Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Grants part of $2M funding commitment for region

Thanks to a new partnership between the FRRR and The Yulgilbar Foundation, 22 projects in the Clarence Valley and surrounding region have received a much-needed boost this year, with community groups sharing in $1,214,206 in grants.

Local groups secure more than $1.2M in funding

Funded through The Yulgilbar Foundation Fund program, these grants are part of $2 million investment across the region over a three-year period. Funded initiatives include 19 one-off grants and two multi-year grants that will strengthen community capacity and resilience in the wake of the 2019/20 bushfires, drought and continued challenges across the region.

A broad cross section of groups has received support for a wide range of initiatives, with grants ranging from $1,600 for a creative writing workshop to $571,000, distributed over three years, for the Changing Lanes Community Youth Garage program run by The New School of Arts. Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation has also been awarded multi-year funding, totaling $148,413, for a project focused on resilience and wellbeing of Indigenous boys and men from Clarence Valley and surrounds.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that the breadth of the projects funded reflects the diverse needs of communities in the Clarence Valley and surrounding areas.

“Great ideas and initiatives to create strong, vibrant communities are prevalent across the Clarence Valley and neighbouring regions. However, the last 12 to 18 months have made it pretty challenging to find the funding and resources to bring them to fruition.

“These grants, which are generously funded by The Yulgilbar Foundation, mean that these 22 ideas will become reality and have a positive impact on the capacity and resilience of their communities. It is fantastic to have dedicated funding available to support this region,” Ms Egleton said.

The projects supported range from creative arts, heritage and culture projects, events and festivals, gardening, street-scaping, creating employment-pathways, IT equipment and business, leadership and mental health workshops.

Further opportunities for grants will be available through The Yulgilbar Foundation Fund in the coming year. More information is available here.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are listed below by LGA:

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Clarence Valley

North West Film Festival Inc.

Arts North West Incorporated

Drought Recovery Outreach Program - Sara Storer Tour

Encourage people to come together and improve community spirit in 12 drought affected northern NSW townships by bringing live music events featuring Australian singer/songwriter Sara Storer.

Clarence Valley Shire, Tenterfield Shire, & Kyogle Council$70,000
Richmond Valley Business & Rural Financial Counselling Services Incorporated

Family Farm Succession Planning

Support and strengthen the local economy by running six community information workshops to help farming families in drought and bushfire affected communities plan for the future.

Clarence Valley Shire, Tenterfield Shire, Inverell Shire, Gunnedah Shire$24,000

North West Film Festival Inc.

Arts North West Incorporated

Choir of Fire

Encourage bushfire affected communities in regional NSW to come together and unwind by running a touring music concert event in 12 towns.

Clarence Valley, Tenterfield, & Inverell Shires$30.000
Copmanhurst Pre-School Inc

Healing circle surrounded by native garden

Enhance areas that support local recovery at Copmanhurst Preschool, through establishment of a healing circle and native garden.

Copmanhurst$8,650
Blicks Community Incorporated

LET’S CONNECT- The Blicks Community Communication Strategy

Grow community resilience, connectedness, and emergency preparedness in the Dundurrabin area through the development and implementation of a Community Communication Strategy.

Dundurrabin$25,000

Ewingar South Tabulam Community Sports Center

Clarence Valley Council

Ewingar Rising

Enhance local recovery and increase wellbeing, through delivery of community music festival on anniversary of disaster event.

Ewingar$19,860
Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation

Rising Warriors Program - Healing Our Way

Boost resilience and wellbeing of Indigenous boys and men in the Clarence Valley and surrounds through culturally relevant activities and events.

Grafton$148,413 *
OZ Green-Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (Australia) Incorporated

Resilient Communities - Clarence Valley Shire

Build community awareness and skills in disaster preparedness with the delivery of Resilient Communities program in the Clarence Valley.

Grafton$85,815

The Long Way Home

Byron Writers Festival

Creative writing workshops with Cate Kennedy

Encourage the development of creative writing skills through accessible workshops for Clarence Valley residents.

