Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
Nearly $750,000 committed but more needed
Nearly $750,000 has been committed to FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal, launched last week, thanks to generous contributions and promotion from donor partners including AMP Foundation, Frasers Property Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Suncorp and Wilson Asset Management, as well as many other private and individual supporters.
However, FRRR is continuing to seek further donations to meet the recovery needs of the growing number of communities outside metro regions that will require support well into the future. This includes the unfolding disaster in Queensland and New South Wales, as well as areas that have already experienced severe flooding.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Foundation has already seen local people mobilising, with information being shared via community-based networks and, where waters are receding, local people are already looking ahead to what’s going to be needed.
“It’s hard to understate the impacts of these floods, which in many places follow years of drought, bushfires, COVID restrictions, and previous floods – and from which many are still recovering. The social and economic impact on many rural communities will be severe.
“Communities will have different concerns and needs, so recovery will happen at different rates, depending on the community and local priorities. Our focus is to make sure that once local leaders identify what their recovery needs are, there is support available.
“FRRR’s strong networks and relationships with community groups and not-for-profits in impacted areas, coupled with programs already in place, mean we will be ready to offer support when they are ready.
“Donations to our Flood Recovery Appeal will help to fund a diverse range of initiatives. That could be rebuilding infrastructure, supporting vulnerable community members, addressing the overall mental health of locals, providing opportunities for locals to reconnect and share their experiences, or improving resilience for future disasters,” Ms Egleton explained.
People can support FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal by donating to either the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund or the Strengthening Rural Communities program.
Donations to the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund are pooled and invested to ensure that remote, rural and regional communities affected by natural disasters can access flexible, fit-for-purpose funding to support local preparedness and recovery efforts, when it’s needed.
Alternatively, donations can be made to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, with FRRR making grants to support community organisations in these flood-impacted regions.
FRRR has supported remote, rural and regional communities across the country prepare for and recover from natural disasters since 2006. To date, FRRR has distributed more than $40 million for community-led disaster recovery and resilience initiatives, including more than $7 million for projects supporting recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires.
To donate to FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal visit – https://frrr.org.au/giving/flood-recovery-appeal/
Much needed boost for 17 initiatives in affected NSW and QLD rural communities
FRRR, in partnership with Suncorp Group, has awarded $200,000 in grants to 17 community groups and local not-for-profits in rural areas impacted by the March 2021 floods and storms for initiatives that will support their recovery from the disaster.
Funded through the Rebuilding Futures program, grants awarded range from $1,573 to $15,000. This funding will help with projects such as restoring damaged infrastructure, improving buildings and maintaining equipment needed for future disaster events, developing local disaster-response knowledge and skills, and providing access to services that foster recovery.
These grants are the first to come from Suncorp Group’s $1 million pledge to FRRR to support rural Australian communities impacted by, or vulnerable to, significant natural disasters.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said the grant recipients have showed a sense of resolve and strength when it comes to rebuilding.
“Recovery is not a quick process – not every community is going to have the capacity to take the same steps at the same time. Despite this, and the challenges of COVID-19 and volunteer fatigue, we’ve been genuinely impressed by the drive of local groups to actively seek support and funding to help their communities recover from the floods. It’s this kind of resilient spirit and motivation that will see these communities thrive once again.
“More than 50 percent of the applications we received for this round were for infrastructure and equipment, which shows not only the extent of the physical damage from the flooding, but also the long-term approach that these organisations are taking to the rebuilding of their communities,” said Ms Egleton.
Suncorp Group CEO, Steve Johnston, said these grants will enable recipients to overcome challenges and take control of their futures.
“The recipients of these grants are determined to make sure their communities recover and bounce back from the March 2021 floods. Natural disasters can turn people’s lives upside down, but the challenge has become even greater with the added pressure of the pandemic.
“Our remote, rural and regional communities know how to come together and work to rebuild their own futures. That’s why grant programs like these, that champion community-led recovery, are so crucial,” said Mr Johnston.
Among the 17 projects funded this round are:
- Bumbalong Valley Progress Association, NSW – Bumbalong Emu Project – $12,490 – Boost community connection and support the conservation of the local emu population by replacing infrastructure damaged during the March 2021 floods.
- Hawkesbury City Council, NSW – Hawkesbury Community Tech Connect – $14,836 – Enhance access to internet and mobile phone coverage with the creation of community technology hubs across the Hawkesbury region reducing isolation and supporting disaster recovery activities.
