Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

The Rathdowney Memorial Grounds Association (RMGA) was established in 1947 to manage the Rathdowney Memorial Grounds and to organise an annual campdraft in honour of the young men in the district who lost their lives during the war.

Today, the Memorial Grounds and Caravan Park are managed by a small committee of local people, and the venue is used for a range of sport and community activities, including soccer, pony clubs, campdrafting, markets and camping. It also serves as a central place to coordinate the community response to natural disasters and emergencies, and was used by residents displaced in the 2019 Black Summer bushfires.

The annual campdraft is popular with locals and visitors alike, and central to the town’s identity and prosperity. It attracts around 1,000 visitors who come for the weekend and spend at the grounds and at local shops, making a vital contribution to the local economy. In 2020, the campdraft was cancelled due to COVID and the whole community suffered financially and socially.

The open-air equestrian arena at the Rathdowney Memorial Grounds was inundated by heavy rain in March 2021 and the arena surface was so badly damaged that the annual campdraft had to be postponed. Plans to refurbish the sand in the arena were delayed because the flood-damaged surface needed to be re-levelled, compacted and protected with crusher dust before new sand was added.

RMGA received a $15,000 Rebuilding Futures grant funded by Suncorp Group that allowed them to repair the equestrian arena, and to mitigate the impacts of future flood events on the Rathdowney Memorial Grounds.

President of RMGA Andrew Buchanan said that during the project delivery phase, the region continued to experience unprecedented rain, which held up the work. However this actually proved to be invaluable because the work that was being done was tested and could be improved straightaway.

“The arena is now safe to use regardless of the weather (exceptional circumstances not included), which allows the community to be able to plan and feel sure that our events will be able to go on regardless. The entire community is so grateful to be able to utilise the arena. This has had a huge impact towards the connectedness within our area.”

WATCH this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the projects funded this round include:

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

For more information, visit FRRR’s website –

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

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

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

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

More than half of the funding to go towards bushfire recovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the 67 projects funded include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thirty-four local groups and not-for-profits that delivered food and care hampers to regional communities during the height of the 2021 COVID-19 restrictions will share in $300,000 from the NSW Government’s COVID Regional Community Support (CRCS) program.

HEADING: Regional NSW groups reimbursed $300,000 for COVID relief hamper delivery.
IMAGE: High angle view of a cardboard box filled with multicolored non-perishable canned goods, conserves, sauces and oils shot on wooden table. The composition includes cooking oil bottle, pasta, crackers, preserves and tins.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said more than 72,000 hampers were delivered to residents in regional and rural parts of NSW, including Ballina, Tweed Heads, Leeton and Albury.

“These groups and organisations dropped everything and dipped into their own funds to support isolated residents during last year’s COVID-19 restrictions by partnering with Resilience NSW to prepare and deliver food, essential items and relief packs to those in need,” Ms Cooke said.

“The $300,000 will cover expenses like fuel, couriers, and logistics costs, helping these groups and organisations to continue their wonderful work into the future, including at the Ballina Hot Meal Centre which is using its $5,024 grant to purchase new freezers.”

Each grant being provided through the CRCS program ranges from $1,000 to $30,000 and is administered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal.

Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal CEO Natalie Egleton said the funding recognises the critical role that local community groups played during the pandemic.

“We’re delighted that 23 per cent of applications are from Indigenous community groups, all of which played such a vital role in ensuring that their community members were cared for, and we are pleased to be able to support them with this funding,” Ms Egleton said.

Applications are currently being accepted for grants of up to $50,000 for capacity building initiatives, such as attracting and retaining volunteers and staff, enhancing governance skills, building digital capacity and creating partnerships that foster stronger, more resilient communities.

See the full list of recipients below:

