Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

By Natalie Egleton, CEO

Over the past month, I’ve had dozens of conversations with community leaders, local, state and commonwealth governments, philanthropic foundations, and corporate partners, that have all circled around the question of disaster resilience and best practice giving. I’m encouraged by the growing sentiment that recognises the increasing frequency and severity of disasters, yet also see a pressing need to shift our approaches to funding disasters as one-off events.

Time to evolve disaster philanthropy in Australia
Natalie Egleton, CEO

The floods that have devastated so many areas across NSW and parts of Queensland this month are yet another in a series of disasters that rural communities have had to face in the past year. Many of those communities have experienced prolonged drought, bushfires, minor flooding, and now catastrophic flooding. For these communities, the rebuild, recovery, and long-term renewal will call on yet more reserves of social capital. Support will be needed that doesn’t compartmentalise their various disaster impacts and which acknowledges the deeply fatiguing and depleting effects of successive disasters on people, communities, and local service systems. 

At FRRR, we view disasters as environmental shocks that remote, rural, regional communities regularly experience. We know they are inevitable and increasing in frequency and severity; what makes them complex is not knowing when they will occur, where, or the severity and nature of their impact.

Recovery and preparedness are only as strong as the social ties, quality of community infrastructure, depth and breadth of skills and networks, cultural knowledge, and the health of local service systems, non-profits, and community groups.

That’s why investing in social capital – preparing for future disasters and adapting to changing conditions after a disaster – underpin our ongoing work outside of disasters. Mitigation and making advances through technology is vital, but only effective when people within communities – those who will act first and drive recovery and preparedness – are invested in.

Our approach is to provide support where there are gaps or quick responses are needed in the short term, however we focus the majority of funds on the medium-to-long term recovery and future preparedness efforts of rural communities. Funding medium to long-term recovery ensures that resources are available to help communities when they are ready, beyond their immediate needs that arise during the emergency.

Adapting and evolving

In operational terms, FRRR has a standing disaster philanthropy model that we scale when a major disaster occurs. Each year, with support from hundreds of donor partners, we provide grants and capacity support to around 500 hundred remote, rural and regional communities across the country via almost 800 grants. This reach gives us a good footprint and connection points that we can naturally tap into when disasters occur.

Right now, we have almost 1,500 active grants in place for diverse projects in remote, rural, regional communities nationally; around 40% of these are supporting community-led recovery and resilience initiatives.

When the 2019-20 bushfires hit FRRR had to scale our processes very quickly. We expanded existing grants programs that have a national footprint, as well as brokered funds management for corporate partners to support short-term recovery.

In the space of a month, FRRR went from having about 700 donors to 30,000 donors. We had to ensure our systems could cope and we needed to scale up our communications and finance management resourcing. At the same time, we were engaging in working groups and forums with Governments, philanthropy, and connecting with fire-affected communities where we had active grants and relationships.

When COVID-19 hit, our biggest challenge, aside from looking after our people, was adjusting our community engagement approaches.

While regional Australia is great at working remotely, working on recovery, trying to engage with largely volunteer-led community groups and not-for-profits is really done best in person.

Understanding the local context can be done remotely but it’s not ideal. We also found that as restrictions came into place, a lot of community groups went to ground.

We knew there would be significant impacts from COVID-19 on recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires because the lockdowns would essentially stall social recovery processes, which are most effective when people come together physically, to process and heal.

One of our big, but unsurprising observations during COVID was the gaping hole in digital inclusion – equitable access to stable telecommunications, low levels of digital connectivity in households, and low digital literacy in what are largely ageing populations. In the Snowy Valleys for example, we learnt that 24% of people didn’t have an internet connection at home. In Tasmania, connectivity is inconsistent and communities very isolated.

At the same time, we were seeing independent news publications falling over and rural communities were becoming even more isolated.

The shocks and disruptions just kept coming and the readiness wasn’t there. And then, large parts of NSW were impacted by once-in-a-century floods.

We hear a lot about needing to increase resilience and I am of the firm view that that is coming from the wrong angle. There is an abundance of resilience, but only so much that any strong community can absorb and bounce forward from.

Embedding disasters in regional development practice

The past year has proven the repeated warnings of many. The frequency and severity of natural disasters will cost society, economies, biodiversity, and liveability. We need to do things differently.

In our work partnering with a community in NSW focussing on their non-profit sector capacity building before the 2019/20 bushfires, it was clear that those organisations and community leaders were more ready to respond to the recovery process and opportunities it presented. These same communities are now facing an unimaginable clean up and recovery from flooding. Our role is to be there, offer patience, continuity, flexibility, and agility to move how and when the community is ready with fit-for-purpose funding and resourcing support. The critical piece here is that when we do this work between disasters, reserves of social capital can be replenished and expanded. Communities are more able to engage with mitigation and do essential future-focussed work to strengthen their response to risk and climate change.

Innovation and renewal – applying learnings to support flood-impacted communities

Since the bushfires, we have reviewed and adjusted our approach to funding the core operating costs of the community groups that are so essential to the fabric and vitality of remote, rural and regional communities.

With the funding model of our national small grants programs being relatively unpredictable and dependent on donations from our partners, it is difficult for FRRR to commit to resourcing beyond one-off grants that seed and strengthen locally led projects.

However, throughout the pandemic, the FRRR Board recognised that the depletion of fundraising revenue, volunteer capacity, and local sponsorships, coupled with increased vulnerability and successive disasters, presents a serious threat to the survival of community groups and local not-for-profits. We recognise this as being critical at this point in time, so we will support core overhead costs until the picture changes. It will still be one-off funding but will help to keep the lights on and people working on key issues, while communities and organisations adapt and evolve through the recovery.

This approach translates to better practice for disaster philanthropy overall.

Given what is unfolding in NSW and Queensland at the moment, it is time that we stop looking at disasters as one-off events and view disasters as a constant. This means that we need to invest in underlying capacity and capability at the community level.

The new National Resilience, Relief & Recovery Agency, along with several State Agencies, are now modelled through an all-hazards lens and hopefully the policy and funding settings will follow. Philanthropy can then play a meaningful role beyond responding to successive crises.

It’s certainly where we are focussing more and more of our efforts, and we welcome more conversation on this.

More than $250,000 distributed to impacted regions

FRRR, in partnership with News Corp Australia, has awarded $279,940 in grants to support 12 projects in communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires, some of whom are now facing the complexity of recovery from multiple disasters.

News Corp Bushfire Fund grants
SAVEM Inc in Onkaparinga, SA was awarded a $21,050 grant in September 2020 for their Field Hospital Essential Equipment Project

Funded through the News Corp Bushfire Fund, grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 have been awarded to community groups in fire-affected regions across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

The funding will go toward community initiatives that support infrastructure rebuilding and social recovery, such as helping people connect; alleviating pressure on volunteers; or critical upgrades to communities’ facilities, activity that will build community capacity and preparedness for future disasters.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, explained that several of the recipient communities are now dealing with floods, which makes it all the more important to support them and get this funding on the ground.

