Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Ramingining, an Aboriginal community home to around 870 people, is situated on the edge of the Arafura Swamp in Arnhem Land, approximately 560 kilometres east of Darwin in the NT. The community is made up of mainly Yolngu people.

Ramingining artists and community members, through the Bula’Bula Arts Centre, wanted to provide more activities that strengthen the community’s connection to their cultural roots, knowing this is integral to people’s health and wellbeing. They also wanted their young people to learn to practice and celebrate their culture from Elders.  

Following Cyclone Lam in 2015, the community successfully lobbied for a new cyclone shelter. The completed shelter has multiple uses including as recreation centre, a space for youth programs, a basketball stadium and the occasional movie theatre. The concrete block building was practical but somewhat bland, without representation of the local Yolngu culture.

Thanks to a $9,973 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by the Bertalli Family Foundation, the Bula’Bula Arts Centre was able to bring together the older and younger generations of Yolngu people to commemorate their culture through the creation of two large public murals on the outside walls of the cyclone shelter.

Yolngu culture is built on a kinship system that consists of two moieties, Dhuwa and Yirritja, and these are the foundations of the skin systems, totemic relationships, storylines, songlines and more. Each mural, approximately three by five metres, honours one of the two moieties. The murals are a huge achievement visually depicting 20 unique stories. Twenty-one Bula’Bula artists, alongside about 20 Ramingining youth, created the murals over several sessions during the January 2022 school holidays.

The painting sessions were observed by many other community members, who came along to see what was happening. The murals have been highly welcomed by the community, bringing smiles and words like letchu (awesome), manymak (great) and yolngu rom (our culture).

The younger people have developed a better understanding of their culture, and the broader community has a greater sense of pride and self-esteem from the creation of a more culturally appropriate meeting place. The murals also act as a teaching tool, with many families coming to show their children and tell the culturally significant stories.  

The Bula’Bula Arts Centre is a locally governed, owned, and operated Aboriginal Corporation situated in the heart of the community and plays an important role supporting more than 150 artists to maintain and strengthen their cultural practices. It also offers training, education, career pathways and enterprise opportunities, along with providing social services contributing to the social and physical health of the community.

The most successful and proudest part of the project for the Bula’Bula Arts Centre was the engagement of Yolngu people from the initial concept to execution and finally, the outcome and ongoing nature of keeping culture strong.

Dhuwa wall artists included: Gary Smith, Dorothy Djampilil, Daniel Warrulukuma, Evonne Rraraypum, JB Fisher, Joy Borruwa, Billy Black, Joy Burruna, Lisa Gurrulpa and Shannon Ashley.

Yirritja wall artists included: Joanne Mombuyngu, Selena Munguluma, Peter Gambung, Romeo Gaykamangu, Bobby Bununggurr, Andrew Malibirr, Johnny Malibirr and Evonne Gaywrri.

Artist helpers and art workers: Selena Galang, Kylie Pascoe, Steve Malibirr, Ross Dhaparuwuy and Jasmane Malibirr.

The East Arnhem Regional Council authorised the creation of the murals and also provided staff time in-kind to assist with the project.

Grants support COVID recovery, Black Summer bushfire recovery and Small & Vital projects

FRRR has awarded $1,448,968 in grants to 121 projects across remote, rural and regional Australia as part of their Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.

This program awards grants to community-led initiatives that directly benefits those living in remote, rural and regional Australia. There are three streams of funding: the Small & Vital stream, 2019/20 Black Summer bushfire recovery and the Rebuilding Regional Communities (RRC) stream, which supports recovery from COVID-19.

Small and Vital stream

Through the Small & Vital stream, $368,227 in grants will be awarded to 43 community groups and NFPs. This stream funds grassroots initiatives that locals in remote, rural and regional areas feel are a priority when it comes to strengthening their community. One example of a project being funded in this stream in this round is the Meandarra Primary P&C Association in Queensland, which is using their grant to boost community wellbeing and encourage socialising by opening the school pool to the community free of charge.

Black Summer grants

Also included in this round are 44 grants that will go towards initiatives that are supporting the ongoing recovery from the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires. These projects will share in $792,136, with initiatives like the Country Fire Authority’s Yackandandah Fire Station Readiness being funded to increase the capacity of volunteers to support bushfire preparedness by installing a workstation and storage units.

Rebuilding Regional Communities – supporting COVID-19 recovery

In this round, 34 grants will go towards recovery from the pandemic. Funded by the Australian Government, the Rebuilding Regional Communities (RRC) grants total $288,604. Among the recipients in this stream is (It’s no) drama, a physical theatre ensemble for people living with and without disability. This community group will reduce social isolation in South Gippsland, Victoria by delivering an accessible community dance project designed and facilitated by disabled and non-disabled artists.

Jill Karena, Place Portfolio Lead at FRRR, said that the diversity of projects put forward by communities highlights the importance of offering flexible funding that can respond to local needs and priorities.

“More than half of the funding in this round is going towards recovery from the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires which really highlights the need for ongoing support to disaster-impacted areas. Three years on, it’s clear that community groups and local NFPs need additional resources to continue showing up for their communities to the best of their ability.

“Many of these bushfire-impacted communities have also been affected by flooding, drought or the mice plague in recent years, on top of COVID, so the physical and emotional toll of these multiple events is making the recovery process even more difficult.

“When it came to RRC this round, we started to see more focus on the recovery process and rebuilding, alongside mental health and social isolation as the focus. This is an encouraging sign as it indicates that remote, rural and regional communities are increasingly looking towards the longer-term.

“Elsewhere, in the Small & Vital stream of the program, we continue to see a focus on food security and energy efficiency with requests for funding for solar installation, energy efficient equipment in local amenities and support for community gardens. These recurring themes are no surprise given the current cost of living crisis,” Ms Karena said.

Some more of the 129 projects funded include:

  • Workways Australia Limited -Clarence Valley, NSW – Cool (Mosaic) burning in the Clarence Valley – Build resilience in the Taloumbi community by teaching locals to use the cool (mosaic) burning land management practice, a tool to reduce future bushfire risk, promote biodiversity, build resilience, and regenerate habitat for endangered native species. $20,456 (Bushfire Recovery)
  • MJD Foundation Limited – Ngukurr, NT – Development of MJDF ‘in place’ service – phase 1 – Enable people to live well ‘on Country’ by developing a plan to establish a permanent medical support presence in community for people impacted by Machado-Joseph Disease. $10,000 (Small & Vital)
  • Atherton Performing Arts Inc – Atherton, QLD – 12 Air purifiers to protect our performers, audiences and others – Enhance the process of community recovery from COVID-19 by improving public safety at the theatre with the purchase of air purifiers to remove airborne pathogens. $7,103 (Rebuilding Regional Communities)
  • Snowtown Centenary Park – Snowtown, SA – Centenary Park Mural – Improve the appearance of a public amenity, and boost tourism and community engagement in Snowtown through the installation of a mural. $10,000 (Small & Vital)
  • Lower Barrington Community Hall – Lower Barrington, TAS – Lower Barrington Hall: Disability Friendly Bathroom Project, Stage 2 – Increase community access for all abilities and enhance social engagement opportunities by improving disability access at a local hall. $10,000 (Small & Vital)
  • Tatura Civic Halls Committee – Tatura, VIC – Mechanics’ Hall Floor Rejuvenation – Preserve local heritage and provide a comfortable facility for community members to connect by replacing flooring that is beyond repair. $10,000 (Small & Vital)
  • Marribank Aboriginal Corporation – Marribank, WA – Marribank Mission Cleanup – Create a space for healing of Noongar people and past residents of the old mission through the rejuvenation of the site into an Aboriginal managed training and cultural learning centre. $10,000 (Small & Vital)

A full list of grant recipients is available on FRRR’s website.

