Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)

For many remote, rural and regional communities, drought has been impacting families and businesses for years. Even though it is not always covered in mainstream news, those living in certain parts of Australia know all too well what lasting effects drought can have. For many working in the agriculture industry, the thought of current and future drought can be a stressful and frightening prospect with crops and livestock often hit the hardest. However, in each of these communities there is a fighting spirit, often driven by community-led groups and not-for-profits (NFPs) that work hard to support the wider community.

Gippsland Agricultural Group field day

One of these groups is the Gippsland Agricultural Group who are driven by achieving results for farmers in the south east region of Gippsland in Victoria. The organisation is made up of Central and East Gippsland farmers and service providers that have joined forces as people with the shared desire to improve productivity, profitability and sustainability using research, collaboration, product trails and demonstrations to communities in the area.

One example of how Gippsland Agricultural Group planned to achieve this was by holding multiple field days. The Gippsland ‘Connect and Prepare’ field days were designed to build a sense of place and connection for farmers. Research conducted shows that farmers are most comfortable learning from other farmers in informal settings such walking around a paddock talking or learning while doing. For Gippsland Agricultural Group, providing resources like easy access to agricultural service providers, mental health and financial support, as well as strategies and tactics and practical learning, are all key to strengthening preparedness and resilience to future drought events.

Using a $42,920 grant through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Networks to Build Drought Resilience program, Gippsland Agricultural Group held two farmer field days. Both days focused on farmer mental health and wellbeing by bringing health service providers to an environment where farmers are comfortable and feel they will be more likely to engage with services. Each day also featured key staff from other agricultural networks to encourage relationship development, project collaboration and sharing of ideas and resources. The first field day targeted producers, with a focus on networking and connecting with one another and relevant agriculture service providers.

While the field days are a great way to network and increase social interaction, the key purpose of the events is to build knowledge and skills with the estimated 200 producers, 15 agricultural agencies and service providers, and eight agricultural produce-led focus groups.

These events increased participant knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought by offering a program that shared information on climate variability. The events carried positive messaging about the resilience of regional producers focusing on practical, implementable drought preparedness solutions for everyday mum and dad farms.

In addition to funding the field days, the grant also enabled the installation of basic toilet facilities at a site frequently used for social and professional networking events. The community now has access to a space that supports educational, social and networking activities in a safe and hygienic space.

Funding helps local preparedness projects get off the ground

Local groups in Korumburra, Myrtleford and Whittlesea township and surrounds, are taking an active approach to preparing their regions for future disaster, thanks to a partnership with FRRR’s Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) Victorian program.

As part of the place-based DR:FR program, the three regional communities are sharing a total of $120,839 in grants. These funds are already being put to use, with communities leading local initiatives designed to improve wellbeing, increase preparedness and strengthen resilience so that each place has greater capacity to endure, adapt and evolve positively when faced with the impacts of climate, disasters and other disruptions.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that FRRR is the DR:FR initiative is an active partnership between FRRR and the communities.

The premise of the DR:FR program is to partner with local groups and community members, and provide them with the tools and resources to identify what their community needs to prepare for the impacts of climate change, natural disasters and broader disruptions.

“The priority projects have been under development since March, so it’s a major milestone to see the local groups getting these important ideas off the ground.  We are inspired by the passion and persistence shown by each group and their eagerness to make a difference when the next emergency arrives. “We look forward to continuing to partner with these communities to better prepare their regions to withstand the impacts of future disasters,” Ms O’Brien said.

Community updates


Korumburra is setting up a Helping Hub, to be run from the local Community House.

The Helping Hub will match community volunteers with those in need of assistance via a website, social media and six-monthly volunteer expos.

The Hub will build community networks and provide connection to residents who need support, improving resilience generally and in emergencies such as storms or heatwaves.


Mytrleford is fortunate to have a range of community groups and resources that can be mobilised to support the community during a disaster.

FRRR funding has been used to engage a person in a Community Connector Role for the Myrtleford neighbourhood to understand each group’s facilities and resources.

