Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

In this quarter’s update for FRRR’s donor partners, read about:

  • Tiwi Enterprises: strengthening their community in the Northern Territory
  • Progress Report
  • Insights from the bush
  • Donor spotlight: Raine & Horne Foundation
  • Support Victorian communities to be Disaster Resilient: Future Ready

In this quarter’s update for FRRR’s donor partners, read about:

  • Ngketya Nwernaka Ilkerta Mparetyeka: an innovative grassroots language revival program in Central Australia
  • Progress Report
  • Insights from the bush
  • Donor spotlight: The Macdoch Foundation
  • Community Partner Spotlight: Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE)
  • Partnering opportunities: Private Ancillary Funds

In this quarter’s update for FRRR’s donor partners, read about:

  • Flood recovery – how you can help
  • The long and short of bushfire recovery – FRRR’s approach to recovery following the Black Summer bushfires
  • Case study: Recovery in action in mighty Mallacoota
  • Insights from the bush
  • Donor spotlight: The Bertalli Family Foundation
  • Progress Report
  • Partnering opportunities: Victorian expansion of disaster resilience 
  • Community partner spotlight: The Next Economy
Having worked at a community level for 5 years now, most recently as a Program Coordinator and Community Development Officer for Blackall Tambo Regional Council, Jaimee-Lee Prow has experienced first-hand the generosity and good intentions that relief agencies have when it comes to drought in remote, rural, and regional communities. However, these good intentions often don’t translate into practical and accessible support at a grassroots level. Here she shares her story.

To paint a picture of what I mean, I’ll explain a bit about what our experience has been with relief agencies within the central western Queensland drought space. Off the top of my head, I can name at least 20 organisations that offer much the same kind of assistance. This overlapping service provision is driving a state of competitiveness among these organisations and, from a community perspective, has led to a matrix of issues that prevent community groups from taking them up on their offers of assistance. This, on top of a disconnect at a community level, has meant that these relief organisations are actually hindering themselves from reaching the goals that they set out to achieve.

We rural people are a stoic breed. This over-supply of relief support has led to a lot of miscommunication, confusion, and apprehension, resulting in people abstaining from seeking assistance. Or else people become overwhelmingly confused about how to navigate the many systems with most deeming it as an added stress that they simply don’t need. Another familiar scenario is that of individuals, community groups and local-not-for-profits who don’t apply for assistance through one organisation because they’ve already applied for similar assistance through another organisation, and they fear that it will be seen as ‘double dipping’.

Beyond the confusion and burdensome processes, rural communities often feel that these relief agencies fail to properly consider the demographic that they’re dealing with. A large portion of our graziers, primary producers, small business owners and community members are over the age of 65 years with many of them either being extremely hesitant about social media or else completely oblivious to it. Yet, many of these relief organisations use social media as their main tool for promotion and one of their primary platforms for getting information out there. It’s also common that applications for grants will exist predominantly online and even requests for assistance are virtual. As a result, a large portion of our drought impacted population are missing out on the valuable financial assistance offered by the relief agencies. So, a word of advice – this generation still rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth, and mainly prefer to trust “the local bloke”.

Charities, not for profits and non-government organisations can take action to shift from their traditional roles as relief agencies and move towards becoming partners who walk in lockstep with resilient and prepared communities. These relief agencies are, of course, well-meaning but most, if not all of them, are based outside of our region. Some of them even have a strictly virtual presence. Which is why, despite the obvious devastation of drought that surrounds us, they often walk away scratching their heads at the low levels of relief uptake after briefly popping up in our communities. The lack of local coordination and sharing of information on the ground is, ultimately, failing our rural communities.

Jaimee-Lee Prow presenting at the Red Cross Drought Resilience, Relief & Recovery Forum in December, 2021. WATCH from 30:32.

So, how do we fix the problem?

The solutions aren’t necessarily innovative or complex. In fact, they’re quite simple. Below is a list of steps that relief agencies can take to provide effective support to our drought effected communities:

Step one: listen to the locals

As mentioned in the Red Cross Drought Resilience discussion paper, projects and program delivery from organisations need to be locally focused to meet the needs of the region they are working with. When it comes to providing assistance for our communities, blanket approaches simply don’t work and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution doesn’t exist.

