Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)

18 community groups to receive funding

In partnership with Suncorp and AAMI, FRRR has awarded $300,781 to 18 remote, rural and regional not-for-profits (NFPs) in Victorian communities impacted by the flooding events that took place between October 2022 and January 2023.

The Myrtleford Recreation Reserve
The Myrtleford Recreation Reserve Committee has been awarded $20,000 for design of a stormwater management system to mitigate future flood risk, supporting community facility use for local events and activities.

Suncorp Group pledged $1 million to FRRR in 2021 for a dedicated Rebuilding Futures program – to support Australian communities impacted by significant natural disasters. 

This is the third round of the Program and with these grants will have distributed over $1 million.

The grants awarded range from $4,040 to $20,000 and will be used for a range of projects from building community infrastructure and improving emergency facilities, to youth activity programs and community workshops – all high-priority projects for their local community.

Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said the grants would help support community-led recovery in the impacted areas.

“Australia is no stranger to natural disasters and unfortunately I’ve seen all too often the devastation and emotional toll they have on our communities,” Mr Johnston said.

“That’s why we are supporting affected Victorian communities through the Rebuilding Futures program – to not just build back but to build back better than before, making them even more resilient,” he said.

“These communities have been through a lot, and we know that recovery from severe weather events can sometimes take years. We also know that each community’s priorities during that recovery is different.

“We’re pleased to provide support to a range of different community groups and local not-for-profits that are run by people who know and understand what it is their community needs in order to rebuild.”

Nina O’Brien, Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead at FRRR, said this round of grants is further confirmation of the long-term impacts of natural disasters.

“In this round of grants, we’re seeing projects that are about building community amenities and improving infrastructure but there’s also an emphasis on initiatives that are about building community resilience and promoting social wellbeing. It’s nearly a year since the floods first started and so this just goes to show that the impacts of floods are long-lasting and go far beyond the physical damage that’s caused.

“The floods have had a huge emotional toll on the people in these communities, yet they’re still determined to build back and become even more resilient than before, which really is inspiring to see. Thanks to the generous support of Suncorp and AAMI, we can help them to do just that,” said Ms O’Brien.

Among the 18 projects funded this round are:

  • Alpine Multi Skill Group in Bright – Construction of a dedicated cabin workspace for volunteers, members, and the local community, which will support Alpine Multi Skill’s community development work and collaboration with the Men’s Shed – $19,750
  • Echuca Moama Broadcast Service Inc in Echuca – Upskill the community radio volunteers, enhancing their ability to broadcast during and outside times of emergency disasters to support community safety and wellbeing – $4,040
  • Kerang and District Community Centre Inc in Kerang – Build resilience in Kerang through an inclusive arts program aimed at connecting people through positive creative activities $10,000

