Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

FRRR has awarded $1,413,319 to 33 remote, rural and regional communities across Australia for locally-led initiatives that will help build their region’s resilience to drought.

Rural communities share in more than $1.4M to build drought resilience

Funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and a range of other donor partners, the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program focuses on strengthening social connectedness, building social capital and funding transformative local initiatives that will enable agricultural communities to be more prepared for the impacts of drought.

The grants, which range from $10,000 to $139,000, were awarded to local groups to support community projects such as events that will bring people together, training that will increase knowledge and skills, and infrastructure that will facilitate and enable networking.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that when it comes to building drought resilience, resourcing initiatives that enhance social connectedness and networks is more crucial than ever.

“Rural communities are typically pretty self-reliant, and depend on being able to come together and work as a community to prepare for and respond to most challenges. That includes building resilience to respond to the changing climate, and this round we saw some great projects and initiatives that will strengthen resilience and respond to local needs.

“With many of these rural communities impacted by COVID-19, plus drought, fires, and for many the mouse plague, local fundraising has been even more difficult than usual. So it’s wonderful to be able to offer the support these places need to strengthen community connectedness and build their networks.

“We’re grateful to be partnering with the Australian Government, and to have the support of our other donor partners, because it allows us to back these grassroots organisations who are making significant strides when it comes to preparing their communities for future drought,” said Ms Egleton.

Some of the 33 initiatives funded include:

  • Women Together Learning (WoTL Ltd) – Rudall, Cowell, Karoona, Pinnaroo, SA – Building the WoTL Ambassador Network to Support Women in Ag – $29,625 – Building the WoTL Ambassador Network to support women in agriculture through a series of workshops.
  • Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers – Bundaberg, Gayndah, QLD – Connecting Producers with an Invisible Support Network – $16,200 – Build capacity among growers for training in mental health and wellbeing and to access local support services through a series of BBQ workshops.
  • Gippsland Agricultural Group, Bairnsdale, VIC – Gippsland Connect and Prepare Field Days – $50,000 – Increase community connection and networking activities through the delivery of field day events and installing an accessible ablution block.
  • FarmLink Research Ltd, Temora, NSW – Improving Young Farmer Mental Resilience in Times of Drought – $10,000 – Expand capacity for resilience through an interactive seminar.
  • The Liebe Group Inc – Dalwallinu, Mingenew, Dandaragan, WAWomen in Ag Networking and Diversification (WAND) Program: Strengthening Social Connection and Farm Business Resilience in the Regional Agricultural Community – $13,100 – Foster increased business acumen in drought resilience through the delivery of workshops.

MEANWHILE, Applications are currently open for Round 2 of the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program. To be considered, they must be received by 15 November, with funds announced late February. Projects must be completed by 29 August 2022. Learn more at