They will continue to work with the groups to plan how they can collectively support residents in the first 72 hours of an emergency event such as flooding or bushfire, and develop a Contacts Directory and Community Assets Map to make communication and co-ordination of resources easier in an emergency.

Whittlesea Township and Surrounds

Whittlesea Township and Surrounds’ Community Resilience Committee (CRC) is using their grant to employ a project officer to support a range of initiatives.

The CRC is keen to ensure that grassroots community action in future events is recognised in the formal Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) and, therefore, by the formal disaster response agencies. They have received support from the MEMP Committee and are currently rewriting a previous Community Emergency Management Plan, to be endorsed later in 2023.

A key project for this group is to set up a Community Emergency Response Network (CERN) of local residents and community organisations. For future large fires and storms, the CERN would be recognised as part of the formal emergency response and would coordinate the local community-level relief efforts.

The DR:FR initiative is collaboratively supported by many generous donors, who are acknowledged on the FRRR website.

For more information about this program, visit

Grants round out 14 years of dedicated bushfire recovery funding 

FRRR has awarded $207,812 in grants to community groups across the Kinglake Ranges region, for 13 projects that will strengthen the social connectedness and continued recovery of Victorian communities impacted by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. 

A group of people walking together in the outdoors
Kinglake Landcare Group was awarded a GR&W grant in 2020 to increase awareness and management of the local environment through the delivery of a series of expert led community workshops and activities.

These grants mark the final round of FRRR’s Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Kinglake Ranges program and closes out the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF). In total, VBAF has funded 492 community-led projects, with an investment of $7,436,642, thanks to funds raised by the general public following the bushfires. 

In this final round of GR&W Kinglake Ranges grants, locals continue to seek to strengthen community identity and a shared sense of place. Funded projects will create opportunities for people to come together and connect, such as The Foggy Mountain Music and Arts Festival 2023 bush dance, or through improvements made to the accessibility and function of shared spaces like Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House’s Community Garden or the Toolangi District Community House’s C J Dennis Hall. Other places, like Flowerdale Community House, are preparing for future disasters by building community capacity through planning and education. 

Nina O’Brien, Disaster Resilience & Recovery Lead at FRRR, said the Foundation is humbled to play a small, yet consistent, role in the Kinglake Ranges’ recovery journey. 

“For the past 14 years, FRRR’s Grants for Resilience & Wellness program has been dedicated to supporting the recovery of Victorian communities impacted by the historic bushfires. And it’s thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, and the generosity of everyday people, that we have been able to fund local recovery initiatives, for the long-term. 

“Grant programs, like GR&W Kinglake Ranges, demonstrate the complexity of disaster recovery and the need for long-term funding to support affected communities, especially those in remote, rural and regional areas. 

“In Kinglake Central, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek, Toolangi and Flowerdale, we have seen how priorities and needs have shifted and evolved throughout the recovery process. From the initial planning of pathways to further local investment, to training and education to build resilience and foster wellbeing, to small infrastructure projects that provide a safe space for locals to connect and prepare for future disasters. 

“We know that the Kinglake Ranges region will continue the process of recovery, and for each community, that will look different. While this is the final round of GR&W, FRRR will continue to support the communities of Kinglake Ranges through our Strengthening Rural Communities grant program. 

“It’s important that the people in these communities know that they are supported now, and into the future,” Ms O’Brien explained.  

