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

Greening Australia (Tas) is a leading environmental restoration organisation, restoring and conserving natural landscapes, producing clear, practical plans that allow people and wildlife to coexist. Their aim is to optimise greater understanding and involvement of Tasmania’s biodiversity hot spot through the running of conservation and artistic workshops for the community.

They received a $4,000 grant from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program, funded by the Yulgilbar Foundation for their ‘Hot Spot Snapshot’ program, which saw Greening Australia (Tas) run two activity field days at Cressy and Campbell Town, south of Launceston in Tasmania.

University researchers, restoration ecologists, artists and the school community came together to share their skills and knowledge with students from Oatlands and Campbell Town. More than 200 people participated in the Biodiversity Day at Oatlands; 70 people attended the Big Biodiversity Night Out at Merton Vale in Campbell Town, and this was followed by a BIG Day Out on 8 September at Ross with 30 Campbell Town Students working with 70 Architecture and Design Students from the University of Tasmania to build ‘Species hotels’, sculptural works to highlight the planted habitats for the threatened species in the Midlands Biodiversity Hot Spot. These will be established as a sculpture trail at Ross. Campbell Town students also planted 200 trees on a site next to the proposed Sculpture Park.

The grant was used to fund the purchase of wildlife cameras, video production, workshop materials, and travel for students as part of this collaborative community project.

Despite the recent rain along much of the Eastern Seaboard, just a couple of hours inland our farmers and regional communities are still in the midst of a crippling drought. FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program was launched last year to help communities across most of Queensland and the New South Wales Northern Tablelands to access the resources they need to support community based activities that both help to relieve current stressors and symptoms, but most importantly, build capacity and resilience for the future.

TTTT Wallangra festival performance
Photo: The Inverell Times
Festival demonstrates community resilience

The Wallangra Recreation Reserve Trust secured a $50,000 TTTT grant funded by the Yulgilbar Foundation to run the ‘Not Quite Baroque (Broke!) festival in Wallangra, 650 km north of Sydney in northern New South Wales. The two-day event celebrated the resilience of several small bush communities, involving a series of creative art and music workshops for local school children, workshops for adults and a music concert for the whole community.

The Inverell Times reported that the money was used to transform the Wallangra Hall into a fresh performance venue, triggering a series of art and music workshops, host a TED talk series and put on a concert of immense local talent.

A positive outlook for the future

The festival has now been declared inaugural, with all organisers and participants firmly committed to making this happen next year.

Event co-founder Helen McCosker felt the community had been energised and encouraged pursuit of events to re-invigorate people. 

“They just need to come together and really work out a real plan, and real way of pushing their community to a point that there needs to be changed, and it needs to happen,” she said.

“And it can be done; it’s all possible. And we did it. It’s amazing. And we’ll keep doing it.”