“Local not-for-profit organisations and community groups are responding to complex and intersecting challenges. The recovery of many bushfire-affected communities was significantly hampered by COVID-19 restrictions and many are only now starting to make inroads,” Ms Egleton said.

“Some communities are also navigating the ongoing impact of drought while in other areas, the recent flooding will add further to the complexity. However, the underlying issues that these projects were seeking to address will still be there, so these grants are critical to continuing recovery.

“Where project challenges arise due to the flooding, we will work closely with these communities to ensure they are supported to adapt their plans and deliver on the goals they have for local recovery. 

“It’s wonderful to partner with an organisation like News Corp Australia, who have committed support to these fire affected communities over the last year that has allowed us to be flexible and respond as different needs emerge and the recovery journey evolves,” Ms Egleton explained.

News Corp Australia’s community ambassador, Penny Fowler, said the strength of these fire-affected communities is truly inspiring.

“Many of the communities supported with this funding have felt the effect of multiple natural disasters over the last few years – whether drought, flood or fires – yet they continue to move forward. The importance of having well-equipped community facilities that enable people to come together to support one another, or to get back to some semblance of ‘normal’ came through really strongly this round,” Ms Fowler said.

“We are very pleased to be able to work with FRRR to ensure that those community groups on the ground, doing the heavy lifting and supporting their people, have what they need to continue to do so.”

Some of the projects funded include:

  • Container of Dreams Limited – Drake, NSW – Covered Work Area for Tiny House Building – $25,000 – Build an undercover work area, so that no matter the weather conditions, volunteers can safely build tiny houses for those still homeless following the fires.
  • Upper Murray Innovation Foundation / Thowgla Community Recovery Committee – Thowgla Valley, VIC – Thowgla Valley Fire Preparedness – $23,095 – Improve the community’s preparedness to respond to future fire events, and other disasters, by purchasing portable fire-fighting equipment and UHF radios, strengthening community resilience.
  • Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail Incorporated – Stanthorpe, QLD – Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail – $25,000 – Employ a coordinator to address volunteer fatigue and enable the ongoing delivery of a largely volunteer-run art events program to help drive local engagement and attract tourists.
  • Mount Torrens and Districts Community Association Incorporated – Mount Torrens, SA – Dunnfield Community Space – $25,000 – Increase community connections by creating a playground, reflection and meeting spaces, and a community garden in the Dunnfield Community Space using timber from the fire ground.

FRRR encourages all grant seekers to subscribe to our eNews and social media channels to be alerted when other funding opportunities are announced, and to be inspired to develop their own community-led projects.

Visit here for more information on FRRR’s grant programs to support communities before, during, and after a natural disaster or drought, and build communities’ climate resilience. Anyone wanting to directly support medium to long-term flood recovery can do so at https://frrr.org.au/giving/flood-recovery-appeal/.

A full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

OrganisationProject LocationGrant
NEW SOUTH WALES
Blicks Community IncorporatedCommunity Action Plan: Rebuilding Together - Our Sustainable Environment
Enable the community to recover from bushfires and better prepare for future emergencies by developing an Environmental Sustainability plan.
Dundurrabin$25,000
Broulee Surfers Surf Life Saving Club IncorporatedKitchen Renovation
Improve the club's ability to support and service the community during times of emergency through kitchen renovations at the club house.
Broulee$25,000
Container of Dreams LimitedCovered Work Area for Tiny House Building
Improve the capability of Container of Dreams by building an undercover work area allowing volunteers to build tiny houses in all weather conditions for displaced community members.
Drake$25,000
Eden Community Access Centre IncorporatedPower for the People
Enhance the efficiency of the Eden Community Access Centre by installing solar electricity to support the reduction of running costs and provide a more reliable power source during times of emergency.
Eden$22,500
Melanoma and Skin Cancer Advocacy Network Limited (BlazeAid)Bushfire Recovery: Keeping Volunteers Sun Safe and Skin Serious!
Improve BlazeAid's capability to protect volunteer health by providing broad brimmed sun hats to be worn when they are supporting the rebuild of community infrastructure.
Cobargo$15,000
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AllianceMaking the Moruya Pre-School Kindergarten a Heatwave and Bushfire Haven for Young Children and Their Parents
Improve the Moruya Pre-School's ability to prepare their facility to protect young families of the community by upgrading fire defence systems and installing solar electricity at the centre.
Moruya$25,000
The Big Scrub OrchestraRebuilding Lives of Children Experiencing Trauma from the 2019/20 Bushfires with Music
Encourage children's recovery and learning through music by providing access to big band music experience in the Richmond Valley region.
Rappville$25,000
QUEENSLAND
Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail IncorporatedGranite Belt Art and Craft Trail
Boost the capability of Granite Belt Art and Craft Trail Incorporated to deliver art events across the Granite Belt region by employing an event coordinator locally.
Stanthorpe$25,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Kingston Brigade Lecepede CFS GroupLacepede CFS Wellbeing Retreat and Learning Zone Development
Strengthen and support the volunteer fire brigade crew to reduce stress and increase community safety during emergencies by providing a breakout space including learning area for volunteers.
Kingston$25,000
Mount Torrens and Districts Community Association IncorporatedDunnfield Community Space
Help locals recover and reflect by providing a community space including playground and community garden constructed with trees recycled from local fire grounds of the 2019/20 bushfires.
Mount Torrens$25,000
VICTORIA
Tambo Upper Primary SchoolHistorical Hall Kitchen Rebuild
Expand the use of the community hall by upgrading the kitchen to provide a well-appointed facility for the community to use, particularly during times of emergency.
Tambo Upper$19,345
Upper Murray Innovation Foundation - Thowgla Community Recovery Committee (CRC)Thowgla Valley Fire Preparedness
Improve the community's ability to respond to future fire events by providing portable firefighting equipment and radios for the Thowgla Valley.
Thowgla Valley$23,095

Community Foundations and local organisations encouraged to apply

FRRR is asking Community Foundations and local organisations in places impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires to assist with the distribution of vouchers to families in need of support as part of its long-running Back to School (BTS) program.

FRRR seeks Back to School partners in bushfire-affected areas

FRRR is currently seeking local partners to help distribute more than $500,000 in $50 gift vouchers into areas affected by the Black Summer bushfires. Families will be able to redeem the vouchers for school essentials, such as school uniforms, shoes, school bags and stationery.

The aim of the BTS program is to help students by providing the key items they need, which may have been lost during the bushfires, so that they can focus on their education and keep learning.

As part of the BTS program, FRRR partners with community groups and Community Foundations who can discretely distribute the vouchers to local families in need. This means parents don’t have to apply for the vouchers but still receive support.