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

Flowerdale Community House Inc Flowerdale Community House into the Future
Strengthen a community house’s capacity to deliver emergency response and support community disaster recovery through engaging a facilitator for disaster preparedness planning.
The Flowerdale Sports ClubConnecting the Community Through Physical Wellbeing
Rejuvenate a local community hub to strengthen connectedness and support disaster preparedness by improving accessibility and equipment.
Foggy Mountain IncFoggy Mountain Music and Arts Festival 2023
Cultivate sense of place and connectedness through holding a community bush dance as part of the 2023 Foggy Mountain Music and Arts Festival.
Kinglake $3,000
Kinglake Creative IncKinglake Creative Marketing Campaign and Customer Experience Improvements
Enhance community connection and economic recovery through a marketing campaign and furnishings to enhance the operations of a creative space.
Kinglake $8,800
Kinglake Football Netball ClubNourishing Community Connection in the Ranges
Foster community connection and enhance volunteer capacity by upgrading commercial kitchen appliances and equipment at the Kinglake Memorial Reserve.
Kinglake $19,985
Kinglake Landcare Group (auspiced by Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House)Caring for Your Patch in the Kinglake Ranges - Updating the 2023 Kinglake Landcare Booklet
Encourage connection to place and preparedness for future disasters by updating local sustainability and land management resources for Kinglake Ranges residents.
Kinglake $9,543
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood HouseReinvigorating our Community Garden
Enhance community connection and opportunities for skill development through accessibility upgrades at a community garden.
Kinglake $10,736
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood HouseSupporting Children and Families: Playgroup Building Upgrade
Enhance a space for children and parents to participate in playgroup and education activities through minor facility upgrades.
Kinglake $11,355
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood HouseRural Skills for Resilience
Boost skills in preparedness and resilience through rural land management and disaster readiness training courses and workshops.
Kinglake $14,140
Kinglake Trust Reserve Incorporated Internal Audio-Visual Upgrade Inside the Ellimatta Centre at the Kinglake Trust Reserve
Build capacity to host community activities and strengthen community connection through upgrading audio-visual equipment.
Kinglake $25,000
Murrindindi Youth Foundation (auspiced by The Trustee for the Community Enterprise Charitable Fund)Delivery of Blue Light Victoria’s School Programs for Students Living in Kinglake Ranges
Build social connections, resilience and improve mental health outcomes in young people through school-based leadership and wellbeing programs.
Kinglake $40,000
Toolangi-Castella Trails Action Group (auspiced by Toolangi District Community House Inc)Castella Central Park to Tall Trees Trail Toolangi Link
Foster community connection and health and wellbeing by engaging a consultant to support planning for an all-weather trail connecting Toolangi and Castella.
Toolangi District Community House IncUpgrade of CJ Dennis Hall Kitchen and Blinds
Foster community connection by enhancing places where people gather through installing a commercial oven at the CJ Dennis Hall and block out blinds at the Toolangi Opportunity Shop.

By Karly Whelan, Program Manager (VIC/TAS/SA)

Working at FRRR provides many wonderful opportunities to work closely with community. Woor-Dungin’s on-country gatherings are one of these valued opportunities, with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and philanthropy coming together to develop deeper understanding and stronger relationships. It is a privilege and joy as FRRR’s Victorian Grants Program Manager to attend these annual gatherings.

Gathering of Woor-Dungin at Tower Hill on Gunditjmara country

Based in Naarm (Melbourne), Woor-Dungin works with and connects Victorian First Nations groups with resources, pro bono support and philanthropy. Woor-Dungin designed the annual on-country events to support ACCOs with their goals by connecting them in-person with philanthropic organisations.

This year’s gathering took place in late March over three-days on Gunditjmara country in southwest Victoria, where we yarned, enjoyed delicious food, listened, shared insights, and learnt about Gunditjmara culture and country. ACCOs from around Victoria shared their work and impact including developing employment and training programs, deepening understanding of Aboriginal agricultural practices, delivering strength-based health and wellbeing programs, raising awareness and connection to country and culture, creating social enterprises, and artistic endeavours.

It’s not always comfortable – and nor should it be. There is pain and trauma from the ongoing legacy of colonisation and systemic discrimination and injustice. There is also passion and drive, with the gatherings built on the strength and knowledge of First Nations people and organisations.

Philanthropy has a key role to fund gaps, provide resources and create pathways to build capacity and sustain the work of ACCOs. The gatherings provide a space to explore the role of philanthropy in supporting and resourcing First Nations organisations to build capacity, deliver services and programs, and develop innovative projects. It encourages philanthropic organisations to look through the grantseeker’s lens to ensure our programs are responsive, culturally appropriate and accessible for more impactful granting.

