow them to identify, create and sustain their own resilience-building approaches,” Ms O’Brien said.

The program will start in the next month, beginning with a series of activities to bring interested community members together and start engaging with the broader community around aspirations for the future. In addition to the facilitation support from FRRR, the communities will have access to funding for community activities that support community engagement activities and a seed funding pool to engage a local community connector and activate priority actions identified through the DR:FR journey.

More communities waiting in the wings

“While three communities have been selected, there is strong interest from other places to participate in this program,” Ms O’Brien said.

“We have several communities keen and ready to jump on board and we would love to work with them. Our hope is to expand this program to at least one other Victorian community, and we also have groups in other states wanting to be involved.

“But this requires further funding, so we and our partners can work alongside and support local leaders to create meaningful and lasting change that means they can endure, adapt and evolve from disruptions and disasters more quickly, positively and strongly.

“We are grateful to our current partners for making the Victorian DR:FR program possible. We’d love to hear from others with the capacity to partner with us to expand the program,” Ms O’Brien said.

The DR:FR initiative is kindly supported by the following partners: Sidney Myer Fund, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Maple-Brown Family Foundation, Simon Kucher and Partners, Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation, H & L Hecht Trust, Suncorp, Pinnacle Charitable Foundation and the Doc Ross Family Foundation.

For more information about the program, visit

Significant funding to rebuild and recover from COVID

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

New partnership boosts grants to strengthen rural communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To learn more about the program, and to apply, visit Applications close 31 May 2022 at 5pm AEDT.

Spirit of charity shines bright in a tough year to help rural communities adapt and evolve

A unique Australian charity significantly increased its year-on-year grantmaking, giving remote, rural and regional communities across the country a much-needed funding boost as they adapted to the impacts of natural disasters and COVID-19.

FRRR significantly increases funding in FY20-21 to help rural communities adapt and evolve

FRRR (the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal) supports small not-for-profit organisations across rural Australia through a mix of grant funding and capacity building activities. Their aim is to ensure local grassroots groups have the tools and support they need to implement projects that strengthen and sustain the vitality of their communities, and their organisations.

Last financial year, FRRR awarded nearly $20 million through 917 grants, an increase of around a third on the prior year. A significant portion ($4.1 million) went toward 203 recovery projects in communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires, who were also grappling with economic and social fallout of COVID-19.

For the last 20 years, FRRR has created collaborative partnerships with Government, philanthropy, business and private funders to provide support to local organisations to fill the gaps, and address inequities in services in these areas and, critically, to strengthen community resilience.

Despite it being a tough year, everyday Australians and the philanthropic sector in particular continued to give, enabling FRRR to reach some of the smallest and most remote communities.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said that while many grants to community groups are project-based, last year, in response to community needs, the organisation adapted its approach to also support more operational costs.

“The places we support are really small communities – sometimes just tens or hundreds of people – and so very few volunteers carry a lot of the load. Between the impacts of bushfires, drought, floods and COVID-19 restrictions, traditional fundraising was simply not possible. We were able to step in and support projects in more than 540 different postcodes across the country.

“With these communities being so resourceful, most projects don’t actually need all that much funding. In fact, our median grant was only around $13,000. While that figure has increased over time, we still award many grants that are just a few thousand dollars.

“It’s surprising just how big an impact can be created with relatively little, especially when people come together and given collaboratively, as they have this year,” Ms Egleton said.

“While it’s been a tough 12 months, thanks to the support of our corporate and philanthropic partners, and hundreds of individual donors, we are proud to have been able to sustain and indeed strengthen many rural communitites,” Ms Egleton concluded.

FRRR’s FY2020/21 Annual Review is available at