Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
The Buchan Rodeo has been the highlight of the local event calendar for more than 50 years. Despite significant challenges, strong community leadership and strength overrode the challenging conditions and ensured this event proceeded in April 2021, considerably lifting local spirits and pride.
Traditionally held on Easter Sunday, the event was postponed in 2020 due to impacts of the bushfire crisis six months prior. The bushfires began near Buchan in the East Gippsland region of Victoria in October 2019, well before the media began reporting on the crisis. Residents endured the threat for more than four months, often losing communication with the outside world.
Given their isolation and the lack of communication and media coverage, the remote community of Buchan has felt largely overlooked in their recovery phase. However, Buchan is a strong and resilient community, with sharpened skills in post-disaster recovery.
In planning the 2021 Buchan Rodeo, there was much to consider in staging a COVID safe event. Despite this, the local volunteer committee was determined to proceed for the benefit of their community.
With only a 10-week lead time, much-needed funding and support came in the form of a $25,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by the Firefight Australia Fund. This grant, along with support from other partnerships, not only allowed the Buchan Rodeo Committee to meet their safety guidelines and enhance their offering, but also enabled them to proceed with confidence.
The 2021 Buchan Rodeo was an electric event and though it saw many changes, it was heralded as one of the best-ever. It brought smiles back to those who worked so hard on the project and to the greater community who had endured so much.
“While the entire planet is enduring the COVID-19 crisis and looks to methods of recovery, we are still repairing our community in the aftermath of bushfires. A strong rural community is key and the staging of community building initiatives is of vital importance to us.” Buchan community member
In the communities of the Southern Beaches in Tasmania, which are home to around 5,000 residents, Okines Community House supports local residents through a range of programs offering opportunities for connection, learning and support. At the side of the House, a three-square metre converted shed houses the Food Co-op, which has 120 members including 55 active volunteers, and is highly valued in the community.
The Co-op runs a food assistance program for families in need, including a Breakfast Club, and the school and other local organisations purchase food from the Co-op for their programs. It plays an important role in providing access to nutritious, organic, ethically and sustainably sourced food with minimal packaging at affordable prices. The location is very convenient too, but the space is small.
Despite the Co-op volunteers resourcefully using every nook and cranny in the small shed, the lack of space was still very limiting for this growing enterprise, with shoppers cramped and having to wait outside when queuing to pay and nowhere to store orders for pick up.
To allow the venture to grow, Okines Community House sought funding from the Strengthening Rural Communities program. Their application outlined a 2×4 metre extension to the shed that would be used for storage and display, with a local contractor enlisted to build the extension, and in-kind support from OCH and Co-op volunteers in site preparation and cleaning.
With a $10,000 grant funded by John T Reid Charitable Trusts, they set to work in early 2020, and despite the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions, finished the extension in July 2020.
Their new space is user friendly – shoppers move around with more ease, and volunteers can work without bumping into one another! This is an expansion of infrastructure that has improved the efficiency and experience of the enterprise for everyone involved.
Includes more than $600,000 for Black Summer bushfire recovery
Ninety locally-led initiatives that are set to strengthen remote, rural and regional communities across Australia are sharing in $1,057,044 in funding, thanks to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) grant program.
The SRC program supports a broad array of projects that address locally determined needs and priorities of smaller remote, rural, and regional communities, including places impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires.
For communities affected by the Black Summer bushfires, 34 community-led projects are sharing $602,958 in grants through SRC’s Bushfire Recovery stream of funding. These grants range from $2,618 for a communications upgrade for the Rocky Glen community in New South Wales, to $25,000 for a project that will improve the safety and security of the community hall at Tamrookum in Queensland.
A further $454,086 in grants have been awarded through SRC’s Small & Vital funding stream to 56 projects that local communities have prioritised for their long-term viability and vitality. Funding ranges from $550 for an equipment safety upgrade for the Riding for the Disabled WA group at Mount Barker in Western Australia, through to $10,000 for a grief support program for young people in Drysdale, Victoria.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said FRRR is seeing a wide range of requests from across the country, reflecting the diverse needs in each place.
“Rural communities continue to inspire and move forward despite the numerous difficulties they’ve faced and the uncertainty ahead. They want something to hope for, to build towards, and we continue to be here to support and celebrate their achievements and are ready to walk with them through any challenges they may be dealing with, or to harness any opportunities they have in front of them.
“With COVID-19 restrictions still being unpredictable, we want groups to know that if you have received a grant from us and, for whatever reason, you have had to delay, postpone or cancel your project, please reach out to our team. We want to work with you to adapt or redefine your project so that the funding stays in your community,” Ms Egleton explained.
With the 2021-22 bushfire season approaching, disaster preparedness is key, especially for those communities devastated by the 2019-20 bushfires.
“Being better prepared means different things for different places. For some, this means improving access to community meeting places, for others it’s ensuring they have the proper equipment and training so that volunteers can protect and support their community through a disaster event. But for some places, preparedness means completely rebuilding community infrastructure that was lost due to the bushfires,” Ms Egleton said.
“We are pleased to be able to provide this support to the communities that have been affected by the fires. And we’ll continue to support them as time goes on and their needs evolve and change.”
Some of the 90 projects awarded include:
- Lions Club of Ulladulla Milton, NSW – FAB (Farmers at Burrill) – $14,896 – Boost local spending with improved marketing and entertainment at the farmers markets.
- Engawala Arts Centre Aboriginal Corporation, NT – Developing the Engawala Arts Centre – $8,595 – Facilitate the set up and development of an Arts Centre that will build tourism-based income in a very remote community.
- The Little Pocket Association, QLD – Resilience through Nature Play – $25,000 – Support children and young families to build resilience and disaster preparedness through nature play, storytelling and strengthening connection to place.
- Tatiara District Council, SA – Tatiara Multicultural Food Festival – $9,900 – Encourage whole community engagement and build cultural awareness through the delivery of a food festival.
- Swansea Primary School Parents and Friends Association, TAS – Nature Play for Rural Families – $10,000 – Strengthen community connection to the natural environment and enhance educational activities for school children through the development of a Nature Play Garden area.
- Lakes Entrance Mechanics Institute Management Committee Inc, VIC – Replacement of Furniture as part of Maintaining and Redeveloping the Lakes Entrance Mechanics Institute Hall – $17,249 – Provide a fit-for-purpose facility and help volunteers to support their community through the purchase of stackable chairs.
- Active Farmers Ltd, WA – Active Farmers Games WA – Increasing Awareness of the Link Between Physical Activity and Improved Mental Wellbeing – $6,340 – Encourage rural communities to be physically active and more connected with inaugural WA Active Farmers Games.
The SRC program is collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors, which are listed on FRRR’s website.