I came away invigorated from the gathering, with my head and heart full of meeting new people and reconnecting with others, discussing ways for philanthropy and First Nations groups to forge stronger relationships, and from seeing and listening to the strength and determination of First Nations people. It is a powerful way to learn and share, and to continue developing culturally respectful partnerships built on mutual understanding and trust.

Ourschool connects students and alumni

Ourschool is a not-for-profit organisation that believes past students have a lot to offer current students when it comes to driving equity in education and positive, systemic social impact. In fact, Ourschool’s vision is that every Australian public secondary school has a thriving alumni community whose members are easily able to give back to their old schools. Since 2019, Ourschool has worked with school staff and alumni to inspire and support current students through meaningful engagements in school-based alumni programs.

While principals generally see the value of alumni programs, limited funding in public school budgets makes it hard for school principals to invest resources into an alumni program’s establishment and growth. Chronic teacher and education support staff shortages at regional schools (thanks in large part to continued disruptions from COVID and teacher shortages) make it hard to plan alumni sessions and alumni engagement at schools.

But Ourschool is persisting and working hard to make it possible. They partner with FRRR, using a Not-for-Profit Fundraising Account to assist them to fundraise by offering tax deductibility for donations to help them deliver the program in more public secondary schools in rural and regional Victoria.

The funds are used to build program capacity and increase the number of regional schools receiving assistance from Ourschool. And it’s working, with the program operating in 14 regional schools, up from 10 in 2021. This involved employing more staff to deliver the services to the partner schools.

The reach is impressive — during FY22, 7,174 students were involved in 71 alumni career pathways or subject specific sessions, and 110 past students were involved in the sessions across the 14 schools in the Geelong and Ballarat regions alone.

As these alumni programs are “revolutionary” for public high schools, they require small steps, persistence, and a methodical approach to proving the worth of starting such a program. But even valued programs are faced with challenges.

One of Ourschool’s proposed solutions to this problem is the creation of a walkathon prototype school event to mobilise the fundraising capacity of a school’s community and its alumni to help fund and sustain each school’s alumni program. Ourschool is using some of the funds they’ve raised to develop an event resources and operations manual that will be packaged up for the partner schools to use and amend to run a high-quality, annual walkathon or other type of community-school event that raises funds to continue a school’s alumni program.

Check out this post to learn more about what Ourschool’s alumni activities look like.

Our thanks to United Care Glenelg for sharing this impactful story with us, made possible in part by a $5,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant awarded in 2022, funded by the Ian Rollo Currie Estate Foundation.

With the cold weather well and truly settling in, the cost of living and energy costs skyrocket; many older residents are left to choose between eating or heating. For some, it can also be the loneliest and most isolating time of the year.

As a response, United Way Glenelg delivered much-needed Winter Care Packages to make residents feel valued as community members.

An essential part of ageing successfully is having enough energy for cooking, heating, cooling, cleaning, and leisure activities.

Nicole Carr, Executive Officer United Way Glenelg said agencies, when conducting home visits, often find residents rarely putting the heating on, choosing instead to sit in a cold room due to increasing costs, said Ms Carr.

Recent research said many older people will avoid using heating – risking their health and well-being to reduce costs.

“We are working very closely with local agencies to ensure we are identifying and reaching those most vulnerable and in need.”

“Being able to meet living costs helps prevent ill health or premature death, manage illness and chronic disease, sustain social relationships, and support positive mental health,” Ms Carr explained.

Delivery of the Care Packages helps in some small way to improve morale and alleviate some of the stresses associated with winter.

Assembled by the Standing Tall group at Heywood & District Secondary College, the students and their mentors, packed 200 boxes with an assortment of non-perishable food and personal care items, a food voucher for purchasing perishable items such as meat, fruit and vegetables, an activity, reading material, a special treat and a personal note from Merino Consolidated Primary School.

“We’re thrilled to include for the first time, a meal voucher. Valued at $20, the voucher enables the resident to go to one of five Hotels in the Glenelg Shire and share a meal with a family member or friend.”

“We approached All Saints Outreach with the proposal to sponsor the meal vouchers and they jumped at the opportunity to help!”

