Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)

Initiatives funded in Nowra, Ulladulla, Bateman’s Bay and Bay & Basin

In partnership with The Snow Foundation and the Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation, FRRR has awarded $470,670 to community organisations across the South Coast of NSW. These grants are through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, which builds and supports the capacity of local not-for-profit (NFP) organisations.

South Coast communities given a boost of more than $450,000_community leaders in Bay & Basin

IRCF is a multi-year program that gives NFPs the resources and connections they need to support one another and to establish relationships that allow them to collaborate to fill in the existing gaps in their communities. The program operates in the South Coast communities of Nowra, Ulladulla, Bateman’s Bay and Bay & Basin.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the FRRR team has seen an increase in the level of interest in the IRCF program.

“One of the key elements of this program is the road mapping process where we bring local leaders together to identify gaps and, more importantly, future opportunities for their communities. This is quite unique to this program and so we have really noticed during this round, that the engagement in the road mapping process increased as everyone involved has now developed a greater understanding of how it works and how much it can benefit their local communities.

“We also noticed that community groups and NFPs are taking a much more collaborative approach to finding volunteers after volunteer engagement levels dropped off as a result of back-to-back disasters over the last couple of years. This is wonderful to see, as this program is designed specifically to encourage community organisations to work with one another and to find solutions within their own area and network,” Ms Egleton said.

Terry Snow, Founder of The Snow Foundation, which supports three regions within the IRCF program – Nowra, Bateman’s Bay and Ulladulla – said partnering with FRRR over the past three years has built stronger relationships within the South Coast communities.

“The South Coast is my home and given the challenges over the past few years, I have seen how bringing people together strengthens community. This is why the IRCF program is so good. It brings community groups together to work collaboratively and decide what they need and the best way to make it happen and each year relationships just get stronger,” Mr Snow said.

David Impey, CEO of Community Enterprise Foundation, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s charitable arm, said they are proud of their partnership with FRRR and supporting the Bay & Basin communities.

“After what’s been an unimaginably difficult couple of years for these communities, it’s inspirational to see the community members coming together and working with one another as they once again begin to look towards building a more vibrant and resilient future. It’s this kind of dedication and willingness to support one another that will see the South Coast region thriving long into the future and that’s something that we take great pride in being part of,” Mr Impey said.

Some of the projects being funded are:

  • Nowra Community Food Store Incorporated, Nowra – Planning for the Future – Define the direction of the organisation with a five-year strategic plan, operational business plan and HR framework – $13,000
  • StoryFest Incorporated, Ulladulla/Shoalhaven Fundraising for StoryFest school students – Enable the continued growth and success of StoryFest with a new website and marketing campaign – $10,000
  • Rotary Club of Batemans Bay Inc, Batemans Bay/Eurobodalla – Establish and maintain the Batemans Bay Community Hub to provide information, resources and opportunities for local NFP organisations – $19,370
  • Bay & Basin Community Resources Limited, Bay & Basin Work, life and training Centre – Increase opportunities for youth to engage in training and employment with a project coordinator to establish a work, life and training centre – $30,000

In addition to the South Coast region, the IRCF South Coast program is also working in in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley in partnership with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.

For more information about the Investing in Rural Community Futures program visit –

