Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

More than $250,000 distributed to impacted regions

FRRR, in partnership with News Corp Australia, has awarded $279,940 in grants to support 12 projects in communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires, some of whom are now facing the complexity of recovery from multiple disasters.

News Corp Bushfire Fund grants
SAVEM Inc in Onkaparinga, SA was awarded a $21,050 grant in September 2020 for their Field Hospital Essential Equipment Project

Funded through the News Corp Bushfire Fund, grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 have been awarded to community groups in fire-affected regions across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

The funding will go toward community initiatives that support infrastructure rebuilding and social recovery, such as helping people connect; alleviating pressure on volunteers; or critical upgrades to communities’ facilities, activity that will build community capacity and preparedness for future disasters.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, explained that several of the recipient communities are now dealing with floods, which makes it all the more important to support them and get this funding on the ground.

“Local not-for-profit organisations and community groups are responding to complex and intersecting challenges. The recovery of many bushfire-affected communities was significantly hampered by COVID-19 restrictions and many are only now starting to make inroads,” Ms Egleton said.

“Some communities are also navigating the ongoing impact of drought while in other areas, the recent flooding will add further to the complexity. However, the underlying issues that these projects were seeking to address will still be there, so these grants are critical to continuing recovery.

“Where project challenges arise due to the flooding, we will work closely with these communities to ensure they are supported to adapt their plans and deliver on the goals they have for local recovery. 

“It’s wonderful to partner with an organisation like News Corp Australia, who have committed support to these fire affected communities over the last year that has allowed us to be flexible and respond as different needs emerge and the recovery journey evolves,” Ms Egleton explained.

News Corp Australia’s community ambassador, Penny Fowler, said the strength of these fire-affected communities is truly inspiring.

“Many of the communities supported with this funding have felt the effect of multiple natural disasters over the last few years – whether drought, flood or fires – yet they continue to move forward. The importance of having well-equipped community facilities that enable people to come together to support one another, or to get back to some semblance of ‘normal’ came through really strongly this round,” Ms Fowler said.

“We are very pleased to be able to work with FRRR to ensure that those community groups on the ground, doing the heavy lifting and supporting their people, have what they need to continue to do so.”

Some of the projects funded include:

  • Container of Dreams Limited – Drake, NSW – Covered Work Area for Tiny House Building – $25,000 – Build an undercover work area, so that no matter the weather conditions, volunteers can safely build tiny houses for those still homeless following the fires.
  • Upper Murray Innovation Foundation / Thowgla Community Recovery Committee – Thowgla Valley, VIC – Thowgla Valley Fire Preparedness – $23,095 – Improve the community’s preparedness to respond to future fire events, and other disasters, by purchasing portable fire-fighting equipment and UHF radios, strengthening community resilience.
  • Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail Incorporated – Stanthorpe, QLD – Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail – $25,000 – Employ a coordinator to address volunteer fatigue and enable the ongoing delivery of a largely volunteer-run art events program to help drive local engagement and attract tourists.
  • Mount Torrens and Districts Community Association Incorporated – Mount Torrens, SA – Dunnfield Community Space – $25,000 – Increase community connections by creating a playground, reflection and meeting spaces, and a community garden in the Dunnfield Community Space using timber from the fire ground.

FRRR encourages all grant seekers to subscribe to our eNews and social media channels to be alerted when other funding opportunities are announced, and to be inspired to develop their own community-led projects.

Visit here for more information on FRRR’s grant programs to support communities before, during, and after a natural disaster or drought, and build communities’ climate resilience. Anyone wanting to directly support medium to long-term flood recovery can do so at https://frrr.org.au/giving/flood-recovery-appeal/.