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

Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
The Australian Landscape Science Institute LimitedReading Your Landscape
This project will bring local landholders together to study and discuss innovative agricultural practice solutions in two field days and a series of webinars, to manage agricultural dependent regions that are vulnerable to accelerating climate impacts. Through the workshops, participants will be encouraged to network and share ideas about Climate Resilient Landscape practices, and be supported by online webinars with a wider audience.
Monaro Farming Systems CMC IncorporatedMonaro Seasonal Outlook - Building Drought Resilience and Preparedness
This project will host a Field Day in the Monaro region that includes a seasonal outlook presentation and discussion around the Farming Forecaster tool that helps farmers make informed decision to improve drought preparedness in changing climatic conditions. Facilitated discussions and reflections from past experiences will improve collaboration across the local farming network, building knowledge about drought preparedness and an understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change, to build strategies for farmers and local communities to prepare for future droughts.
Northern Rivers Community Gateway Inc - Women on The Land - Get Ready Empower YourselfWomen on The Land (WoTL) Preparedness Workshop Series
This project will deliver five workshops to improve the confidence and reduce social isolation of rural and regional women, while also providing planning and coping tools for the participants to share with their broader networks. Focussing on decision making, preparedness and land management, the workshops will provide a platform to discuss mental health issues of rural and regional women, while also providing access to service providers and the opportunity to build networks for ongoing cohesion.
FarmLink Research LtdImproving Young Farmer Mental Resilience In Times of Drought
This FarmLink project will host an event for Young Farmers to build the skills and networks required to manage the impacts of stress during drought, intergenerational relationships and communicating effectively within family farm businesses. The interactive workshop will bring together young farmers and experts in rural and regional resilience and mental health. Through facilitated discussions, the project will build awareness in practical on-farm strategies that improve the participants' capability to manage the stresses associated with drought and climate change in preparing for the future.
Murdi Paaki Regional Rugby League Council Incorporated trading as Creative Community ConceptsCCC Community Wellbeing Project
This project will improve community resilience through education and mental fitness sessions in schools, and a community dinner, to build wellbeing strategies and mental resilience across local schools and the community. The workshops will build community spirit, bringing the community together to discuss strategies to prepare for difficult times and the impacts of adversity.
Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
Glenrac IncorporatedResilience, Capacity and Community Connection - Glen Innes NSW
This project will support several activities to build resilience, capacity, and community connection across the Glen Innes district including monthly focus evenings, a gardening weekend and informal events that encourage participation and discussion across the community. This project will link into other programs that GLENRAC deliver on benchmarking natural capital, carbon footprint accounting and climate change resilience to build a broader skillset for the participants and the community.
Glen Innes$49,870
North Coast Regional Landcare Network IncPartnership Development Officer for NCRLN
The North Coast Regional Landcare Network in NSW project will support 11 local Landcare networks, facilitating community connection and knowledge sharing across the groups, as well as increasing  opportunities for these participants, and the wider regional Landcare network, to participate in networking events to build a shared understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change in the local region, while also providing the communities with an opportunity to work collaboratively to solve problems common regional issues.
Funding Tier 3: $50,000 - $150,000
Western Plains Regional Development IncShoring Up Community
This project will give local community groups the much-needed opportunity to hold meetings and get together as they prepare for future drought. Understanding the importance of the community hall for social and professional gatherings, this project will support the upgrade of the community hall to enable it to be used year-round for community gatherings, enhancing social connectedness and wellbeing in the community.
Riverine Plains IncorporatedEnhancing Community Networks for Drought Resilience In the Riverine
This project will deliver 30 workshops within the region to connect primary producers, landholders, and Indigenous custodians to build capacity and share knowledge to address the challenges of future drought and climate change conditions. The project will result in increased social connection in local networks and improved future coordination and collaboration between social networks, other community organisations and sectors in the local communities, sharing knowledge to build more resilient communities across the region.
Berrigan & Greater Shepparton$102,300
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Upper North Farming SystemsTools, Tech and Transformation – UNFS and Its HUBS 2022
This project will deliver a 'Tools, Tech and Transformation' workshop for farmers and agri-business followed by a series of nine Hub events to provide an opportunity for participants to network and share information to build their knowledge about drought resilience through learning about new farming systems and techniques to manage in a changing climate.
Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
WoTL LtdBuilding the Women Together Learning (WoTL) Ambassador Network to Support Women In Ag
This project will deliver five workshops focussing on future drought, climate projections and the impact on agricultural practices and rural communities, and support the Women Together Learning (WoTL) Ambassadors to come together for two days to participate in planning, professional development, and networking to enhance their skills to support the broader network. The project will bring women together that ordinarily may not link up and form an ongoing future network, addressing the needs of rural women in preparing for future drought, and support network for better preparedness.
Coorong District CouncilResilient Farmer Networks Building an Understanding of Managing Soil Carbon and Livestock Methane Production, Seasonal Climate Variability, and Seeking Opportunities In Times of Drought
This project will increase opportunities for a diverse group of people and communities to participate in networking through the facilitation of four workshops across the Coorong and Tatiara Districts. The workshops will build farmers' knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change, through the sharing of specialist knowledge in the areas of climate trends, soil carbon, and livestock methane. Through these workshops and networking events, a positive community culture will be built working together to build the community's capacity to respond to change and capitalise on opportunities.
Funding Tier 3: $50,000 - $150,000
Mackillop Farm Management Group IncLimestone Coast Women In Ag Network

This project will increase the resilience of women in the Limestone Coast region of SA to assist preparing for future drought through the delivery of four workshops for women in agriculture across the southeast region of SA. The project will also connect seven regional organisations and build linkages between these local groups to a state-wide organisation, resulting in broader reaches across the state. The network will provide lasting support and increased social connection for the group members across the Limestone Coast region.

