Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Warddeken, an Aboriginal owned not-for-profit company, combines traditional ecological knowledge with Western science to manage and protect one of Australia’s most unique environments.

Warddeken daluk (women) rangers Theona Namarnyilk and Suzannah Nabulwad setting monitoring cameras.

Arnhem Land covers 97,000 sq km of the top end of the Northern Territory.

During the second half of the twentieth century, many Traditional Owners were encouraged to move away from either remote parts of Arnhem Land and join missions, or larger communities to search for more ‘traditional’ work opportunities.

As a result, many parts of the area were left without people and ‘Country was orphaned’ – the term used for land without its people.

Over a number of decades fine-scale fire management was replaced by raging yearly wildfires, feral animals and invasive plants severely impacting the native species.

The plants and animals that make up the local ecosystems had previously evolved to rely on Bininj (the Aboriginal people of Western Arnhem Land), however the disruption in traditional Indigenous land management diminished the ecosystem and led to plummeting numbers of small to medium–weight mammals. This included culturally important species like djabbo / northern quoll and bakkadji / black-footed tree-rat. Refugia, including rainforest patches shrunk and fresh-water places were destroyed.

Getting things back on track

Warddeken is an Aboriginal-owned, not-for-profit company that combines traditional ecological knowledge with Western science to manage and protect one of Australia’s most unique environments.

Warddeken operates out of the remote homeland communities of Kabulwarnamyo, Manmoyi and Mamadawerre in west Arnhem Land. Each year up to 180 Indigenous rangers work on a variety of projects including fire management and carbon abatement, invasive weed and feral animal control, rock art conservation, education and cultural heritage management. 

In 2010 Aboriginal Elders from the Warddeken and Djelk IPAs established the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust to seek philanthropic sources of funding for land management and cultural projects.

Last year, they received a $15,000 Seeds of Renewal grant from ANZ and FRRR to help fund a network of cameras that look into the prevalence of djabbo (northern quoll) on the land to understand the impact of its own land management practices and programs on this priority mammal species.

Students in a classroom with their teacher learning about science.
Djabbo (Northern Quoll), an endangered species caught on camera in the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area.

Curbing the decline

Djabbo populations identified by the monitoring project are actively considered in annual early burning and wildfire suppression activities, and are targeted for further investigation for the purposes of building population resilience.

With meaningful involvement and employment of landowners and rangers, Warddeken will seek to define quoll and major predator feral cat population density and distribution to inform the design of predator suppression strategies if required.

Indigenous rangers, living and working on Country, are best placed to curb the decline in native biodiversity loss and improve habitat for future generations.

Rangers in West and Central Arnhem Land tirelessly blend Indigenous ecological knowledge and western science to control threats and help native species begin to thrive in their natural environment.

CEO of Karrkad Kanjdji Trust, Stacey Irving says “Warddeken’s vision is to have healthy people living and working on healthy country. The generous support of the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program is helping rangers care for species like the Djabbo.’’

Terrah Guymala, Senior Warddeken Ranger adds, “When we, Bininj people, see animals, we get excited because they play a big role in our life through our ceremonies.

“This year we have seen lots of animals that we love, but we hope this number increases so we can physically show our children rather than relying on rock art to tell the stories,” Terrah says.

ANZ General Manager Business Banking Jenefer Stewart says the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program has been providing grants for important initiatives in regional and rural Australia for nearly 20 years.

“Each year I look forward to seeing the difference the grants are able to make in these communities, many of which find it difficult to access the resources they need to grow, develop and prosper,” she says.

Written by Karly Dwyer, ANZ

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.

Strengthening Rural Communities
SRC grant recipient project – Johnstone River Community Garden

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.

Jump to : ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS| VIC | WA

Bushfire Recovery
Australian Outward Bound Development Fund Pty Limited

Rebuilding from the Heat
Improve preparedness for future disasters at Australian Outward Bound's Tharwa site through the renewal of aged firefighting and maintenance equipment.