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

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
VICTORIA
Alpine Multi Skill GroupConstruction of a Dedicated Cabin Workspace for Volunteers, Members and the Local Community
Expand the opportunities for community skills and preparedness activities through constructing a cabin to support Alpine Multi Skill's community development work collaborating with the Men's Shed.
Bright$19,750
Boys to the Bush LtdBoys to the Bush Building up Rochester Boys
Support youth recovery and resilience through extra curricular programs developing life skills, experience of rural employment opportunities, community engagement and mentoring.
Rochester$20,000
Campaspe Park Raceway Committee of Management IncorporationDisabled Access from Car Park to Clubhouse
Improve access and community facility infrastructure with a concrete path from the carpark to clubhouse of the Campaspe Park and Raceway Recreation Reserve.
Echuca$7,600
East Loddon Food Share Program IncorporatedRelief Food and Fridge / Freezer Storage
Build capacity of local food relief organisation with whitegoods, a generator and food supplies to support a 12 month program of food security.
Dingee$15,699
Echuca Moama Broadcast Service IncUpskill Broadcasting Team
Build skills and capability for community radio volunteers to broadcast during and outside times of emergency disasters to support community safety and wellbeing.
Echuca$4,040
Eildon Events IncConstruction of a Permanent Waterproof Cantilever Shade Structure
Build capacity of the Eildon community with a cantilevered shade cover for a stage to increase usage and expand local activity.
Eildon$20,000
Greater Shepparton Foundation LimitedGiving Power Greater Shepparton
Support community adaptation for long-term social and economic recovery through a collaborative scoping project to develop an accessible solar program for flood-impacted households in Greater Shepparton.
Shepparton$20,000
Kerang and District Community Centre IncLet's Connect via Art
Build resilience in Kerang through an inclusive arts program aimed at connecting people in positive creative activities.
Kerang$10,000
Mount Alexander Shire CouncilCreative Resilience Lab
Build community resilience and preparedness through a future thinking workshop with a broad range of Mount Alexander community stakeholders.
Castlemaine$20,000
Myrtleford Recreation Reserve Committee of ManagementMyrtleford Recreation Reserve Stormwater Management and Drainage Design
Improve local recreation reserve through design of a stormwater management system to mitigate future flood risk, supporting community facility use for local events and organisations' activity.
Myrtleford$20,000
Navarre Public HallRevitalising the Navarre Public Hall
Rebuild community infrastructure with contributions for rewiring and improved vent systems in the Navarre Hall restoration following significant flood disruption to the community.
Navarre$20,000
Open Door Neighbourhood House IncConnecting Community - Social Prescribing
Build community resilience through implementing a 'social prescribing' program of connection for vulnerable members of the flood-impacted community of Wangaratta.
Wangaratta$20,000
Parklands Albury Wodonga LimitedCreating Nature Play Trails to Grow Resilience
Build community resilience with enhanced community nature space and programs for intergenerational connection.
Wodonga$20,000
Pyramid Hill Neighbourhood House IncCommunications Kit
Build community resilience and capability through upgrading online and offline media communications to support the Pyramid Hill community during and outside of disasters.
Pyramid Hill$13,900
Rochester Community House IncBringing the Roar to Rochy (Shire Hall)
Upgrade community facilities with a new sound system at the Rochester Community Hall.
Rochester$19,949
Variety - The Children's Charity of VictoriaReplacement and Upgrade of Safe / Secure and Inclusive Play Environment for Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School
Upgrade the playground of the Echuca Specialist School to ensure a safe and flood proof surface for all abilities children from surrounding impacted flood communities.
Echuca$18,668
Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House IncYMCLC Community Connection and Resilience Program
Boost community resilience with a Social Prescribing program for engaging and supporting vulnerable people in local activities and information to address mental and physical health issues.
Yarrawonga$20,000
Yea Community Service Group IncHands on Skills for Community
Build community resilience with a program of workshops teaching 'sufficiency' skills, including preserving foods, composting and dehydrating, with community connection a key outcome.
Yea$11,175

Grants up to $20,000 available for recovery projects

Local community groups and not-for-profits in rural Victorian communities impacted by 2022-23 floods are encouraged to apply for grants up to $20,000 for projects that will support their community’s recovery.

Jason Carroll standing next to three batteries installed at Mooloolah Valley Community Association Inc
Mooloolah Valley Community Association Inc’s Events & Grants Officer, Jason Carroll

In partnership with Suncorp and AAMI, FRRR is offering $300,000 for initiatives that build resilience and support medium to long-term recovery of communities affected by the flooding and storms that occurred in specified LGA’s between 6 October 2022 and 13 January 2023.

Funded through the Rebuilding Futures program, these responsive grants are available for proactive initiatives that are community-led.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience & Recovery Lead, said that extreme weather events, like the flooding and storms experienced by rural Victorian regions late last year, affect every community member, especially those who are most vulnerable and rely on community organisations for support.

“Different groups within the community, such as those living with disability, homelessness or who speak English as a second language, will be impacted differently, and as such, will have their own needs in terms of building resilience and how they can prepare for future disaster events.

“We encourage community groups to be inclusive with their initiative ideas and consider how their project can support community members from all nationalities, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

“We also encourage community groups to think outside the box when it comes to infrastructure and equipment projects by considering resilient materials and harnessing clever use of design to decrease future impacts of natural disasters,” Ms O’Brien said.

Suncorp’s Group Executive People, Culture & Advocacy, Fiona Thompson, said that natural disasters, such as the Victorian floods, have devastating impacts that are complex, context-driven and long-lasting.

“This is the third disaster-affected region that we’ve supported through this program over the last couple of years, so we know the impacts in each place are different. One thing is always the same though; local people are best placed to know what the needs and priorities of their community, especially following a natural disaster event.

