Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
FRRR has awarded $200,000 to 11 locally-led community initiatives that will provide mental health and wellbeing support for remote, rural and regional communities.
Funded through the In a Good Place (IAGP) program, these grants provide support for community-driven initiatives that reduce social isolation, increase social participation and encourage people in remote, rural and regional communities who are at risk of, or are experiencing, mental health issues to seek help. The national grant program, now in its fifth year, is funded by CCI Giving, the charitable foundation of Catholic Church Insurance (CCI).
This year, the IAGP grants awarded range from $12,000 to help local businesses and their employees in Kingaroy, QLD to support and improve mental health and wellbeing through a series of workshops, through to $20,000 to provide immediate, person-centred, and compassionate care for community members experiencing mental distress by establishing a peer-staffed, community drop-in centre in Castlemaine, VIC.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said it’s critical to offer this program, as many rural communities across Australia don’t have access to the level of resources that they need when it comes to mental health and wellbeing support.
“Many rural people rely on a sense of strong community to get through the difficult times. But, after a year and half of COVID-19 restrictions, the events and activities that would usually be a way for people to connect and heal, haven’t been able to go ahead. So, many people are feeling increasingly disconnected and socially isolated,” Ms Egleton explained.
“On top of the cumulative impact of natural disasters like drought, fires, flood and cyclones, this has meant that many rural Australians now have an even greater need for both preventative mental health measures, as well as non-clinical support for mental health and wellbeing issues. It also means that communities have had to think outside of the box and find new ways of helping people to connect and care for their mental health.
“That’s why it’s really encouraging to see so many innovative, community-led initiatives that are geared towards helping people in remote, rural and regional communities gain better access to the mental health support that they need.
“We’re grateful to be able to partner with CCI Giving to support these local projects, which we know will really make a difference,” said Ms Egleton.
Jeremy Yipp, CCI General Manager, General Insurance Claims and Chair of CCI Giving, said that improving rural Australia’s access to mental health resources is crucial.
“The In a Good Place program provides important support that is now, more than ever, vital for the mental wellbeing of rural Australia. We are pleased that through our partnership with FRRR we are able to provide funding for these community-led initiatives designed to support and connect the community to the tools they need to care for their mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Yipp said.
Some of the 11 mental health initiatives funded include:
- Wesley Mission Queensland – Murgon and Cherbourg, QLD – Marcus Mission – Building Suicide Prevention Community Capacity in South Burnett – $18,619 – Boost the community’s ability to support vulnerable males by training and supporting local men to deliver the Marcus Mission suicide prevention initiative.
- Pro Patria Centre Ltd Ashmont, NSW – Kitchen Garden to Plate: Nutrition for the Mind, Body, and Soul – $17,160 – Support the mental health and social connection of veterans, first responders and their families by developing a kitchen garden to support future therapeutic gardening and nutrition programs.
- Quorn Community Sporting Assoc Inc – Quorn, SA – Don’t Wait til You’re Stuffed! – $13,900 – Encourage people to come together and boost community resilience by bringing in a guest speaker to share vital tips and advice.
- Dignity Supported Community Garden – Nubeena and Dodges Ferry, TAS – DIGnity Supported Gardening Sessions – $19,440 – Improve social participation and support mental wellbeing of vulnerable community members by providing expert mental health counselling and Occupational Therapist support to participate in therapeutic horticulture sessions.
- Healesville Primary School Healesville, VIC – Let’sTALK Program at Healesville Primary School – $20,000 – Empower staff, students and families to feel safe to talk openly about their mental wellbeing and provide skills to encourage and support help seeking behaviours through a shared program of learning.
To support grants like this through FRRR, make a tax-deductible donation at https://frrr.org.au/giving/.
The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below:
|Castlemaine Community House Inc||Castlemaine Safe Space|
Support community members experiencing mental distress by establishing a peer-staffed, community drop-in centre by providing immediate, person-centred, and compassionate care in a non-clinical setting.
|Central West Family Support Group Inc||In a Good Place|
Build mental health awareness in the community to reduce stigma and improve mental health and wellbeing
|Condobolin / Lake Cargelligo / Murrin Bridge, NSW||$20,000|
|Circular Head RSL Sub Branch Inc||Canines Fostering Community Connections - Improving Veteran Well-being in Rural Tasmanian Communities|
Improve the social participation and mental health of veterans by supporting their pairing with and training of Assistance Dogs.
|Dignity Supported Community Garden||DIGnity Supported Gardening Sessions|
Improve social participation and support mental wellbeing of vulnerable community members by proving expert mental health counselling and Occupational Therapist support to participate in therapeutic horticulture sessions.
|Nubeena / Dodges Ferry, TAS||$19,440|
|Healesville Primary School||Let'sTALK Program at Healesville Primary School|
Empower staff, students and families to feel safe to talk openly about their mental wellbeing and provide skills to encourage and support help seeking behaviours through a shared program of learning .
|Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc||SHINE - Supporting Mental Wellbeing through Information, Leadership and Education - Stage 2|
Boost and strengthen community resilience by running workshops to help local businesses and their employees support and improve mental health and wellbeing.
|Pro Patria Centre Ltd||Kitchen Garden to Plate: Nutrition for the Mind, Body, and Soul|
Support the mental health and social connection of veterans, first responders and their families by developing a kitchen garden to support future therapeutic gardening and nutrition programs.
|Ashmont (Wagga Wagga), NSW||$17,160|
|Quorn Community Sporting Assoc Inc||Don't Wait til You're Stuffed!|
Encourage people to come together and boost community resilience by bringing in a guest speaker to share vital tips and advice.
|Southern Yorke Peninsula Community||Youth on Yorkes|
Help local youth-focussed organisations to understand and support young people to develop mental fitness and resilience through the employment of a dedicated youth worker.
|The Southern Highlands Foundation||Grand Friends|
Foster friendships and increase social connection by bringing together residents from the local aged care facility with primary school children for shared activities.
|Bowral / Moss Vale, NSW||$19,268|
|Wesley Mission Queensland||Marcus Mission - Building Suicide Prevention Community Capacity in South Burnett|
Boost the community’s ability to support vulnerable males by training and supporting local men to deliver the Marcus Mission suicide prevention initiative.
|Murgon / Cherbourg, QLD||$18,619|
Funding awarded for 112 locally-led projects
FRRR has awarded $1,589,612 in grants for 112 projects that will help build the resilience and long-term vitality of smaller remote, rural and regional communities across Australia, through its Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.
