Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

More than 50 communities to benefit from Nutrien Community Grants

Community organisations across rural and regional Australia will share in more than $250,000 as Nutrien Ag Solutions, in partnership with FRRR, announced the recipients from the first round of the Community Grants Program.

Funding boosts vibrancy and wellbeing of rural communities across Australia

This year the program will deliver 57 small grants for projects, leaving a big impact in their local communities.

The funding is directed towards projects that will create long-term positive outcomes that benefit and strengthen local communities.

The projects that have been funded reflect the diversity of communities in which Nutrien Ag Solutions operates and the different needs found in each place. Some of the 57 projects awarded include:

  • Hay Inc, NSW – Hay Inc Rural Education Program: Increase access to agricultural training and mentoring through their Rural Education Program – $5,000
  • The Historical Society of Katherine, NT – Refurbish Outdoor Function Equipment: Refurbish outdoor function equipment to enhance the facilities and attract Museum visitors – $5,000
  • Central Highlands Science Centre Inc, Emerald QLD – Curiosity Club – Exploring STEAM through Engineering, Technology and Robotics: Support and foster inquisitive minds to explore STEAM through engineering, technology and robotics resources – $5,000
  • Coomandook Amalgamated Pastime Club, SA – Coomandook Community Postal Agency – Reverse cycle air conditioning unit: Boost volunteer vitality by installing reverse cycle air conditioning at the community-operated Coomandook Postal Agency – $2,685
  • Northern Midlands Radio Initiative Inc, Longford TAS – Northern Midlands Radio Initiative Inc Community Radio Development: Build organisational capacity by equipping two new community radio stations – $5,000
  • The Trustee for The MAC Trust, Mansfield VIC – No More Silent Movies: Boost access to community activities with the provision of speakers for the Mansfield Outdoor Cinema – $4,335
  • Katanning Regional Business Association Inc., WA – Summer Ready: Get summer-ready and build community resilience through disaster preparedness workshops – $2,560

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that this was one of the most popular programs that FRRR has run in recent years, thanks to both its flexibility and the strong connections that local Nutrien staff have in their communities.

“Like FRRR, Nutrien recognises the critical role that community-led groups play in ensuring access to vital services and creating dynamic and vibrant places to live and work. Most of the requests were for infrastructure and equipment, such as mowers and generators, or to upgrade community spaces, and to improve access to services and activities. These things can often be hard to fund, especially in really small communities.

“Thanks to Nutrien’s support, we’ve been able to give some really important community projects the boost they need to address local needs and take advantage of opportunities that will encourage engagement and foster community wellbeing,” Ms Egleton explained.

Carissa Buckland, Nutrien Ag Solutions Director of Corporate Affairs, said that Nutrien is proud to support the rural and regional communities that play such a central role in achievements of the agriculture industry. 

“With the ongoing impacts of disasters, including fires, floods and drought, and of course the restrictions of COVID, local fundraising has been a challenge, so we are delighted to be able to fund these important community projects, and help relieve the pressure that many groups are under,” Ms Buckland said.

“We know this seed funding will also allow community groups to leverage the grant and attract the additional funding or in-kind contributions they may need,” Ms Buckland said.

Most of the applications came from outer-regional, remote or very remote areas (75%), again reflecting the challenges in securing funding in those areas. Around a third of the communities that applied have fewer than 500 people. The average funding requested was just under $4,700 and the smallest request was for just under a thousand.

Community groups looking for similar flexible funding are encouraged to visit www.frrr.org.au/funding to explore what other grant programs are available.

If you would like to support grants like this through FRRR, make a tax-deductible donation at https://frrr.org.au/giving/.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Ardlethan Ariah Park Mirrool Football ClubThe Long Lunch - An Event by Northern Jets
Boost community connection and general wellbeing with a Long Lunch event for the Ardlethan, Ariah Park and Mirrool communities.
Ariah Park$5,000
Barellan Working Clydesdales

Ride-on Lawnmower
Support volunteer vitality to maintain the Barellan Showgrounds by purchasing a ride-on mower ensuring an attractive, well-manicured facility for the community and travellers to utilise.