More than 5,400 students have already been given a helping hand this year, with vouchers valued at more than $250,000 having been distributed to families in places affected by the Black Summer bushfires, thanks to the generosity of donors from across Australia.

Jeanice Henderson, BTS Program Coordinator, said that while $50 dollars may not seem much, in FRRR’s experience, it makes a practical difference, especially for those who may have lost everything during the fires.

“For families and students impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires, recovery is already a difficult journey. These vouchers will mean they have a helping hand when it comes to covering the costs of things like books, stationery, or winter uniforms and shoes,” Ms Henderson explained.

“We are grateful to the Community Foundations and local organisations that have partnered with us so far as part of the BTS program. These organisations know the challenges that locals face when it comes to disaster recovery and can reach those families and students most in need of support.

“We hope other local organisations, which we know are already doing amazing work to support families like these in their communities, will come on board to help distribute our BTS vouchers,” Ms Henderson said.

Community Foundations and local not-for-profit community organisations can apply for vouchers via the Back to School page.

Applications close Wednesday, 31 March 2021. Grants will be announced, and vouchers distributed, in late May 2021, ahead of Term 3.

Visit here for more information on FRRR’s Back to School program and other grant programs to support communities before, during, and after a natural disaster or drought, and build communities’ climate resilience.

FRRR and community groups help young people impacted by bushfires

More than 5,400 students and families in places affected by the Black Summer bushfires are being given a helping hand at the start the new school year, thanks to the generosity of donors from across Australia.

FRRR and community groups help young people impacted by bushfires

Funded through FRRR’s Back to School (BTS) program, students will be able to redeem the $50 gift vouchers for essential school items such as uniforms, school bags or stationery. So far this year, vouchers valued at more than $250,000 have been distributed to families impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires.

FRRR partners with local community groups and Community Foundations who discretely distribute the vouchers to families in need. This means parents don’t have to apply for them but still get the support they need.

The vouchers are funded by FRRR and its donor partners, which include News Corp, Australia Post, Fire Fight Australia concert, Portland House Foundation, UNICEF Australia, J & M Nolan Family Trust, Bertalli Family Foundation, June Canavan Foundation, and Origin Energy Foundation, as well as individual donors.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that for these students and their families, getting back to school is an important part of the recovery journey.

“As families continue to navigate their recovery journey after the bushfires, they are also dealing with the additional challenges caused by the pandemic.

“These vouchers are a small way of helping students and families to have one less thing to worry about – whether they cover the cost of a pair of school shoes, a couple of school jumpers, or even a sleeping bag that a child can use for school camp,” Ms Egleton explained.

Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) is one of the Community Foundations helping to distribute the vouchers in their region. NRCF Executive Officer, Emily Berry, said that the vouchers are for purchasing items that students may have lost in the fires and have never been able to replace due to financial difficulties.

“We hope these vouchers support inclusion for the students, helping them fit into their school environment and go on to realise their potential, instead of feeling different, or excluded because they are unable to purchase school essentials,” Ms Berry said.

As part of the BTS program, a further 30 Community Foundations and locally-based community groups are helping to distribute 7,000 BTS vouchers to students and families in rural regions not affected by the 2019-20 bushfires.

In total, more than $590,000 has been distributed in vouchers to students and families across Australia through the BTS program this year.

“Last year was tough for everyone, especially for those living in the bush. Fifty dollars may not seem much, but for these families it can help to alleviate the pressure they face at the start of a new school year,” Ms Egleton said.

From our previous experience in supporting disaster-affected communities, we know that young people have been significantly affected by the fires, and it can take families a long time to get back on their feet again. FRRR is conducting another dedicated round of the Back to School program, which will provide vouchers in time for winter uniform and shoes. Applications are open now.

Vouchers were awarded to support the following Local Government Areas:

Bushfire Recovery stream
Alpine (S)Lismore (C)
Bega Valley (A)Richmond Valley (A)
Central Coast (C) (NSW)Snowy Monaro Regional (A)
Clarence Valley (A)Snowy Valleys (A)
East Gippsland (S)Towong (S)
Greater Hume Shire (A)Wingecarribee (A)
Kyogle (A)Yorke Peninsula (DC)
General stream
Albury (C)Cleve (DC)Mid Murray (DC)Streaky Bay (DC)
Alexandrina (DC)Cloncurry (S)Mid-Coast (A)Sunshine Coast (R)
Alice Springs (T)Cowra (A)Moorabool (S)Tatiara (DC)
Ballarat (C)Elliston (DC)Mount Gambier (C)Toowoomba (R)
Ballina (A)Federation (A)Mount Isa (C)Tumby Bay (DC)
Barkly (R)Franklin Harbour (DC)Naracoorte and Lucindale (DC)Tweed (A)
Barossa (DC)Golden Plains (S)Northern Grampians (S)Victor Harbor (C)
Bass Coast (S)Grant (DC)Peterborough (DC)Victoria Daly (R)
Baw Baw (S)Hepburn (S)Port Augusta (C)Wagga Wagga (C)
Benalla (RC)Hinchinbrook (S)Port Lincoln (C)Wangaratta (RC)
Boulia (S)Indigo (S)Port Pirie City and Dists (M)Wattle Range (DC)
Broken Hill (C)Kimba (DC)Pyrenees, VicWhyalla (C)
Buloke (S)Kingston (DC) (SA)Richmond (S)Wodonga (C)
Byron (A)Kyogle (A)Robe (DC)Wudinna (DC)
Campaspe (S)Latrobe (C) (Vic.)Roper Gulf (R)Yankalilla (DC)
Ceduna (DC)Light (RegC)South Gippsland (S)Yorke Peninsula (DC)
Central Darling (A)Lower Eyre Peninsula (DC)Strathbogie (S)

34 recovery projects funded across Australia

Thirty-four projects set to seed and strengthen the recovery of communities affected by the 2019-20 bushfires are sharing in $589,945 in grants, thanks to the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.

The 34 grants are supported through a special stream of bushfire recovery funding via the SRC program. In total, more than 100 projects in remote, rural and regional communities across Australia were awarded $1,112,492 in grants through this round of the program. A full list of all SRC grants can be found here.

The bushfire recovery projects will support impacted communities across Australia from Stanthorpe in Queensland, to Eden in New South Wales, Bairnsdale in Victoria, Cudlee Creek in South Australia, and Ngadju country in Western Australia.

The grants of up to $25,000 will be used for a broad range of inspiring recovery projects, led by local people, such as supporting Shoalhaven’s vulnerable community members by running support groups facilitated by the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, or preparing the community of South Arm for future disaster events by purchasing amenities and safety equipment for the local hall.

Sarah Matthee, FRRR’s Acting CEO, said that communities have found diverse ways to build up their resilience and support one another.