Agape Outreach IncorporatedTweed Heads - Byron Bay$1,681
Albury Wodonga Regional FoodshareAlbury$13,500
Allambi Care LimitedLake Maquarie - Warners Bay - Central Coast - Cessnock - Newcastle$7,000
Armidale / Uralla Meals On Wheels IncorporatedArmidale$3,183
Ballina Hot Meal Centre IncorporatedBallina$5,024
Belong Blue Mountains IncorporatedBlue Mountains$1,000
Camden Haven Community at 3Lakewood$1,125
CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-ManningNewcastle - Tareer - Forster - Maitland$1,977
Christian Outreach CentreKempsey - South West Rocks - Macksville - Nambucca Heads$1,350
Community Resources LimitedWollongong$3,540
Coonamble Neighbourhood CentreCoomamble - Gulargambone - Quambone$10,810
Food For Life Community Care IncorporatedShoalhaven - Primbee - Wollongong - Kiama $13,500
Galambila Aboriginal CorporationNambucca Heads - Coffs Harbour - Woolgoolga - Bowraville$30,000
Gloucester Worimi First Peoples Aboriginal CorporationGloucester$1,000
Gunnedah Meals on Wheels AssociationGunnedah$5,514
Indigenous Futures Foundation LimitedTweed Heads South - Lismore - Ballina - Grafton$30,000
Ivanhoe Central SchoolIvanhoe - Balranald - Carrathool$6,100
Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health And Community ServicesBatemans Bay - Narooma - Bega - Catalina - Dalmeny$30,000
Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre IncKempsey$4,500
Leeton Community Care Development IncorporatedLeeton$13,500
Lions Club Of Raymond Terrace IncorporatedRaymond Terrace$1,420
Livefree Project IncorporatedNewcastle$13,500
Miyay Birray Youth Service IncorporatedMoree - Mungindi - Garah - Boomi$18,345
Moree Sports Health Arts And Education Academy Aboriginal CorporationMoree$5,723
Orana Support Service IncorporatedDubbo - Wellington - Narromine$21,000
Oxley Community Transport Service IncorporatedWest Tamworth$4,500
Queer Family IncorporatedMullumbimby - Byron Bay - Lismore - Kyogle$2,250
Salt CareUlladulla - Bomaderry - Nowra - Kangaroo Valley - Jervis Bay$20,460
Sapphire Community Projects IncorporatedBega - Tura Beach - Bermagui - Candelo - Quaama$4,703
Seventh-Day Adventist Church - South New South Wales ConferenceBathurst - Blayney - Mandurama - Cowra$5,600
The Heartland Foundation LimitedPort Macquarie$5,000
The Mend AND Make Do Crew IncorporatedSouth Grafton$6,750
Uralla Neighbourhood Day Care Centre 1Walcha$4,860
Weilwan Local Aboriginal Land CouncilGulargambone$1,585

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

117 community-led projects funded

One hundred and seventeen projects set to strengthen small remote, rural and regional communities across Australia have received a much-needed boost, with the community-driven initiatives sharing in $1,382,453 in grants.

HEADING: Rural communities awarded a $1.4 million boost
IMAGE: Roger Edwards, presenting a talk at the Celebrating Red Gum Forum. in Cavendish.

Funded through FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program these grants support projects led by local people in small communities throughout the country.

In this round of funding, 59 Black Summer bushfire recovery initiatives are sharing $894,313 in grants for recovery and preparedness projects. This includes expanding the iconic Horsepower Highway tourist trail to kickstart Gnowangerup’s local economy in WA by adding two new installations, and installing a kitchen at the Big Swamp Community Centre in Coomunga, SA to support the community during future bushfire events.

There are also 58 projects spread across Australia sharing in $488,140 in this round of grants through the Small & Vital stream. These grants range from $1,595 to improve internet access for the local museum and its volunteers in Chiltern, VIC, through to a $10,000 grant for filmmaking workshops in Wilcannia, NSW.

Jill Karena, Place Portfolio Lead at FRRR, said that as COVID lockdown restrictions have eased and communities adapt to a new COVID normal, people are eager to connect, engage, celebrate and recover, but they are also keen to ensure that their community is stronger and more resilient for what may come.

“Our Heartbeat of Rural Australia study last year highlighted that among the biggest challenges for people was not being able to connect, so it was no surprise that many of the applications we saw in this round of SRC were about bringing people together. This ranges from making facilities more comfortable and welcoming, such as air conditioners or new furniture, to better IT equipment, internet connections or communication tools to engage with their communities. We have also seen some wonderful arts-based projects, which again bring people together, especially for those who were affected by the Black Summer bushfires.

“Underlying most of the requests however is a desire to be stronger in the future – to be more resilient. Sadly, some of those communities that are receiving grants, have felt the effects of another disaster. For those who have to put their projects on hold because of the floods, we understand. FRRR will be here to work with you, and if there is now a higher priority for your community, do get in touch as we are keen to assist,” Ms Karena said.

Some of the 117 funded projects include:

  • Richmond Valley Council – Rappville, NSW – Supporting Community Recovery by Honouring Rappville’s Military History – Commemorate sacrifices of Rappville community with replacement of WWI, WWII and Vietnam War Honour Rolls destroyed in fires. $25,000 (Bushfire Recovery)
  • Red Dust Role Models Limited – Nauiyu, NT – Red Dust Community Art Collaboration – Strengthen community and support healing with the creation of three murals celebrating and connecting community to culture. $5,000 (Small & Vital)    
  • Muckadilla Community Association Inc – Muckadilla, QLD – All-abilities Access to Muckadilla Community Hall – Provide access to the Muckadilla Community Hall for all by installation of a disability access ramp and safety handrails. $10,000 (Small & Vital)
  • Peterborough History Group SA Incorporated – Peterborough, SA – Wiring Upgrade for YMCA – Provide a safe environment for volunteers and support visitor engagement through the upgrade of electrical wiring. $10,000 (Small & Vital)
  • Seymour Community Action Group Inc – Seymour, TAS – Seymour Community Wetland Restoration and Reclassification Project – Support volunteers to restore natural habitat and strengthen community connection to the environment through the development of a weed eradication project. $10,000 (Bushfire Recovery)
  • Brookton Community Inc – Brookton, WA – White Goods for New Shared Buildings – Increase community participation and capacity by fitting out kitchens in two new shared community buildings. $7,370 (Small & Vital)
  • Corryong College & Corryong Neighbourhood House Inc – Corryong, VIC – Enabling digital storytelling in the Upper Murray – Support college students to recover from a natural disaster through creative storytelling and technical skill development. $16,671 (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
Adelong Patrol and Agricultural Society Inc.Adelong Show: Bringing us Together
Boost community connectedness and recovery from natural disasters by providing entertainment at Adelong Show event.
Black Head Surf Life Saving Club Inc.Expansion of Disability Program and Inclusive Beach Access
Support community bushfire recovery by expanding inclusive access for all, for beach attendees and surf life saving volunteers with the purchase of specialized equipment.
Hallidays Point$10,470
Braidwood Community Arts Association Inc.The Sustainable Farmedian
Support capacity building and recovery of natural disasters by creating a documentary of Black Summer through experience of a sustainable farmer.
Bundjalung Tribal SocietyYoungman Creek Rehabilitation Volunteer Wellbeing Program
Promote connection of place and culture, as well as rejuvenating and strengthening volunteerism through providing training and tools to support community recovery.
Burra District Bushfire BrigadeBurra Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade Pergola
Increase capacity for response to fire attacks via improving volunteers and firefighters' recuperation during rest breaks with building a pergola and providing shade for meal breaks.
Burringbar School of ArtsReplacement of 15 Step Treads for Rear Stairway Access
Strengthening disaster preparedness by rejuvenating place of gathering and mitigate safety risks by repairing stair treads of local community hall.
CTC Robertson Inc.Installation of Automatic Doors at CTC Near Disabled Access
Supporting community recovery by enabling easier access to community building with removal of old heavy doors and replacement with automatic sliding doors.
Eden Creek Fairymount Preschool Inc.Improved Space for Families and Children of Kyogle
Encourage children's learning and development by increasing preschool space with building refurbishment that will support town recovery.
Eurobodalla Shire CouncilEurobodalla Shower + Laundry Project for People Experiencing Homelessness
Support community bushfire recovery by installing pay-wave system at three laundromats and provide vouchers through homelessness service providers.
Batemans Bay$25,000
Fling Physical Theatre Inc.Refurbishment of New Premises for FLING Physical Theatre to Deliver Inspiring Cultural Activity to the Region
Encourage youth to be active and explore their creative potential through dance and performance with conversion of building to an inclusive dance studio space following the events of the Black Summer bushfires.
Horse Sense for Humans Open Harts Inc.Wellbeing With Horses
Enable people to develop stress relieving, mental health and wellbeing techniques via equine assisted therapy sessions to support community recovery.
Kyogle Writers Festival Kyogle and District Arts CouncilKyogle Writers Festival 2022 (KWF2022)
Boost local economy and support literary development with funding guest speakers for the Kyogle Writers Festival to support town recovery.
Lawrence Historical Society Inc.Fit Up for the Future
To support community bushfire recovery with the restoration of historical artefacts and passing on woodworking and metal work skills to volunteers at the Lawrence Museum.
Marlee Rural Fire BrigadeMarlee Fire Station Facilities Upgrade
Provide a safe place for RFS staging areas and the small community of Marlee to evacuate to in the event of an emergency, with upgrade of facilities at the Marlee Fire Station and Hall complex.
Merriwa Preschool and Activity Centre Inc.Forty for Flooring
Improve hygiene and create a healthy play space by replacing ash impacted carpet with vinyl flooring at Merriwa Preschool & Activity Centre to support community recovery.
Monaro Community RadioInstallation of a Solar PV system for Monaro Community Radio - 2MNO
Support community recovery and to reduce 2MNO community radio's power bills and lower greenhouse gas emissions with installation of a 3.3kW solar system.
Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine Historical Society Inc.Mount Wilson Historical Village Walk & Digital Archive
Support community bushfire recovery by encouraging visitors and new arrivals to appreciate local history and understand the characters who have made the community what it is, with digital app featuring 22 local stories.
Mount Wilson$10,000
Nambucca Valley Phoenix LtdPhoenix Rising - Fostering Resilience through Creative Communities
Support and enhance community recovery through creative community activities with replacement of ageing ceramic kiln, flue and corroded roof.
One Vision Productions Ltd.MPOWER Online Education Engagement and Mental Health Toolkit and Mobile App
Youth mental health and wellbeing support with tailored 12 month program in three schools and production of videos for subscription website service to support community recovery.
Clarence Valley$25,000
Raise the heART Ltd.Raise the heART - A Creative Arts Mental Health Project for 16-17 year-olds and the Broader Community
Support bushfire recovery in the community by encouraging youth to participate in a year-long arts program, via creation of a youth-led theatrical performance, a youth wellbeing forum and a pop-up art exhibition.
Byron Bay$10,000
Richmond Valley CouncilSupporting Community Recovery by Honouring Rappville’s Military History
Commemorate sacrifices of Rappville community with replacement of WWI, WWII and Vietnam War Honour Rolls destroyed in fires.
Rotary Club of Pambula Inc.Community Support and Recovery through Music and Entertainment
Support community recovery and engagement via entertainment events across fire-affected communities using the Sapphire Entertainment Pod.
Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Ltd.Picnic Setting for the Community in a Safe Environment
Create a quiet space in nature, for contemplation and social gatherings with addition of picnic tables at Botanic Gardens to assist community recovery.
Taylors Arm Hall Committee of Management Nambucca Valley CouncilTaylors Arm Reunited - Kitchen Upgrade and Hall Interior Painting
Support bushfire recovery by expanding the use of the community hall by painting hall interior, updating kitchen, and installing vermin proof cupboards to make the community meeting space more functional and suitable for holding workshops.
Taylors Arm$16,950
The Lions Club of Tenterfield Inc.Tenterfield Lions' Junior Choir
Introduce children to the creative arts to foster a love of music and performing, with support for Children's Choir, following the Black Summer bushfires.
Tumut Regional Chamber of Commerce Inc.Adventure Snowy Valleys
Support bushfire recovery by diversifying local economy with the development of outdoor adventure tourism website.
UCA - Life Line MacarthurMental Health First Aid Training
Build community capacity to support and respond to people experiencing stress and mental health problems with provision of mental health first aid training to support community recovery.
Yuin Folk Club Inc.2022 Cobargo Folk Festival: Festival Restart Event Producer
Reduce volunteer burnout and support recovery from fires, through revitalisation and renewal of Cobargo Folk Festival.
Z-Net Uralla Inc.Uralla Working on Waste (Uralla-WOW)
Build capacity of local community to mitigate climate change challenges and support recovery from fires, and build a connected supported sustainable community, with community-led waste reduction strategies.
Small & Vital
A Sound Life Coonabarabran High School P&C AssociationSound Mentoring - Coonabarabran High School
Inspire engagement and resilience by providing students of Coonabarabran High School with the transformative program 'Sound Mentoring'.
Carcoar Village Assocation Inc.Murals at the Belubula
Increase opportunities for cultural connection and tourism through printing and installation of four murals by revered Indigenous artist Aunty Nyree Reynolds onto pylons on the Mid-Western Highway
Contact Inc.Making the Wanaaring Community Hub Happen
Revitalise the very remote community of Wanaaring by supporting the development of a new community hub.
Forbes Public School P&C Association Inc.Community Conservation Corner
Increase community participation and resilience through supporting the establishment of a Community Conservation Corner at Forbes Public School.
Holbrook Community Garden Greater Hume Shire CouncilRelocation of Holbrook Community Garden
Increase usability and sustainability of a much loved community garden by providing new garden beds, watering system and fruit trees.
Holbrook Meals on Wheels Service Inc.Safe Food Service
Boost food security and support the elderly to live independently by purchasing a freezer van for Holbrook Meals on Wheels.
Macleay Valley Arts Council Inc.South West Rocks Community Art Gallery
Boost cultural vibrancy and tourism by supporting South West Rocks Community Art Gallery to display artworks from local and regional artists in a professional and engaging manner.
South West Rocks$10,000
Murrumbidgee Landcare Association Inc.Creating a Community Garden in Carrathool - Knowledge Sharing About People, Place and the Environment
Promote environmental health and sustainability through bringing the community together to build a Community Native Garden.
Shine for KidsBelonging To Family Community Engagement
Build a stronger social fabric by supporting Aboriginal people who are released from custody at the Mid-North Coast Correctional Centre to re-connect successfully with their families and community.
Warren Chamber Music Festival Inc.Oldies Only!
Provide opportunities for social connection and cultural enrichment by supporting Warren Chamber Music Festival to deliver an "Oldies Only" music event for the elderly in Warren, NSW.
West Darling ArtsFilm Making Workshop for the Wilcannia Students