The SRC program is collaboratively funded, and its broad scope enables smaller remote, rural, and regional communities to receive funding for a wide range of initiatives that are led by local people and address local needs. The awarded grants will give these rural places a boost to achieve long-term viability and vitality.
This round of SRC includes funding across three streams – Small & Vital, Larger Leverage and Bushfire Recovery grants. Grants range from $323 for first aid and snake bite kits for the Harts Range Amateur Race Club in remote Northern Territory, through to a $25,000 grant to support healing and the preservation of culture by providing the opportunity for Kullilli people to travel to Thargomindah in Queensland and be on Kullilli country to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
For regions continuing to recover and renew following the 2019/2020 bushfires, grants range from $2,500 to encourage locals to participate in recovery activities at the Maclean Spring Festival in New South Wales, through to $25,000 for the installation of local fauna sculptures that will increase connection to place and enhance public spaces in Marlow, Victoria.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said this round of SRC has seen rural communities across Australia seek funding for inspiring initiatives that build community resilience and support individual and community health and wellbeing at a local level.
“Many communities have been impacted by multiple disasters, including the recent flooding in NSW and parts of QLD. For these regions, economic recovery from the disasters has been severely challenged by COVID-19. For community organisations, the pandemic has hampered fundraising efforts and their capacity to provide services. Understandably, local volunteers are pretty worn out. In response, we have awarded a number of grants for projects that will relieve volunteer-fatigue and alleviate the pressures that many volunteer-led groups are dealing with.
“Rural communities gain strength and vitality when locals have places to gather and connect, so it’s not surprising that we continue to see strong demand for projects that build community resilience by investing in local community assets and infrastructure, particularly the maintenance of community halls. And, as gathering restrictions ease, we are seeing more requests for work on outdoor spaces and for community events, as people come together to strengthen community engagement and participation,” Ms Egleton said.
The Small & Vital grants stream provides funding of up to $10,000 for local initiatives that enhance the wellbeing, strength and resilience of rural communities. This round of SRC has seen 52 projects in places across all States and Territories sharing in a total of $356,342 in Small & Vital grants.
Larger Leverage grants provide funding of up to $25,000, generally for remote or very remote parts of Australia. The larger grants are intended to help overcome logistical barriers that can limit the opportunity for multifaceted projects in these regions. A total of $595,362 has been awarded to 27 projects through the Larger Leverage stream.
This round the Bushfire Recovery stream awarded a total of $637,908 in grants to 33 initiatives designed to help seed and strengthen the recovery of communities impacted by the 2019/2020 summer bushfires. Further information on these Bushfire Recovery projects is available here.
Some of the 79 Small & Vital and Larger Leverage projects awarded include:
- Cootamundra Development Corporation Limited, Cootamundra NSW – Capable Coota! – $3000 – Help volunteer organisations in Cootamundra to attract high quality executive members by providing Governance training.
- Circulanation Ltd, Borroloola NT – Indigenous Entrepreneurship Facilitators Training Manual – Language Translation – $10,000 – Support Indigenous women to develop entrepreneurship and employability through translation of facilitator’s training manual into Kriol language to enable locally-led delivery of the training program.
- MultiSkill Centre Ltd, Cloncurry QLD – Work-it-out Room – $9,910 – Improve access to social and physical wellbeing opportunities for disadvantaged youth in remote township by provision of an exercise room.
- Wudinna RSL Memorial Kindergarten, Wudinna SA – Wudinna RSL Memorial Kindergarten – $25,000 – Provide pre-school children access to safe, sun-smart outdoor educational play areas by building a permanent roof structure.
- Derwent Valley Community House Inc, New Norfolk TAS – Blair Street Community Facilities – $10,000 – Boost the use of a Community House through an upgrade of facilities.
- Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, Wail VIC – Educate, Regenerate and Inspire – Dalki Garringa Arboretum Biodiversity Program – $25,000 – Strengthen connection to local culture through the development of a First Nations educational project.
- Environs Kimberley, Broome WA – Strengthening the Kimberley Community Seedbank: a sustainable social enterprise – $24,995 – Build Indigenous business skills and support a sustainable bushfoods industry through establishment of two seed collecting enterprises.
The SRC program is collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors, which are listed here.
The current round is accepting applications until 24 August 2021, with funds to be awarded in December 2021.