A full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

OrganisationProject LocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Blicks Community IncorporatedCommunity Action Plan: Rebuilding Together - Our Sustainable Environment
Enable the community to recover from bushfires and better prepare for future emergencies by developing an Environmental Sustainability plan.
Dundurrabin$25,000
Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club IncorporatedKitchen Renovation
Improve the club's ability to support and service the community during times of emergency through kitchen renovations at the club house.
Broulee$25,000
Container of Dreams LimitedCovered Work Area for Tiny House Building
Improve the capability of Container of Dreams by building an undercover work area allowing volunteers to build tiny houses in all weather conditions for displaced community members.
Drake$25,000
Eden Community Access Centre IncorporatedPower for the People
Enhance the efficiency of the Eden Community Access Centre by installing solar electricity to support the reduction of running costs and provide a more reliable power source during times of emergency.
Eden$22,500
Melanoma and Skin Cancer Advocacy Network Limited (BlazeAid)Bushfire Recovery: Keeping Volunteers Sun Safe and Skin Serious!
Improve BlazeAid's capability to protect volunteer health by providing broad brimmed sun hats to be worn when they are supporting the rebuild of community infrastructure.
Cobargo$15,000
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AllianceMaking the Moruya Pre-School Kindergarten a Heatwave and Bushfire Haven for Young Children and Their Parents
Improve the Moruya Pre-School's ability to prepare their facility to protect young families of the community by upgrading fire defence systems and installing solar electricity at the centre.
Moruya$25,000
The Big Scrub OrchestraRebuilding Lives of Children Experiencing Trauma from the 2019/20 Bushfires with Music
Encourage children's recovery and learning through music by providing access to big band music experience in the Richmond Valley region.
Rappville$25,000
QUEENSLAND
Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail IncorporatedGranite Belt Art and Craft Trail
Boost the capability of Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail Incorporated to deliver art events across the Granite Belt region by employing an event coordinator locally.
Stanthorpe$25,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Kingston Brigade Lecepede CFS GroupLacepede CFS Wellbeing Retreat and Learning Zone Development
Strengthen and support the volunteer fire brigade crew to reduce stress and increase community safety during emergencies by providing a breakout space including learning area for volunteers.
Kingston$25,000
Mount Torrens and Districts Community Association IncorporatedDunnfield Community Space
Help locals recover and reflect by providing a community space including playground and community garden constructed with trees recycled from local fire grounds of the 2019/20 bushfires.
Mount Torrens$25,000
VICTORIA
Tambo Upper Primary SchoolHistorical Hall Kitchen Rebuild
Expand the use of the community hall by upgrading the kitchen to provide a well-appointed facility for the community to use, particularly during times of emergency.
Tambo Upper$19,345
Upper Murray Innovation Foundation - Thowgla Community Recovery Committee (CRC)Thowgla Valley Fire Preparedness
Improve the community's ability to respond to future fire events by providing portable firefighting equipment and radios for the Thowgla Valley.
Thowgla Valley$23,095

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is encouraging community groups in regions affected by the 2019-20 bushfires to apply for recovery funding, with more than $380,000 in grants available thanks to News Corp’s generous support.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund supports a wide range of recovery projects in impacted areas across New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland and the ACT. Not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and community groups are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $25,000 for projects designed to seed recovery.

Since April 2020, the Fund has awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to regions working hard to recover from the Black Summer bushfires. This final round of grants will see News Corp’s contribution total $1.5 million. So far the Fund has supported 61 recovery projects that have helped to address a spectrum of needs as affected communities work to unite, rebuild and recover.

Sarah Matthee, FRRR’s Acting CEO, said that recovery looks different for every community that experienced the Black Summer bushfires.

“Rural communities are incredibly resilient. Each place has unique needs and priorities when it comes to recovery. Working with partners like News Corp, who understand that supporting recovery is not a one-size-fits-all solution, means that we can get funds out for projects that respond to the needs identified by each community – projects that are important for them, as and when they are ready.

“For example, Buxton Primary School students returned to school to find the play equipment had been destroyed. But with a $25,000 News Corp Bushfire Fund grant the school was able to install an eco-friendly playground that has been a hit with the kids. The playground gives them and their families a fun-filled place to play and a safe space to talk about their experiences of the fires and their own recovery,” Ms Matthee explained.

News Corp Australia’s community ambassador Penny Fowler said it has been a humbling experience to be a part of the recovery process for these communities.