The next round of SRC applications is currently being assessed and will be announced in December. The current round is accepting applications until 23 November 2021, with funds to be awarded in March 2022.
More information is available on FRRR’s website – https://frrr.org.au/ strengthening-rural-communities/.
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.
|NEW SOUTH WALES|
|Mad Proppa Deadly Indigenous Corporation||ReVibe - Northern NSW Music Workshop Tour (Tamworth/Armidale)|
Inspire community to come together to celebrate culture through music writing, production and recording workshops.
|Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn as Trustee for Marymead Child and Family Centre||Rural Rugby: Resilient Recovery|
Encourage young people to be active and enhance their mental health and nutrition through a school based after-school rugby enrichment program.
|Campfire Co-op Ltd||Participatory Leadership Training for South Coast Bushfire Affected Communities|
Develop leadership skills by training community members in bushfire-impacted areas the Art of Hosting Conversations.
|Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance||Power on the Move|
Boost the community’s ability to respond to future disasters by purchase of a mobile generator, to be made available free of charge for use by the community.
|Capital Region Community Services Limited||Bungee Youth Resilience Program in Braidwood |
Boost and strengthen the resilience of young people by running a creative art based program.
|Lions Club of Ulladulla Milton||FAB (Farmers at Burrill)|
Boost local spending with improved marketing and entertainment at the farmers markets.
|Comboyne Community Association Inc||Towards Opening Day|
Boost and strengthen the local economy by restoring the original farmhouse fireplace in the Comboyne Museum complex.
|Copmanhurst Pre-School Inc||Aboriginal Mural and Art Lessons|
Improve access to local recovery activities for children and families at Copmanhurst Preschool by providing a local Indigenous artist to offer Indigenous Art classes and a mural at the centre.
|Eden Community Access Centre Inc||Building Social Capital and Enhancing Social Outcomes|
Boost and strengthen the local economy by employing a Resilience and Recovery Officer to help find local solutions to bushfire recovery.
|Marine Rescue Merimbula|
Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW
|Marine Rescue Merimbula Training Computer|
Boost capacity of Marine Rescue Merimbula to provide essential volunteer training through the purchase of computer equipment.
|Catholic Parish of St Mary's Star of the Sea Milton||Shoalhaven Rising from the Ashes - Stage 2|
Boost the community’s bushfire recovery by hiring a coordinator to facilitate & create art-based community workshops.
|Salt Care||Warehouse Food Storage Expansion|
Support for individuals and families living with disadvantage through the purchase and fit out of additional warehouse storage for distribution of needed personal and household items.
|Oberon and District Museum Society Inc||Fitout of New Forest and Timber Interpretive Center|
Boost local spending in Oberon by developing the Forest and Timber Interpretive Centre.
|Pambula Chamber of Commerce & Associates Inc||Pambula Art Project - Stage 2|
Boost and strengthen the local economy through creation and installation of art trail murals.
|Borah Creek Public Hall Land Manager||Supply and Install Telstra and Optus YAGI Communications Systems in the Hall|
Improve the community's ability to communicate with the outside world in cases of emergency by installing a mobile phone signal boosting antenna.
|First Steps Count Incorporated||Many Hands Build, Create and Unite - Our Design Journey|
Encourage people to come together and celebrate through art workshops leading to a collaborative artwork.
|Manning River Aero Club Inc||MRAC Solar|
Boost the community’s ability to respond to future disasters by installing a solar power and battery system to provide a backup in case of power failures.
|One Vision Productions Limited||EMPOWER our Community|
Celebrate and cultivate a sense of identity and cultural connection for Indigenous youth through Caring for Country music and film workshops.
|Small & Vital|
|Bellingen Youth Orchestra Incorporated||Volunteer Management Strategy|
Increase the sustainability and profile of Bellingen Youth Orchestra and reduce volunteer fatigue through implementing a Volunteer Management Strategy and website.
Country Womens Association of NSW
|Community Craft Workshops for a Sustainable Future|
Boost creativity, connection and support for local artists by providing a series of sustainable craft workshops.
|Forbes Public School P&C Association Inc||Wiradjuri Mural Project at Forbes Public School|
Enhance community connection and cultural identity through Forbes Public School students painting a mural with local Wiradjuri Indigenous artist.
|Adavale Lane Community Centre Incorporated||Light Up and Cool Adavale Lane Community Centre|
Increase community usage and functionality by lighting up and cooling down the Adavale Lane Community Hall.
Western Riverina Arts Inc
|Mona Women's Magazine - Second Edition|
Enhance rural women's identity, wellbeing and sense of place by printing the 2nd edition of Mona Magazine, paying for the contributors' pieces and contributing to wages for the editorial staff.
|Boori Dreaming Womens Group||Awakening the Dream|
Increase cultural identity and creativity through purchasing sewing machines, equipment and craft supplies for Boori Dreaming Women's Group.
|Umina Beach Branch|
Country Womens Association of NSW
|Build Accessible Ramp|
New entry and accessible bathroom with one accessible toilet and second toilet plus a shower. Increase accessibility of the Umina Beach CWA hall by installing a wheelchair accessible ramp.
|Tharpa Choeling Incorporated||Red Rattler Community Garden|
Increase community participation and connection by converting a vintage train carriage into a new community garden.
|Circartus Incorporated||Governance Guidance and Review|
Enhance community connection and creativity by engaging an industry- experienced governance consultant to ensure the sustainability of Circartus.
Country Womens Association of NSW
|Improving Our Street Cred|
Increase community participation and functionality through the refurbishment of the Woodstock Branch CWA hall.
|Small & Vital|
|Engawala Arts Centre Aboriginal Corporation||Developing the Engawala Arts Centre|
Facilitate the set up and development of an Arts Centre that will build tourism based income in a very remote community.
|West Daly Regional Council||Wadeye, Nganmarriyanga and Peppimenarti Annual Clean-up Day|
Reduce health and safety risks via a Community Clean Up Day to remove rubbish in remote communities.
|Wagait Shire Council||Wagait Youth Program|
Encourage young people to be physically active and participate in community activities, with Youth Group excursions and skateboard clinics.
|The Little Pocket Association||Resilience through Nature Play|
Support children and young families to build resilience and disaster preparedness through nature play, storytelling and connection to place.
|Wildlife Noosa Ltd||Noosa Bushfire Readiness & Myna Bird Project|
Support recovery from bushfires and volunteer training through purchase of a vehicle and equipment to improve disaster preparedness and conservation efforts.
|Charters Towers State Emergency Service|
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
|Ladder Racks for Operational Response Vehicles|
Support volunteers' safety and capacity to respond to emergencies through provision of ladder racks on response vehicles.
