Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

53 priority projects receive grants through Nutrien Ag Solutions Community Grants programs

Fifty-three important community projects across the length and breadth of remote, rural and regional Australia will share $250,000 in funding, thanks to the Nutrien Ag Solutions Community Grants Program.

This is the second year of the Nutrien Ag Solutions Community Grants Program, which offers grants of up to $5,000 for projects that contribute to community wellbeing and vibrancy in remote, rural and regional communities.

Nutrien Ag Solutions Director of Corporate Affairs Carissa Buckland says they received more than 300 applications from communities right across the country.

“The strong number of applications we continue to receive for this program clearly indicates the need for this level of support for grassroots, not-for-profit organisations. So, we’re delighted to award grants to so many diverse projects that help these remote, rural and regional communities thrive,” says Ms Buckland.

“Part of the application process involves the local Nutrien store actively endorsing each project and application. Our stores are very integrated in their communities and our teams are passionate about providing meaningful support to positively impact the towns in which they live and work in, so this is a really important part of the process.

“This year we have approved grants to enhance and support the delivery of community events, including new marquees, grandstand seating and improved website functionality to support local show and expo event management. Critical funding will also go towards a diverse range of restorations, upgrades and new equipment for community facilities – from a toilet roof to rejuvenated courtyards to outdoor seating and kitchens, data projectors and lawn mowers. There’s even funding for sensory, Zen, bush tucker and community gardens, with each project designed to inclusively meet the needs of their communities. While they are not large value grants, these projects enable community activity to build connection and, importantly, support volunteers in all their efforts,” says Ms Buckland.

The Program is proudly run in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton says she appreciates organisations like Nutrien Ag Solutions partnering with FRRR to support the priorities of grassroots organisations that are the heartbeat of remote, rural and regional communities across Australia.

“The volume and nature of these applications is a strong sign that rural community life is returning to normal, although it also signifies just how challenging it is to raise these funds locally and the extent of the need that exists.

“It’s really pleasing for us that so much of the funding – nearly 30% – will go to communities with fewer than 500 people, which makes fundraising really hard. Most of the groups are also located in outer regional, remote or very remote areas of the country,” Ms Egleton explains.

The full list of recipients is available below. Some of the organisations and projects being supported include:

  • Illabo Showground Land Manager, Illabo, NSW – Build capacity at the local show grounds with a WIFI upgrade, defibrillator installation and new broadcast system to enhance operations and experience for all users. $5,000
  • Dagun Community Group Inc., Dagun, QLD – Enhance community connections with the restoration of the Dagun railway station labyrinth and Mary Valley agricultural history display, and through the community garden project. $4,900
  • Limestone Coast Multicultural Network Incorporated, Naracoorte, SA – Build organisational capability with development of a strategic plan to support strengthening the Limestone Coast Multicultural Network. $4,952
  • Hamilton District Agricultural Show Society, Hamilton, TAS – Build, grow and protect skills and networks with four workshops focusing on entrepreneurism, rural OH&S and resilience.$5,000
  • Kyabram Blue Light, Kyabram, VIC – Increase social engagement opportunities and activities for youth in Kyabram to support their healthy growth and development. $5,000
  • Lower Kalgan Community Association Incorporated, Albany, WA – Build resilience through a Fire Resilience Workshop – “Making your Property Fire Safe and Sustainable” exploring preparedness and land management aligned to changing climate impacts. $5,000