Another special item was the inclusion of homemade knitted blankets, hats and scarves with Julia Street Creative Space and generous local knitters jumping at the opportunity to contribute.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity. So much so we’ve started collecting for next year’s packages.”

The campaign for funding the Winter Care packages began early in March when people were encouraged to “turn off the heat,” creating a lived experience albeit for a short period and generating an understanding of the struggles facing many living in the Glenelg Shire.

Ms Carr said it takes a collaborative approach to support a community.

United Way Glenelg tipped in $10,000 from its Lewis Court Fund to match donations made by individuals.

“We also sought out grants from philanthropic organisations and were pleased to receive generous contributions from FRRR, The Ian Rollo Currie Estate Foundation, All Saints Outreach and Wannon Water.”

From anecdotal evidence, by the way of the messages of gratitude from the many letters, phone calls and cards received, we know the packages are greatly appreciated in supporting older people with basic needs, preventing them from disconnecting from the community and making them feel valued.

Sandra, an 84-year-old widow said the package was a lovely surprise:

“It was very much appreciated. All useful and thoughtful goodies. And the blanket is a huge plus. I am having an operation on my hand tomorrow so the Readers Digest books will be easy to hold. The vouchers will be used. Thanks to each member.”

And Joan from Casterton said, “it’s lovely to know we are still thought of as we get older.”

“This is our small part, but we are relying on the entire community to look out for one another.  Look out for your neighbours, your relatives and friends, anyone that needs a helping hand,” Ms Carr explained.

“These packages will make Winter a little more bearable.”

Recipients were identified through United Way Glenelg Agency partners including Glenelg Shire Council Aged and Disability unit, Portland District Health Palliative Care and District Nursing units, Portland District Health Telecare, Dhauwurd Wurrung Elderly & Community Health Service Inc, Winda Mara, Dartmoor Bush Nursing Centre, Merino Bush Nursing Centre, Casterton Memorial Hospital and St Vincent de Pauls.

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.

Earlier this year, one of FRRR’s long-term supporters, the Pratt Foundation, made a generous $250,000 donation to FRRR’s Flood Recovery Appeal to support Victorian areas affected by the flood.

IMAGE: Community Hall with boxes of food lining the space. HEADING: Vital funding already supporting flood-affected Victorian communities
Rochester Community Hall

Over the last two months, FRRR has leveraged its networks to make ‘quick response’ grants to 23 community groups and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations in flood-affected areas of Victoria. The grants are helping to meet short-term recovery needs and help communities as they begin to get up and running again following the flooding events of this past summer.

Anthony Pratt, Chairman of the Pratt Foundation, said the work of the flood-affected not-for-profit groups is admirable and critical to recovery.

“The organisations that have benefitted from these grants are key to the recovery of these communities following the floods. We are very happy to be able to assist their efforts to provide support to the most vulnerable in the community, by providing the resources they need to start building back,” Mr Pratt said.

Sarah Matthee, FRRR’s Acting CEO, said the projects receiving funding will be crucial to the recovery process in the coming months.

“The Pratt Foundation’s generous support has enabled FRRR to work closely with communities across flood-impacted areas of Victoria to identify organisations who are playing key roles in recovery, by responding to local priorities.

“These grants are supporting a range of projects, including many neighbourhood and community houses, who are acting as key hubs to support community members, particularly vulnerable people. The funding will also help communities to build capacity, through activities such as mental health first aid training, so that they are better able to navigate disaster response and recovery challenges that they are likely to face in the coming months. Other grants focus on the repair of critical infrastructure, such as local community radio facilities, and providing immediate aid, such as distributing insect repellent to reduce the risks of mosquito borne diseases.

“This funding will not only help to address short-term challenges these flood-impacted communities are facing, but will also contribute to the long-term social and economic recovery of these areas,” Ms Matthee said.