The SRC program is collaboratively supported by many generous donors, which are acknowledged on FRRR’s website.

This program always accepts applications. Local NFPs and community groups are encouraged to review the expanded program guidelines and apply. More information about the SRC program is available at www.frrr.org.au/src.

To support grants like this through FRRR, make a tax-deductible donation at frrr.org.au/giving/.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Cystic Fibrosis Community Care LtdRegional Equity and Community Technology Program (REACT Program)
Enhance the process of COVID-19 recovery for rural people living with Cystic Fibrosis and their families by providing essential medical equipment -10 Home Spirometer for regional community members to support their health.
Armidale$6,242
Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallabyFriends of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Membership and Volunteers Network Drive
Sustain and enhance the work of the Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby by employing a staff member to focus on the recruitment and retention of volunteers.
Kangaroo Valley$10,000
Grand Pacific Health LimitedRecovery & Growth
Enhance the process of COVID-19 recovery of women and support creativity and connection in Far Western NSW by providing ‘Recovery and Growth' writing workshops facilitated by an award-winning journalist.
Balranald$8,500
Moobi School Community Site IncMoobi School Site Lawn Mower Upgrade
Enhancing Moobi's recovery from COVID-19 through the purchase of a new mower to make the historical Moobi School community space a safe and appealing place to gather.
Moobi$10,000
Rural Financial Counselling Service
NSW - Southern Region Limited
Rebuilding Your Business through Social Media and Financial Skills
Enhance COVID-19 recovery and stimulate the economy in the Shoalhaven community by providing a Rebuilding Your Business through Social Media and Financial Skills workshop.
Nowra$3,510
St Vincent De Paul Society NSWYouth Mental Health First Aid Training (Vinnies Reconnect, Deniliquin)
Enhance the recovery of communities from COVID-19 by delivering three free two-day Youth Mental Health First Aid training sessions across Hay, Barham, and Finley.
Hay$10,000
Warren Chamber Music Festival IncorporatedWarren Chamber Music Festival 2023
Enhance COVID-19 recovery and promote community cohesion through facilitating three concert programs featuring a classical ensemble along with local musicians.
Warren$10,000
Woodstock Memorial Hall CommitteePerimeter Fencing
Encourage the community to connect and gather as part of COVID-19 recovery and improve safety, amenity and aesthetic appeal through installing a new perimeter fence around the community hall.
Woodstock$6,500
2019/2020 Bushfire Recovery
Batlow Men's Shed IncorporatedImprovements to the Batlow Men's Shed
Enhance the Batlow Men's Shed building and help the community recover from the impacts of the 2019/20 bushfires by adding an extension and installing solar panels to enlarge the workspace and social activity area, accommodate more members and contribute to life-long learning and skills sharing.
Batlow $17,870
Braidwood & District Historic Society IncStart Up of New Braidwood Heritage Centre
Contribute to bushfire recovery by employing a Facility Manager to run the Braidwood Heritage Centre while it is being developed to provide engagement with, and activities for the community and ensure the centre will become more sustainable and create employment opportunities on completion of construction.
Braidwood $25,000
Buxton Community Assoc IncSprinkler System for Hall Protection
Building preparedness and protection from future bushfires through the installation of a sprinkler system on the roof of the Community Hall/Community Hub.
Buxton $8,720
Cobargo Community Access Centre IncorporatedAppointment of Contracted Coordinator/Manager for Six Months for Cobargo Community Access Centre
Support organisational capacity and strengthen resources in a bushfire-impacted area by engaging a coordinator at the Cobargo Community Access Centre to manage the centre and its activities, ensuring volunteers are supervised and trained to assist the community with long-term recovery.
Cobargo $25,000
Eden Community Access Centre IncFIRE ON THE WATER Publication
Support community recovery by publishing a book that will tell personal, professional, and emotional responses to the 2020 fires to form a historical record of the event.
Wonboyn $6,677
Elands Community Health Centre
The University Of Newcastle
Community-led Disaster Resilience for the Elands Community Health and First Aid Centre
Increase bushfire resilience in Elands through enhancing an integral marshalling venue for emergency services and a place of refuge for people during bushfires by upgrading the kitchen.