“This round we have seen communities drawing on their strong community partnerships to find ways of helping to make their community a more resilient and connected place,” Ms Matthee said.

“Communities have also shown us how much they value the vital contributions made by volunteers. We have funded several projects that support and recognise these people, and help tackle the fatigue they feel, especially in light of this year’s challenges.

“For bushfire-affected communities, COVID-19 has not lessened their determination to keep on recovering, despite the pandemic resulting in gatherings and events, which would have helped people connect and rebuild, being postponed or cancelled. Local leaders have put forward great ideas that are sure to help lift community spirits.

“Regardless of where these communities are at, the SRC program is flexible enough to fund projects that will help communities to seed and strengthen, adapt and evolve, and innovate and renew,” Ms Matthee explained.

Some of the 34 projects awarded via the bushfire recovery stream include:

  • Pambula Business Chamber Incorporated, NSW – Pambula Art Project – $25,000 – Increase visitation to the region and highlight local history and culture, through development and installation of a series of artworks across the Pambula township.
  • Pomona & District Community House Inc, QLD – Pomona Youth Resilience and Well-being Project – $18,891 – Increase access, support and resources for local youth in Pomona by delivering a facilitated, structured community-based youth program.
  • Kingscote Farmers & Artisan Market Inc, SA – Kingscote Farmers and Artisans Market – The Backyard – $24,640 – Increase access to local produce and the social and economic recovery of Kangaroo Island by employing a part-time project manager to help reopen the Kingscote Farmers & Artisan Market and develop a pop-up activity space.
  • Koala Island Foundation Inc, VIC – A Sustainable Future Together – $3,400 – Conserve native habitat and increase volunteer support, through the development of a tourist attraction.
  • Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation, WA – Rebuilding Community Through Clearing Tracks for Management of Fire (Kala) in Ngadju Country $25,000 – Increase fire preparedness in the Great Western Woodlands and maintain cultural sites of significance by clearing tracks to make access easier for cultural mosaic burns.

The SRC program is collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors, which are listed on the Strengthening Rural Communities program page.

The next round of SRC grants will be announced March 2021. The current round is accepting applications until 23 February 2021.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

Jump to: NSW | QLD | SA | VIC | WA

Organisation Project Location Grant
BUSHFIRE RECOVERY PROJECTS
NEW SOUTH WALES
Utungun Community Hall Section 355 Committee of Management
Nambucca Valley Council
Utungun Hall – Sitting Pretty and Moving Safely
Support Volunteer capacity through the purchase of chairs and equipment for Utungun Community Hall.
Utungun $4,020
Hawkesbury-Nepean Landcare Network
Hawkesbury River County Council
Regenerating our Bushland after Fire, Hawkesbury
Increase local capacity to manage environmental recovery, through delivery of a series of workshops and events on topics such as weed management and erosion.
Bilpin $16,000
Community Foundation for Albury Wodonga Region Ltd Digital Storytelling
Celebrate and encourage local giving post-bushfire via a digital storytelling project.
Albury $10,000
Glenrac Incorporated Emergency Preparedness for Future Challenges – Glen Innes NSW
Increase support for recovering community, through delivery of wellbeing events and mental health first aid training.
Glen Innes $17,150
Marine Rescue Kioloa
Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW
Marine Rescue Base Facilities Upgrade
Increase local capacity to maintain volunteer marine rescue service base facility, though replacement of carpet.
Kioloa – Bawley Point $5,000
Eden Tourism Inc Relocation of Eden Visitor Information Centre
Increase amenity and function of new Eden Visitor Information Centre, through professional design and development of internal areas.
Eden $20,000
Hartley Vale Mount Blaxland Reserve Land Manager Ground Penetrating Radar Survey
Heal the community through the establishment of all burial sites located at the Hartley Vale Cemetery.
Hartley $16,016
Merimbula Big Game and Lakes Angling Club Inc. Replacement of Community Infrastructure – The Boating and Fishing Jetty at Spencer Park Merimbula Lake
Increase capacity to fundraise for replacement of local jetty, though support to complete development application and design planning.
Merimbula $14,850
South Arm Hall Committee of Management
Nambucca Valley Council
Making South Arm Hall Resilient, Welcoming and Aiding Recovery
Strengthen South Arm Hall’s resilience and preparedness for future disaster events through the purchase of safety and amenity items.
South Arm $25,000
Nimbin Community Centre Incorporated Walkways Together – from Jarjums to Elders
Support community resilience through replacement of covered walkways at Nimbin Community Centre
Nimbin $9,700
The Southern Highlands Foundation FireAid Bushfire Appeal/Covid-19 Appeal
Strengthen capacity of the Foundation to support their community post bushfire through the employment of an Executive Officer.
Balmoral $25,000
Bombala Pre School Inc Urban & Indigenous Agriculture Project
Increase local resilience and intergenerational connections, through construction of codesigned community space and permaculture skills.
Bombala $15,000
Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre Inc Play in Nature
Support early childhood development through the construction of a Natural Playground at Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre.
Evans Head $9,575
Salt Care Limited Salt Life
Support vulnerable cohorts across Shoalhaven via support groups facilitated by the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program.
Nowra/ Bomaderry $15,000
The Elands Community Health & First Aid Centre Incorporated Refurbishments for Community Centre
Increase comfort and capacity of Elands local meeting space, through installation of air conditioning and solar system with battery.
Elands $24,102
Ettrick Hall Committee Inc Ettrick Hall Bathroom Upgrade
Increase local capacity and disaster preparedness, through upgrading bathroom facilities at local hall to include a shower for emergency personal and displaced residents.
Ettrick $10,000
Do It For Batlow Weemala Hill Walking and Riding Trails – Batlow Lookout
Renew access to local walking trails that support health and wellbeing through employment of contractors to clear burnt trees and reinvigorate the area.
Batlow $25,000
Macdonald Valley Association Macdonald Valley Community – Book of Fires
Advance the recovery of the Macdonald Valley through the creation of a book which documents and celebrates community resilience.
St Albans $22,870
Pambula Business Chamber Incorporated Pambula Art Project
Increase visitation to the region and highlight local history and culture, through development and installation of a series of artworks across the Pambula township.
Pambula $25,000
QUEENSLAND
Artworks Granite Belt Inc. ArtWorks Station Cafe Upgrade
Increase capacity and enhance facilities at volunteer run Artworks Station Cafe, through upgrade of kitchen and outdoor eating area.
Stanthorpe $9,066
Pomona & District Community House Inc Pomona Youth Resilience and Well-being Project
Increase access to support and resources for local youth in Pomona, through delivery of a facilitated, structured community based youth program.
Pomona $18,891
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Parndana Progress Association – Walking Trail Sub-Committee
Parndana Progress Association
Parndana Fitness Trail – Outdoor Gym Station
Increase access to equipment that supports health and wellbeing, through installation of outdoor fitness equipment at Kangaroo Island West Lions Park.
Parndana $16,838
Kangaroo Island Yacht Club Inc Community Hub Upgrade to Support Community Resilience
Enhance community activities that support connectedness at the Kangaroo Island Yacht Club, through upgrade of aged kitchen facilities.
Kingscote $25,000
Kingscote Farmers & Artisan Market Inc Kingscote Farmers and Artisans Market – The Backyard
Increase support for reopening of community market and development of pop up activity space in Kingscote, through employment of a part time project manager.
Kingscote $24,640
The Cudlee Creek Tennis & Basket Ball Club Inc A Community Led Project: Our Community Hub and Tennis Courts
Increase preparedness for disaster and enhanced community facilities for a community recovering from bushfire, through upgrade of fencing, drainage, water storage and landscaping at local hub.
Cudlee Creek $25,000
VICTORIA
Omeo Shire Community Access Radio Inc Replacing the Computer
Increase capacity of community radio station to communicate local news and information, though purchase of computer, software and printer.
Omeo $1,932
Sarsfield Recreation reserve Committee of Management Inc Purchase of Lawn Mower
Increase capacity for volunteers that manage local community reserve and meeting area, through purchase of ride on mower.
Sarsfield $22,000
Everton Hall and Sports Complex Committee
Wangaratta Rural City Council
Everton Community Hub Precinct Revitalisation – BBQ Shelter Stage 2
Enhance local meeting space and recovery activities, through construction of BBQ area and pathways at Everton reserve.
Everton $11,276
Bruthen Mechanics Institute Bruthen Hall Ready for Community Disaster Response
Increase local resilience to support recovery efforts, and support social gatherings, through upgrade to Bruthen Mechanics Institute kitchen.
Bruthen $24,299
Ensay Mechanics Institute Reserve Inc Ensay Memorial Hall – Exterior Painting
Increase support for rural community to maintain local meeting area as a disaster assembly point, through painting the Ensay Hall.
Ensay $23,320
Mallacoota Inlet Bowling Club Inc Mallacoota Bowls Club as a Hub for Community Support
Resume community activities that support social connectedness, through repair and upgrade to the fire effected Mallacoota Inlet Bowling Club.
Mallacoota $25,000
Koala Island Foundation Inc A Sustainable Future Together
Conserve native habitat and increase volunteer support, through the development of a tourist attraction.
Raymond Island $3,400
East Gippsland Winter Festival Working Group
East Gippsland Marketing Inc
East Gippsland Winter Festival
Increase visitation and economy through employment of a Community Engagement Manager to support delivery of the East Gippsland Winter Festival.
Bairnsdale $25,000
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation Rebuilding Community Through Clearing Tracks for Management of Fire (Kala) in Ngadju Country
Increase fire preparedness in the Great Western Woodlands and maintain cultural sites of significance, by clearing tracks that enable access for cultural mosaic burns.
Norseman Indigenous Location $25,000