Barellan$5,000
Belltrees Public SchoolRegenerative Agriculture - Immersion Excursion
Increase access to educational experiences for the children and community of Belltrees and surrounds through the delivery of the Regenerative Agriculture - Immersion Excursion to the Armidale region.
Belltrees$5,000
Binnaway P A H and I Assoc IncorpSupporting Volunteers and the Upkeep of Community Infrastructure through the Purchase of a New Mower for the Binnaway Showground
Boost volunteer vitality through the provision of a ride-on mower for the Binnaway PAH and I Association to support maintenance of the community showgrounds.
Binnaway$5,000
Coolabah United Citizens IncorporatedCoolabah Bushfire Hazard Reduction & Beautification
Boost volunteer vitality and community spirits with the provision of a ride-on mower enabling locals to maintain community assets.
Coolabah$5,000
Coonamble Pre School Association IncCoonamble Preschool Physical Education Addition
Support school readiness and fine motor development of children with the installation of monkey bars at the Coonamble Pre School.
Coonamble$4,030
Deniliquin District Cricket AssociationFence Off Public Playground
Enhance community safety with the construction of a perimeter fence around the newly installed playground at the Deniliquin Memorial Park.
Deniliquin$5,000
Do It For Batlow IncorporatedOrigin Pathway
Enhance local identity with the installation of the Origin Pathway, celebrating the birth of locals at the Old Batlow Hospital, which was tragically lost in the Black Summer fires.
Batlow$4,512
North Star Memorial Hall & Park Committee Gwydir Shire CouncilSupply and Installation of Eight Ceiling Fans
Improve usability at the local hall through the installation of ceiling fans at the North Star Memorial Hall.
North Star$4,500
Hay IncHay Inc Rural Education Program
Increase access to Agricultural training and mentoring with the provision of training resources and equipment and catering of a mentoring dinner for participants.
Hay$5,000
Inverell Show SocietyInverell Show Society Upgrade to the Public Address System at the Inverell Showground
Boost organisational capacity with the installation of an upgraded public announcement system at the Inverell Show Grounds.
Inverell$5,000
Muswellbrook South Public School P & C AssociationSupporting Sustainability Project
Purchase equipment for school recycling and sustainability programs to provide students with hands-on sensory experiences along with many learning opportunities that are inclusive of students with varying needs such as emotional, social, cognitive, and behavioural.
Muswellbrook$4,732
Peak Hill Pony Club IncMulti-use Grandstand for Community Events
Grow community participation with the provision of a transportable grandstand for the Peak Hill Community at the Peak Hill Showgrounds.
Peak Hill$3,924
Rankins Springs Golf Club IncorporatedKitchen Delivery Entrance and Disabled Entrance
Build community resilience through upgrading kitchen and disability access.
Rankins Springs$4,321
Tenterfield Show Society IncorporatedTenterfield Showgrounds BBQ Shed Refurbishment
Upgrade community infrastructure for Tenterfield by contributing to the BBQ shed refurbishment.
Tenterfield$5,000
West Wyalong Branch The United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW IncWest Wyalong Hospital Auxiliary Provision of Additional Medical Equipment (Medical Patient Wight Scale) for the Local West Wyalong Hospital
Increase capacity of medical facility to accurately measure and weigh patients improving medical outcomes and staff conditions.
West Wyalong$2,918
Woodstock and District Progress AssociationRestoring Ghost Signs in the Woodstock Village Precinct
Build community resilience through restoration of signage that has historical significance to the Woodstock district on buildings within the main precinct of the Woodstock village.
Woodstock$5,000
NORTHERN TERRITORY
The Historical Society of Katherine NTRefurbish Outdoor Function Equipment - The Katherine Museum
Enhance tourism destinations by supplying new outdoor tables and chairs at the Katherine Museum.
Katherine$5,000
QUEENSLAND
Burdekin Potters IncPurchase of Three Electric Pottery Wheels
Increase organisational capacity with the purchase of three pottery wheels for the Burdekin Potters, enabling access to opportunities for self-expression through the arts for the community.
Ayr$4,475
Bymount East Primary P&C AssnBymount East School 75 Year Reunion
Boost community spirits and sense of belonging by providing support for the 75th Anniversary Celebrations for the Bymount East Primary School.
Bymount$2,000
Central Highlands Science Centre IncCuriosity Club - Exploring STEAM through Engineering, Technology and Robotics
Support and foster inquisitive minds across the Central Highlands through the provision of STEAM resources at the Centre Highlands Science Centre.
Emerald$5,000
Murgon P A & H Society IncBuilding Connections from the Ground Up
Build community resilience through upgrading facilities at the Murgon showgrounds to improve access and capacity for revenue raising.
Murgon$5,000
Pikedale Community Inc"Sip and Socialise" By the Screen
Build community resilience through funding home theatre equipment for community screenings and get togethers in Pikedale.
Pikes Creek$4,988
Taroom Shire Cancer & Palliative Care Group IncNew Lift Chairs & Knee Walker
Support palliative care patients living in their homes in Taroom and surrounds by providing access to lift chairs and an additional knee walker, increasing patient comfort and reducing stress for carers.
Taroom$4,095
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
South East Youth Development Project T/as Noorla Yo-Long Blue Light SA Inc