The third round of the Program is expected to open around June 2023. Community groups looking for funding in the interim should head to www.frrr.org.au/find-funding.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
A Taste of Paradise Organic Farm LimitedOutdoor Kitchen Construction
Enhance facilities where the community comes together and connects with the installation of an outdoor kitchen.
Broughton Village$5,000
Broken Hill Branch The Australian Stock Horse Society Incorporated
Topar Christmas Tree
Topar Christmas Tree
Improve social connectedness and build resilience by supporting the Topar Christmas Party for 60 adults and 40 children in the isolated area.
Little Topar$4,975
Challenge Community ServicesCreation of a Zen Sensory Garden at Challenge's Patterson Street Disability Site
Increase inclusion with the creation of a Zen Sensory Garden at Challenge's Patterson Street Disability site.
Tamworth$4,550
Delungra Memorial Bowling & Recreation Club LtdRejuvenate, Protect and Provide
Enhance organisational capacity with the provision of adequate storage for the Delungra Memorial Bowling Club.
Delungra$5,000
Dorrigo Community Nursery IncWater Resilience for the Dorrigo Community Nursery
Improve the water efficiency of Dorrigo Community Garden with a new water tank enabling multiple volunteer projects.
Dorrigo$5,000
Gulgong Show Society IncOperation Seating
Increase the organisations ability to support their community with the provision of seating under the sheltered area of the Gulgong Showgrounds.
Gulgong$3,427
Illabo Showground Land ManagerFacilities Enhancement
Enhance community facilities safety by upgrading the broadcasting box, installing a defibrillator and enhancing Wifi facilities at the Illabo Showgrounds.
Illabo$5,000
Laggan Hall Land ManagerLaggan Hall Ride-on Mower
Boost volunteer vitality with the provision of a ride on mower supporting the maintenance of the Laggan Hall grounds..
Laggan$5,000
Lions Club of Young IncorporatedShelving for Lions Shed
Increase the capacity of the Lions Club of Young with the installation of appropriate shelving in their storage shed.
Young$4,263
Nyngan Ag Expo IncorporatedNyngan Ag Expo Website, Interactive Site Map and Exhibitor Booking Upgrade
Build organisational capacity by upgrading the website of Nygan Ag Expo with site booking functionality to reduce volunteer efforts and increase efficiency in operations.
Nyngan$5,000
two eight two eight inctwo eight two eight Lighting Upgrade
Increase access to community facilities with the preservation of the historic Gulargambone hall.
Gulargambone$5,000
QUEENSLAND
Artworks Granite Belt INCStanthorpe QFS Restoration Project
Preserve local history with the restoration of the Stanthorpe QFS building.
Stanthorpe$5,000
Dagun Community Group IncMary Valley Agricultural History Display and Dagun Railway Station Labyrinth/Community Garden Project
Enhance community connections with the restoration of a labyrinth and agricultural history display supported by social gardening days.
Dagun$4,900
Geham State School Parent & Citizens AssociationNew Data Projector for the Geham School/Community Activities Building
Upgrade community facilities with a new data projector to support community engagement including movie nights, local events and school presentations.
Geham$5,000
Hungerford Sports Association IncPortable Shade Tents for Hungerford Community
Increase the organisational capacity of Hungerford Sports Association with the provision of portable shade tents to support community events and activities.
Hungerford$5,000
Isis Community Pre-School & Kindergarten Association IncIndigenous Entrance Art and Bush Tucker Garden
Increase cultural awareness at the Isis Community Kindergarten with the installation of an Indigenous artwork and Bush Tucker Garden.
Childers$5,000
Lions Club of Home HillReplacement Gazebos and Catering Bar-b-ques
Increase organisational capacity with the provision of gazebos and catering equipment for the Lions Club of Home Hill.
Home Hill$5,000
Mundubbera Horse and Pony Club IncShaded Grandstand for Mundubbera Community
Enhance community facilities by supporting the installation of a shaded grandstand at the Mundubbera Showgrounds.
Mundubbera$5,000
Prospect Community Services LtdCharters Towers & the Region Wellness Luncheon
Enhance general health and wellbeing with the provision of a series of community wellness activities across the Charters Towers region.
Charters Towers$5,000
Tambo Child Care Parents Group IncTambo Childcare Centre Sensory Garden Project
Enhance engagement in traditional educational settings with the development of a sensory garden at the Tambo Child Care facility.
Tambo$5,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Booleroo Centre Community Development and Tourism Association IncorporatedPass the Popcorn!
Increase functionality of the local Booleroo Hall with the provision of a projector for community information sharing and entertainment.
Booleroo Centre$5,000
Bute History Group IncBlinds Installation
Build organisational capacity for the Bute Historical Society with new window blinds to protect their artefacts from sun damage.
Bute$4,660
Cambrai Sports Club IncInstallation of Solar Power to Enhance Regional Community Facility
Reduce organisational overheads with the installation of Solar power at the Cambrai Sports Club.
Cambrai$5,000
Crystal Brook KindergartenA Path of Intergenerational Connection
Increase community connections with "A path of intergenerational Connection" enabling kindergarten children and residents of Roseview Aged care to come together in a safe space.
Crystal Brook$5,000
Limestone Coast Multicultural Network IncorporatedStrategic Plan Development - Limestone Coast Multicultural Network
Build organisational capacity with a strategic plan and vision to support the Limestone Coast Multicultural Network development.
Naracoorte$4,952
Lucindale Area SchoolAquaponics Student Learning Facility
Enhance the learning opportunities at Lucindale Area School with aquaponics equipment to enable community vegetable growing.
Lucindale$4,633
Marree Sports Club IncSound System for Marree Sports Club
Increase the organisational capacity of the Maree Sports Club with the installation of a sound system.
Marree$5,000
Paskeville Football Club IncorporatedKitchen Upgrade
Increase functionality of the Paskeville Community centre by relocating the hot water system.
Paskeville$5,000
TASMANIA
Community Garden Wynyard IncGreenhouse Construction
Increase community activities and opportunities to connect with the expansion of the Wynyard Community Garden facility.
Wynyard$5,000
Hamilton District Agricultural Show Society‘Build, Grow, Protect’
Build community capability with four workshops focused on building resilience in individuals, growing their networks and protecting the rural community.
Hamilton$5,000
May Shaw Health Centre IncBeach Wheelchair Project
Increase access with the provision of an all surface wheelchair enabling beach access for residents and visitors of May Shaw Health with poor mobility.
Swansea$5,000
North Eastern Agricultural & Pastoral Society IncorporatedLight Towers
Increase organisational sustainability with the provision of light towers to mitigate regular hiring costs for the North Eastern Agricultural and Pastoral Society.
Scottsdale$3,681
Parkham Community IncRestoration of Parkham Community Centre floor
Support the development of places where the community can connect, learn and gather by restoring the Parkham Church as the Parkham Community Centre.
Parkham$4,901
VICTORIA
A Better Life For Foster Kids IncorporatedCrisis Cases for Foster Care
Support vulnerable foster children transitioning to care with essential item packs to provide comfort and reduce emotional stress.
Sale$5,000
Arapiles Community Theatre Inc Natimuk & District Soldiers Memorial Hall CommitteeNatimuk Soldiers Memorial Hall Audio Visual System
Boost community vitality with the installation of a data projector and sound system at the Natimuk Soldiers Memorial Hall for cultural events and increased hall usage.
Natimuk$5,000
Boort District Agricultural and Pastoral Society IncorporatedProfessional Marquees for Boort Show!
Enhance the organisational capacity of Boort District Agricultural and Pastoral Society Incorporated with the provision of marquees for use at community events and activities.
Boort$5,000
Cobden Technical SchoolOutdoor Meeting Space / Outdoor Classroom
Improve the functionality of the outdoor classroom at Cobden Technical College with improved wife and seating, built by the local Men's Shed.
Cobden$5,000
Connewirricoo Community Centre IncorporatedConnewirricoo Community Centre Toilets Roofing
Restore community assets with repairs to the roof and walls of the Connewirricoo Community Centre ablution block.
Connewirricoo$5,000
Gallery Central IncorporatedGallery Lighting Improvement
Improve community facilities in Nhill with new lighting at the local community art gallery to enhance visitor and local experience.
Nhill$2,873
Heathcote Community House IncorperatedHeathcote Sustainable Community House
Build organisational capacity and capability with the implementation of sustainability initiatives including a roof top solar installation.
Heathcote$5,000
Kyabram Blue LightKyabram Blue Light Youth Engagement Activities 2022-2023
Increase youth connection with the provision of Blue Light activities and events for Kyabram and surrounding districts.
Kyabram$5,000
Pomonal Progress Association IncorporatedMini Foody Festival - Towards a Resilient Pomonal
Provide access to activities to increase community connection and resilience by hosting the Pomonal Mini Foody Festival.
Pomonal$5,000
Seymour Puckapunyal Community Radio IncorporatedRelocation of 103.9FM Community Radio Station
Increase the broadcasting network of the Seymore Puckapunyal Community Radio by relocating the radio station to a more accessible site.
Seymour$5,000
The Trustee for Country Fire Authority & Brigades Donations Fund Sandsmere Rural Fire BrigadeTraining Equipment and Wellbeing Session Funding
Boost organisational capacity with the provision of training equipment and volunteer support for Kaniva Country Fire Authority.
Kaniva$2,749
Toora Community Action Team IncorporatedToora: GunaiKurnai Country
Preserve understanding of local origins and reflect on the impacts of a changing climate on the Toora community with the installation of a sculpture in the township.
Toora$5,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
1922 & You Inc1922 & You Centenary Courtyard Project
Rejuvenate community connections in Corrigin through revitalising the courtyard as a landing place for social and wellbeing activity.
Corrigin$3,500
Dowerin District High School Parents & Citizens Association IncorporatedChild Protection Education - Safe4Kids Workshops
Enhance child safety practice through training of teacher, parents and children to build awareness and develop community skills and capability for addressing issues.
Dowerin$5,000
Geraldton Community Toy LibraryThe Geraldton Toy Library Building Rejuvenation Project
Increase organisational capacity with the provision of adequate storage and fencing upgrades at the Geraldton Toy Library facility.
Geraldton$5,000
Gingin Playgroup IncorporatedCommunity Engagement with Playgroup
Increase community resilience and connections with the provision of community events at activities at the Gingin Playgroup.
Gingin$2,400
Lower Kalgan Community Association IncorporatedFire Resilience Workshop - Making your Property Fire Safe and Sustainable in the Great Southern
Improve community resilience and preparedness with a workshop on property fire safety and climate change impact awareness.
Albany$5,000
Pemberton Sports Club IncMower for the Pemberton Sports Club
Increase the vitality of volunteers with the provision of a ride on mower for the Pemberton Sports club.
Pemberton$5,000
Shire of MorawaSup and Paint Morawa - Art Evenings
Create opportunities for the community to connect with the arts with the delivery of Art lessons in Morawa.
Morawa$5,000
Tom Price Community Garden IncRevegetation of Bush Tucker Area
Increase access to community activities with the revegetation of the Bush Tucker in the Community Garden.
Tom Price$5,000