Elands $24,964
Emmaville Pony Club IncFacility Upgrade for Dundee Community Connection
Strengthen community resources and bushfire preparedness at the Dundee Sports Ground Community & Rural Fire Service facility by upgrading amenities and adding an extra water tank for showers, toilets, hall users; as well as an additional water supply protect local community assets in future bushfires.
Dundee $15,216
Melanoma and Skin Cancer Advocacy Network LTDKeeping BlazeAid Volunteers Sun Safe & Skin Serious!
Improve BlazeAid's capability to protect volunteer health by providing broad brimmed sun hats to 1,000 volunteers to be worn while they are undertaking bushfire recovery activities.
Richmond Valley $20,000
Narooma Oyster Festival LimitedBuilding a Sustainable Volunteer Base
Rebuild volunteer support in a heavily bushfire-impacted town by building a volunteer framework, creating supporting materials and documentation to train new and existing volunteers for the Narooma Oyster Festival and other events in the region.
Narooma $10,000
Northbank Community Garden IncorporatedBuilding a Sustainable Volunteer Base Capacity of Northbank Community Gardens Inc
Build organisational capacity and social connections in the Bellingen Valley through a community-informed Strategic & Master Plan for the community garden to guide food-resilience development, identify infrastructure improvements and propose income streams ensuring financial sustainability after coping with drought, bushfires, and flooding.
Bellingen $23,920
Pappinbarra Progress AssociationEmergency Disaster Accommodation - Meeting Room and Complete Hall Roof Insulation
Enhance the Hollisdale Hall by insulating the roof and refurbishing the old kitchen that is being converted into a meeting and disaster accommodation area to provide a bushfire / flood community recovery space.
Hollisdale $13,657
Resilient Kangaroo Valley
Lions Club of Kangaroo Valley Inc
Incorporate & Promote Resilient Kangaroo Valley
Strengthen the communities disaster response resources and bushfire preparedness by supporting the formal incorporation of the Resilient Kangaroo Valley, activating their online presence and their work with emergency services.
Kangaroo Valley $16,000
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AllianceInstallation of Solar/Battery System to Provide Marine Rescue Tuross Moruya with Off Grid Emergency Power in case of Mains Power Failure
Increasing the ability to provide life-saving communications and rescue services in emergencies by installing 6.7Kwh solar panels and a 10kwh battery on the Tuross Moruya Marine Rescue Building to provide emergency power during outages.
Tuross Head $21,889
St John Ambulance Australia (N.S.W.)Radio Post Kits for Regional Communities
Support volunteer safety and build organisational capacity and efficiency for St John Ambulance volunteers in 22 regional communities impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires by purchasing remote Radio Post Kits to better communicate in future emergencies.
Armidale $19,500
Towamba Valley Landcare Group IncSometimes Fixing Things is the Best Therapy
Decrease fire risk resulting from scrub and grass growth post-2019/20 bushfires by holding a series of talks for land managers about fire, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration- strengthening community connections, mental health, and capabilities to manage fire risk.
Towamba $12,500
Workways Australia LimitedCool (Mosaic) Burning in the Clarence Valley
Build resilience in the Taloumbi community by teaching locals to use the cool (mosaic) burning land management practice, a tool to reduce future bushfire risk, promote biodiversity, build resilience, and regenerate habitat for endangered native species.
Taloumbi $20,456
Small & Vital
Agape Outreach IncOptimising Community Mental Health for Flood Victims
Support flood-affected community members with four wellness programs over eight-weeks to build resilience and improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes.
Tweed Heads $8,800
Bellinger River Agricultural Society IncArtisan Tent Bellingen Show 2023
Provide an engaging space at the Bellingen Show for local artisans to share creative skills with flood-affected young people by hiring a large marquee.
Bellingen $10,000
Clifton School of Arts IncorporatedPurchase of Five Heaters for the Clifton School of Arts Inc Building
Increase community engagement and participation at the Clifton School of Arts by installing five, small efficient mobile heaters, creating a comfortable, year-round gathering space.
Clifton $2,395
Cootamundra Health Care Co-Operative LimitedRemoving Barriers to Social Participation for the Adina Care Aged Community: Expansion and Enhancement of Adina Court BBQ Meeting Area
Increase social well-being and connection of residents of the community-owned Adina Care by upgrading the BBQ area to be more accessible for events and activities.
Cootamundra $10,000
Goolmangar School of Arts IncPaint the Internal Walls of the Goolmangar School of Arts Hall
Contribute to restoring the Goolmangar School of Arts Hall for community use after the devastating floods by painting the damaged walls.
Goolmangar $9,000
Grenfell Dramatic Society IncEssential Fire Safety Equipment and Technology for the Heritage Listed Premises of Grenfell Community Arts
Strengthen organisational capacity, safety, and social connectedness by installing fire safety equipment and a data projector.
Grenfell $8,983
Kyogle and District Arts CouncilDigital Transformation for the Kyogle and District Arts Council
Expand organisational capacity and improve community awareness of Kyogle and District Arts Council by purchasing a laptop, creating a logo, website design, and a social media presence.
Kyogle $4,945
Lions Club of Mount Panorama IncRiverside Markets Coffee Van
Expand organisational capacity by purchasing an espresso machine to fundraise with coffee sales at the local market for local and Australia wide charitable projects and disaster relief.
Bathurst $5,000
Moree Cultural Art Foundation LtdThe Yarn Bombing Project
Contribute to the cultural vibrancy of the Moree Plains Shire through 'Yarn Bombing' - wrapping trees in brightly coloured crochet and knitted scarves - to encourage community connection and increase tourism.
Moree $8,900
Nimbin Community Centre IncorporatedRedesigning Community Centre Grounds to Meet the Social, Cultural, Economic and Environmental Aspirations of the Nimbin Community
Develop a redevelopment plan for the Centre grounds with a landscape architect to create a flexible and inclusive space for locals and tourists.
Nimbin $2,800
Ozfish Unlimited LimitedCoolah Community Restoring Coolaburragundy River
Improve environmental outcomes and bring the Coolah community together to restore the Coolaburragundy River through planting trees, weed control and holding a carp muster event.
Coolah $10,000
Trustees Of The Roman Catholic Church For The Diocese Of Maitland-Newcastle, Trading As The Diocese Of Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools OfficePitalba Nature Playspace, Yarning Circle and Bush Tucker Garden
A safe, respectful and inclusive place for shared learning, connection and community
(Pitalba is an Aboriginal Awabakal word meaning 'quiet place'). Create a safe, inclusive, and respectful place for shared learning by re-establishing a nature playspace, yarning circle and bush tucker garden destroyed by the floods for the school and broader Kurri Kurri community.
Kurri Kurri $10,000
NORTHERN TERRITORY
Small & Vital
MJD Foundation LimitedNgukurr - Development of MJDF 'In Place' Service - Phase One
Enable people to live well 'on Country' by developing a plan to establish a permanent medical support presence in community for people impacted by Machado-Joseph Disease.
Ngukurr $10,000
QUEENSLAND
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Agnes Water Playgroup
Discovery Coast Sport and Recreation Association Incorporated
Reinvigoration of the Play Area at Discovery Coast Sport and Rec Club
Foster a stronger, more resilient community and reduce social isolation by renovating the only existing local playground into a safe, shaded space for children of all ages and abilities.
Agnes Water $10,000
Atherton Performing Arts Inc12 Air Purifiers to Protect Our Performers, Audiences and Others
Enhance the process of community recovery from COVID-19 by improving public safety at the theatre with the purchase of air purifiers to remove airborne pathogens.
Atherton $7,103
Cherbourg Historical Precinct Group IncorporatedTransforming the Ration Shed Museum
Refinish the Ration Shed Museum’s timber deck, enhancing its appearance and amenity to encourage the return of visitors and local craftspeople to the facilities, and thus stimulating local economic recovery for the community following COVID-19.
Cherbourg $10,000
Pormpuraaw Art & Culture Centre Inc
Silk Screen, Fabric, Textile Workshop
Enhance the process of recovery for the Pormpuraaw community from COVID-19 by delivering a three-week silkscreen, textile and fashion industry workshop, building new skills and creating additional income generation opportunities.
Pormpuraaw $10,000
2019/2020 Bushfire Recovery
Boonah & District Landcare Association IncCommunity Nest Tube Project
Support recovery of endangered species bushfire impacted habitat by building nest boxes, growing community awareness and developing a digital monitoring program.
Boonah $24,014
Boonah Show Society IncUpgrade of Toilet Blocks to Support the New Multi Purpose Arena Which is Being Built on the Showgrounds
Improve the comfort and experience of those required to evacuate bushfires at the Scenic Rim’s northern Disaster Recovery and Evacuation Area, by replacing the 50 year old ablutions block with a larger capacity, all-abilities accessible version.
Boonah $25,000
Crows Nest Agricultural Horticultural & Industrial Society IncFit Out of Newly Constructed Machinery and Storage Shed
Build community resilience and improve volunteer working conditions by fitting out the new maintenance shed to provide safe storage for community groups at the Crow’s Nest Showgrounds that sheltered 150 evacuees during the 2019 bushfires.
Crows Nest $25,000
Glastonbury Hall & Recreation Association IncFuture Proofing Strategy in Preparedness for Establishment of the Glastonbury Hall as a Disaster Centre Hub