Southern Cross UniversityBuilding Drought Resilience In Agriculture-Dependent Communities Through Mapping Young Farmer Information and Support Networks
In this partnership project between Southern Cross University and Agricultural Innovation & Research Eyre Peninsula, a new 'network mapping' tool will be used to provide a detailed understanding of the Eyre Peninsula young landholders knowledge network. The project will support the agricultural dependent community of the Eyre Peninsula to build drought resilience by identifying and implementing context-specific strategies through workshops and mapping. Local champions will share key knowledge with young landholders to enhance networking opportunities around drought-resilient practices.
The Flinders Ranges CouncilQuorn Quandong Festival
This project’s two-day community event will bring expert speakers to present on the impacts of drought and climate change on the region to highlight the importance of forward planning and preparedness. The event will also encourage participants to be involved in the activities and network to share knowledge, while also creating an awareness of agri-food systems opportunities by showcasing opportunities and benefits offered to agricultural businesses through diversification into production of 'bush foods' and use of Indigenous species, as an alternative to traditional practices to build drought resilience.
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Destination Scenic Rim IncScenic Rim Round-Up
The Destination Scenic Rim (DSR) project will build drought resilience and build social connection through the hosting of four events with keynote speakers across the region that will link location specific community groups, businesses, and organisations to increase collaboration and membership across the region. Held in population hubs of Beaudesert, Boonah, Tamborine Mountain, Canungra and several smaller centres, the events will bring community members together with a shared sense of purpose with an aim to increase the community's economic development and diversification.
Macintyre Ag Alliance IncRegenerative Ag Event for Adaptable & Thriving Futures
This project’s two-day event at farms across the Western Downs will provide collaborative events and opportunities to learn about new agricultural approaches to build drought resilience practices into the regional agricultural businesses and communities. Through integrating local networks with established, broader networks, the project aims to increase the social connection, networks, and capacity of landholders for best practice farm management and create drought resilient communities.
Red Earth Community Foundation South Burnett LimitedRed Earth Community Foundation Leadership Forum
Supporting young people to respond to challenges and encourage leadership, the Red Earth Community Foundation (RECF) will host a Leadership Forum to bring together community leaders in the Burnett Inland to connect individuals, groups, and businesses. Through forum sessions, the participants will build leadership skills and form partnerships to assist the region adapt and transform to meet challenges the region will face in a changing climate. The forum will build social connectedness for the region, extend networks and create a shared sense of purpose and community belonging.
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable GrowersConnecting Producers with an Invisible Support Network
This project represents a progressive opportunity to build capability of professional, social and community networks of producers in the Bundaberg region and build long term drought resilience and social wellbeing across the network. The project will support ongoing networking opportunities, including through initial activities including two Accidental Counselling training sessions and host two informal producer BBQ's to create a network of industry representatives who are able to recognise signs of stress and access local support services for local growers to support mental health and wellbeing.
Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
GroWQResourcing and Supporting GroWQ
This GroWQ Project will deliver two networking events: an Ag Industry Round Table facilitating collaboration and enabling access to support in both health services and agricultural services; and a Technology showcase on innovation and business resilience in the agricultural sector and the wider community. Industry insights provided through the workshops will increase participant knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change, providing participants with the knowledge and tools to share with their communities to respond to a changing climate.
Lockyer Valley Growers IncLockyer Agriculture Resilience and Connection (LARC) Project
This project will bring local growing groups together in two seminars to discuss the impacts of climate change and drought on the region, as well as publications in local magazines about local issues and identifying local practices used to manage the impacts of drought. The project will also facilitate training of committee members in governance training to support their organisation to continue to support the broader grower network. Through the involvement of around 200 producers and land managers across the region, the project will enhance networking and knowledge sharing, building a greater culture of connection across the region.
Longreach Regional CouncilCreating Sustainable Communities 'In the Bush'
This project will facilitate four community workshops and events across issues relevant to different sectors of the Longreach community including youth issues, women's, business and work topics. Workshops through the project will facilitate local networks, increase business planning knowledge and skills, encourage social connection and ensure access to support services to build resilience and future drought preparedness in the local region.
Northern Gulf Resource Management Group LtdCroydon Shire Food Security Project
The project will establish a community-led steering group through a central co-ordinator to build a food security strategy for the region. The project will increase community engagement, a shared sense of purpose and collaboration between social networks and sectors in local communities, bringing groups together to share knowledge to build strategies to address food insecurity issues in the local area.
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
Wairewa Public Hall & Recreation ReserveSupporting Future Community Networking Opportunities
This project will provide essential support to community groups in the Wairewa region to network in the lead up, during and after future drought, through the improvement of the public hall as an ongoing social meeting place to build community connection and engagement. Upgrading the hall's kitchen and flooring will enable the local community and farmers to socially connect, as well as engaging with neighbouring communities, thus building a wider social network and community wellbeing through a common functional meeting space.
Charlton Neighbourhood House IncBuloke First Peoples Art Trail
Understanding the need for a year-round meeting place to build community wellbeing and a place for engagement, particularly during times of drought, this project will develop an open-air, self-guided Bush Tucker Garden that tell the stories of the local Djaara people and walking trail along the Avoca River that include First Nations Artworks that tell stories of the impacts of a changing climate and times of drought in the Charlton and Buloke area. Through the community’s involvement in the development of the garden and walking trail, the project will build a shared sense of community belonging in the area.
Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
Mallee Sustainable Farming IncCreating an Online Learning Community to Help Farmers Manage Soil In Drought
This project will create a new online learning community and network to help Mallee broadacre farmers prepare for future drought. The network will draw on the latest evidence-based information and resources on how to protect, manage and repair soils before, during and after drought. The project will deliver online learning to increase knowledge sharing and capacity of farmers to access local soil resources and peer forums to build drought resilience. Through joint learning and support, participants will build professional and social networks, sharing information to build an understanding of and resilience to the impacts of future droughts on the region’s soils.
Birchip Cropping Group IncFilling the GAPP – A Forum for Future Farmers
This project will involve two core activities: the first is a GAPP (Growth, Adoption, Production and Profitability) regional event for new generation farmers titled ‘Filling the GAPP, a forum for future farmers'. The second activity being a round of seven locally focussed production and business resilience focussed discussion group meetings, targeting new generation, early career farmers and supporting agribusiness personnel, to facilitate the opportunity for early career professionals to exchange ideas on farming business practice and provide communities an opportunity to work collaboratively to solve problems,  building capacity and leveraging the wider Birchip Cropping Group network of industry connections to build local drought resilience.
Gippsland Agricultural GroupGippsland Connect and Prepare Field Days
This project will increase community connection and networking through two farmer field days, bringing together local farming and community groups to discuss issues prevalent in the region. The project will increase the capacity to use this site for educational, social and networking activities for the agricultural community through the installation of an ablution block at a site frequently used for social and professional networking events, thus increasing the region's ability to support educational, social, and networking activities in the agricultural community and benefit many groups across East Gippsland.
Funding Tier 3: $50,000 - $150,000
AgBiz Assist Limited - Ovens Murray AgBiz AllianceUsing Tech to Connect, Mitigate and Manage Drought In North East Victoria
This project will bring people together informally in a series of meetups and dinners for those involved in agriculture, food and fibre, as well as a regional website to showcase agriculture, food and fibre information and newsletters and podcasts with information on provider networks across the region, providing a tool for connection and accessing regional services. Through the project, the region will have avenues to sustain community engagement and improved coordination and collaboration between social and professional networks.
Funding Tier 1: $10,000- $20,000
The Liebe Group IncWomen In Ag Networking and Diversification (WAND) Program: Strengthening Social Connection and Farm Business Resilience in the Regional Agricultural Community