Step two: we need more than just a plan for the future

We are really at a critical point within the community drought recovery process where we need to keep the momentum going and continue to create or maintain partnerships. Within my local community. I have recognised a shift away from the initial panic and knee jerk reactions to the disaster. Local individuals, groups, businesses, and farms are now ready to accept and explore actions they can take to prepare for future drought- something that wasn’t possible in the initial stages of drought response.

Our initial response was to flood funds upon our drought impacted communities. And this was evident in the amount of overlapping we saw in service provision from our relief agencies. Don’t get me wrong, to a degree we certainly needed it. But what we are starting to see or recognise now is that drought funding is starting to dry up, and services are beginning to wind back in our rural communities. This imbalance between community readiness and resources, and the funding now available is a major concern moving forward. In the disaster recovery and planning phase, we need the resources now more than ever to be ready for next time.

Step three: simple applications and greater flexibility

We need to ensure application processes are simplified and easy to access. This will benefit all sections of the community but is crucial if organisations want their programs to be accessible to applicants aged 65+. Secondly, because each region is different, the criteria grants need to be made more flexible so that projects can be locally defined by the communities themselves and can be used to support a cross section of activities such as infrastructure, events, training, capacity building and network development.

Step four: recognition of the role that local organisations play

Local organisations are the backbone of remote, rural, and regional communities. Therefore, programs need to be modelled around their goals and needs. In order for partnerships to be successful and meaningful to our communities, agencies must be personable within the community, and the program itself must be driven by the community that the agency is working with.

During my time working at Blackall Tambo Regional Council, I have worked closely with FRRR on a number of drought resilience initiatives. FRRR have championed solutions that have been led by our community and that are driven by the needs and abilities of those living in our region. I believe that this approach to disaster recovery is the way of the future.

Step five: events and projects should be led by trusted locals

This is the valuable way to connect, respond, recover and plan ahead. While some are of the belief that the community barbecue or the local arts and cultural workshop are a band-aid solution to relieving the impacts of drought, those from rural communities would actually beg to differ. We come from significantly isolated areas. These types of community events, particularly during drought, are a necessity for creating touchpoints, social check ins, networking opportunities, and they keep our communities connected.

Some of the most brilliant ideas for future proofing and planning are sprouted through general chitchat amongst like-minded people at these types of events. We are already seeing some relief organisations which have come into our region, begin to recognise these events and spaces as the perfect platform for informal networking and building a rapport with our community members. As a result, partnerships have become stronger, and we find that these organisations who take these extra steps have a better understanding of our community’s needs which results in a greater uptake of their services.

Step six: continued government and philanthropic support

As I’ve already mentioned, it’s crucial that relief agencies don’t simply pull the plug and let funding dry up. Our rural communities are now more than ready than ever to prepare and build resilient regions through planning and projects. We just need the continued commitment to fund and provide resources.

Step seven: build local champions

As an NFP, charity and non-government organisation you should be an active collaborator, but you should essentially be led by locals. Start building your local champions in the communities you were working with. They will be your best investment.

Finally, I’ll finish with something I heard once that I believe perfectly sums up the attitude we must approach the future with if we’re going to continue to build prepared and resilient communities: “You don’t need to be strong to survive a bad situation. You just need a plan.”

In this quarter’s update for FRRR’s donor partners, read about:

  • Heads up on the findings of the Heartbeat of Rural Australia study
  • BE INSPIRED: Thallon ‘back from the brink’
  • Donor Spotlight: Pinnacle Charitable Foundation
  • Insights from the bush
  • Our progress, with your support
  • Partnering Opportunity – Supporting volunteers through SRC
  • Grants in Action: Bermagui’s collective approach to preparedness
  • Community Partner Spotlight: Housing Matters Action Group
Donor News - November 2021

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

Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Services (NAHS) is an Aboriginal community controlled organisation that plays an integral role in health service provision for the highly mobile population in the Central Desert Region. It delivers more than 10,000 episodes of health care per annum to up to 4,000 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal clients on Martu country in remote Western Australia. NAHS is a critical first point of contact between the community and the WA health care system, operating since 1993 over an area of some 184,000 square kilometres.