“The program objectives are far reaching, meaning the grants can go towards a wide range of recovery activities. We are proud to have already funded so many initiatives that are now actively helping those working in recovery to deliver outcomes today and in years to come. We look forward to the next round of projects,” Mrs Fowler said. Applications for the News Corp Bushfire Fund grants are now open and community groups in Local Government Areas with a bushfire disaster declaration from September 2019 to April 2020 are invited to apply. The round will close 17 February, with funds expected to be awarded in March.

Over $1 million in News Corp Bushfire Fund grants awarded to date

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), in partnership with News Corp, has awarded 18 communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires a total of $341,280 in grants for 20 projects that will support the recovery of their communities.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund has had an impressive impact in bushfire-affected regions this year, having awarded $1,119,825 in grants to date to support 61 recovery-focused initiatives across affected communities, as they continue to rebuild and recover. The next round of grants will be the final round for the News Corp Bushfire Fund and will bring the distributed funds to a total of $1.5 million.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund grants, of up to $25,000, are awarded to community groups in regions impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires for projects that address a range of needs and priorities for each community. This round saw 20 community groups from bushfire-affected regions across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria awarded grants for initiatives that build community resilience and preparedness for future disasters, help people connect and support their wellbeing as well as practical upgrades to emergency infrastructure and equipment.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the demand for a wide range of community resilience projects demonstrates how important it is to let local people decide what the need and priorities are for their community’s recovery.

“We know that local leaders are best placed to know what their community needs, especially as recovery happens at different rates for each impacted place. While projects may vary from place to place, building community resilience and making sure the community is prepared for future emergencies is a common goal for regions that have already been impacted by disaster.

“For some communities, building community resilience means repairing infrastructure damaged by the fire or purchasing emergency equipment such as generators and solar battery systems for use in future emergency situations. For other places building resilience means improving amenities or increasing the capacity of community infrastructure where people connect, engage and support one another.

“It’s great to be able to partner with News Corp to support these communities and their inspiring ideas, which will help bring people together and make recovery meaningful to them,” Ms Egleton explained.

News Corp Australia’s community ambassador Penny Fowler said these grants were especially significant considering the timing.

“Almost a year on, we know some of these communities are feeling like they lived through a ‘forgotten crisis’. But there is still so much work to be done, now and in the long-term.

“This third round of grants builds on the ongoing needs of each community to recover at their own pace – whether that be upgrading essential town halls, providing mental health programs for firefighters, or bringing people together through drive-in movie sessions.”

“Recovery takes years, not months and we are committed to standing by these communities, remembering their loss, their stories, their pain and their bravery.”

Some of the 20 projects awarded include:

  • Mann River Men’s Shed – Diehard, NSW – Empowering Community Resilience and Recovery – $25,000 – Support community preparedness and build resilience by installing a solar system to generate power.
  • 4 Aussie Heroes Foundation – Boonah, QLD – “Triumph over Trauma” – $23,000 – Support individual wellbeing of first responders with programs to address trauma from bushfire fighting experience.
  • Stokes Bay Community Hall – Strokes Bay, SA – Stokes Bay Community Hall Volunteer Hub – $23,279 – Provide a welcoming and functional space by upgrading volunteer facilities.
  • Buchan Mechanics Institute and Free Library Reserve – Buchan, VIC – Hall Re-Stumping and Upgrade Kitchen Facilities – $22,042 – Build community resilience with infrastructure improvements to enable group gatherings.

The final round of the News Corp Bushfire Fund grants will open 12 January 2021 and closes 11 February 2021. In total, there is a further $380,175 available. Applications are invited from community groups in Local Government Areas with a bushfire disaster declaration from September 2019 to February 2020. FRRR encourages all grant seekers to subscribe to our eNews and social media channels to be alerted when other funding opportunities are announced, and to be inspired to develop their own community-led projects.