This project will host onsite field visits and an agricultural day show to provide participants with future planning knowledge for below-average seasons and increased business acumen to adapt to the negative effects of drought. Through the project, the local women in agriculture involved in the projects will build capacity and resilience, as well as regional networks to respond to the impacts of drought, both socially and on their farm businesses.

Funding Tier 2: $20,000- $50,000
Southern Rangelands Pastoral Alliance IncRehydrating the Southern Rangelands of WA
This project will bring together farmers to learn about drought resilience issues that are common across the Southern Rangelands area of WA. The project will bring together a farming network, for participants to build the confidence and capability to change historical management practices to restore, repair and improve management approaches in the Southern Rangelands. Through the workshops, the farming network developed will share approaches and support to continue managing the Rangelands in the changing climatic conditions.
Shire of RavensthorpeHopetoun Community Networking Support
The project will establish the connections to support networks to better connect with community members. The installation of an electronic noticeboard at the Hopetoun Community Resource Centre is to provide critical community and climate information, and promote events to build information sharing and community connection. The project will result in a coordinated and time effective response to disaster preparedness and drought resilience for the local community.
Funding Tier 3: $50K - $150K
Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management IncorporatedTalkin' Soil Health - for Drought Resilience
This project will connect a network of farmers, farming advisors and support services to an awareness of local support avenues. The Talkin’ Soil Health Conference will focus on building capacity in the WA farming community to address climate challenges with adaptive technology. An on-farm workshop, podcasts and a Community of Practice will extend networking between participants, resulting in an active network of farmers, farm advisors, support services and researchers to build capacity and awareness of local industry support to share knowledge, skills, and tools to build drought resilience.

