Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Support continues for communities impacted by 2009 Black Saturday bushfires

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

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

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

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full list of grant recipients can be found below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full list of grant recipients can be found below.

Next round

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

More information on these grant programs is available here.

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

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

Free online workshop

FRRR is inviting community members in Myrtleford, Whittlesea, Beaufort, St Arnaud, Paynesville, Korumburra and Yarra Junction to a free online workshop on Thursday 15 July to find out how FRRR’s Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) program can support them build their community resilience for times of disruption and disaster.

This is the second workshop in a series of events designed for community members who are interested in developing a practical understanding of community resilience and exploring ways in which communities can lead and strengthen their resilience to thrive and evolve in positive ways when faced with the impacts of climate, natural disasters and other disruptions.

With support from guest speaker Paul Ryan, Director of the Australian Resilience Centre, this online conversation will explore what “resilience” means, how people and communities are building resilience and why it matters to you and your community.

The seven communities invited to take part in the workshop have been identified by FRRR as areas that experience high frequencies of flooding, bushfire, drought, and/or heatwave and may be willing to participate in the DR:FR program.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience & Recovery Lead, explains that when locals actively work together and are given the right support, they can determine what needs to be done to help the community be well prepared before and bounce back stronger after a disaster.

“This workshop is part of an exploratory phase of the multi-year program where we engage and work with communities to build knowledge of climate risks, encourage collaboration, understand their ‘readiness’ and willingness to collectively strengthen their resilience and participate in the program long-term.

“I encourage all community leaders, and anyone who wants to be part of a local movement that is strengthening community resilience so that they have the capacity to evolve in positive ways when faced with disruptions and disasters , to participate in this free online workshop and information session,” Ms O’Brien said.

The workshop is free and open to all interested community members, including Traditional Owners, youth, business owners, farmers, sports clubs, schools, volunteer emergency services, environmental volunteers, arts groups, health professionals and local government staff from the communities of Myrtleford, Whittlesea, Beaufort, St Arnaud, Paynesville, Korumburra and Yarra Junction.

Those who took part in the launch webinar late last year are also encouraged to join.

This live workshop will take placeon Thursday 15 July, 11:00am to 12:30pm AEST with the recording made available to those who register.

Register at: https://events.humanitix.com/community_resilience. For more information contact Jacqui Bell, DR:FR Coordinator at j.bell@frrr.org.au or on 1800 170 020.

FRRR acknowledges the support of The Maple-Brown Family Foundation, Doc Ross Family Foundation, H & L Hecht Trust, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Sidney Myer Fund in making this program possible.

To find out more about the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program visit FRRR’s website: www.frrr.org.au/drfr-victoria/.

In this quarter’s update for FRRR’s donor partners, read about:

  • Grants in Action: Sitting together and speaking up in WA’s mid-west
  • Partnering Opportunity – Building resilience to drought
  • Donor Spotlight: Thankful4Farmers
  • Insights from the bush
  • Community Partner Spotlight: Foundation Barossa
  • Our progress, with your support

FRRR is delighted to note that the Future Drought Fund’s Drought Resilience Leaders Program was launched today by Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud.

The program will see the implementation of 12 Leadership cohorts across Australia (supporting around 500 participants), a mentoring program delivered in partnership with the National Farmers Federation, and the delivery of 225 Community Extension Grants (CEG’s, up to $4k) for participants to activate locally led initiatives around drought resilience.

FRRR looks forward to partnering with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Australian Government and other collaborative partners in the roll-out of this program.

Read the full announcement here: https://rural-leaders.org.au/building-leadership-resilience-for-the-future/

Funding awarded for 33 recovery-focused projects

Through its Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program, FRRR has awarded $637,908 in grants for 33 initiatives prioritised by local communities to support their recovery from the 2019/2020 summer bushfires.

Rural communities recovering from bushfires
SRC Bushfire Recovery project – Eden Visitor Information Centre

The SRC program’s Bushfire Recovery stream is collaboratively funded and supports projects that are led by local people and address local recovery needs. The grants awarded will help promote the healing and renewal of these impacted places.