The Community Paramedics operate under a model unique to Western Australia: they not only provide traditional emergency ambulance care, but they provide in-home extended care services, so that patients are able to receive high quality health care in the home without needing to go to hospital. This also facilitates the ongoing review of patients’ conditions that would normally need to be managed in an in-patient setting or via multiple trips to a clinic.

Through the support of FRRR and its donor partner the Kapikarnpi Community Fund, NAHS was able to upgrade the response bags in both of the NAHS emergency ambulances. The bags in use were ageing and inconsistent with a mismatch of brands and styles, and they feared this could lead to confusion in an emergency when working in the different ambulances. They were also problematic to clean, cumbersome and not designed with ergonomics in mind, increasing the risk of injury to paramedics through manual handling incidents.

The $4,333 grant enabled the purchase of modern, fit for purpose ambulance kit bags. The new ergonomic bags have an internal layout which allows equipment to be laid out in a logical manner that protects the contents and allows easier access. Most importantly they are designed in accordance with AS4146-1994 Australian Standards for Laundry Practice, which allow for the cleaning of pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis and vegetative organisms. This new equipment assists in the provision of safer services for the community of Wiluna.

Community Paramedic Wade Bloffwitch said that, “Grants such as this are vital to the operation of community-controlled, not-for-profit health services across the country and NAHS thanks FRRR and its donors for their commitment to the community”.

In this quarter’s update for FRRR’s donor partners, read about:

  • Grants in Action: Bootstraps working to strengthen community social fabric
  • FRRR launches Heartbeat of Australia Study
  • Partnering Opportunity – Building resilience to drought
  • Donor Spotlight: Portland House Foundation
  • Insights from the bush
  • Community Partner Spotlight: St Paul’s Carcoar Community Facility Ltd.
  • Our progress, with your support

In this quarter’s update for FRRR’s donor partners, read about:

  • Grants in Action: Sitting together and speaking up in WA’s mid-west
  • Partnering Opportunity – Building resilience to drought
  • Donor Spotlight: Thankful4Farmers
  • Insights from the bush
  • Community Partner Spotlight: Foundation Barossa
  • Our progress, with your support

An innovative program drawing on the personal experience of its founder’s family is making an impact on veterans and current service personnel in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley.

Bootstraps is a volunteer-operated charity that runs a drop-in recovery centre for former service personnel who may be having difficulties connecting with family or society at large. Given the proximity of the RAAF Base at Amberley, Army Aviation at Oakey and Signals Regiment at Cabarlah, and with RSL Sub-Branches dotted through the Lockyer Valley, the organisation is well-located to offer this support.

President and founder of Bootstraps, Sam Kavanagh, was taught leatherworking by his father, who was in the air force and practised this craft as a kind of therapy. Building on this, as part of its offering, Bootstraps runs a leatherworking program to facilitate reconnection and social interaction. Ex-service personnel, current serving personnel and their families take priority, but space allowing, the program is open is open to anyone in the community.

The organisation needed some equipment to deliver the program and applied to FRRR for funding for an industrial leather sewing machine and a new computer, which they received in the form of a $5,407 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by The Sylvia & Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation.

The computer replaced a small inefficient laptop and enhances the organisation’s day-to-day communications and planning, while the sewing machine supports every level of the Bootstraps leatherwork training program. The model chosen is capable of being hand-cranked, which facilitates use by veterans with lower limb disabilities in particular, and those confined to a wheelchair.

The grant application noted, “There are not many (if any) families in the Lockyer Valley that do not have a military and/or a horse connection that could benefit from the leatherwork activities run by Bootstraps.”

Bootstrap’s new leather sewing machine

At the time of reporting, Bootstraps noted that more than 250 patrons have used the Bootstraps facilities, including the new leather sewing machine. The new IT facilities have meant better access and clearer information is available to the public about the program, via a more responsive and efficient website and communications.

These important pieces of equipment will help the program’s participants further their craft, while enabling social connection and helping veterans and the general community remain in a good head-space.