Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

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.

Black Saturday funding available for community-led initiatives

Twelve years on from the devastating 2009 Victorian bushfires, FRRR is offering another round of funding to support impacted communities as they continue to rebuild, reconnect and recover.

Black Saturday funding available for community-led initiatives
Whittlesea Community Garden

Supported by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), the funding is available through FRRR’s Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) program and the Grants for Resilience & Wellness Kinglake Ranges (GR&W Kinglake) program. The grants of up to $20,000 will support not-for-profits and community-based organisations to lead projects that aid recovery and build community resilience.

The GR&W and GR&W Kinglake Ranges programs fund initiatives that:

  • Improve mental health and wellbeing of communities and individuals;
  • Enhance wellbeing and resilience of pre-school, primary and secondary school-aged children and young people;
  • Strengthen community connections, sense of place and community identity; and
  • Increase the community’s ability to prepare for future disasters.

To date, FRRR has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to local groups, thanks to VBAF funding, which comes from the generous contributions by the general public following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. Through this round of funding there is a total of $360,000 available for GR&W grants and a total of more than $700,000 available for GR&W Kinglake projects.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that the impact of COVID-19 has increased the need to support recovering communities to reconnect socially and continue to enhance their wellbeing.

“Despite the restrictions that the pandemic has put on people coming together, local groups report services and activities that enhance wellness and resilience are still well attended. One program funded twice previously by FRRR, the Be Well in the Ranges program, has been fully booked out, and the Yinnar Memorial Hall exercise group continues to attract 30-40 participants each week,” Ms O’Brien said.

“The GR&W programs provide flexible support to respond to issues as they emerge. More than a decade since the fires, communities are focusing on building resilience for the future,” Ms O’Brien explained.

Applications for both GR&W and GR&W Kinglake close at 5pm AEDT, Wednesday 21 April 2021.

Potential applicants should visit the GR&W and GR&W Kinglake webpages and review the guidelines before applying.

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)

More than 100 projects funded across Australia

More than 100 projects set to strengthen remote, rural and regional Australia have been given an encouraging boost, with 96 communities sharing in $1,112,492 in grants, thanks to the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.

The successful communities, which range across Australia from remote Kintore in the Northern Territory, to Jundah in Queensland and Leonora in Western Australia, will use the grants of up to $25,000 for a broad range of inspiring projects.

Led by local people, these initiatives vary from encouraging young people from Arnhem Land communities to connect with culture and make healthy lifestyle choices by getting them involved in creating edible garden plots, to helping the community of South Arm continue its recovery following the Black Summer bushfires by purchasing amenities and safety equipment to prepare the local hall for future disaster events.

It’s just one of 34 grants going to communities with the unique challenge of overcoming the impacts of the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. Supported through a special stream of funding, these regions will share in $589,945 in grants for projects designed to help seed and strengthen their recovery.

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 strengthen, adapt and evolve, and innovate and renew,” Ms Matthee explained.

Some of the 101 projects awarded include:

  • Dalaigur Pre-school and Children’s Services Aboriginal Corporation, NSW – Transportation 2021 – $10,000 – Increase Kempsey children’s access to educational, social and health opportunities by providing a bus service for Aboriginal Early Childhood Education Services students.
  • West Daly Regional Council, NT – West Daly Regional Council’s Community BBQ Trailer – $9,068 – Create a more engaged community and enhance locals’ sense of place by purchasing a BBQ trailer that will be used during emergency and disaster relief efforts and for community events.
  • 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.
  • Live Well Tasmania, TAS – Renovating our Community Centre for Community Health and Wellbeing – $9,980 – Create a safe space for youth by renovating the local Community Centre.
  • Friends of the Great Victorian Rail Trail, VIC – Tour de Trail – $3,700 – Promote health and wellbeing by encouraging people to participate in a bike-ride/fun day event in Mansfield in March 2021.
  • 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 | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