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

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

Buchan Rodeo Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the 90 projects awarded include:

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

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

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

More information is available on FRRR’s website – strengthening-rural-communities/.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volunteer Emergency Services encouraged to apply for funding

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

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

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

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

Made possible thanks to a significant private donation, the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund provides grants to local volunteer emergency services groups and first responder organisations in eligible fire-affected communities across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit FRRR’s website –

$2.9M in grants available for remote, rural and regional communities

FRRR is inviting applications for the second round of the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program. These grants are specifically intended to ensure community-led initiatives and rural not-for-profits (NFPs) in agriculture-dependent communities have the support they need to build resilience against future droughts.

grants available for community-led initiatives that build drought resilience

Funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and a range of other donor partners, the program focuses on strengthening social connectedness, building social capital and funding transformative local initiatives that will enable agricultural communities to be more prepared for the impacts of drought.

Grants can support a wide range of initiatives including events, projects, activities, training and small-scale infrastructure that will strengthen community engagement, networking and preparedness for drought. In this second round, FRRR is particularly keen to hear from groups seeking between $20,000 and $50,000, although there are other tiers of funding available.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program focuses on supporting locally-led drought initiatives that build and strengthen connections in agricultural communities that are vulnerable to drought.

“Each community faces its own unique set of stressors and challenges, and is starting from a different place when it comes to building drought resilience. That’s why this program funds projects that local communities have identified will help their community better prepare for the future impacts of climate change.

“In some places, that’s initiatives like strengthening young-farmer or women in agriculture networks, and for others it might be about building knowledge of soils or better understanding the latest tools and technologies around climate and seasonable variability. Yet in other places, the emphasis might need to be on wellbeing and building mental resilience.

“We’re particularly keen to see proactive initiatives that bring communities together, to create and strengthen social networks to engage in meaningful collaboration. This is a critical part of making sure remote, rural and regional communities can thrive in the future,” Ms. Egleton said.

For more information about the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Resilience program, visit

There will be a free grantseeker workshop on 5 October at 11am and 7pm AEDT, for those who would like to learn more about the program and the application process. Register here:

Applications close 15 November, with funds announced late February. Activities must be completed by 29 August 2022.

A call for more investment in local community groups, so they are better equipped to play a key role in building community resilience ahead of climate, natural disasters and other disruptions, is among the series of recommendations to come out of a three-year research project.

ways to strengthen community resilience to disasters

Led by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) in partnership with Resilience NSW and researchers from the University of Sydney, the ‘Get Ready Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) pilots project’ worked with three diverse NSW communities to explore how best to ensure that rural communities are more disaster resilient and future ready.

The ‘Get Ready DR:FR pilots project’ was a structured program that brought groups in each community together to share knowledge and encourage collaboration to identify ways to increase disaster resilience. The program supported co-created initiatives and actions identified by local residents with funding and other support.

The action research component of the project was designed to investigate, understand and measure activities, processes and structures that enable, or hinder, communities in disaster resilience building. Particular attention was focused on measuring how community energy and momentum was sustained or blocked.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that the Foundation initiated the project back in 2017, in light of the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters. An alignment between FRRR’s DR:FR initiative and the Resilience NSW’s Get Ready program enabled the project to be piloted and researched in three NSW communities.

“Every year, we see more and more disasters, which places enormous pressure on Australia’s social, economic, environmental, and policy systems. We need approaches that strengthen social capital and create room for innovation and ground-up solutions that communities can adopt and adapt to better prepare and respond to these events, especially in remote, rural and regional areas,” Ms Egleton said.

“That’s why we developed the DR:FR initiative. 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 Egleton explained.

A key finding of the research was that for disaster resilience to be impactful and meaningful, affected communities need to be actively engaged and involved in the process.

“While the core principles for building disaster resilience are consistent, the research confirmed that one-size-fits-all frameworks and models are not effective. Resilience-building must be community-led and tailored to each community, and communities must have the support and resources to allow them to create their own resilience-building approaches.”