|Tamrookum Memorial Hall Incorporated||Hall Restoration|
Increase safety and support recovery through upgrade of community owned hall.
|Tin Can Bay Community and Mens Shed Incorporated||Storage Shed|
Support community recovery and wellbeing through purchase of a storage shed for materials and equipment.
|Tin Can Bay||$15,336|
|Small & Vital|
|Atherton Performing Arts Inc||Atherton Performing Arts Lighting Equipment - New Lighting Desk Console|
Expand the use of the Atherton Performing Arts theatre by installing a new lighting console.
|Barcaldine Rugby League Football Club Inc||"Bluey Live!" Kids' Concert, Meet & Greet|
Strengthen social connection and encourage culturally vibrant communities through a "Bluey Live!" kids' concert for the remote community of Barcaldine and surrounds.
|Beeron Road Country Club Inc||Beeron Road Country Club Community Hub Development|
Grow ways to support the community through refurbishment of a disused school into a vibrant rural Community Hub.
|Selectability Ltd||Selectability Mental Health Toolbox|
Improve mental health of remote communities by developing an online training course to strengthen community capacity to identify and support one another.
|Cooktown School of Art Society Inc||Computer System Plus Reception Area Upgrade|
Strengthen and increase volunteer capacity and access to online training, by installing a new computer system and reception desk.
|Gloucester Sports and Recreation Ass Inc||Outdoor Theatre|
Promote recovery centre and encourage people to come together by installing an outdoor venue screen and projector.
|Malanda Chamber of Commerce Incorporated||Malanda’s Adventure Park|
Encourage children's development and increase community connection through installation of a fence around a new adventure playground.
Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Limited
Boost social inclusion and wellbeing through delivery of a monthly Women's Group for Indigenous women in Mount Isa.
|Highways and Byways Ltd||Seeds of Connection - Healing and Belonging Through Culture|
Enhance cultural identity, resilience and wellbeing of Indigenous children and their families in Roma by providing a two week cultural immersion program for 7-12 year olds.
|Care Balonne Association Inc||Provide Safe Accessibility Services to Care Balonne Clients and Staff|
Improve the use and accessibility of the Care Balonne community hub through toilet facility upgrade.
|Texas Show Society||Upgrade to Showground Facilities|
Increase amenity and participation in community events by providing a grandstand for the Texas Showgrounds.
|Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue - 1300KOALAZ Incorporated||Vegetation Regeneration Planting|
Conserve native habitat and support recovery from 2019 bushfires through the restoration of bushland.
|Edithburgh Football Club and Sports Assoc||Community and Sporting Clubs Working to Improve Community Safety|
Improve a location that provides refuge in times of emergency through the installation of water tanks.
|Small & Vital|
|Andamooka Progress and Opalminers Association Inc||Community Facility Rationalisation & Development Project – Upgrade 'Old Community Church' to Passive Recreation Facility|
Encourage community engagement and social wellbeing by enhancing facilities.
|Tatiara District Council||Tatiara Multicultural Food Festival|
Encourage whole community engagement and build cultural awareness through the delivery of a food festival.
|Cummins & District Enterprise Committee||Winter Wonderland - Platform for Success|
Improve an organisation’s ability to support the community and strengthen the town's revenue through developing a storage shed used for the Cummins Christmas display.
Bedford Phoenix Incorporated
|Kadina Pergola and Deck for Supported Employees|
Expand supported employment opportunities for people living with a disability in Kadina through the construction of pergola and deck.
|The Food Embassy Incorporated||Supporting Citizens in Creating Local and Sustainable Food Systems|
Provide opportunities for local people to gain knowledge about growing and consuming healthy foods, through the delivery of the Food Matters program in Strathalbyn and Milang.
|Small & Vital|
|Lions Club of Lilydale Incorporated||Lilydale Men's Community Shed|
Support volunteer skill development and encourage social interaction, through the establishment of a Men's Shed in Lilydale.
|Freycinet Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Inc||Putting You Through Now! |
Boost safety and disaster preparedness by installing telecommunications hardware at a remote Marine Rescue facility.
|Swansea Primary School Parents and Friends Association||Nature Play for Rural Families|
Strengthen community connection to the natural environment and enhance educational activities for school children through the development of a Nature Play Garden area.
|Coastal FM Inc||Development of Recording Studio|
Improve connection to community and broaden the capability of a community-run radio station through establishing a recording studio.
|Bright Spring Festival|
Bright and District Chamber of Commerce Incorporated
|Bright Spring Festival Drive-In Movie|
Boost a community festival by providing a family-friendly activity and support recovery from the 2019/2020 bushfires by holding a drive-in movie night.
|Cassilis Recreation Reserve Committee of Management||Living it Up|
Increase opportunities to support local connectedness and recover from the 2019/2020 bushfires through the delivery of a whole community music event.
|Lakes Entrance Mechanics Institute Management Committee Inc||Replacement of Furniture as part of Maintaining and Redeveloping the Lakes Entrance Mechanics Institute Hall|
Provide a fit-for-purpose facility and help volunteers to support their community through the purchase of stackable chairs.
|Traralgon Men's Shed and Woodworking Inc||Mallacoota Picnic Tables and Benches|
Increase connection to place and build community partnerships through the provision of outdoor furniture for Mallacoota township.
|Mitta Valley Community TV Inc||Mitta Valley Community Translator Project|
Provide reliable communication transmission and safeguard the community through the upgrade of telecommunications equipment in a remote valley.
|1st Myrtleford Scout Group|
The Scout Association of Australia Victorian Branch
|Community is Key|
Provide a refuge in times of emergency and boost an organisation's capacity to offer a fit for purpose space through the upgrade of facility.
|Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation||Ramahyuck Connection through Art Project|
Promote local culture, and support health and social recovery post-bushfires for First Nations people through painting the exterior of the Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation building.
|Community Centre Swifts Creek Inc||Roofing Rescue|
Improve the amenity of a community centre and create a safe, fit-for-purpose environment through the upgrade of a roof.
|Wyeeboo Recreation Reserve||Wyeeboo Recreation Reserve - Water Tank|
Increase preparedness for future disaster events through the provision of a water tank.
|Small & Vital|
|East Gippsland Ceramic Group Inc||Firing Up|
Encourage development of skills and social connection through the purchase of a pottery kiln and wheels.
|Bendigo Queer Film Festival||Bendigo Queer Film Festival Post-COVID Relaunch|
Foster mental health and celebrate local culture and identity for a marginalised group through the delivery of a community film festival.
|Wombat's Wish||Post-Camp Counselling Sessions|
Increase opportunities for bereavement support and improve the health, wellbeing and education outcomes for young people through the initiation of a grief support program.
