Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Black Saturday funding available for community-led initiatives

Twelve years on from the devastating 2009 Victorian bushfires, FRRR is offering another round of funding to support impacted communities as they continue to rebuild, reconnect and recover.

Black Saturday funding available for community-led initiatives
Whittlesea Community Garden

Supported by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), the funding is available through FRRR’s Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) program and the Grants for Resilience & Wellness Kinglake Ranges (GR&W Kinglake) program. The grants of up to $20,000 will support not-for-profits and community-based organisations to lead projects that aid recovery and build community resilience.

The GR&W and GR&W Kinglake Ranges programs fund initiatives that:

  • Improve mental health and wellbeing of communities and individuals;
  • Enhance wellbeing and resilience of pre-school, primary and secondary school-aged children and young people;
  • Strengthen community connections, sense of place and community identity; and
  • Increase the community’s ability to prepare for future disasters.

To date, FRRR has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to local groups, thanks to VBAF funding, which comes from the generous contributions by the general public following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. Through this round of funding there is a total of $360,000 available for GR&W grants and a total of more than $700,000 available for GR&W Kinglake projects.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that the impact of COVID-19 has increased the need to support recovering communities to reconnect socially and continue to enhance their wellbeing.

“Despite the restrictions that the pandemic has put on people coming together, local groups report services and activities that enhance wellness and resilience are still well attended. One program funded twice previously by FRRR, the Be Well in the Ranges program, has been fully booked out, and the Yinnar Memorial Hall exercise group continues to attract 30-40 participants each week,” Ms O’Brien said.

“The GR&W programs provide flexible support to respond to issues as they emerge. More than a decade since the fires, communities are focusing on building resilience for the future,” Ms O’Brien explained.

Applications for both GR&W and GR&W Kinglake close at 5pm AEDT, Wednesday 21 April 2021.

Potential applicants should visit the GR&W and GR&W Kinglake webpages and review the guidelines before applying.

Bendigo, 8 January 2019:  Thirty-six community projects that will assist the continued recovery of communities impacted by the Black Saturday Bushfires will receive funding totalling $555,963. The groups are the latest recipients of the Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) and Community Group Futures (CGF) programs.

Funding is made possible by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF) which the general public generously contributed to in the immediate aftermath of the fires.

Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) will support 27 community groups, who will share $425,082, to implement their local projects. To date, the GR&W program has funded 200 projects to a total value of $2,603,788.80.

The GR&W program assists community strengthening and resilience building projects. Some communities will use their GR&W funding to support their Black Saturday 10th Anniversary commemorative activities in February 2019 with concerts planned for Arthurs Creek and Balook, commemorative service and community dinners in Boolarra and Traralgon South, Jeeralang North will also hold an event, while a community arts project and exhibition will take place in the Kinglake Ranges.

The Community Group Futures (CGF) program will fund $130,881 across nine community groups. To date, CGF has funded 43 projects, valued at $513,656.

The CGF program supports not-for-profit organisations think beyond day-to-day operations and look ahead to ensure they can meet on-going community needs. Solar energy projects again proved a powerful drawcard as community groups look to self-sufficiency and reduce overhead costs. The Royal Historical Society of Victoria meanwhile is looking to digitise their records given the bushfire-prone environment.

“As we approach 2019 and the ten-year anniversary of Black Saturday, it’s heartening to see these communities continuing to work together to recover. Community needs continue to evolve and local leaders – many of whom have been involved since 2009 – continue to find ways to support the community and bolster their resilience in the years to come,” said FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton.

“While it’s nearly a decade since this horrific event, it’s important that these communities take the time to reflect on the impact the fires had and, in many cases, continues to have,” Ms Egleton continued.

“As in the aftermath of the fires, it’s the communities themselves who know how to serve their people best, and we are pleased to be able to support them in achieving this.”

GR&W – Round 14
Alexandra Secondary CollegeMY ( Murrindindi Youth ) Reflective Garden
Increase connection to place and space for reflection at Alexandra Secondary College through establishment of a reflective garden.
Arthurs Creek/ Strathewen Brigade Country Fire AuthorityFire Safety Community Messages for 2019
Creation of two animated fire safety adverts to consolidate the learnings from Fire Education Sessions delivered at Strathewen Primary School.
Arthurs Creek/ Strathewen  Brigade


Country Fire Authority

10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Black Saturday 10-year memorial Eric Bogle Concert.
Increase opportunity for the Strathewen community to connect and support each other while acknowledging the 10th anniversary of the bushfire disaster through delivery of a community concert.
Arthurs Creek$3,455
Balook and District Residents Association (BADRA) Inc


10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Rainforest Rhythms
Increase community connections and stimulation for local tourism through delivery of a live memorial concert, Rainforest Rhythms, held in the Tarra Bulga National Park.
Boolarra Folk Festival Committee


10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Boolarra and District Community 2019 Commemorative Bushfire Event
Opportunity to reflect on the 2009 bushfire disaster for the 10-year anniversary, via delivery of a commemorative service and community dinner for Boolarra and the surrounding region.
Cire Services Inc.Supported playgroup for Healesville area based at Badger Creek
Increase support and reduced isolation for local parents, through delivery of supported playgroup program at Badger Creek Primary School.
Badger Creek$11,021
Hazelwood – Jeeralang Community Association Inc.