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced the appointment of Georgie Somerset AM to the FRRR Board.

FRRR Chairman, Tim Fairfax AC, said that having someone with Georgie Somerset’s depth and breadth of experience will be a key asset and only serve to strengthen the board.

“Georgie brings a number of different perspectives to the board – as a primary producer, active community member, respected industry leader and experienced board director. With decades of experience managing the challenges associated with living in remote and regional communities, Georgie will bring a fantastic drive and strength to the FRRR board.

“In the last five years, FRRR has more than doubled our granting, and with the challenges and opportunities continuing to face remote, rural and regional communities only increasing, we will benefit from her input as we shape the future for the organisation,” Mr Fairfax said.

On accepting the invitation to join the board, Georgie said, “I have enormous respect for the approach FRRR takes to strengthening regional Australia through targeted and effective support. Being invited to join the board is an opportunity to contribute to the Foundation’s future growth and impact.

“FRRR shines a light on communities doing great work, seed funding and magnifying resourceful solutions and ideas. This positive approach is needed more than ever as communities across Australia grapple with complex challenges such as post COVID migration patterns and demands on services.

“The ability to invest in our future leaders and take a locally driven, solutions-based approach enables FRRR to continue being impactful, and I’m delighted to now be able to help steer the organisation.”

Based in the South Burnett region of rural Queensland, Georgie is actively involved in the operation of the multi-generational family beef business on her family’s cattle property.

As an industry leader, Georgie was a founder, and later president, of the Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) and held roles with the National Foundation for Australian Women, as well as being a founding member and Chair of the Red Earth Community Foundation.

Currently Georgie is the president of AgForce Queensland, Deputy chair of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland section), Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the National Farmers Federation and the RFDS Foundation. Georgie also serves on a number of advisory committees for regional development, tertiary institutions, industry and community groups and a number of government review panels.

In addition to Tim Fairfax AC and Georgie Somerset AM, the other members of FRRR’s board include:

  • Anne Grindrod, Deputy Chair
  • Paddy Handbury
  • Patrick Myer
  • Annabel White
  • Bruce Scott OAM
  • Sue Middleton
  • Andrew McKenzie JP
  • Hon. Simon Crean
  • Hon. John Sharp AM
  • James Flintoft

Twenty-seven community-led groups in remote, rural and regional NSW will share in $912,505 awarded through the Resilience NSW COVID Regional Community Support (CRCS) program.

Funded by the NSW Government and administered by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), the grants were allocated to grassroots community groups and not-for-profit organisations that helped their communities navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSW Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the funding stream would help these groups build resilience and better mitigate the impact of pandemics and other disasters across their communities.

“We awarded between $3,363 and $50,000 to organisations, to support a wide range of regional capacity building initiatives to help enhance community wellbeing, create stronger local economies, and enable a greater ability to respond to future challenges,” Ms Cooke said.

“The pandemic has posed plenty of difficulties for people and families in remote and regional areas over the past two years, and community-led organisations played an important role in navigating those challenges.”

Ms Cooke said some of the common requests from community groups involved facility improvements, food security and assisting with the increased demand on local services in flood-devastated areas such as the Northern Rivers.

“We’ve been able to address some of these needs through this funding stream, to ensure these groups and the communities they work with are in better stead for the future.”

Some of the 27 funded projects include:

  • Agape Outreach Inc in Tweed Heads to improve staff and volunteer resilience and increase capacity to support the community through mental health and wellbeing training – $36,600.
  • Forster Neighbourhood Centre Inc in Forster to promote organisational capacity and support local access to essential services by contributing to the fit-out of the new Forster Neighbourhood Centre – $50,000.
  • Gunnedah Meals on Wheels Association in Gunnedah to improve the capacity of Gunnedah Meals on Wheels to support vulnerable community members through a hamper program and the purchase of a large deep freezer – $8,150.
  • LeaderLife Ltd in Dubbo to grow organisational resilience and support skills development in local youth through a new syntropic farming system – $50,000.
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Eurobodalla in Moruya to increase organisational capacity and promote food security in the Eurobodalla Shire through the hiring of a Business Manager – $50,000.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said the grants acknowledge and will strengthen the capacity of regional organisations in NSW who played such a critical role in supporting communities throughout COVID-19 challenges. 

“The impact of the pandemic has been significant and is still being felt,” Ms Egleton said. “The flexibility of this program recognised that every community is different and requires tailored support and funding to ensure that they can continue to provide vital services, bring people and community organisations together and enable locally-led responses as and when required.

“Being able to support the many community organisations and not-for-profits who have gone above and beyond for their communities during such difficult times and enable them to be better prepared in the future is important to the ongoing sustainability and vibrancy of these communities.”

A complete list of the projects supported is below.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Agape Outreach Inc

Upskill Disaster Support & Resilience Project
Improve staff and volunteer resilience and increase capacity to support community through mental health and wellbeing training.

Tweed Heads $36,600
Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare

Community Pantry
Increase organisational capacity and service reach through the employment of a project coordinator. 