|Everton Primary School||Assisting with Cost of Construction of Outside Decking|
Encourage community gathering, and children's learning and development by installing decking at the local primary school.
|Mittagundi Outdoor Education Centre||A Sustainable Kitchen for Mittagundi: Providing Life-Changing Experiences for Young People|
Increase connection to the environment and enhance educational experiences for young people through the upgrade of a communal kitchen.
|Eventide Lutheran Homes||Golf Buggy Funding|
Support health and wellbeing and encourage positive ageing, through the purchase of a mobility aid.
|The Trustee for The MAC Trust||The Mac Goes Online|
Strengthen opportunities for employment, education and social engagement by providing an electronic ticket system for a community-run cinema.
|Murtoa College||Murtoa College in Full Swing|
Encourage youth engagement and improve health and wellbeing through the installation of specialised playground equipment for senior students.
|Murtoa's Big Weekend|
Shared Learning & Activities Murtoa Incorporated
|‘Light Up’ Murtoa’s Big Weekend in 2021|
Support Murtoa township's economic recovery and strengthen social engagement through the delivery of a community festival.
|Repair Cafe Bellarine|
Bellarine Training and Community Hub
|Repair Cafe Bellarine|
Increase reach of a repair cafe service through the development and delivery of social media and marketing.
|Romsey Neighbourhood House Inc||YOUTHINK|
Expand employment opportunities for youth by purchasing a barista machine for hospitality training.
|Surf Coast Energy Group (SCEG)||Spring Creek Sustainable Futures - Surf Coast, Victoria|
Boost the community’s ability to learn about conservation management and increase connection to place through the delivery of community engagement workshops.
|Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House Inc||Connecting our Community through Education and Information|
Enhance the delivery of first aid training programs and encourage further education, by purchasing appropriate equipment that reflects real-life medical trauma.
|Small & Vital|
|Albany Youth Support Association||Safe Space for Homeless Youth to Sleep in Swags|
Increase access to temporary housing for young people sleeping rough by enclosing verandah at emergency accommodation facility.
|Live To Tell Your Story Inc||Djinda Ngardak - Making it My Business|
Promote healthy lifestyles and improved health and wellbeing while growing opportunities for Indigenous students to pursue careers in hospitality, with week-long cooking skills camp.
|Enterprise Partnerships WA Limited||Piriwa Place Making Project|
Support economic opportunities for Indigenous women while increasing access to affordable clothing with expansion of innovative Op Shop project.
|Jarlmadangah Burru Aboriginal Corporation||Cultural Centre Entrance Improvements|
Increase comfort and amenity through refurbishment of Cultural Centre’s entrance with installation of a shade sail.
|Greenbushes Community Resource Centre||The New You - Working Through Change And Loss|
Help people to recover and adapt through delivery of workshop on coping with change and loss.
|Marble Bar Primary School||STEM Education|
Increase engagement in school in remote community through provision of virtual reality equipment to enhance innovative digital arts program.
|Riding for the Disabled WA Plantagenet Group Inc||Equipment Maintenance and Safety|
Support riding program for children with a disability, with OH&S upgrade of trailer used for transporting riding equipment.
|Nungarin Heritage Machinery & Army Museum Inc||Aunty Jim's (re) Store|
Enhance authentic historical shop display within the Nungarin Machinery & Army Museum, with new linoleum floor coverings.
|Active Farmers Ltd||Active Farmers Games WA - Increasing Awareness of the Link Between Physical Activity and Improved Mental Wellbeing|
Encourage rural communities to be physically active and more connected with inaugural WA Active Farmers Games.
At the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Coffin Bay is a small town of about 600 people. Known around the world for its fresh oysters and beautiful fishing spots, Coffin Bay is a popular tourist destination. For years the town has relied on the Community Hall as a place where residents can gather and socialise. In the last few years, a long list of required repairs has meant that the Hall hasn’t been being used to its full potential.
Coffin Bay Progress Association wanted that to change. They act as a collective voice for the community to help sustain and maintain the values of their unique, relaxed, and caring residents. With a $5,914 Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) grant funded by Australia Post, the Association has been able to kick off their six-stage upgrade and renovation plan for the hall. They used the SRC grant to fund the installation of a new hot water system and ceiling fans. The grant has also enabled them to update the men’s toilet facilities that were in much need of repairs.
The improvements have already seen the Hall host an array of activities and services for the community. For example, the renovations provided the opportunity for several Community Health services to be held under one roof. The town doctor, who needed to relocate due to SA Rural Health not renewing the lease of the practice, has been able to use the space to see patients and support the community. Additionally, mental health clinics and AA meetings have all moved to the hall as well.
Carol Fathers, president of the Coffin Bay Progress Association said, “We had an old storeroom which we were able to clear out and turn into a bright & cheerful clinic, everyone is happy.”
The Progress Association is happy to see works on their beloved Community Hall continue with hopes to tile their kitchen, plant a community garden, and create a men’s shed in the future. There are also plans to get local schools involved in painting a mural. The Community Hall has so much potential to help fight social isolation and boost the sense of community spirit for the residents of Coffin Bay.
In the East MacDonnell ranges of the Northern Territory, The Harts Range Amateur Race Club (HRARC) hosts a 73-year tradition – an annual bush sports weekend that attracts more than 2,500 visitors to this very remote community. It is one of few events that brings this extremely disadvantaged community together, to connect socially and facilitate community wellbeing.
The Club’s facilities are also used for Central Land Council meetings, consultations, and community events. But the canteen, which is run by Isolated Children’s and Parents Association, was in much need of repair. The Club received $10,000 through the Strengthening Rural Communities program, thanks to the support of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation. They used the funding to purchase two domestic rangehood exhaust fans plus fittings, and for a roof spinning ventilator for over the BBQ area. In addition, they were able to attract in-kind support from other organisations, members and volunteers in the community, enabling a full upgrade to the canteen. Mark Coffey, the Club’s Public Officer, reported that the project brought together volunteers, most of whom live more than two hours away, local businesses and the Atitjere community for a project that will provide an improved working environment for the community for many years to come.
“For everyone, COVID-19 has made this year a challenge, so it was great to be able to form such a good partnership between HRARC, Scope and FRRR, which made this project so much easier to deliver especially for our volunteers. “We are proud that this kitchen upgrade will ensure a modern and more functional kitchen for years to come.”Mark Coffey, HRARC Public Officer
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.”
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.
Includes more than $640,000 to support 2019-20 bushfire recovery
FRRR has awarded $1,062,484 in grants for 85 projects that will help boost remote, rural and regional communities across Australia, through its Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.
The grants awarded will go toward a broad array of inspiring initiatives that will strengthen and build the long-term viability and vitality of smaller remote, rural, and regional communities across Australia, including projects to support community healing and renewal following the 2019/2020 bushfires.