Over $1 million in News Corp Bushfire Fund grants awarded to date

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), in partnership with News Corp, has awarded 18 communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires a total of $341,280 in grants for 20 projects that will support the recovery of their communities.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund has had an impressive impact in bushfire-affected regions this year, having awarded $1,119,825 in grants to date to support 61 recovery-focused initiatives across affected communities, as they continue to rebuild and recover. The next round of grants will be the final round for the News Corp Bushfire Fund and will bring the distributed funds to a total of $1.5 million.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund grants, of up to $25,000, are awarded to community groups in regions impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires for projects that address a range of needs and priorities for each community. This round saw 20 community groups from bushfire-affected regions across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria awarded grants for initiatives that build community resilience and preparedness for future disasters, help people connect and support their wellbeing as well as practical upgrades to emergency infrastructure and equipment.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the demand for a wide range of community resilience projects demonstrates how important it is to let local people decide what the need and priorities are for their community’s recovery.

“We know that local leaders are best placed to know what their community needs, especially as recovery happens at different rates for each impacted place. While projects may vary from place to place, building community resilience and making sure the community is prepared for future emergencies is a common goal for regions that have already been impacted by disaster.

“For some communities, building community resilience means repairing infrastructure damaged by the fire or purchasing emergency equipment such as generators and solar battery systems for use in future emergency situations. For other places building resilience means improving amenities or increasing the capacity of community infrastructure where people connect, engage and support one another.

“It’s great to be able to partner with News Corp to support these communities and their inspiring ideas, which will help bring people together and make recovery meaningful to them,” Ms Egleton explained.

News Corp Australia’s community ambassador Penny Fowler said these grants were especially significant considering the timing.

“Almost a year on, we know some of these communities are feeling like they lived through a ‘forgotten crisis’. But there is still so much work to be done, now and in the long-term.

“This third round of grants builds on the ongoing needs of each community to recover at their own pace – whether that be upgrading essential town halls, providing mental health programs for firefighters, or bringing people together through drive-in movie sessions.”

“Recovery takes years, not months and we are committed to standing by these communities, remembering their loss, their stories, their pain and their bravery.”

Some of the 20 projects awarded include:

  • Mann River Men’s Shed – Diehard, NSW – Empowering Community Resilience and Recovery – $25,000 – Support community preparedness and build resilience by installing a solar system to generate power.
  • 4 Aussie Heroes Foundation – Boonah, QLD – “Triumph over Trauma” – $23,000 – Support individual wellbeing of first responders with programs to address trauma from bushfire fighting experience.
  • Stokes Bay Community Hall – Strokes Bay, SA – Stokes Bay Community Hall Volunteer Hub – $23,279 – Provide a welcoming and functional space by upgrading volunteer facilities.
  • Buchan Mechanics Institute and Free Library Reserve – Buchan, VIC – Hall Re-Stumping and Upgrade Kitchen Facilities – $22,042 – Build community resilience with infrastructure improvements to enable group gatherings.

