Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)
The townships of Loxton and Waikerie are the main service centres in the Riverland of South Australia, around 200 kms north‐east of Adelaide. In 2021, the Riverland was drought declared, with population, economic and environmental challenges evident.
Little Town Productions saw an opportunity to leverage the annual Loxton Lights Up Festival to bring new people to town to boost the local economy, as well as connect and engage locals, while also building skills, especially among the young people in the region, and having some fun.
The District Council of Loxton and Waikerie received a $55,859 Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) grant on behalf of Little Town Productions, enabling them to bring their ideas to fruition.
Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Lights Up Festival, Little Town Productions created and coordinated a spectacular and innovative illuminated production featuring a unique animated projection mapped to the façade of the historic St Peter’s church. The first of its kind in Loxton and the Riverland region, SHINE ran for eight days in the lead up to Christmas and drew thousands of visitors from Adelaide, regional South Australia and interstate.
The management team was very focussed on utilising and developing local talent, with a view to building skills and training that lead to career and employment pathways for young and unemployed people. The project provided the opportunity for these people to work alongside a key partner – world renowned illumination creative artists Illuminart, who advised on creative design, direction and animation services, immersive and interactive concepts. They also mentored young people and others in the community on technical and creative installation, and conducted training workshops to help build skills to seek employment in animation, theatre, leadership, music, digital sound and technology and production management.
The creative team was set up and led by a local 19-year-old and included other local artists, musicians and representatives from Loxton High School. Several year 11 and 12 students, and their teachers, played a key role in creating the animations, projections and filming of the event. Five of the seven artists who created the background illustrations for the animation were from the Riverland, and three of these were from Loxton. With input from the creative team, two 2020 Loxton High School graduates undertook the storybooking of the animation, working closely with and being mentored by Illuminart animators and illustrators. They were both subsequently offered contracts with Illuminart to work on similar projects while at university.
The local input extended to the music, with all the music in the production composed and recorded by Loxton’s Karyn Skewes. Others involved included the Loxton Community Choir and the Lead Principal of Opera SA. Many of Loxton’s service clubs, community groups and residents were involved and contributed in various ways, including an enthusiastic group of older ladies who created a floral display inside the church, one of the key venues. Artworks related to the project, as well as other art produced by members of the local community, were displayed in Peace Hall on all the nights of SHINE, showcasing the amazing talents of the community.
All this work was captured by Six Foot Productions, who worked with and mentored the town’s young people to create a mini-documentary of the project from start to finish, with behind-the scenes footage capturing the passion and enthusiasm of all involved. The file was posted online a week after the event, reaching 30,000 people, with 12,700 views on Facebook, 264 likes and was shared 89 times.
The TTTT grant, which was funded by the Australian Government, contributed to engaging local companies to provide event equipment – audio, filming, lighting, security, event hire, container and marquee hire and contributed towards creative design by Illuminart.
Andrew Waters from DCLW said that there was no doubt that SHINE was an outstanding success, both for the local community and for the people it drew to the town to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Loxton Lights Up. While COVID presented challenges with restrictions, capacity limits and check-ins, it wasn’t a huge factor, given the event was held outside. A plus to come from it was that the organisers were able to obtain a relatively accurate count, with the registration app indicating that more than 6,000 people were present within the church grounds during the eight days of SHINE!
Andrew said, “On the final two nights we reached a near COVID-capacity of 1,000 people at any one given time. Total numbers on these nights would have been greater, as people came and went throughout the night. The project provided new opportunities to showcase the talents of local artists, musicians, actors and dancers and provided greater opportunity for the community to access the arts… a visual and auditory masterpiece.”
Beyond this, the project addressed the economic decline and disadvantage brought about by extended drought conditions across the Riverland Region. It was a celebration of creative and cultural experiences that are the lifeblood of the region, and was a key driver in re-activating the Riverland arts and entertainment industry. The project directly benefitted the region’s businesses that had been economically impacted by drought, injecting an estimated $1.8M into the local economy and creating new jobs in hospitality, retail and the arts.
On Koa Country
Outback Festival Inc is situated in the Queensland outback town of Winton, a 10-hour drive from Cairns. They’re a not-for-profit organisation that was formed in 1972 when the inaugural Winton Outback Festival took place. Since 1973, the festival has been held biennially and has grown from a small-town event attracting fewer than 1,000 visitors to a major regional event that drew in a record 14,976 attendees over the five days – pretty impressive for a town of only 900 people!
With the help of a $45,000 FRRR grant, funded by the Australian Government through the Tackling Tough Times Together program, Outback Festival Inc was able to host one of their largest Festivals capitalising on the holidaying demographic contained to Queensland due to state borders being closed. The theme was ‘Giants of the Outback’ which showcased the story of Qantas and the role that Australia, and the historic town of Winton, has played in the history of air travel.
In 2021, the festival was more crucial to the community than ever, as a lot of locals in Winton and the surrounding towns were feeling socially isolated following the COVID pandemic, not to mention the hit that the economy had taken due to the absence of visitors and tourists.
The festival was hailed an amazing success, with a record 80% increase in numbers that saw upwards of 4,000 visitors book out nearby motels, camping grounds and hotels. Families from all around Queensland road-tripped their way to Winton for an outback school holiday experience.