“Thanks to our partnership with FRRR, we’re pleased to be able to provide flexible funding that means communities can determine how best to address the medium to long-term recovery, resilience and preparedness needs and priorities for their region,” Ms Thompson said.

A Grantseeker Workshop, including a Q&A, on the Rebuilding Future’s grant program will be held online from 12 – 1pm AEST, Wednesday 7 June 2023. Register for the Grantseeker Workshop here.

Applications close 6 July 2023.

Previous projects funded through the Rebuilding Futures program include:

  • During the floods in February 2022, Mooloolah Valley, QLD, experienced intermittent loss of power that impacted the community’s access to lighting, hot water and technology. To help the community prepare for future disaster events, the Mooloolah Valley Community Association Inc used a $25,000 grant to purchase and install three batteries that can be used to supply power to the region. The batteries are able to store energy from the Centre’s existing solar panels. The grant also funded fencing to ensure the new batteries are stored safely and securely. Thanks to the community’s resilience and preparedness, the batteries were able to keep the community’s power running during the two electricity outages that Mooloolah Valley has experienced since the batteries were installed.
  • Following the NSW and QLD floods in 2021, Mission Australia and Mid Coast 4 Kids partnered to respond to child and youth wellbeing across the Mid Coast region. The partners used a $10,811 grant to deliver training to local community service, health and education professionals, volunteers and parents. Their aim was to ensure they were equipped with the skills to have quality conversations and build resilience to respond to the wellbeing needs of children, young people and their families. 

For more information about which regions are eligible, the type of projects that can be funded, and to register for the Grantseeker Workshop, visit our Rebuilding Futures webpage.

27 community groups in disaster impacted areas of rural NSW and QLD to receive funding

FRRR, in partnership with Suncorp and GIO, has awarded $500,000 to 27 community groups and local not-for-profits (NFPs) to support recovery initiatives in rural communities impacted by the East Coast Australia floods in February and March 2022.

The grants, which are through the Rebuilding Futures program, range from $4,129 to $25,000.

They will be used to fund a range of projects, including equipping community facilities to be prepared for disasters, mental health training, community resilience and healing events, food security initiatives, environmental restoration, buying emergency equipment, restoring flood damaged infrastructure, developing preparedness plans and mentoring initiatives.

This is the second round of grants to come from the $1 million pledge the Suncorp Group made to FRRR to support recovery and preparedness activities in remote, rural and regional communities impacted by natural disasters.

Suncorp Group Head of Disaster Response & Customer Experience, Cath Stewart, said the diversity of applications shows the importance of responsive and flexible funding.

“The grant applications we received in this round are all the proof needed to reaffirm community leaders are best placed to understand exactly what the people in their areas need at this moment in time.

“These communities were all impacted by the same natural disaster, yet it’s very clear that they have diverse needs based on the point that they’re at on their road to recovery. We are pleased to be able to support a range of initiatives from building organisational capacity and giving locals the opportunity to develop their skills, to investing in life saving equipment and improving access to services,” said Ms Stewart.

Nina O’Brien, Disaster Resilience and Climate Solutions Lead at FRRR, said the grant recipients have shown commitment to the long-term recovery and resilience of their communities.

“People have had their lives turned upside down, yet they’re determined to work together to make sure their communities bounce back stronger than ever from the floods. Thanks to the generous support of GIO and Suncorp, we are able to offer the funding that will allow them to address their unique community recovery needs for rebuilding their future, and that’s exactly what each of the NFPs and community groups receiving funding are on a mission to do.

“Each of these initiatives, whether it be an upgrade to existing community facilities, the renewal of shared social spaces, improved community facilities, the purchase of emergency equipment or mental health support, is a practical response that will support long term recovery, which is exactly what is needed in the areas affected by floods and storms in early 2022.

“Recovery will take many years and every community has different needs and different capacity levels when it comes to tackling the recovery process. That’s why it’s so crucial that we provide these local groups with the support they need to build back better and design their own path to recovery, when they are ready,” said Ms O’Brien.