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

Jump to : NSW | QLD | SA | VIC

OrganisationProjectLocationAwarded
NEW SOUTH WALES
Bermagui Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism IncPower to the People … of Bermagui
Build community resilience with the purchase of portable generators publicly available for use in emergency situations.
Bermagui$10,235
Love Long Beach IncorporatedSummer Sundays @ Long Beach
Support community connectedness and wellbeing through COVID Safe drive-in events.
Long Beach$5,682
Mann River Men’s ShedEmpowering Community Resilience and Recovery
Support community preparedness and build resilience by installing a solar system to generate power.
Diehard$25,000
Moruya Antique Tractor & Machinery Association IncRebuild & Restoration of MATAMA
Build community resilience and pride through the rebuild of a museum of community significance for local residents. 
Moruya$25,000
Utungun Community Hall Section 355 Committee of Management
Nambucca Valley Council
Room to Move at the Utungun Community Hall
Build community facility capacity with a storage shed to keep social areas clear of equipment.
Utungun$8,500
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AllianceRebuilding Community Resilience Through the Establishment of a Eurobodalla Repair Cafe in Moruya
Connect and support community wellbeing by establishing a volunteer social enterprise.  
Moruya$6,394
Tomakin Sports & Social ClubSolar Battery System
Build community resilience with the supply and installation of a solar battery system to guarantee power in emergencies.
Tomakin$16,000
QUEENSLAND
4 Aussie Heroes Foundation Limited“Triumph Over Trauma”
Support individual wellbeing of first responders with programs to address trauma from bushfire fighting experience.
Boonah$23,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Stokes Bay Community Hall IncStokes Bay Community Hall – Volunteer Hub
Upgrade volunteer facilities to provide a welcoming and functional space.
Stokes Bay$23,279
The Cudlee Creek Soldiers Memorial Ground IncorporatedCudlee Creek Soldiers’ Memorial Hall – Roof Replacement
Upgrade community facilities with a new roof to mitigate risk and maintain a functional space. 
Cudlee Creek$25,000
VICTORIA
Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House IncMobile Catering Support for East Gippsland Communities Following Natural Disasters
Build organisational capacity by fitting out a mobile van to cater for communities in times of crisis. 
Bairnsdale$25,000
Benambra Dinner Plain Omeo Landcare GroupBDPO Landcare Equipment Improvements
Sustain community facilities for everyday use and preparedness by purchasing safety equipment and repairing aging equipment. 
Benambra$7,787
Buchan Mechanics Institute and Free Library ReserveHall Re-Stumping and Upgrade Kitchen Facilities
Build community resilience with infrastructure improvements to enable group gatherings.
Buchan$22,042
Buchan Recreation ReserveFire Pumps for Community Safety
Build community resilience with new equipment to increase safety and disaster preparedness.
Buchan$22,220
Cassilis Recreation Reserve Committee of ManagementFire Ready Project
Improve community infrastructure for disaster preparedness with a large tank to improve access to water.
Cassilis$5,830
Koala Island Foundation IncA Stronger Community and Sustainable Future for Raymond Island
Support economic recovery by upgrading park entrances for local and tourist patronage.
Raymond Island$17,718
Lucyvale Tennis Club IncMaking Lucyvale Hall a Safe Place for our Community in Times of Risk & Need
Build community resilience with air condition and quick water access to aid in disasters.
Lucyvale$20,600
Nowa Nowa Pony Club IncorporatedFriendships Beyond Fire
Maintain community infrastructure with new equipment to allow social gatherings and events. 
Nowa Nowa$11,500
The Man from Snowy River Tourist Association IncTake a Seat and Savour the Serenity
Upgrade community infrastructure to enhance local and visitor experience at a historic site.
Corryong$25,000
W Tree Promotion and Progress Association IncW Tree Food Cooperative Improvements
Build volunteer capacity with facilities equipment to reduce community food insecurity. 
W Tree$15,493

20 community-led projects support Black Summer recovery efforts

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), in partnership with News Corp, has awarded a further $410,159 in grants to 20 community-led projects that will support the recovery of rural communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires.

With the incredible impact the News Corp Bushfire Fund is making on local recovery, News Corp will be adding a further donation of $500,000 to top up the Fund to $1.5 million. There have been over $750,000 in grants awarded to date.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund grants, of up to $25,000, help bring to life a range of recovery-focused initiatives that are designed to encourage people to connect, improve community spirit and increase community preparedness in the event of future bushfires.

In Round 2 of this program, grants have been awarded to local organisations in bushfire-affected communities from across Australia, including Glenreagh and Bermagui in New South Wales, Gipsy Point and Biggara in Victoria, Kingscote and Mount Torrens in South Australia and Beechmont in Queensland.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the resilience and determination of these communities to recover from the Black Summer bushfires, and thrive, is evident by the number of inspiring project ideas and applications that the Foundation has so far received.

