Fire Fight Australia Fund
In February 2020, Fire Fight Australia gave its support to the hundreds of rural, regional and remote communities across Australia that were affected by the summer 2019/20 bushfires.
Donation to the Fire Fight Fund ensured that the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) could provide support to assist these communities in their recovery when the time is right for them.
FRRR was established in 2000 specifically to support rural, regional and remote communities. Experience matters, and from our work over the last twenty years supporting local communities in rural, regional and remote areas, we know that the recovery will be a marathon; not a sprint. FRRR continues to support communities impacted by the Black Saturday fires in Victoria in 2009.
FRRR will be there to support communities on the long road ahead, providing funding for locally-identified needs throughout their recovery, even up to a decade later.
How will funds be distributed?
Local community organisations will need support long after the smoke clears, and the emergency relief money is expended.
That’s where FRRR comes in.
FRRR’s special tax status means that funds reach grassroots community organisations in rural, regional and remote Australia who often miss out on support.
We know the impacts of the fires will not be the same in any two communities, and it will be local community leaders who recognise what will make the biggest difference in their community.
Funds from the FRRR Fire Fight Fund will be distributed through our flexible Strengthening Rural Communities program to support medium to long-term recovery. The first round opened in September 2020. But work began earlier than that with affected communities on how best to support their priorities.
FRRR is also providing additional Back to School vouchers to support impacted children and families, so they can have the uniform and stationery supplies needed to ensure they are equipped and ready to learn. There was a round distributed in May 2020, and another round is planned in December 2020.
But the work FRRR does is so much more than just the grants, so your donation will also enable us to provide this support. We take a maximum fee of 10 cents in the dollar, which enables our team to spend thousands of hours on the phone each year, working with community leaders to shape their projects. Our small team also spends time on the road, meeting with local leaders, visiting communities and running workshops to build local community capacity. These fees also ensure that we can undertake the due diligence necessary to ensure that the money gets where it is going to have the biggest impact.
What will the money be used for?
FRRR’s grants are broad and flexible, so they can help address the issues that communities identify as important at each stage in their recovery – which could take up to a decade. Every community is different, but from experience, it could include:
- Ensuring communities are safe should something like this happen again – things like enhancing the local emergency shelter or implementing a UHF radio system so that people can stay in touch during the next emergency.
- People typically also need support just to come together and recreate social connections, sharing experiences and helping one another process what’s happened.
- Local leaders need to be upskilled too, to take on the important role of leading recovery.
- As time passes, the greatest need might be supporting fatigued volunteer leaders by appointing staff to take on some of the activities, repairing vital community infrastructure, or ensuring mental health support is available.
- Other communities may need help to rebuild the economy – running festivals or events that promote tourism, or helping people diversify their skills.
- Kids too will often need support, trauma is a lot to process, and the impacts typically surface at critical transition points – kinder to primary; primary to secondary; secondary to tertiary.
Your contribution will make a real difference
Local leaders know what will make the biggest difference at times like these. But their isolation and small size make it hard for communities to raise the funds they need at the best of times, let alone in the worst of times, like now.
Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible for Australian taxation purposes. Contributions from people living overseas are also welcome; however, we are unable to provide tax deductibility for these donations. All donors will receive a receipt by email.
Frequently asked questions
FRRR has prepared responses to a number of frequently asked questions that provide more information on how FRRR will administer the funds it receives from donors wishing to support bushfire relief efforts in the medium to long-term.
Learn more about the impact of past grants:
- Educating children who went through Black Saturday about the fire danger rating system to assist them to feel more in control.
- Bushfire risk management in Dolphin Sands, Tasmania.
- An online volunteering portal for Kinglake’s Neighbourhood House, Victoria.
- Enhancing the sound in Glenburn Hall, the hub for community activities.
- A fitness program that connects the community in Toolangi.