Among the 27 projects funded this round are:

  • Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Branch Inc, Byron Bay, NSW – Mental Health Training and Support – $9,650 – Build community resilience through delivering a Mental Health Training and Support program to life savers, equipping them with skills to support themselves and their community.
  • Resilient Lismore Incorporated, Lismore, NSW – Resilient Lismore – community recovery and connection events – $25,000 – Bolstering resilience to disaster by strengthening community connections and increasing mental health and wellbeing via a series of community events to be held around the anniversary of the February 2022 flood event in Lismore.
  • Wilsons Creek Community Hall Inc, Wilsons Creek, NSW – Wilsons Creek Community Hall Solar Storage Battery – $12,240 – Build capacity of Wilsons Creek Community Hall to stay in contact by purchasing a solar battery to ensure power supply during extreme weather events.
  • The Trustee for Top Blokes Foundation, Beaudesert, QLD – Building the resilience of vulnerable young men in the Scenic Rim – $25,000 – Improve the mental health and community engagement skills of at risk and disadvantaged young boys to bolster recovery in flood impacted communities.
  • Glastonbury Hall & Recreation Association Inc, Glastonbury, QLD – Rebuilding for the Future – Glastonbury Disaster Centre Hub – $25,000 – Build capacity at Glastonbury Hall to support community with adequate kitchen facilities during refuge from disasters and to support community connection activities.
  • Tansey Show Society Incorporated, Tansey, QLD – Upgrade facilities at Tansey Showgrounds – $15,000 – Boost organisational resilience and community wellbeing by repairing the flood damaged shower blocks at Tansey Showgrounds.

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

More information on the Rebuilding Futures grant program is available on FRRR’s website.