Bushfire Recovery

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.
Argents Hill$24,979
Ashby Community Centre and Public Recreation Reserve Land ManagerAshby 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 IncThe 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 PBISafer 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.
Blue Mountains$25,000
Bobin School of Arts IncorporatedRevamping 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 IncorporatedBonalbo 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 LimitedPurchase 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 LimitedThe 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 IncorporatedToilet 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 GroupGinger 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 IncorporatedCooma 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 IncorporatedKurri Kurri - Start your Engines
Enhance delivery of supportive services to vulnerable populations following disaster, through the creation of a sensory room.
Kurri Kurri$14,241
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 TrustRide 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 NSWMaclean 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 BrigadeFast 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.
Larger Leverage
Coleambally Townlife Committee
Murrumbidgee Council
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 LimitedWOW - 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 IncorporatedRenovation 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 LimitedCapable Coota!
Help volunteer organisations in Cootamundra to attract high quality executive members by providing Governance training.
Australian Agricultural Centre LimitedHost 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 IncorporatedEquipping 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 LimitedArt 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 IncTooraweenah Pasture Day
Strengthen community connectivity and engagement through the delivery of the Torweenah Pasture Day event.
Woodstock Progress AssociationWhat's WHAT in Woodstock!
Increase community participation and encourage tourism through installation of a community noticeboard and local signage upgrades.
Larger Leverage
NT Writers Centre IncNT Writers Festival in Alice Springs, 26-29 August 2021
Encourage people to come together and celebrate story telling though hosting the NT Writers Festival.
Alice Springs$24,500

Pertame School
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

“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.
Alice Springs$25,000
Yipirinya School Council IncEstablishing 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.
Alice Springs$25,000
Outback Alliance
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 IncNgaruwanajirri Facilities Upgrade
Improve Ngaruwanajirri Arts Centre’s safety by replacing wiring and switchboards and expand use of centre by upgrading air-conditioners.
Tracks IncDhilala 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 LtdIndigenous 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 IncFirst Aid Kits
Increase community safety with provision of first aid and snake bite kits at remote community sporting complex.
Harts Range$323
St John Ambulance Australia (NT) IncVolunteer 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.
Bushfire Recovery
Capricorn Film Festival IncSHARKO. Inspire, Connect, Assist
Support mental health recovery, engaging men through a documentary to then participate in mental health and wellbeing workshops.
Gladstone Central$25,000
Laidley Community Centre IncImprovements 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 IncorporatedNatural 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.
Larger Leverage
Towers Players IncPaving the way for Volunteers
Strengthen and increase community participation in the Arts by upgrading performance facilities.
Charters Towers$25,000
Kullilli Bulloo River Aboriginal Corporation RNTBCDika-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 IncSwimWest
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 IncRestore, Refurbish, Revive: Reconnecting Community
Encourage social interaction and promote cultural activity by restoring the community Arts building.
Lions Club of Cecil Plains IncPortable PA System
Enhance community activities and increase access through provision of audio equipment for local Lions Club.
Cecil Plains$4,707
MultiSkill Centre LtdWork-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 EskPainting 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 IncorporatedNew 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 IncAccess for All
Expand the use of the Atherton Historic Railway through provision of an all-access pathway and ramp.
Innisfail Community Band IncorporatedBroadening 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 IncEssential Equipment Upgrade for Community Group Activities
Boost volunteer support and retention through upgrading equipment and kitchen appliances for rural landcare group.
Kalbar Progress Association IncLight 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 AssociationExtension 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 PocketTake Your Seat Ladies
Increase community participation and amenity through the provision of new seating at the community hall.
Long Pocket$9,660
Monto State Primary School P&C AssociationBuilding 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 AssociationProduction 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.
Peak Crossing$9,492
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.
Bushfire Recovery
Advance Kingscote Progress AssociationIgniting Kingscote Through Art
Enhance economic and social recovery, through installation of silo art attraction at the entrance of Kingscote.
Kingscote Mens Shed IncConnection 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 IncFoodbank SA Bush Fire Zone Food Relief Program
Increase access to food for disaster impacted residents, through supporting Foodbank SA to purchase additional supplies.
Larger Leverage
Wudinna RSL Memorial KindergartenWudinna 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 IncRenovation 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 IncPeterborough 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 CompassionVolunteer Training
Support volunteer skill development by delivering a training workshop designed to enhance community engagement.
Walker Flat and District Progress Association IncPurchase 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.
Larger Leverage
Impression Bay Community Development Association IncOpening 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 IncWebsite Rebuild and Refresh
Strengthen community connection to the natural environment and provide conservation information through the development of a website.
George Town Neighbourhood House IncCommunity Garden
Improve access to healthy food and educational activities by developing a community garden project.
George Town$10,000
Derwent Valley Community House IncBlair Street Community Facilities
Boost the use of a Community House through an upgrade of facilities.
New Norfolk$10,000
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.
Bushfire Recovery
Gippsland East Local Learning & Employment NetworkLearn 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 IncBeechworth 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.
Bemm River$16,422
Corryong & District Memorial Public Hall IncSteps to Renewal
Increase local pride and connection to place through repairs to the historic stair case at Corryong hall.
Destination Gippsland LtdEvent School
Strengthen economic recovery and social engagement in bushfire affected communities through event coaching.
Mallacoota and District Business and Tourism Association IncConnecting 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 IncNative 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 AssociationSnowy 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 8466Upgrades to Upper Gundowring Hall
Improve the accessibility and amenity of the community meeting place via upgrades to the community hall.
Upper Gundowring$25,000
Larger Leverage
Bendigo FoodshareMission 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 HealthBeds Ain't Beds
Improve comfort and safety for aged care residents through the provision of specialised beds.
Darlingford Upper Goulburn Nursing HomeLiving 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 AustraliaThe 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 ReserveRenew 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 ManagementWater 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 IncTarwin Lower Hall Rejuvenation
Support connectivity and community engagement through the upgrade of weatherboards at a well utilised hall.
Tarwin Lower$25,000
Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation RNTBCEducate, 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 ActiveDigital 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 IncBridgewater 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 IncRain Water Tank Project
Encourage the expanded use of a community venue through the installation of a water tank.
Health Futures Australia LtdS.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 IncDelivering our History
Increase volunteer capacity by investing in shared community equipment.
Gippsland Employment Skills Training IncDigital 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 ReservePainting 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 BranchProjector 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 CommitteeRupanyup 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.
Sandy Point$9,800
Trentham Neighbourhood Centre IncTrentham Youth Group - Creating Emerging Community Leaders
Encourage youth engagement and improve social wellbeing by establishing a youth group.
Larger Leverage
Environs KimberleyStrengthening 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 IncHeads 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 LibraryToy 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 CWARefurbishment of CWA Lake Grace
Expand the use of local facilities and improve ambience and comfort of CWA Hall with refurbishment of building.
Lake Grace$10,000
DismantleMeaningful 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.