People from all ages and backgrounds participated in and attended open air concerts, family sports events, arts performances, workshops and even watched a stunning pyrotechnic display.
Winton is known as the birthplace of Qantas and so, to celebrate 100 years of Qantas, a sunset gala dinner with the theme “Centenary of Flight” was held on the Winton airport tarmac with over 300 guests attending along with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment as invited guests.
As a result of the Outback Festival, Winton got a much-needed influx of revenue with more than $1.2 million being spent by attendees during the five days of quintessential Aussie fun. Local business operators reported huge spikes in trading, with some seeing an increase of up to 127%.
For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.
While drought is out of the media spotlight, for many communities it is still a very real and significant issue. FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program has just awarded $86,083 to nine community initiatives in remote, rural and regional communities across Australia still dealing with the impacts of drought.
TTTT is a long-running, collaboratively-funded program that helps drought-affected communities to access the funding and resources they need to tackle the long-term impacts of drought. This round of grants will help fund a variety of projects run by local not-for-profit organisations and community groups, including a series of art workshops for both adults and children, a community event featuring Aboriginal artwork, the creation of murals and skills training to support community members experiencing loss and grief.
Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that there are still many regions across Australia being impacted by drought.
“During this round of grants, the number of eligible LGAs dropped from 152 to 47. While we’re delighted to see such a significant drop in the number of communities being impacted by drought, it’s crucial that we continue to provide support. A lot of places, like remote SA, are still tackling extreme periods of dryness while others are very much still in drought recovery mode. Not to mention the fact that communities are dealing with a variety of other factors as they continue to stand strong and keep their community connected and supported.
“In this round of applications, we saw a lot of projects that are aiming to improve volunteer capacity and build a sense of social connectedness. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that our remote, rural and regional communities need volunteers and a strong sense of community in order to thrive.
“When we carried out our Heartbeat of Rural Australia survey last year, the results showed that the effects of drought, as well as the cumulative effects of multiple other disasters, have left volunteers feeling extremely fatigued, and those living in rural communities feeling isolated. That’s why we’re so pleased to be able to fund these kinds of grassroots initiatives at a time when they’re truly needed,” Ms O’Brien said.
Among the other projects funded this round were:
- Red Ridge Ltd – Longreach, QLD – Outback Fashion Festival – Canvas to Catwalk – Provide opportunities for Aboriginal artists from seven outback Queensland communities to participate in fashion print design workshops which culminate in a catwalk runway community event. $10,000
- Rattler Railway Company Ltd – Gympie, QLD – Fatigue Management Accommodation- Build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of Rattler Railway Company Ltd through infrastructure restoration and renovation to support volunteers. $10,000
- For a Better Chapman Valley (FABCV) Incorporated – Chapman Valley & Nabawa, WA – Winter Art Series in Chapman Valley – Facilitate social connection and enhance opportunities for the Chapman Valley community to participate in creative activities through the delivery of art workshops. $7,900
The full list of grant recipients and their projects is listed on the FRRR website.
The TTTT program supports drought-affected regions of Australia by giving community groups and local not-for-profit organisations access to the resources they need to respond to, and recover from, long-term rainfall deficiencies. This program has granted over $18 million to initiatives that are helping communities to tackle the tough times that come with drought.
Funding for this program is generously contributed by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Pratt Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Snow Foundation, Henroth Group and private donors from across the nation. To join these donors, and support grants like this through FRRR, you can make a tax-deductible donation at frrr.org.au/giving/.
The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.
|NEW SOUTH WALES
|Moama and District Pre-School Centre Inc
|Moama & District Preschool Brings Sober in the Country to Moama
Improve the community’s social and emotional health and encourage local involvement by hosting a community dinner and guest speaker on drinking culture and supporting healthy choices.
|Congregation of Central Western Qld UCA
|Edgely Hall Improvements
Improve volunteer vitality and support social connection by installing air-conditioning in the multi-purpose room of the Longreach Uniting Church.
|Red Ridge (Interior Queensland) Limited
|Outback Fashion Festival - Canvas to Catwalk
Provide opportunities for Aboriginal artists from seven outback Queensland communities to participate in fashion print design workshops which culminate in a catwalk runway community event.
|Rattler Railway Company Ltd
|Fatigue Management Accommodation
Build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of Rattler Railway Company Ltd through infrastructure restoration and renovation to support volunteers.
|Kumbia & District Memorial School of Arts Inc
|Kumbia & District School Memorial of Arts Inc Hall Improvements
Boost and strengthen the local economy and reduce social isolation with town beautification in Kumbia through mural art.
|Connecting Communities Australia Ltd
|Let the Show Go On
Improve volunteer vitality and support strong social connection by providing a team of volunteers to assist the Longreach Show Committee prepare and coordinate the Longreach Annual Show.
|The Isolated Childrens' Parents Association of (WA) Inc
|2022 ICPA Federal Conference
Build communities’ resilience to continue to face the many ongoing issues and uncertainties that are inherent for families living in rural and remote Australia by hosting a conference where participants connect and learn from one another.
|Busselton Hospice Care Incorporated
|Increasing the Capability to Support Grief and Bereavement in our Compassionate Community
Empower a community group by providing skills training and capacity building to further support community members experiencing loss and grief.
|For a Better Chapman Valley (FABCV) Incorporated
|Winter Art Series in Chapman Valley
Facilitate social connection and enhance opportunities for the Chapman Valley community to participate in creative activities through the delivery of art workshops.