In this round of Bushfire Recovery funding, grants range from $2,500 to encourage locals to participate in recovery activities at the Maclean Spring Festival in NSW, through to $25,000 for the installation of local fauna sculptures that will increase connection to place and enhance public spaces in Marlow, Victoria.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Foundation continues to support communities recovering from disaster, because it knows recovery is a long-term process that is unique for each affected place.

“Many impacted communities have faced multiple disasters beyond the bushfires, including COVID-19 and floods. The pandemic has made recovery all the more challenging for these regions. For community organisations, it’s hampered their capacity to deliver services that they would otherwise be providing to help their communities heal.

“Many groups have worked hard to support locals in safe and responsive ways but understandably, local volunteers are pretty worn out. In response, we have awarded a number of grants for projects that will relieve volunteer-fatigue and alleviate the pressures that many volunteer-led groups are dealing with.

“Recovery is a complex process that really hinges on local people coming together to support one another, to share and heal. We continue to see strong demand for projects that provide a safe space for communities to gather and connect by investing in local community assets and infrastructure.

“We are also seeing attention focused on more vulnerable members of the community, with local organisations using grants for projects that address the recovery needs of age-based groups, gendered groups and Indigenous groups,” Ms Egleton said.

Some of the 33 Bushfire Recovery projects awarded include:

  • Australian Outward Bound Development Fund Pty Limited, Tharwa ACT – Rebuilding from the Heat – $22,367 – Improve preparedness for future disasters at Australian Outward Bound’s Tharwa site through the renewal of aged firefighting and maintenance equipment.
  • Lansdowne Hall Reserve Trust, Lansdowne NSW – Ride on Mower for Lansdowne Community Hall – $5,107 – Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase preparedness for future fires through the purchase of a ride on mower for the Lansdowne Hall.
  • Rathdowney and District Memorial Grounds Association Incorporated, QLD – Natural Disaster Preparedness – Electrical masterplan for emergency response facilities – $13,420 – Enhance community activities and support community preparedness for future emergency evacuations by developing an electricity supply masterplan for the Memorial Grounds.
  • Kingscote Mens Shed Inc, Kingscote SA – Connection Through Activity for Men Living on Kangaroo Island – $3,683 – Increase opportunities to support local connectedness and social recovery, through restoration of a local historic Wharf Trolley.
  • Bemm River Progress and Improvement Association Inc, VIC – Bemm River Men’s Shed Upgrade – Toilet and Kitchen – $16,422 – Boost community recovery and connection through upgrades to the Men’s Shed toilet and kitchen facilities.

In total, this round of SRC awarded $1,589,612 in grants across three streams – Small & Vital, Larger Leverage and Bushfire Recovery. The 112 projects funded will help build the resilience and long-term vitality of smaller remote, rural and regional communities across Australia.

A full list of SRC grant recipients across all three streams of funding is available here.

The SRC program is collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors, which are also listed here.

The current round is accepting applications until 24 August 2021, with funds to be awarded in December 2021.

Grants available for services supporting communities impacted by Black Summer bushfires

A generous private donation of $1 million will fund FRRR‘s new Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant Program. The Program will fund volunteer emergency services to support their recovery needs from the 2019/20 bushfires and help them prepare for future challenges.

Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant Program
Murgon SES volunteers

The Volunteer Emergency Services Fund will offer grants to local volunteer emergency services and first responder organisations in 2019/20 fire-affected regions across rural, regional, and remote Australia. Funds will help them to respond to local disaster recovery needs and address preparedness priorities ahead of the 2021/22 bushfire season.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available for projects including practical improvements and upgrades to facilities and equipment so that these services are better able to respond to future disasters. Initiatives that support the mental health and wellbeing of first responder volunteers, as well as projects that provide training and build the capacity of these services can also be funded.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that an integral part of the recovery process is preparing for future disasters and adapting to changing conditions after a disaster.

“We know that disasters, like bushfires, are not isolated events. They are increasing in frequency and severity; and it is vital for our volunteer-led emergency services groups to be equipped,” Ms Egleton said.

“Throughout the 2019/20 summer bushfires, volunteer emergency and first responder services worked tirelessly to protect and save their communities. They literally saved lives.

“These grants will support those who support the community by funding projects that will help these volunteers process and heal from the trauma of the bushfires, as well as build resilience and preparedness for future disasters.