The final round of the News Corp Bushfire Fund grants will open 12 January 2021 and closes 11 February 2021. In total, there is a further $380,175 available. Applications are invited from community groups in Local Government Areas with a bushfire disaster declaration from September 2019 to February 2020. FRRR encourages all grant seekers to subscribe to our eNews and social media channels to be alerted when other funding opportunities are announced, and to be inspired to develop their own community-led projects.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

Jump to : NSW | QLD | SA | VIC

OrganisationProjectLocationAwarded
NEW SOUTH WALES
Bermagui Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism IncPower to the People … of Bermagui
Build community resilience with the purchase of portable generators publicly available for use in emergency situations.
Bermagui$10,235
Love Long Beach IncorporatedSummer Sundays @ Long Beach
Support community connectedness and wellbeing through COVID Safe drive-in events.
Long Beach$5,682
Mann River Men’s ShedEmpowering Community Resilience and Recovery
Support community preparedness and build resilience by installing a solar system to generate power.
Diehard$25,000
Moruya Antique Tractor & Machinery Association IncRebuild & Restoration of MATAMA
Build community resilience and pride through the rebuild of a museum of community significance for local residents. 
Moruya$25,000
Utungun Community Hall Section 355 Committee of Management
Nambucca Valley Council
Room to Move at the Utungun Community Hall
Build community facility capacity with a storage shed to keep social areas clear of equipment.
Utungun$8,500
Southcoast Health and Sustainability AllianceRebuilding Community Resilience Through the Establishment of a Eurobodalla Repair Cafe in Moruya
Connect and support community wellbeing by establishing a volunteer social enterprise.  
Moruya$6,394
Tomakin Sports & Social ClubSolar Battery System
Build community resilience with the supply and installation of a solar battery system to guarantee power in emergencies.
Tomakin$16,000
QUEENSLAND
4 Aussie Heroes Foundation Limited“Triumph Over Trauma”
Support individual wellbeing of first responders with programs to address trauma from bushfire fighting experience.
Boonah$23,000
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Stokes Bay Community Hall IncStokes Bay Community Hall – Volunteer Hub
Upgrade volunteer facilities to provide a welcoming and functional space.
Stokes Bay$23,279
The Cudlee Creek Soldiers Memorial Ground IncorporatedCudlee Creek Soldiers’ Memorial Hall – Roof Replacement
Upgrade community facilities with a new roof to mitigate risk and maintain a functional space. 
Cudlee Creek$25,000
VICTORIA
Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House IncMobile Catering Support for East Gippsland Communities Following Natural Disasters
Build organisational capacity by fitting out a mobile van to cater for communities in times of crisis. 
Bairnsdale$25,000
Benambra Dinner Plain Omeo Landcare GroupBDPO Landcare Equipment Improvements
Sustain community facilities for everyday use and preparedness by purchasing safety equipment and repairing aging equipment. 
Benambra$7,787
Buchan Mechanics Institute and Free Library ReserveHall Re-Stumping and Upgrade Kitchen Facilities
Build community resilience with infrastructure improvements to enable group gatherings.
Buchan$22,042
Buchan Recreation ReserveFire Pumps for Community Safety
Build community resilience with new equipment to increase safety and disaster preparedness.
Buchan$22,220
Cassilis Recreation Reserve Committee of ManagementFire Ready Project
Improve community infrastructure for disaster preparedness with a large tank to improve access to water.
Cassilis$5,830
Koala Island Foundation IncA Stronger Community and Sustainable Future for Raymond Island
Support economic recovery by upgrading park entrances for local and tourist patronage.
Raymond Island$17,718
Lucyvale Tennis Club IncMaking Lucyvale Hall a Safe Place for our Community in Times of Risk & Need
Build community resilience with air condition and quick water access to aid in disasters.
Lucyvale$20,600
Nowa Nowa Pony Club IncorporatedFriendships Beyond Fire
Maintain community infrastructure with new equipment to allow social gatherings and events. 
Nowa Nowa$11,500
The Man from Snowy River Tourist Association IncTake a Seat and Savour the Serenity
Upgrade community infrastructure to enhance local and visitor experience at a historic site.
Corryong$25,000
W Tree Promotion and Progress Association IncW Tree Food Cooperative Improvements
Build volunteer capacity with facilities equipment to reduce community food insecurity. 
W Tree$15,493

$250,000 donation to fund bushfire recovery initiatives

16 November 2020: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Black Summer bushfire recovery funding has been bolstered thanks to a $250,000 donation from the Waislitz Foundation, in partnership with Australian Community Media (ACM). These funds will go towards supporting projects that focus on the recovery of the people and places impacted by the 2019/20 summer bushfires.

bushfire recovery

Distribution of this donation will be via the bushfire recovery stream of FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program. This dedicated stream of funding offers grants of up to $25,000 for a broad range of projects that seek to support the recovery of affected communities. These community-led projects can include the repair and replacement of infrastructure damaged during the fires, support for the mental health and wellbeing of people affected by the bushfires, alleviation of volunteer burnout, initiatives to build economic development, and events that bring affected communities together.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said thanks to generous support of partners, like the Waislitz Foundation and ACM, the Foundation is able to fund a wide range of projects that support the different recovery journey of each fire-affected community.

“Recovery from of the 2019/20 summer bushfires is a process that has no end date and that is different for every affected place and person. We know that local leaders are therefore best placed to understand the priorities and recovery needs of their community.

“Having previously partnered with ACM through their South Coast is Calling Initiative, we are fortunate to be working with them again to support these bushfire-affected communities, as we know ACM shares our passion for supporting locally-led solutions. We are also delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the Waislitz Foundation, who also understands the value of philanthropic partnerships when it comes to helping these communities to renew and rebuild,” Ms Egleton said.

Mr Waislitz said he felt privileged to be able to help people in fire-affected communities rebuild their lives and the local connections that gave them strength.

“Every Australian couldn’t help but be touched and inspired by the stories of loss and courage we saw last summer, and I’m keen to contribute to the healing,” he said.

“Through my involvement as a co-owner of ACM, which serves local audiences and advertisers in many regions affected by the bushfires, I have developed a keen awareness of the challenges those communities face and a deep admiration for their resilience.”

“The foundation’s hope is that by supporting a range of different grassroots, community-led initiatives through the FRRR, we can help these local communities renew and strengthen for the future.”

Read Australian Community Media’s full announcement here.

Each quarter, we ask FRRR’s staff to share some of their observations from speaking with community leaders across the country, and reviewing grant applications. Below are a few comments from looking back on the first quarter of FY21.

It’s a universal truth that communities that have strong local leadership are best placed to thrive. However, offering support for particular elements or activities perceived to be needed can create a deficit inference and shame. A recent comment caused the team to pause and reflect: “Conversations about capacity are complex because people can feel shame about not having capacity.”

It’s a good reminder, as often offering funding for a particular activity can infer a judgement. It can imply that ‘it’ is absent or ‘not up to scratch’ in that community or not-for-profit organisation. At FRRR, we take a strengths based approach to granting. Language and wording matters and we are grateful to have such honest conversations with our community partners.

ANOTHER strong theme that continues to come through is the extent of the impacts of the summer bushfires, and the impact of COVID-19 on recovery. For example, in a recent application one community leader wrote: “The conversations revolved around the effect of running on adrenalin for the months before and after Christmas and the feeling of emptiness that followed. There was no time to come together before the community was once again under threat. The fires had denuded the landscape and when the rains came, many roads and properties were further affected by mudslides. The cleaning up started again. The normal community celebrations were delayed or cancelled as COVID-19 forced individual distancing. Somehow there needs to be a way of marking closure for this community, most of whom were volunteers in one capacity or another.” 