In many rural communities, non-denominational school chaplains promote strong community connection, participation opportunities and engagement to reduce isolation and encourage better physical and mental health. While these positions are generally funded through local donations, in recent years there simply hasn’t been the money to fund them locally due to drought and, more recently, reduced tourism from COVID-19 restrictions.
Through FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together grant program, Scripture Union Queensland received $131,490 to support chaplaincy positions at Ravenswood State School, Charter Towers Central State School and Mareeba State School until June 2022. The grant was made possible through generous donations from the Sidney Myer Fund and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.
This funding ensures all programs and activities coordinated by the chaplains, including one-on-one pastoral care conversations and classroom support, are free for all children, young people, families and school staff. These activities help to reduce isolation and increase wellbeing and community participation in communities suffering from the long-term effects of drought.
Since funds were awarded in 2019, the schools have been able to implement change and growth within their chaplaincy programs. At Ravenswood State School, chaplain Anne – a much loved member of the community – was finally able to retire at 83 years old. Her position has been filled by a long term local Charters Towers resident, who works two days a week.
The chaplain at Charter Towers has been able to increase her support to two days a week and is seeing a positive response to the ‘Girls with a Purpose Resilience’ program. Twelve students completed the program in 2019 and there was general consensus among the participants that it was a special time engaging with facilitators and peers. After the COVID-19 school closure in 2020, all girls in grade 6 are now taking part in the program.
A particular highlight for the Mareeba State School has been the implementation of the Bike-Bus program to encourage regular physical activity and increase school attendance and social and community engagement. Since being established in mid-2019, the program has engaged 30 students, as well as parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers and police. It also led to the creation of the Bike Repair Club – an alternative for those who enjoy hands on learning, with all students becoming much more engaged in their education.
The principal of the Mareeba State School, Mandy Whybird, noted the program’s positive impact.
“Our school chaplain provides an invaluable source of support for the students at Mareeba State School. Aside from running friendship groups, supporting children in classes and running lunchtime activities for children who may find the playground challenging, our chaplain also assists in providing breakfasts for children in need and working with children who may have experienced loss or trauma.
“The chaplain also assists to support staff well-being. When our school was shaken by the loss of a teacher last year, our Chaplain was integral to the recovery process for staff,” Ms Whybird said.
The town of Dirranbandi, in southwest QLD, was suffering from a lack of Christmas cheer and the general community spirit was a bit flat, following relentless drought over many years. This was also having significant impacts on mental health.
In a bid to tackle these issues, while also putting Dirranbandi on the map for both tourists and locals, the Dirranbandi Progress Association used a $60,000 Tackling Tough Times Together grant, funded by the Australian Government to spark some joy in the township with a stunning lights installation.
With the support of Balonne Shire Council, the Dirranbandi Progress Association brought local tradespeople on board, as well as their local Arts Council, the business community and a work camp, which consisted of skilled prisoners who were being reintegrated back into society. Together, this dedicated team of people designed and fabricated a beautiful display of fairy lights that were installed and displayed throughout the main streets of their town all year round.
Alongside the permanent display, the grant funded Christmas lights, which is the main feature of an annual event attended by around 300 people. Locals from the around the community gather for a BBQ and watch the Christmas lights being turned on, while school children sing carols and everyone embraces the magic of Christmas.
Since having the lights installed and hosting these events, the local community, which was crippled by drought, has been able to congregate, reconnect and have its vibrant spirit reignited. As an added benefit, the local council committed to providing extra support and resources, not only for Dirranbandi, but for surrounding towns as a result of the project.
Deep in country Victoria, a definitive before and after makeover is apparent. For years the Golf Club of Warracknabeal, about 340 km north west of Melbourne, made do with a rusty and weathered roof sitting atop a building nearly 100 years old.
While the region is known for its grain, the town has been hit hard by the ravages of drought and subsequently COVID-19. Since the mid 1900s, the Warracknabeal Golf Club has held birthday parties, weddings, wakes, meetings and everything in between. A warm welcoming atmosphere has always been their intention, although this has become increasingly difficult to offer with the decline of the building, most notably its roof.
But with the support of a grant through FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together program, funded by the Australian Government, the Warracknabeal Golf Club launched their Green Roof Project.
With the $46,125 grant, and with the help of professionals and a swathe of willing and hardworking volunteers, they replaced the old leaking roof with a green’ roof. In addition to the new roof, the old and worn guttering was replaced and insulation and sisalation installed to facilitate far greater energy efficiency.
David Baxter from the golf club commented that modernising the building has reignited interest in the Golf Club as somewhere for people to gather and come together as a community in a now very comfortable environment.
“In recent years, we had seen very few functions but this year the increase in its use has been great. Organisations such as VFF, Lions Club, local schools, Grain Corp, the Arts Council and Lutheran Ladies have since used the facility and commented on the improvements particularly on the heating/cooling aspect.”
Mr Baxter noted his resounding gratitude for the project being able to go ahead.