“The research clearly demonstrated that when community members worked on projects and activities co-designed by them, adaptive local resilience building was evident. This is an important insight and consideration for agencies and organisations that are designing and implementing resilience building programs with a shared responsibility philosophy of disaster preparedness.”

While the study found that the approaches to disaster resilience and the actions in each community were different, there were seven key factors that are critically important in community-led resilience: communication, networks, self-organising systems, decision-making, information, resources, tools and support and inclusion.

Some other important findings included:

  • Social capital plays a critical role in disaster preparedness, not just response and recovery – and needs to be consistently invested in. Community knowledge, skills, time, commitment, capacity and relationships fundamentally underpin disaster resilience.
  • Shared responsibility – and actively engaging communities – are critical to successfully building community resilience. Where there was shared dialogue, shared decision-making and increased and shared support for community-led resilience building, communities were significantly more engaged and prepared for disasters.
  • Communities need ongoing support to build and maintain momentum for sustained community-led resilience building and they need to be resourced and included as key local players at all phases of the emergency management cycle. Relying on good will and volunteer time alone will not provide adequate capacity to maintain efforts and participation between and during disasters.
  • There is a need to invest for the long-term in local capacity and systems, outside of the cycle of relief and emergency response, so that there is sustainability beyond the life of a program or project.
  • Resilience is not something that individuals or communities can achieve on their own. It requires combined and intersecting structures, processes, formal and informal networks and supports in communities working together.

The researchers made nine recommendations:

  1. Community led approaches must move to the centre of resilience building efforts.
  2. Communities should be regarded as equal contributors in disaster resilience work.
  3. Shared responsibility must translate into increased and shared support for sustained community-led resilience building.
  4. Disaster resilience building needs to reflect the experiences of communities and recognise that preparedness, response and recovery are fluid, and sometimes simultaneous.
  5. The times between disasters is an ideal opportunity to engage communities in complex discussions and hear their ideas.
  6. Communities should contribute to and contextualise disaster information (outside of warnings and alerts) to local needs, building trust and ownership of information and communication.
  7. Community-led approaches are valuable, and must be matched with sustained cross-sector and cross-community investment, including recognising the value of community time, skill and effort.
  8. Resilience building programs and projects must be designed and implemented within a systems framework and acknowledge the complex array of relationships involved, and the time required.
  9. Further work should be undertaken in supporting practical links between local community organisations and self-organising networks and groups in supporting sustained resilience building in local communities.

You can read the Summary Research Report online at

Meanwhile, FRRR has already leveraged the research insights, findings and recommendations from this research to iterate its methodology, approach, and activities for the next phase of the national expansion of the DR:FR initiative. The Foundation is currently working with a group of Victorian communities who wish to explore and work together in different ways to strengthen their resilience over the next two to three years, with the support of the DR:FR initiative.

FRRR acknowledges the support of the Joint State and Commonwealth Natural Disaster Resilience Program for the action research component of the pilot project. FRRR also appreciates the support of our donor partners in the rollout of the broader DR:FR initiative across Australia, including Sidney Myer Fund, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Maple-Brown Family Foundation, Simon Kucher and Partners, Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation and the Doc Ross Foundation for their support of the broader DR:FR initiative across Australia.

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

  • Grants in Action: Bootstraps working to strengthen community social fabric
  • FRRR launches Heartbeat of Australia Study
  • Partnering Opportunity – Building resilience to drought
  • Donor Spotlight: Portland House Foundation
  • Insights from the bush
  • Community Partner Spotlight: St Paul’s Carcoar Community Facility Ltd.
  • Our progress, with your support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the projects awarded this round include:

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

The next round of the Volunteer Emergency Services Fund Grant program will open 24 September 2021. For more information, visit –

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

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

35 projects funded in drought-affected communities

FRRR’s long-running Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program, has awarded grants totalling $1,086,794 to 35 not-for-profit organisations to support drought recovery projects in remote, rural and regional communities across Australia.

Communities tackling drought to share in more than $1 million in grants

Now in its eighth year, the award-winning[1] and collaboratively-funded TTTT program supports drought-affected communities to undertake a broad range of grassroots initiatives that help locals access the resources needed to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought. To date, thanks to the support of FRRR’s donor partners, the program has granted out more than $17.3 million.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that for many communities, drought is still a very real and significant issue, and communities are dealing with a variety of factors as they continue to stand strong and keep their community connected and supported.

