Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

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.