“We look forward to assisting these vital members of impacted communities and helping to build and strengthen the emergency services they so generously give their time to be a part of,” Ms Egleton said.

The Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant Program is now open. Applications close 5pm AEST 7 July 2021 with grants to be announced August 2021. For more information, visit FRRR’s website – https://frrr.org.au/funding/disaster-resilience-and-climate-solutions/volunteer-emergency-services-fund-grant-program/

27 locally-led projects funded

Rural communities across Australia are sharing in $1,060,404 in grants for 27 projects that will help them access the resources they need to tackle the ongoing effects of the Big Dry thanks to FRRR’s award-winning grants program[1], Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT).

Rural communities still tackling drought
William Creek Gymkhana Committee – TTTT Round 17 grant recipient

While water storage levels in the northern Murray-Darling Basin and northern Australia have improved, parts of south east Queensland and southern Western Australia still face serious or severe rainfall deficiencies[2]. Although other areas and states have had some rain, recovery from drought requires at least 18 months of average to above average rainfall. So much of the country continues to need support to tackle the impacts of the prolonged dry.

The 27 funded projects will help rural communities across Australia, from Charleville in Queensland, Moulamein in New South Wales, Keith in South Australia, to Manjimup in Western Australia, strengthen social connections, boost economic recovery, and build community and organisational capacity and disaster resilience.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that on top of the effects of the drought, the ongoing impacts of the pandemic has seen volunteer fatigue emerge as a key priority in many places.

“For those areas still in drought, volunteers and local groups have had to find ways to sustain and engage the community,” Ms O’Brien explained.

“Maintaining this optimism and drive is no small feat, and we are pleased to be able to support the places and the people that are working to make their community thrive amidst the complexities of drought and the pandemic.

This includes groups like the Bundaleer Forest Community Areas Association in Jamestown, South Australia, who will be able to support their volunteers and boost economic sustainability by upgrading infrastructure and purchasing new equipment. The funding will provide equipment and storage areas needed to maintain the Maple and Pine event centre. The Bundaleer Forest project will provide strong, genuine and ongoing economic benefit, regardless of seasonal conditions, making Jamestown a more attractive place to live, work and play.

In New South Wales, Moulamein Community Development Incorporated has developed an inspiring project that will encourage tourism activity to the area through the restoration of the Werai Horse Stables and Moolpa Blacksmith shop in the Moulamein Heritage Village. The primarily volunteer-run organisation has been awarded a $149,930 grant for their initiative, which will boost the region’s economic recovery and build community wellbeing.

Some of the 27 projects awarded this round include:

  • Monaro Farming Systems CMC Incorporated, NSW – Building Resilient Relationships for Farmers – $29,610 – Help locals stay informed and connected through the delivery of workshops in the Monaro region.
  • Charleville & District Cultural Association Inc, QLD – Charleville Creative Lane 2021 – $20,000 – Encourage more local involvement in the community by delivering up to 30 creative arts workshops in Charleville.
  • Back to the Bush Festival Incorporated, QLD – Miles Back to the Bush Festival – It is the people that make it – $23,452 – Support opportunities for social and educational participation and address disadvantage caused by the drought, for children and young people of Miles, QLD through the delivery of the Back to the Bush Festival in September 2021.
  • Cadell Community and Tourist Association, SA – Cadell Op-Shop Amenities Block – $11,000 – Support volunteers at the community owned and operated Cadell Op-Shop by installing running water and an onsite toilet.
  • Shire of Manjimup, WA – Youth Engage and Empower Project – $60,000 – Support opportunities for social and educational participation through employment of a Project Facilitator to build local youth resilience and establish a youth council for the Shire of Manjimup.

Applications for the TTTT program are always open and groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply for funding to help their community come together to tackle the drought. Grants are available for a broad range of grassroots, community-led initiatives that directly and clearly benefit local communities.

The cut-off dates for the next round of TTTT are:

  • 24 August 2021. (Note: Stage One for the $150,000 grant tier must be received by 12 August). Outcomes will be advised late November 2021.