“Capacity within rural communities has been significantly hampered by both the long-running drought, and more recently, the uncertainty of COVID-19. Fundraising is a real challenge, and volunteers are really fatigued. However, they remain committed to bringing people together to support one another at a time when doing so is perhaps more important than ever.

“So, programs like Tackling Tough Times Together are an important source of funding, as it means community groups can continue to run programs and events that help to reduce feelings of social isolation. The grants also help alleviate volunteer fatigue, as community-minded people are so often very stretched and stressed by not being able to offer the services they know are so valuable to their community,” Ms O’Brien said.

Successful projects include the Warramboo Community Club’s playground replacement on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Like many remote areas, the Community Club is a focal point of the district for events, sports, celebrations, training and information days. They are receiving a $25,000 grant to encourage children’s learning and development by replacing the deteriorated playground on the grounds. This creates a key meeting point for the important social contact that binds isolated farming families together.

On the other side of the country, in the Central region of Queensland, the Flinders Shire Council has devised a plan to boost local tourism and support the economy by fitting out the Agricultural Zone at the Flinders Discovery Centre redevelopment in Hughenden. With their $150,000 grant, they aim to increase tourist activity and enhance economic recovery and renewal by completing the revitalised regional Centre’s new agricultural zone with fit out displays including an interactive sheep shearing display, touchscreens showing agriculture practices and paddock to plate processes.

Some of the other projects awarded this round include:

  • Wandoan Community Commerce and Industry Group, QLD – Illuminating Wandoan – $46,073 Boost local tourism and support the local economy through establishing an outdoor illuminated mural on silos in Wandoan.
  • Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Incorporated, VIC – Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Infrastructure Strategy project, Stage One – $18,000 – Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of an important historical asset through the development of Infrastructure Strategy – Stage One for future usage planning and facility enhancements.
  • Karridale Primary School, WA – Growing our Sense of Place – $6,000 – Support opportunities for connection through a bushland art project.
  • Shire of Mingenew, WA – Town Beautification with Children’s Art Workshop – $5,240 –Encourage children’s learning and development with art workshops and mural paintings for town beautification.

The Tackling Tough Times Together program is possible thanks to the collaborative support of several donors, including the Australian Government which committed $15M to be distributed from 2019-2021. Generous contributions have also been made by The 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.

Applications are currently open for Round 22 of TTTT and groups in areas experiencing prolonged dry conditions are encouraged to apply for funding to help their community support one another. Applications close 5pm AEST, 24 August 2021.