Create a safer and more secure space at the Glastonbury Hall for the community’s regular use, or as a 'place of refuge' to shelter during bushfires, by installing fencing and gates.
Glastonbury $14,828
Goomburra Town Hall Committee IncorporatedStrengthening Goomburra Community’s Resilience to Our Changing Climate and Disasters
Build community preparedness for future climate events including bushfires by installing solar panels and purchasing higher energy efficient whitegoods for the hall to function as a self-sufficient refuge during emergencies.
Goomburra$25,000
Small & Vital
Bajool and District Pony Club IncBajool Pony Club Environmental Sustainability and Accessibility
Improve the club’s ability to provide a safe facility for the broader community, including the Rural Fire Brigade, to use by concreting the canteen floor and installing solar lighting.
Bajool$8,778
Burdekin Men's Shed Association Inc"Men Shed Safe & Resilient"
Support the Ayr community to reconnect after flooding and strengthen their resilience through intergenerational skills sharing enabled by more modern and safer equipment at the men’s shed.
Ayr$ 8,583
Carramar Community Pre-school & Kindergarten Assoc IncA Deck Designed for Discussion, Development and Dadirri
Expand the space available for children’s learning and development activities by installing a raised deck in an outdoor area damaged by flooding.
Maryborough$ 10,000
Kilcummin Group Selectors AssociationKilcummin Hall Repair Work
Rejuvenate the 1960’s hall by repairing decking, handrails, entrance ways and kitchenette facilities to make the community meeting space safer and more welcoming.
Kilcummin$ 10,000
Meandarra Primary P&C AssociationMeandarra State School P&C Volunteer Lifeguard Training 2022
Boost community wellbeing though encouraging socialisation and exercise by providing volunteer lifeguards with the necessary qualifications to open the school pool to the broader community free of charge.
Meandarra$2,640
Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group IncProviding a Space in Gordonvale for Community to Meet, Learn and Thrive in Nature
Grow volunteering at the group’s newly established community centre by outfitting the nursery space and engaging an event coordinator to conduct weekly activities and membership drives.
Gordonvale$10,000
Rock FM Association Inc4RFM Transmission Tower Repairs
Help locals stay informed and connected by replacing lightening damaged equipment on the transmission tower and ensuring a strong and reliable community radio service.
Moranbah$9,955
Thallon State School P&C AssociationEvent Shade Structures
Improve the safety and comfort of children, volunteers and community members attending educational and social events by replacing damage portable shade structures.
Thallon$8,577
Thangool State School Parents & Citizens AssociationConcreting, Specialist Coating and Painting of Handball Courts
Encourage children’s learning and development with the creation of a outdoor space for tuition, individual instruction, and play by concreting a new undercover area.
Thangool$9,960
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Coomandook Area SchoolSpill The Beans
Build employable skills and qualifications for COVID-19 impacted young people by establishing a social café and hub that will reduce social isolation, foster a stronger, more resilient community.
Coomandook$7,612
Mid-Murray Suicide Prevention Network IncorporatedGrassroots Conversations – A Podcast by Mid-Murray Caring Connected Communities
Facilitate the development of a community podcast to build resilience after COVID-19 and reduce social isolation by purchasing audio equipment and communications services.
Morgan$10,000
Millicent Agricultural Horticultural and Pastoral Society IncOffice Shelter
Support the work of the Society and encourage social reconnection post COVID-19 by enhancing access to community facilities at the showgrounds with a covered veranda and accessibility ramp.
Millicent$9,090
Murray Mallee General Practice Network IncorporatedSecond Beginnings - An MMGPN Social Enterprise
Enhance Murray Bridge community recovery from the pandemic through the establishment of a social enterprise providing work and volunteer opportunities for vulnerable community members.
Murray Bridge$10,000
SportsUnited LtdSportsUnited Sporting Memories
Reduce social isolation and foster a stronger, more resilient regional community after COVID-19 by implementing a social activity program to improve the mental health and wellbeing of seniors.
Barossa$10,000
2019/2020 Bushfire Recovery
Edithburgh Events Management Group
Edithburgh Progress Association Incorporated
Immortalising the Clydesdale Horse at the Burgh
Boost recovery post bushfires and strengthen tourism and economy in the Southern Yorke Peninsula region, through the creation and installation of a Clydesdale Horse sculpture that commemorates local history.
Edithburgh$25,000
Kangaroo Island Business and Brand AllianceImproving Access to Resources to Help Kangaroo Island’s Small Businesses Grow and Thrive
Strengthen employment opportunities for an Island community and help local business recover from bushfire disaster through upgrading a business and tourism website.
Kingscote$10,000
Kangaroo Island Wildlife NetworkLearning from Bushfire Recovery Wildlife Projects: A Conference to Build Community Resilience
Enhance an organisation's capacity and boost volunteer skills by running a forum focussing on protecting native habitat and wildlife pre and post bushfire disaster events.
American River$16,075
Karta Harvest Exchange
Penneshaw Progress Association Incorporated
Penneshaw Community Garden
Enhance recovery from bushfires and broaden local community connection through the establishment of an inclusive all-abilities community garden.
Penneshaw$10,000
Kingscote Football ClubRepairs to Club Room Roof and Kitchen Equipment
Improve a club room to be a fit for purpose Bushfire Refuge Centre through the upgrade of infrastructure.
Kingscote$25,000
Kingscote Netball ClubUpgrade of Existing Lighting
Boost health and wellbeing outcomes and provide a social outlet for older men by upgrading a men’s shed kitchen for new cooking classes.
Kingscote$25,000
Lobethal Community Association IncorporatedWhere Eagles Soar | Stories of Fire and Recovery
Enhance the process of disaster recovery and community connection through a creative sculpture project featuring a storytelling ‘Pocket Forest’ podcast and signage trail.
Lobethal$16.698
Parndana Soldier Settlement Museum
Parndana Progress Association
Storing the Past to Work for the Future
Commemorate local culture and support volunteer recovery and engagement post bushfires by refurbishing a museum workroom and installing an air-conditioner.
Parndana$16,770
Small & Vital
Barunga Village IncPort Broughton - A Dementia Friendly Community
Increase support for people living with dementia and improve quality of life through the development of a community network alliance and action plan.
Port Broughton$10,000
Broughton Plains Heritage SocietyBroughton Plains Community Shed Wiring Project
Enhance social and wellbeing activities by providing a safe and comfortable environment by upgrading the electrical wiring system.
Wandearah East$5,886
Returned and Services League of Australia Moonta Sub BranchRising Salt Damp Remediation
Rejuvenate a local community meeting space and encourage greater usage by repairing walls at a local hall.
Moonta$10,000
Snowtown Centenary Park IncCentenary Park Mural
Improve the appearance of a public amenity, and boost tourism and community engagement in Snowtown through the installation of a mural.
Snowtown$10,000
Yarredi Services IncorporatedDRUMBEAT - Resilience and Rhythm
Enhance a recovery program and strengthen mental health and wellbeing of vulnerable women living in the Eyre Peninsula by providing a facilitated healing focussed music program.
Port Lincoln$6,660
TASMANIA
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Dorset Community Association IncorporatedDorset Community House Remote Area Satellite
Provide IT and equipment to support the delivery of educational, social support and food relief in remote areas to reduce social isolation.
Gladstone$9,539
Dunalley Tasman Neighbourhood House IncTasman Municipality Food Security Collaboration Forum
Support health, wellbeing and resilience after the pandemic by holding a food security forum for communities in the Tasman Municipality.
Nubeena$9,800
Mount Roland Rivercare Catchment IncReconnecting with Community and the Mount Roland Environment
Deliver a community festival to reduce social isolation and reconnect people around Sheffield with the community and nature after COVID-19.
Sheffield$6,400
Squid Theatre IncorporatedSaturday Radio Theatre 2023
Sustain the creative activities of a community theatre company through supporting a weekly radio drama, providing a vital point of connection for COVID-19 impacted and isolated community members.
Wynyard$1,500
Small & Vital
Deloraine House IncGrow Cook Eat
Enhance community health and wellbeing and support student education involving nutritious food through the establishment of a community garden and outdoor kitchen.
Deloraine$10,000
Lower Barrington Community Hall IncLower Barrington Hall : Disability Friendly Bathroom Project, Stage Two
Increase community access for all abilities and enhance social engagement opportunities by improving disability access at a local hall.
Lower Barrington$10,000
VICTORIA
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
(it's no) drama LtdEVERYONE CAN DANCE - An Accessible Community Art Project
Enhance the process of recovery of South Gippsland communities from COVID-19 pandemic by delivering an accessible community dance project designed and facilitated by disabled and non-disabled artists.
Leongatha$10,000
Community Learning Euroa IncCLE Drop-in and Outreach
Boost confidence and skills to enhance the process of recovery of the Euroa community from COVID-19 by providing information technology learning opportunities for adults.
Euroa$8,000
Eildon Action IncorporatedSound Equipment
Reduce social isolation and encourage social reconnection in the Eildon community after COVID-19 by purchasing a PA and sound system for community events.
Eildon$9,960
Gippsland Sculpture Exhibition IncorporatedGippsland Sculpture Exhibition 2023