The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.
|AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY|
|Australian Outward Bound Development Fund Pty Limited|
Rebuilding from the Heat
|NEW SOUTH WALES|
Argents Hill Hall
Nambucca Valley Council
|Resilience Through Food and Cooking - Restoring Argents Hill Hall Kitchen|
Increase local capacity to support recovery activities and increase preparedness for future disasters, through an upgrade to the kitchen at Argents Hill Hall.
|Ashby Community Centre and Public Recreation Reserve Land Manager||Ashby Hall Reserve Solar Installation|
Ensure viability, increase preparedness for future disasters and reduce the impact of climate change through the installation of a solar system for the Ashby Community Centre.
|Community College-Northern Inland Inc||The Barraba Community News|
Increase the viability of local communications post bushfires, through purchase of equipment to support publication and delivery of community newsletter.
|Habitat for Humanity Australia as the Operator of a PBI||Safer Together: Community Bushfire Recovery and Resilience in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands Regions of NSW|
Boost recovery and preparedness for bushfires through coordination of community rebuilding, fire reduction and educational events.
|Bobin School of Arts Incorporated||Revamping our Kitchen to Meet Community Demand|
Strengthen the capacity of Bobin Hall, a key asset throughout the Black Summer bushfires, via the second-stage upgrade of its kitchen.
|Jumbunna Community Pre-school & Early Intervention Centre Incorporated||Bonalbo Preschool Community Strengthening|
Increase community engagement and strengthen children's recovery through the installation of a natural playground and facilitating community events.
|Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Limited||Purchase of a Truck to do the Heavy Lifting|
Increase volunteer capacity to manage botanic gardens, through purchase of a utility vehicle to transport water and materials.
|Nambucca Valley Phoenix Limited||The Phoenix Depot - Building Community Resilience|
Build community resilience, recovery and involvement through provision of a teacher, equipment and tools for the establishment of a community facility.
|Buxton Community Association Incorporated||Toilet Block Restoration|
Increase the functionality of the Buxton Hall through the upgrade of the toilet facilities, incorporating wheelchair access and a change table for families.
|Cobargo Wellness Group||Ginger The Frog Community and Professional Arts Project – A Children's’ Bushfire Recovery Project|
Enhance the recovery of youth and families in remote areas of Bega Valley and Eurobodalla Shires, through the delivery of a therapeutic arts program.
|Cooma Chamber of Commerce Incorporated||Cooma So Much to Love|
Increase promotion of Cooma region through development and delivery of the "So Much to Love" social and paid media campaign.
|Early Links Inclusion Support Service Incorporated||Kurri Kurri - Start your Engines|
Enhance delivery of supportive services to vulnerable populations following disaster, through the creation of a sensory room.
|Friends of the Labyrinth - a standing sub-committee of Kyogle Community Economic Development Committee|
Kyogle Community Economic Development Committee
|Kyogle Harmony Labyrinth: A Special Place for Healing, Celebration and Personal Reflection|
Ensure sustainability and build community resilience, recovery and connection through installation of an irrigation system to maintain the Kyogle Harmony Labyrinth.
|Lansdowne Hall Reserve Trust||Ride on Mower for Lansdowne Community Hall|
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase preparedness for future fires through the purchase of a ride on mower for the Lansdowne Hall.
|Maclean Branch Country Womens Association of NSW||Maclean Spring Festival and Scarecrow competition|
Enhance a local festival and encourage participation in recovery activities, through delivery of a community scarecrow making competition.
|Tarana Volunteer Bushfire Brigade||Fast Track Truck Driver Training|
Reduce the burden on Tarana Volunteer Bushfire Brigade volunteers by providing professional HR driving lessons for 10 long term volunteers, in order for them to become fire truck drivers.
|Coleambally Townlife Committee|
|Coleambally Community Garden|
Grow community involvement and build resilience through the provision of a shed and fence to support the establishment of a new community garden in drought impacted Coleambally.
|RiverSmart Australia Limited||WOW - Improving Access and Inclusion for the Elderly and Vulnerable Groups|
Improving access for visitors to the Window on the Wetlands through the installation of a sensored automatic sliding door and some additional concrete pathways.
|Manning River Agricultural and Horticultural Society Taree Incorporated *||Activity & Storage Shed|
Build community connection and resilience through construction of a community meeting place.
|Small & Vital|
|Berry and District Historical Society Incorporated||Renovation of the Berry Museum's Maid's Room|
Enhance community identity and awareness of local culture through upgrades to the local museum.
|Cootamundra Development Corporation Limited||Capable Coota!|
Help volunteer organisations in Cootamundra to attract high quality executive members by providing Governance training.
|Australian Agricultural Centre Limited||Host an Educational Astronomy/Agriculture/Wellbeing Event in Partnership with National Science Week 2021|
Provide educational events about the links between agriculture, culture and astronomy through the delivery of the STEMConnect 2021 event for up to 1000 people.
|Kiama Community Radio Incorporated||Equipping Kiama Community Radio Volunteer Presenters|
Help Kiama Community Radio commence broadcast to their community via the purchase of technical equipment and provision of training for volunteers.
|Gunawirra Limited||Art Therapy to Heal Indigenous Minimbah Children|
Strengthen cultural identity and improve the wellbeing of Indigenous children through the provision of art supplies, murals, recordings, dance circle and natural fibres to support a Creative Arts Therapy Program.
|Tooraweenah P. A.& H. Association Inc||Tooraweenah Pasture Day|
Strengthen community connectivity and engagement through the delivery of the Torweenah Pasture Day event.
|Woodstock Progress Association||What's WHAT in Woodstock!|
Increase community participation and encourage tourism through installation of a community noticeboard and local signage upgrades.
|NT Writers Centre Inc||NT Writers Festival in Alice Springs, 26-29 August 2021|
Encourage people to come together and celebrate story telling though hosting the NT Writers Festival.
|“Ngketya Nwernaka Ilkerta Mparetyeka”: Making Our Language Strong. Pertame Master-Apprentice Project|
Retain Pertame Indigenous Language by passing down oral langauge skills with train the trainer Master-Apprentice language program for remote Arrente community.
|Yipirinya School Council Inc||Establishing a Family/Community Centre of Engagement to Increase Access to Parents, Carers and Families Children's Education Through Building a Vibrant Aboriginal Educational Community at Yipirinya School|
Increase engagement with families and broader community to build stronger educational supports for Indigenous students at Yipirinya School.