Unlock opportunities for career pathways and increase cultural vibrancy through providing filmmaking workshops for students in Wilcannia.
Small & Vital
Jawoyn Association Aboriginal CorporationReconnection through Songlines – Healing People, Healing Country
Encourage youth involvement and grow cultural knowledge through three bush camps to learn and then perform two traditional Corroboree Dances - the Wanga and the Lirriga Dances.
Ngukurr Language Centre Aboriginal CorporationResourcing Equipment for Ngukurr Language Centre
Help students and broader community to learn and retain traditional languages with the purchase of a printer for the Ngukurr Language Centre.
Red Dust Role Models Ltd.Red Dust Community Art Collaboration
Strengthen community and support healing with the creation of three murals celebrating and connecting community to culture.
The Trustee for Karrkad-Kanjdji TrustExpanding Remote Bi-cultural Education
Fostering connection to language and education on Country through the provision of IT at remote bi-lingual schools in Arnhem Land.
Tiwi Enterprises Ltd.Essential Machinery and Equipment for Tiwi Enterprises Garden Maintenance Team
Expand the services of a garden maintenance program to better protect the community against bushfires with purchase of whipper snippers and mower.
Bushfire Recovery
Beaudesert Quilters Group Inc.Quilters Crafting 4 Community
Build capacity of local art and craft group by supporting attendance at specialised workshops and purchase of equipment upgrades to support community recovery.
Boonah & District Landcare Association Inc.Website for Boonah and District Landcare Inc.
Support community fire preparedness by broadening the networking reach and information sharing through developing online presence and website for Boonah and District Landcare.
Boonah Activity Shed Inc.Construction Earthworks for New Activity Shed
Supporting community bushfire recovery by supporting the foundational works for a community shed and gathering space, by providing earthworks equipment hire.
Destination Scenic Rim Inc.Farm Gate Trail
Empower community-led initiatives through providing event resources and entertainment for regional farm trail event to support community recovery.
Happy Chat Support Groups Queensland Inc.Happy Chat Peer Support for Mental Health in Stanthorpe
Strengthen mental health peer to peer support group by engaging with therapeutic services to support community bushfire recovery.
Kanyini Connections Ltd.Pony Tales Program
Strengthen community recovery by enabling vulnerable children to improve their literacy skills by providing volunteer mentors with teaching resources.
Killarney Show and Rodeo Society Inc.Purchase Lawn Mower
Increase volunteer safety and bushfire preparedness through purchase of a ride on mower.
Rotary Club of Beaudesert Inc.Acquire Lawn Mowing and Grounds Maintenance Equipment and Storage to Enhance Places Where Communities Gather
Enhance capacity of volunteers and community spaces by purchasing garden maintenance equipment and storage to support recovery within the community.
Small & Vital
Atherton Tablelands SAO Cycle Riding Tablelands Outdoor Recreation Association Inc.The Seven Sisters Trail - Stage One
Boost tourism and build on the community's sense of place by providing informative, interpretive and safety signs for the Seven Sisters Trail in Yungaburra.
Bowen Old People's Home SocietyOur Yarning Circle
Enhance residents’ opportunities to connect with their culture, each other and the wider community by installing a Yarning Circle at Murroona Gardens aged care facility.
C&K Jellybean The Creche and Kindergarten Association Ltd.Reviving Our Outdoor Learning Program at C&K Jellybeans
Support lifelong learning by replacing worn out outdoor children's equipment and provide new outdoor tables and mats for children to enjoy meals and activities outside the classroom.
Creative Country Association Inc.Point of Sale (POS) Equipment
Support the establishment of the Murgon Creative Centre by providing Point of Sale equipment and volunteer T-shirts.
Eacham Community Help Organisation Inc.Tech Training for Volunteer Tutors
Accelerate digital access and inclusion for vulnerable and disadvantaged community members by training volunteers to provide technological support.
Gayndah and District Tennis Association Inc.Upgrade Outdoor Furniture and Clubhouse Appliances
Increase useability and functionality of the Gayndah and District Tennis Club by contributing to upgrading outdoor seating and purchase of new appliances.
Gungarde Community Centre Aboriginal CorporationCooktown Youths Super Heroes
Develop youth life skills and reduce harms related to alcohol, drugs and bullying by supporting the delivery of the Cooktown Youths Super Heroes program.
Hope Reins Inc.Connecting Communities, Strengthening Lives: The Horse Ride from Gympie to Longreach
Strengthen community resilience and social inclusion through supporting a mental health awareness program.
Innisfail & District Men's Shed Inc.Fence Repairs at the Innisfail & District Men's Shed (IDMS)
Encourage community cohesion and increase functionality of the Innisfail & District Men's Shed by repairing the boundary fence.
Maleny and District Men's Shed Inc.Provision and Installation of a Water Tank and Pump for the New Community Shed for Maleny Men’s Shed
Build capacity to support volunteer membership and strengthen community connections through the installation of a water tank.
Muckadilla Community Association Inc.Disability Access to Muckadilla Community Hall
Provide access to the Muckadilla Community Hall for all by installation of a disability access ramp and safety hand rails.
Numabulla Men's Shed Inc.Numabulla Men's Shed Development
Foster community engagement and connection through the renovation of a new facility for Numabulla Men's Shed.