“Recovery happens at different rates and there are different needs in each impacted community. So, it’s great to see communities like Onkaparinga, Cudlee Creek and Parndana, in South Australia, seeking out support as they move into their next phase of recovery.

“For some places, recovery means building community resilience with projects that will strengthen local identity and create tourist attractions for economic recovery. While another local collaboration will activate an environmental sustainability project and bring many people together, with a particular focus on supporting vulnerable members of the community, by offering support from mental health professionals.

“For the Biggara community in Victoria, upgrading their community hall was a recovery priority. The facility is central to the lives of residents and the upgrade includes expanding it to accommodate everyone in the community in one sitting. This will ensure that there is capacity for the community to come together and connect in times of celebration and in times of crisis.

“Getting funds out to all these bushfire-affected communities is crucial, especially now with the added challenges that COVID-19 has presented in small local economies,” Ms Egleton explained.

News Corp Australia’s Community Ambassador Penny Fowler said seeing the impact that this funding has on these communities makes partnerships like the one with FRRR so rewarding.

“Through the News Corp Bushfire Recovery program we get the opportunity to see the wonderful difference that funding local groups to champion the recovery of their own community has on these towns.

“We continue to be inspired by their passion and their determination to not let the recovery process, which has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, get the better of their community,” Ms Fowler said.

Some of the 20 projects awarded include:

  • Merrimans Local Aboriginal Lands Council – Bermagui, NSW – The ‘Moodji’ Regional Drought, Bushfire & Mental Health Recovery Project – $25,000 – Improve community wellbeing by enabling Grub Club and various gardening activities and events for a wide local audience to participate in and be supported by mental health professionals.    
  • Buxton Volunteer Fire Brigade – Buxton, VIC – RFS Memorial – Telopea Park – Buxton – $16,600 – Support community resilience with a memorial playground that will honour the brave lives lost in the fires.
  • The Little Pocket Association – Beechmont, QLD – Scenic Rim – Memorial and Mural Project – $25,000 – Build community resilience with a Mural project that will engage visitors and locals in the town’s story of the bushfire.  
  • Royal South Australian Deaf Society – State-wide – Talking Hands for Frontline Responders – $25,000 – Build organisational capacity and deaf community resilience with skill development of frontline responders in basic Auslan.

The News Corp Bushfire Recovery Program will provide further funds to Round 2 applicants before the end of the year. FRRR encourages all grant seekers to subscribe to our eNews and social media channels to be alerted when other funding opportunities are announced, and to be inspired to develop their own community-led projects.

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

Jump to : NSW | VIC | QLD | SA

Organisation

Project & Summary

Location

Grant

NEW SOUTH WALES

Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council

Essential Fire Equipment and Safety Gear for Bega’s Local Aboriginal Cultural Burning Team

Building organisational capacity with equipment for the Cultural Burning Team will increase individual safety and local preparedness.

Merimbula

$20,683

Connecting Communities Australia Ltd

Bega Valley Bushfire Recovery Program – Restore Jewfish Beach Walkway

Building community resilience, the restoration of the walkway will improve local infrastructure and enable community connection.  

Wonboyn

$23,680

Country Women’s Association of NSW

A Mobile Big Screen Theatre for Community, Cultural and Educational Events

Building community connectivity and capacity the mobile big screen will enable community social activity and cultural vibrancy.

Kandos

$14,145

Four Wheel Drive NSW & ACT Incorporated

Recreational Road to Recovery

Improving community infrastructure and nature areas with trailers & chainsaws for dedicated working bees to clear and repair fire damage sites.

Batemans Bay

$25,000

Glenreagh HeartStart Inc

Emergency Management and Training Room Equipment

Building organisational capacity to deliver enhanced community volunteer training with new equipment to enable effective facilitation and presentation. 

Glenreagh

$3,390

Merrimans Local Aboriginal Lands Council

The ‘Moodji’ Regional Drought, Bushfire & Mental Health Recovery Project

Improve community wellbeing by enabling Grub Club and various gardening activities and events for a wide local audience to participate in and be supported by mental health professionals.

