Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)

First round of Small Network Grants benefit 29 NFPs

FRRR has awarded $737,774 in Small Network Grants to 29 not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) working in remote, rural and regional Australia for projects that will strengthen the capacity and capability of their communities to prepare for, and be resilient to, the impacts of future droughts.

The District Council of Orroroo Carrieton will use their Small Network Grant for upgrades to the Orroroo Community Church Hall so that it can be used as a family daycare

The Small Network Grants program is supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund through the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative.

Funded projects are diverse, including a Mental Health forum in Junee, NSW; a series of community connection and education events in Alice Springs, NT; a portable toilet to support small-scale community infrastructure projects in Boonah, QLD; a demonstration day for the new digital weather station and soil probe network in Kingscote, SA; Accidental Counsellor training for the Tasmanian community of Triabunna; a Field Day for local secondary students in Birchip, VIC; and a series of natural resources management and drought education sessions in the Great Southern WA region of Kendenup.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said strong interest in the program indicates that organisations and local leaders are actively seeking ways to inspire their communities to connect, communicate and strengthen social capital, so they can better withstand the impacts of future drought.

“Most of the applications we saw in this round of the Small Network Grants program were for projects designed to improve communication, social connection and collaboration within and between communities, as a way of strengthening and preparing for drought.

“Far North West Joint Organisation’s Drought Resilience Community Action Group is a great example of this type of initiative. With a $50,000 grant, the Action Group will help the communities of Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett and Cobar to increase knowledge and resource sharing and promote collaboration, so that the NSW Far West region can be better prepared.

“More than half of the applications we received have never been funded by FRRR. This means we are reaching grassroots organisations and responding to the increased priority around drought preparedness in many remote, rural and regional communities, many of which are still recovering from other climate-related disasters like cyclone and flooding.

“We look forward to seeing how these projects help community groups be better connected, informed and resourced in the next drought,” Ms O’Brien said.

Applications for Round 2 of Small Network Grants are open now and close 26 March 2024, with recipients announced in June 2024.

Potential applicants are encouraged to watch this recorded webinar to learn more about the program and the eligibility requirements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DHpeNQqPeI.