Three of the 23 projects funded are listed below:

  • Rochester Community House Inc – Rochester, VIC – Rochester Community Flood Recovery – Boost ability of a community house to provide emergency assistance through additional staffing hours. $10,000.
  • International Association for Psychiatric Nurses – Shepparton, VIC – Mental Health First Aid Training – Support community recovery from flood events with mental health first aid training to build awareness, healing and recovery skills. $10,000.
  • Gnarly Neighbours – Seymour, VIC – Supporting Youth Programs – Boost organisational capacity and support young people impacted by flood events to access youth programs. $10,000.

The full list of projects funded can be accessed on the FRRR website.

The Prepare & Recover stream of the SRC program is accepting applications to support disaster-impacted communities. More information is available at

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

Bonnie Doon Football Club Inc

Drainage at the Reserve
Support emergency service response teams and strengthen community safety outcomes after a flood event, by building a drainage outlet.

Bonnie Doon$8,072
Bridgewater Recreation and Public Reserve Committee IncorporatedCleaning after Blaze Aid
Boost volunteer capacity and community recovery through purchasing new equipment and cleaning a BlazeAid staging ground.
Cohuna Neighbourhood House IncorporatedFuture Printing Project
Enhance Cohuna Neighbourhood House’s provision of information and support to flood-impacted community members by purchasing a multi-functional printer / photocopier.
Echuca Historical Society IncorporatedTwo Men in a Boat Exhibition and Riverlife & Romance: a Tribute to "All The Rivers Run" Film
Foster social reconnection and recovery in a flood-impacted region through free community events at the Echuca Museum.
Echuca Neighbourhood House IncENH Flood Recovery Program
Strengthen a Neighbourhood House's capacity to deliver emergency response and support community recovery from floods through the provision of material aid.
Gnarly NeighboursA Roof for Gnarly Neighbours
Boost organisational capacity and support young people impacted by flood events to access youth programs by covering rental costs to temporarily house equipment and provide a space resume regular programs and workshops.
Greater Shepparton Foundation LimitedMosquito Borne Disease Education and Intervention Project
Supporting flood recovery and health promotion in multicultural communities through developing educational material and distributing insect repellent to reduce the risks of mosquito borne diseases.
Heathcote Community House IncorporatedHeathcote Community Flood Recovery & Support
Boost Heathcote Community House’s capacity to deliver targeted support and programs for flood-impacted community members by funding community mental health programs (particularly for vulnerable and elderly residents) and extended hours to meet community need.
Indigo Shire CouncilFLOOD RECOVERY EXPO "Are You Bogged Mate!"
Strengthen recovery and wellbeing by holding an information and mental health expo for the agricultural sector in the Indigo Shire.
International Association for Psychiatric NursesMental Health First Aid Training
Support community recovery from flood events with mental health first aid training to build awareness, healing and recovery skills.
Lockington Recreation Reserve IncorporatedLockington and Surrounding Districts: Flood Recovery Assistance
Sustain volunteer capacity and support community recovery through cleaning and covering utility costs at a BlazeAid staging ground.
Mooroopna Education and Activity Centre IncStrengthening Mooroopna Education and Activity (MEAC)
Strengthen community resilience and recovery by extending the delivery of community hub activities and programs for flood-impacted community members.
Nathalia & District Community Assoc IncSafe Streetscape
Strengthen Nathalia Community House’s support for flood-impacted community members through upgrades to food relief storage, paths and seating areas.
Neighbourhood House Murchison (VIC) IncMurchison Flood Recovery Programs and Activities
Foster community connectedness and recovery in flood-impacted Murchison through supporting Murchison Neighbourhood House activities and programs.
Nexus Primary HealthSeymour Food Relief Collaborative
Improve health and wellbeing outcomes for flood-impacted community members by supporting local food relief.
Raywood Recreation Reserve Committee of ManagementReplacement Mower for our Six Acre Recreation Reserve
Increase the capacity and capability of volunteers to support preparedness and recovery from natural disasters through replacing a flood damaged mower.
RDA Seymour Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria IncFeed the RDA Horses
Boost the capacity of a disability organisation impacted by severe flooding by subsidising operational costs for the upkeep of horses for a riding for the disabled program.
Rochester Agricultural and Pastoral Association Inc2023 Rochester Show
Enhance regional recovery and promote community resilience by providing entertainment at the annual agricultural show to bring people together post-disaster.
Rochester Community House IncRochester Community Flood Recovery
Boost ability of a community house to provide emergency assistance through additional staffing hours to support flood recovery.
Rochester Secondary CollegeAnglesea or Bust!
Foster social connection and enhance young people's recovery from flooding events by subsidising a school camp.
Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society IncorporatedFlood Recovery
Strengthen volunteer capacity to run upcoming annual events and support community recovery from a natural disaster by purchasing furniture and equipment.
Seymour Performers' Workshop IncSeymour Performers Workshop Flood Recovery
Supporting local arts events and community recovery through repairing and replacing flood-damaged sets and equipment at a local performance group.
Seymour Puckapunyal Community Radio IncorporatedFlood Rebuild
Strengthening volunteer capacity and community connection and information sharing through replacing flood-damaged community radio broadcasting equipment.