Noorla Yo-Long Blue Light Adventure - Replacement Climbing Equipment
Increase access to activities for Rendlesham and surrounds with the replacement of climbing safety equipment for Noorla Yo-Long Blue Light Adventure.

Rendelsham$4,337
Coomandook Amalgamated Pastime ClubCoomandook Community Postal Agency - Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Unit
Boost volunteer vitality by installing reverse cycle air conditioning at the community operated Coomandook Postal Agency.
Coomandook$2,685
Jervois Football Club IncInstallation of Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning to the Jervois Combined Sports Club Venue
Improve community facility with reverse cycle air conditioning installation at local sports club.
Jervois$3,490
Keith and Tintanara District Show Society IncKeith Showgrounds Paved Access Area
Improve facilities for safety and access at the Community Hub Building at the showgrounds.
Keith$4,991
Kyancutta Ramblers Golf Club IncorporatedEquipment Upgrade (Mower)
Boost volunteer and community vitality with the provision of a ride-on mower to support volunteers in maintaining community assets in Kyancutta and surrounds.
Kyancutta$5,000
Lameroo Forward IncorporatedLameroo Country Arts Events 2022
Enable access to develop a culturally vibrant community through funding for culture program including a disability choir.
Lameroo$5,000
Lions Club of TintinaraReliable Power for the Tintinara Lions Club Catering Caravan, Community Events and Emergency Use
Purchase a trailer mounted generator which will give the Club the ability to take our catering caravan to any event regardless of the availability of power & also to give us a reliable power supply at community events and for local emergency and natural disaster management.
Tintinara$5,000
Penneshaw CWA Penneshaw Progress Association IncorporatedReinstate Penneshaw Community Health Centre Facilities
Improve access to health services by upgrading disabled toilet facilities and installing a split system air conditioner at the Community Health Centre to support the reinstatement of Penneshaw Community Health Services.
Penneshaw$5,000
TASMANIA
Flinders Island Show Society IncThe Flinders Island Show
Increase organisational capacity to support community events with the purchase of marquees for the Flinders Island Show Society.
Whitemark$4,804
Huon Valley Police & Community Youth Club IncHealthy Cafe and Cooking for Seniors
Enhance community facilities for older people through a youth training healthy cafe enterprise.
Huonville$5,000
Lower Barrington Community Hall IncLower Barrington Hall Disability Friendly Bathroom Project Stage 1
Improve community access to facilities via the upgrade of bathroom facilities and infrastructure.
Lower Barrington$5,000
Meander Liffey Resource Management Group IncMeander Forest Picnic Ground
Enhance community facilities by providing four shaded picnic tables at the Meander Forest Picnic Grounds.
Meander$5,000
Northern Midlands Radio Initiative (NMRI) IncNorthern Midlands Radio Initiative Inc (NMRI Inc) Community Radio Development
Build organisational capacity by equipping two new community radio stations in the Northern Midlands.
Longford$5,000
VICTORIA
Bahgallah Memorial Hall IncorporatedBahgallah Memorial Hall External Upgrade
Support volunteer vitality while ensuring the longevity of the Bahgallah Memorial Hall by restoring and painting the external of the building.
Bahgallah$4,416
Boort Resource and Information CentreUpgrade Three Computer Hard Drives in the Front Office at the Boort Resource and Information Centre
Boost volunteer vitality with the replacement of outdated technology at the Boort Resource and Information Centre.
Boort$5,000
Cavendish Recreation ReserveMulti-Purpose Community Events Space and Storage Facility
Multi-Purpose Community Events Space and Storage Facility - development of new community facility.