Tackling Tough Times Together is possible thanks to the collaborative support of several donors, including the Australian Government which committed $15M to be distributed over three years. Generous contributions have also been made by Pratt Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Snow Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Henroth Group and private donors from across the nation. To join these donors, and support grants like this through FRRR, you can make a tax-deductible donation here.

More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together grant program is available here.

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

Jump to: NSW | QLD | SA | WA

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Up to $150,000
Moulamein Community Development IncorporatedMoulamein Heritage Village Stage Two
Enhance economic recovery and renewal through the restoration of the Werai Horse Stables and Moolpa Blacksmith shop in the Moulamein Heritage Village.
Moulamein$149,930
Up to $60,000
Guyra Garden Club Guyra Spring Flower Festival 2021 - Memorial Avenue & Mandala Garden
Boost and strengthen the local economy with the Guyra Spring Flower Festival 2021 including a Memorial Avenue and Mandala Garden to honour service people.
Guyra$50,000
Monaro Farming Systems CMC IncorporatedBuilding Resilient Relationships for Farmers
Help locals stay informed and connected through the delivery of Building Resilient Relationships for Farmers workshops in the Monaro region.
Cooma$29,610
Up to $20,000
Dunoon Men's Shed IncorporatedModelling the Renewable Energy Lifestyle
Support climate resilience and sustainability of the Dunoon Men’s Shed by installing solar power with a battery back-up system.
Dunoon$20,000
Crescent Head Community Hall CommitteeInterior Refurbishment of Crescent Head Community Hall
Encourage better use of the community hall by repairing and restoring the interior to make the community space more comfortable and welcoming.
Crescent Head$14,133
Macleay Choristers IncorporatedMacleay Choristers Piano Grant
Enhance cultural activities that increase local connectedness, through purchase of a piano for local choir and wider community.
Kempsey$10,790
QUEENSLAND
Up to $60,000
Texas P-10 State School Parents and Citizens AssociationTexas State School Middle School Playground Facility
Encourage children’s learning and development through play by installing play equipment for grades 3-6.
Texas$60,000
South Burnett Mountain Bike Club IncorporatedGordonbrook Dam Mountain Bike Park
Support eco-tourism opportunities to strengthen the local economy through construction of a mountain bike track at Kingaroy.
Kingaroy$49,654
Friends of the Gallery
Booringa Action Group Incorporated
Booringa Fire and Water Festival
Boost and strengthen the local economy with the Fire and Water Festival.
Mitchell$41,653
Swan Creek School of Arts Committee IncorporationSwan Creek Hall Floor Replacement
Increase safety and amenity at local meeting space, through upgrading the flooring at Swan Creek Hall.
Swan Creek $41,501
Thallon Progress Association IncorporatedSculptures in the Scrub - Thallon Art History Trail
Boost and strengthen the local economy and increase connection to place through development of a sculpture trail in Thallon.
Thallon$35,876
Roughlie Community Centre IncorporatedShaded Outdoor Area
Increase local capacity to support community activities and connectedness, through construction of an outdoor meeting area at Roughlie Community Centre.
Roma$34,000
Amiens History Association IncorporatedMulti-function Solar Shed and Access Pathways
Boost and strengthen the organisation’s capacity and sustainability by constructing a multi-purpose shed with solar panels at the Amiens Legacy Centre.
Amiens$32,659
Back to the Bush Festival IncorporatedMiles Back to the Bush Festival – It’s the People that Make it
Support opportunities for social and educational participation and address disadvantage caused by the drought, for children and young people of Miles, QLD through the delivery of the Back to the Bush Festival in September 2021.
Miles$23,452
Up to $20,000
Charleville & District Cultural Association IncorporatedCharleville Creative Lane 2021
Encourage more local involvement in the community by delivering up to 30 creative arts workshops in Charleville.
Charleville$20,000
Farm 2 Fork Collective IncorporatedFuture Proofing the Farm 2 Fork Collective
Boost and strengthen organisation and volunteer capacity with professional development to ensure growth and sustainability.
Kingaroy$19,475
Killarney Bowls Club IncorporatedPurchase New Kitchen Appliances
Improve volunteer vitality and organisational resilience by replacing appliances at the Killarney Bowls Club.
Killarney$16,100
C&K Middlemount Community Childcare Centre
The Creche and Kindergarten Association Limited
C&K Middlemount’s Solar-wise Childcare Project
Support climate resilience and the sustainability of the community childcare centre through the installation of solar panels.
Middlemount$9,626
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Up to $60,000
Milang & District Historical Society IncorporatedThe Port Milang Museum Upgrade
Increase volunteer safety and comfort at Milang Museum and Men's Shed, through building repairs.
Milang$57,090
Bundaleer Forest Community Areas Association IncorporatedStorage and Equipment for Efficient and Sustainable Volunteer Management of Newly Opened Event Centre Maple & Pine, Bundaleer, SA
Reduce volunteer fatigue and boost the sustainability of the Maple and Pine community centre through purchase of equipment.
Jamestown$56,210
Keith Golf Club IncorporatedKeith Golf Club Renovations - Stage 2
Improve the comfort, amenity and function of the local community meeting area, through upgrade to Keith Golf Club building.
Keith$52,883
Bute 2000 Onwards Committee
Barunga West Council
Bute's "Beaut" Silo Art Project
Boost and strengthen the local economy through silo art at Bute.
Bute$49,915
Riverland Connect Association Enhancement of Paringa Silo Art
Enhance the silo art attraction at Paringa, through installation of lighting and sheds for shelter.
Paringa$36,645
Up to $20,000
Purnong District Hall IncorporatedUnderpinning
Grow community resilience and secure the future of the Purnong District Hall for generations with infrastructure works.
Purnong$18,200
Cadell Community and Tourist AssociationCadell Op-Shop Amenities Block
Support volunteers at the community owned and operated Cadell Op-Shop by installing running water and an onsite toilet.
Cadell$11,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Up to $60,000
Shire of ManjimupYouth Engage and Empower Project
Support opportunities for social and educational participation through employment of a Project Facilitator to build local youth resilience and establish a youth council for the Shire of Manjimup.
Manjimup$60,000
The Moore Catchment Council (Inc)Building a BIG Carnaby's Black Cockatoo Sculpture in Moora
Enhance local tourism and diversify economic opportunities at Moora, through construction of large sculpture featuring the Carnaby Black Cockatoo.
Moora$60,000

