Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

FRRR and ARLF are pleased to announce the next 25 organisations that are acting as the lead local community partner in the Future Drought Fund’s  Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought InitiativeCommunity Impact Program. The initiative is supported by the Australian Government, through the Future Drought Fund.

These 25 organisations, each of which is highly respected and well connected locally, will now lead the process of co-designing a detailed project plan, working closely with other local community groups, before submitting it for final assessment in early April. They join the lead organisations in regions announced late last year in scoping projects valued at up to $500,000.

FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Climate Solutions Lead, Nina O’Brien, said that it’s exciting to have another 25 groups moving forward in this process.

“Widespread flooding affected QLD, WA, SA, NSW and VIC and given the severity of the impacts in so many places, we initially expected that there would most likely be a delay to some of these regions being ready to undertake drought resilience planning. However, after chatting to the affected groups, the majority confirmed that they want to proceed, to give communities something to look forward to and to change local conversations and outlooks,” Ms O’Brien said.

The local partner organisations will be supported by an independent facilitator, funded through the program, who will work with the groups to ensure that the plans are sound and that they engage as many local groups as possible in the project design.

The remaining three regions (Far West NSW, Northwest QLD and Great Southern in WA) will proceed later this year, allowing them time to recover from floods and, in some cases, to confirm the local lead partner organisation.

MurrayHolbrook Landcare Group
Central West Rural Financial Counselling Service – NSW Southern Region
North WestNorthern Slopes Landcare Association Incorporated
Northern TablelandsGlenrac Incorporated
Central WestCentral Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board
South WestSouthern Queensland Natural Resources Management Ltd
Northern Queensland Dry TropicsNorthern Queensland Dry Tropics Ltd
Arid LandsNorthern Territory Cattlemen's Association Inc
TablelandsCharles Darwin University
GascoyneGascoyne Catchments Group Inc
Wheatbelt CentralWheatbelt Natural Resource Management Incorporated
Wheatbelt SouthCorrigin Farm Improvement Group
MidWestNorthern Agricultural Catchments Council Incorporated
Northern and YorkeRegional Development Australia Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains Incorporated
Murraylands and RiverlandRegional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland Incorporated
Limestone CoastLimestone Coast Food & Agribusiness Cluster Ltd
MalleeMallee Sustainable Farming Inc
Loddon CampaspeGoulburn Murray Community Leadership
Wimmera Southern MalleeWimmera Development Association
East GippslandGippsland Agricultural Group
GoulburnRiverine Plains Incorporated
West GippslandFood & Fibre Gippsland Inc
Ovens MurrayAgBiz Assist
North and North WestRural Business Tasmania Inc
SouthUniversity of Tasmania

FRRR is pleased to announce the first eight lead organisations that will partner with FRRR and ARLF on the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative, through the Community Impact Program. This is a part of the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

These eight locally-based groups will undertake a local program co-design process, with the support of on-the-ground facilitators and FRRR staff, to design local community focused drought preparedness activities, in collaboration with a diverse range of local program collaborators community involvement. That will occur in February, with the final plan and budget coming back to FRRR for assessment. Funding will be announced in early May and projects can then get underway.

“Among the significant communities challenges, we were incredibly pleased to see the creativity and tenacity of communities to plan ahead for drought in the future. The diverse range, strength and depth of Expressions of Interests put forward for consideration in Stage 1 demonstrate the importance of place-based, locally designed programs that respond to local conditions and context like this new program and approach,” said Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience & Climate Solutions Portfolio Lead.

In regard to other locations, many regions have been impacted by flooding since lodging their EOI, while in other areas there was more than one group that put forward a proposal to be the lead applicant. Over the coming weeks, FRRR will work with those groups to identify the lead applicant, before those communities also enter into a similar planning process. We will, therefore, be revising the program timelines for this cohort of communities and will advise that when that is agreed.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, email or call 1800 170 020 to speak with one of the program team.