“So much has been achieved thanks to the grant from FRRR, which made it possible earlier than we anticipated, as major fundraising over a number of years would have been required.
“More than ever, we are looking forward to becoming an important cog in our community in providing a place to meet, socialise and celebrate”.
38 projects will help communities cope with drought
Thanks to FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program, 38 community initiatives in remote, rural and regional communities across Australia will share in $1,316,217. These projects will help local communities tackle the ongoing impacts of drought.
The TTTT program supports drought-affected regions of Australia by giving community groups and local not-for-profit organisations access to the resources they need to respond to, and recover from, long-term rainfall deficiencies. This program has granted over $18 million (through rounds 1-22) to initiatives that are helping communities to tackle the tough times that come with drought.
The program is possible thanks to the support of several donors, including the Australian Government, which committed $15M to be distributed from 2019-2021.
Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s Chief Executive Officer, said these grants will utilise the last tranche of Australian government funding.
“FRRR was grateful to have the support of the Government alongside 15 other donors, as that enabled this program to expand nationally, just at a time when the drought was spreading across the entire country.
“While there have been good rains in places, there are many places that continue to experience severe drought, or are just coming out of drought. Enduring such prolonged dryness is really tough on these communities and their local industries. The pandemic has also meant that many of the fundraising initiatives and events that would normally have brought the community together and injected vital funds into the local economy haven’t happened now for 18 months. As a result, some people are more socially-isolated than ever.
“That’s why we’re so pleased to be able to support these projects at a time when they need it the most. Each of these remote, regional and rural communities has their own complex and individual needs, which is why it’s crucial that their support and recovery efforts are community-led.
“The projects being funded in this round range from investing in infrastructure and building organisational capacity, to providing services and developing skills, which really highlights the diverse range of needs in these communities,” Ms Egleton said.
Among the groups being funded is Parachilna Community Association who are refurbishing a school building, so that it can be used as caretaker residence at the community caravan park. This upgrade to local facilities will help Parachilna to attract tourists, which in turn will help to financially support the community. The $44,643 grant means they can install and renovate a bathroom, kitchen and living room.
Another organisation receiving funding is Pikedale Community Inc for their Drawing Through Drought initiative. This will fund a series of art classes in the rural, grazing community of Pikedale, west of Stanthorpe, which will allow the local community to meet, connect, refresh and ease the stress and mental fatigue caused by the hardship of prolonged drought.
Among the other projects funded this round include:
- Country Women’s Association of NSW, Walgett NSW – Tranquillity – $13,860 – To provide a green space of tranquillity that is accessible by wheelchair. Funds will be used for concreting the disability access and installing a rainwater tank and irrigation system for the garden.
- Cunnamulla & District Show Society Incorporated, QLD – Cunnamulla Show Society Multi-Purpose Function Centre, Stage 2 – $145,000 – The grant will be used to undertake stage 2 of the construction of the new, large multi-purpose function centre at the Showgrounds.
- Friends of Yantanabie Incorporated, SA – Yantanabie Hall Roof Restoration – $17,050 – The project aims to restore the roof of the Yantanabie Hall. A master builder has assessed that these repairs will ensure the structure remains safe for future generations and community use.
- Rupanyup & District Consultative Committee, VIC – Landscaping Rupanyup Community Space – $60,000 – To create a new community space in Rupanyup where community members can gather and relax. Funding will be used to clear the site, prepare garden beds, install access and paths, plant trees and shrubs, install an irrigation system, build seating and pergolas.
- Lake Grace Community Men’s Shed, WA – We Need a Bigger Shed – $60,000 – This will double the members’ workspace by adding another shed to the current one. The increased space will give them separate working areas and the option of including a mezzanine floor and a hoist in the future.
In addition to the Australian government, generous contributions have also been made by The Pratt Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Snow Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Henroth Group and private donors from across the nation. To join these donors, and support grants like this through FRRR, you can make a tax-deductible donation at frrr.org.au/giving/.
With recent rains in many areas, FRRR will take the opportunity to review the shape of the Tackling Tough Times Together program in the coming weeks, meaning the next round is likely to open early in the new year.
The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.
|NEW SOUTH WALES
|Up to $60,000
|Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (South Eastern Section)
|RuralCONNECT: Activity Days for Isolated Children and Families in Drought-Affected Areas
Support families with young children living in remote north-western NSW by providing opportunities for social and educational participation in creative programs.
|Up to $20,000
|Country Women's Association of NSW
Enhance community well-being and local amenity by providing a green space of tranquility for community use.
|Up to $150,000
|Cunnamulla & District Show Society Incorporated
|Cunnamulla Show Society Multi-Purpose Function Centre - Stage 2
Support the Cunnamulla and District Show Society Inc's resilience and capacity to contribute to a stronger local economy and an engaged, participative community, through the completion of their multi-purpose centre.
|Up to $60,000
|Kingaroy State School Parents and Citizens Association
|Inclusive Play and Learning Facilities for Children in Kingaroy
Install new play and seating areas at Kingaroy State School, to meet the needs of the diverse children and families in this drought-affected community.
|Creative Country Association Inc
|Murgon's Best Kept Secret
Fit out of the Fossil Museum at the Murgon Cultural Centre, to attract tourists and stimulate economic activity in the town of Murgon.