Performing Arts (Goondiwindi) Inc.Gundy Gathering
Build resilience and encourage participation in the arts by contributing to provision of youth performing arts boot camp, Gundy Gathering.
Bushfire Recovery
Big Swamp Community Centre Inc.Upgraded Kitchenette Area
Build capacity to support community during bushfire events through the installation of a kitchen at a community centre.
Charleston Community Centre Inc.POWERING Our Community Resilience
Provide a fit for purpose emergency support facility and improve comfort of a community hall through the installation of a diesel run generator unit to support community recovery and preparedness.
Jabuk Community Hall Inc.Mowing Down the Burden
Support bushfire preparedness and increase community safety through purchase of a ride on mower.
Price Soldiers Memorial HallPrice Soldiers Memorial Hall Kitchen Upgrade
Increase community connection and disaster preparedness by improving kitchen facilities at a community gathering space.
Small & Vital
Blanchetown District Hall Inc.Health and Wellness for Women
Boost health and social wellbeing of women in Blanchetown, through the continuation of a physical fitness class.
Community Care and Transport Inc.Cloud Based Fully Integrated Telephone System
Boost an organisation’s capability to support community health and wellbeing, through the upgrade of a telephone system.
Crystal Brook Community Men's Shed Inc.Responsible Power Solutions for the Crystal Brook Community Men's Shed
Establish cost effective, environmental practices while supporting community health, through the installation of a solar storage system at a Men’s Shed.
Crystal Brook$10,000
Peterborough History Group SA Inc.Wiring Upgrade for YMCA
Provide a safe environment for volunteers, supporting visitor engagement through the upgrade of electrical wiring.
Bushfire Recovery
Seymour Community Action Group Inc.Seymour Community Wetland Restoration and Reclassification Project
Promote community bushfire recovery by supporting volunteers to restore natural habitat and strengthen community connection to the environment through the development of a weed eradication project.
Small & Vital
Geeveston Community Centre Inc.Scrubby Hill Farm Amenity Improvements
Enhance food security, provide employment opportunities, and support the health and wellbeing of communities through the development of a micro-farm project.
The RESEED Centre Live Well TasmaniaYOUth LEADing Tasmania (YLT) 2022
Support youth engagement and build leadership skills through a facilitation training program encouraging young people to challenge world issues.
Bushfire Recovery
Albury Wodonga Regional FoodshareFoodShare Cloud Project
Support community recovery by boosting organisational capacity of a food relief organisation through implementing a customer relationship management system.
Bairnsdale Recycling Enterprise Inc.Bairnsdale Repair Café: Reaching Out
Foster opportunities for social connection and skill development for bushfire-impacted communities across East Gippsland.
Better Place AustraliaWatercolor Workshops for Recovery, Reconnection & Referral
Encourage people to come together to recover from bushfires and gain access to support services through creative arts workshops.
Bright Court House Committee of ManagementBright Court House Portable Staging Upgrade
Supporting local arts events through the purchase of a portable stage for indoor and outdoor productions, to support community recovery.
Bright Croquet Club Inc.New Tables and Chairs for Club House
Provide a fit-for-purpose facility and support community connectedness and bushfire recovery through the upgrade of furniture.
Cabbage Tree Public HallGovernance Training for Cabbage Tree Creek and Bemm River
Foster a more participative community and improve organisational capacity in two local committees through the delivery of governance training in the bushfire-affected area.
Cabbage Tree Creek$6,115
Corryong College Corryong Neighbourhood House Inc.Enabling Digital Storytelling in the Upper Murray
Support college students to recover from a natural disaster like bushfire, through creative storytelling and technical skill development.
Deddick Valley Isolated Community Group Inc.Building Healthy and Resilient Communities Through Service Equity
Building capacity to access healthcare in remote bushfire-impacted areas through a research and pilot program in far East Gippsland.
Great Alpine Gallery Inc.The Voice of Video
Encourage community to be active and creative, while recovering from disaster through a video sharing platform.
Swifts Creek$3,729
Happy Valley HallTank Fantasia
Foster social connectedness and community cohesion through a mosaic arts project at the Happy Valley Hall to support community recovery.
Harrietville Historical SocietyRevitalising Harrietville's Heritage
Encourage visitation and strengthen the local economy through the installation of signage interpreting local history in Harrietville that will support bushfire recovery within the community.
Jingellic Hub Inc.Postcards From The Past @Jingellic & Postcards From The Past @Walwa
Support bushfire recovery within the area by fostering community connection to local history and expand opportunities for tourists and visitors to the region.
Parklands Albury Wodonga Ltd.Improving Accessibility to Upper Murray Historic Trestle Bridge Reserves
Provide safe infrastructure for emergency services and the broader community through the upgrade of an historic trestle bridge to improve disaster preparedness.
The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival Inc.Upper Murray Agricultural Field Days
Strengthen community recovery and encourage people to come together and access support by enhancing entertainment at the inaugural Upper Murray Agricultural Field Days.