COVID-19 and the ongoing drought are also affecting community groups’ fundraising capacity. For example, the Texas Kindergarten told us, “Annually we raise approximately $25,000 a year to help keep the Kindergarten open, pay staff, pay day to day expenses and purchase resources. Due to the ongoing effects of the drought individuals and businesses in our region are still really battling. It has become more and more difficult for our strong and resilient little community to help the Kindergarten financially. Now with COVID-19 we are unable to do any fundraising at all which will reduce our income this year dramatically. ” 

Volunteer fatigue and decline is also becoming more apparent in various communities. For example, as Dirranbandi Arts Council, in Queensland’s far south west, explained “Our precinct has three separate buildings, which we wish to have open on a more regular basis for our whole community and travellers to access. But this is impossible as we just do not have the numbers. We have tried in the past to open just one of the buildings with the help of volunteers but this has become increasingly difficult as our volunteer base diminishes and those available age.”  This presents new challenges and communities need to find new ways to engage volunteers, or source funds to pay for this service.

In other communities though, young people are stepping up and taking the reins. FRRR recently helped facilitate this blog from young community leader, Sam Kane, in which he tells the story about how he and some colleagues stepped up to get a pool in their community, and what they’ve gone on to do. 

However, in the medium to longer-term, it’s likely that COVID-19 will have benefits for remote, rural and regional Australia. There are strong signs of population movement toward regional centres, as reflected by the Regional Australia Institute’s recent work on regionalisation. International travel restrictions too mean that more Australians will holiday at home. This is good news for regional communities, but it will also be critical for rural areas to be ready to take advantage of both relocation to the regions and tourism. Regional tourist attractions, remote working opportunities, community connectedness, and cultural vibrancy are competitive advantages that smaller rural areas can harness, however, foundational infrastructure and services are needed to retain and build momentum. Unfortunately, there is significant long-term underinvestment in community assets and local services which improve liveability and quality of life, increase attractiveness and competitiveness, and foster innovation and revitalisation. This is why areas such as community halls, childcare services, aged care services and youth engagement activities are just some areas that FRRR seeks to fund across many programs and regions. We need more funds that are broad and will have multiple flow-on effects in communities. 

As the population in regional areas grows, there is more focus on issues relating to public transport. For example, Carroll is a small village within the Upper Namoi Cotton Growers Area. There is no bus service in the area and the residents are 20 km from services in the next town of Gunnedah. A local committee raised money to buy the bus, purely from local community fundraising and very generous support of many local businesses in Gunnedah and Tamworth. However, not all communities are able to do this, and we are seeing more and more requests to support this kind of service. 

If you would like to know more, contact FRRR.

Community Foundations and local organisations encouraged to apply

6 October 2020: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is seeking local partners in bushfire-affected communities to assist with the distribution of a special bushfire recovery stream of its long-running Back to School program.

schoolbag

Thanks to generous support from donors, FRRR has more than $767,000 in $50 vouchers to distribute in areas affected by the Black Summer bushfires. These vouchers can be redeemed for school essentials, such as school uniforms, shoes, school bags and stationery, which may have been lost during the bushfires. The aim is to help students start the 2021 school year with the key items they need to be ready to learn.

To ensure support reaches people truly in need, FRRR partners with Community Foundations and locally-based community organisations that can distribute the vouchers discretely, without parents having to apply for them.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that one of the key reasons the program has been a success over the past 15 years has been the involvement of local organisations to help coordinate voucher distribution.

“Having run this program since 2005, we know that it’s critical for us to have local partners, on the ground in communities, who can coordinate the distribution of these vouchers through schools, welfare organisations and community support networks, so the funds really get to those in need,” Ms Egleton said.

“We already have many long-standing partnerships, but we are seeking to expand them so that we have a partner in each of the LGA’s impacted by the Black Summer bushfires to help coordinate voucher distribution on behalf of their Shire. We are encouraging Community Foundations and backbone community organisations in these bushfire-affected communities to apply.

“This year has been full of extreme disruptions for these students and families impacted by last summer’s bushfires. As they slowly go back to face-to-face schooling, these children will not only be re-engaging in their education, but also re-establishing social connections with friends, both of which are very important steps in the recovery process,” Ms Egleton explained.

While $50 dollars may not seem much, in FRRR’s experience, it makes a practical difference. For families in need, it can mean that they can buy the books, shoes, uniform items, and even equipment like steel-capped boots or sleeping bags, so students can participate fully in things like work experience or school camps. For students and families doing it tough, it means they can focus on their recovery, education and on building a strong support network, rather than on the stress of not having basic school items or missing out on extracurricular activities.

FRRR’s Back to School Bushfire Response stream is possible thanks to the support of a number of donors, including News Corp Australia, Australia Post, Fire Fight Australia Fund, Portland House Foundation, UNICEF Australia and Origin Energy Foundation.

Community Foundations and local not-for-profit community organisations can apply for vouchers via the FRRR website. Applications close Friday, 30 October 2020. Grants will be announced at the end of November 2020 and vouchers will be distributed in January 2021, ahead of Term 1. 

FRRR’s focus is on medium to long-term recovery of disaster-affected communities. FRRR has already awarded more than $2 million in support for Black Summer bushfire recovery, with further grants to be announced in early 2021.

Since 2005, FRRR’s Back to School program has helped nearly 170,000 disadvantaged students by giving them a $50 gift voucher that can be redeemed for school necessities, such as uniforms, shoes, school bags and stationery. FRRR waives its administration fee on the Back to School program, so that every dollar donated to the program goes directly to the vouchers. The Back to School Bushfire Response stream ran earlier this year, providing nearly 4,000 students impacted by the Black Summer bushfires with a $50 voucher to help with replacing school necessities

20 community-led projects support Black Summer recovery efforts

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), in partnership with News Corp, has awarded a further $410,159 in grants to 20 community-led projects that will support the recovery of rural communities impacted by the Black Summer bushfires.

With the incredible impact the News Corp Bushfire Fund is making on local recovery, News Corp will be adding a further donation of $500,000 to top up the Fund to $1.5 million. There have been over $750,000 in grants awarded to date.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund grants, of up to $25,000, help bring to life a range of recovery-focused initiatives that are designed to encourage people to connect, improve community spirit and increase community preparedness in the event of future bushfires.

In Round 2 of this program, grants have been awarded to local organisations in bushfire-affected communities from across Australia, including Glenreagh and Bermagui in New South Wales, Gipsy Point and Biggara in Victoria, Kingscote and Mount Torrens in South Australia and Beechmont in Queensland.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the resilience and determination of these communities to recover from the Black Summer bushfires, and thrive, is evident by the number of inspiring project ideas and applications that the Foundation has so far received.

“Recovery happens at different rates and there are different needs in each impacted community. So, it’s great to see communities like Onkaparinga, Cudlee Creek and Parndana, in South Australia, seeking out support as they move into their next phase of recovery.

