Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Final round of Black Saturday funding for community-led initiatives

The final round of the Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Kinglake Ranges program opens Tuesday 5 July, with FRRR inviting applications from local not-for-profit groups. The program is designed to assist communities to rebuild, reconnect and recover from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

HEADING: Grants for Resilience & Wellness for Kinglake Ranges communities. IMAGE: Flowerdale Playgroup.

Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, funding is available to not-for-profit groups in Kinglake, Kinglake Central, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek, Toolangi and Flowerdale. In total, there is approximately $570,000 available, with no minimum or maximum amount per grant. However, applications for more than $30,000 should be discussed with FRRR before being lodged.

Applications must be for new projects that directly assist those individuals and communities that were affected by the 2009 fires and must identify a specific hardship or distress caused by the bushfires, which the activity intends to relieve.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, encouraged local communities in the Kinglake Ranges to apply now to fund their community-strengthening and resilience-building projects.

“We know that the fires had an immense impact across the Kinglake Ranges, and despite it now being more than 13 years ago, recovering communities still need support to reconnect, share experiences, enhance wellbeing and resilience and build capacity for the future.

“The community consultations during May and June were a great opportunity to hear directly from communities about how these grants can best support Kinglake’s ongoing recovery and we look forward to reading about the projects the community has prioritised,” Ms O’Brien said.

FRRR staff in Kinglake Ranges to chat about applications

FRRR team members Karly Smith-Whelan and Brooke Williams will be in the Kinglake Ranges area on Tuesday 5th (Kinglake) and Wednesday 6th July (Toolangi and Flowerdale) to chat to community groups about their project ideas. To book an appointment, email recovery@frrr.org.au or call 1800 170 020.

As a reminder, the GR&W Kinglake program has a focus on supporting projects that benefit the wider community, and applications should demonstrate community support and the involvement of a range of community groups or representatives.

Applications close Wednesday 16 August 2022, at 5pm AEST, with successful applicants announced in December 2022. For more information and the guidelines, visit https://frrr.org.au/grants-for-resilience-wellness-kinglake/ .

To date, through GR&W Kinglake, FRRR has awarded over $1.1M for 35 projects to local groups in the Kinglake Ranges.  Any community impacted by 2009 bushfires and not located in Kinglake Ranges region can apply for support through FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program.

A much-loved playgroup is going from strength to strength in the Flowerdale community in Victoria, following the engagement of a qualified facilitator to assist parents to develop their skills and confidence to support their child’s wellbeing and development. More than 20 families now participate in the facilitated weekly program, after the Flowerdale Community House received $26,000 from FRRR via the Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Kinglake Ranges program in 2020 to engage a qualified Early Childhood Educator to plan and deliver the program. Previously, families who wished to access these services would have had to travel more than 30 km to either Kinglake or Yea. 

While there were a few hiccups due to COVID lockdowns, the program has bounced back and is once again supporting children and families across the Kinglake Ranges. Led by experienced educator Jill, the program provides opportunities for parents to learn about local services, to meet with other parents for support and friendship and to build social support networks in the communities in which they live. It also provides the space for the participants, both children and adults, to forge new friendships and have fun. 

“We know that relationships and community connectedness is at the heart of our community’s ongoing recovery. Playgroup plays a vital role in all communities to bring parents together, to share experiences and break down isolation; this is even more important here [in Flowerdale] as our town stretches a long distance, so meeting in the street is not a likely option as people need to travel by car to get to locations,” said Flowerdale Community House coordinator Rebekah Grant. 

“The children and parents respond very well to Jill’s calm and gentle nature, and the way she is delivering advise to sooth and encourage the children is very well received.” 

The Community House is an ideal location for the supported playgroup to operate from, as they are able to sustain this group long term. Now with a facilitator on board, they can provide more support to all families, as well as vulnerable and socially isolated families, to engage with others and the service.

Black Saturday funding for community-led initiatives

FRRR today announced that the final round of grants to assist Kinglake Ranges communities to rebuild, reconnect and recover from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires will open soon.

HEADING: Resilience & Wellness grants open soon for Kinglake Ranges communities. IMAGE: KRNH Vicky Mann & Karly Whelan community conversations

While a lot has changed in the 13 years since the fires, FRRR knows that the impacts are still being felt. This funding, thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, will help to address those needs, particularly around mental health and wellbeing.

Through the Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Kinglake Ranges program, funding will be available to not-for-profit groups in Kinglake, Kinglake Central, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek, Toolangi and Flowerdale. In total, there is approximately $570,000 available, with no minimum or maximum amount per grant. However, applications for more than $30,000 will need to be discussed with FRRR before being lodged.

The GR&W Kinglake program has a focus on community-strengthening and resilience-building projects, and recognises that recovering communities need support to re-connect, share experiences, enhance wellbeing and resilience, and build capacity for the future.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that this is a great opportunity for the local community to ensure that important projects get the resources and support they need.

“This funding has always been earmarked to support the medium to long-term recovery of communities across the Kinglake Ranges, which we know were so badly affected by the 2009 fires. The focus is on improving mental health and wellbeing – of the community and individuals, and especially young people. There has been a lot of change in the community too, so the funding can help strengthen community connectedness and assist in rebuilding a sense of place and community identity.

“But now it’s up to the community to identify just what the projects are that will be put forward. We know that the best projects will be those that are community-led and which have broad community buy-in. We have supported Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House to host a series of facilitated community conversations and some smaller ‘kitchen table’ talks to explore key priorities and grant ideas to inform the final round of funds, so we encourage you to make sure that you get involved.

“If you have an idea, we’d also love to speak to you about it. Karly and Brooke from our team plan on visiting the region during July, and will be available to meet with community groups to discuss applications, and answer questions you may have. We’re really excited about what these grants can do to support Kinglake’s ongoing recovery and I look forward to reading the applications,” Ms O’Brien said.

Applications for GR&W Kinglake will open 5 July, and close Wednesday 16 August 2022, at 5pm AEST, with successful applicants announced in December 2022. For more information and the guidelines, visit https://frrr.org.au/grants-for-resilience-wellness-kinglake/ .

Projects must directly assist those individuals and communities that were affected by the 2009 fires, and must identify a specific hardship or distress caused by the bushfires, which the activity intends to relieve.

To get involved in the local community discussions you can email krftalks@gmail.com. To book a time to meet with the FRRR team and discuss potential applications, community members are encouraged to email recovery@frrr.org.au.

To date, through GR&W Kinglake, FRRR has awarded over $1.1M to 35 projects run by local groups in the Kinglake Ranges, which is assisting communities to re-connect, share experiences, enhance wellbeing and resilience, and build capacity for the future.

This included the Dindi Arts Trail, which received more than $150,000 to support the delivery of the art trail, featuring 11 public murals on concrete water tanks, which enhances local connectedness and will help attract more visitors to the region. The grant funded the employment of a project officer to coordinate the project.

Any community impacted by 2009 bushfires and not located in Kinglake Ranges region can apply for support through FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program.

Grant awarded to Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc

FRRR has awarded an out-of-session grant for $30,000 to the Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc, via the Grants for Resilience & Wellness – Kinglake Ranges program, funded by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF).

The project, titled “Co-designing our Future: Community Conversations – Kinglake Ranges Talks”, continues the ongoing support for the Kinglake Ranges communities in their long-term recovery and rebuilding following the Black Saturday bushfires that devastated the region in 2009. Specifically, the grant aims to strengthen the community’s ability to identify opportunities and priorities for the Kinglake Ranges through place based community-led consultation.