$500,000 in grants for rural and regional communities

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has partnered with Westpac Foundation to help in distributing $500,000 to not-for-profit (NFP) organisations in rural and regional communities throughout Australia.

Each of the 50 rural NFPs awarded a Westpac Foundation Rural Community Grant has received $10,000 for projects that will improve the education, training and employment opportunities in their communities. These grants reached rural communities in nearly every state and territory.

This is the first time that Westpac Foundation has partnered with FRRR to take their annual community grants program truly national, to encompass rural, regional and remote communities.

Susan Bannigan, CEO of Westpac Foundation, says the Rural Community Grants will help to create strong and more inclusive communities in rural, regional and remote areas, providing assistance in what has been one of the most challenging years on record.

“Supporting organisations focused on employment, education and training is at the heart of Westpac Foundation’s strategy. Through our partnership with FRRR we have been able to extend our reach to new communities across Australia. In addition to funding, these organisations will have access to a range of non-financial support to help them through this time and beyond.”

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, says this is fantastic for rural and regional communities, who play such a vital role in Australia’s prosperity and vibrancy.

“These communities are facing continuing challenges to growth and development – from drought, to bushfires, to floods, and now COVID-19. Targeted financial support for education, training and employment pathways is critical during these times, particularly for vulnerable groups.

“Through Westpac Foundation’s Rural Community Grants program, we can back local groups to improve the opportunities within their communities, so they can continue to prosper,” said Ms Egleton.

