Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Gooniyandi Country

The town of Yiyili is located six hours east of Broome in the heart of the Kimberley region. At the town school, 90% of the time, fewer than one third of students are in attendance. This is often due to young people being impacted by intergenerational trauma and grief, family and domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse, all of which are contributing to poor mental and physical health in the youth of Yiyili.

With engagement in education and work steadily decreasing, last year the Yiyili Aboriginal School decided to start ‘BikeRescue’, a program where young people could attend multiple workshops each week to refurbish and repair second-hand bikes.

Supported with a $25,000 Strengthening Rural Communities grant, funded by John T Reid Charitable Trusts, the training was carried out by Youth Councillors, as well as bicycle maintenance and refurbishment specialists. During the sessions, the students were taught how to adjust gears, fit new brakes, clean and maintain bikes and organise the workshop to function more efficiently. There was also a strong focus on self-management, resilience and self-regulation.

At the end of the program, the students sold the bikes to give them an understanding of how to run a small business. As an added benefit, this meant that there were affordable bikes available to children and adults in the community. The students that participated in the program were also allowed to each keep a bike for themselves.

As a result, the young people were really proud of the bikes they had managed to rescue, and of having invested their time and energy into a productive project. By participating, they also strengthened their community connections and developed more positive attitudes towards school and work.

As an added bonus, community members have been employed by the school on a casual basis to help students run the bicycle repair workshop and the Yiyili community group have secured funding to continue running the program.

UPDATE: The workshop was recorded and is available to watch below.

Free online workshop

FRRR is inviting community members in Myrtleford, Whittlesea, Beaufort, St Arnaud, Paynesville, Korumburra and Yarra Junction to a free online workshop on Thursday 15 July to find out how FRRR’s Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) program can support them build their community resilience for times of disruption and disaster.

This is the second workshop in a series of events designed for community members who are interested in developing a practical understanding of community resilience and exploring ways in which communities can lead and strengthen their resilience to thrive and evolve in positive ways when faced with the impacts of climate, natural disasters and other disruptions.

With support from guest speaker Paul Ryan, Director of the Australian Resilience Centre, this online conversation will explore what “resilience” means, how people and communities are building resilience and why it matters to you and your community.

The seven communities invited to take part in the workshop have been identified by FRRR as areas that experience high frequencies of flooding, bushfire, drought, and/or heatwave and may be willing to participate in the DR:FR program.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience & Recovery Lead, explains that when locals actively work together and are given the right support, they can determine what needs to be done to help the community be well prepared before and bounce back stronger after a disaster.

“This workshop is part of an exploratory phase of the multi-year program where we engage and work with communities to build knowledge of climate risks, encourage collaboration, understand their ‘readiness’ and willingness to collectively strengthen their resilience and participate in the program long-term.

“I encourage all community leaders, and anyone who wants to be part of a local movement that is strengthening community resilience so that they have the capacity to evolve in positive ways when faced with disruptions and disasters , to participate in this free online workshop and information session,” Ms O’Brien said.

The workshop is free and open to all interested community members, including Traditional Owners, youth, business owners, farmers, sports clubs, schools, volunteer emergency services, environmental volunteers, arts groups, health professionals and local government staff from the communities of Myrtleford, Whittlesea, Beaufort, St Arnaud, Paynesville, Korumburra and Yarra Junction.

Those who took part in the launch webinar late last year are also encouraged to join.

This live workshop will take placeon Thursday 15 July, 11:00am to 12:30pm AEST with the recording made available to those who register.

Register at: https://events.humanitix.com/community_resilience. For more information contact Jacqui Bell, DR:FR Coordinator at j.bell@frrr.org.au or on 1800 170 020.

FRRR acknowledges the support of The Maple-Brown Family Foundation, Doc Ross Family Foundation, H & L Hecht Trust, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Sidney Myer Fund in making this program possible.

To find out more about the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program visit FRRR’s website: www.frrr.org.au/drfr-victoria/.

Local NFPs in Nowra area invited to have their say

FRRR is inviting not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in the Nowra region to take part in an upcoming series of workshops to plan how the Foundation’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program can support them to create stronger organisations for a stronger community.

IRCF support for Nowra's not-for-profits

FRRR’s IRCF program is run in partnership with The Snow Foundation. Now in its second year, the five-year program is designed to strengthen local NFPs on the South Coast through localised support, resources and funding, so they can make lasting impacts in the community.

Called “Community Roadmap” (CR) workshops, these sessions will allow NFPs in the Nowra region to come together and map out how they will leverage the funding and support of the IRCF program over the next four years to maximise opportunities for long-term sustainability.

Kate Dezarnaulds, FRRR’s IRCF Program Coordinator, said that the workshops will look to the future, helping Nowra NFPs uncover shared goals and challenges, as well as offer a safe space for participants to reflect on and share the considerable challenges of the past year.

“These workshops are the next stage in the IRCF program. They are a great opportunity for local NFPs to come together and celebrate their resilience, as well as aid collaboration and sharing of resources,” Ms Dezarnaulds said.

“As a result of these Community Roadmap workshops, the Nowra NFP community will have a list of priority projects that the IRCF program can then support over the next four years with grants and expert advice.

“The Community Roadmap is likely to uncover shared goals and needs such as strategic planning, governance training, digital marketing, finance advice and support, and additional resources to support innovation, sustainability and recovery.

“We are working with expert local facilitators, Campfire Coop, and invite a wide range of representatives from local NFPs in the Nowra region, including those not currently funded through the IRCF program, to come along to the workshops and have their say,” Ms Dezarnaulds said.

FRRR also announced $83,000 in funding for three projects in Nowra as part of the program’s initial Start-Up Grants. These projects will help to support and connect the community to respond to the challenges of 2020. In total, nine projects have already been funded through the IRCF program, thanks to the generosity of The Snow Foundation.

Nowra Community Roadmap workshops

Community leaders are invited to come along to either the day or evening session.

WhenDay session: Tuesday 1 June, 9.30am-3.30pm (lunch provided); or
Evening session: Wednesday 2 June, 5-9pm (light meal provided)
WhereDay session: Nowra School of Arts
Evening session: Bomaderry Bowling Club
HowDay session: Bookings via link
Evening session: Bookings via link

Nowra Start-Up Grant Recipients

  • Pathways Foundation Ltd – Pathways Foundation – $30,000 – Accelerate the implementation of a new COVID-adapted and localised strategic plan with seed funding for the appointment of a community development officer.
  • South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation (trading as Waminda) – Waminda’s Social Enterprise Initiatives – $23,000 – Strengthen the financial sustainability of Waminda while developing the skills and confidence of Aboriginal women to secure employment, through the implementation of a business plan for three social enterprises.
  • Noah’s Inclusion Services – Enhancing the strength, effectiveness, and longevity of the Noah’s Inclusion Services workforce – $30,000 – Rejuvenate the pipeline of available allied health care workers and support succession planning for Noah’s leadership position s through a coaching program and a long-term student placement partnership with the University of Sydney.

See the funded Nowra projects already underway here.

For more information about the Investing in Rural Community Futures program in NSW South Coast region visit – https://frrr.org.au/funding/people-grants/investing-in-rural-community-futures-nsw-south-coast/.