“For some places, recovery means building community resilience with projects that will strengthen local identity and create tourist attractions for economic recovery. While another local collaboration will activate an environmental sustainability project and bring many people together, with a particular focus on supporting vulnerable members of the community, by offering support from mental health professionals.

“For the Biggara community in Victoria, upgrading their community hall was a recovery priority. The facility is central to the lives of residents and the upgrade includes expanding it to accommodate everyone in the community in one sitting. This will ensure that there is capacity for the community to come together and connect in times of celebration and in times of crisis.

“Getting funds out to all these bushfire-affected communities is crucial, especially now with the added challenges that COVID-19 has presented in small local economies,” Ms Egleton explained.

News Corp Australia’s Community Ambassador Penny Fowler said seeing the impact that this funding has on these communities makes partnerships like the one with FRRR so rewarding.

“Through the News Corp Bushfire Recovery program we get the opportunity to see the wonderful difference that funding local groups to champion the recovery of their own community has on these towns.

“We continue to be inspired by their passion and their determination to not let the recovery process, which has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, get the better of their community,” Ms Fowler said.

Some of the 20 projects awarded include:

  • Merrimans Local Aboriginal Lands Council – Bermagui, NSW – The ‘Moodji’ Regional Drought, Bushfire & Mental Health Recovery Project – $25,000 – Improve community wellbeing by enabling Grub Club and various gardening activities and events for a wide local audience to participate in and be supported by mental health professionals.    
  • Buxton Volunteer Fire Brigade – Buxton, VIC – RFS Memorial – Telopea Park – Buxton – $16,600 – Support community resilience with a memorial playground that will honour the brave lives lost in the fires.
  • The Little Pocket Association – Beechmont, QLD – Scenic Rim – Memorial and Mural Project – $25,000 – Build community resilience with a Mural project that will engage visitors and locals in the town’s story of the bushfire.  
  • Royal South Australian Deaf Society – State-wide – Talking Hands for Frontline Responders – $25,000 – Build organisational capacity and deaf community resilience with skill development of frontline responders in basic Auslan.

The News Corp Bushfire Recovery Program will provide further funds to Round 2 applicants before the end of the year. FRRR encourages all grant seekers to subscribe to our eNews and social media channels to be alerted when other funding opportunities are announced, and to be inspired to develop their own community-led projects.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below.

Jump to : NSW | VIC | QLD | SA

Organisation

Project & Summary

Location

Grant

NEW SOUTH WALES

Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council

Essential Fire Equipment and Safety Gear for Bega’s Local Aboriginal Cultural Burning Team

Building organisational capacity with equipment for the Cultural Burning Team will increase individual safety and local preparedness.

Merimbula

$20,683

Connecting Communities Australia Ltd

Bega Valley Bushfire Recovery Program – Restore Jewfish Beach Walkway

Building community resilience, the restoration of the walkway will improve local infrastructure and enable community connection.  

Wonboyn

$23,680

Country Women’s Association of NSW

A Mobile Big Screen Theatre for Community, Cultural and Educational Events

Building community connectivity and capacity the mobile big screen will enable community social activity and cultural vibrancy.

Kandos

$14,145

Four Wheel Drive NSW & ACT Incorporated

Recreational Road to Recovery

Improving community infrastructure and nature areas with trailers & chainsaws for dedicated working bees to clear and repair fire damage sites.

Batemans Bay

$25,000

Glenreagh HeartStart Inc

Emergency Management and Training Room Equipment

Building organisational capacity to deliver enhanced community volunteer training with new equipment to enable effective facilitation and presentation. 

Glenreagh

$3,390

Merrimans Local Aboriginal Lands Council

The ‘Moodji’ Regional Drought, Bushfire & Mental Health Recovery Project

Improve community wellbeing by enabling Grub Club and various gardening activities and events for a wide local audience to participate in and be supported by mental health professionals.

Bermagui

$25,000

Tomerong School of Arts

Making the Tomerong School of Arts Accessible to all in our Community

Building resilience by upgrading infrastructure for improved community with accessible toilets to support all community members use of the facilities.

Tomerong

$25,000

VICTORIA

Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare

2nd Freezer for FoodShare

Building organisational capacity the purchase of a second freezer will improve operations for meeting the increased demand for FoodShare’ services.

Wodonga

$17,148

Buxton Volunteer Fire Brigade

RFS Memorial – Telopea Park – Buxton

Supporting community resilience, the memorial playground will honour the brave lives lost in the fires.  

Buxton

$16,600

Biggara Recreation Reserve Committee of Management

Biggara Valley Community Recovery Project

Building community capacity with an upgrade of Biggara Hall to increase the space twofold for community use.

Biggara

$24,240

Corryong Historic Machinery Club

Development of the Corryong Historic Machinery Club Museum

Strengthening economic recovery by developing local heritage infrastructure will support tourism and build local pride. 

Corryong

$25,000

Gippsland Disability Advocacy Inc

East Gippsland Bushfire Recovery for Persons with Disabilities

Building organisational capacity to facilitate volunteering, mental health and well-being supports for people with a disability in fire affected communities.

Bairnsdale

$22,000

Gipsy Point Cemetery Trust Inc

Replacing Burnt and Damaged Boundary Fences and Upgrading Entrance Points at Gipsy Point Cemetery Trust

Building community resilience, the upgrade of Gipsy Point Cemetery will ensure the space is maintained for the local community.   

Gipsy Point

$22,004

QUEENSLAND

The Little Pocket Association

Scenic Rim – Memorial and Mural Project

Building community resilience, the Mural project will engage visitors and locals in the town’s story of the bushfire.  

Beechmont

$25,000

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Advance Kingscote Progress Association

Kangaroo Island Silo Art Project

Driving tourism and fostering a sense of community pride the silo art project will welcome locals and visitors. 

Kingscote

$25,000

Disaster Relief Australia

Resilience and Capacity Building for South Australian Communities

Building organisational capacity the new equipment will expand the numbers of volunteers able to be deployed during emergencies. 

Cudlee Creek

$25,000

Parndana Agricultural Horticultural and Floricultural Society Inc

Parndana Show 2020

Enabling community social connection and access by making the Parndana Show a free event for the community.

Parndana

$15,000

Royal South Australian Deaf Society Inc

Talking Hands for Frontline Responders

Building organisational capacity and deaf community resilience with skill development of frontline responders in basic Auslan.

South Australia (statewide)

$25,000

SAVEM Inc

SAVEM Field Hospital Essential Equipment Project

Building organisational capacity by preparing the mobile Field Hospital with equipment to treat animals of all species affected during bushfires.

Onkaparinga

$21,050

Spring Head Trinity Lutheran Church Inc

Spring Head Fire Prevention

Improving community preparedness by removing debris and building fences for stock that will reduce the fuel load and protect this emergency shelter site.

Mount Torrens

$10,219