Enhance the process of recovery of the Gippsland community from the pandemic through free live music events and engaging local artists to conduct free art workshops for children and adults.
Yinnar$10,000
Manna Community Garden IncRebuilding and Renewal
Improve social connectedness and enhance the process of recovery of the Manna community from the pandemic through facilitating a luncheon and new outdoor seating for community events.
Foster$2,600
No Lights No Lycra Education LimitedNLNL Regional Ambassador Training and Marketing Support
Sustain the NLNL organisation to deliver health and wellbeing dance programs through a series of training workshops for rural and regional volunteers to support COVID-19 recovery.
Ballarat$10,000
Open Door Neighbourhood House IncWorking Together - Connecting Community
Enhance the process of recovery of the community of Wangaratta from COVID-19 by providing opportunities for vulnerable community members to participate in health and wellbeing activities.
Wangaratta$10,000
Prom Coast Seachange Festival Committee IncProm Coast Festival 2023
Enhance the process of recovery of Prom Coast community from COVID-19 by supporting the return of the Prom Coast Festival.
Foster$10,000
Tallygaroopna Football & Netball ClubTallygaroopna Community Recreation Reserve Indoor Seat Upgrade
Sustain regional organisations and enhance community connection post-COVID-19 in Tallygaroopna through the purchase of seating for a community pavilion.
Tallygaroopna$10,000
The Fringe Thing IncCastlemaine Fringe Presents - REACTIVATE!
Enhance the process of recovery of Castlemaine and surrounding communities from the pandemic though a community-led and delivered festival offering cultural activities, community connection, and volunteering opportunities.
Castlemaine$10,000
Wodonga City CouncilThe Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers
Foster a stronger, more resilient Wodonga community and support COVID-19 recovery through an innovative arts program matching local teenage artists with centenarians to create unique portraits and weave together stories and living histories.
Wodonga$10,000
2019/2020 Bushfire Recovery
Regional Arts Victoria Parallel Wilds
Build creative skills and connection to environment through a school-based arts residency program designed to boost wellbeing and bushfire recovery for young people.
Milawa$25,000
Bemm River Men’s Shed
Bemm River Progress and Improvement Association Inc
Replacement Bemm River Men’s Shed Roller Doors
Provide a safe environment for social connection post bushfire for people participating in Men's Shed activities through the replacement of doors.
Bemm River$10,000
Crashendo! BairnsdaleTogether with Crashendo East Gippsland - Everyone Receives More!
Boost volunteer participation and organisational capacity, and support young people impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires to access music tuition through the development of a strategic business plan.
Bairnsdale$10,000
Deddick Valley Isolated Community Group IncStage Two - Goongerah & Tubbut Service Hubs - Building Healthy, Resilient Communities through Service Equity
Build capacity to access healthcare in remote bushfire impacted areas through creating fit-for-purpose rooms for the establishment of two medical service hubs in far East Gippsland.
Goongerah$24,750
Ensay Angling Club IncorporatedEnsay Angling and Recreation Club Inc Cattle Panel Safety Upgrades
Provide a safe evacuation site for people with livestock during bushfires through the purchase of steel cattle panels for a local Reserve.
Ensay$18,500
Glenaladale Recreation Reserve Committee of ManagementGlenaladale Hall Upgrade and Expansion
Improve essential facilities of community hall through restumping the building and developing a plan to enhance capability for bushfire preparedness.
Glenaladale$25,000
Hotspur Management Committee IncHotspur Hall Harnesses Solar
Support recovery and community connection after a bushfire and meet energy demands at a community hall by installing a grid connected solar system.
Hotspur$7,000
Museums Board of VictoriaThe Sounds of Recovery: Enabling Communities to Lead Bushfire Recovery Wildlife Monitoring with Ecoacoustics
Strengthen community capacity to protect the environment from the effects of bushfires by monitoring recovery of threatened wildlife through a citizen science project.
Bairnsdale$23,889
Myrrhee Soldiers Memorial Hall Committee of Management
Wangaratta Rural City Council
Myrrhee Hall furniture Replacement
Provide a comfortable facility and enhance social connections that support bushfire recovery at a local hall by replacing worn furniture.
Myrrhee$9,563
Myrtleford and District Landcare and Sustainability GroupRiver Trail Mosaic Bird Gallery
Support community recovery from bushfires and enhance connection to the natural environment through the creation of a series of mosaics along Myrtleford’s riverside walk.
Myrtleford$22,040
Omeo Region Business and Tourism AssociationOmeo Community Hub
Improve opportunities for community connection and support recovery from bushfires in East Gippsland by upgrading an existing building to establish a community wellbeing hub in Omeo.
Omeo$ 23,066
Tallangatta Agricultural and Pastoral Society IncorporatedPurchase of New Livestock Panels to Build New holding Yard and Race
Provide safe livestock infrastructure through the upgrade of gates and yard panels at a staged gathering area used in times of bushfire emergency.
Tallangatta$24,650
The Mallacoota Wilderness Collective IncEase Digital Poverty and Isolation for Younger and Older Women in Far East Gippsland
Support community to live well in a remote place and strengthen wellbeing of vulnerable women recovering from bushfires by providing IT access and training programs.
Mallacoota $9,804
The Salvation Army Wangaratta
The Trustee for The Salvation Army (Victoria) Property Trust
Salvation Army Disaster Relief Storage Improvements
Increase the capacity of a disaster relief organisation to prepare for future bushfire events through the insulation and electrical fit out of a storage shed.
Wangaratta $9,120
Yackandandah Brigade, CFA
Country Fire Authority
Yackandandah Firestation Readiness Project
Increase capacity of volunteers to support bushfire preparedness through the installation of a workstation and storage units.
Yackandandah $10,000
Small & Vital
Barwon Downs Community GroupVertical Blind Replacements
Expand the use of a community hub and provide a comfortable child-safe facility by installing energy efficient roller blinds.
Barwon Downs $2,160
Bendigo Sustainability GroupRegional Community Energy Workshops
Enable communities in the Loddon Mallee region to develop sustainable environmental practices through attending locally held energy efficient and renewable energy workshops.
Loddon $10,000
Kaniva Kindergarten IncKaniva Kinder New Furniture
Support early-years childhood education and enhance community wellbeing through purchasing furniture that suitable for people of all abilities.
Kaniva $10,000
Lake Bookaar Recreation Reserve Committee of Management IncPurchase of new Ride-on Lawn Mower
Increase the capacity of volunteers to maintain a pivotal community outdoor space by purchasing a ride on mower.
Camperdown $10,000
Maldon Men's Shed IncUpgrade to Existing Kitchen Facilities
Boost health and wellbeing outcomes and provide a social outlet for older men by upgrading a men’s shed kitchen for new cooking classes.
Maldon $9,294
Tatura Civic Halls Committee IncorporatedMechanics' Hall Floor Rejuvenation
Preserve local heritage and provide a comfortable facility for community members to connect by replacing flooring that is beyond repair.
Tatura $10,000
Terang RSL Sub BranchMorning Melodies Musical Entertainment
Boost access to wellbeing activities and provide a regular social outlet for older people through the delivery of a monthly music program.
Terang $5,345
The Young Men's Christian Association of BallaratDunolly Kindergarten - Solar Panels
Enhance wellbeing and development outcomes for young children and improve organisational environmental practices by installing a solar PV system.
Dunolly $10,000
Transition Village Wallan IncMeeting the Needs of Increasing Local Homelessness though Community Re-integration
Increase access to housing and social support for people in regional areas who are homeless by expanding a community housing program.
Wallan East $10,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Rebuilding Regional Communities Micro
Blackwood Environment SocietySupporting our Local Bushcarers and Providing them with Opportunities to Grow
Encourage volunteers to sustain the work of the society following COVID-19 by providing individuals undertaking Bushcare projects with added safety measures including their own hygienic PPE.
Bridgetown $8,149
Shire of ManjimupExploring the Everyday
Foster a stronger, more resilient community and address social isolation after COVID-19 by bringing together young children to participate in fun interactive science workshops.
Manjimup $4,100
Small & Vital
Live To Tell Your Story IncDjinda Ngardak - Let's Power-up for "Dust Up"
Expose First Nations students attending the Dust Up Festival to nutrition knowledge and hospitality career opportunities using the Prepare Produce Provide (PPP) model of combining traditional cooking practices with contemporary recipes and styles.
Warburton $10,000
Marnin Bowa Dumbara Aboriginal CorporationRoutine Normal
Improve the comfort and quality of life for people accessing the domestic and family violence shelter by providing bunk beds, cots and laundry facilities.
Derby $10,000
Marribank Aboriginal CorporationMarribank Mission Cleanup
Create a space for healing of Noongar people and past residents of the old mission through the rejuvenation of the site into an Aboriginal managed training and cultural learning centre.
Marribank $10,000
Morawa Playgroup
Playgroup WA (INC)
Beating the Heat: A Shady Nature Playspace for Morawa
Grow educational enrichment opportunities for 0-5 year old’s by providing nature based play equipment in this remote community.
Morawa $9,737
Walpole Community Resource Telecentre (Inc)Food and Friends in Walpole
Provide nutritious meals for residents in need, and a choice of building social connections or remaining quarantined at home, by establishing both an onsite lunch and a 'meals on wheels' service.
Walpole $9,829