Cavendish$5,000
Birch Group of Fire Brigades Country Fire Authority - Head OfficeFCV Response Equipment Fundraising
Boost community and volunteer safety through the purchase of a chainsaw, power supply and lighting for the area command vehicle of the Birch group of CFA Brigades.
Creswick$2,515
Hopetoun & District Neighbourhood House IncHopetoun Community Gym - A Comfortable Climate for the Whole Community
Installation of air conditioners to support community gym use.
Hopetoun$5,000
Mitchell Community Radio IncorporatedBroadford Monthly
OKR FM conducts a live broadcast from the Broadford Living and Learning Centre on the third Thursday of each month from 1pm to 3pm. It costs $160 per month for room hire, 4G device recharge and Audio Technician. OKR provides all the necessary equipment. The grant would allow 10 months.
Broadford$1,600
St Arnaud Neighbourhood House IncSt Arnaud House and Shed Garden
Build community resilience through the construction of a vegetable garden at the St Arnaud Neighbourhood Centre.
St Arnaud$1,703
The Leongatha Men's ShedAblutions Infrastructure - Leongatha Men’s Shed
Contribute to the development of a new facility with purpose built ablutions infrastructure.
Leongatha$5,000
The Trustee for The MAC TrustNo More Silent Movies
Boost access to community activities with the provision of speakers for the Mansfield Outdoor Cinema.
Mansfield$4,335
Walpeup Memorial HallWalpeup Memorial Hall Renovations: Stage 3
Build community resilience through extensive maintenance work at the Walpeup Memorial Hall, supporting community activity and memorabilia display.
Walpeup$5,000
Woodleigh Hall Committee IncWoodleigh Hall Toilet Extension
Build organisation capacity through installing disability access toilets and complete an upgrade of the hall facility.
Woodleigh$5,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Wally Foreman Sports Museum Committee Bruce Rock Community Resource Centre IncWally Foreman Sports Museum
Preserve and promote community sporting heritage by employing a curation contractor to identify and develop a curation plan and train committee members at the Wally Foreman Sports Museum.
Bruce Rock$5,000
Dardanup Bull and Barrel Festival IncA Storage Shed Will Save Our Backs and Time
Increase storage capacity for the Dardanup Bull and Barrel Festival Inc. by building a shed to store community equipment.
Dardanup$5,000
Gardiner Street Arts CollectiveHarmony Room Refurbishment
Increase access to community facilities that foster creativity and connection by repainting and refurnishing the Harmony Room at the Gardiner Street Arts Collective.
Moora$5,000
Katanning Regional Business Association IncSummer Ready
Build community resilience through disaster preparedness workshops for the women of Katanning
Katanning$2,500
Napier Progress Association IncReplace Napier Hall Eaves
Improve community facility with the replacement of eaves, enhancing patron comfort and utility.
Napier$5,000
Ongerup Sporting ComplexInstalling Café Blinds on the Veranda At the Ongerup Sporting Complex
Increase usability of community infrastructure with the installation of Café blinds at the Ongerup Sporting Complex.
Ongerup$5,000
Ravensthorpe Community Resource Centre IncHR Help for Our Local Heroes
Grow community volunteerism with human resources support for local not-for-profit organisations throughout Ravensthorpe region.
Ravensthorpe$5,000
Shire of CunderdinYouth Wellness Project
Build community resilience through wellness program targeted for youth mental health including parents' education.
Cunderdin$5,000
W.A. Bush Fire Museum and Heritage Group IncPurchase of Laptop Computer for W.A. Bush Fire Museum and Heritage Group
Purchase of laptop computer with software for the recording of documents, photos and artefacts for W.A. Bush Fire Museum and Heritage Group.
Bridgetown$998
CatholicCare Wilcannia Forbes yoga class