Grants range from $2,700 to help the South Australian Beachport community access lifesaving equipment, through to a $25,000 grant to improve the security and amenities at the Corryong Community Hall in Victoria.
The SRC program is collaboratively-funded and offers two streams of funding. Small & Vital awards grants up to $10,000 for locally-led initiatives that build resilience and enhance the vibrancy of rural Australia by addressing the needs identified by the community. This round of SRC has seen 49 projects sharing in a total of $420,003 in Small & Vital grants.
The second stream provides grants up to $25,000 for projects designed to help seed and strengthen the recovery of regions impacted by the Black Summer bushfires. Thirty-six bushfire recovery initiatives have been awarded a total of $642,481 in this round of SRC grants.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that over the past year rural people have demonstrated the true meaning of resilience and determination and continued to find ways of addressing the needs of their communities.
“The pandemic has highlighted that community groups need to be agile and able to adapt and respond to changing circumstances. To do this successfully, they need to be well resourced, with facilities, equipment and the right knowledge, skills and capabilities. The pandemic has also reinforced the importance of community-led initiatives that promote individual and community health and social wellbeing.”
“Several grassroots solutions designed to support these key initiatives and develop these vital skills have been awarded grants in this round of SRC, including the Oura Oura House – Interpretation Room project in Cygnet, Tasmania, which will strengthen connection to local Aboriginal culture, and in Biggenden, Queensland, the primary school is supporting student health and wellbeing through an amenities upgrade.
“Recovery in bushfire-affected regions has been hampered by COVID-19 restrictions, but local organisations are still seeking to do what they can to meet the local priorities in their community. This round we saw an increase in requests to fund projects that will provide access to services and activities as impacted communities begin to resume normal activities and reconnect one year on from the fires. This includes Tenterfield in NSW, where a series of creative workshops will support the social and mental health of locals.
“Improving and repairing infrastructure is also an important part of the recovery process for many of these communities. These meeting places, like Katanning’s central shopping precinct in Western Australia and the local Hall in Charleston, South Australia, played a vital role during the bushfires, providing the community with a safe place to gather during the fires, or as a space to gather in order to reconnect and seek support after the disaster,” Ms Egleton explained.
Some of the 85 projects awarded include:
- Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd, NSW – 35th Anniversary Celebration – $9,443 – Celebrate WAMS’ 35 years of service in the community by holding a series of events throughout 2021.
- Careflight Limited, NT – Obstetrics Training for CareFlight Flight Nurses – $8,800 – Improve safety and health outcomes for babies and mothers from remote communities with Midwifery Training for Careflight nurses.
- Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Community Radio Association Inc, QLD – Stanthorpe Community Radio Transmission Equipment – $9,773 – Increase communication of local news, events and emergency information, by supporting the establishment of a community radio station.
- Nipapanha Community Aboriginal Corporation, SA – Irish Well Hut Cultural Heritage Museum Development – $9,300 – Help people gain an awareness of local culture through the provision of display material for a museum.
- East Coast Regional Development Organisation Inc, TAS – Raising the Roof on the Bread Oven – $5,332 – Encourage people to come together by redeveloping a community gathering space.
- Corryong Neighbourhood House Inc, VIC – Giving Youth a Voice – $25,000 – Increase youth representation in community recovery and development, through employment of youth workers to support youth leadership in the Upper Murray.
- Fitzgerald Biosphere Group Inc, WA – Dancing in the Dirt Gala Ball – A Community Event – $5,000 – Build community wellbeing and strengthen mental health by supporting ‘Dancing in the Dirt’ Gala for small, drought stricken community.
The SRC program is collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors, which are listed here – https://frrr.org.au/funding/place/strengthening-rural-communities/.
The next round of SRC applications is currently being assessed and will be announced by June 2021. The current round is accepting applications until 25 May 2021, with funds to be awarded in September.
Visit here for more information on FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program and other grant programs to strengthen local non-profits, community groups, volunteers, and to provide opportunities for skills, networks and leadership development.
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.
|NEW SOUTH WALES|
|Bushfire Recovery Projects|
|Bega Valley Meals on Wheels Co-operative Ltd||Bega Valley Mobile Community Freezer|
Increase food security, including for future disasters, through the purchase of a mobile freezer.
|Bermagui Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Inc||Keeping Bermagui Connected & Safe|
Boost communication capacity during and before natural disasters through the purchase of wireless computer and printer equipment, and re-establishing signage for the 17 km Heritage Trail.
|Bermagui Pre School Co-operative Society Limited||The Cobargo / Bermagui Growing-Growers Project 2021 with Costa Georgiadis & Paul West|
Increase social connectedness and local food security in fire-affected community, through delivery of collaborative preschool garden activities and Costa Georgiadis events.
|Burragate Rural Fire Service||Office Equipment for the Burragate Fire Shed|
Boost the community's ability to prepare for future disasters by purchasing computer and office supplies to support Burragate Rural Fire Service.
|Delegate Progress Association Inc||Recovery BBQ|
Support community connection and recovery by installing an electric barbeque at Memorial Park to host community barbeques and debrief events for the bushfire-affected community.
|Eden Mountain Bike Club Inc - Eden Community Access Centre Incorporated||Eden Mountain Bike Trails|
Design a community-driven mountain bike trail in the Eden region to support economic recovery, through development of Environmental Impact Study and Concept Plans.
|Eungai Hall Section 355 Committee of ManagemenNambucca Valley Council||Kitchen Upgrade for Community Use and Resilience|
Expand the use of the Community Hall by upgrading the kitchen facilities to allow for more community events and activities to occur.
|Ewingar Theatricks - Clarence Valley Council||Theatrical Production|
Support the community's recovery by bringing people together to deliver a locally-set play.
|Glen Innes Severn Council||Wytaliba Rises - Sustainable Community Music Events|
Encourage people to come together and support recovery by providing equipment for music events.
|Glenrac Incorporated||Providing Homes for our Hollow Nesting Species|
Encourage local species back to their habitat following the bushfires, through the creation of nesting boxes at facilitated workshops.
|Granite Borders Landcare Committee Incorporated||Reconnecting Communities - Workshops Focusing on Health and Wellbeing for Fire-Affected Villages in the Tenterfield LGA|
Reduce social isolation and support community recovery, through the delivery of workshops in remote towns across the Tenterfield Shire.
|Lawrence Historical Society Incorporated||Workshop for Sharing, Supporting and Skills|
Support community recovery and increase volunteer engagement at Lawrence Historical Society by building a new workshop shed.
|Make a Difference PMQ Incorporated||M.A.D. Mobile Food Van|
Increase capacity to support outreach to homeless and vulnerable populations in fire-affected communities, through fit-out of a mobile food van and construction of an event stage.