10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Hazelwood Jeeralang 2009 bushfire commemoration activities
Increase community connectedness and opportunities to support each other, through delivery of a Black Saturday 10th Anniversary event at Hazelwood Jeeralang.
Jeeralang North$9,193
Kinglake Historical Society


Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.

Kinglake Heritage Centre
Increase access to local historical information, through upgrade of an unused community space to accommodate the Kinglake Historical Society.


This organisation will also benefit from the project submitted to CGF Rd 7 by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria Inc. The project will support Kinglake HS to digitize and preserve historic material.

Kinglake West /


Pheasant Creek

Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.


10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Respect and Remember – “The Kinglake Ranges Journey”
Opportunity for the community to reflect on the 2009 disaster event and 10 years of local recovery, via a six-week interactive community art exhibition displayed in Kinglake.
Kinglake West
Flowerdale Toolangi
Lions Club of Kinglake Inc.Avenue of Honour
Recognition and commemoration of soldiers who fought for Australia with the creation of an Avenue of Honour leading up to and surrounding Kinglake’s war memorial.
Maiden Gully Hall Committee Inc.New Chairs for the Maiden Gully Hall
Increase comfort and safety for community groups that meet at the Maiden Gully Hall through the purchase of new chairs.
Maiden Gully$8,316
Men’s Shed at St AndrewsShed extension and machinery upgrade to enhance member and local community health and safety
Increase storage area and upgraded machinery, increasing space and improving working conditions at the Men’s Shed at St Andrews.
St Andrews$19,776
Mitchell Community Radio Inc.Broadford Monthly
Increase awareness of local initiatives and community activity, via outside community radio broadcast delivered from Broadford Living and Learning Centre.
Firefoxes Australia Women Rising Together From Black Saturday90 Up: Stars burning brightly
Increase awareness of how to overcome adversity and build resilience, through capturing and sharing the stories of Murrindindi Shire residents who are over 90-years-old.
Mudgegonga Hall Reserve Committee Inc.Mudgegonga Hall Child Safety Fence
Increase safety for families with children when attending community events and activities, due to upgrade of fencing around Mudgegonga Hall.
Mudgegonga District$10,863
Nillumbik Shire CouncilTech, Tea and Tales
Increase skills in technology and communication for local seniors via delivery of the youth led Tech, Tea and Tales program in collaboration with the St Andrews Community Centre.
St Andrews$20,000
Reedy Creek Progress Association
Reedy Creek Progress Association Inc.
Reedy Creek Community Gatherings
Opportunities to connect and build community resilience, through the delivery of seven community gatherings at the Reedy Creek Hall over 2019.
Reedy Creek$2,500
Resilience Planning Community of Practice Inc.Beechworth Festival of Change
Increase inspiration and motivation to implement solutions to community issues, through delivery of skill development and resources at the Beechworth Festival of Change.
Rotary Club of AlexandraGo Green
Increase support for residents to clean up their properties in preparation for the bushfire season, through purchase of tipping trailer for volunteer run green waste program.
Toolangi District Community House Inc.Staging for the C J Dennis Hall
Support cultural development and improve audience experience with the purchase of a portable stage for community hall in Toolangi.
Traralgon South and District Association


10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

10-Year Black Saturday event
Opportunity to reflect on the 2009 bushfire disaster for the 10-year anniversary, via delivery of a commemorative service and community dinner for Traralgon South and the surrounding region.
Traralgon South
UCA – Kinglake West Uniting ChurchFeeding the Many Needs
Increase social and physical wellbeing and strengthened community networks through delivery of fortnightly community meal program.
Kinglake West /


Pheasant Creek

Whittlesea Community HouseA mosaic of community connections and resilience
Strengthen community connectedness achieved through the delivery of inclusive creative art workshops that will produce four mosaic installations for the Whittlesea community.
Women on Farms – West Gippsland IncSponsorship for women to attend the Women on Farms Gathering


Opportunity for farming women from bushfire affected areas to increase wellbeing and resilience, through support to attend the Women on Farms Gathering 2019 in Warragul.

Yinnar and District Memorial HallNO LIMITS
Removing barriers to participation in facilitated health and wellbeing activities, through delivery of a weekly Exercise program for Seniors 60yrs+ in Yinnar.
Ellimatta Inc.A Bright & Positive Future for Youth – 2


Continue access to support services and programs for youth through supporting the employment of staff at Ellimatta Youth Service in Kinglake.

Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.Be Well in the Ranges


Removing barriers to mental health support for the Kinglake community during the 10th Anniversary of Black Saturday by providing ease of access to locally based mental health professionals. Removing barriers to mental health support for the Kinglake community during the 10th Anniversary of Black Saturday by providing ease of access to locally based mental health professionals.

Community Group Futures – Round 7
Art Resource Collective IncorporatedSolar PV Project
Installation of solar panels for the Art Resource Collective Inc, Yinnar, reducing energy costs and increasing the viability of an entity that supports community access to cultural and artistic opportunities.
Ellimatta Inc.Ellimatta Sunshine for Power
Increase viability and sustainability for Ellimatta Youth Centre, through installation of a solar power system.
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.Sustainability in the Ranges – Solar
Build community resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through installation of 6.4 kW solar system.
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.Kinglake Ranges Arts Recovery Officer
Increase collaboration and support for arts organisations and initiatives through employment of an Arts Recovery Officer for the Kinglake region.
Kinglake West
Pheasant Creek
Kinglake Central
Mount Beauty Neighbourhood Centre Inc.Volunteering for Success
Increase volunteerism for community organisations in Mount Beauty, through employment of a Volunteer Coordinator to increase awareness of, resources and support for, volunteer roles.
Mt Beauty
Murrindindi Little Athletics CentreGood Governance in Murrindindi
Increase support for community-based Committees of Management, through delivery of Governance training to 10 groups in Murrindindi Shire.
Royal Historical Society of Victoria Inc.Digitise or lose it!
Preservation of local history through the purchase of equipment and the delivery of training to digitise historic documents and photos at four historical Societies in bushfire prone areas.
Alexandra & Fawcett
Toolangi District Community House Inc.Solar Panels for the Community House
Reduce running costs and increased investment in community through installation of solar power system for Toolangi District Community House.
Yarra Valley ECOSS Inc.Project Development Officer at ECOSS
Enhance program outcomes and organisational viability, through employment of skilled support to develop policies, procedures and workplans that underpin program delivery.

Bendigo, 23 February 2017: Today 24 community groups impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires received funding to support the community needs that continue to emerge post the devastating disaster.

Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, these community groups will share in $344,856 across two grant programs to implement their locally led projects.

  • Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) will fund 15 community groups, sharing in $254,634, to implement their local projects. To date, the GR&W program has funded 111 projects to a total value of $1,413,705.16  
  • Community Group Futures (CGF) program will fund $90,222 across nine community groups. To date, CGF has funded 24 projects, valued at $286,004.

Rebuilding a community after a natural disaster takes many years. This month marks the eighth anniversary of the Black Saturday fires and the impacts are still being felt.

FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that the projects being supported via the GR&W and CGF programs reflect the need to facilitate long term recovery and to continue to build resilience through community identified solutions to support all parts of the community.

“Recovery takes time and while immediate support is vital, the ongoing demand for this support reinforces the need for people wanting to help in situations like the recent NSW fires to consider putting some funds toward long-term support programs.

“From our work with communities affected by the 2009 fires, we know that it’s been a tough journey and there are still challenges. Together with our donors, FRRR continues to support the impacted communities through the rebuilding and recovery process,” Ms Egleton said.

The Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) program recognises that an important part of community recovery is having opportunities to connect, share experiences, enhance individual and community wellbeing and resilience. This round, there was a common theme of strengthening community connectedness through local events, and a strong focus on supporting students of all ages through skills development, raising self-esteem and school preparation. 

The Community Group Futures (CGF) program is designed to help community groups experiencing operational and service delivery challenges post the bushfires, helping them look forward and build their sustainability, viability, capability and capacity. The most common projects funded this round were solar panel installation to reduce energy costs, paid positions to increase community engagement and participation, and developing strategies for long-term viability in the community.

Ms Egleton noted that there is still funding available for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

The projects funded in this round are detailed below:

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) – Round 10 recipients





Bendigo Baptist Community Care Inc.

MADCOW (Make A Difference Change Our World) Community Garden – Bike Butcher

Support and empower disadvantaged and disengaged young people via the MADCOW Community Garden Bike Butcher project, an educational bike, scooter and skateboard workshop program. The GR&W grant will fit out a 40ft shipping container for the project to operate.



CFA – Arthurs Creek / Strathewen

Strathewen Fire Education Partnership

Engaging Strathewen Primary School students in Grade 5 & 6 in a fire and country education program, culminating in the creation of a story book to present to the local community, and a DVD documenting the process for wider distribution.



CIRE Services Inc.