In the Bogan Shire of New South Wales, you will find the town of Nyngan. Like many remote farming towns, social isolation is a big issue within the community. Farmers and their families have had to deal with the effects of drought for years, placing extreme pressures on many people and businesses in the community. Financial pressure can often be a driving force behind social isolation in these communities. Social events and participation can be some of the first things to go when trying to save money. This can create a bigger divide for many adults, particularly farmers and their families, in the town.

CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes (CCWF) was established in 1996 and covers 52% of Western New South Wales. Their diverse programs offer support for parents and children, counselling, help with financial management, mental health services and programs specifically for men, Indigenous communities, and young people.

In partnership with Bogan Bush Mobile, CCWF created The Wellbeing Mobile, which included travelling out to small communities and isolated properties within a 130km radius of Nyngan, providing an outreach service for mental and emotional wellbeing for adults. This program was based on the success of the Bogan Bush Mobile early childhood education sessions, which focused on children aged 0-5. This new program was dedicated specifically to help support the adults and parents within the community.

A $150,000 Tackling Tough Times Together grant allowed CCWF to visit 11 towns over two years, and offer fortnightly two hour sessions ranging from remedial massage, yoga, exercise and nutrition, to body alignment, pilates, art therapy, counselling, clinical hypnotherapy, financial counselling and community wellbeing days.

The response to The Wellbeing Mobile was fantastic, with 300 people benefiting directly from the activities, and many more family members benefiting indirectly. The sessions were designed to help fight “drought fatigue” by giving families a break from the stressful and anxious period caused by drought and social isolation. In particular, the sessions were a big hit with mothers in the community. Bogan Bush Mobile early childhood education kept young children entertained while their mothers were able to enjoy the social interaction and the relaxing activities. 

Organising these events to avoid shearing and harvest time was important in the sessions achieving high participation rates. Accommodating people that needed to travel was also an issue. To solve this problem, introducing Activity Days allowed some people to experience several activities during the day. Having multiple activity sessions over the duration of the project gave residents more opportunities to participate if they were unable to attend a class. 

Executive Leader of Program Development and Delivery, Dorothee Crawley said “The feedback was fantastic, with one lady saying she had lived on her farm for 20-years and this was the first time she had interacted with her neighbours. The Wellbeing Day provided services that had never been available in the town before, and everyone thanked us for organising this event in their community.”

Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Services (NAHS) is an Aboriginal community controlled organisation that plays an integral role in health service provision for the highly mobile population in the Central Desert Region. It delivers more than 10,000 episodes of health care per annum to up to 4,000 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal clients on Martu country in remote Western Australia. NAHS is a critical first point of contact between the community and the WA health care system, operating since 1993 over an area of some 184,000 square kilometres.

The Community Paramedics operate under a model unique to Western Australia: they not only provide traditional emergency ambulance care, but they provide in-home extended care services, so that patients are able to receive high quality health care in the home without needing to go to hospital. This also facilitates the ongoing review of patients’ conditions that would normally need to be managed in an in-patient setting or via multiple trips to a clinic.

Through the support of FRRR and its donor partner the Kapikarnpi Community Fund, NAHS was able to upgrade the response bags in both of the NAHS emergency ambulances. The bags in use were ageing and inconsistent with a mismatch of brands and styles, and they feared this could lead to confusion in an emergency when working in the different ambulances. They were also problematic to clean, cumbersome and not designed with ergonomics in mind, increasing the risk of injury to paramedics through manual handling incidents.

The $4,333 grant enabled the purchase of modern, fit for purpose ambulance kit bags. The new ergonomic bags have an internal layout which allows equipment to be laid out in a logical manner that protects the contents and allows easier access. Most importantly they are designed in accordance with AS4146-1994 Australian Standards for Laundry Practice, which allow for the cleaning of pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis and vegetative organisms. This new equipment assists in the provision of safer services for the community of Wiluna.