Organisation

Project

Location

Awarded

NEW SOUTH WALES

Hillston and District Aquatic Club Inc Upgrade Lake Woorabinda Access to Water
Build community resilience and engagement in water activities through the upgrade and drought proofing of Lake Woorabinda.
Hillston $10,000
Mendooran & District Development Group Main Street Seating in Mendooran
Strengthen community connection through the provision of safe seating and exterior upgrade Masonic Lodge.
Mendooran $841
Collins Creek Public Hall Land Manager Improvements to Acoustic Properties of the Collins Creek Community Hall
Enhance community identity through improving the acoustic quality of the Community Hall.
Collins Creek $10,000
Gilgandra Council Capturing the Memories and Local Characters
Promote social inclusion and wellbeing by documenting stories from residents of Cooee Lodge and Jack Towney Hostel.
Gilgandra $10,000
Lightning Ridge Opal and Fossil Centre Inc Australian Opal Centre (AOC) 2021-2023 Strategic Plan Development Project
Build organisational resilience through the development of a 3 year strategic plan for the Lightening Ridge Fossil and Opal Centre.
Lightning Ridge $10,000
Tenterfield Show Society Inc Connecting 1876 and 2020
Contribute to a culturally vibrant community through preservation and display of locally significant artifacts and memorabilia.
Tenterfield $10,000
Circartus Inc Circartus Train the Trainer
Strengthen Circartus organisational capacity by delivering a train the trainer program.
Wingham $9,970
Kootingal and District Pre-School Inc Aboriginal Program and Clay Program
Strengthen engagement with Aboriginal culture through the delivery of a program of structured play activities for preschool children at Kootingal & District Preschool.
Kootingal $8,000
Burringbar School of Arts Purchase and Installation of Commercial Dishwasher
Increase volunteer capacity through the purchase of a commercial dishwasher for Burringbar School of Arts.
Burringbar $4,698
Dalaigur Pre-school and Children’s Services Aboriginal Corporation Transportation 2021
Enable access to quality learning environments through the provision of transport services for young children to attend Dalaigur Pre-school.
Kempsey $10,000
Howlong Toy Library The Power of ‘Picnics and Play’
Enrich local community interaction through the purchase of resources for a series of mindful play and dinner events for families and children in Howlong.
Howlong $5,541
Kendall Mens Shed Routing
Increase organisational capacity through the purchase of a router to support fundraising capacity for Kendall Men’s Shed members.
Kendall $2,463
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

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Assoc (Aboriginal Corporation) 40 Years of CAAMA – Compilation Album Set
Celebrate and promote Indigenous culture and musicianship through creation of four CD set of Central Australian Indigenous music.
Alice Springs $10,000
One Tree Community Services Inc Green Book
Increase accessibility and feelings of security and inclusion with the creation of restful outdoor space at Wadeye Women’s Refuge.
Wadeye $8,000
MJD Foundation Ltd MJD International Centre of Excellence – Umbakumba
Enable provision of allied health services and research for sufferers of Machado Joseph Disease on Groote Eylandt through fit out of accommodation for researchers and allied health workers.
Umbakumba $10,000
East Arnhem Regional Council Healthier Eating through Edible Gardens in East Arnhem Indigenous Communities
Support community engagement and active lifestyles, leading to healthier outcomes for community members, with the establishment of edible gardens.
Milingimbi $10,000
Katherine Isolated Children’s Service Incorporated Remote Mobile Playgroup
Create equal opportunities for early childhood development through access to mobile playgroups in very remote locations across Central Australia.
Katherine $10,000
West Daly Regional Council West Daly Regional Council’s Community BBQ Trailer
Build community connectedness and support social connection through provision of a BBQ trailer for Council and community run events.    
Wadeye $9,068