Albury $25,000
Armidale Care for Seniors Inc

Installation of Solar Panels and Implement a Senior's Wellness Activity
Improve capacity of Armidale Care for Seniors to support seniors by running a wellness program. 

Armidale $35,280
Bega Valley Shire Business Forum

Growing Volunteer Participation in Local Business Chambers
Support economic recovery by strengthening the volunteer base and upskilling committee members across the Forum’s seven member organisations. 

Bega $50,000
Boys To The Bush Ltd

Boys to the Bush (BttB) Young Up and Coming
Support Boys to the Bush to establish a presence in Young NSW through the delivery of camps for disadvantaged young males and associated community engagement.

Young $49,970
Carevan Wagga Incorporated

Carevan Continues to Care
Support Carevan Wagga to provide meals to people experiencing food insecurity through the purchase of take-away food containers and gloves.

Wagga Wagga $3,363
Carries Place Domestic Violence and Homelessness Services Inc

Establishing Client Centric Spaces within a Community Hub to Support the Provision of Domestic Violence and Homelessness Services in the Hunter Community
Grow the capacity of Carrie’s Place to support domestic and family violence victims in the Hunter through a trauma-informed fit-out of a new hub.

Maitland $23,188
Community College-Northern Inland Inc

Human Resources Project
Improve the capacity of CCNI to provide targeted and relevant education to rural and regional communities through improved HR processes and policies.

Barraba $30,000
Coonamble Cancer Survival Fund Inc

Governance Training
Strengthen and support community groups by providing current and future volunteer committee members with governance training. 

Coonamble $4,095
Emmanuel Care Centre Inc

Business Continuation
Improve organisational sustainability through hiring of new staff member. 

Dubbo $26,508
Forster Neighbourhood Centre Inc

Futureproofing Forster/Tuncurry
Promote organisational capacity and support local access to essential services by contributing to the fit out of the new Forster Neighbourhood Centre. 

Forster-Tuncurry $50,000
Gundagai Neighbourhood Centre Inc

Fridays for Friendship
Support organisation to empower local recovery and resilience building through weekly wellbeing sessions.

Gundagai $42,766
Gunnedah Meals on Wheels Association

Our Elderly are Resilient and Deserved to be Looked After
Improve capacity of Gunnedah Meals on Wheels to support vulnerable community members through a hamper program and the purchase of a large deep freeze.

Gunnedah $8,150
Home-Start National Inc

Newcastle/Lake Macquarie Volunteer Resilience Project
Build the capacity of Home Start in the West Lake Macquarie region through bridging funding for a part-time project coordinator.

Lake Macquarie $20,546
Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre Inc

Connecting Community
Increase KNCs capacity to support vulnerable community members through the employment of a community engagement worker.

Kempsey $43,546
LeaderLife Ltd

LeaderLife with Syntropics: Let's Grow
Grow organisational resilience and support skills development in local youth through the implantation of a syntropic farming system.

Dubbo $50,000
Liberty Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services Inc

Liberty Domestic and Family Violence Wellbeing Space
Improve capability of Liberty to support domestic and family violence victims through the fit out of a new wellness space and the hiring of an onsite co-ordinator.

Port Macquarie $50,000
Louisa Johnston Centre Inc

Bonalbo Stay Connected with a New Computer Hub
Enhance organisational capacity to support Bonalbo’s residents to rebuild through the establishment of a community computer hub.

Bonalbo $40,648
Manning Support Services Inc

Keeping Families Connected
Improve service provision and client engagement while increasing organisational resilience to future pandemics.

Taree $12,581
Queer Family Inc

Queer Family Recovery Officer
Hire a Recovery Officer to support recovery and resilience building for an organisation focused on LGBTQIA+ communities in Northern NSW.

Mullumbimby $49,700
Rural Financial Counselling Service, NSW - Southern Region Ltd

Building Counsellor & Business Coach Capacity
Improve organisational capacity through targeted training in coaching and mentoring services for rural and regional businesses in financial difficulty. 

Wagga Wagga $50,000
Singleton Family Support Scheme

Singleton Family Support Scheme Incorporated
Build capacity of Singleton Family Support Scheme to assist families in crisis by increasing staff hours.

Singleton $49,500
Support for New Mums

Attracting, Training and Retaining Volunteers
Increase the capacity of support for  new mums to care for mums and babies in Tweed and Byron shires through the training of new volunteers.

Murwillumbah $10,204
Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Eurobodalla

SAGE NSW Inc - Building Capacity and Resilience Project
Increase organisational capacity to promote food security in the Shire through the hiring of a Business Manager.

Moruya $50,000
Third Sector Australia Ltd

The Meeting Place
Enhance the capacity of Momentum to support a low socioeconomic community through the fit-out of a community space. 

Casino$1,5950
We Help Ourselves

WHOS Hunter - Day Program Fitout
Improve capacity of WHOS Hunter Valley to support patients requiring rehabilitation who are not under residential treatment, through the fit out of new premises. 

Newcastle$35,670
Wyee Community Hub Inc

Building Resilience after COVID at Wyee
Improve the capacity of WCHIA to support a more resilient Wyee through volunteer training.

Wyee$49,240

Grant funding is now available to support communities in remote, rural and regional Queensland and New South Wales who have been impacted by this year’s flooding events.

Suncorp and GIO have partnered with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), through the Rebuilding Futures program, to offer $500,000 in grants of up to $25,000 to help not-for-profit groups and local community organisations to rebuild and recover from this year’s flood events.

Suncorp’s Head of Flood Response and Recovery, Cath Stewart, said that this funding recognises that while the initial clean up may have concluded, many community groups still have a lot of work to do to support their community’s ongoing recovery.

“The floods were devastating and, sadly, some places were affected more than once. On top of weather events and the impacts of COVID, not to mention the increased costs of living that are putting pressure on local businesses and community members, many groups are finding it really hard to access resources they need to support their community.

“These grants, which can be used to support locally-identified recovery and rebuilding priorities, will hopefully relieve some of those pressures and allow the communities to start moving forward,” said Ms Stewart.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that Suncorp and GIO’s support means that there is flexible funding available to help communities rebuild and be better prepared for future disaster events.

“We know that local community leaders are the ones who are best-placed to know what their community needs. That’s why we made sure these grants can fund a wide range of activities, events, initiatives and small-scale infrastructure or equipment projects. The aim is to ensure that the community can build resilience by improving facilities for mitigation and preparedness and creating opportunities to reconnect, share experiences or support overall wellbeing and improved mental health, in whatever way makes most sense to that community.