|Make It Tenterfield Incorporated||Creativity Abound Workshops|
Support social and mental health recovery through the delivery of creative and supportive community-based workshops.
|Marlee Rural Fire Brigade||Marlee Safer Place Upgrade|
Increase preparedness for future disasters, through upgrade to central meeting space to create a Neighbourhood Safer Place for the community.
|Mingoola Hall Management Committee||Bringing Mingoola Community Together to Celebrate our Uniquely Beautiful Environment|
Strengthen community connection and recovery in Mingoola via the delivery of the inaugural Mingoola Big River Picnic event.
|Monaro Early Intervention Service Incorporated||Wheelchair Access to Sensory Garden|
Improved access to sensory garden to support wellbeing of children affected by fires, through construction of a ramp at early intervention service.
|Nowendoc Ladies Auxilery||Keep Us Fit and Healthy|
Increase health, wellbeing and individual recovery, through delivery of weekly exercise sessions for ageing community members in Nowendoc.
|Nowendoc Memorial Hall Land Manager||Save Us From Frosty Toes and Nose!|
Increase comfort and amenity at the Nowendoc Memorial Hall to support community recovery, through the installation of air conditioning.
|Nymboida P&C Association||Establish a Nymboida Community Kitchen by Upgrading the Nymboida P&C Kitchen Facilities to Complement the Nymboida PS Community Vegetable Garden|
Increase capacity to cater for school and community recovery and preparedness activities, through the upgrade of the school kitchen / canteen area at Nymboida School.
|Rotary Club of Guyra - Guyra Garden Club||The Guyra Spring Flower Festival 2021 incorporating a Memorial Avenue and a Mandala Garden|
Deliver the inaugural annual 'Guyra Spring Flower Festival' in 2021 and plant a Memorial Avenue and Mandala Garden to honour service people.
|Wilsons Creek Community Hall Inc||Prepare, Respond and Recover - Wilsons Creek, Huonbrook, & Wanganui|
Increase preparedness for future disasters through resourcing and upgrading the local hall as a local evacuation centre.
|Wingham Showground Land Manager||Acknowledging Our Heritage, Respecting our Future|
Strengthen sense of place and connectedness during recovery by erecting four Billboards displaying historically significant photographs of the Showgrounds.
|Small & Vital Projects|
|Burringbar Community Association Incorporated||Burringbar Village Community Plan - Priority Projects|
Build community capacity through the collective development of a Community Plan.
|Jiggi School of Arts Incorporated||Strengthen and Increase Community Participation by Upgrading Community Facilities|
Increase community participation via a kitchen upgrade to the Jiggi Hall.
|Jiggi, Georgica, Mountain Top||$9,012|
|Carinda Hall Committee - Let's Dance Carinda Tribute Committee Incorporated||Cooling our Hall|
Increase the comfort and use of the Carinda Diggers Hall by installing six new fans.
|Central West Leadership Academy Limited||Project Perseverance|
Enhance knowledge and capacity in STEM learning through free Space Science workshops to primary school students.
|Goolgowie CWACountry Womens Association of NSW||CWA Room Improvement|
Build community capacity through the refurbishment of the Goolgowi CWA hall.
|Henty Public School Parents & Citizens Association||Henty Community Garden|
Empower the local school community through the development of a Community Garden.
|Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd||35th Anniversary Celebration|
Celebrate WAMS' 35 years of services in the community by holding a series of events throughout 2021.
|Small & Vital Projects|
|NTSV - Careflight Limited||Obstetrics Training for CareFlight Flight Nurses|
Improve safety and health outcomes for babies and mothers from remote communities with Midwifery Training for Careflight nurses.
|Hermannsburg Potters Aboriginal Corporation||Hermannsburg Potters Men's Development Project|
Develop income earning and self-employment opportunities in very remote community through provision of Men's Group Ceramics Workshops.
|Nhulunbuy Corporation Limited||Inspire Week: Health Services Career Pathways Festival for Young People in Nhulunbuy|
Upskill young people with first aid training and encourage youth to pursue employment opportunities in the medical sector with a Health Careers Expo for High School students.
|The Castle Incorporated||Drovers Memorial Park Restoration|
Provide opportunities for remote community to gather through watering system for Drovers Memorial Park.
|Wagait Arts Group Inc||May Art Month (Part of Wagait Arts Festival)|
Provide opportunity to participate in the arts through nine community arts workshops in the lead up to the Wagait Arts Festival.
|Bushfire Recovery Projects|
|Atherton Men's Shed Incorporated||Enlarging Atherton Men's Shed Space|
Support local men, and projects benefiting the wider community, through expansion of Atherton Men's Shed workspace.
|Charters Towers Rural Fire Brigade||Interactive Screen for Training|
Increased rural fire brigade's ability to deliver training and presentations, through the purchase of an interactive screen.
|Creative Recovery Network||Disaster Ready Regions - CQRASN 'Shine Bright' Creative Recovery Training|
Boost community's ability to recover from disasters through creative recovery training for practitioners and community leaders.
|Friends of Amamoor Inc||Amamoor Rest Room Upgrade|
Increase capacity to deliver community events and support local recovery via tourism, through upgrade of public toilets.
|Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Community Radio Association Inc||Stanthorpe Community Radio Transmission Equipment|
Increase communication of local news, events and emergency information, by supporting the establishment of a community radio station.
|Small & Vital Projects|
|Act for Kids Limited||Specialist Abecedarian Playgroups|
Foster love of learning and prepare young children for school and beyond with specialist playgroups and parent support in Roma region.
|Augathella and District Progress Association Incorporated||Stories From the Grave: Reconnecting With Our Heritage to Develop a Sense of Place In Our Communities|
Increase community pride and resilience through local history project, mapping graves in the Augathella area.
|Biggenden Primary P&C Association||Student Retreat for Everyday Living, Social and Emotional Support|
Support student health and wellbeing with refurbished school bathroom and upgraded kitchen appliances for school breakfast program.
|Central & Upper Burnett District Home for the Aged||Gunther Village Curtain Project|
Enhance environment and improve comfort in Gunther Aged Care Home with installation of new curtains.
|Central Highlands Science Centre Incorporated||Filling the Discovery Space Void|
Inspire students to engage with science and become the budding scientists and inventors of the future with new, educational science exhibit.
|Chrrup Limited||Podcast Series: Community Driven|
Promote volunteering and community leadership through podcast series with local community champions.
|Gympie Medical Transport Inc||Volunteer Services & Training Desk and Fleet Management Desk|
Support volunteers to provide seniors transport to medical services.