Bermagui

$25,000

Tomerong School of Arts

Making the Tomerong School of Arts Accessible to all in our Community

Building resilience by upgrading infrastructure for improved community with accessible toilets to support all community members use of the facilities.

Tomerong

$25,000

VICTORIA

Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare

2nd Freezer for FoodShare

Building organisational capacity the purchase of a second freezer will improve operations for meeting the increased demand for FoodShare’ services.

Wodonga

$17,148

Buxton Volunteer Fire Brigade

RFS Memorial – Telopea Park – Buxton

Supporting community resilience, the memorial playground will honour the brave lives lost in the fires.  

Buxton

$16,600

Biggara Recreation Reserve Committee of Management

Biggara Valley Community Recovery Project

Building community capacity with an upgrade of Biggara Hall to increase the space twofold for community use.

Biggara

$24,240

Corryong Historic Machinery Club

Development of the Corryong Historic Machinery Club Museum

Strengthening economic recovery by developing local heritage infrastructure will support tourism and build local pride. 

Corryong

$25,000

Gippsland Disability Advocacy Inc

East Gippsland Bushfire Recovery for Persons with Disabilities

Building organisational capacity to facilitate volunteering, mental health and well-being supports for people with a disability in fire affected communities.

Bairnsdale

$22,000

Gipsy Point Cemetery Trust Inc

Replacing Burnt and Damaged Boundary Fences and Upgrading Entrance Points at Gipsy Point Cemetery Trust

Building community resilience, the upgrade of Gipsy Point Cemetery will ensure the space is maintained for the local community.   

Gipsy Point

$22,004

QUEENSLAND

The Little Pocket Association

Scenic Rim – Memorial and Mural Project

Building community resilience, the Mural project will engage visitors and locals in the town’s story of the bushfire.  

Beechmont

$25,000

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Advance Kingscote Progress Association

Kangaroo Island Silo Art Project

Driving tourism and fostering a sense of community pride the silo art project will welcome locals and visitors. 

Kingscote

$25,000

Disaster Relief Australia

Resilience and Capacity Building for South Australian Communities

Building organisational capacity the new equipment will expand the numbers of volunteers able to be deployed during emergencies. 

Cudlee Creek

$25,000

Parndana Agricultural Horticultural and Floricultural Society Inc

Parndana Show 2020

Enabling community social connection and access by making the Parndana Show a free event for the community.

Parndana

$15,000

Royal South Australian Deaf Society Inc

Talking Hands for Frontline Responders

Building organisational capacity and deaf community resilience with skill development of frontline responders in basic Auslan.

South Australia (statewide)

$25,000

SAVEM Inc

SAVEM Field Hospital Essential Equipment Project

Building organisational capacity by preparing the mobile Field Hospital with equipment to treat animals of all species affected during bushfires.

Onkaparinga

$21,050

Spring Head Trinity Lutheran Church Inc

Spring Head Fire Prevention

Improving community preparedness by removing debris and building fences for stock that will reduce the fuel load and protect this emergency shelter site.

Mount Torrens

$10,219

News Corp Bushfire Fund offers grants up to $25,000

With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to lift across the country, hundreds of communities impacted by last summer’s bushfires are finally able to refocus on their recovery. Thanks to generous support from News Corp, FRRR is offering more community recovery grants across the local government areas (LGAs) declared as fire-affected.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that there is nearly $630,000 available through the News Corp Bushfire Fund program to support the myriad of community-led recovery initiatives that have largely been on hold since early March.

“Through our work over the last 20 years, including supporting those impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires, we know that every community is different. This is particularly true when it comes to bushfire recovery, as the needs of each place are different depending on the priorities of the community.

“For some communities, this support could include purchasing equipment like two-way radios, upgrading emergency evacuation centres or developing a community emergency response plan. For others it could be improving social connectedness and enhancing community spirit through arts programs, mental health workshops or initiatives that will bring visitors back to the community. In short, we support whatever is most important to the community to help them begin to build back better.