Grafton$1,600
The New School of Arts Neighbourhood House Incorporated

Changing Lanes

Improve social connection, leadership skills, and employment pathways for young people in the Clarence Valley through the Changing Lanes Community Youth Garage program.

Grafton$571,000 *
The Susan and Elizabeth Islands Recreation Land Manager

Ceremonial Stone placement and seating on Susan Island

Celebrate local Indigenous culture and heritage by placing a Ceremonial Stone, seating and signage at a gathering place on Susan Island, Grafton.

Grafton$4,700
Lawrence Historical Society Incorporated

Technology to Preserve Local Cultural History and Easy Public Access

Build organisational capacity to maintain and share information about the local area through new technology and website for local museum in Lawrence.

Lawrence$19,220
The Mend & Make Do Crew Incorporated

She He Shed

Increase social connectedness and improve facilities delivering arts and craft-based activities in Grafton through fit-out costs and equipment at the She Shed He Shed maker’s space.

South Grafton$30,000
Woombah Residents Association Incorporated

Woombah Wellness Community Garden Raising Videos & Media Makers Mentoring Program

Build organisational capacity to promote local environmental sustainability through development of virtual resources for Woombah Community Garden.

Woombah$12,100
Port of Yamba Historical Society Incorporated

Expanding stories of Yaegl people and their culture at Yamba Museum

Build organisational capacity of Historical Society in Yamba to celebrate local Indigenous culture through the installation of artwork and enhancements at local museum.

Yamba$20,000
Coffs Harbour
Glenreagh School of the Arts Incorporated

Cedar and Steam Art and Photo Exhibition 2021

Boost capacity of Glenreagh School of the Arts to support local artists and community access to artworks by upgrading display systems.

Glenreagh$4,000
Goondiwindi
Lanescape Goondiwindi Incorporated

Masterplan Art Trail

Enhance the amenity and vibrancy of Goondiwindi through a public art project engaging the local community.

Goondiwindi$25,000
Kyogle
Proprietor Bundgeam Preschool Incorporated

Community Bike Track & Solar Installation

Boost community preparedness, resilience and wellbeing in Terrace Creek, NSW, through the development of a community bike track and solar installation at local preschool site.

Terrace Creek$42,000
Border Ranges Riding Club Incorporated

Supporting the activities of Border Ranges Riding Club 2021-2022

Boost access to inclusive community activities in Woodenbong through local riding club fostering skill development, social connection, and resilience.

Woodenbong$6,975
Woodenbong Progress Association

Upgrade of the median strip in MacPherson Street, Woodenbong

Enhance the streetscape and boost community spirit in Woodenbong through the beautification of the main street.

Woodenbong$5,600
Tenterfield
Tenterfield Show Society Incorporated

Connecting 1876-2021

Build capacity of Tenterfield Show Society to preserve local history and culture through restoring and digitalizing the photographic collection of the region dating 1876 to 2021.

Tenterfield$4,906
Arts North West Incorporated

CreativiTEA - Seasonal Stories of the New England North West

Boost community resilience and connections in four townships in Inverell and Tenterfield Shires through a series of creative workshops over two years.

Tenterfield & Inverell Shires (Drake, Ashford, Tingha, Torrington)$55,367
* Funding to be distributed over multi-year projects

Drake is a small town in the shire of Tenterfield, located on the border of NSW and QLD. With one pub, one shop, one community centre and most properties coming in at around 100 acres, there is little opportunity for interaction and entertainment between community members. There was an interest among residents in learning more about permaculture, particularly as the land can be quite unforgiving when trying to grow food and plants. 

The Granite Border Landcare Committee (GBLC) saw an opportunity to teach the community new skills, create new shared community resources and foster connections and relationships between neighbours through the creation of a six-part permaculture workshop series.

With a $4,000 Small Grant, funded by The Yulgilbar Foundation, the GBLC was able to create and deliver this workshop series over a six month period.