|Goombungee Public Hall Inc
|Goombungee Public Hall Upgrade
Encourage better use of the community hall by repairing the facility to make the community space safer and more user-friendly, thereby securing its use for future generations.
|Mount Morgan Central Primary P&C Association
|MMCSS Youth Warriors Course
Inspire leadership, confidence and self-discipline in senior students, by installing an Adventure Obstacle Course.
|Goondiwindi Pastoral and Agricultural Society
|From Storing Outdoor to Making it Secure: Showground Community Storage Shed
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of Goondiwindi Pastoral and Agricultural Society through the purchase of a storage shed to support community events.
|Somerset Regional Council
|An Annual Program of Art Making Activities for Children and Young People That Addresses the Impact of Drought, Assists with Recovery and Builds Resilience Through Creative Opportunity and Expression
Encourage children’s learning and development with art workshops/creative activities at the Somerset Regional Art Gallery.
|Tamrookum Memorial Hall Incorporated
|To support the Capacity and Sustainability of Tamrookum Hall with Upgraded and Refurbished Amenities
Enhance economic stimulus of Tamrookum and surrounding areas by providing accessible amenities for locals, volunteers, visitors and user groups to use.
|Toogoolawah & District Progress Assoc Inc
|New Canteen with Connection to Water, Electricity and with Shade Protection
Increase volunteer safety and comfort at the canteen building which is used by the Toogoolawah Progress Association and other community groups.
|Gatton Show Society Incorporated
|Gatton Show – Poultry Section WHS Upgrade
Reduce volunteer fatigue and support local economic recovery by repairing the Poultry Pavilion, a major attraction at the Gatton Show.
|Blackall - Tambo Regional Council
|Tambo Dam Lights - Stage 2 - Installation
Contribute to local economic recovery by funding the transportation of an art installation on the Blackall Tambo dam.
|Balonne Shire Council
|Mural of Historic Significance - Balonne Community Hub
Contribute to a culturally vibrant community while also supporting local economic recovery during current times of drought and COVID-19.
|Up to $20,000
|Stanthorpe Festival Association Inc
|Food & Wine Fiesta
Strengthen economic diversity and support cultural engagement by hiring artists to provide entertainment to support the 2022 Stanthorpe Food & Wine Fiesta.
|The Texas Historical Society Inc
|Texas Technology Museum
Build capacity and boost local economy by constructing an exhibition pavilion at the existing Texas Historical Museum with a technology focus, that aims to attract a broader (younger) demographic.
|Jandowae Timbertown Festival Inc
|Jandowae Timbertown Festival Tours, Fireworks and Creative Chainsaw Demonstrations
Reduce social isolation and support local economic recovery by adding extra tours/quality demonstrations to the 2022 Jandowae Timbertown festival program and provide night-time entertainment that will attract people to attend the festival and stay longer.
|QCWA Branch Jackson
|Making it Easier
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of the QCWA Jackson Branch Hall through kitchen upgrades.
|Pikedale Community Inc
|Drawing through Drought
Enhance opportunities to participate in creative activities for the Pikedale community through the delivery of four art workshops over a series of weeks.
|Lions Club of Cecil Plains Inc
|Shade and Shelter
Build capacity by providing shade and shelter for volunteers and the community that attend their events.
|Up to $60,000
|Lochiel Progress Association Incorporated
|Coming Together at the Lochiel Community Centre
Re-invigorate the Lochiel Community Centre (LPC) by upgrading the facility, thereby enabling the Centre to host important community get-togethers to increase social inclusion, well-being and resilience.
|District Council of Loxton Waikerie
Little Town Productions
|SHINE: Riverland Community Light Project
Create a community arts event featuring a unique animated projection mapped to the façade of the historic St Peter’s church, and create sustainable creative skills for young people and lift the spirits of the whole community.
|Carrieton Progress Association Inc
|Carrieton Community Halls Project -'Preserving and Restoring the Town Facilities'
Improve the tired infrastructure and reduce community fatigue.
|Parachilna Community Association
|Refurbish a School Building at the Community Caravan Park as a Caretaker Residence
Build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of the Parachilna Community Association’s caravan park through refurbishing a school building so that it can be utilised as a caretaker residence.
|Foodbank of South Australia Incorporated
|Foodbank Ceduna Food Hub - Cool Room Project
Increase capacity and capability of Foodbank of South Australia to provide food relief for regional and rural communities impacted by drought.
|Up to $20,000
|District Council of Orroroo Carrieton
|54 31 Collective
Boost and strengthen the local economy by providing rural creators a platform to grow and showcase their locally made or sourced products, which will attract visitors/tourists to the region thereby benefiting the wider community.
|Friends of Yantanabie Incorporated
|Yantanabie Hall Roof Restoration
Improve volunteer vitality and support strong social connection by restoring the roof of the Friends of Yatanabie’s Community Hall.
|Moorook Hall Incorporated
|Safety and Secure Storage - Moorook Community Hall
Improve volunteer vitality and support strong social connection by restoring the Moorook Hall.
|Rotary Club of Peterborough Incorporate
|The North East Drought Event and Inaugural Wool Show
Reduce social isolation by facilitating social connection through supporting a Wool Show hosted by the Rotary Club of Peterborough Incorporate.