Ninti One Ltd
|Building the Capacity of the Outback Alliance|
Strengthen the capacity of the Outback Alliance to advocate for Outback Australia with policy makers through resourcing and support to formally establish the entity.
|LiteHaus International Inc.||Digital Inclusion Program - Ngukurr School|
Help students to have access to technology and the internet with the purchase of fifty refurbished computers for very remote school.
|Ngaruwanajirri Inc||Ngaruwanajirri Facilities Upgrade|
Improve Ngaruwanajirri Arts Centre’s safety by replacing wiring and switchboards and expand use of centre by upgrading air-conditioners.
|Tracks Inc||Dhilala Walu – In The Now|
Enhance senior citizen health and vitality through a dance program that builds social connection and celebrates Indigenous culture.
|Small & Vital|
|Circulanation Ltd||Indigenous Entrepreneurship Facilitators Training Manual: Language Translation|
Support Indigenous women to develop entrepreneurship and employability through translation of facilitator's training manual into Kriol language to enable locally led delivery of the training program.
|Harts Range Amateur Race Club Inc||First Aid Kits|
Increase community safety with provision of first aid and snake bite kits at remote community sporting complex.
|St John Ambulance Australia (NT) Inc||Volunteer Equipment Kit Upgrades for Katherine Rodeo and Campdraft Event Health Services|
Improve safety and comply with new COVID-19 infection control guidelines by updating St John Ambulance Resuscitation First Aid Kit Bags.
|Capricorn Film Festival Inc||SHARKO. Inspire, Connect, Assist|
Support mental health recovery, engaging men through a documentary to then participate in mental health and wellbeing workshops.
|Laidley Community Centre Inc||Improvements to Community Facility to Increase Capacity|
Enhance recovery activities delivered at the Mulgowie Hall, increasing comfort and amenity through installation of air conditioning and replacement of aging picnic tables.
|Rathdowney and District Memorial Grounds Association Incorporated||Natural Disaster Preparedness - Electrical Masterplan for Emergency Response Facilities|
Enhance community activities and support community preparedness for future emergency evacuations by developing an electricity supply masterplan for the Rathdowney Memorial Grounds.
|Towers Players Inc||Paving the way for Volunteers|
Strengthen and increase community participation in the Arts by upgrading performance facilities.
|Kullilli Bulloo River Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC||Dika-gala punu ŋali yanta-gala - ‘We are going back to Country’|
Support healing and the preservation of culture through the provision of accomodation, transport and meals at inaugural Back to Country event for the Kullilli people during a NAIDOC Week.
|Royal Life Saving Society Queensland Inc||SwimWest|
Improve safety and awareness by implementing a drowning prevention initiative across the remote Shire of Winton.
|The Youth Network NQ Inc *||Lids4Kids Social Enterprise|
Support climate resilience and economic recovery from floods and COVID-19, by contributing to machinery for the expansion of the Lids4Kids social enterprise.
|Small & Vital|
|Alpha District Tourism & Development Assoc. Inc.||History Signs for Pine Hill Cemetery and Alpha Old Cemetery|
Boost economic development and tourism and enhance community identity through installing historical signage at the Pine Hill Cemetery and Alpha Old Cemetery.
|Banana Shire Community Arts Assoc Inc||Restore, Refurbish, Revive: Reconnecting Community|
Encourage social interaction and promote cultural activity by restoring the community Arts building.
|Lions Club of Cecil Plains Inc||Portable PA System|
Enhance community activities and increase access through provision of audio equipment for local Lions Club.
|MultiSkill Centre Ltd||Work-it-out Room|
Improve access to social and physical wellbeing opportunities for disadvantaged youth in remote township by provision of an exercise room.
|QCWA Branch Esk||Painting Exterior of the Esk QCWA Hall Owned by ESK QCWA Branch|
Increase community pride and support local recovery through refurbishment of the Esk CWA hall.
|Gympie & District Landcare Group Incorporated||New Trailer|
Improve native flora and fauna along the Mary River through provision of a new trailer to support control of invasive weeds.
|Atherton-Herberton Historic Railway Inc||Access for All|
Expand the use of the Atherton Historic Railway through provision of an all-access pathway and ramp.
|Innisfail Community Band Incorporated||Broadening the Performance Impact and Capability of the Innisfail Community Band|
Encourage people to come together and interact as a community by providing equipment to support COVID safe music events provided by the Innisfail Community Band.
|Johnstone Region Landcare Group Inc||Essential Equipment Upgrade for Community Group Activities|
Boost volunteer support and retention through upgrading equipment and kitchen appliances for rural landcare group.
|Kalbar Progress Association Inc||Light Up Kalbar Christmas Tree|
Boost community connection and identity by installing a new outdoor Christmas tree and decorations to be displayed annually during the Kalbar Light Up Festival.
|Taabinga State School Parents and Citizens Association||Extension of Play Area|
Encourage children to be active and families to be involved in their education through improving the outdoor play area at Taabinga State School.
|QCWA Branch Abergowrie & Long Pocket||Take Your Seat Ladies|
Increase community participation and amenity through the provision of new seating at the community hall.
|Monto State Primary School P&C Association||Building a Love of Reading in Childhood School Based Project|
Increase student engagement and learning outcomes by providing new reading materials at Monto State Primary School.
|North Burnett Community Service Inc.||Mundubbera Community Garden Group|
Encourage community resilience and involvement through forming a community garden group; including establishment of a garden, launch and a series of events.
|Peak Crossing State Primary School P & C Association||Production of Commemorative Book to Mark the 150th Anniversary of Opening of Peak Crossing State Primary School and Restoration of a World War I Honour Board Destroyed in a Fire|
Enhance community identity and improve educational outcomes through publishing a commemorative book and restoring honour board to celebrate 150 years of Peak Crossing State Primary School.