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 | VICWA

Up to $20,000
Northern Slopes Landcare Association IncorporatedRural Women's Catch-up
Encourage more local involvement in the community by delivering a series of workshops in Gwydir and Moree Plains area.
Upper Horton$16,975
Up to $150,000
Flinders Shire CouncilFlinders Discovery Centre Agricultural Zone
Enhance economic recovery and renewal through the interior fit out of the Agricultural Zone at the Flinders Discovery Centre redevelopment in Hughenden, QLD.
Up to $60,000
St. Patrick's School Parents & Friends AssociationSt Patrick's Primary School Playground Upgrade
Reduce social isolation by facilitating social connection through the installation of a playground at St Patrick’s school.
Wandoan Community Commerce and Industry IncIlluminating Wandoan
Boost local tourism and support the local economy through establishing an outdoor illuminated mural on silos in Wandoan.
Emerald & District Historical Association. Capella Pioneer Village IncOur Collections Matter
Support opportunities for volunteer learning and capacity building with site-based museum training.
Charleville & District Community Support Association IncorporatedThree Communities - Three Christmas Trees
Boost and strengthen the local economy and reduce social isolation with town beautification in Charleville, Augathella and Morven each Christmas.
Maryvale Community Hall IncorporatedFreshening Up our Community Hub
Rejuvenate a meeting space that supports community connectedness for drought affected residents.
Begonia Golf & Sports Club IncCommunity Hall Air Conditioner Supply and Installation
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase the capacity of the organisation through the replacement of air conditioning at the Begonia Hall.
Up to $20,000
The Creche and Kindergarten Association LimitedC&K Millmerran’s Dry Creek Bed
Encourage opportunities for quality outdoor learning with the installation of a Dry Creek Bed at the Creche and Kindergarten Association, Millmerran branch.
North Burnett Community Service IncConnecting Community
Improve the North Burnett Community Service ability to support and service the community through purchase of IT equipment.
Topology IncBigger than Texas - Growing Creative Communities of Texas, Inglewood, Yelarbon, Kindon
Support opportunities to grow creative communities in Texas, Inglewood, Yelarbon and Kindon.
South Downs Steam Railway Assoc IncRain water storage within the SDSR precinct
Support volunteers and organisational capacity at the South Downs Steam Railway by installing rainwater storage within the precinct.
Dirranbandi Arts Council IncCreative Art Workshops for the Community
Enhance opportunities to participate in creative activities for the Dirranbandi community through the delivery of art workshops.
QCWA Branch DirranbandiFacilities Upgrade
Grow climate resilience and secure the future of the Dirranbandi QCWA rooms for future generations with infrastructure works.
Wandoan and District Kindergartenassoc IncWandoan Camel Races - Children's Entertainment
Reduce social isolation and boost community spirit through the provision of children’s entertainment at the Wandoan Camel Races.
The Cecil Plains Crier Association IncorporatedPurchase a New Printer
Help locals stay informed and connected by purchasing a printer to continue to produce a community newsletter.
Cecil Plains$5,800
Richmond Primary P and C AssociationSlime Spectacular Fun Run
Encourage more local involvement in the community by hosting a Slime Spectacular Fun Run.
Up to $150,000
Brinkworth Management Committee IncorporatedBrinkworth Community Bus
Reduce social isolation by purchasing a community bus to facilitate strong social cohesion and connection.
Up to $60,000
Pinnaroo Community IncorporatedThe Pinnaroo Project
Boost and strengthen health and wellbeing with an arts initiative in the Pinnaroo community.
The Flinders Ranges CouncilFringe in the Flinders
Support economic growth and community connection through the Fringe in the Flinders event in Quorn, SA.
Peterborough Art Prize Committee IncorporatedPeterborough Art Centre - Garden Redevelopment
Strengthen economic recovery and renewal through improvements to the Peterborough Art Centre - Garden Redevelopment.
Warramboo Community Club IncorporatedPlayground Replacement
Encourage children’s learning and development though play by installing playground equipment at the Warramboo Community Club.
Up to $20,000
Minnipa and Districts Swimming Pool IncorporatedCommunity Pool Concourse Replacement
Support the longevity of the Minnipa community pool with infrastructure works.
Wudinna Play GymEquipment and Family Day
Support opportunities for development and learning with a play gym in Wudinna.
Up to $60,000
SEED Lakeside Community Garden IncorporatedActivation and Pathways
Improve social and emotional health and build resilience in the Sale community with an Activation and Pathways project.
Up to $20,000
Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway IncorporatedRed Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Infrastructure Strategy - Stage One
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of the Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Inc through the development of Infrastructure Strategy - Stage One for future usage planning and facility enhancements.
Red Cliffs$18,000
Red Cliffs Centenary Committee IncRed Cliffs Centenary Celebrations 2021
Encourage people to come together and celebrate at a Red Cliffs Centenary Celebrations 2021 community event.
Red Cliffs$10,000
Up to $60,000
The Ravensthorpe Community Centre IncorporatedOpening Spaces Stage 1 - Restoring the Ravensthorpe Community Centre Veranda and Blue Room
Improve volunteer vitality and support strong social connection by restoring the Ravensthorpe Community Centre’s veranda and adjoining Blue Room.
Noongar Land Enterprise Group IncorporatedWattle Seed Harvesting Training for Drought Resilience on Noongar Country (SW WA)
Support and engage the community in leadership development and skills training in harvesting wattle seed from a land rehabilitation project.
Country Music Club of Boyup Brook WA IncBoyup Brook Country Music Festival - Engaging Regional Business
Strengthen economic diversity and support cultural engagement by hiring equipment to support the 2022 Boyup Brook Country Music Festival.
Boyup Brook$56,020
Up to $20,000
Brookton Old Time Motor ShowBrookton Old Time Motor Show 2022
Boost the local economy by providing support for the Brookton Old Time Motor Show 2022.
Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre IncorporatedIncreasing the Capacity of the Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre
Build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre through building upgrades
Pemberton Mill Hall Restoration CommitteeKitchen For Catering
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of the Pemberton Mill Hall through kitchen upgrades.
Karridale Primary SchoolGrowing Our Sense of Place
Support opportunities for connection through a bushland art project; Growing Our Sense of Place.
Shire of MingenewTown Beautification with Children's Art Workshop
Encourage children’s learning and development with art workshops and mural paintings for town beautification.

[1] 2020 Australian Philanthropy Awards – Best Grant Program