“We look forward to engaging with these groups and are hoping that for some the grant opportunity can be a catalyst for projects that reduce the impact of future disasters on community wellbeing and physical infrastructure,” Ms Egleton explained.

For more information about who is eligible and what can be funded, visit www.frrr.org.au/Rebuilding-Futures.

A Grant Seeking Workshop including a Q&A on the Rebuilding Future’s grant program will be held online from 1 – 2pm AEST Tuesday 23 August 2022.

Applications close 28 September 2022.

After supporting more than 50 local projects in 2021, the Nutrien Ag Solutions Community Grants Program is back for a second year, offering grants of up to $5,000 for projects across rural and regional Australia.

Penneshaw Medical Clinic

Nutrien Ag Solutions Director of Corporate Affairs Carissa Buckland says the program supports projects that strengthen, connect and enhance rural and regional communities.

“We have thousands of employees living and working in rural and regional towns right across Australia. So, we have a deep understanding of what makes a community thrive – and it’s all about the people” says Ms Buckland. 

“Covid placed significant unanticipated stress on grassroots organisations and groups that work tirelessly to support their local communities. With face-to-face events restricted over the past two years it’s been challenging for these groups to rely on their regular fundraising efforts.  Nutrien Ag Solutions is so proud to provide a much-needed boost to the rural and regional communities we are a part of,” says Ms Buckland.

Ms Buckland says grants are available for a wide range of meaningful community-led projects.

“Last year we supported 57 projects across the country including the installation of monkey bars at Coonamble Pre-School for their occupational therapy program and weatherproof speakers for the Mansfield Armchair Cinema. We also supported the upgrade of a space for regional artists to exhibit their work in Moora, an excursion to visit local farmers for students at Belltrees Public School, and a fence to improve the safety of the public playground at Deniliquin,” says Ms Buckland.

“We were also proud to support the return of medical services at the Penneshaw Community Health Rooms on Kangaroo Island, with funding used to provide air-conditioning for the consulting room and disability access to the bathroom, including a mobility toilet and grab rails.”

The Nutrien Ag Solutions Community Grants Program is run in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, says that access to flexible funding through programs like Nutrien Ag Solutions Community Grants Program is really important for local not-for-profits and community groups to sustain their communities.

“The cumulative impacts of fires, floods, drought and COVID has put significant pressure on many remote, rural and regional community groups – yet as our Heartbeat of Rural Australia study showed last year, their work is more important than ever.  Flexible grant programs like this one, which can support a wide range of community needs, are more important than ever. We are delighted to once again be partnering with Nutrien Ag Solutions to enable this funding to get to the community groups that need it most, so they can help build stronger rural communities.”

Applications for the 2022 Nutrien Ag Solutions Community Grants Program are open now and close 5pm AEST 12 August 2022, with successful applicants announced in October this year. For more information and to apply visit: www.nutrienagsolutions.com.au/nutrien-ag-solutions-community-grants-program.

Cumulative disasters have taken a heavy toll and left local leaders in remote, rural and regional communities feeling “uncertain”, “frustrated”, and “tired/fatigued”, although hopeful, according to a study released today.

Heartbeat of Rural Australia Report Out Now

Commissioned by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), a charity dedicated to supporting grassroots community groups and not-for-profits in remote, rural and regional Australia, the Heartbeat of Rural Australia survey sheds a light on these often unseen and unheard organisations and shares their firsthand experience of how non-metro communities are faring.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton, says that the study is among the first to attempt to quantify the critical role these groups play in remote, rural and regional communities, as well as what needs to change if they are to continue to deliver services that sustain rural communities.

“These organisations are vital to the health, wellbeing and prosperity of these communities. In particular, they provide vital social connections; manage and maintain critical community infrastructure; deliver essential services to community members; and a range of other supports.

“These small groups, most of which are not normally eligible for either government funding or philanthropic support, are the backbone of their communities, with nearly 90 percent of respondents saying they play some kind of economic role. Many are responsible for more than one aspect of life in their community and almost all play a critical cultural or social role.

“What this study really highlighted was that if they were to fold – which some told us could occur without additional support – the communities they serve may well ‘‘wither and die”. At the very least, there would be significant gaps in services, the burden for which would move to government and the private sector,” Ms Egleton explains.

The study highlighted a lack of digital connectivity is significantly hampering rural Australia’s ability to thrive, and to maintain critical social connections.

“Access to digital technology in rural Australia really hasn’t improved in decades. Even where there is connectivity, it is expensive. While external funding often covers the hardware, there is insufficient income to cover the ongoing operational costs such as WIFI access, managing cyber security and training volunteers.”

There were also key issues raised around workforce attraction (including housing availability), mobilisation and infrastructure, which smaller and more remote communities require tailored solutions to, according to Ms Egleton.

While more than half of respondents reported that uncertainty is of greatest concern to them, resulting in “increased general stress / mental health”, by far the most detrimental effect of the pandemic has been the inability to meet with one-another, resulting in isolation, reduced wellbeing, and increased stress – especially for those also recovering from disasters.

The onset of the pandemic weakened the ability of community organisations to play their various roles in the community, at a time when, for many, demand for their services increased. Many – especially organisations with revenue of less than $50,000 – saw significant reductions in income from not being able to run fundraising events and income-generating activities and, in some instances, funders redirecting their support.

“At a community group level, the disruption has been constant, with the effects of cumulative disasters topped off by the pandemic. This has left local communities in a constant state of anxiety and uncertainty.

“It’s also meant that community groups – more than half of whom are made up entirely of volunteers – are being called on to do more, for longer. The reality is that they are not resourced to endure this level of disruption. Yet, in many smaller communities, they simply have had to do it as there is no one else. That is fatiguing; that’s the pure exhaustion that we heard – the effort to keep focusing on your town, your small business community; keeping people connected and supported – especially when there are so few volunteers bearing the load,” notes Ms Egleton.

FRRR is calling for those that are concerned about rural communities to come together to better target support for rural, regional and remote not-for-profits and community groups.

“This report gives us a great opportunity to step back and consider how we can better support and resource these organisations to do what is critical work – and work that only they are really able to do effectively because they are in and of these places. At present, the broader funding mechanisms and policies don’t value these organisations in line with the contributions that they make.

“We are still working through the findings in detail, but it certainly points to an opportunity to come together – philanthropy, government, corporations and individuals – and explore how we can better support these groups for the long-term. We need to take a coordinated approach to removing many structural barriers that are evident in this research if we want rural Australia to prosper,” Ms Egleton explains.