Small & Vital
Boolarra Men's Shed Inc.Shed Extension
Support men’s health and social connection opportunities through the expansion of the Boolarra Men’s Shed building.
Boolite Recreation & Public Hall ReserveUpgrade of Amenities Block
Improve accessibility and amenities at a local hall and reserve through the installation of an all-abilities bathroom and toilet.
Carinya Lodge Homes Inc.Carinya Dementia Care
Enhance social wellbeing and health of people living in aged care by providing a dementia-specific interactive games program.
Chiltern Athenaeum MuseumExtension of Data Cabling and Internet Connection from Chiltern Athenaeum Museum to the John McEwen Annexe
Enhance an organisation's capacity to support volunteers and preserve local history through providing an internet connection.
Cobram Community House Inc.Community Kitchen Upgrade
Expand the use of a community house by refurbishing a kitchen to increase the capacity to deliver educational and wellbeing activities.
Djerriwarrh Employment & Education Services Inc.Moorabool TAC L2P Program Vehicle Replacement
Upskill youth to improve access to employment, further education, and social services through the purchase of a vehicle for a learner driver program in the Moorabool Shire.
Dunolly & District Neighbourhood Centre Inc.Dunolly Neighbourhood Centre Backyard Rejuvenation
Increase community learning opportunities by installing shade sails in an outdoor area at the Dunolly & District Neighbourhood Centre.
Fight Cancer Foundation Ltd.Shepparton Accommodation for Regional and Remote Cancer Patients
Support rural community members to access vital medical treatment through the establishment of affordable outpatient accommodation.
Hallston Mechanics Institute Inc.Hallston Hall Door and Window Replacement - Repair and Paint
Expand the use of a community owned hall and preserve the district's history through the replacement of timber windows.
Hopetoun and District Men's Shed Hopetoun & District Neighbourhood House Inc.Replacement of Asbestos Shed
Provide a safe environment, creating opportunities for men to engage and support skill development by installing a new shed and undercover work area.
Jarvis Creek Landcare Group Mitta to Murray Landcare Inc.Revitalisation of the Jarvis Creek Community
Strengthen community connection and volunteer engagement through the restoration of the Jarvis Creek Hall.
Jarvis Creek$10,000
Lions Club of Katamatite Inc.Katamatite Lions Silo Art Project
Strengthen cultural connection and the local economy through the installation of two art trail murals in Katamatite.
Minyip and District Historical Society Inc.Replacement of Heritage Plaques in Minyip
Celebrate local culture, and boost community engagement and tourism in Minyip by installing historic plaques within the township.
Moorabool Shire CouncilPower Back Up for STAND Project Sites
Increase community safety and disaster preparedness through the purchase of batteries to support satellite infrastructure.
Murtoa and District Historical Society Inc.Murtoa Museum Website Design & Build
Increase access to local history, support volunteers and boost community participation by establishing a website.
Tarnagulla Urban Fire Brigade Country Fire AuthoritySolar and Battery Installation at Tarnagulla Urban Fire Brigade
Boost a fire brigade’s ability to respond to future disasters by installing a solar power and battery system to provide a backup in case of power failures.
Trust for Nature (Victoria)Fostering Local Community Connection with Nature - Henriksen Sanctuary, Apollo Bay
Increase community wellbeing and connection with nature through the construction of pedestrian tracks at a significant conservation reserve.
Apollo Bay$10,000
Winchelsea Community House Inc.Expansion into Shire Hall
Improve employment opportunities for youth through the purchase of new kitchen equipment for a community café.
Yackandandah Creek Landcare Group Kiewa Catchment Landcare Groups Inc.Connecting Community with Wetlands for Wellbeing, Culture and Learning
Boost the community’s ability to learn about conservation management and increase connection to place through the development of wetlands.
Bushfire Recovery
Denmark Community Foundation (WA) Inc.Denmark Community Foundation Next Steps - A Transition Towards Building Capacity and Operational Potential
Building organisational capacity and a strong bushfire resilient local community through the development of a strategic plan for the Denmark Community Foundation.
Katanning and Districts Pool Association Inc.Pool Hall Revamp
Support community bushfire recovery by providing a safe space for youth and community support clients to connect and socialise by installing a kitchen for meal preparation.
North Stirlings Pallinup Natural Resources Inc.Fire Brigade & Landcare Representation on the Horsepower Highway
Strengthen and kickstart the local economy impacted by bushfires by expanding an iconic tourist trail with two new installations.
Small & Vital
Beemurra Aboriginal CorporationYued Youth & Astronomy Project on Yallalie Downs
Encourage Indigenous youth's education and leadership skills through attending astronomy camps on Country.
Brookton Community Inc.White Goods for New Shared Buildings
Increase community participation and capacity by fitting out kitchens in two new shared community buildings.
Murlpirrmarra Connection Ltd.Indigenous Tennis and Learning Program
Increase educational outcomes for Indigenous youth by providing tennis clinics and educational support.
Red Shed - Derby Women's Collective Shire of Derby West KimberleyRed Shed: Derby Women's Collective Community Hub
Enhance women's access to skills development opportunities through training opportunities and upgrades to their new facility.

