Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)

In January 2022, a review of the Glen Innes health workforce revealed that all three local GP practices had closed their books to new patients – one GP practice had a 300 person wait list! Local health care had become victim to an ageing population, with two GPs scheduled to retire at the end of 2022 and only one in the area under 50 years of age. There were also vacancies in OT, physiotherapy, dentistry, RNs, speech therapy, psychology, and disability care, and many residents, as well as the Aboriginal Health Service, were relying on GPs from up to 60kms away.

Modelled on a Canadian-borne approach, Attract Connect Stay – Glen Innes (ACS-GI) is a grassroots initiative to better attract and support the recruitment and retention of qualified health professionals for the 9000 strong Glen Innes community. During the program’s 2022 pilot, the community demonstrated strong support and capacity to ensure momentum for the model, including building a capable Board and governance structure.

New-to-area Health Professionals meet at a monthly Social Dinner

ACS-GI holds an FRRR Fundraising Account, to support operational costs including wages of a Health Workforce Recruiter Connector (HWRC) and general activities. The HWRC role is key to embedding the initiative – this person ensures new-to-area health professionals and their families are supported so that they stay in the district. ACS-GI says this can range from helping them find suitable accommodation to helping their partners find work, daycare or schools for children, connecting them with sporting groups and more.

“The recruitment of Health Professionals is a complicated mission and requires a lot of research. It is a matter of trying anything to elicit the attention of those elusive people who may be just looking for a green-change, a new start for young families away from the city.”

In just under a year the HWRC has saved one GP surgery from closure, assisted 166 patients to move from waiting lists to receiving GP care locally, enabled 153 existing patients to continue receiving care in Glen Innes after their GP retired, and supported 21 new-to-area health professionals to connect and settle in Glen Innes.

Every dollar helps local residents have better access to local healthcare when they need it. If you can help, donate here. 

FRRR’s Fundraising Accounts enhance an organisation’s network and fundraising capabilities by offering tax deductibility for donors. FRRR manages the funds with a team of financial experts and offers valuable administrative support, ensuring proper allocation and supports good governance by providing financial statements to account partners for donations supporting their activities. Currently, FRRR hosts 51 fundraising accounts. If you’d like to know more about how this works, contact Jo Kemp at FRRR.

In an agricultural community, it is not uncommon to have a male-dominated population. However in and around Glen Innes, NSW this isn’t the case. More than half of the Glen Innes population is female. But local leadership and committee membership didn’t reflect that balance.

The Glen Innes Natural Resources Advisory Committee (GLENRAC) is dedicated to creating opportunities for land owners and the community to take an active role in managing and maintaining the natural resources of the region.

GLENRAC identified the need to improve governance skills and gender diversity within community groups and organisations to satisfy government and funding bodies.

To address this issue, GLENRAC used a $5,000 grant from FRRR’s Small Grants for Rural Communities grant program, funded in collaboration with Australia Post, to deliver a project aimed at building skills and capacity to engage with community groups in a meaningful way.

The project included three workshops over two days, targeting all members of the community and focusing on increasing knowledge of governance and leadership. During the workshops, community members engaged with experienced and professional facilitators. Participants were given the opportunity to build on their existing networks and increase their connections within the community.

GLENRAC hopes that following these workshops, women in the community will feel more confident and empowered to get involved with local committees with the skills and knowledge acquired from the events.

HEADING: Good governance supports great outcomes in Glen Innes. IMAGE: Group of people sitting in on a presentation.

Eight organisations sharing $280,000

FRRR has awarded eight grants totalling $280,000 to a range of local community groups across Bega Valley and Glen Innes Severn through the Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity in Regional NSW (INFPC) program, which is supported by the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

Bega and Glen Innes community groups receive funding

Funding was requested for a range of initiatives including economic and strategic planning, support for groups to build systems and processes, and undertake staff training, and business skills development.

The grants awarded will benefit newly formed and existing groups as they build their capacity to meet the needs of their communities and support the ongoing recovery of these fire-affected areas.

The INFPC program supports local community groups and not-for-profit organisations and is specifically designed to help create local solutions to local issues. The program includes workshops, skill development and networking, in addition to the grants. It kicked off in May, with workshops in the Bega Valley and Glen Innes.

Joanna Kemp, FRRR’s INFPC Program Manager, said that the sessions were well attended, but with different issues emerging during the discussions.

“In the Bega Valley, there was a lot of interest among local not-for-profits in working more closely together and sharing resources where appropriate. There was also a shared need for strategic planning within organisations, and more support on things like governance training. We also heard that there are lots of challenges with volunteer and funding fatigue, and in maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing across the community in general, which isn’t surprising given the challenges this community has faced.