“That’s why, in partnership with News Corp, we are offering grants of up to $25,000 that can be put toward any charitable project that local not-for-profit groups identify as helpful to recovery efforts,” Ms Egleton explained.

This will be the second round of funding from the News Corp Bushfire Fund, which awarded nearly $370,000 in grants last month.

Penny Fowler, Chairman of the Herald & Weekly Times and News Corp Australia’s Community Ambassador said that the Fund is keen to ensure that there are applications from all of the fire-affected regions.

“Over the summer, there were fires across the country – from Queensland right down the eastern seaboard, as well as in South Australia and Tasmania – and we want to ensure that funds are shared in all the locations where support is needed. So, if you were in a fire-affected area, we encourage you to apply for a grant,” Ms Fowler said.

Applications for the next round of News Corp Bushfire Fund grants close 5 August, with funds expected to be awarded in October.

Nearly $370,000 in grants for bushfire-affected communities

News Corp Bushfire Recovery Program

Bendigo, 18 June 2020: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), in partnership with News Corp Australia, has awarded $368,386 to support 21 projects across the country that will help in the recovery of rural, regional and remote communities impacted by the summer bushfires.

Funded through the News Corp Bushfire Recovery Program, these grants, which are up to $25,000 each, will help address a diverse range of needs including improving social connectedness, enhancing community spirit and increasing community preparedness.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, says for many of these communities, social and economic recovery is really only just starting to get underway, especially given the limitations imposed by COVID-19.

“From our experience supporting disaster-affected communities, we know that for those affected by this summer’s bushfires, their recovery will be a long and ongoing process. Communities need access to funding now, and into the medium to long-term. Our partnership with News Corp is a great opportunity to get funds on the ground,” said Ms Egleton.

“Their support means these grants will enable local community groups to lead local recovery efforts in a way that best meets the priorities of that community, because it’s different for each impacted community.

“For some communities, the priority is rebuilding facilities lost in the fire, such as the Eurobodalla Wood Makers Guild building in Batemans Bay. For others it’s reviving the community’s arts and culture, like celebrating the local music scene in Mallacoota, and for others it’s about supporting mental health and wellbeing, through gardening projects that will also restore the local bee population in the Bega Valley.”

Penny Fowler, Chairman of the Herald & Weekly Times and News Corp Australia’s Community Ambassador says there was a wide range of applications, but a particularly strong demand for infrastructure and equipment to rebuild impacted regions.

“Communities in regional and rural Australia have been hit by so much devastation this year. We are delighted to provide some hope and bring the spirit back into communities with these bushfire grants.

“We hope our grants for community-led projects will help people recover and rebuild.  We look forward to partnering with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal to support and help bushfire affected areas become stronger communities.”

Some of the 21 projects awarded include:

  • Capricorn Film Festival Inc, QLD – Mentoring Our Region – $25,000 – Support lifelong learning and enable communities to tell their stories through a creative mentoring project that will create and screen locally made films.
  • Eden Whalers Australian Football Club Inc, NSW – Evacuation Centre Emergency Upgrades – $10,000 – Build community resilience and preparedness with evacuation centre equipment for the new pavilion.
  • Friends of the One and All Sailing Ship Incorporated, SA – Sail for Recovery – $22,500 – Support individual and community wellbeing to enable the learning of coping strategies and self-management in recovery.
  • Orbost Snowy Rovers Football Club Incorporated, VIC – Purchase of Defibrillator – $2,850 – Support community wellbeing and preparedness with access to life saving equipment.

A second round of the News Corp Bushfire Recovery Program will open 1 July. In total, there is a further $630,000 available. Applications are invited from community groups ins Local Government Areas with a bushfire disaster declaration from September 2019 to January / February 2020.

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

Organisation

Project & Summary

Location

Grant

Eurobodalla Woodcraft Guild Incorporated Rebuilding the Eurobodalla Woodies

Strengthen and support community volunteering by rebuilding the fire-destroyed workshop.

Batemans Bay, NSW

$25,000

Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club Inc Lifesaving Equipment for Bermagui SLSC

Build the capacity and strengthen a local volunteer community group to increase safety, and support of emergency services.

Bermagui, NSW

$19,900

Buxton Public School P&C Association Through Play Comes Recovery

Support community resilience and individual and community wellbeing through access to play equipment.