Community Paramedic Wade Bloffwitch said that, “Grants such as this are vital to the operation of community-controlled, not-for-profit health services across the country and NAHS thanks FRRR and its donors for their commitment to the community”.

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

At the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Coffin Bay is a small town of about 600 people. Known around the world for its fresh oysters and beautiful fishing spots, Coffin Bay is a popular tourist destination. For years the town has relied on the Community Hall as a place where residents can gather and socialise. In the last few years, a long list of required repairs has meant that the Hall hasn’t been being used to its full potential.

Coffin Bay Community Hall

Coffin Bay Progress Association wanted that to change. They act as a collective voice for the community to help sustain and maintain the values of their unique, relaxed, and caring residents. With a $5,914 Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) grant funded by Australia Post, the Association has been able to kick off their six-stage upgrade and renovation plan for the hall. They used the SRC grant to fund the installation of a new hot water system and ceiling fans. The grant has also enabled them to update the men’s toilet facilities that were in much need of repairs.

The improvements have already seen the Hall host an array of activities and services for the community. For example, the renovations provided the opportunity for several Community Health services to be held under one roof. The town doctor, who needed to relocate due to SA Rural Health not renewing the lease of the practice, has been able to use the space to see patients and support the community. Additionally, mental health clinics and AA meetings have all moved to the hall as well. 

Carol Fathers, president of the Coffin Bay Progress Association said, “We had an old storeroom which we were able to clear out and turn into a bright & cheerful clinic, everyone is happy.”

The Progress Association is happy to see works on their beloved Community Hall continue with hopes to tile their kitchen, plant a community garden, and create a men’s shed in the future. There are also plans to get local schools involved in painting a mural. The Community Hall has so much potential to help fight social isolation and boost the sense of community spirit for the residents of Coffin Bay.

Moree is a major agricultural centre in northern New South Wales, noted for its part in the Australian cotton-growing industry. Community workshops conducted by both Moree Secondary College and Moree Plains Shire Council during their strategic planning forums found public perception of the local high school at an all-time low. 


In YEAR, The newly-formed Moree Secondary College P&C Association has a committee of 12 parents, who work together to improve the facilities, equipment and uniforms for the 400 students at both the junior and senior campuses of Moree Secondary College (MSC). They developed a comprehensive communications plan designed to turn the negative perceptions around and to convey a more positive image of the school. Their aim was to showcase Moree Secondary College as an option for a quality local education, and improve the community’s relationship with the school to ultimately increase enrolments and keep more families in Moree.


A $5,000 Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant, funded by the Monsanto Fund, helped to implement the communication plan, funding a multi-pronged campaign designed to change perceptions and raise awareness of the great things about the school, to improve engagement with the school. The campaign included a promotional video, student and teacher profiles, print and web media publications, and community engagement events. Moree Plains Council committed $3,000 to the project, and the College also contributed funding.


The P&C engaged a freelance journalist to write student and teacher profiles that were posted onto social media, as well as media releases covering various school events and articles to celebrate success in arts, sports and academic excellence.


An event was organised to launch the new video. Attended by the Executive Director and Regional Director of Education, Local Members of Parliament, Moree Plains Shire Council Mayor and more than 100 community members, the MSC P&C was able to showcase the achievements of past students. Four shorter videos were also developed to showcase Drama, Hospitality, Woodwork and Metalwork capabilities and achievements at the school.


In reporting on the project, MSC’s P&C representative Kelly James said that the 2019 year 7 and 10 intakes were at record levels.  “It’s hard to know what direct benefit our promotional campaign has had on student numbers, but we believe it has had some positive impact. “The student profiles we’ve shared on social media have been excellent, with many comments often added to a post, which reinforces the dedication of the MSC teachers, the resources available and quality students graduating from Moree Secondary College.”

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.”

In the last 12 years, the beloved community garden in Devonport, Tasmania has become a hub for local residents, where they come together for a range of activities. The garden is very popular among volunteers, seniors and the elderly, schools and people with disabilities in the community. For these groups in particular, the Community Garden is a place to socialise, grow and harvest local produce and get some fresh air.