“In Glen Innes Severn, the participating organisations shared a common need for governance support and training in areas such as succession and strategic planning, ways to overcome challenges in volunteer recruitment and retention, and a desire to upskill in marketing activities, such as maintaining websites and social media,” Ms Kemp explained.

“We look forward to continuing to work with these communities and to learning more about their needs and priorities in the target communities to understand how FRRR might best add value into the future.”

The INFPC program will also be rolled out in Taree, although the kick-off was delayed due to the floods. It is expected the launch workshop will be help in the next couple of months.

Among the organisations supported in the Bega Valley is South East Arts for their project to support First Nations Cultural Tourism. The $10,000 grant will support the capacity of individuals and organisations working in the First Nations arts and cultural space in the Bega Valley by providing business skills training and ongoing practical support.

In Glen Innes Severn, Glenrac has been awarded $126,500 for a project that will benefit a wide range of local organisations. Their Creating Confident and Capable Committee for the Future project will involve a series of workshops, one-on-one support and resources to increase the capacity of local not-for-profit organisations.

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

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

Bega Valley Shire Business ForumBega Valley Business Forum Coordination
Strengthen the capacity and networks of the seven member Chambers of Commerce of the Bega Valley Shire Business Forum through engagement of a contractor to address strategy, resourcing, and collaboration across the network.
Bega - Cobargo - Tathra$60,000
Cobargo Wellness GroupRaise the heART - Expanding the Capacity of the Cobargo Wellness Group
Grow the capacity and direction of Cobargo Wellness Group through support for strategic planning, staff development, branding & marketing, and feasibility for future projects.
Far South Coast Family Support Service IncTransforming Trauma
Expand the skills and capabilities of staff at Far South Coast Family Support Service to deliver a wider range of programs to their community through a series of accredited trauma intervention training.
Fling Physical Theatre IncBuilding the Capacity of FLING Physical Theatre through Strategic Development
Grow the profile and determine the future directions of FLING Physical Theatre in the Bega Valley through development of a marketing and strategic plan.
Mumbulla FoundationMumbulla Foundation Systems, Strategy and Community Engagement Project
Boost the capacity, profile, and effectiveness of Mumbulla Foundation through strategic planning, investment in systems, and community consultation.
Bega Valley$40,000
South East Arts (NSW) IncFirst Nations Cultural Tourism Development
Build the capacity of individuals and organisations working in the First Nations arts and cultural space in the Bega Valley through business skills training and ongoing practical support.
Arts North West IncorporatedCreative Arts Recovery Expertise (CARE)
Boost capacity and awareness in mental health and creative disaster recovery of Arts North West staff and the Glen Innes arts community through targeted training sessions.
Glen Innes$13,500
Glenrac IncorporatedCreating Confident & Capable Committees for the Future - Glen Innes
Build the capacity of not-for-profit organisations in the Glen Innes region through a series of workshops, one-on-one support, access to information, tools, and resources.
Glen Innes$126,500

Local NFPs invited to learn about FRRR’s new capacity building grant program

FRRR is inviting local leaders of not-for-profits (NFPs) and community organisations across select New South Wales regions to join in a series of online workshops to learn about the Foundation’s new grassroots program, Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity in Regional NSW (INFPC).

Investing in regional NSW's not-for-profits

The INFPC program, which is supported the Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF), is a 12-month place-based program that will provide NFPs in the bushfire-affected regions of Bega Valley, Glen Innes Severn and Taree with a capacity boost for their vital work in their communities.

Through the INFPC program, FRRR will support regional NSW NFPs and community organisations to respond and thrive in the face of current challenges. The program will include access to grant funding, workshops, skill development and networking to help create local solutions to local issues.

The workshop will introduce the program and give local community leaders the opportunity to brainstorm the key priorities and challenges they are facing and identify how INFPC can support them to address these resourcing and capacity needs.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the program recognises the vital work of these grassroots organisations and community groups and intends to offer assistance that can add strength to the support and service they provide to the community.

“We were fortunate to meet with a number of regional NSW NFPs recently and it was clear how passionate they are about their community and its people. Their resilience and positivity were inspiring. What was also evident though, was the toll that having to face successive disasters has had on their capacity to do their job,” Ms Egleton explained.

“From drought, to bushfires, to COVID-19 restrictions, we heard how local NFPs, many of which are run by volunteers, are experiencing fatigue. The need to rethink, reschedule or pivot projects to meet changing needs has added additional pressure to their ability to support their communities.

“We are grateful for their openness and willingness to share with us the very real challenges they are facing as well as their goals and aspirations for their organisations and community.

“We look forward to working with local leaders and supporting them to develop local solutions to overcome these challenges,” Ms Egleton said.

For more information about the Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity in Regional NSW program, or to register for an online workshop, visit –