Buxton, NSW

$25,000

Bumbalong Valley Progress Association Bumbalong Valley Community Facility

Strengthen the local community in their recovery by rebuilding a facility for all to access.

Cooma, NSW

$21,040

Eden Service and Social Club Inc Purchasing a Generator

Build organisational capacity in the volunteer community group to raise funds and support events.

Eden, NSW

$2,349

Eden Whalers Australian Football Club Inc Evacuation Centre Emergency Upgrades

Build community resilience and preparedness with evacuation centre equipment for the new pavilion.

Eden, NSW

$10,000

Arts Mid North Coast Arts for Recovery

Develop and deliver a creative recovery arts projects in fire-impacted areas and report on how art and creative recovery can best be incorporated into emergency planning and responses.

Moorland, NSW

$15,500

Manning River Agricultural and Horticultural Society Providing Additional Power and Water Outlets

Support community resilience and preparedness by enhancing the facility for community and evacuation activities.

Taree, NSW

$19,960

Wellways Australia Limited RECOVERY – Our Community, Our People, Our Bees

Promote inclusion, engagement and recovery through sustainable eco-programs for whole-of-community development and benefit.

Bega, NSW

$25,000

Capricorn Film Festival Inc Mentoring Our Region

Support lifelong learning and enable communities to tell their stories through a creative mentoring project that will create and screen locally made films.

Gladstone, QLD

$25,000

Friends of the One and All Sailing Ship Incorporated Sail for Recovery

Support individual and community wellbeing through teaching coping strategies and self-management in recovery.

Kangaroo Island, SA

$22,500

Riviera Care The Armoury

Build the capacity of the community centre with a facility upgrade enabling programs for local skill development and an environment that promotes positive mental health, friendship and personal growth.

Bairnsdale, VIC

$18,923

Corryong Neighbourhood House Inc Out & About

Enabling a local community youth program’s activities through purchasing an equipment trailer that will also be available for locals to utilise.

Corryong, VIC

$13,450

Genoa Public Hall Repairing Fire-Damaged Fences and Entry at Genoa Public Hall

Building capacity in the community by making critical repairs to important local infrastructure used for meetings and emergency evacuation.

Genoa, VIC

$19,492

Lakes Entrance Action & Development Association Inc Lakes Entrance – Entrance Walk

Build community resilience by upgrading the footbridge at the Entrance Walk and undertaking environmental rehabilitation, which will support locals and tourism.

Lakes Entrance, VIC

$24,100

Lindenow Sports Ground Management Committee Incorporated Cool Room Installation

Build organisational capacity through upgrading the facility with a new cool room to improve operations and reduce costs.

Lindenow, VIC

$22,363

Mallacoota Community Health Infrastructure and Resilience Fund Incorporated Out of the Ashes – Mallacoota’s Musical Revival

Contribute to a culturally vibrant community by supporting a community-led healing project for recovery.

Mallacoota, VIC

$24,938

Mallacoota Hall and Recreation Committee Marquees for Outdoor Events

Enable social connection and support community participation in outdoor activity through increased equipment for events.

Mallacoota, VIC

$7,020

Kiewa Valley Community Radio Inc Employment of a Marketing & Sponsorship Manager

Build capacity of Alpine Radio (community radio) to support business development and local services continuity by enhancing the marketing capability of the station.

Mount Beauty, VIC

$6,000

Community Broadcasting Foundation Specialist Journalist Training for Reporting Trauma Events

Promote individual and community wellbeing through developing expertise and resilience for broadcasters.

Bairnsdale, VIC
Mallacoota, VIC
Moruya, NSW and Braidwood, NSW

$18,000

Orbost Snowy Rovers Football Club Incorporated Purchase of Defibrillator

Support community wellbeing and preparedness by improving access to life saving equipment.

Orbost, VIC

$2,850

News Corp Australia has partnered with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal to launch a $1M fund to provide grants to support the recovery of the people and communities impacted by the Summer bushfires. The News Corp Bushfire Fund will offer grants of up to $25,000 aid the immediate, medium and long-term recovery of these affected communities.

Read News Corp’s full announcement here.