Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
The community of Copmanhurst in the Clarence Valley in New South Wales is a strong and resilient group of around 300 people. In 2019/2020, Copmanhurst was severely impacted by the Black Summer bushfires, as well as flooding. For so many in the area this created a stressful environment. Many families were forced to evacuate and sadly leave livestock and other animals behind. Between the financial and emotional stress and hardship caused by these disasters, the community also saw a rise in mental health incidents.
For the youngest residents, stressful family situations, orange smoky skies and the loud noises from helicopters landing behind the preschool was causing a lot of anxiety.
Copmanhurst Pre-School wanted to create a space that would support the recovery of young children and provide a place nurtures respectful sharing of thoughts, ideas and knowledge. Their plan was to construct a Healing Circle that included a native garden. To help achieve this goal, the Pre-School secured a $8,650 grant through The Yulgilbar Foundation Fund.
They were able to establish the Healing Circle and also repair and upgrade a memorial of a past student. The memorial stone was moved to the Healing Circle and the family was very pleased to be included and remembered.
The garden was created under the guidance from local Elders and Ngroo, a local Aboriginal education program, to incorporate native plants and ideas for the healing circle including logs sourced from Bundjalung Country.
Since completing the project, the average day now begins around the healing circle for a talk before everyone goes off to play. This gives the children and educators an emotionally meaningful way to start the day in an area they all feel, safe, secure and supported.
Because of COVID lockdowns and restrictions, there was a delay on the opening celebrations for the new space. The Pre-School wanted to invite all the community services to the opening so they could acknowledge and thank them for all the hard work they did to keep their community safe during the fires and floods.
Woombah is located in the Clarence Valley, on Yaegl Country, and has a growing population including long-time residents, older residents and young families. Without a community hall or cafe, the community has long needed a place to gather, connect, share ideas and resources.
The Woombah Residents Association (WRA) created the Woombah Wellness Community Garden to provide a sustainable gathering space for locals to come together and share gardening tips, knowledge, stories and create community connections.
They received a grant last year from The Yulgilbar Foundation Fund grants program, which FRRR manages. It supports communities in the Clarence Valley and surrounding regions who have a desire and need to strengthen their capacity and resilience in response to the 2019/20 bushfires, flooding and continued challenges across the region.
WRA used the $12,100 grant to create a series of promotional and educational videos to celebrate the recently established community garden and share the 2021 program of workshops and events with members, residents, community groups and wider social networks.
Six videos were developed to create a stronger online presence, encourage greater onsite participation, educate residents about the benefits of gardening, and engage their volunteers and members:
- Native Bee Hotel Workshop Promo
- How to Make a Native Bee Hotel
- Saturday, It’s Garden Day Promo
- Tunes in the Trees Highlights
- Gardener Profile Vicki
- Gardener Profile Cara
- Vicki’s Garden Map Promo
From developing creative video content with different members and groups in the community, to screenings virtually and at Woombah Residents’ Association meetings, the production of these resources helped deepen WRA’s engagement with the wider community. It also provided opportunities to build stronger relationships within the community garden team, by working together on this series of creative video projects.
“We are grateful for the support from FRRR and The Yulgilbar Foundation, and proud of the workshop activities and virtual resources that have built organisational capacity in the WRA’s Wellness Community Garden and increased awareness and engagement in environmental sustainability initiatives in our community.”Berri Brown, President
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.
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:
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.
|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.
Ewingar South Tabulam Community Sports Center
Clarence Valley Council
Enhance local recovery and increase wellbeing, through delivery of community music festival on anniversary of disaster event.
|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.
|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.
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.
|The New School of Arts Neighbourhood House Incorporated|
Improve social connection, leadership skills, and employment pathways for young people in the Clarence Valley through the Changing Lanes Community Youth Garage program.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Lanescape Goondiwindi Incorporated|
Masterplan Art Trail
Enhance the amenity and vibrancy of Goondiwindi through a public art project engaging the local community.
|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.
|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 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.
|Tenterfield Show Society Incorporated|
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.
|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|