On Ngadju Country

Late 2019 / early 2020 saw 13 bushfires devastate approximately one million hectares of Ngadju country in southern WA, including large tracts of the Great Western Woodlands, the largest temperate woodland remaining on Earth. It is estimated that the extent of the area of Ngadju country impacted by the fires was equivalent to about half the size of Victoria. The bushfires burnt tracts of old growth forest, overran spiritual sites and destroyed the habitat and nests of threatened species.

Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation (NCAC) works with the Ngadju community to increase the understanding of conservation and land management opportunities and assist in building capacity to achieve them. Ngadju Rangers use cultural knowledge, refined over thousands of years, to care for the environment and work on Country to manage fire, feral animals and weeds, and to protect mijalkarru (rockholes), the Granites, water places and the flora and fauna of the Great Western Woodlands and the Nullarbor plains.

Following the fires, NCAC received a $25,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant funded by IKEA Australia through FRRR to help the Ngadju Rangers to both repair the damage and undertake work to protect the environment and cultural sites from the devasting impact of the bushfires. Their approach involves a detailed program of cultural burning to protect sites, old growth and water trees. The mosaic effect of landscape-scale burning benefits biodiversity by reducing the extent and severity of large-scale fire and creates a range of vegetation growth stages and habitats that suit different species. Prior to a burn, Ngadju Rangers and Elders walk through the planned burn site to survey for cultural and environmental values. However, access to the tracks leading to these sites were heavily impacted by the recent fires and also from years of neglect.

NCAC used the grant to commission a specially fabricated trailer with hydraulic tipping for use with their tractor to help the Rangers clear the tracks, enabling safe access to undertake their important cultural and environmental work. This improved access will also allow other Ngadju community members to attend sites and undertake voluntary maintenance and management, which will help them reconnect with Country and transfer knowledge across generations.

Helen Langley, NCAC’s CEO, said that the project wasn’t without its challenges.

“The challenge was the amount of time it took for the trailer to be fabricated and then wired. It took eight months for the trailer to be built and we have only recently received delivery. We are developing Safe Operating Procedures and have organised training for the Rangers so that we can commence clearing tracks and making fire breaks around areas of mosaic burns.

“We are proud that the Ngadju Rangers can now access their Country for cultural burning and they can use machinery to make fire breaks. The project has assisted in rebuilding the Ngadju community and provided healing for community who are mourning the loss of Country.”

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

On Yued, Amangu, Badymia and Widi Country

Carnamah is a town and farming community 300 km north of Perth in WA. Located on Carnamah’s main street, The Exchange is a repurposed heritage building that has been transformed into a multipurpose community and visitor centre. Run by North Midlands Project Inc, it is a not-for-profit arts, culture, history and heritage organisation working towards happy, healthy communities and vibrant, connected towns. They deliver activities across the North Midlands – the seven regional local government areas of Carnamah, Coorow, Mingenew, Morawa, Perenjori and Three Springs.

The Exchange is used on a weekly basis as the home of a local painting group, writing group, youth coding club and the regional Five Gums Scout Group. The space is also utilised for the delivery of many other community workshops and events facilitated by North Midlands Project – all of which are provided to the community free of charge to ensure they are accessible.

North Midlands Project received broad community feedback that people loved The Exchange, especially its welcoming vibe, but that it got too hot in the back section of the building during the warmer months. On occasion, Carnamah is the hottest place in WA, with summer temperatures averaging 36 degrees. This heat renders the space unusable for the best part of four months in the year.

The management committee received a $10,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by Australia Post, to contribute to the cost of installing two large air conditioning units in the back section of The Exchange. This has transformed the space into one that is now utilised by the community for workshops, events and other activities right throughout the year.

David Bright, Executive Director of North Midlands Project, said that they are very happy with the outcome.

“Our many, many thanks to FRRR and Australia Post. The grant is enormously appreciated and will have an ongoing impact to our broader community.”

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

On Ngarluma Country

Roebourne is a town in the Pilbara region of WA with a largely Aboriginal population. Police have observed a real gap in meaningful engagement with the youth of this community and a lack of opportunities to build their skills, confidence and positive decision making.