[1] 2020 Australian Philanthropy Awards – Best Grant Program

[2] Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology. Drought Rainfall deficiencies and water availability. 10 May 2020. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2I1PSqA.

Applications now open for Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program

Community organisations and networks can access a share of $4.5 million under the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program, with grants on offer to drive action on drought resilience. The program will be delivered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).

Networks to Build Drought Resilience

Through the Networks to Build Resilience program, the Australian Government’s investment of $3.375m, together with a $1.125m contribution from FRRR, will enable $4.5 million to be available for on-ground community capacity building projects, across two funding rounds. 

The Networks to Build Drought Resilience program will support the community organisations, networks and infrastructure that help people and communities prepare for, and live through, times of drought. The program will fund events, activities, training and small-scale infrastructure that assist communities to build their capacity.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said local community networks are the foundation of resilient communities.

“Through this program we’re helping to invest in the future of agriculture-dependent regions by enabling them to prepare now for periods of ongoing dryness,” Ms Egleton said.

“A key element of this program will be to build stronger networks, and to encourage greater sharing of learnings and more collaboration within and across networks.”

Applications are now open and close at 5pm AEST, 5 July 2021. Grant recipients will be announced October 2021. For more information or to apply visit FRRR’s website – www.frrr.org.au/networks.

Read the full announcement from The Hon David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management here – https://minister.awe.gov.au/littleproud/media-releases/fdf-networks-build-drought-resilience.

For more information on the Future Drought Fund, visit agriculture.gov.au/fdf.

FRRR acknowledges the devastating effects that Cyclone Seroja has had on a number of remote communities across Western Australia.

Cyclone Seroja

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that the Foundation knows recovery for these impacted communities has only just begun, with reconnection of power an immediate priority, and the rebuilding damaged houses, farms and public assets to occur in the months and years ahead.

“We also anticipate that the activities of local community groups, which are so vital to the ongoing fabric of Western Australia’s remote, rural and regional communities, will be significantly impacted. But we also know these groups will play a vital role in supporting their community through the recovery journey.

