Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Plus workshops scheduled re fundraising for NFPs and strengthening local connections

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal today shared that a $1.3 million funding boost for the Shoalhaven region to further enhance the capacity of local not-for-profit organisations to support their communities has already started to roll out.

The funding is thanks to a partnership with the Australian Government, through the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Program.

The additional investment means that even more of the ideas and initiatives identified through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program to continue the ongoing recovery following the Black Summer bushfires can be implemented across the Shoalhaven region. Thanks to support from The Snow Foundation and more recently Bendigo Bank through their Community Enterprise Foundation, FRRR has been working with communities in the Shoalhaven and South Coast area since 2020.

FRRR People Programs Portfolio Lead Deb Samuels says that this funding will benefit communities across the Shoalhaven region, all of which were impacted by the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires.

“This generous funding means that FRRR and our partners can continue to work with local community groups and not-for-profits to enhance their capacity to support their communities. We’ve already started by reviewing the roadmaps that were created previously and refreshing them in light of the bushfires and more recently flooding and the ongoing impacts of COVID.

“Practically, it means that FRRR can keep our facilitators on the ground in the Shoalhaven, so they can work directly with community groups to maintain the momentum that has built up over recent years through the IRCF program. They will continue to bring the community together and to implement the roadmaps identified for each of the participating communities.

“Perhaps most excitingly, it means that we have also been able to expand our support to Kangaroo Valley and Lake Conjola – again, two areas that were significantly affected by the fires.

“We recently funded 20 places at the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that matter in Bundanon. This three-day training session has equipped more local people with the skills to facilitate conversations that can lead to coordinated action and positive change. We will be further supporting local not-for-profit leaders the opportunity to attend Art of Hosting in the Southern Shoalhaven on 8–10 February 2023.

“Each of the initiatives that will be supported in future address issues or opportunities that local groups have already identified and prioritised. For example, in partnership with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, we’ll be delivering a tailored year-long leadership program to 24 participants from across the community, thereby strengthening the leadership base for the future.

“All of these initiatives are designed to help local community groups to better support their communities and so we are extremely grateful for this additional support through NEMA,” Ms Samuels explained.

The Art of Hosting workshop certainly made an impact on participants. In one of the closing sessions, in response to a question about what they are taking from the event, one person said “Excitement & hope we can continue to collaborate in the Shoalhaven to nourish our communities”, while another commented “Feelings of respect and admiration for all, different expressions of experience and life stories, strengthened by sharing in the collective”. This additional funding will hopefully mean more of these sorts of sessions.

Registrations are also currently open for two more workshops that respond to local priorities – namely around fundraising, and building and strengthening connections and networking across not-for-profit. Representatives from any not-for-profit or community group are welcome to attend, but registration is required:

Ulladulla Session – Wednesday 23 November, 9-12 pm, Ulladulla Civic Centre –
Register: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/z0ves/frrr_ircf_program_community_workshop.aspx

Nowra Session – Thursday 24 November, 9-12 pm, Nowra School of Arts –
Register: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/0gf26/frrr_ircf_program_community_workshop__nowra.aspx

To find out more about the IRCF program in your community or to get involved, visit ircf.frrr.org.au or contact FRRR on 1800 170 020.