|Theodore Early Childhood Centre Association Inc.||Xtreme 1 Servo Bulls N Barrels Bonanza 2021 by Theodore Early Childhood Centre, Supply of Ambulance, Security, Lighting and ATM Onsite for Event|
Encourage community connection and support economic recovery by providing safety, security and other event enhancements for the “Bulls N Barrels Bonanza” annual community event.
|Advance Kingscote Progress Association||Igniting Kingscote Through Art|
Enhance economic and social recovery, through installation of silo art attraction at the entrance of Kingscote.
|Kingscote Mens Shed Inc||Connection Through Activity for Men Living on Kangaroo Island|
Increase opportunities to support local connectedness and social recovery, through restoration of a local historic Wharf Trolley.
|Foodbank of South Australia Inc||Foodbank SA Bush Fire Zone Food Relief Program|
Increase access to food for disaster impacted residents, through supporting Foodbank SA to purchase additional supplies.
|Wudinna RSL Memorial Kindergarten||Wudinna RSL Memorial Kindergarten|
Provide pre-school children access to safe, sun-smart outdoor educational play areas by building a permanent roof structure.
|Small & Vital|
|Cradock Heritage Group|
The Flinders Ranges Council
|Cradock Memorial Garden Bore Water Treatment|
Encourage people to come together by enhancing an outdoor community space.
|Cummins Community Garden |
Cummins Memorial Recreation Centre Inc
|Cummins Community Garden - Social Hub|
Encourage community wellbeing and engagement by enhancing facilities.
|Joanna Community Hall Inc||Renovation Rescue - Joanna Hall Kitchen|
Boost the use of a community hall through the upgrade of a kitchen and improving facilities.
|Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North Inc||Peterborough Community Enterprises - Retail Coffee and Training for the Community Bakery|
Support youth engagement and skill development by initiating a social enterprise that will deliver workforce training.
|Country Life Compassion||Volunteer Training|
Support volunteer skill development by delivering a training workshop designed to enhance community engagement.
|Walker Flat and District Progress Association Inc||Purchase of Tipper Trailer|
Improve the organisation’s ability to support and service the community through the purchase of a fit for purpose trailer to be used for conservation and recycling programs.
|Impression Bay Community Development Association Inc||Opening up Access to the Premaydena Heritage Garden|
Encourage people in the community to access a heritage garden through the construction of an all-abilities pathway.
|Small & Vital|
|King Island Natural Resource Management Group Inc||Website Rebuild and Refresh|
Strengthen community connection to the natural environment and provide conservation information through the development of a website.
|George Town Neighbourhood House Inc||Community Garden|
Improve access to healthy food and educational activities by developing a community garden project.
|Derwent Valley Community House Inc||Blair Street Community Facilities|
Boost the use of a Community House through an upgrade of facilities.
|Wynyard Volunteer Marine Rescue |
Surf Life Saving in Tasmania Inc
|Expansion of First Aid Capabilities at Wynyard Volunteer Marine Rescue|
Improve community safety and wellbeing through expansion of training and lifesaving equipment.
|Gippsland East Local Learning & Employment Network||Learn at the Hub|
Increase access to skill development and training that supports employment, through engaging a coordinator to initiate programs at the newly established Bairnsdale Hub.
|The Beechworth Chaingang Inc||Beechworth Mountain Bike Park Trail Expansion Feasibility Study and Plan|
Increase local volunteer capacity to progress expansion of bike trails around Beechworth through development of a feasibility plan.
|Bemm River Mens Shed|
Bemm River Progress and Improvement Association Inc
|Bemm River Mens Shed Upgrade - Toilet and Kitchen|
Boost community recovery and connection via upgrades to the Men's Shed toilet and kitchen facilities.
|Corryong & District Memorial Public Hall Inc||Steps to Renewal|
Increase local pride and connection to place through repairs to the historic stair case at Corryong hall.
|Destination Gippsland Ltd||Event School|
Strengthen economic recovery and social engagement in bushfire affected communities through event coaching.
|Mallacoota and District Business and Tourism Association Inc||Connecting Business Owners|
Increase capacity and capability of local businesses to recover post-Black Summer bushfires through training and networking activities.
|Mallacoota and District Historical Society Inc||Native Bush Food Walk|
Increase connection to place and restore the local environment, through establishment of a native bush food walk around the Mallacoota Museum.
|Marlo Ratepayers and Residents Association||Snowy Estuary Sculptures|
Increase connection to place and enhance public spaces, through the installation of local fauna sculptures in public spaces.
|Moyhu Recreation||Greasy Inclusion|
Improve facilities that support local connectedness and delivery of activities through, upgrade inadequate infrastructure at Moyhu Recreation Reserve.
|Upper Gundowring Recreation Rooms Inc A 8466||Upgrades to Upper Gundowring Hall|
Improve the accessibility and amenity of the community meeting place via upgrades to the community hall.
|Bendigo Foodshare||Mission Possible: A Sustainable New Home for Bendigo Foodshare|
Enhance food security and wellbeing of communities through the installation of renewable energy at the Foodshare warehouse.
|Central Highlands Rural Health||Beds Ain't Beds|
Improve comfort and safety for aged care residents through the provision of specialised beds.
|Darlingford Upper Goulburn Nursing Home||Living Well in the Fourth Age - Comfort, Dignity and Connections|
Boost the health and wellbeing of nursing home residents and respite patients by purchasing specialised diagnostic and mobility equipment.
|Zoe Support Australia||The Wheels on the Bus Go Round & Round|
Improve access to educational and social programs for young mothers and their children by providing a reliable transport service via the purchase of a vehicle.
|Mumbannar Recreation Reserve||Renew the Loo Stage 4|
Encourage greater access to a community gathering space by providing an all abilities bathroom and accessible entrance ramp.