Amanda Craig, who managed the program, said the project established a strong, energetic, community focused group with a core membership of 10 people.

“While the overall aim was to establish a permaculture group, which it has done, the community benefits are greater than that.”

“The group members and other interested people that attended workshops have established strong ties within the small isolated community and are now branching out to include other activities as the recent garden make over at the community resource center,” Amanda said.

The workshops included Build a Chook Pen, Build a Raised Garden Bed in a Mandala Circle Garden, Learn to Build Compost Bays, Building Swale’s Workshop, Propagating Vegetable Seedlings, Build a Wicking Bed and How to Build a Greenhouse. The six-month series helped to build community connectedness, improve local community infrastructure, and develop a volunteer community group.

Since completing the series, this group has continued to hold workshops and is working on beautifying the garden around the local community centre.

When a popular city-based summer school music program made plans to bring the beat to the bush and put on a show alongside it, the whole community of Tenterfield NSW let the rhythm takeover. 

Recently ravaged by drought and fires, the small town was experiencing some hard times. Charitable organisation Hartbeat of the Bush teamed up with the Cuskelly College of Music’s Winter Music School in a bid to provide Tenterfield and the surrounding communities with a brief respite from it all – the result was a week long ‘Beat of the Bush’ festival during the July 2019 holidays.

Dr James Cuskelly has run a Summer School music program in Brisbane for years, but it was his long-held dream to bring the music back to the bush, to his roots. Despite the evidence that incorporating music in a child’s education shows life changing benefits, such as improving literacy, numeracy, confidence, behaviour and wellbeing, 63 percent of primary schools in Australia offer no classroom music. In regional and remote schools, there is limited or no musical and arts based education, and opportunities for children to actively participate as performers and artists, under the mentorship of professionals and in front of an audience, is rare and for some non-existent.

Hartbeat of the Bush supports arts, music and cultural development programs in regional and remote communities. This initiative was designed as a whole of community project, to enable participants to socialise with others from across and beyond their region. In total, around 160 participants attended the Winter School, travelling from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Ashford, Texas and Newcastle and lots of other little places in between. 

The program kicked off with the Big Chilly Sing, a day-long singing and song-writing workshop that gave locals a chance to converge and get the toes tapping. This was followed by a range of courses and concerts for students of all ages delivered by more than 50 teachers, many of whom are internationally-acclaimed. 

A range of concerts were also put on by the Winter School music educators themselves, which were attended by 220 people each night. Locals and visitors alike were treated to a folk concert, jazz performances, a chamber music concert, an opera night, a piano concert and of course, the final night culminated in one of the biggest concerts Tenterfield has ever seen. The finale was a rendition of the legendary Peter Allen song Tenterfield Saddler, performed by all of the Winter School attendees, and arranged by Pete Churchill, who led the Jazz studies program.

Musical experiences like this help children develop social skills and build confidence. Children from all over the region who had never met one another, played an instrument nor sung in a choir before this program amazed their family members with the talent and skills they had learnt in just five days. Many of these children are still in contact with each other and cannot wait for the next event.
What’s more, the economic benefits for the town were significant, with cafes, restaurants and retail outlets benefitting from a lot of foot traffic at a time when the drought impact was being deeply felt. A large number of local community groups were involved in some way, from making lunches and morning teas to providing venues for the concerts. 

Hartbeat of the Bush President Ms Helen McCosker said it was a whole of community effort. 

“The whole community was abuzz – even though we had had fires, drought and could no longer drink the town’s water, we had provided the businesses with a little sense of what was normal, something to look forward to and grow for our little country town.”

The $20,000 grant received by Hartbeat of the Bush was funded by the Australian Government through FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together program. This covered the costs of running free daily buses within a 100 km radius for commuters from Warwick, Bonshaw, Glen Innes and Tabulum, as well as accommodation at the local Tenterfield Motor Inn for tutors (both overseas and those from Brisbane) and volunteers.