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Agape Outreach IncAfter the Floods - Food Insecurity & Poverty Support - Caring for the Community
Support community members impacted by floods to access food relief in an environment of insecurity and homelessness risk.
Tweed$15,000
Byron Region Community CollegeDemonstration Garden for Sustainability and Resilience
Strengthen the social fabric of Byron with a sustainable and resilient garden at the adult learning centre designed to inspire and educate community with an interactive space also supporting mental health and wellbeing.
Mullumbimby$24,630
Casino Indoor Stadium Association IncBlue Light Nights
Build community capacity of children and young people in Casino with equipment for Blue Light Night events such as discos that will develop relationships with local police and support learning event management skills.
Casino$10,572
Friends Lismore Regional Gallery IncBeyond Bricks and Mortar: The Art of Renewal in Lismore
Renew and activate the arts community in Lismore through tours of neighboring galleries, open art studios and panels to bolster regeneration of artist practice and broad community engagement.
Lismore$12,295
Human Nature Adventure Therapy LtdThrive Outside: A Recovery and Resilience Project
Support young people who experienced trauma through the flood events to build resilience through therapeutic outdoor group activities.
Ballina$19,920
Holding Hands UndergoundThe Grief and Gratitude Project: A Process for Collective Care and Connection in a Time of Major Crisis
Supporting community connection with an arts based event to enable collective recovery activity with themes of grief and gratitude.
Mullumbimby$25,000
Hunter Prelude LimitedHunter Prelude Supported Playgroups
Increase support to playgroups with additional allied health or teaching staff that enhance the engagement of parents and address issues of isolation and trauma within the families.
Kurri/Cessnock$19,400
Nambucca Valley Phoenix LimitedRoof Replacement Ceramics Yurt & Kitchen
Replace damaged roofing at the ceramics yurt and kitchen annex to increase resilience of the facility's infrastructure to weather and support ongoing community activities.
Bowraville$25,000
Northern Rivers Community Healing Hub - Rekindling the Spirit LimitedNorthern Rivers Community Healing Hub in Action
Build capacity for piloting a transition to paid / volunteer model of community healing practices that will support holistic recovery now and ongoing with strong health partnerships.
Lismore$24,750
Resilient Lismore IncorporatedResilient Lismore - Community Recovery and Connection Event
Bolstering resilience to disaster by strengthening community connections and increasing mental health and wellbeing via a series of community events to be held around the anniversary of the February 2022 flood event in Lismore.
Lismore $25,000
Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Branch IncMental Health Training and Support
Build community resilience through delivering a Mental Health Training and Support program to life savers equipping them with skills to support themselves and their community.
Byron Bay $9,650
The Big Scrub OrchestraModern Band Healing Through Songwriting and Music to Improve Resilience and Wellbeing for Young People Impacted by Floods
Build the resilience of school children impacted and displaced by flooding in Grafton, Lismore and Casino through musical workshops that will culminate in a performance at the local Jacaranda Festival.
Grafton$25,000
The Colony Bees Association IncPollinate Country
Rebuilding pollinator health and habitat in the Northern Rivers, by establishing new beehives, pollinator sanctuaries and native habitats.
Ballina$18,202
Volunteer Marine Rescue NSWCapacity Building for the Improved Response to Emergencies with Our Region
Build capacity of Volunteer Marine Rescue to support flood impacted communities in the future and enhance their everyday emergency operations with a trailer to transport a rescue boat.
Brunswick Heads$15,000
Wesley Community Services Limited, trading as Wesley MissionWesley LifeForce Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Resilience Project
Support mental health and reduce stigma associated with suicide through training to develop skills and understanding in the Coffs Harbour community.
Coffs Harbour$22,000
Wilsons Creek Community Hall IncWilsons Creek Community Hall Solar Storage Battery
Build capacity of Wilsons Creek Community Hall to stay in contact by purchasing a solar battery to ensure power supply during extreme weather events.
Wilsons Creek$12,240
QUEENSLAND
Glastonbury Hall & Recreation Association IncRebuilding for the Future - Glastonbury Disaster Centre Hub
Build capacity at Glastonbury Hall to support community with adequate kitchen facilities during refuge from disasters and to support community connection activities.
Glastonbury$25,000
Highfields Pioneer Village Museum and Park IncRamp It Up
Repair pathways and ramps impacted by flood waters to provide access for disabled and elderly visitors.
Highfields$4,129
Kerry Memorial HallKerry Valley: Diversity, Resilience & Strength (DRS)
Upgrade historical community facilities with infrastructure materials and equipment to enable compliance for evacuation centre and to strengthen community wellbeing.
Kerry$7,293
Kin Kin Community Group IncVolunteer and Emergency Response Community Hub
Build capacity through setting up local facility to support community during disasters.
Kin Kin & Como$25,000
Lowood Group State Emergency Service Financial Support Unit IncLowood Emergency Back Up Generator
Build the capacity of Lowood SES through the purchase of a generator to ensure shed operations during power outages to support crew and community needs.
Lowood$23,485
Mooloolah Valley Community Association IncEmergency Power for the Community Centre
Build the organisational capacity of the Mooloolah Valley Community Centre with the purchase of a solar battery for power supply in extreme weather events.
Mooloolah Valley$25,000
Rathdowney and District Memorial Grounds Association IncorporatedCaravan Park Hot Water & Dryer
Build community resilience and organisational capacity with the purchase of a washing machine and clothes dryer to support tenants, visitors, and the community at the volunteer run caravan park in Rathdowney.
Rathdowney$7,784
Tansey Show Society IncorporatedUpgrade Facilities at Tansey Showgrounds
Boost organisational resilience and community wellbeing by repairing the flood damaged shower blocks at Tansey Showgrounds.
Tansey$15,000
The Trustee for Raise FoundationRaise Mentor Program - Pittsworth State High School
Build resilience in young people affected by floods with supported mentoring at Pittsworth State High School.
Pittsworth$25,000
The Trustee for Top Blokes FoundationBuilding the Resilience of Vulnerable Young Men in the Scenic Rim
Improve the mental health and community engagement skills of at risk and disadvantaged young boys to bolster recovery in flood impacted communities.
Beaudesert$25,000
Toowoomba Hospital FoundationSaving and Preserving the Darling Downs Health Museum Weather Affected Collection and Displays
Support restoration and disaster preparedness planning to save the flood impacted collection of Toowoomba Hospital Health Museum and train volunteers to respond effectively in future emergency situations.
Toowoomba$16,560

Grant funding is now available to support communities in remote, rural and regional Queensland and New South Wales who have been impacted by this year’s flooding events.

Suncorp and GIO have partnered with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), through the Rebuilding Futures program, to offer $500,000 in grants of up to $25,000 to help not-for-profit groups and local community organisations to rebuild and recover from this year’s flood events.

Suncorp’s Head of Flood Response and Recovery, Cath Stewart, said that this funding recognises that while the initial clean up may have concluded, many community groups still have a lot of work to do to support their community’s ongoing recovery.

“The floods were devastating and, sadly, some places were affected more than once. On top of weather events and the impacts of COVID, not to mention the increased costs of living that are putting pressure on local businesses and community members, many groups are finding it really hard to access resources they need to support their community.