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

The Circle Foundation Cooperative LtdBuilding Capacity: Circle Foundation Cooperative Business Systems Development
Build capacity by employing a project officer and IT enhancements to facilitate ongoing service delivery for people living with chronic illness.
Eurobodalla Education and Therapy Services LtdAttract and Retain Allied Health Professionals
Attract and retain specialised staff by formulating a well structured learning and development strategy for the organisation.
Batemans Bay$20,000
The Family Place IncScoping Housing Solutions - Community Creating a Better Future
Stimulate innovative thinking focussed on housing solutions by engaging a project officer to develop and cost models to enable clients and broader community to sustain tenancy and support sector wide collaboration.
Rotary Club of Batemans Bay IncBatemans Bay Community Hub
Establish and maintain the Batemans Bay Community Hub to provide information, resources and opportunities for local NFP organisations.
Batemans Bay$19,370
SEARMS Community Housing Aboriginal CorporationLiving Library - Knowledge Circle
Celebrating the cultural gift of language and the art of story telling in Aboriginal culture by adopting a holistic approach and sustained capabilities to community engagement.
Batemans Bay$14,000
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AllianceBatemans Bay Community Coordinator and Business Manager
Strengthen governance and business systems internally, continue to connect with council and assist not for profit community organisations to reduce their on-going energy costs.
Batemans Bay Region$20,000
Bay & Basin Community Resources LtdWork, Life and Training Centre
Increase opportunities for youth to engage in training and employment with a project coordinator to establish a work, life and training centre.
Sanctuary Point$30,000
Sussex Inlet Foundation for Community DevelopmentStrengthening our Foundation
Strengthen the volunteer committee of the Foundation for Community Development to help them grow the ways they can support and strengthen the Sussex Inlet Community.
Sussex Inlet$19,500
Tomerong School of ArtsPolicies and Procedures Project
Enable the hall to operate more effectively with the development of policies and procedures.
Vincentia High School P & C AssociationLaunch of Walawaani-ngarn
Boost the profile and awareness of the community health hub with a launch event and marketing material.
Bomaderry Community IncPaying It Forward - Supporting Those People Who Sustain Our Community
Support the volunteers to rejuvenate and focus on their passion
Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre Aboriginal CorporationMaintaining Momentum - Cullunghutti Master Plan
Boost capacity to engage project officer to operationalise the strategic plan previously funded.
Kangaroo Valley Voice IncorporatedKangaroo Valley Hub
Enable development of a community hub with the collation of information and scoping of project.
Kangaroo Valley$15,000
Noahs Ark Centre of Shoalhaven IncKnowledge, Strength and Resilience- Sharing for the Future
Nurture opportunity to provide intergenerational peer mentoring of professionals in the disability service.
Nowra Community Food Store IncorporatedPlanning for the Future
Define the direction of the organisation with a 5 year strategic plan, operational business plan and HR framework.
South Nowra$13,000
Nowra Local Aboriginal Land CouncilStrong Foundations
Establish organisational policies and procedures manual, branding and communications strategy and provide governance support to the board.
Pathways Foundation LimitedPathways To Leadership
Strengthen skills and abilities of youth mentors to deliver best practice programs locally.
Shoalhaven Business Chamber IncorporatedCommunity Plus
Enable the community sector to leverage the established business chamber to share knowledge, build capacity and resilience by strengthening the links between the corporate and community sector.
Shoalhaven Community Pre School IncAdministration and Operations Manager
Support the final transition of the organisational growth and relocation of preschool.
The Shoalhaven Women's Resource Group LtdCapacity and Capability Building
Prepare the organisation to achieve accreditation, develop branding and a more efficient and informative website.
Independence Ulladulla IncHelping Hands
Improve systems to support leadership to innovate and grow
Milton Ulladulla Business Chamber IncCommunity Connect - Information Creates Endless Possibilities
Continuation of building connections within the community groups, assisting the the existing and new volunteers by capturing important information, to then share and create possibilities for the broader community.
Noahs Ark Centre of Shoalhaven IncDestination Ulladulla Part Two
Implement communication plan and to disseminate our videos most effectively and will build on capacity in recruitment and communications into the future.
Safe Waters Community Care IncDe-Escalation Training and Occupational Violence Prevention Training
Empower staff and volunteers with the skills to de-escalate conflict and violence situations.
South Coast Bookclubs IncSaving and Expanding the Bookclub
Support for a self-sustaining book club service in Ulladulla to create a sense of community for new and existing residents.
StoryFest IncStoryFest Inc - Fundraising for StoryFest
Enable the continued growth and success of StoryFest with a new website and marketing campaign
The Dunn & Lewis Youth Development Foundation LtdCommunity Spotlight
Foster youth interest in community volunteering with a Youth Podcast Series.
Treading Lightly IncRegenerative Development Officer Role
Build a Regenerative Design Model for the benefit of this and other NFP organisation as well as a wider range of stakeholders.
Ulladulla and Districts Community Resources Centre IncBuilding Sustainability
Prepare the Raft Race Committee for the future with succession planning and marketing support.

A rural NSW grantseeker is proving that philanthropic investment in people and skills can produce a huge return on investment – bringing in more than $2.4million in grants for his community.

While many Government and philanthropic funders won’t give grants for funding people or capacity building, Junee Business and Trades Community Liaison Officer Nicholas Pyers is showing such investments can pay large dividends.

Nicholas’s role has been funded since 2019 by The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)’s Investing in Rural Community Futures program. He has been successful in helping win and advise on grants totalling $2,483,226 – and is awaiting news on a further $1million of grants that are in progress for Junee, which is located 440km south-west of Sydney in the Riverina region.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said that since late 2018, regional NSW communities have faced a series of unrelenting disruptions, with drought, bushfire, flood and the COVID-19 pandemic continuing into 2022.

“The impact on these NFP organisations has been significant. It has taken its toll on the people that lead and run these organisations and has increased their load and affected their wellbeing. The sector has been dealing with extreme fatigue, burnout, limited fundraising options, access to volunteers, disconnection and, in some instances wholesale organisational change.

“The funding of Nicholas and the grant support role is a great example of how investing in local jobs and paying someone who has skills can result in high-yielding results and impact for organisations and communities,” she said. “This gives weight to our practise of employing local people and leveraging their position to help build the capacity of the entire town or community,” Ms Egleton said.

The impressive tally has been reached by a combination of activities. The grants have been won either by Nicholas directly developing a project concept and budget, then writing and submitting the grant application, or him reviewing other grant applications that have been submitted, as well as him identifying grant opportunities for other groups so they are able to apply. Nicholas also provides support to individuals in organisations, building their capacity and knowledge of grant writing, which allows them to prepare and submit grants, and secure funding for their own organisations.

FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) model was developed in partnership with Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) and aims to strengthen local not-for-profit (NFP) organisations and, ultimately, enable them to thrive. It is a grassroots approach designed to build and support the capacity of individual and collective NFPs, over a sustained period of time.

This program now operates in seven communities in NSW, delivering a blend of grants and capacity building activities supported by local facilitators. Junee, Leeton and the Nambucca Valley were the initial cohort of communities supported by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation. Supported by The Snow Foundation Nowra, Ulladulla & Batemans Bay started an IRCF program in 2020 and further investment by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation saw Bay & Basin communities join in 2021.

Successful grants for the Junee community range from upgrades to sporting facilities and meeting rooms through to projects supporting the likes of a museum.