The Grants Only Group (GOG ) is a vibrant group of older and younger community members committed to helping community groups in their area succeed with their grant applications. Primarily focused on the Lower Tarwin Valley District in Victoria, dairy farming is an integral part of these communities and the surrounding areas.

While working with many community groups to raise funds for local events and activities, GOG frequently saw groups hiring sound systems. This gave them a bright idea. In 2020, the group successfully applied for a $4,838 Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grant to purchase a Community PA System. The grant allowed them to purchase four speakers, tripods and microphones that could be used by organisations and businesses in the townships of Venus Bay, Tarwin Lower and Walkerville. 

Thirty-seven organisations in the area were emailed about the available equipment, who to contact and how they could place a booking for use. Since purchasing the Sound System, there has been high demand. So far, the Community Luncheon Group, Tarwin District Auto & Machinery Club’s Australia Day event, which raises funds for dementia, and Tarwin Mechanics Institute Hall’s Anzac Day service have all had a turn with the new gear. 

Some clever thinking by GOG has created a practical shared community asset that reduces costs and time for the running of local community activities.

GOG President Wendy Don said “By strengthening our community, we are building the foundations for the sustainability of Dairy farming in the Lower Tarwin Valley. All the locals and the many tourists that visit these beautiful Gippsland Dairy Communities will benefit for years to come.”

More Black Saturday funding for community-led initiatives

FRRR is inviting applications from local not-for-profit groups for grants to support ongoing recovery efforts following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.

GR&W Round 4 recipients Dindi Arts Trail. Mural painted by Jimmi Buscombe with local support artist Tim Honey.

Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund there is $180,000 available to not-for-profit groups in Kinglake, Kinglake Central, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek, Toolangi and Flowerdale. Projects identified through the Kinglake Ranges and Flowerdale Conversations for Change talks and Toolangi-Castella community plans will be prioritised.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that FRRR is keen to get this last tranche of funding out into the community to fund community-strengthening and resilience-building projects that align to the VBAF program’s intent.

“We had some great projects come forward at the end of last year and it’s pleasing to see them starting to kick off. However, not all the applications we had last year fit with the guidelines of the program and the intent of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Funds program, hence we still have some funding available.

“Applications must be for new projects that directly assist those individuals and communities that were affected by the 2009 fires and need respond directly to a specific hardship or distress caused by the bushfires. Projects also need to benefit the wider community and so applications should demonstrate community support and the involvement of a range of community groups or representatives,” Ms O’Brien explained.

Approximately $180,000 is available for distribution via grants of up to $25,000, or higher by exception. Applications requesting more than $25,000 must be discussed with FRRR prior to submission. Note too that projects relating to government-owned infrastructure and/or sporting organisations must be discussed with FRRR before they are lodged.

Applications close Wednesday 3 May, 2023, at 5pm AEST, with successful applicants announced in August 2023. For more information and the guidelines, visit . Email or call 1800 170 020.

To date, through GR&W Kinglake, FRRR has awarded over $1.1M for 35 projects to local groups in the Kinglake Ranges.  Any community impacted by 2009 bushfires and not located in Kinglake Ranges region can apply for support through FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program.