Bringing Up Great Kids

Supporting respectful, caring and nurturing relationships for parents and carers of 0-6 year old children, through a suite of free parenting programs.

Yarra Junction


Clonbinane Community Action Group

A More Resilient Clonbinane

Addressing a priority item from the newly developed Clonbinane Neighbourhood Emergency Plan, by purchasing and installing a 55Kva Diesel Generator at the Community Hall.



Continuing Education & Arts Centre Alexandra Inc

90 Up: Living Links to Alexandra and District’s Past

Celebrating the stories of resilience shaped by disaster and adversity of Alexandra and District residents who are 90+ years of age, via an oral history project will capture, record.



Dixons Creek Landcare Group

Dixons Creek School Walking Track

Improving community connectedness to the Community Safe Area by construction a 1.5km walking track between the Dixon’s Creek Primary School and Dixon’s Creek Reserve.

Dixons Creek


Ellimatta Inc.

A Bright and Positive Future for Youth

Ensuring high quality youth services continue to be offered to the Kinglake Ranges through a multi-year grant to fund the Youth Development Officer and Executive Officer wages for three more years. FRRR funding is matched by Kinglake Ranges Foundation (VBAF) and project costs by Kinglake Rotary. Funding will be staged over three years to facilitate building sustainable business and funding strategies.



Glenburn Hall and Progress Assoc. Inc.

Glenburn Growth – Fly Screens and Refrigeration

Support volunteers and enhance community cohesion, by installing new refrigeration to store food and screen doors and windows for better ventilation to make community meetings more comfortable.



Healesville Living & Learning Centre Inc.

Bush Works

Supporting local bush knowledge and bushfire preparedness through a practical, all ages program of up-cycling bush materials into furniture and creation of ‘found object’ art.



Marysville Motoring Expo Inc

Marysville Motoring Expo

Encouraging social and economic recovery post the Black Saturday Bushfires by supporting the three-day Motoring Expo community event.



Mirboo North Primary School

Provision of a Disabled/Universal Toilet Facility for Community Use                     

Supporting community cohesion and community resilience by upgrading the Primary School toilet facility to universal/ disabled functionality for the numerous local groups that access the school facilities.

Mirboo North


Rotary Club of Alexandra

Sesqui Alexandra

Building a strong sense of place and contributing to economic recovery by engaging the community to co-create a one-day event to celebrate the sesquicentenary of Alexandra.



Toolangi District Community House Inc.

KEYS – Kinglake Early Years

Support for local families to get children school-ready by researching and documenting family engagement in early childhood services in the Kinglake Ranges district.



Yarra Glen Living & Learning Centre

Centre Community Edible Food Garden  

To aid ongoing recovery from the bushfires, a self-managed edible garden will be established.

Yarra Glen


Yarram Community Emergency Planning Committee (Yarram & District Traders & Tourism Inc.)

Yarram & District Emergency Registration Point

Educating district communities on the Emergency Registration Point in Yarram, by developing and disseminating an information brochure to communicate actions to take in an emergency.



Community Group Futures (CGF) – Round 3 recipients:





Boolarra Men’s Shed Inc.

Purchases of Computer

Improve communication and connectedness of the Men’s Shed members by purchasing a desktop computer and lessons in IT.



Broadford Living and Learning Centre (Mitchell Shire Council)

Community Engagement Officer Broadford Living and Learning Centre

Build capacity and increase community ownership and participation through a community engagement strategy for the new Community Centre for Broadford.



Churchill and District Community Assoc.

Burned Out and Burnt Out  

Minimise volunteer fatigue and recruit new members to the Churchill District Community Association (CDCA) with the assistance of a consultant to engage with local community groups and individuals to build wider ownership.



Flowerdale Community House Inc.

Improving Flowerdale’s Operational Capability

Improve and build operational capability, with the support of a paid employee to develop financial management, reporting and compliance policies and procedures for Flowerdale Community House, Flowerdale Landcare, and Flowerdale Men’s Shed.



Glenburn Hall and Progress Assoc. Inc.

Glenburn Growth Project                           

Lower the energy costs to improve operational capital by purchasing and installing 4.5kw solar panel on the roof of the Glenburn Hall.



Happy Valley Hall

Shining the Light on Sustainability         

Reduce ongoing energy costs for funds to be redirected to other community activities by purchasing and installing a 3.9kw solar panel.



Quercus Beechworth

Connecting Beechworth

Increase the connectivity, cohesion and resilience of the community through a collaborative project to analyse, develop and implement a town-wide communication strategy.



Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

Governance Training                                    

Supporting existing members of the Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges to effectively fulfil their responsibilities by running Governance training.



Women’s Health Goulburn North East

Learning From Lessons in Disaster             

Engage with partner groups to be disaster prepared and resilient by co-design a ‘train the trainer’ program to deliver Gender in Disaster education.