|Balaklava Community Arts Incorporated
|Balaklava Community Arts Inc 2022 Production of "Shrek"
To foster and encourage the Arts in the local region by staging a performance that will involve locals in many roles as participants but also in attendance at the event.
|Up to $60,000
|Rupanyup and District Consultative Committee
|Landscaping Rupanyup Community Space
Improve social and emotional health and build resilience in the Rupanyup community by landscaping a community space.
|Up to $20,000
|Corack Public Hall Inc
|Corack Hall Kitchen Makeover
Build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of the Corack Public Hall through refurbishment of the Hall’s kitchen.
|Buloke Women’s Network Inc
|Celebrating Buloke Women in 2022
Promote individual and community health and social wellbeing through community events that acknowledge and celebrate the economic and social contribution of women in the Buloke region.
|Up to $60,000
|Lake Grace Community Men's Shed
|We Need a Bigger Shed
Improve the Lake Grace Men’s Shed to attract more members, reduce social isolation and improve mental and physical health.
|Lake Grace Community Resource Centre Inc
|Fit For Purpose
Support tourism opportunities that will strengthen the local economy through installation of outdoor fitness equipment to encourage motorists to stop and revive.
|Up to $20,000
|Lake Grace Artists' Group
|Comfy Safe Space for Our Community
Improve volunteer vitality and organisational resilience to encourage more use of the community Art Space for social and educational participation by providing new chairs, stools and tables.
|Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre Incorporated
|The Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre IT Upgrade
Improve the Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre’s (LGHCRC) ability to support and service the community through purchase of IT equipment for the delivery of training and provision of online services.
|Katanning Land Conservation District Committee
|Katanning - Making the Swap to Green Caffeen
Stimulate the local economy through an innovative project that tackles the environmental issue of waste production by removing disposable coffee cups from Katanning cafes through the Green Caffeen system.
The small agricultural township of Orroroo in South Australia knows what it’s like to suffer through drought. With several local businesses closing down and the community running the taxing gamut of drought-related issues, something different needed to be done.
Fortunately, this small outer regional area has a dedicated group of people who are behind the push to ensure the town’s survival, by celebrating and showcasing Australia’s pioneering agricultural history. In the past, the area has relied heavily on a thriving agricultural foundation, but they saw the need to improve their economic diversity, starting with a new tourist attraction.
Over the past few years, the District Council of Orroroo Carrieton, the Orroroo Regional Tourism Group and a team of amazing volunteers have dedicated themselves to very carefully restoring the locally-famed Black Rock Woolpress – a generously donated, circa 1850s piece of manual machinery, which early research suggests may very well be the only one of its kind left in existence.
Plans for the impressive woolpress to be showcased in its very own building in the main precinct of Orroroo came a step closer to reality, thanks to a $20,000 grant from FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together program, funded by the Australian Government.
The grant allowed for a formal business plan to be drawn up by a local consultant, confirming the feasibility of the Heritage Hub project. The plan required input from all areas of the community – those working on the project directly, as well as in the wider community motivated to create an attractive tourist destination. As well, the funds were put towards the planning, architectural drawings and raw materials needed to construct the purpose-built rotunda for the Black Rock Woolpress.
This seed funding enabled the planning committee to produce a proof of concept, which attracted $143,252 in further funding from FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together program, again funded by the Australian Government, along with grants from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program and funding from the local Council.The stone and glass rotunda now houses the historic woolpress (circa 1851) as the centrepiece in a collection of heritage items on display as part of a landscaped Heritage trail in the town’s centre, with impressive interpretive signage, maps and promotional material. The FRRR grant also contributed to the official launch of the development, which recognise the generous funding organisations and the thousands of hours of volunteer involvement in restoring the woolpress.
District Council of Orroroo Carrieton community project officer Jodie Boully said “We have already had so many locals and visitors stop to comment how impressive the building is.
“It’s been such a huge success to date, a great story of local volunteers who have remained involved in the planning right the way through to highlight some of our early pioneer history.”
The project to create such an attractive tourist destination has already created strong bonds, with those in the community dedicated to seeing the town succeed despite the drought. They have self-funded, committed hundreds of hours of volunteered hours, and worked tirelessly together from the very beginning developing not only the beginnings of a beautifully built tourist hub, but a sustainable and diverse economic platform for the town to rebuild from.
For years, Central Western Queensland has been heavily impacted by the economic, environmental, and social effects of a prolonged drought. Topology, a grassroots community arts organisation, decided to tackle these impacts and empower their communities with music and performance.
Topology’s goal is to build the creative capacity of their participants and to help increase social connectedness through much needed community-based and intergenerational events. And that’s exactly what they achieved when they launched Top Up Central Western Queensland. This initiative consisted of a series of 12 workshops and a four-day creative bootcamp that culminated in a free community performance in Longreach, which was attended by 2,000 people.
Through our Tackling Tough Times Together program, Topology received a grant of $10,000, funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, as well as separate funding through the Building Better Regions Fund. This money paid the local artists who hosted workshops, as well as covering venue hire and event costs.
The Topology team said, “One of the things we are most proud of is seeing people of all ages, some with no previous experience of the arts, learn about their own potential for creativity – and to perform in public a new piece they have written and contributed to themselves. The feelings of self-accomplishment and pride achieved by the participants is a real and invaluable outcome of this program.”