“These grants, which can be used to support locally-identified recovery and rebuilding priorities, will hopefully relieve some of those pressures and allow the communities to start moving forward,” said Ms Stewart.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, said that Suncorp and GIO’s support means that there is flexible funding available to help communities rebuild and be better prepared for future disaster events.

“We know that local community leaders are the ones who are best placed to know what their community needs. That’s why we made sure these grants can fund a wide range of activities, events, initiatives and small-scale infrastructure or equipment projects. The aim is to ensure that the community can build resilience by improving facilities for mitigation and preparedness and creating opportunities to reconnect, share experiences or support overall wellbeing and improved mental health, in whatever way makes most sense to that community.

“We look forward to engaging with these groups and are hoping that for some the grant opportunity can be a catalyst for projects that reduce the impact of future disasters on community wellbeing and physical infrastructure,” Ms Egleton explained.

For more information about who is eligible and what can be funded, visit www.frrr.org.au/Rebuilding-Futures.

A Grant Seeking Workshop including a Q&A on the Rebuilding Future’s grant program will be held online from 1 – 2pm AEST Tuesday 23 August 2022.

Applications close 28 September 2022.

Nearly $750,000 committed but more needed

Nearly $750,000 has been committed to FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal, launched last week, thanks to generous contributions and promotion from donor partners including AMP Foundation, Frasers Property Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Suncorp and Wilson Asset Management, as well as many other private and individual supporters.

FRRR ready to support community-led flood recovery

However, FRRR is continuing to seek further donations to meet the recovery needs of the growing number of communities outside metro regions that will require support well into the future. This includes the unfolding disaster in Queensland and New South Wales, as well as areas that have already experienced severe flooding.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the Foundation has already seen local people mobilising, with information being shared via community-based networks and, where waters are receding, local people are already looking ahead to what’s going to be needed.

“It’s hard to understate the impacts of these floods, which in many places follow years of drought, bushfires, COVID restrictions, and previous floods – and from which many are still recovering. The social and economic impact on many rural communities will be severe.

“Communities will have different concerns and needs, so recovery will happen at different rates, depending on the community and local priorities. Our focus is to make sure that once local leaders identify what their recovery needs are, there is support available.

“FRRR’s strong networks and relationships with community groups and not-for-profits in impacted areas, coupled with programs already in place, mean we will be ready to offer support when they are ready.

“Donations to our Flood Recovery Appeal will help to fund a diverse range of initiatives. That could be rebuilding infrastructure, supporting vulnerable community members, addressing the overall mental health of locals, providing opportunities for locals to reconnect and share their experiences, or improving resilience for future disasters,” Ms Egleton explained.

People can support FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal by donating to either the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund or the Strengthening Rural Communities program.

Donations to the Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund are pooled and invested to ensure that remote, rural and regional communities affected by natural disasters can access flexible, fit-for-purpose funding to support local preparedness and recovery efforts, when it’s needed.

Alternatively, donations can be made to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, with FRRR making grants to support community organisations in these flood-impacted regions.

FRRR has supported remote, rural and regional communities across the country prepare for and recover from natural disasters since 2006. To date, FRRR has distributed more than $40 million for community-led disaster recovery and resilience initiatives, including more than $7 million for projects supporting recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires.

To donate to FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal visit – https://frrr.org.au/giving/flood-recovery-appeal/

Much needed boost for 17 initiatives in affected NSW and QLD rural communities

FRRR, in partnership with Suncorp Group, has awarded $200,000 in grants to 17 community groups and local not-for-profits in rural areas impacted by the March 2021 floods and storms for initiatives that will support their recovery from the disaster.

$200,000 in grants for ongoing recovery from March ‘21 floods

Funded through the Rebuilding Futures program, grants awarded range from $1,573 to $15,000. This funding will help with projects such as restoring damaged infrastructure, improving buildings and maintaining equipment needed for future disaster events, developing local disaster-response knowledge and skills, and providing access to services that foster recovery.

These grants are the first to come from Suncorp Group’s $1 million pledge to FRRR to support rural Australian communities impacted by, or vulnerable to, significant natural disasters.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said the grant recipients have showed a sense of resolve and strength when it comes to rebuilding.