Nearly $750,000 committed but more needed

Nearly $750,000 has been committed to FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal, launched last week, thanks to generous contributions and promotion from donor partners including AMP Foundation, Frasers Property Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Suncorp and Wilson Asset Management, as well as many other private and individual supporters.

FRRR ready to support community-led flood recovery

However, FRRR is continuing to seek further donations to meet the recovery needs of the growing number of communities outside metro regions that will require support well into the future. This includes the unfolding disaster in Queensland and New South Wales, as well as areas that have already experienced severe flooding.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Foundation has already seen local people mobilising, with information being shared via community-based networks and, where waters are receding, local people are already looking ahead to what’s going to be needed.

“It’s hard to understate the impacts of these floods, which in many places follow years of drought, bushfires, COVID restrictions, and previous floods – and from which many are still recovering. The social and economic impact on many rural communities will be severe.

“Communities will have different concerns and needs, so recovery will happen at different rates, depending on the community and local priorities. Our focus is to make sure that once local leaders identify what their recovery needs are, there is support available.

“FRRR’s strong networks and relationships with community groups and not-for-profits in impacted areas, coupled with programs already in place, mean we will be ready to offer support when they are ready.

“Donations to our Flood Recovery Appeal will help to fund a diverse range of initiatives. That could be rebuilding infrastructure, supporting vulnerable community members, addressing the overall mental health of locals, providing opportunities for locals to reconnect and share their experiences, or improving resilience for future disasters,” Ms Egleton explained.

People can support FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal by donating to either the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund or the Strengthening Rural Communities 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.

Alternatively, donations can be made to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, with FRRR making grants 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 more than $40 million for community-led disaster recovery and resilience initiatives, including more than $7 million for projects supporting recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires.

To donate to FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal visit –

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.

FRRR has awarded five grants totalling $150,152 to a range of community groups in Taree and Wingham. These grants will enable local groups to invest in resources and build their capacity to support their communities’ ongoing recovery following the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires and floods earlier this year.

Taree and Wingham community groups share in more than $150,000

Funded through the Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity in Regional NSW (INFPC) program, which is generously supported by the Paul Ramsay Foundation and a Taree-specific donor, these grants are part of an 18-month program. The program kicked off with a community workshop in October, where FRRR and local groups discussed local issues and how they could be resolved with community-led solutions.

This round of applications saw requests to support many of the issues raised during that session, including strategic and operational planning, marketing, revenue strategy and a digital solution to support volunteers and NFP organisations.

Joanna Kemp, FRRR’s INFPC Program Manager, said that there were many common themes among participants and community groups.

“Uncertainty and volunteer fatigue are real concerns for NFPs in Taree and Wingham, and in fact it’s something that FRRR is consistently hearing from rural organisations across the country. The cumulative impacts of disasters like fires, floods, the mouse plague and COVID-19 mean that community groups simply don’t have the volunteers, resources and training that they need in order to tackle the issues in front of them.

“The applications for this funding also align with what we heard in our recent Heartbeat of Rural Australia study – volunteer fatigue, excessive red tape in many grant application processes and a lack of resources are making it challenging for rural community groups. These are all issues that also came up during our community workshops, which is why we are delighted to be able to offer programs like INFPC that help address some of these issues.

“From engaging with these organisations, it’s apparent they have an unwavering commitment to bringing positive change to their communities’ and to becoming more prepared in the days ahead. The grants will allow these not-for-profit organisations to scale their operations and continue to provide essential services to their community as they recover from successive disasters,” said Ms Kemp.

The five grant recipients are:

  • Circartus Incorporated, Wingham – Making the Most of What We Have – Boost the capacity and future sustainability of local circus school, Circartus Inc, through the development of a strategic plan and webpage design. $10,152
  • First Steps Count Incorporated – Genuine Co-design with Community, Taree – Engage community in the development of the operational plan for a new community hub servicing children and families in Taree by resourcing a Co-Design Coordinator role. $25,000
  • Mid Coast Outreach Incorporated, Wingham – Mid Coast Outreach – Office and Marketing Support – Grow the capacity and profile of newly established organisation, Mid Coast Outreach, through support for human resources, branding & marketing, and IT infrastructure. $34,000
  • Mission Australia, Taree – Mid Coast 4 Kids Revenue Strategy – Boost the operational capacity of ‘Mid Coast 4 Kids’, collective impact project seeking positive social outcomes for children, young people and families, through the development of a revenue strategy. $6,500
  • Wingham Chamber of Commerce, Wingham – Not-for-Profit Portal – Build the capacity of not-for-profit organisations in Taree and Wingham through consultation and development of shared digital tools to improve volunteer efficiency and effectiveness, and overall organisational capacity. $74,500

For more information about the Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity in Regional NSW program, visit –