Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Did you know that some schools in remote Australian communities might have as few as 15 books in their library?

That discovery in 2017 prompted Corey Tutt to start sourcing and supplying resources himself, initially from his personal library. DeadlyScience Limited was established in 2020, and is now a registered charity. Through DeadlyScience, Corey is seeking to inspire a new generation of scientists.
It focuses on providing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and early learning reading resources to remote Australian schools to help increase engagement.

The initial priority is schools with a high proportion of Indigenous children. Where possible, and appropriate, DeadlyScience sources materials from Indigenous authors, artists, and translated versions in Indigenous languages. In the three and a bit years since inception, DeadlyScience has had more than 110 schools requesting resources.

They have delivered more than 16,000 books, 500 telescopes (and basic science kits), 80 educational resources and six greenhouses (plus seeds, and educational materials to support food production projects) to more than 100 Australian schools and/or communities.

This growth looks set to continue as the organisation gains more momentum and profile. Another key activity involves maintaining a website to support teachers in remote schools with access to high quality scientific research and relevant experts in their fields (also of Indigenous background, where possible). 

In 2020, DeadlyScience partnered with FRRR to set up a Not-for-Profit Fundraising Account, allowing them to attract tax deductible contributions from a broad range of donors to expand their activities and support the overall capacity and operations. 

You can add your support by donate securely online, or check out the DeadlyScience website to learn more about their work.

To learn more about opening a Not-For-Profit fundraising account, get in touch with Jo Kemp.

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has entered a new three-year partnership with the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation (KACF).

FRRR partners with the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation to help tackle food insecurity

Creating better days for Australians, Kellogg Australia is committed to tackling hunger and helping to create a more sustainable future for generations to come. Now, with the new partnership between KACF and FRRR, their combined efforts can help tackle hunger and build resilience in vulnerable rural and regional communities throughout the country.

Over the course of the partnership, KACF will donate $300,000 to support grants going towards low socio-economic regions in need, and disadvantaged communities facing high levels of food insecurity.

The funds will be part of FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, which aims to give small remote, rural and regional communities across Australia an opportunity to access funding to strengthen their vitality and resilience. Grants are flexible and respond to community-identified priorities, such as food security. 

In addition to the KACF funding, Kellogg Australia has also put forward in-kind support in the form of food donations, as well as skilled and unskilled volunteering from its employees.

Esme Borgelt, Managing Director Kellogg Australia, said, “The last couple of years have seen so many of our communities facing increasingly difficult times. From droughts to bushfires to a global health pandemic, the impact on everyone has been significant, and those hardest hit have been our remote, rural and regional communities.

“Almost a quarter of Australians experiencing food insecurity live in regional or remote areas and the aim of the KACF partnership with FRRR is to provide support at a grassroots level to help these communities implement innovative, locally led solutions.” 

With FRRR being the only national foundation centred on social and economic strength in remote, rural and regional Australia, the partnership will help to tackle food insecurity with the knowledge and experience of the local needs by local leaders on the ground.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said, “It’s fantastic to see a leading global food manufacturer like Kellogg’s make it their overarching mission to leave a mark of meaningful difference. We are delighted to be partnering with them to ensure that support reaches vulnerable communities beyond metropolitan boundaries.

“While the grants will be awarded based on locally identified community priorities, there will be a focus on supporting food security initiatives and enterprises, food affordability and food access programs, as well as projects such as community gardens and school and educational food programs,” Ms Egleton explained.

Clarence Landcare Inc

Clarence Landcare is located in regional NSW. Their mission is to promote sustainable land, agriculture, water, vegetation and biodiversity management practices and principles to their local community.

The largely volunteer-run organisation has been taking care of the land in the region for more than two decades. They regularly running community projects and initiatives focused on sustainable land care. The team also hosts workshops at their head office to educate and engage the wider community.

Located in the main street of Grafton, the Clarence Landcare office is in the 100-year-old Dougherty House. After the building was recently repainted giving the exterior of the building new life, it became clear that the interior was in desperate need of an upgrade.

Not only had the furniture been in use for more than 20 years, the team was also lacking basic essentials to help their meetings and workshops run smoothly. There was mismatching furniture and outdated technology made it very difficult for members to join meetings remotely.