“Recovery is not a quick process – not every community is going to have the capacity to take the same steps at the same time. Despite this, and the challenges of COVID-19 and volunteer fatigue, we’ve been genuinely impressed by the drive of local groups to actively seek support and funding to help their communities recover from the floods. It’s this kind of resilient spirit and motivation that will see these communities thrive once again.

“More than 50 percent of the applications we received for this round were for infrastructure and equipment, which shows not only the extent of the physical damage from the flooding, but also the long-term approach that these organisations are taking to the rebuilding of their communities,” said Ms Egleton.

Suncorp Group CEO, Steve Johnston, said these grants will enable recipients to overcome challenges and take control of their futures.

“The recipients of these grants are determined to make sure their communities recover and bounce back from the March 2021 floods. Natural disasters can turn people’s lives upside down, but the challenge has become even greater with the added pressure of the pandemic.

“Our remote, rural and regional communities know how to come together and work to rebuild their own futures. That’s why grant programs like these, that champion community-led recovery, are so crucial,” said Mr Johnston.

Among the 17 projects funded this round are:

  • Bumbalong Valley Progress Association, NSW – Bumbalong Emu Project – $12,490 – Boost community connection and support the conservation of the local emu population by replacing infrastructure damaged during the March 2021 floods.
  • Hawkesbury City Council, NSW – Hawkesbury Community Tech Connect – $14,836 – Enhance access to internet and mobile phone coverage with the creation of community technology hubs across the Hawkesbury region reducing isolation and supporting disaster recovery activities.
  • Weemelah Hall, NSW – Beautification and Infrastructure Upgrade Project – $13,358 – Enhance community spaces with the installation of a BBQ for community use and beautification of the Weemelah Hall.
  • Rathdowney and District Memorial Grounds Association Incorporated, QLD – Repair Rain-damaged Equestrian Arena and Make it Flood-resistant – $15,000 – Upgrade community infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of future flood events on the Rathdowney Memorial Ground.

More information on the Suncorp Rebuilding Futures grant program is available here.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Bermagui Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism IncA Positive Future
Grow the organisations capacity to support the community with the provision of a portable projector and screen to enhance the delivery of community activities and events.
Bermagui$2,584
Bumbalong Valley Progress AssociationBumbalong Emu Project
Boost community connection and support the conservation of the local emu population by replacing infrastructure damaged during the March 2021 floods.
Bumbalong$12,490
Hawkesbury City CouncilHawkesbury Community Tech Connect
Enhance access to internet and mobile phone coverage with the creation of community technology hubs across the Hawkesbury region reducing isolation and supporting disaster recovery activities.
Bilpin, Colo & St Albans$14,836
Huskisson Public School Parents and Citizens AssociationHuskisson Public School Community Canteen
Boost community resilience and connection with upgrades at the Huskisson School canteen, providing appropriate cooking facilities for the community to cook, prepare and share meals.
Huskisson$10,000
Kempsey Singers IncorporatedKempsey's Bandbox Theatre Costume Conservation Project
Boost organisational capacity by repairing and mitigating future flood impacts at the Bandbox theatre and replace a portion of costumes damaged by the March 2021 floods.
Kempsey$5,000
Kendall Men's ShedNoise Level Reduction
Boost the service offerings at the Kendall Men's Shed with noise reducing machinery encouraging community participation and connection.
Kendall$1,573
Make a Difference PMQ IncorporatedMAD SHED
Boost the organisations capacity to support their community, particularly through recovery with the provision of a shed to house essential equipment and machinery.
Port Macquarie$15,000
Mission AustraliaThe Common Approach - A Whole of Community Response to Child and Youth Wellbeing
Grow community connection and wellbeing by providing activities through "The Common Approach" as a whole of community response to child and youth wellbeing across the Mid Coast region.
Taree$10,811
Unkya Reserve Committee of Management Nambucca Valley CouncilStay and Play - Unkya Reserve Playground Flood-Resilient
Upgrade Boost access to family oriented community spaces with the repair of stairs and the installation of picnic table, bench and shade at the Unkya Reserve.
Eungai Creek$15,000
Quambone Resources Committee IncQuambone Memorial Hall - Final Touches
Boost community connection by providing enhancements to the Quambone Memorial Hall, ensuring access to a comfortably appointed community facility for all to enjoy.
Quambone$12,500
River Cares IncorporatedTo Improve Emergency Preparedness and Resilience by Developing a Community Emergency Plan
Support emergency preparedness for Spencer and surrounding areas with the development of the Spencer Community Emergency Response Plan.
Spencer$14,832
UCA - Lifeline North Coast (NSW)Psychological First Aid Workers - First Response Volunteers
Strengthen community members mental health and wellbeing and assist in the training of community volunteer in Mental Health First Aid to support local recovery and resilience building.
Coffs Harbour$14,800
Upper Macleay Pre-School IncorporatedTranquil and Safe - Upper Macleay Preschool Flood Recovery Initiative
Support flooding preparedness by enhancing the Upper Macleay Preschool with repairs to flood damaged infrastructure and better preparing for future flooding events.
Willawarrin$12,487
Weemelah HallBeautification and Infrastructure Upgrade Project
Enhance community spaces with the installation of a BBQ for community use and beautification of the Weemalah Hall.
Weemelah$13,358
Young Men's Christian Association of SydneyThe Y NSW CoastTeen Project - Empowering Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Support for Young People Living on the Central Coast
Support community wellbeing with the delivery on the Youth Mental Health Peer Support program in the NSW Central Coast region.
Lake Haven$14,729
QUEENSLAND
Rathdowney and District Memorial Grounds Association IncorporatedRepair Rain-Damaged Equestrian Arena and Make it Flood Resistant
Support the mitigation of impacts of future flood events on the Rathdowney Memorial Grounds by repairing, leveling and compacting the sand arena damaged during the March 2021 floods.
Rathdowney$15,000
Tamborine Mountain A H & I Society IncReplacement of Safety Rails on Access Ramp
Increase accessibility to the Tamborine Mountains Showgrounds Pavilion by replacing the handrails and the front of the pavilion.
Tamborine Mountain$15,000