|Longreach Regional Enterprise Incorporated||Longreach, 4730: Live, Work and Play|
Promote liveability and lifestyle opportunities in Longreach to attract new residents, via three promotional videos.
|Mundubbera Baptist Church||Upgrade to Toilets|
Increase attendance at monthly market and other community events with upgrade of bathroom facilities to all abilities access.
|National Trust of Australia (Queensland) Limited||James Cook Museum - Bama Dreaming|
Support a unique cultural and historical tourism experience, The Gaamay Dreaming Track, through interpretative signage at James Cook Museum.
|Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association||Healthy Body, Mind and Life - Small Schools|
Provide educational opportunities to rural youth and support a smoother transition to High School for remote students with Life Skills program.
|Rattler Railway Company Ltd||Sustainable Stations Project|
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operational overheads of not-for-profit tourism venture, the Red Rattler Railway, providing social and economic benefits for the region.
|Bushfire Recovery Projects|
|Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation - Flinders Foundation||Mental Health First Aid Training - Kangaroo Island & Adelaide Hills|
Increase access to support for community members through the delivery of Mental Health First Aid Training to five bushfire-impacted communities.
|Charleston Community Centre Inc||Establishing a Charleston Community Hub|
Increase use and amenity at the Charleston Hall to support recovery, through installation of air conditioning and upgrade to power supply.
|Penneshaw Progress Association Inc||Penneshaw Town Hall Evacuation Centre Catering Facilities|
Increase preparedness for future disaster events by upgrading the kitchen at the Penneshaw Town Hall.
|Rotary Club of Onkaparinga Inc||Onkaparinga Rotary Fencing Project|
Enable volunteers to support community recovery through the purchase of tools, materials, and equipment.
|Small & Vital Projects|
|Arno Bay District Bowling Club Inc||Barbeque Roof|
Expand the use of a community facility by installing a covered area in an outdoor space to make it more comfortable and welcoming.
|Beachport Surf Life Saving Club Inc||Defibrillator at Council Toilet Block|
Help the community access lifesaving equipment through the purchase of a defibrillator.
|Morgan Volunteer Support Group Inc||Meals on Wheels Support Vehicle|
Improve community health by supporting a volunteer meal service, through the purchase of a new vehicle.
|Nharangga Aboriginal Progress Association Inc||Keeping it Safe in the Kitchen|
Improve the Association's ability to support and service the community, through a kitchen upgrade.
|Nipapanha Community Aboriginal Corporation||Irish Well Hut Cultural Heritage Museum Development|
Help people gain an awareness of local culture through the provision of display material for a museum.
|Small & Vital Projects|
|Derwent Valley Arts Inc||Travelling Arts in the Derwent Valley|
Encourage people in the community to access arts events by purchasing a portable all-abilities toilet.
|East Coast Regional Development Organisation Inc||Raising the Roof on the Bread Oven|
Encourage people to come together by redeveloping a community gathering space.
|South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corp||Oura Oura House - Interpretation Room|
Strengthen connection to local culture through the development of an Aboriginal history and philosophy program.
|Bushfire Recovery Projects|
|Corryong and District Community Youthclub Inc||Refurbishment of the Corryong Youth Hall to Better Support the Community|
Increase amenity and security at Corryong community hall to support community recovery activities, through upgrade to meeting area and storage space.
|Corryong - Upper Murray||$25,000|
|Corryong Neighbourhood House Inc||Giving Youth a Voice|
Increase youth representation in community recovery and development, through employment of youth workers to support youth leadership in the Upper Murray.
|Upper Murray Innovation Foundation||Power to the People|
Boost and strengthen economic recovery and promote climate friendly travel, through installation of Electric Vehicle charger at Walwa.
|Small & Vital Projects|
|Glenelg & Southern Grampians Local Learning & Employment Network||Support, Encourage and Inspire (Standing Tall, Future Leaders, Young Leaders)|
Grow ways to support the educational outcomes of disadvantaged and disengaged students by providing train-the-trainer workshops to teachers and mentors in the community.
|Anam Cara House Colac Inc||Palliative Volunteer Support and Co-ordination|
Support volunteer engagement and skill through conducting online palliative care training via a community hospice.
|Derrinallum Park Inc||Picnic Tables|
Boost the use of a community reserve through the upgrade of worn-out seating, making the space comfortable and welcoming.
|Drop In Centre - Wycheproof||Buloke Bright Sparks|
Help children have better access to social and educational opportunities by providing equipment for use in a program designed specifically to support them.
|Indigo Valley Landcare Group Inc||Nature in the Neighbourhood Workshop Series|
Encourage community to be active and involved in local conservation through the delivery of a series of Landcare workshops.
|Inglewood & Districts Health Service||Enhancing the IDHS Residential Aged Care Outdoor Environment|
Improve health and wellbeing for residents of the local aged care hostel by providing an outdoor area that caters for people with specialised needs.
|Murray Human Services Inc||Kyabram Supported Employment Program|
Improve employment prospects for people living with a disability in Kyabram, by delivering a program that engages local representatives.
|Nagambie Healthcare Inc||Creating Moments that Matter - Connectedness in Regional Aged Care|
Improve the health and wellbeing of people in residential care through the development of an outdoor gathering space.
|Rushworth Community House Inc||Upgrade of Rushworth Community Garden|
Expand the use of a community garden by re-landscaping the area to allow people with mobility issues to gain access to plots.
|St Kilda Mums||Eureka Mums - Time to Grow Project|
Improve the organisation's ability to support and service the community through equipping a warehouse space that is used for material aid support.
|Central Highlands Region (incl Ballarat)||$9,951|
|Stanhope Recreation Reserve Committee of Management||Stanhope Community Recreation Precinct Project|
Strengthen connectivity and engagement through the development of a recreation reserve, a well-utilised gathering space in the town's precinct.
|Taggerty Community Progress Group Inc||Easy Access for All|
Improve Taggerty Hub's ability to support and service the community through the installation of an all-abilities entrance.
|Bushfire Recovery Projects|
|Shire of Katanning||Vibrant Katanning|
Support economic and social recovery through upgrading Katanning's central shopping precinct.
|Small & Vital Projects|
|Bulyee Hall Committee||Staying Together Going Forward|
Improve amenities and strengthen social connection with kitchen refurbishment at Bulyee Hall.
|Director of National Parks - The Trustee for National Parks Conservation Trust||Christmas Island District School - Crab Cadets and Student Rangers Program|
Grow appreciation and interest in the local environment among young Christmas lslanders through innovative citizen science education program.
|Fitzgerald Biosphere Group Inc||Dancing in the Dirt Gala Ball - A Community Event|
Build community wellbeing and strengthen mental health by supporting 'Dancing in the Dirt' Gala for small, drought-stricken community.
|North Midlands Project Incorporated||Cooling The Exchange!|
Increase use of 'The Exchange' community hub through installation of air conditioners to combat extreme heat conditions.
|Yungngora Association Inc||Refurbishment of Yungngora Community Tele-Centre|
Enable access to the internet for education, online banking and emailing and through provision of computers for very remote community.
|Yungngora Indigenous Community||$10,000|
The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has entered a new three-year partnership with the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation (KACF).