Big hART is an organisation that uses art as a catalyst for change. Over the years, Big hART has demonstrated its ability to engage and work strongly with young people and across different levels of community, with strong outcomes as a result. Their grassroots style of engagement, working directly with young people, has a huge impact on the social and community issues that face Roebourne as an Aboriginal community. The outcomes of the many programs, workshops and high production value events that have been created in partnership with Big hART have been profoundly life changing for many young people in the community.

Young people in the Pilbara have created a future focused, ground breaking digital education resource that celebrates living culture and supports teachers with an energetic mode of online learning. In 2020, Big hART received a $10,000 grant from the Westpac Foundation Community Grants program to train and create paid employment for four young adults in the Pilbara to deliver this Indigenous education resource live to classrooms nationally.

Known as the NEO-Learning project, Big hART created tailored training and professional development opportunities for the four trainees, who were individually mentored with a view to longer term employment, to deliver the NEO-Learning resource to schools nationally. The traineeships offered tangible career paths giving them strong digital skillsets and practical industry experience that included digital drawing and music delivery skill building, virtual education delivery, media and communications, and presenting and public speaking. These activities and tasks were mentored by professional producers and creative industry practitioners, through a task focused workshop program.

The outcomes from the project exceeded expectations, with incredible results for some of the trainees, one of whom was Simara, a young Aboriginal woman from Roebourne. She was part of the digital training program, and said that during the program, she grew in confidence and felt excited for her future and career path.

Sam Hawker is the National Producer for Big hART. She said that while creating peer to peer educational content, Simara displayed an excellent eye for framing and observation.

“We have been able to foster her passion for photography over the last 12 months, providing opportunity for Simara to build technical skills and refine her creative practice. To amplify her achievements, we delivered professional development workshops, leading to her art being selected at the prestigious Revealed Exhibition hosted by Fremantle Arts Centre in Perth. Big hART supported Simara throughout this process, from initial conversations with Fremantle Arts Centre to the development of an artist statement, workshops on licensing, contracts and payments. Over the course of the Exhibition, all of Simara’s artworks sold, including one being purchased by the WA State Government for display in Dumas House in Perth.

“As Simara’s confidence in photography continues to grow, she has become a very important role model and mentor for her peers and community.”

Simara also completed media training under the mentorship of Big hART’s Media Manager and implemented this training in conducting interviews with her community. Big hART also helped Simara to obtain her Driver’s License, an essential qualification for employment in the region.

“Being employed as a trainee with Big hART was a great experience for me, as I gained a lot from supporting children and being a mentor and leader for them… this work helped me learn my identity and aspirations. It has made me look for other challenges and opportunities in my life,” Simara said.

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

On Ngaiawang Country

The Morgan Volunteer Support Group is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers Meals on Wheels Monday to Friday including public holidays, for the Morgan, Cadell and Mount Mary areas in SA’s Riverland region. The Meals on Wheels service, which has run for more than 35 years, is invaluable for those requiring assistance to remain in their homes for as long as possible, as well as those who have problems such as a broken limb, drug rehab or failing eyesight, which diminish their ability to shop and cook. Additionally, Meals on Wheels delivery offers important social contact for people who use the service and may otherwise be socially isolated. This is of particular concern for those living in regional areas.

The Support Group has partnered with the local prison training program to cook the meals. This not only helps them gain skills for a future trade, but participants also gain satisfaction from helping the community.

In the past, the Morgan Meals on Wheels service used a car owned by Meals on Wheels SA. However, they wanted to sell the vehicle and instead have volunteers use their own cars. After some discussion, Meals on Wheels SA agreed to retain the vehicle for a further three years, to give the Morgan volunteers time to raise funds to acquire a vehicle of their own. Otherwise, the service would most likely cease.

This was also an opportunity to purchase a newer, more reliable, efficient and safe vehicle, as the car they were using was more than 10 years old. The Morgan Volunteer Support Group undertook a lot of local fundraising and secured a $10,000 grant through FRRR’s SRC program, thanks to the support of the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation. With COVID causing supply-chain issues, demand for second-hand vehicles was high but after much searching, they purchased a second-hand Toyota Camry Ateva. It met most other requirements – most importantly room for hot boxes, baskets and eskies.

In addition to using it for Meals on Wheels delivery, the group is also seeking to expand their delivery services. They also have plans to make the vehicle available at other times to offer transport solutions to the community, raising additional funds for the Support Group, at the same time as offering a valuable service for those who can’t drive or don’t own a car.

The group is rightly proud of what they achieved, on time and on budget.

“We had help from many different groups – Waikerie Men’s Shed, Waikerie Woolworths, Morgan Friendly Grocer, Morgan Roadhouse, Morgan Home Hardware, Morgan Commercial Hotel, Morgan Cadell Golf Club and hundreds of individuals.

“The car has been operational since March 2022 and is working well. We have been delivering meals for Meals on Wheels and for Morgan Activity Centre. Current customers can be assured of an ongoing service,” said Jakob Gamertsfelder, Secretary / Treasurer of the Morgan Volunteer Support Group.

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

Eastern Arrernte Country

Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School (LACS) is one of the most successful remote Aboriginal schools in central Australia and the NT. It is the only school serving the 600-strong community of Ltyentye Apurte (pronounced ‘L-Ginga Porter’, which means ‘clump of beefwood trees’ in the Arrernte language) or Santa Teresa. A number of the facilities at LACS are communal, notably the library and computers. The community is 83 km south east of Alice Springs in semi-desert country. Temperatures are extreme, ranging from -1 to 45 degrees but there is year-round access via an unsealed road.

The local Arrernte people are bilingual and speak Eastern Arrernte and English (which is often their second or third language). The Arrernte language and cultural program is a key part of the curriculum at LACS.

In Santa Teresa, extreme socio-economic disadvantage is the norm, with residents and the school facing many challenges, notably extremely poor housing and health, high unemployment with minimal employment opportunities, adults suffering from poor mental health and a high number of students suffering from intergenerational trauma. Remote schools in general have a major issue with teacher retention due to the complex challenges of students and their families. The average stay of a teacher in NT schools is 7 months and 9 months in catholic schools. Existing senior staff frequently work 80 hour weeks regularly wearing multiple hats in part due to a lack of teachers.

According to the Principal at the time, to a great extent, the future of Santa Teresa depends on the school providing the optimum best education for Santa Teresa youth – “To make the remote community of Santa Teresa strong, we must make its school strong.”

There are currently 126 students on roll, from Pre-School to Year 11. They are all Indigenous and bilingual. Most of the teachers at LACS are non-Indigenous and come with a range of experience from mainstream education. The school is also a major employer of the local Arrernte people, with approximately 60% of Indigenous staff filling a multitude of critical support roles. Teachers work as members of a team in partnership with local Indigenous people and Arrernte assistant teachers and tutors.

Isolation and the challenges of living and working in a community context mean that staff need all the support they can get, in terms of building resilience. Ongoing change is the norm, with the last two years (2020/21) seeing significant change and uncertainty. There is often a significant turnover of new staff, which presents additional challenges to building trust and resilient community.

The impacts of these factors are significant, including very high levels of stress, distraction from the mission of educating students, lower engagement, uncertainty about the future, change fatigue, staff burnout, talent loss and lower trust in leaders.