The program was also the catalyst for Topology consulting with the community on the development of a Regional Creative Hub (RCH). This hub will have lasting impacts for local communities, as it will help to support and upskill rural creative practitioners and community arts organisations.
Top Up Central Western Queensland empowered, educated, and inspired the community to create, perform and tell their stories, while celebrating their community. It was a much-needed reminder of their resilience and their ability to thrive through tough times together.
This mini-documentary showcases some of the highlights from Topology’s Creative Boot Camp which took place in Longreach, QLD in September 2019. This video features a number of young musicians from across the Central Western QLD region alongside Topology’s Creative Tutors.
35 projects funded in drought-affected communities
FRRR’s long-running Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program, has awarded grants totalling $1,086,794 to 35 not-for-profit organisations to support drought recovery projects in remote, rural and regional communities across Australia.
Now in its eighth year, the award-winning and collaboratively-funded TTTT program supports drought-affected communities to undertake a broad range of grassroots initiatives that help locals access the resources needed to support one another through the ongoing effects of the drought. To date, thanks to the support of FRRR’s donor partners, the program has granted out more than $17.3 million.
Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that for many communities, drought is still a very real and significant issue, and communities are dealing with a variety of factors as they continue to stand strong and keep their community connected and supported.
“Capacity within rural communities has been significantly hampered by both the long-running drought, and more recently, the uncertainty of COVID-19. Fundraising is a real challenge, and volunteers are really fatigued. However, they remain committed to bringing people together to support one another at a time when doing so is perhaps more important than ever.
“So, programs like Tackling Tough Times Together are an important source of funding, as it means community groups can continue to run programs and events that help to reduce feelings of social isolation. The grants also help alleviate volunteer fatigue, as community-minded people are so often very stretched and stressed by not being able to offer the services they know are so valuable to their community,” Ms O’Brien said.
Successful projects include the Warramboo Community Club’s playground replacement on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Like many remote areas, the Community Club is a focal point of the district for events, sports, celebrations, training and information days. They are receiving a $25,000 grant to encourage children’s learning and development by replacing the deteriorated playground on the grounds. This creates a key meeting point for the important social contact that binds isolated farming families together.
On the other side of the country, in the Central region of Queensland, the Flinders Shire Council has devised a plan to boost local tourism and support the economy by fitting out the Agricultural Zone at the Flinders Discovery Centre redevelopment in Hughenden. With their $150,000 grant, they aim to increase tourist activity and enhance economic recovery and renewal by completing the revitalised regional Centre’s new agricultural zone with fit out displays including an interactive sheep shearing display, touchscreens showing agriculture practices and paddock to plate processes.
Some of the other projects awarded this round include:
- Wandoan Community Commerce and Industry Group, QLD – Illuminating Wandoan – $46,073 – Boost local tourism and support the local economy through establishing an outdoor illuminated mural on silos in Wandoan.
- Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Incorporated, VIC – Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Infrastructure Strategy project, Stage One – $18,000 – Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of an important historical asset through the development of Infrastructure Strategy – Stage One for future usage planning and facility enhancements.
- Karridale Primary School, WA – Growing our Sense of Place – $6,000 – Support opportunities for connection through a bushland art project.
- Shire of Mingenew, WA – Town Beautification with Children’s Art Workshop – $5,240 –Encourage children’s learning and development with art workshops and mural paintings for town beautification.
The Tackling Tough Times Together program is possible thanks to the collaborative support of several donors, including the Australian Government which committed $15M to be distributed from 2019-2021. Generous contributions have also been made by The Pratt Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Snow Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Henroth Group and private donors from across the nation. To join these donors, and support grants like this through FRRR, you can make a tax-deductible donation here.
Applications are currently open for Round 22 of TTTT and groups in areas experiencing prolonged dry conditions are encouraged to apply for funding to help their community support one another. Applications close 5pm AEST, 24 August 2021.
More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together grant program is available here.
The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.
|NEW SOUTH WALES
|Up to $20,000
|Northern Slopes Landcare Association Incorporated
|Rural Women's Catch-up
Encourage more local involvement in the community by delivering a series of workshops in Gwydir and Moree Plains area.
|Up to $150,000
|Flinders Shire Council
|Flinders Discovery Centre Agricultural Zone
Enhance economic recovery and renewal through the interior fit out of the Agricultural Zone at the Flinders Discovery Centre redevelopment in Hughenden, QLD.
|Up to $60,000
|St. Patrick's School Parents & Friends Association
|St Patrick's Primary School Playground Upgrade
Reduce social isolation by facilitating social connection through the installation of a playground at St Patrick’s school.
|Wandoan Community Commerce and Industry Inc
Boost local tourism and support the local economy through establishing an outdoor illuminated mural on silos in Wandoan.
|Emerald & District Historical Association. Capella Pioneer Village Inc
|Our Collections Matter
Support opportunities for volunteer learning and capacity building with site-based museum training.
|Charleville & District Community Support Association Incorporated
|Three Communities - Three Christmas Trees
Boost and strengthen the local economy and reduce social isolation with town beautification in Charleville, Augathella and Morven each Christmas.