Suncorp Group today pledged $1 million to FRRR for a dedicated program to support rural Australian communities impacted by significant natural disasters.

FRRR and Suncorp launch $1 million disaster recovery partnership

The first Rebuilding Futures program grant round opens today and closes on 15 September, with $200,000 available through grants of up to $15,000 each for local community groups and not-for-profits in areas impacted by flooding in March 2021. Successful grants will be announced in November 2021.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR said the Foundation is delighted to be partnering with the Suncorp Group on the dedicated funding initiative.

“From our many years working alongside communities as they recover from natural disasters, we have learnt that recovery is a marathon and local community groups and not-for-profits need funding for diverse recovery initiatives, as their needs evolve over time,” Ms Egleton said.

Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston launched the first round of grants to help NSW and Queensland communities impacted by flooding in March 2021.

“These communities are dealing not only with COVID-19, but the significant impacts of flooding,” Mr Johnston said.

“I’ve seen first-hand the devastation and emotional toll of natural disasters, which is why we are supporting affected communities to not just build back but to make themselves more resilient than before.

“As an insurer and bank our job is to help our customers to physically and financially rebuild, but we know the full recovery process continues for years after people are back in their homes. Through our long-term relationships with customers across Australia we see the importance of supporting wellbeing and the lasting value of a community’s spirit.

“Communities are best placed to steer their own future which is why these grants empower locals to come together to identify and design local solutions.”

FRRR facilitates funding and capacity building at the local level. It has the relationships and know-how to distribute grants to fund community-led solutions that build resilience and long-term viability of remote, rural, and regional communities across Australia.

“This program, with a focus on the medium to long-term needs and building back better, will mean that when there are significant disasters, the support will be available for local groups to address issues that are important to recovery, to rebuilding the sense of place that is often so badly damaged through events like the floods we saw in NSW earlier this year,” Ms Egleton said.

Grantseeker Workshop

To support community groups and not-for-profit organisations in the eligible remote, rural, and regional communities impacted by the Storm and Flood events of March 2021 to develop their grant applications FRRR will hold a free online grantseeker workshop. The interactive session will provide key program information and helpful tips on how to apply for a grant.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday, 25 August, 1:00pm to 2:30pm AEST.

Attendance is free, but people are asked to register at: https://events.humanitix.com/suncorp-rebuilding-futures-grantseeker-workshop.

For more information contact Danielle Griffin or Fiona Bradshaw at info@frrr.org.au or on 1800 170 020.

More information on the Suncorp Rebuilding Futures grant program is available here.