“FRRR encourages any donors interested in assisting these affected communities to donate to charities registered with the ACNC, and to consider supporting the needs of communities through the medium-long term recovery journey, in addition to their more immediate needs,” Ms Egleton said.

FRRR has a long history of assisting communities to recover from disasters. We have facilitated support to communities recovering from the recent NSW floods; the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires; 2019 North Queensland floods; Cyclones Debbie (2017), Oswald (2013), Yasi (2011) and Larry (2006); the 2013 Blue Mountains bushfires; the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires of 2009; and ongoing droughts; and to those places preparing for future disaster events.

“More frequent and intense climate disasters means that Australia needs to be proactive in how we fund communities to assist with their preparedness activities, and to have funds available to support them through the medium to long term aftermath of a disaster.” Ms Egleton explained.

Any funds donated to FRRR to support WA communities affected by Cyclone Seroja will be allocated through the following two key mechanisms:

  • FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, which is open all year round, and assessed quarterly. Grants of up to $10,000 will be distributed; OR
  • FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund (DRRF). The DRRF was initiated in August 2019, in response to an increasing frequency of disasters. FRRR wanted to ensure it had a corpus of funds invested, so that it can provide some support to disaster impacted communities whether they’re large or small, in the public eye for a long time or swallowed by other events, or are well-supported philanthropically, or not. Donations made to FRRR’s DRRF are pooled and invested, making it a gift that keeps giving, with earnings drawn off every year to be distributed to communities impacted by disaster through grants in programs such as Strengthening Rural Communities. The DRRF currently holds over $4M, which is invested. FRRR will provide support to community groups recovering from the impacts of the cyclone over the coming years, by applying a portion of the earnings from this fund.

FRRR welcomes donations to either of these mechanisms. All donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia.

Beyond FRRR, the Foundation encourages everyone to consider the impact that this cyclone has had on many individuals and communities across WA, and consider giving to a DGR-1 endorsed ACNC registered charity, which can support individuals and their communities through the recovery journey.

For more information, contact Sarah Matthee, FRRR’s General Manager, Partnerships and Services.

By Natalie Egleton, CEO

Over the past month, I’ve had dozens of conversations with community leaders, local, state and commonwealth governments, philanthropic foundations, and corporate partners, that have all circled around the question of disaster resilience and best practice giving. I’m encouraged by the growing sentiment that recognises the increasing frequency and severity of disasters, yet also see a pressing need to shift our approaches to funding disasters as one-off events.

Time to evolve disaster philanthropy in Australia
Natalie Egleton, CEO

The floods that have devastated so many areas across NSW and parts of Queensland this month are yet another in a series of disasters that rural communities have had to face in the past year. Many of those communities have experienced prolonged drought, bushfires, minor flooding, and now catastrophic flooding. For these communities, the rebuild, recovery, and long-term renewal will call on yet more reserves of social capital. Support will be needed that doesn’t compartmentalise their various disaster impacts and which acknowledges the deeply fatiguing and depleting effects of successive disasters on people, communities, and local service systems. 

At FRRR, we view disasters as environmental shocks that remote, rural, regional communities regularly experience. We know they are inevitable and increasing in frequency and severity; what makes them complex is not knowing when they will occur, where, or the severity and nature of their impact.

Recovery and preparedness are only as strong as the social ties, quality of community infrastructure, depth and breadth of skills and networks, cultural knowledge, and the health of local service systems, non-profits, and community groups.

That’s why investing in social capital – preparing for future disasters and adapting to changing conditions after a disaster – underpin our ongoing work outside of disasters. Mitigation and making advances through technology is vital, but only effective when people within communities – those who will act first and drive recovery and preparedness – are invested in.

Our approach is to provide support where there are gaps or quick responses are needed in the short term, however we focus the majority of funds on the medium-to-long term recovery and future preparedness efforts of rural communities. Funding medium to long-term recovery ensures that resources are available to help communities when they are ready, beyond their immediate needs that arise during the emergency.

Adapting and evolving

In operational terms, FRRR has a standing disaster philanthropy model that we scale when a major disaster occurs. Each year, with support from hundreds of donor partners, we provide grants and capacity support to around 500 hundred remote, rural and regional communities across the country via almost 800 grants. This reach gives us a good footprint and connection points that we can naturally tap into when disasters occur.