|Maryvale Community Hall Incorporated
|Freshening Up our Community Hub
Rejuvenate a meeting space that supports community connectedness for drought affected residents.
|Begonia Golf & Sports Club Inc
|Community Hall Air Conditioner Supply and Installation
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase the capacity of the organisation through the replacement of air conditioning at the Begonia Hall.
|Up to $20,000
|The Creche and Kindergarten Association Limited
|C&K Millmerran’s Dry Creek Bed
Encourage opportunities for quality outdoor learning with the installation of a Dry Creek Bed at the Creche and Kindergarten Association, Millmerran branch.
|North Burnett Community Service Inc
Improve the North Burnett Community Service ability to support and service the community through purchase of IT equipment.
|Bigger than Texas - Growing Creative Communities of Texas, Inglewood, Yelarbon, Kindon
Support opportunities to grow creative communities in Texas, Inglewood, Yelarbon and Kindon.
|South Downs Steam Railway Assoc Inc
|Rain water storage within the SDSR precinct
Support volunteers and organisational capacity at the South Downs Steam Railway by installing rainwater storage within the precinct.
|Dirranbandi Arts Council Inc
|Creative Art Workshops for the Community
Enhance opportunities to participate in creative activities for the Dirranbandi community through the delivery of art workshops.
|QCWA Branch Dirranbandi
Grow climate resilience and secure the future of the Dirranbandi QCWA rooms for future generations with infrastructure works.
|Wandoan and District Kindergartenassoc Inc
|Wandoan Camel Races - Children's Entertainment
Reduce social isolation and boost community spirit through the provision of children’s entertainment at the Wandoan Camel Races.
|The Cecil Plains Crier Association Incorporated
|Purchase a New Printer
Help locals stay informed and connected by purchasing a printer to continue to produce a community newsletter.
|Richmond Primary P and C Association
|Slime Spectacular Fun Run
Encourage more local involvement in the community by hosting a Slime Spectacular Fun Run.
|Up to $150,000
|Brinkworth Management Committee Incorporated
|Brinkworth Community Bus
Reduce social isolation by purchasing a community bus to facilitate strong social cohesion and connection.
|Up to $60,000
|Pinnaroo Community Incorporated
|The Pinnaroo Project
Boost and strengthen health and wellbeing with an arts initiative in the Pinnaroo community.
|The Flinders Ranges Council
|Fringe in the Flinders
Support economic growth and community connection through the Fringe in the Flinders event in Quorn, SA.
|Peterborough Art Prize Committee Incorporated
|Peterborough Art Centre - Garden Redevelopment
Strengthen economic recovery and renewal through improvements to the Peterborough Art Centre - Garden Redevelopment.
|Warramboo Community Club Incorporated
Encourage children’s learning and development though play by installing playground equipment at the Warramboo Community Club.
|Up to $20,000
|Minnipa and Districts Swimming Pool Incorporated
|Community Pool Concourse Replacement
Support the longevity of the Minnipa community pool with infrastructure works.
|Wudinna Play Gym
|Equipment and Family Day
Support opportunities for development and learning with a play gym in Wudinna.
|Up to $60,000
|SEED Lakeside Community Garden Incorporated
|Activation and Pathways
Improve social and emotional health and build resilience in the Sale community with an Activation and Pathways project.
|Up to $20,000
|Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Incorporated
|Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Infrastructure Strategy - Stage One
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of the Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway Inc through the development of Infrastructure Strategy - Stage One for future usage planning and facility enhancements.
|Red Cliffs Centenary Committee Inc
|Red Cliffs Centenary Celebrations 2021
Encourage people to come together and celebrate at a Red Cliffs Centenary Celebrations 2021 community event.
|Up to $60,000
|The Ravensthorpe Community Centre Incorporated
|Opening Spaces Stage 1 - Restoring the Ravensthorpe Community Centre Veranda and Blue Room
Improve volunteer vitality and support strong social connection by restoring the Ravensthorpe Community Centre’s veranda and adjoining Blue Room.
|Noongar Land Enterprise Group Incorporated
|Wattle Seed Harvesting Training for Drought Resilience on Noongar Country (SW WA)
Support and engage the community in leadership development and skills training in harvesting wattle seed from a land rehabilitation project.
|Country Music Club of Boyup Brook WA Inc
|Boyup Brook Country Music Festival - Engaging Regional Business
Strengthen economic diversity and support cultural engagement by hiring equipment to support the 2022 Boyup Brook Country Music Festival.
|Up to $20,000
|Brookton Old Time Motor Show
|Brookton Old Time Motor Show 2022
Boost the local economy by providing support for the Brookton Old Time Motor Show 2022.
|Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre Incorporated
|Increasing the Capacity of the Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre
Build the capacity, capability, and sustainability of Leeman Green Head Community Resource Centre through building upgrades
|Pemberton Mill Hall Restoration Committee
|Kitchen For Catering
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of the Pemberton Mill Hall through kitchen upgrades.
|Karridale Primary School
|Growing Our Sense of Place
Support opportunities for connection through a bushland art project; Growing Our Sense of Place.
|Shire of Mingenew
|Town Beautification with Children's Art Workshop
Encourage children’s learning and development with art workshops and mural paintings for town beautification.
 2020 Australian Philanthropy Awards – Best Grant Program