For more information, including the list of eligible LGAs, and to apply, visit: https://frrr.org.au/small-networks-grants.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Small Networks Grants Round 1 - March 2024
Stream 1
NEW SOUTH WALES
Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Fund LtdCommunity Capacity Building Drought-Ready Workshop
Support the Batlow community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a two-day workshop focused on skills development and increasing awareness of drought and drought preparedness activities for up to 20 emerging leaders across the community. This will enable the development and learning initiatives to facilitate professional, personal and leadership-related development and learning to support drought preparation.
Batlow$16,169
Far South Coast Dairy Development Group IncAutumn Break: Supporting Community in Tough Times
Improved communication, social connection, and collaboration within and between communities to support drought preparedness and improved implementation of place-based practices by communities to build and enhance resilience to drought.
Bega$20,000
Junee Community Centre IncDrought Resilience - Junee Mental Health Forum
Support the Junee community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a Mental Health forum, that will facilitate professional, social and community connection to build an understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.
Junee $15,600
Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare IncPreparing for Drought
Support the Stroud community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of two one-day workshops providing education and demonstration in drought preparation for mitigating the impacts of dry spells, facilitating professional, social and community connection to build an understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.
Stoud$20,000
Murdi Paaki Regional Rugby League Council IncCCC Community Wellbeing Project Condobolin
Support the Condobolin community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a Mentally Fit Classroom Initiative and community engagement dinner, enabling the facilitation of professional, social and community connection to build understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.
Condobolin$15,695
Southern New England Landcare LtdCommunity Connection for Outlying Areas
Support the Walcha and Billy Creek / Hernani communities to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of six community events to bring people together, meet neighbours, strengthen networks and increase knowledge and capacity around drought preparedness.
Walcha and Billy Creek$19,984
Western Rural Connect Inc on behalf of Narromine Small Business NetworkRural Women in Business Luncheon
Support the Narromine community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a luncheon for local women with an interest in business that will facilitate professional, social and community connection to build understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.
Narromine$20,000
QUEENSLAND
Boonah & District Landcare Association IncPortable Toilet Project
Support the Boonah community to be more prepared for and resilient to the impacts of drought through the purchase of a portable toilet to use at events enabling small-scale community infrastructure projects to improve connectedness, wellbeing and facilities.
Boonah$6,008
Mitchell & District Landcare Assoc IncAn Honest Look at Drought - A Hard Day's Work
Support the Tooloombilla, Mitchell and Dunkeld communities to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of three, guided workshops in three communities which will include wellbeing and support professionals and government agencies to strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of professional, social, or community networks.
Tooloombilla, Mitchell and Dunkeld$6,285
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
54 31 Collective IncThe 5431 Connect, Create, Celebrate Project
Support the Orroroo community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a series of resilience-building workshops and a Rural Women’s celebration event to strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of professional, social or community networks.
Orroroo$17,630
Agriculture Kangaroo Island IncOn Farm Decision Making Resources & Demonstration Day
Support the Kangaroo Island community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the development of training resources and the delivery of a demonstration day for a new digital weather station and soil probe network, to improve skills and capacity in community risk management, planning and project delivery.
Kingscote$13,830
Coonalpyn Golf Club IncThe Club in the Scrub
Support the Coorong community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the installation of a new roof on the Coonalpyn Golf Clubhouse, a small-scale community infrastructure project to improve connectedness and wellbeing.
Coonalpyn$9,800
District Council of Orroroo Carrieton Orroroo Community Church Hall Upgrades for Family Day Care
Support the Orroroo community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through minor infrastructure works to the Community Church Hall so that it can be used as a family daycare and family-friendly community venue enabling small-scale community infrastructure projects to improve connectedness, wellbeing and facilities.
Orroroo$20,000
TASMANIA
Rural Alive & Well IncDrought Resilience and Suicide Prevention for Rural Communities
Support the communities of Smithton and Wynyard in the North / Northwest Tasmania region to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of early intervention mental health training enabling initiatives to strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of professional, social or community networks.
Smithton and Wynyard$18,000
Spring Bay Suicide Prevention NetworkACT - Accidental Counsellors Together
Support the Triabunna community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through Accidental Counsellor training and other activities that improve skills and capacity in risk management and overall community wellbeing.
Triabunna$7,425
VICTORIA
Birchip Cropping Group IncBCG Main Field Day Secondary Student Stream
Support the Birchip community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the participation of secondary students from the North Central Local Learning and Employment Network (NCLLEN) cluster along with farmers, agronomists, and industry representatives at the Main Field Day in Birchip to help strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of professional, social or community networks.
Birchip$19,130
Common Ground ProjectCommunity Drought Preparedness Network
Support the Freshwater Creek community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the development of a local Community Drought Preparedness Network, expanding into outer regional communities across the farming district to strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of professional, social or community networks.
Freshwater Creek$20,000
Rural Business and Community LtdShared Shops Trail
Support the Donald, Hopetoun, Boort and Quambatook communities to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the establishment of a Shared Shops Trail for up to six Shared Shops to strengthen the coordination of professional, social or community networks.
Donald, Hopetoun, Boort and Quambatook$20,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Facey GroupRegional Resilience
Support communities of the Wheatbelt South region to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a community event that facilitates professional, social and community connection to build an understanding of drought and climate change-associated risks.
Wickepin $20,000
Stream 2
NSW Far West
Far North West Joint OrganisationDrought Resilience Community Action Group
Support the Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett and Cobar communities to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the creation of a Drought Resilience Community Action Group subcommittee that aims to strengthen coordination of local organisations and services, increase knowledge and resource sharing and promote collaboration to be better prepared for future drought in Far West NSW.
Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett and Cobar$50,000
Mallee Sustainable Farming IncCrossroads: Developing Leadership Skills for Rural Women in Isolated Areas of Far-Western NSW
Support the Wentworth and Pooncarie communities to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a tailored leadership initiative for women strengthening the capacity, capability and coordination of community networks.
Wentworth and Pooncarie$50,000
NT Arid Lands
Kulgera Gymkhana Club IncCustom Made Cool Room
Support the Kulgera community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the purchase of a portable cool room with trailer to improve connectedness, wellbeing and usage of local facilities.
Kulgera$27,159
Landcare NT IncThe Arid Lands Agricultural Community Connections Project
Support the community of the Arid Lands region to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a series of four, day-long community events that facilitate professional, social and community connection to build understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.
Alice Springs$50,000
The Arid Lands Environment CentreProject Manager for the Arid Lands Environment Centre and Alice Spring Community Gardens Network
Support the Alice Springs community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the engagement of a Project Manager, enabling initiatives to strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of two community gardens.
Alice Springs$50,000
NT Tablelands
Charles Darwin University Building Social Drought Resilience Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Groups in Katherine
Support communities of the Katherine region to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of three drought resilience focussed workshops and support resources that facilitate professional, social and community connection to build an understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.
Katherine$44,300
Northern Territory Farmers Association IncNorthern Australia Food Futures Regional Roadshow - Preparing For The Future Support the Mataranka community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a two-day roadshow with approximately 60 attendees that promotes drought preparedness using targeted engagement with agricultural stakeholders and the broader community to facilitate professional, social and community connection to build an understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.Mataranka $47,232
WA Great Southern
Oyster Harbour Catchment Group IncMega Community Toolbox: Improving the Community's Capacity to Connect
Support the communities of the Great Southern region to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of natural resource management and drought-themed learning sessions enabling initiatives that strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of professional, social and community networks.
Kendenup$48,620
Stirlings to Coast Farmers IncFit for Farming - Building Social, Mental, Physical and Financial Fitness
Support the Great Southern region to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through participation in physical health and wellbeing activities / events to strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of professional, social and community networks.
Mt Barker $31,525
Wellstead Community Resource Centre Choosing Wellness in Wellstead
Support the Great Southern region to be more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought through the delivery of a range of learning and wellbeing focussed community activities to strengthen the capacity, capability and coordination of professional, social or community networks.
Wellstead$33,382