Right now, we have almost 1,500 active grants in place for diverse projects in remote, rural, regional communities nationally; around 40% of these are supporting community-led recovery and resilience initiatives.

When the 2019-20 bushfires hit FRRR had to scale our processes very quickly. We expanded existing grants programs that have a national footprint, as well as brokered funds management for corporate partners to support short-term recovery.

In the space of a month, FRRR went from having about 700 donors to 30,000 donors. We had to ensure our systems could cope and we needed to scale up our communications and finance management resourcing. At the same time, we were engaging in working groups and forums with Governments, philanthropy, and connecting with fire-affected communities where we had active grants and relationships.

When COVID-19 hit, our biggest challenge, aside from looking after our people, was adjusting our community engagement approaches.

While regional Australia is great at working remotely, working on recovery, trying to engage with largely volunteer-led community groups and not-for-profits is really done best in person.

Understanding the local context can be done remotely but it’s not ideal. We also found that as restrictions came into place, a lot of community groups went to ground.

We knew there would be significant impacts from COVID-19 on recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires because the lockdowns would essentially stall social recovery processes, which are most effective when people come together physically, to process and heal.

One of our big, but unsurprising observations during COVID was the gaping hole in digital inclusion – equitable access to stable telecommunications, low levels of digital connectivity in households, and low digital literacy in what are largely ageing populations. In the Snowy Valleys for example, we learnt that 24% of people didn’t have an internet connection at home. In Tasmania, connectivity is inconsistent and communities very isolated.

At the same time, we were seeing independent news publications falling over and rural communities were becoming even more isolated.

The shocks and disruptions just kept coming and the readiness wasn’t there. And then, large parts of NSW were impacted by once-in-a-century floods.

We hear a lot about needing to increase resilience and I am of the firm view that that is coming from the wrong angle. There is an abundance of resilience, but only so much that any strong community can absorb and bounce forward from.

Embedding disasters in regional development practice

The past year has proven the repeated warnings of many. The frequency and severity of natural disasters will cost society, economies, biodiversity, and liveability. We need to do things differently.

In our work partnering with a community in NSW focussing on their non-profit sector capacity building before the 2019/20 bushfires, it was clear that those organisations and community leaders were more ready to respond to the recovery process and opportunities it presented. These same communities are now facing an unimaginable clean up and recovery from flooding. Our role is to be there, offer patience, continuity, flexibility, and agility to move how and when the community is ready with fit-for-purpose funding and resourcing support. The critical piece here is that when we do this work between disasters, reserves of social capital can be replenished and expanded. Communities are more able to engage with mitigation and do essential future-focussed work to strengthen their response to risk and climate change.

Innovation and renewal – applying learnings to support flood-impacted communities

Since the bushfires, we have reviewed and adjusted our approach to funding the core operating costs of the community groups that are so essential to the fabric and vitality of remote, rural and regional communities.

With the funding model of our national small grants programs being relatively unpredictable and dependent on donations from our partners, it is difficult for FRRR to commit to resourcing beyond one-off grants that seed and strengthen locally led projects.

However, throughout the pandemic, the FRRR Board recognised that the depletion of fundraising revenue, volunteer capacity, and local sponsorships, coupled with increased vulnerability and successive disasters, presents a serious threat to the survival of community groups and local not-for-profits. We recognise this as being critical at this point in time, so we will support core overhead costs until the picture changes. It will still be one-off funding but will help to keep the lights on and people working on key issues, while communities and organisations adapt and evolve through the recovery.

This approach translates to better practice for disaster philanthropy overall.

Given what is unfolding in NSW and Queensland at the moment, it is time that we stop looking at disasters as one-off events and view disasters as a constant. This means that we need to invest in underlying capacity and capability at the community level.

The new National Resilience, Relief & Recovery Agency, along with several State Agencies, are now modelled through an all-hazards lens and hopefully the policy and funding settings will follow. Philanthropy can then play a meaningful role beyond responding to successive crises.

It’s certainly where we are focussing more and more of our efforts, and we welcome more conversation on this.