The team applied to the FRRR Small Grants for Rural Communities program, and received a $5,000 grant to help them upgrade their workspace. The funding, made possible thanks to The Yulgilbar Foundation, provided improvements such as new blinds, couches, coffee tables, rugs and faux plants, giving new life to the old office.

In addition to the furniture, the funding was also used to purchase some much-needed technology, including a new iPad, Smart TV with a TV stand on wheels, web cam and microphone. This technology has enabled the team to dial into meetings remotely, making it easier for Clarence Landcare staff to stay connected digitally.

“I feel we are heading in a great direction now thanks to this FRRR grant, we don’t need to look like a poverty stricken not-for-profit organisation anymore. We now have the vision and committee support to keep improving our public face of Clarence Landcare. This will really help us gain confidence and attract clientele for future projects. The function of every new piece of equipment has far outweighed the predicted benefits,” said Landcare Officer Debbie Repschlager.

This week, FRRR unveiled a new brandmark and refreshed colour palette, the first since it was founded in 2000. The work was undertaken by renowned branding agency Houston.

FRRR’s previous logo

FRRR’s CEO Natalie Egleton says the old brand had served the organisation well, but it was time to change.

“Our aim was to find a new look that reflects the modern, dynamic organisation that FRRR is – and indeed that remote, rural and regional Australia is – and which expresses the connection to rural Australia that is so central to how FRRR works. We think that our new symbol certainly does that. We hope that you come to love it as much as we do,” she said.

While everyone will see it differently, the logo represents:

  • four connected forces for good – philanthropy, government, business and community – coming together to create something strong and sustainable, supportive;
  • the big picture, taking a helicopter view but also getting to the fine grain, into the detail; and
  • forward momentum and positivity, as indicated by the arrows.

FRRR chose to make the primary colour green, for a sense of optimism, renewal and vibrancy, with secondary colours of burnt orange, yellow, sand and the blue of the sky, representing the diversity of remote, rural and regional Australia.

Thallon is a small town with a population of around 260, located 600 km west of Brisbane in south west Queensland. It’s a close-knit community and local residents like to stay in town, or move into town off surrounding farms, as they age.

However, there are no dedicated aged care facilities or purpose-built independent living units, so people either move into regular housing or go to larger centres. The community has agreed that this is a situation they want to rectify and has prioritised the creation of a community-owned independent living units.

The Thallon Progress Association (TPA) is lead the economic development organisation in town, and has members from all community organisations, including Council, represented.

They have a successful track record of getting things done for the community, including working with the Balonne Shire Council to equip the local recreation grounds with infrastructure required for Thallon to be designated an RV friendly town, as well as being the driving force behind the impressive local silo art and the newest ‘big thing’ – the giant statue of a Northern Hairy Nose Wombat, both of which are important tourism draw-cards.

Despite having no experience in this area, they agreed to act as the lead on the development of an Independent Living Unit complex to provide options for local citizens to age in place, with support of their family and friends.

Professional advice breaks down complexity

Anything to do with aged care is complex, and the TPA wisely decided their first step would be to get independent legal advice about setting up a fit-for-purpose legal entity to own land, develop the infrastructure and oversee the management of the complex and the services it will offer.

However, they needed external funding to cover the costs.They received an FRRR Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) grant of $7,032, funded by the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation. This enabled them to engage local solicitors and obtain specialist advice on the most suitable legal structure for this aged-care initiative.

As a result, Thallon Community Services Ltd has been set up as a registered company. It has an ABN and is now registered as a Charity. The Company has a sole member (Thallon Progress Association) and an initial Board of three Directors, who report to the Association at their AGM.

A suitable parcel of land has been identified and now the real work begins, as Thallon Community Services Ltd aims to improve the well-being of all citizens by creating hope and opportunity, enhancing social inclusion and independence, addressing the impact of disadvantage and improving the districts’ liveability.

In their acquittal report, TPA acknowledged their appreciation of the grant, saying that it had allowed them to lay the foundations and establish a structure suitable to grow their strong community forward. They also indicated that without this grant, the project would not have gone ahead.