Devonport Community House (DCH) has overseen the care and maintenance of the garden and surrounding areas since 1938. When they noticed the deteriorating condition of the wooden sleepers containing each of the more than 30 garden beds, they knew it was time for an upgrade.

 With a $10,909 donation by the Thyne Reid Foundation, the DCH were able to purchase “ewood” sleepers to replace the rotten wooden sleepers. The ewood sleepers are more durable and are made of recycled plastic that will ensure at least 50 years of garden bed life, making them a sustainable investment for the Community Garden. 

The process of replacing the wooden sleepers took only a few weeks and has helped to give new life to the Community Garden that has already given so much to the residents of Devonport. These improvements have not only increased the longevity of the garden but have also increased food security for the 20-50 people a week who access the garden through FoodShed, a food distribution organisation that helps farmers make profit.


In the 12 years that the garden has been operational, DCH has been able to see the joy it has given many of the residents. With the long life expectancy of the ewood sleepers, the success and activity around the garden looks set to continue long into the future.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
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
QUEENSLAND
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.
Hughenden$150,000
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.
Mitchell$50,000
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.
Wandoan$46,073
Emerald & District Historical Association. Capella Pioneer Village IncOur Collections Matter
Support opportunities for volunteer learning and capacity building with site-based museum training.
Emerald$42,303
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.
Charleville$36,685
Maryvale Community Hall IncorporatedFreshening Up our Community Hub
Rejuvenate a meeting space that supports community connectedness for drought affected residents.
Maryvale$29,580
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.
Begonia$25,960
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.
Millmerran$20,000
North Burnett Community Service IncConnecting Community
Improve the North Burnett Community Service ability to support and service the community through purchase of IT equipment.
Mundubbera$20,000
Topology IncBigger than Texas - Growing Creative Communities of Texas, Inglewood, Yelarbon, Kindon
Support opportunities to grow creative communities in Texas, Inglewood, Yelarbon and Kindon.
Texas$20,000
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.
Warwick$18,658
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.
Dirranbandi$11,316
QCWA Branch DirranbandiFacilities Upgrade
Grow climate resilience and secure the future of the Dirranbandi QCWA rooms for future generations with infrastructure works.
Dirranbandi$8,580
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.
Wandoan$7,500
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.
Richmond$4,565
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
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.
Brinkworth$87,600
Up to $60,000
Pinnaroo Community IncorporatedThe Pinnaroo Project
Boost and strengthen health and wellbeing with an arts initiative in the Pinnaroo community.
Pinnaroo$59,880
The Flinders Ranges CouncilFringe in the Flinders
Support economic growth and community connection through the Fringe in the Flinders event in Quorn, SA.
Quorn$42,000
Peterborough Art Prize Committee IncorporatedPeterborough Art Centre - Garden Redevelopment
Strengthen economic recovery and renewal through improvements to the Peterborough Art Centre - Garden Redevelopment.
Peterborough$33,336
Warramboo Community Club IncorporatedPlayground Replacement
Encourage children’s learning and development though play by installing playground equipment at the Warramboo Community Club.
Warramboo$25,000
Up to $20,000
Minnipa and Districts Swimming Pool IncorporatedCommunity Pool Concourse Replacement
Support the longevity of the Minnipa community pool with infrastructure works.
Minnipa$10,000
Wudinna Play GymEquipment and Family Day
Support opportunities for development and learning with a play gym in Wudinna.
Wudinna$5,500
VICTORIA
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.
Sale$59,500
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
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
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.
Ravensthorpe$60,000
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.
Beverley$59,723
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.
Brookton$15,000
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
Leeman$10,000
Pemberton Mill Hall Restoration CommitteeKitchen For Catering
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of the Pemberton Mill Hall through kitchen upgrades.
Pemberton$10,000
Karridale Primary SchoolGrowing Our Sense of Place
Support opportunities for connection through a bushland art project; Growing Our Sense of Place.
Karridale$6,000
Shire of MingenewTown Beautification with Children's Art Workshop
Encourage children’s learning and development with art workshops and mural paintings for town beautification.
Mingenew$5,240

[1] 2020 Australian Philanthropy Awards – Best Grant Program

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

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