Creating better days for Australians, Kellogg Australia is committed to tackling hunger and helping to create a more sustainable future for generations to come. Now, with the new partnership between KACF and FRRR, their combined efforts can help tackle hunger and build resilience in vulnerable rural and regional communities throughout the country.
Over the course of the partnership, KACF will donate $300,000 to support grants going towards low socio-economic regions in need, and disadvantaged communities facing high levels of food insecurity.
The funds will be part of FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, which aims to give small remote, rural and regional communities across Australia an opportunity to access funding to strengthen their vitality and resilience. Grants are flexible and respond to community-identified priorities, such as food security.
In addition to the KACF funding, Kellogg Australia has also put forward in-kind support in the form of food donations, as well as skilled and unskilled volunteering from its employees.
Esme Borgelt, Managing Director Kellogg Australia, said, “The last couple of years have seen so many of our communities facing increasingly difficult times. From droughts to bushfires to a global health pandemic, the impact on everyone has been significant, and those hardest hit have been our remote, rural and regional communities.
“Almost a quarter of Australians experiencing food insecurity live in regional or remote areas and the aim of the KACF partnership with FRRR is to provide support at a grassroots level to help these communities implement innovative, locally led solutions.”
With FRRR being the only national foundation centred on social and economic strength in remote, rural and regional Australia, the partnership will help to tackle food insecurity with the knowledge and experience of the local needs by local leaders on the ground.
Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said, “It’s fantastic to see a leading global food manufacturer like Kellogg’s make it their overarching mission to leave a mark of meaningful difference. We are delighted to be partnering with them to ensure that support reaches vulnerable communities beyond metropolitan boundaries.
“While the grants will be awarded based on locally identified community priorities, there will be a focus on supporting food security initiatives and enterprises, food affordability and food access programs, as well as projects such as community gardens and school and educational food programs,” Ms Egleton explained.
Unlike most other youth music programs, CRASHENDO! Bairnsdale is not only about the tunes. Modelled after Venezuela’s National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs El Sistema Global, CRASHENDO! uses music education as a vehicle to help children develop their self-esteem, resilience, and social skills.
To support the purchase of new instruments and to help cover tuition fees, the CRASHENDO! team successfully applied to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, receiving a $10,000 grant funded by The William Buckland Foundation (managed by Equity Trustees).
They sent us a detailed plan outlining how they planned to use the funds over the course of two years, and how excited they were to get on with their music classes, events, and other activities.
What they couldn’t have known, however, was that the years that followed – 2019-2020 – would be some of the most challenging years their community had ever experienced.
The CRASHENDO! program, which supports around 120 children in Bairnsdale and surrounds, had a great start to the year in 2019, with in-schools tuition, pre-orchestral, orchestra and early years programs in full swing. They also hosted several special events such as the Latrobe Orchestra Workshop and the Christmas Street Parade, both of which brought much joy to the community.
But as Christmas drew closer, so did the devastating bushfires that were already tearing through parts of NSW and VIC. And when the semester was set to begin again in the new year, the CRASHENDO! students had no school to return to.
The facilities, including all their instruments, were destroyed in the fires. Several families in the community had also lost their homes.
But despite these unimaginable challenges, children and tutors alike demonstrated once again the resilience and fighting community spirit we so often see in rural and regional Australia. The classes were moved to another school, and the children found some relief in returning to something familiar and normal – their music practice.
With support from their wonderful and engaging tutors, and by working together in groups, the children continued to develop both their musical skills and interpersonal skills.
But as we all know too well, 2020 brought with it its own set of challenges.
Soon after the COVID-19 virus reached Australian shores, life for the Bairnsdale community was once again turned upside-down. The community went through two remote learning periods (April – June and July – September), which meant all programs had to be moved online.
During this those unusual times, CRASHENDO! Bairnsdale Youth(ful) Orchestra (CBYO) reduced their sessions, halted expansion plans, and cancelled concerts and community performances.
The future was looking uncertain and bleak. But the CRASHENDO! team – both children and staff – were not about to give up that easily. They already knew the strength they had within them, especially when working together, so they kept their heads high, their Zoom cameras on and their smiles BIG – as they found new and engaging ways of delivering their programs.
Instead of having concerts, they produced videos. Instead of cancelling all Special Events, they scaled down the delivery time and incorporated video compilations. The creativity was flowing and proved to be a great learning experience across the board.
“Although extremely challenging we have been extremely excited about the opportunity to learn new ways of delivering programs, administration and promotion,” Hilary Rigg, Crashendo! Bairnsdale Coordinator said.
She explained that while the number of participants decreased during online delivery, it also allowed them to widen the scope of musical styles and instruments on offer in the program, as well as the geographic area in which participants lived (across wider Gippsland and Melbourne). As tutors could dial in from anywhere, CRASHENDO! also grew their pool of highly skilled tutors, from areas including Melbourne, Geelong and even interstate.
“We have widened networks, forged new or deeper collaborations with other local musical groups and personnel, and kept musicians connected and playing. Hence, most importantly contributing to the well-being of our community!”Hilary Rigg, Crashendo! Bairnsdale Coordinator
The need for the diversification of industry has been well known to the Northampton community for many years, given the heavy reliance on agriculture. Drought and unpredictable seasons have seen the withdrawal of many farming families, leaving an ageing population. Northampton has a median age of residents that is significantly older than the national average.
To address this issue, several community groups worked toward a common goal – to leverage the significant tourism potential of the town and bring in more visitors and diversify income. Northampton has a rich heritage, being one of only three towns in Western Australia to have attained the ‘Historic Town’ status. The development of an arts trail is a key feature of the plan, and the Northampton Friends of the Railway sought to add to it with the development and installation of a large 5m x 10m public sculpture.
They worked with local artists and steel masons to design and construct the steal art sculpture with the $3,500 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, thanks to funding from the Bertalli Family Foundation, which was specifically used for its final design and painting. The piece depicts the historic Gwalla railway precinct with all of the original buildings of the railway station, some of which no longer exist, and is located exactly on a section of the first Government Railway in Western Australia. It’s an important interpretive piece to showcase the former area, given the significant role that the railway played in the township’s mining and agricultural history.
This project brought together economic, heritage and artistic outcomes, celebrating and promoting a unique local history.