To explore the full report, head to www.frrr.org.au/heartbeat. FRRR has also partnered with Seer Data and Analytics to make the full dataset available online. The data can be cross-referenced with other publicly available data, enabling community groups in particular to better advocate for the support that they need to survive.

FRRR will host two webinars to explore the findings in more detail. The first, focused more on community groups, will be held on Tuesday 30 November, and a session tailored to funders, policy-makers and the broader sector will be held on Wednesday 1 December. Both sessions will begin at 12.30pm AEDT and be held online. Register at www.frrr.org.au/heartbeat.

More than 50 communities to benefit from Nutrien Community Grants

Community organisations across rural and regional Australia will share in more than $250,000 as Nutrien Ag Solutions, in partnership with FRRR, announced the recipients from the first round of the Community Grants Program.

Funding boosts vibrancy and wellbeing of rural communities across Australia

This year the program will deliver 57 small grants for projects, leaving a big impact in their local communities.

The funding is directed towards projects that will create long-term positive outcomes that benefit and strengthen local communities.

The projects that have been funded reflect the diversity of communities in which Nutrien Ag Solutions operates and the different needs found in each place. Some of the 57 projects awarded include:

  • Hay Inc, NSW – Hay Inc Rural Education Program: Increase access to agricultural training and mentoring through their Rural Education Program – $5,000
  • The Historical Society of Katherine, NT – Refurbish Outdoor Function Equipment: Refurbish outdoor function equipment to enhance the facilities and attract Museum visitors – $5,000
  • Central Highlands Science Centre Inc, Emerald QLD – Curiosity Club – Exploring STEAM through Engineering, Technology and Robotics: Support and foster inquisitive minds to explore STEAM through engineering, technology and robotics resources – $5,000
  • Coomandook Amalgamated Pastime Club, SA – Coomandook Community Postal Agency – Reverse cycle air conditioning unit: Boost volunteer vitality by installing reverse cycle air conditioning at the community-operated Coomandook Postal Agency – $2,685
  • Northern Midlands Radio Initiative Inc, Longford TAS – Northern Midlands Radio Initiative Inc Community Radio Development: Build organisational capacity by equipping two new community radio stations – $5,000
  • The Trustee for The MAC Trust, Mansfield VIC – No More Silent Movies: Boost access to community activities with the provision of speakers for the Mansfield Outdoor Cinema – $4,335
  • Katanning Regional Business Association Inc., WA – Summer Ready: Get summer-ready and build community resilience through disaster preparedness workshops – $2,560

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that this was one of the most popular programs that FRRR has run in recent years, thanks to both its flexibility and the strong connections that local Nutrien staff have in their communities.

“Like FRRR, Nutrien recognises the critical role that community-led groups play in ensuring access to vital services and creating dynamic and vibrant places to live and work. Most of the requests were for infrastructure and equipment, such as mowers and generators, or to upgrade community spaces, and to improve access to services and activities. These things can often be hard to fund, especially in really small communities.

“Thanks to Nutrien’s support, we’ve been able to give some really important community projects the boost they need to address local needs and take advantage of opportunities that will encourage engagement and foster community wellbeing,” Ms Egleton explained.

Carissa Buckland, Nutrien Ag Solutions Director of Corporate Affairs, said that Nutrien is proud to support the rural and regional communities that play such a central role in achievements of the agriculture industry. 

“With the ongoing impacts of disasters, including fires, floods and drought, and of course the restrictions of COVID, local fundraising has been a challenge, so we are delighted to be able to fund these important community projects, and help relieve the pressure that many groups are under,” Ms Buckland said.

“We know this seed funding will also allow community groups to leverage the grant and attract the additional funding or in-kind contributions they may need,” Ms Buckland said.

Most of the applications came from outer-regional, remote or very remote areas (75%), again reflecting the challenges in securing funding in those areas. Around a third of the communities that applied have fewer than 500 people. The average funding requested was just under $4,700 and the smallest request was for just under a thousand.

Community groups looking for similar flexible funding are encouraged to visit www.frrr.org.au/funding to explore what other grant programs are available.

If you would like 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.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Ardlethan Ariah Park Mirrool Football ClubThe Long Lunch - An Event by Northern Jets
Boost community connection and general wellbeing with a Long Lunch event for the Ardlethan, Ariah Park and Mirrool communities.
Ariah Park$5,000
Barellan Working Clydesdales

Ride-on Lawnmower
Support volunteer vitality to maintain the Barellan Showgrounds by purchasing a ride-on mower ensuring an attractive, well-manicured facility for the community and travellers to utilise.