The community leads in the first eight regions are:

Darling Downs and BurnettRed Earth Community Foundation South Burnett Limited
Fitzroy CapricorniaDawson Catchment Coordinating Association Inc
Hinterland to GulfNorthern Gulf Resource Management Group Ltd
Cape York - Torres StraitCape York Natural Resource Management Ltd
Great SouthernStirlings to Coast Farmers Inc
South-WestSouth West Catchment Council
Arid LandsSA Arid Lands Landscape Board
Eyre PeninsulaAgricultural Innovation & Research Eyre Peninsula Incorporated

Eleven not-for-profits (NFPs) in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley will share in $444,063 in grants. The funding is thanks to FRRR, in partnership with Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program.

Investing in rural communities futures, Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley NFPs given $450,000 boost

IRCF is a five-year program initially designed to support local NFPs in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley. The goal is to support and build the capacity of locally-led organisations, so that they’re better equipped to deliver on their purpose and serve their communities.

As part of the program, FRRR works with community groups and leaders to create a roadmap that will help local organisations to work together towards achieving their goals and filling in the existing gaps within their communities. Program participants are offered a range of supports under the IRCF model, including access to a facilitator, grants, participatory planning processes, skill development, and external resources.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR CEO, said that the IRCF program in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley is now in its fourth year and its success highlights how important it is to have place-based grant programs that focus on specific communities and their needs.

“This program is quite unique in the sense that it has operated over a number of years. This means that we get to go on a journey with these organisations, addressing issues they identify and working towards achieving the goals outlined in the road mapping process on what’s almost a step-by-step basis.

“At this stage of the program, the majority of the local NFPs being funded have previously received a grant through the program and are consolidating their efforts or building capacity to engage in more collaborative projects. The ongoing support and resources provided by this program give these communities consistency and the ability to plan for the long-term, both of which are crucial for creating sustainability and self-sufficiency in the future, once the program comes to a close,” Ms Egleton said.

“In this round, we clearly saw an emphasis on financial sustainability by the local organisations in these three communities. Program participants are working towards revenue diversification, improving financial systems and amplifying their value proposition, all of which are really important considerations for NFPs in remote, rural and regional Australia given the economic uncertainty we’re currently facing,” Ms Egleton said.

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

Junee Community Centre IncFinancial Sustainability and Responding to Community Needs
Improve sustainability through focused activity to strengthen financial systems, enable land acquisition and scoping towards the development of a Community Hub.
Junee Business & Trades IncorporatedRevitalisation Strategy
Revitalising Junee Business and Trades Inc through the development of strategic and marketing plans and improved financial management.
Cooinda Court Aged Care LtdIndependent Living Study
Boosting financial sustainability and organisational efficiencies through a feasibility study to explore revenue diversification and the consolidation of client information systems including the enhancement of a compatible finance program.
Junee Show Society IncorporatedStrategic Planning for Junee Showgrounds
Creating a Strategic Plan for the Junee Showgrounds in collaboration with User Groups, to enhance coordination and the venue to be compatible with modern needs.
Leeton JumpstartThe Transformation of Leeton JumpStart Fund
Operationalizing strategy, diversifying revenue, and upskilling volunteers to future proof the Leeton Jumpstart Fund.
Leeton Connect IncGrants Support Coordinator and Collaboration Consultant
Consolidating strategic objectives and symmetries across the Leeton NFP sector to inform grants support coordination and future partnerships.
Leeton Business Chamber IncorporatedBuilding Capacity of the Volunteer Base to Ensure Sustainability and Business Continuity
Strengthening Leeton Business Chamber through supported coordination of the new Leeton digital hub, volunteer training, governance enhancements and maintaining partnerships.
Shoretrack LtdYP Connect Tech
Building connections and understanding between ShoreTrack young people and the NFP sector through collaborative multi-media workshops and work experience opportunities.
Miimi Aboriginal CorporationThe Leadership Growth Project
Revitalising Miimi Aboriginal Corporation through additional human resourcing to support wellbeing, cultural leadership, social enterprise development and operationalizing a new strategic plan.
Mujaay Ganma Foundation Aboriginal CorporationMujaay Ganma Nyanggana
Embedding succession planning and financial sustainability through building cultural knowledge and skills in youth trainees.
Bowraville Communication Technology Centre IncorporatedCommunity Printing Services and Volunteer Support Training
Rejuvenating volunteer efforts and service delivery through equipment upgrades and First Aid training.