Some of the 50 projects awarded include:

  • One Vision Productions Limited in Byron Bay, NSW received $10,000 to increase educational engagement through its One Vision Productions Online Youth Engagement Program, which will provide training in creative media vocations for young people at risk.
  • Gong-Dal Aboriginal Corporation in Gapuwiyak, NT received $10,000 to empower Yolngu people through a business education program to develop tourism businesses on their homelands.
  • Cape York Girls Academy Limited in Wangetti, QLD received $10,000 to empower young indigenous mothers through targeted education and wellbeing programs to support their futures and enable leadership in their communities.
  • Foodbank of South Australia Inc in Murray Bridge, SA received $10,000 to enable access to food education courses for vulnerable people including those with a disability.
  • Rural Alive & Well Inc in Avoca, TAS received $10,000 to support individual and community mental health through mental health education-related activities in rural Tasmania.
  • Castlemaine State Festival Ltd in Castlemaine, VIC received $10,000 to expand access to arts education for youth at risk through the Castlemaine State Festival Education Program to enable vocational pathways development.
  • Big hART Inc in Roeburne, WA received $10,000 to build digital skills for young people at risk through professional development and practical industry experience to increase employability.

In addition to funding, all grant recipients receive pro bono support and access to leadership development programs, legal support, and financial capability training via Westpac’s Changemaker program.

The full list of grant recipients and their activity summaries are below.

Jump to : NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TASVIC | WA


Activity Summary




Bowraville Innovative Social Enterprises Precinct Incorporated

Sewing for Self Sufficiency

Build organisational capacity to enable vulnerable community members to develop their skills and support enterprise opportunities.



Boys To The Bush Ltd

Tooled for (Winter) Fuel

Develop the skills of young people at risk through mentoring and practical building projects that support living and learning capacity.



Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group Inc

Work Ready Workshops

Provide employment pathways and education for people with a disability through workshops focused on workplace skills.



First Peoples Disability Network (Australia) Limited

Headphone Hustle

Engage and support young people with a disability who are at risk of homelessness through creative workshops building skills and educational engagement.

Coffs Harbour


Making Tracks Far West NSW Inc

Making Tracks Work Crew

Foster educational engagement and skills development in young people at risk through bush education programs. 

Broken Hill


National Indigenous Culinary Institute

NICI Skills for Success

Develop the employability of young indigenous people through delivering culturally appropriate mentoring and career support program.



One Vision Productions Limited

One Vision Productions Online Youth Engagement Program

Increase educational engagement through providing training for young people at risk in creative media vocations.

Byron Bay


Regional Opportunities Australia Ltd

Creating Job Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants

Build employment pathways through partnerships and training to support refugee and migrant employment in regional Australia.



South Narrabeen Surf Lifesaving Club Inc

Bush to Beach

Expand educational opportunities for indigenous youth through extracurricular experiences of participating in metropolitan Surf Life Saving Club programs. 



Stewart House

Disadvantaged Children Receive Health and Wellbeing Support at Stewart House

Provide education opportunities and life enhancing experiences for young people at risk through access to learning and wellbeing excursions in a capital city.

Broken Hill


The Dunn & Lewis Youth Development Foundation Limited

Future Employment

Increase employment opportunities for young people at risk through targeted programs to develop skills and set employment pathways.



The Shift Project Byron Incorporated

The Linen SHIFT – Laundry with a Conscience

Build skills to enhance digital operations and enhance program delivery to benefit disadvantaged women with employment opportunities.

Byron Bay


Wagga Women’s Health Centre

Workshops for Economic Wellbeing

Build organisational capacity to deliver workshops for women at risk of domestic violence to increase financial literacy and personal management skills increasing employability. 

Wagga Wagga


Western Plains Regional Development Inc

Financial Security Empowers Lives

Enabling participation in evidenced based training to empower regional lives by identifying and developing transferable skills to increase employability.



Women’s Centre for Health and Wellbeing (Albury-Wodonga) Inc

Our Sisters Closet

Build organisational capacity through support of retail and digital programs that enable women at risk to undertake training and seek employment.




Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation

Djilpin Arts Training and Employment

Build organisational capacity to enable local indigenous women to be trained to take up employment opportunities.



Gong-Dal Aboriginal Corporation

Tourism Business Education Workshops

Empower Yolngu people through a business education program to develop tourism businesses on their homelands.



The trustee for Karrkad-Kandji Trust

Preserving Kunwinjku: West Arnhem

Deliver cultural education opportunities for indigenous people through developing the bilingual resources for the Nawarddeken Academy.



Wanta Aboriginal Corporation

Yuendumu Driver Training

Build community capacity by supporting a new locally operated bus service to increase related training and employment opportunities.




Base Services Inc

2nd Shot Technology Upgrade

Build organisational capacity to train young people at risk through delivering programs to build employment skills.



Cape York Girls Academy Limited

Living and Learning Together

Empower young indigenous mothers through targeted programs of education and wellbeing to support their futures and enable leadership in their communities.



Community Spirit Foundation Limited

Innovation in Remote Indigenous Education Provide education opportunities for secondary students through a program to enable cultural empowerment and to develop resilience.

Palm Island


Creative Regions Limited

Crash Box Crew

Engage young people in education opportunities through creative learning experiences to foster personal growth and healthy relationships.



MultiSkill Centre Ltd

Wizz Up Red Hot Skills at RedDoor

Enhance learning opportunities for youth at risk through social enterprise facility improvements.

Cloncurry & Mount Isa


TRACTION for Young People Ltd

Youth TRACTION in the Scenic Rim

Positively re-engage youth at risk through practical bike repair and building workshops that expose them to employment pathways. 




Foodbank of South Australia Inc

Foodbank SA – Murray Bridge Food Education Program

Enable access to food education courses for vulnerable people including those with a disability.

Murray Bridge


Iwantja Arts and Crafts

Iwantja Arts Intergenerational Short Film Project

Build capacity for cultural empowerment in an indigenous community through training and skill development to produce a local film. 



Nature Foundation Limited

Kids on Country

Build knowledge of conservation practices in remote Australia for young indigenous people to connect with country and develop workplace skills.



Youth Opportunities Association (SA)

Wellbeing, Resilience and Leadership Interventions for Whyalla’s Youth At Risk

Support personal leadership development for disadvantaged or disengaged young people to engage them in education and employment pathways.




Disabled Surfers Association of Aust

Disabled Surfers Association of Australia Training

Expand opportunities for volunteers to be trained to support people with a disability to participate in a surfing and water safety skills program.

Clifton Beach


North and North West Tasmania Sexual Assault Support Services Inc

Send Noods – Relationships, Respect and Sex – Educational Program

Build organisational capacity to deliver educational programs on domestic violence and respect for women, to vulnerable young people, and to enhance social development and educational engagement.



Rural Alive & Well Inc.

RAW Conversations in the Bush

Support individual and community mental health through mental health education-related activities in rural Tasmania.



Second Echo Ensemble Inc

Second Echo Ensemble Pathways to Work Program

Provide training for artists living with a disability to support ongoing education and develop employment opportunities.




Black Duck Foods Ltd

Healing Country, Sharing Knowledge, Building Ideas

Engage and reconnect Indigenous community members to traditional harvesting methods to develop Indigenous employment and enterprises. 



Castlemaine State Festival Ltd

Castlemaine State Festival Education Program

Expand access to arts education for youth at risk to enable vocational pathways development.



Christie Centre Inc

Growing Skills in Horticulture

Build employment skills of people with a disability in a Learn Local horticulture course and support employees to expand work opportunities.



Corryong Neighbourhood House Inc

Work & Learn

Enable organisational capacity to deliver training and support two apprentices in their employment skills development.



Down Syndrome Association of Vic Inc

Expanding Education Support Services (ESS) in Regional Victoria

Increase education opportunities through expanding targeted classroom support for children with Down Syndrome in mainstream secondary schools.



Eat Up Australia Ltd

Education and Food Security

Support children to participate in education by providing emergency food packages to families in need during Covid-19. 