Barellan$5,000
Belltrees Public SchoolRegenerative Agriculture - Immersion Excursion
Increase access to educational experiences for the children and community of Belltrees and surrounds through the delivery of the Regenerative Agriculture - Immersion Excursion to the Armidale region.
Belltrees$5,000
Binnaway P A H and I Assoc IncorpSupporting Volunteers and the Upkeep of Community Infrastructure through the Purchase of a New Mower for the Binnaway Showground
Boost volunteer vitality through the provision of a ride-on mower for the Binnaway PAH and I Association to support maintenance of the community showgrounds.
Binnaway$5,000
Coolabah United Citizens IncorporatedCoolabah Bushfire Hazard Reduction & Beautification
Boost volunteer vitality and community spirits with the provision of a ride-on mower enabling locals to maintain community assets.
Coolabah$5,000
Coonamble Pre School Association IncCoonamble Preschool Physical Education Addition
Support school readiness and fine motor development of children with the installation of monkey bars at the Coonamble Pre School.
Coonamble$4,030
Deniliquin District Cricket AssociationFence Off Public Playground
Enhance community safety with the construction of a perimeter fence around the newly installed playground at the Deniliquin Memorial Park.
Deniliquin$5,000
Do It For Batlow IncorporatedOrigin Pathway
Enhance local identity with the installation of the Origin Pathway, celebrating the birth of locals at the Old Batlow Hospital, which was tragically lost in the Black Summer fires.
Batlow$4,512
North Star Memorial Hall & Park Committee Gwydir Shire CouncilSupply and Installation of Eight Ceiling Fans
Improve usability at the local hall through the installation of ceiling fans at the North Star Memorial Hall.
North Star$4,500
Hay IncHay Inc Rural Education Program
Increase access to Agricultural training and mentoring with the provision of training resources and equipment and catering of a mentoring dinner for participants.
Hay$5,000
Inverell Show SocietyInverell Show Society Upgrade to the Public Address System at the Inverell Showground
Boost organisational capacity with the installation of an upgraded public announcement system at the Inverell Show Grounds.
Inverell$5,000
Muswellbrook South Public School P & C AssociationSupporting Sustainability Project
Purchase equipment for school recycling and sustainability programs to provide students with hands-on sensory experiences along with many learning opportunities that are inclusive of students with varying needs such as emotional, social, cognitive, and behavioural.
Muswellbrook$4,732
Peak Hill Pony Club IncMulti-use Grandstand for Community Events
Grow community participation with the provision of a transportable grandstand for the Peak Hill Community at the Peak Hill Showgrounds.
Peak Hill$3,924
Rankins Springs Golf Club IncorporatedKitchen Delivery Entrance and Disabled Entrance
Build community resilience through upgrading kitchen and disability access.
Rankins Springs$4,321
Tenterfield Show Society IncorporatedTenterfield Showgrounds BBQ Shed Refurbishment
Upgrade community infrastructure for Tenterfield by contributing to the BBQ shed refurbishment.
Tenterfield$5,000
West Wyalong Branch The United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW IncWest Wyalong Hospital Auxiliary Provision of Additional Medical Equipment (Medical Patient Wight Scale) for the Local West Wyalong Hospital
Increase capacity of medical facility to accurately measure and weigh patients improving medical outcomes and staff conditions.
West Wyalong$2,918
Woodstock and District Progress AssociationRestoring Ghost Signs in the Woodstock Village Precinct
Build community resilience through restoration of signage that has historical significance to the Woodstock district on buildings within the main precinct of the Woodstock village.
Woodstock$5,000
NORTHERN TERRITORY
The Historical Society of Katherine NTRefurbish Outdoor Function Equipment - The Katherine Museum
Enhance tourism destinations by supplying new outdoor tables and chairs at the Katherine Museum.
Katherine$5,000
QUEENSLAND
Burdekin Potters IncPurchase of Three Electric Pottery Wheels
Increase organisational capacity with the purchase of three pottery wheels for the Burdekin Potters, enabling access to opportunities for self-expression through the arts for the community.
Ayr$4,475
Bymount East Primary P&C AssnBymount East School 75 Year Reunion
Boost community spirits and sense of belonging by providing support for the 75th Anniversary Celebrations for the Bymount East Primary School.
Bymount$2,000
Central Highlands Science Centre IncCuriosity Club - Exploring STEAM through Engineering, Technology and Robotics
Support and foster inquisitive minds across the Central Highlands through the provision of STEAM resources at the Centre Highlands Science Centre.
Emerald$5,000
Murgon P A & H Society IncBuilding Connections from the Ground Up
Build community resilience through upgrading facilities at the Murgon showgrounds to improve access and capacity for revenue raising.
Murgon$5,000
Pikedale Community Inc"Sip and Socialise" By the Screen
Build community resilience through funding home theatre equipment for community screenings and get togethers in Pikedale.
Pikes Creek$4,988
Taroom Shire Cancer & Palliative Care Group IncNew Lift Chairs & Knee Walker
Support palliative care patients living in their homes in Taroom and surrounds by providing access to lift chairs and an additional knee walker, increasing patient comfort and reducing stress for carers.
Taroom$4,095
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
South East Youth Development Project T/as Noorla Yo-Long Blue Light SA Inc

Noorla Yo-Long Blue Light Adventure - Replacement Climbing Equipment
Increase access to activities for Rendlesham and surrounds with the replacement of climbing safety equipment for Noorla Yo-Long Blue Light Adventure.