To try to address this, the then Principal knew they needed to help teachers and staff build resilience, sustainable high performance and change agility. They used a $10,000 grant from FRRR, through the Strengthening Rural Communities program, funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, to run the Resilience Educators Program (REP).

The REP began with all teachers completing a Resilience Diagnostic, prior to a two-day workshop. The Diagnostic measured individual resilience in areas such as emotional regulation, self-confidence, compassion, exercise, sleep and nutrition. Staff then participated in a two-day workshop, facilitated by Paul Salmon, called “Thriving Through Change and Challenge”. Each staff member created three goals to help improve their resilience and the option of having an accountability buddy or sessions with a resilience coach to support them in reaching their goals.

After the workshop, the teachers were given access to an app, which provided a detailed resilience report and materials to develop new skills. They also committed to participating in a range of activities as groups of staff and the whole staff community, such as an evening walking group, weekend trips away and a regular BBQ breakfast. This was followed up with a visit from the Resilience coach, which led to three shared goals being created.

Despite challenges in rolling this out due to the pandemic and its subsequent impacts, staff collaborated to implement wellbeing activities based on their learnings from the workshops and the ongoing use of the Resilience App. They continue to come together as a community to support one another in challenging times.

The outcome has been an improvement on the health and wellbeing of the whole community.

“All staff became more aware of the importance of resilience and the necessity to plan for how to manage stress and cope with the added burden of the pandemic. There is also a greater understanding by leadership of the necessity to prioritise staff wellbeing through strategic planning using an integrated holistic approach.

“It has become part of our school culture for staff to check in with each other on how they are travelling, especially concerning sleep, exercise and levels of stress. It is now becoming part of our meetings to start with a partner check in or short meditation activity. We introduced a new wellbeing curriculum program, MindUp for Life, which not only teaches the knowledge and skills children need to regulate their stress and emotion but also supports teachers in building positive relationships with students and the broader community.

“There is a more holistic focus on wellbeing and resilience with an area created in the staffroom where staff relax and do mindful colouring. Plus, there are opportunities for staff to publicly acknowledge and show gratitude for effort, and pampering products for staff in our rest rooms,” said Pamela Brown, Acting Principal.

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

The Furneaux Historical Research Association is located in Whitemark on Flinders Island in Tasmania. Founded in 1964, they’re a volunteer organisation responsible for the Furneaux Museum and the conservation of artefacts pertaining to the natural and cultural heritage of the Furneaux region.

The museum plays a significant role in the vitality of the small and remote isolated community, attracting more than 2,000 visitors each year. It’s also a popular gathering place for the community for exhibition openings and special events.

Thanks to the help of an FRRR grant of $24,924, funded by a private donor, through the Strengthening Rural Communities program, the Furneaux Historical Research Association was able to complete the second stage of the Furneaux GeoTrail project.

The Furneaux Group consists of more than 50 islands in Bass Strait, just north of Tasmania. Their rugged and picturesque landscapes contain impressive geological features developed more than 600 million years ago. Many visitors and locals marvel at the vistas in the remote region but before the GeoTrail project, very few people were aware of just how special the geology is.

The GeoTrail project is all about linking the people who live in and visit the Furneaux region to the landscape, educating them and providing them with information in an easy and accessible way.

Stage one of the project was rolled out in 2019 and consists of a self-drive experience made up of 10 interpretive signs in areas of geological significance, easily reached by road. The innovative trail includes a mobile app and is the only one of its kind in Australia.

Stage two of the project saw the extension of the GeoTrail out into areas of geological significance accessible by walking, biking, 4WD, sailing or kayaking. These more remote areas contain examples of unusual and striking rock formations, telling the story of how the islands originated and evolved.

The completed Furneaux GeoTrail offers a world class user experience across the island group that attracts new people to the area, engages those who use it directly, and allows local community and business entrepreneurs to use their creative energies and leverage the GeoTrail to seek out future opportunities.

“We are very proud of the fact that the GeoTrail is bringing our local community and those who visit Flinders Island closer to the geology and the environment around them. It’s so rewarding to hear people talking about rocks! We are also very proud of the huge amount of work done by our volunteers in completing the project.”

Dr Dale Williams, Project Manager

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

Access to reliable, high quality mobile phone coverage is important for everyday activities. But it is critical when it comes to the lifesaving activities that the Freycinet Volunteer Marine Rescue Association undertake on a regular basis.

Based in Swansea on Tasmania’s east coast, the Association’s base is located on low lying Council land, which impacts the mobile phone signal from the local Telstra tower as it requires a direct line of sight for best coverage. The building is steel framed and clad, further blocking the already weak mobile signal. This meant members had to go outside of the building to obtain a mobile signal, which at best was two bars. Going outside to check the Bureau of Meteorology website prior to launching a rescue vessel involved waiting several minutes to access a signal and the important weather data.

COVID exacerbated the need for a mobile booster to provide stronger and more reliable mobile coverage as member training, which the Australia Maritime Safety Authority requires to be to the same standard as commercial mariners, had to move to Zoom sessions. Zoom provided additional benefits by allowing members the opportunity to remain connected and still have timely input into the Association’s activities.

Another challenge was that family members could not contact volunteers if they were inside the building. If there was an incident or accident while working within the building, there was also no way to make an emergency call without going outside – potentially leaving an injured member unattended.

A $2,244 grant from FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, funded by a private donor, supported the installation of the mobile booster. The project, described by the Association as ”one of our best projects in over 20 years of operation”, resolved all the issues of being able to access reliable, high quality mobile coverage in the Association’s building.

Results after installation showed 100% signal strength inside the building, providing a safety net for volunteers working on site and enhancing community safety, as information on emergency situations can now be accessed without delay.

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

Malak Malak People

Nauiyu is an Aboriginal community of 444 people in the Daly River region in the Northern Territory. Their place, around 2.5 hours drive from Darwin, is said to be one of the best Barramundi fishing spots in the country, and locals hold a strong connection to their land and culture. Despite the idyllic description, Nauiyu experiences alcohol and other drug misuse within its small population. Yet there is strong community support for real solutions that respond to community needs, are culturally appropriate and involve building local capacity and furthering local leadership.

Enter Red Dust. Founded by John Van Groningen, the organisation was born out of his work with youth in the Aboriginal community of Lajamanu in 1984. Today, it delivers innovative health promotion and community development programs that are co-designed through trusted relationships with remote First Nations communities. For the people of Nauiyu, a community-based diversion program celebrating cultural identity and pride would provide a means to connect and engage the vulnerable community.

Consulting the community, Red Dust’s Local Drug Action team coordinated the Red Dust Community Art Collaboration project with local organisations. Green River Aboriginal Corporation identified sites for the murals; Merrepen Arts provided the connection to local artists and culturally relevant iconography; and Ironbark provided access to volunteers and project participants. Proper Creative, based in Darwin, was commissioned to paint the murals in conjunction with local project participants.

With collaboration between local artists, community members, young people, and service providers, and a $5,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation & Pinnacle Charitable Foundation, Red Dust will deliver three large murals. The project will not only create beautiful public spaces and bring the dreaming of the Nauiyu community to life, it will also support the health, wellbeing and future opportunities for local youth.

While the mural project is ongoing, you can see the impressive first piece, featuring Daly River artist Kieren Karritpul. https://www.reddust.org.au/blog-posts/ldat-2022-05-nauiyu

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.