Food Next Door Co-op Ltd

Small-Scale Farmer Internship Program Transport and Translation Support

Mobilise community support to enable new migrant groups to access training programs that build knowledge of Australian farm operations.



Gallery Kaiela Incorporated
Kaiela Arts

Upskilling in Digital for Delivery

Build organisation capacity by developing employee’s digital skills for online service delivery.




Scholarship for Primary School Students

Enhance indigenous secondary students’ educational outcomes through a targeted support program. 



Health Futures Australia Ltd

S.H.I.F.T Enterprising Youth

Build capacity for community development through Youth Wellbeing Innovation Labs that engage young people in social enterprise development.

Daylesford – Hepburn – Creswick


The trustee for Kindred Spirits Foundation

Latrobe Valley Reading Program

Enable literacy skill development through expanded reading programs to support employability.

Morwell, Traralgon & Moe


Zoe Support Australia

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

Provide wrap around service delivery for disadvantaged young mothers to access education, training and employment opportunities.  




ABC Foundation Limited

Self-Transition through Resilience, Empowerment, Awareness and Motivation (STREAM) Program

Build individual and community capacity through a program of personal development and employment pathways. 



Big hART Inc

Digital Training Program

Build digital skills for young people at risk through professional development and practical industry experience to increase employability.



Enterprise Partnerships WA

Activating Remote Entrepreneurship

Develop foundational skills for indigenous people through a train-the-trainer program to develop local enterprises.    



Girls from Oz Ltd

Creating Positive Life Changing Opportunities for Girls in Remote Australia

Provide educational, vocational and cultural opportunities for girls in regional Australia through learning excursions to an Australian capital city. 


15 April 2020: Westpac Foundation today announced a new $500,000 partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), expanding its Community Grant program in rural, regional, and remote areas across Australia.

Westpac Foundation’s Community Grant program, established in 2012, provides $10,000 grants to local organisations creating opportunities through education, training and employment across Australia. Not-for-profit organisations providing support to communities outside a major city are now invited to apply.  

“We believe education, training and job opportunities are a powerful pathway out of disadvantage,” said Westpac Foundation CEO Susan Bannigan. “By partnering with the FRRR, we hope to provide more support for local organisations creating opportunities for people who need it most in rural Australian communities.”

Established in 2000, FRRR has distributed nearly $100 million to more than 10,000 projects across rural, regional and remote Australian communities.

“Proportionally, there are higher rates of socioeconomic disadvantage in rural and remote Australia compared to capital cities and metropolitan areas. That’s exacerbated when there’s drought and fires – and now COVID-19 is making life even more challenging,” said FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton. 

“The Westpac Foundation Rural Community Grants program in partnership with the FRRR is intended to help not-for-profits creating pathways to employment to respond to these challenges. When people are upskilled or have access to further education and training, they are more likely to have better health outcomes and be more connected socially, which goes a long way to developing vibrant, sustainable communities,” Ms Egleton continued.

Western Australian not-for-profit Camera Story, a previous Westpac Foundation Community Grant recipient, provides photography workshops to Indigenous Australian women living in the Kimberley region of WA.

“We facilitate vocational training in Derby, Mowanjum and Pandanus Park communities, which is over 2,000km north of Perth and two hours from the nearest regional centre of Broome,” said Camera Story Co-Founder Jacqueline Warrick.

“The physical remoteness of communities we work with means that access to basic services is limited, and opportunities for training and employment are few. Our Community Grant funding enabled Camera Story to work with women in Derby and surrounding communities to upskill them in creative and commercial photography and open up a potential future revenue stream for them and their family.” 

In addition to the funding, Community Grant recipients will have access to pro bono support via the Westpac Changemaker program, which includes access to leadership development programs, legal support and financial capability training.

“We have learned that we have much greater impact when we connect our community partners to passionate Westpac employee volunteers. Now more than ever, it’s important for us to support our partners beyond our funding and we’re delighted to further extend our pro bono offering to all corners of the country,” Ms Bannigan said.   

Applications for Westpac Foundation’s Rural Community Grants in partnership with the FRRR are open Wednesday 15 April 2020 – Wednesday 13 May 2020. Not-for-profit organisations can apply via the FRRR application gateway.