|Redbank Public Hall Reserve Committee of Management||Water Storage for Township Bushfire Protection|
Increase preparedness for future disaster events through the installation of a water tank.
|Woods Farming & Heritage Museum Inc.||Cooling and Heating for our Future|
Boost the use and comfort of a community museum through the installation of a climate control system
|Tarwin Lower Mechanics Institute Committee of Management Inc||Tarwin Lower Hall Rejuvenation|
Support connectivity and community engagement through the upgrade of weatherboards at a well utilised hall.
|Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC||Educate, Regenerate and Inspire - Dalki Garringa Arboretum Biodiversity Program|
Strengthen connection to local culture through the development of a First Nations educational project.
|Small & Vital|
|Avenel Active||Digital Literacy Skills Program for Seniors - Be Connected|
Improve connections and skills in older people by providing a digital literacy hub and training.
|Kooyoora Women's Network Inc||Bridgewater Railway Station - Community Food Garden|
Foster knowledge and improve access to healthy food by establishing a community garden precinct.
|Bridgewater On Loddon||$10,000|
|The Pebble Church Heritage Association Inc||Rain Water Tank Project|
Encourage the expanded use of a community venue through the installation of a water tank.
|Health Futures Australia Ltd||S.H.I.F.T Healthy Lunch Kitchen|
Enhance food security for school children via new kitchen equipment to produce healthy lunches.
|Kooreh Soldiers Memorial Hall Committee |
St Arnaud Community Resource Centre Inc
|2021 Kooreh Soldiers Memorial Hall External Painting Upgrade|
Expand the use of the community hall and preserve the facility by painting the hall exterior.
|Maldon Museum and Archives Association Inc||Delivering our History|
Increase volunteer capacity by investing in shared community equipment.
|Gippsland Employment Skills Training Inc||Digital Literacy and Call Centre Customer Service Training Upgrade|
Expand employment opportunities for job seekers by purchasing technology for digital literacy training.
|Moorngag Public Hall and Recreation Reserve||Painting and Heating of Community Hall|
Encourage people to come together by improving the comfort and amenity of a public hall.
|The Scout Association of Australia Victorian Branch||Projector and Screen|
Support lifelong learning and skills in younger people through the purchase of audio-visual equipment for training and educational activities.
|Rupanyup Public Hall Committee||Rupanyup Hall Curtain Replacement|
Strengthen community connection and engagement through improvements to a well utilised public hall.
|Sandy Point Community Power||Purchase and Installation of Energy Storage Batteries at the Sandy Point Community Centre|
Boost safety and disaster preparedness by installing a solar battery storage system at the local community centre.
|Trentham Neighbourhood Centre Inc||Trentham Youth Group - Creating Emerging Community Leaders|
Encourage youth engagement and improve social wellbeing by establishing a youth group.
|Environs Kimberley||Strengthening the Kimberley Community Seedbank: a Sustainable Social Enterprise|
Build Indigenous business skills and support a sustainable bushfoods industry through establishment of two seed collecting enterprises.
|Kununurra Agricultural Society Inc||Heads Up and Smile, it's Showtime!|
Build a healthy, connected community via children's activities and workshops that increase attendance and encourage more local involvement in the local Agricultural Show.
|Small & Vital|
|Augusta & Districts Community Childcare Centre Inc.||Improve the Educational Resources of our Community Childcare Centre for 0-12 year olds, with a Unique Focus on Intergenerational Activities and Nature Play|
Grow enrichment opportunities for early childhood development by providing nature based play equipment at new and only long day care childcare service in Augusta.
|Kununurra Toy & Puzzle Library||Toy Rejuvenation Project 2021|
Support rejuvenation toy library's favourite toys, reducing landfill, with purchase of tools and equipment for toy fixing and repairs program.
|Lake Grace CWA||Refurbishment of CWA Lake Grace|
Expand the use of local facilities and improve ambience and comfort of CWA Hall with refurbishment of building.
|Dismantle||Meaningful Engagement for Youth in Remote Indigenous Communities|
Build school engagement through delivery of interactive bicycle re-building program that helps students master technical prowess, engineering, mathematics and physical skills.
|Yiyili, Mueller Ranges||$5,000|
|* These grants align to specific donor preferences.|
About 70 km north of Roma, in Queensland’s Maranoa district, there is a crossroad, a place that most people pass by. It’s not a barren area – it has its own sense of beauty, but it is not an easy place to live either. It’s known as Roughlie.
In the five years from 2014, this small part of the world experienced pretty much everything the elements could throw at it. They endured floods, fires, severe drought conditions and decreasing commodity prices. But they are a resilient bunch of people.
During these hardships, two farmers – a husband and wife team – offered a parcel of their land to the community for the purpose of establishing a not-for-profit community centre.
As Lexene Spreadborough, Treasurer of Roughlie Community Centre explains, they saw a need to have a place where the community could come together for physical, emotional and mental wellbeing through social interaction and community involvement.
“[We needed] a place for members of our community and district to come together for mental and moral support is vital during droughts. A community space allows drought-affected farmers and graziers to support each other – improving community connectivity and in turn build a stronger community.
“The Roughlie Community Centre Inc. was established in July 2014, and by the October we had 40 members forming the working committee. All members and the community were volunteers with no paid staff.
“Our vision was to have a centre to be used for social functions, sporting and recreational activities and to provide a venue for industry groups for workshops, seminars and field days. But we needed somewhere to meet, as there was no community meeting place in our district,” said Ms Spreadborough.
The ‘It started with a Shed’ project was borne, as part of the first stage in their shared vision.
