Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

FRRR acknowledges the devastating effects that Cyclone Seroja has had on a number of remote communities across Western Australia.

Cyclone Seroja

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that the Foundation knows recovery for these impacted communities has only just begun, with reconnection of power an immediate priority, and the rebuilding damaged houses, farms and public assets to occur in the months and years ahead.

“We also anticipate that the activities of local community groups, which are so vital to the ongoing fabric of Western Australia’s remote, rural and regional communities, will be significantly impacted. But we also know these groups will play a vital role in supporting their community through the recovery journey.

“FRRR encourages any donors interested in assisting these affected communities to donate to charities registered with the ACNC, and to consider supporting the needs of communities through the medium-long term recovery journey, in addition to their more immediate needs,” Ms Egleton said.

FRRR has a long history of assisting communities to recover from disasters. We have facilitated support to communities recovering from the recent NSW floods; the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires; 2019 North Queensland floods; Cyclones Debbie (2017), Oswald (2013), Yasi (2011) and Larry (2006); the 2013 Blue Mountains bushfires; the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires of 2009; and ongoing droughts; and to those places preparing for future disaster events.

“More frequent and intense climate disasters means that Australia needs to be proactive in how we fund communities to assist with their preparedness activities, and to have funds available to support them through the medium to long term aftermath of a disaster.” Ms Egleton explained.

Any funds donated to FRRR to support WA communities affected by Cyclone Seroja will be allocated through the following two key mechanisms:

  • FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, which is open all year round, and assessed quarterly. Grants of up to $10,000 will be distributed; OR
  • FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund (DRRF). The DRRF was initiated in August 2019, in response to an increasing frequency of disasters. FRRR wanted to ensure it had a corpus of funds invested, so that it can provide some support to disaster impacted communities whether they’re large or small, in the public eye for a long time or swallowed by other events, or are well-supported philanthropically, or not. Donations made to FRRR’s DRRF are pooled and invested, making it a gift that keeps giving, with earnings drawn off every year to be distributed to communities impacted by disaster through grants in programs such as Strengthening Rural Communities. The DRRF currently holds over $4M, which is invested. FRRR will provide support to community groups recovering from the impacts of the cyclone over the coming years, by applying a portion of the earnings from this fund.

FRRR welcomes donations to either of these mechanisms. All donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia.

Beyond FRRR, the Foundation encourages everyone to consider the impact that this cyclone has had on many individuals and communities across WA, and consider giving to a DGR-1 endorsed ACNC registered charity, which can support individuals and their communities through the recovery journey.

For more information, contact Sarah Matthee, FRRR’s General Manager, Partnerships and Services.

WA community groups and not-for-profit organisations invited

Community groups and not-for-profits across remote, rural and regional Western Australia are invited to attend a free online grantseeker workshop, hosted by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) on Thursday 25 March, from 10:30am to 12:30pm (AWST).

WA grantseeker workshop

The workshop will highlight FRRR’s grant programs and provide grant-writing tips to help community groups become more confident in applying for any of FRRR’s grant programs. This includes the Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program for communities in drought, and the Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program, which is highly flexible and supports a broad range of community needs.

Recent WA communities to benefit from TTTT and SRC grants include Esperance, Leonora, Exmouth, Broome, Carnarvon, Quairading and Aldersyde. These grants funded a wide range of locally-led projects including initiatives designed to enhance community wellbeing and resilience, boost local tourism and assist in economic renewal.

FRRR connects goodwill with good purpose for the vitality of remote, rural and regional Australia. As the only national foundation specifically focused on ensuring the social and economic strength of these communities, FRRR’s grant programs give community organisations the opportunity to access funds for a broad range of initiatives that directly benefit local communities.

Register for this free online grantseeker workshop at: https://events.humanitix.com/frrr-wa-grant-seeker-workshop.

Note: Please avoid using Internet Explorer to open this link – use other web browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge. If you are having difficulties opening the link please contact the TTTT team via toughtimes@frrr.org.au.

Applications for the TTTT and SRC programs are always open. The cut-off date for the next round of TTTT is 24 May 2021. The next cut-off date for SRC grant applications to be considered is 24 August 2021.

The need for the diversification of industry has been well known to the Northampton community for many years, given the heavy reliance on agriculture. Drought and unpredictable seasons have seen the withdrawal of many farming families, leaving an ageing population. Northampton has a median age of residents that is significantly older than the national average. 

To address this issue, several community groups worked toward a common goal – to leverage the significant tourism potential of the town and bring in more visitors and diversify income. Northampton has a rich heritage, being one of only three towns in Western Australia to have attained the ‘Historic Town’ status. The development of an arts trail is a key feature of the plan, and the Northampton Friends of the Railway sought to add to it with the development and installation of a large 5m x 10m public sculpture. 

They worked with local artists and steel masons to design and construct the steal art sculpture with the $3,500 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, thanks to funding from the Bertalli Family Foundation, which was specifically used for its final design and painting. The piece depicts the historic Gwalla railway precinct with all of the original buildings of the railway station, some of which no longer exist, and is located exactly on a section of the first Government Railway in Western Australia. It’s an important interpretive piece to showcase the former area, given the significant role that the railway played in the township’s mining and agricultural history. 

This project brought together economic, heritage and artistic outcomes, celebrating and promoting a unique local history.