- Weemelah Hall, NSW – Beautification and Infrastructure Upgrade Project – $13,358 – Enhance community spaces with the installation of a BBQ for community use and beautification of the Weemelah Hall.
- Rathdowney and District Memorial Grounds Association Incorporated, QLD – Repair Rain-damaged Equestrian Arena and Make it Flood-resistant – $15,000 – Upgrade community infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of future flood events on the Rathdowney Memorial Ground.
More information on the Suncorp Rebuilding Futures grant program is available here.
The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.
|NEW SOUTH WALES|
|Bermagui Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Inc||A Positive Future|
Grow the organisations capacity to support the community with the provision of a portable projector and screen to enhance the delivery of community activities and events.
|Bumbalong Valley Progress Association||Bumbalong Emu Project |
Boost community connection and support the conservation of the local emu population by replacing infrastructure damaged during the March 2021 floods.
|Hawkesbury City Council||Hawkesbury Community Tech Connect |
Enhance access to internet and mobile phone coverage with the creation of community technology hubs across the Hawkesbury region reducing isolation and supporting disaster recovery activities.
|Bilpin, Colo & St Albans||$14,836|
|Huskisson Public School Parents and Citizens Association||Huskisson Public School Community Canteen |
Boost community resilience and connection with upgrades at the Huskisson School canteen, providing appropriate cooking facilities for the community to cook, prepare and share meals.
|Kempsey Singers Incorporated||Kempsey's Bandbox Theatre Costume Conservation Project |
Boost organisational capacity by repairing and mitigating future flood impacts at the Bandbox theatre and replace a portion of costumes damaged by the March 2021 floods.
|Kendall Men's Shed||Noise Level Reduction |
Boost the service offerings at the Kendall Men's Shed with noise reducing machinery encouraging community participation and connection.
|Make a Difference PMQ Incorporated||MAD SHED |
Boost the organisations capacity to support their community, particularly through recovery with the provision of a shed to house essential equipment and machinery.
|Mission Australia||The Common Approach - A Whole of Community Response to Child and Youth Wellbeing|
Grow community connection and wellbeing by providing activities through "The Common Approach" as a whole of community response to child and youth wellbeing across the Mid Coast region.
|Unkya Reserve Committee of Management Nambucca Valley Council||Stay and Play - Unkya Reserve Playground Flood-Resilient |
Upgrade Boost access to family oriented community spaces with the repair of stairs and the installation of picnic table, bench and shade at the Unkya Reserve.
|Quambone Resources Committee Inc||Quambone Memorial Hall - Final Touches |
Boost community connection by providing enhancements to the Quambone Memorial Hall, ensuring access to a comfortably appointed community facility for all to enjoy.
|River Cares Incorporated||To Improve Emergency Preparedness and Resilience by Developing a Community Emergency Plan |
Support emergency preparedness for Spencer and surrounding areas with the development of the Spencer Community Emergency Response Plan.
|UCA - Lifeline North Coast (NSW)||Psychological First Aid Workers - First Response Volunteers |
Strengthen community members mental health and wellbeing and assist in the training of community volunteer in Mental Health First Aid to support local recovery and resilience building.
|Upper Macleay Pre-School Incorporated||Tranquil and Safe - Upper Macleay Preschool Flood Recovery Initiative |
Support flooding preparedness by enhancing the Upper Macleay Preschool with repairs to flood damaged infrastructure and better preparing for future flooding events.
|Weemelah Hall||Beautification and Infrastructure Upgrade Project |
Enhance community spaces with the installation of a BBQ for community use and beautification of the Weemalah Hall.
|Young Men's Christian Association of Sydney||The Y NSW CoastTeen Project - Empowering Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Support for Young People Living on the Central Coast |
Support community wellbeing with the delivery on the Youth Mental Health Peer Support program in the NSW Central Coast region.
|Rathdowney and District Memorial Grounds Association Incorporated||Repair Rain-Damaged Equestrian Arena and Make it Flood Resistant |
Support the mitigation of impacts of future flood events on the Rathdowney Memorial Grounds by repairing, leveling and compacting the sand arena damaged during the March 2021 floods.
|Tamborine Mountain A H & I Society Inc||Replacement of Safety Rails on Access Ramp |
Increase accessibility to the Tamborine Mountains Showgrounds Pavilion by replacing the handrails and the front of the pavilion.