“We received a $9,990 grant through FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together program to build a Shed for the community to come together to fundraise and plan the centre. The money, which we know came from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, was a catalyst for further funds, with substantial additional donations being made to connect the power, install a rain tank, a BBQ and stainless-steel benches. Another successful application to the Maranoa Regional Council’s ‘Community Grant’ program provided half the cost of fencing of the land, with the remainder being funded by members and residents. And we’ve gone on from there, since securing other grants and we now have a new Community Centre.
“The Shed – the first building on our land – started it all. It’s led to families coming together to connect with other members of our district. We have held card afternoons, club meetings, theme nights and other events. Before this some people had very little social interaction.”
Kara Spreadborough works as a Clinical Nurse Consultant at the local hospital. She has a young family, and to her, the Shed offers a special place of connection and sense of community.
“[In my role], I see the importance of that interaction and connection for the community, so I provided a letter of support just to say that working in the outback for the last 8 years, I’ve seen the importance of coming together as a community and the mental health aspect of it. Just sharing stories, sharing a cuppa, really does help people process things, because there’s that aspect of people being a bit more lonely, a bit more isolated in the bush.
“The whole process of applying for the grant was seamless. Although these things seem daunting, once you get going and talking to people… And the fact that we got what we asked for, we were blown away, but we were so appreciative. Doing this for the community, people would stop us in the street and say how amazing it was that we got this building, because it is amazing.”
Lexene Spreadborough said that while they’ve only just started using it, they have had a lot of people enquiring about it now, but mostly for workshops, seminars, information and industry-related training days.
“It’s also used socially for anyone in the district, sometimes we have a Friday night get together here, we have our meetings here, rural fire brigades have their meetings here, and Anglicare has a monthly children’s playgroup,” she said.
President of the Roughlie Community Center, John Frith, said, “I think it’s a real positive to the area to bring people together more regularly, and the guys obviously share similar challenges and successes. They can get together more regularly than they otherwise would with this facility here, which I think is important on two fronts; socially, and the potential to bring industry forums to the actual doorstep.”
And while the finishing touches to the Community Centre were only made in December 2020, the venue has already hosted a number of community gatherings, and a workshop is scheduled in July for community members to gain an understanding of soil carbon sequestration practices to mitigate climate change and move towards better land management and agricultural practices.
The impact of investing in resilience
Hovells Creek Landcare (HCL), NSW received an FRRR grant to support a series of workshops to increase land management knowledge and strategies, at the same time as strengthening community and social connections and wellbeing.
When drought strikes, the toll of the dry land can have an overwhelming impact on a farmer’s livelihood, family and community.
The group has been running workshops on drought and land, and resource management with expert speakers, using a $19,554 Tackling Tough Times Together grant received in the thick of the drought.
These workshops provided Landcare members with the latest thinking and resources for drought management, as well as a social interaction opportunity. They aimed to support farmers and community members to feel that they are doing their best for their livestock, their landscape, their families and themselves – to plan for the future, as much as the present.
To assist with volunteer fatigue impacting the HCL during the demanding drought, the grant also helped to fund a Coordinator to manage the workshops. The Coordinator organised expert speakers, promoted the events and arranged the venues and catering. The grant also funded any expert guest fees and travel expenses.
Experts spoke on topics ranging from managing mental health, to soil and moisture monitoring, and livestock feeding strategies.
Around 50 to 70 people participated, including a mix of Landcare members and local landholders, but with sessions shared online and in newsletters and local media, the insights were shared widely. The participants varied in terms of their level of knowledge and understanding of climate change and its impacts. They all had differing community and individual pressures as a result of the ongoing drought, and were presented with a suite of options to help them respond.
According to one of the former committee members, the workshops had the following impacts on participants: an increase in wellbeing, knowledge and capacity – with much greater awareness of climate change scenarios and importantly the likely local impacts. They learnt about tools, technologies and improved land management practices to effectively, sustainably and productively manage natural resources and adapt to significant changes in climate.
As a result of FRRR’s support for the project, funded by the Stockland CARE Foundation, HCL was able to secure more funding for a soil moisture probe in the Valley to enable producers to access real time moisture levels, rainfall and soil temperature data. This probe will help with plant management and maximise growth opportunities both now and into the future.
Networks to Build Drought Resilience and Drought Resilience Leaders
FRRR will soon be providing increased support into remote, rural and regional communities to prepare for the impacts of drought, after being selected by the Australian Government to deliver its Networks to Build Drought Resilience program. FRRR is also part of a consortium delivering the Drought Resilience Leaders program.
Funded through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund, both programs will help remote, rural and regional people access the tools, skills and support to build and foster leader networks, and to develop and roll out drought resilience initiatives in their communities.
The Networks to Build Drought Resilience (NBDR) program will help people in agricultural communities to develop skills, participate in risk management planning, and foster projects that encourage connectedness and improve wellbeing. It will also support small-scale infrastructure projects to make community facilities drought resilient to increase overall wellbeing and reduce social isolation.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program will support future-focussed initiatives led by local community groups and network organisations that play such a vital role in local and regional resilience
“Networks and community leadership are the backbone of strong, vibrant communities and are essential to ensuring future preparedness for drought and the associated social, economic, environmental impacts that can be so devastating for remote, rural, and regional communities.
“This is an exciting opportunity for building drought resilience from the ground up and we look forward to supporting the fantastic ideas and solutions that we know are ready to go across the country,” Ms Egleton said.
Through the Drought Resilience Leaders (DRL) program rural leaders will be able to access training and support that will help them to develop and undertake a project to build drought resilience in their communities. Partnering with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) and the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE), FRRR will manage a grants stream that will allow leadership program participants and their communities to activate their community-strengthening ideas.
Ms Egleton said that this program means more opportunities for local people to take the lead in finding meaningful and tailored solutions for their community’s increased climate resilience.