$20,000 and $50,000 grants to strengthen networks and capabilities

FRRR is encouraging community organisations in agriculture-dependent parts of Australia to apply for the latest round of Small Network Grants for initiatives that build community preparedness and resilience to future drought.

The Small Network Grants program is supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund through the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative.

Grants are available through two Streams of funding for simple, one-off, or seed-type initiatives designed to strengthen local networks and capabilities of remote, rural or regional communities. Stream 1 offers grants up to $20,000 to all agriculture-dependent remote, rural or regional areas (except Stream 2 locations). Stream 1 has an indicative funding pool of $1,175,900[i]. Stream 2 grants of up to $50,000 are available for groups in the NSW Far West, NT Tablelands, NT Arid Lands, Northern Queensland Dry Tropics and WA Great Southern. An indicative funding pool of $1,296,350 is available for Stream 2[ii].

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said preparing for the inevitable dry times ahead is critical, particularly for Australia’s agriculture-dependent regions.

“Our Small Network Grants program empowers local organisations to strengthen the social fabric of their town or locality by identifying and acting on their region’s drought preparedness priorities, at a grassroots level, in ways that best suit their communities.

“We look forward to seeing projects that will help community groups be better connected, informed, and resourced in the next drought,” Ms O’Brien said.

The Small Network Grants program can fund projects that fit into one of these five categories:

  • Networks: Initiatives to strengthen the capacity, capability, and coordination of professional, social or community networks
  • Community Events: Field days, conferences, forums, summits, and seminars that facilitate professional, social and community connection to build understanding of drought and climate change associated risks.
  • Training:  Initiatives to improve skills and capacity in community risk management, planning and project delivery in relation to drought.
  • Community Infrastructure: Small scale community infrastructure projects to improve connectedness, wellbeing, and facilities.
  • Development and Learning: Initiatives to facilitate professional, personal and leadership related development and learning to support drought preparation.

Applications are open now and close 26 March 2024, with recipients announced in June 2024.

Potential applicants are invited to watch this recorded webinar to learn more about the program and the eligibility requirements:

For more information, including the list of priority LGAs, and to apply, visit: https://frrr.org.au/small-networks-grants.


[i] Stream 1 – All LGA’s in an agriculture-dependent regional, rural or remote location (except Stream 2 locations). Priority will be given to locations where previous Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative activity has not been undertaken. An indicative funding pool of $1,175,954 is available for Stream 1. Applications up to $20,000 will be accepted.

[ii] Stream 2 – All LGAs from NSW Far West, NT Tablelands, NT Arid Lands, Northern QLD Dry Tropics and WA Great Southern regions only. An indicative funding pool of $1,296,352 is available for Stream 2. Applications up to $50,000 will be accepted.