Rendelsham$4,337
Coomandook Amalgamated Pastime ClubCoomandook Community Postal Agency - Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Unit
Boost volunteer vitality by installing reverse cycle air conditioning at the community operated Coomandook Postal Agency.
Coomandook$2,685
Jervois Football Club IncInstallation of Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning to the Jervois Combined Sports Club Venue
Improve community facility with reverse cycle air conditioning installation at local sports club.
Jervois$3,490
Keith and Tintanara District Show Society IncKeith Showgrounds Paved Access Area
Improve facilities for safety and access at the Community Hub Building at the showgrounds.
Keith$4,991
Kyancutta Ramblers Golf Club IncorporatedEquipment Upgrade (Mower)
Boost volunteer and community vitality with the provision of a ride-on mower to support volunteers in maintaining community assets in Kyancutta and surrounds.
Kyancutta$5,000
Lameroo Forward IncorporatedLameroo Country Arts Events 2022
Enable access to develop a culturally vibrant community through funding for culture program including a disability choir.
Lameroo$5,000
Lions Club of TintinaraReliable Power for the Tintinara Lions Club Catering Caravan, Community Events and Emergency Use
Purchase a trailer mounted generator which will give the Club the ability to take our catering caravan to any event regardless of the availability of power & also to give us a reliable power supply at community events and for local emergency and natural disaster management.
Tintinara$5,000
Penneshaw CWA Penneshaw Progress Association IncorporatedReinstate Penneshaw Community Health Centre Facilities
Improve access to health services by upgrading disabled toilet facilities and installing a split system air conditioner at the Community Health Centre to support the reinstatement of Penneshaw Community Health Services.
Penneshaw$5,000
TASMANIA
Flinders Island Show Society IncThe Flinders Island Show
Increase organisational capacity to support community events with the purchase of marquees for the Flinders Island Show Society.
Whitemark$4,804
Huon Valley Police & Community Youth Club IncHealthy Cafe and Cooking for Seniors
Enhance community facilities for older people through a youth training healthy cafe enterprise.
Huonville$5,000
Lower Barrington Community Hall IncLower Barrington Hall Disability Friendly Bathroom Project Stage 1
Improve community access to facilities via the upgrade of bathroom facilities and infrastructure.
Lower Barrington$5,000
Meander Liffey Resource Management Group IncMeander Forest Picnic Ground
Enhance community facilities by providing four shaded picnic tables at the Meander Forest Picnic Grounds.
Meander$5,000
Northern Midlands Radio Initiative (NMRI) IncNorthern Midlands Radio Initiative Inc (NMRI Inc) Community Radio Development
Build organisational capacity by equipping two new community radio stations in the Northern Midlands.
Longford$5,000
VICTORIA
Bahgallah Memorial Hall IncorporatedBahgallah Memorial Hall External Upgrade
Support volunteer vitality while ensuring the longevity of the Bahgallah Memorial Hall by restoring and painting the external of the building.
Bahgallah$4,416
Boort Resource and Information CentreUpgrade Three Computer Hard Drives in the Front Office at the Boort Resource and Information Centre
Boost volunteer vitality with the replacement of outdated technology at the Boort Resource and Information Centre.
Boort$5,000
Cavendish Recreation ReserveMulti-Purpose Community Events Space and Storage Facility
Multi-Purpose Community Events Space and Storage Facility - development of new community facility.
Cavendish$5,000
Birch Group of Fire Brigades Country Fire Authority - Head OfficeFCV Response Equipment Fundraising
Boost community and volunteer safety through the purchase of a chainsaw, power supply and lighting for the area command vehicle of the Birch group of CFA Brigades.
Creswick$2,515
Hopetoun & District Neighbourhood House IncHopetoun Community Gym - A Comfortable Climate for the Whole Community
Installation of air conditioners to support community gym use.
Hopetoun$5,000
Mitchell Community Radio IncorporatedBroadford Monthly
OKR FM conducts a live broadcast from the Broadford Living and Learning Centre on the third Thursday of each month from 1pm to 3pm. It costs $160 per month for room hire, 4G device recharge and Audio Technician. OKR provides all the necessary equipment. The grant would allow 10 months.
Broadford$1,600
St Arnaud Neighbourhood House IncSt Arnaud House and Shed Garden
Build community resilience through the construction of a vegetable garden at the St Arnaud Neighbourhood Centre.
St Arnaud$1,703
The Leongatha Men's ShedAblutions Infrastructure - Leongatha Men’s Shed
Contribute to the development of a new facility with purpose built ablutions infrastructure.
Leongatha$5,000
The Trustee for The MAC TrustNo More Silent Movies
Boost access to community activities with the provision of speakers for the Mansfield Outdoor Cinema.
Mansfield$4,335
Walpeup Memorial HallWalpeup Memorial Hall Renovations: Stage 3
Build community resilience through extensive maintenance work at the Walpeup Memorial Hall, supporting community activity and memorabilia display.
Walpeup$5,000
Woodleigh Hall Committee IncWoodleigh Hall Toilet Extension
Build organisation capacity through installing disability access toilets and complete an upgrade of the hall facility.
Woodleigh$5,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Wally Foreman Sports Museum Committee Bruce Rock Community Resource Centre IncWally Foreman Sports Museum
Preserve and promote community sporting heritage by employing a curation contractor to identify and develop a curation plan and train committee members at the Wally Foreman Sports Museum.
Bruce Rock$5,000
Dardanup Bull and Barrel Festival IncA Storage Shed Will Save Our Backs and Time
Increase storage capacity for the Dardanup Bull and Barrel Festival Inc. by building a shed to store community equipment.
Dardanup$5,000
Gardiner Street Arts CollectiveHarmony Room Refurbishment
Increase access to community facilities that foster creativity and connection by repainting and refurnishing the Harmony Room at the Gardiner Street Arts Collective.
Moora$5,000
Katanning Regional Business Association IncSummer Ready
Build community resilience through disaster preparedness workshops for the women of Katanning
Katanning$2,500
Napier Progress Association IncReplace Napier Hall Eaves
Improve community facility with the replacement of eaves, enhancing patron comfort and utility.
Napier$5,000
Ongerup Sporting ComplexInstalling Café Blinds on the Veranda At the Ongerup Sporting Complex
Increase usability of community infrastructure with the installation of Café blinds at the Ongerup Sporting Complex.
Ongerup$5,000
Ravensthorpe Community Resource Centre IncHR Help for Our Local Heroes
Grow community volunteerism with human resources support for local not-for-profit organisations throughout Ravensthorpe region.
Ravensthorpe$5,000
Shire of CunderdinYouth Wellness Project
Build community resilience through wellness program targeted for youth mental health including parents' education.
Cunderdin$5,000
W.A. Bush Fire Museum and Heritage Group IncPurchase of Laptop Computer for W.A. Bush Fire Museum and Heritage Group
Purchase of laptop computer with software for the recording of documents, photos and artefacts for W.A. Bush Fire Museum and Heritage Group.
Bridgetown$998

Calling all not-for-profits in rural Australia

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is calling on leaders of not-for-profit organisations and community groups across remote, rural and regional Australia to tell it like it is in the Foundation’s inaugural Heartbeat of Rural Australia study.

Make your voice heard in the Heartbeat of Rural Australia study

Established in 2000, FRRR is a charity dedicated to connecting the genuine local needs of remote, rural and regional people and places with the good will of government, business and philanthropy. Since 2000, FRRR has distributed more than $115 million in grants to more than 11,000 rural projects.

Working deeply in rural communities over the past 21 years means that FRRR is acutely aware of the critical role that small not-for-profit organisations and community groups play in keeping their communities vibrant and resilient.

However, Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, says that not everyone outside of these rural communities knows or understands it.

“Many organisations find it tough to keep going at the best of times, but we know that many places have been heavily impacted by drought, fires, floods, the mouse plague and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – often in succession – and the cumulative impacts are really significant. But how significant? What does it mean for their future?

“There is funding and support being channelled to these communities, but is it getting to the right places? Is it delivered in the right way? What exactly has the impact been of events like the bushfires and COVID on community groups? How are they getting funding to keep going? How are they resourcing themselves, given the volunteer fatigue?

“Our day-to-day work means that we know that without these volunteer-led groups, there would be a lot more gaps in the critical services that sustain remote, rural and regional communities across Australia. But because there is not really any hard data to measure the value of the work they do, and the challenges they face, it’s nearly impossible to quantify the important economic, social and cultural role of these groups.

“We have lots of anecdotal evidence to answer these questions from the thousands of grant applications we’ve seen in the last 18 months and our day to day conversations, but the reality is that is only a snapshot.

“That’s why we have commissioned this study. We need some hard data to inform policy and ensure that funding gets where it’s needed,” Ms Egleton said.

For this survey to be meaningful, FRRR needs as many local community groups as possible from remote, rural and regional communities to participate.

“We’re encouraging responses groups and organisations working with and representing the diversity of the people and places that make up country Australia to ensure we are telling as much of the story of remote, rural, and regional Australia as possible.”

The results of the study will be shared widely with government, philanthropy and business, to inform and influence policy. The report will also provide local groups with the evidence they need to successfully advocate for their community and to tell their stories.

“This survey will be a great tool to provide you and the people you live alongside, with the help and assistance that you need. So, it’s important that you make your voice heard, tell your story and help to shape the future of your community,” Ms Egleton said.

To complete the survey and share it across your community, go to https://frrr.org.au/heartbeat.