“Local leaders know how to get things done. They know how to bring people together, to motivate and to problem-solve. Backing these leaders is key to ensuring the long-term vitality of Australia’s remote, rural and regional communities, particularly those battling drought.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the ARLF and RECoE to provide these local leaders with access to such invaluable training and help them to bring their drought resilience projects to life,” Ms Egleton said.
For more information visit
The Hon David Littleproud MP – https://minister.awe.gov.au/littleproud/media-releases/drought-leaders-networks-programs
Australian Rural Leadership Foundation – https://rural-leaders.org.au/arlf-to-lead-consortia-to-deliver-drought-program/
The Friends of St Brigid’s (FoSB) Association Inc is a community organisation formed in 2006 after the closure of the local Church and Hall in Crossley, Victoria. The group purchased the buildings and are now caretakers of the five-acre community-owned and operated precinct which celebrates 150 years of unique Australian Irish history in south-west Victoria. The facilities include a 1914 Romanesque Church and community hall, home to the St Brigid’s Australian Irish Cultural, Heritage and Community Centre, and have evolved to include the Crossley Men’s Shed and peace and healing gardens.
FoSB has a long partnership with FRRR, opening a Not-for-Profit Fundraising Account in 2011, which was subsequently renewed in regularly in the intervening years, and again this year. The Fundraising Account assists them to raise much needed funds to contribute to ongoing facilities upgrades that allow people of all abilities to access and participate in activities at the precinct.
FoSB’s typically holds many events during the year through which much of their income is generated. However, like many community organisations, the onset of COVID-19 brought a halt to their regular events such as concerts and hiring out facilities for public and private events.
The year had started out well, with a Blues & Roots Festival in early January, two private family functions in February, and then two events in March. However, they were left with a COVID-quandary – how to find alternative ways to raise funds and / or reduce their overheads.
FoSB Treasurer Sue Elms said their first action was to request relief from paying their monthly mortgage instalments and insurance premiums. While that granted them a brief reprieve, the stark reality remained that they still had to find the funds for future payments.
This led to the organising committee donning their thinking caps, with considerable success thanks to the enthusiasm of their Committee Members and many volunteers, which highlighted the tenacity and commitment of FoSB’s.
They came up with a list of alternate fundraisers, which included the Men’s Shedders cleaning and reselling 600+ old bricks; a bus outing with appropriate social distancing measures in place; a walk and talk event, which was a great financial and social success; a letter of appeal was sent out to members and past supporters; and a 50:50 raffle raised more than $2,500.
FRRR’s Philanthropic Services Manager, Jo Kemp, says that it is innovative responses like these that will help community groups overcome the challenges that the pandemic has presented.
“I’m so impressed with FoSB’s response to the unexpected situation we all find ourselves in. They have successfully come together and adjusted their plans to find other ways to meet their financial obligations, and continue to serve their community. However, it is an ongoing challenge and they continue to seek donations to support their operations,” she said.
FoSB would appreciate your support for this initiative. If you’d like to explore having a fundraising account for your community project, contact Jo Kemp, FRRR’s Philanthropic Services Manager.
If you’re looking for advice on how your community group can respond to the COVID crisis, there are lots of resources available such as those listed on the OurCommunity website.
The Tablelands Region is around 150 km south-west of Cairns in Far North Queensland. Drought declared since May 2016, the community has been under significant pressure, specifically the grazing families in the west of the region. The residents in this area are located in remote settings, which can create challenges like difficulty accessing services, social isolation and lack of opportunities. There are very few regular social activities, as these areas are mostly cattle stations run by self-employed graziers.
In the past few years, the Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) and Northern Gulf Resource Management Group (NGRMG) have worked together to deliver a range of drought relief projects that contributed to connectedness, social wellbeing and increased access and awareness to support services.
They teamed up again to provide a series of gardening workshops to people in areas that have been drought declared to bring them together for new learning experiences that assist in their empowerment and resilience during difficult times, in a bid to promote social cohesion and wellbeing.
A $15,000 Tackling Tough Times Together grant, funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, enabled TRC to consult and engage gardening experts to design and deliver the workshops. The funding also covered ancillary costs such as the promotion of the events, catering and workshop materials.
In all, four drought-resilient gardening workshops were held, two at Pinnarendi Station and two at Woodleigh Station. The first workshops were held in November 2018 and were attended by 26 participants. The focus was on learning how to build a spiral herb garden utilising existing materials (upcycling) from around their properties. This included preparing the bed and understanding the design benefit for water-saving and planting complementary and seasonal plants, as well as making fertiliser out of existing resources.
The next round of workshops was held in May 2019, and 14 participants learnt to build wicking beds (self-watering gardens) and salad baskets out of hay bales.
Additionally, a morning/afternoon tea was held at each of the stations to discuss what they had learnt, evaluate the workshops and see how they would take any learnings into the future.
Project outcomes from the gardening workshops were significant for the participants who all stated in their evaluation that they had reconnected with old friends socially, and made new connections. From the beginning of the first workshop, participants were looking to increase their skills and knowledge. They reported that the benefit of receiving some plants to take home reinforced their commitment to translate their learnings to their gardens and build garden beds. The participants learnt to utilise their resources in different ways, which increased feelings of empowerment, as well as building resilience and sustainability.
Many of the participants have kept up their gardening and are noticing benefits for their whole family, including healthy living, self-confidence, new social connections, cost efficiency, self-reliance and wellbeing. Participating in the workshops has developed additional common ground between the participants and the community, which increases their social cohesion. Both groups decided to continue their gardening groups and rotate morning teas at each other’s gardens to maintain the connection and interest in their projects.
From all accounts, it certainly sounds as though the project succeeded in inspiring and empowering isolated communities to have some control to support their mental health with activities that are also coping strategies for personal challenges. One participant commented, “The workshops were wonderful opportunities for gardeners (of all levels) to get together; wellness at its best, thank you again!”