QUEENSLAND

The Creche and Kindergarten Association Limited C&K Hoey Street’s Sustainable Food Forest
Foster healthy eating habits and connection to the environment, through the establishment of a sustainable food garden at the local kindergarten.
Sarina $1,252
Cloncurry Kindergarten Association Inc Screens for outside buildings
Increase educational opportunities at Cloncurry Kindergarten through the provision of retractable screens for outdoor buildings.
Cloncurry $10,000
Abergowrie Primary P&C Association The Voices of our Yarning Circle
Support cultural literacy and community engagement in education through the building of a landscaped Yarning Circle.
Ingham $10,000
Bana Mindilji Aboriginal Corporation Installation of Composting Toilets on Country
Promote environmental sustainability and organisational capacity through the installation of composting toilets at remote station.
Wujal Wujal $10,000
Burdekin Woodcrafts Association Incorporated Kitchen Replacement
Strengthen community engagement through upgrade of kitchen facilities at the Burdekin Woodcrafts Association.
Ayr $9,765
Focus on Food and Fibre Conference
Nindigully Landcare Group Incorporated
Focus on Food and Fibre Conference
Build community and agricultural resilience through support for food and fibre conference.
St George $10,000
Jundah Local Ambulance Committee Emergency Response Training
Improve emergency response capacity by enabling volunteers to participate in training.
Jundah $3,250
Kilkivan Show & Campdraft Association Inc Defibtech Lifeline Package & Community COVID-19 Pack
Support community safety and health outcomes, through the purchase of a defibrillator machine and community COVID-19 pack.
Kilkivan $5,228
QCWA St George Branch
The Queensland Country Women’s Association
QCWA St George – Empowerment Through Technology!
Help people stay connected by purchase of IT equipment to increase the digital capacity of local CWA.
St George $1,969
Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network Incorporated Advancing towards 2030.
Increase digital capability and capacity through the purchase of integrated membership and fundraising IT platform.
Goondiwindi $10,000
Roughlie Community Centre Incorporated Purchase of 2 Refrigerators for Cold Storage
Develop organisational resilience and capacity through the purchase of refrigerator for community centre.
Roma $4,798
Texas & District Kindergarten Association Inc Replace Two Non-compliant Fences at Texas Kindergarten.
Support a safe outdoor early learning environment through upgrade of fencing at local kindergarten.
Texas $6,974
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

Scouts SA – Roonka Water Activity Centre
Scout Association of Aust SA Branch
Tree Planting and Installation of Solar Powered Watering System
Restore and conserve local habitat and generate community engagement through the creation of a native garden.
Blanchetown $4,139
Port Neill War Memorial Hall Inclusion and Access for All at our Hall
Enhance community well-being and connectedness and improve the amenity of a community hall through the installation of an all ability toilet.
Port Neill $8,034
Mannum Men’s Shed Inc Continue to Work by Purchasing a Thicknesser
Increase social engagement by purchasing new equipment and strengthen the Men’s Shed capacity to support participants and deliver community projects.
Mannum $1,299
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

TASMANIA

Lorinna Residents & Ratepayers Association Inc Lorinna Hall Improved Access Project
Enhance community well-being and connectedness and improve the amenity of a community hall through the installation of an all ability access ramp.
Lorinna $2,000
Live Well Tasmania Renovating Our Community Centre for Community Health and Wellbeing
Create a secure hospitable meeting space and support youth engagement through conducting roof maintenance at a community centre.
Wynyard $9,980
Dorset Community Association Inc Outreach and Support Equipment Upgrades
Build organisational capacity and increase community engagement through the purchase of equipment for a Neighbourhood House.
Scottsdale $9,790
Lilydale Volunteer Fire Brigade
State Fire Commission (Tas)
Lilydale Community Smoke Alarm Project
Increase safety and build community awareness through the operation of a fire safety project.
Lilydale

$7,000

VICTORIA

Friends of Grampians Rail Trail Inc Grampians Rail Trail Emergency Marker Posts
Provide a safe community resource and strengthen opportunities for social engagement through the development of a recreation trail.
Stawell $9,111
Castlemaine Community House Inc Food Links – Strengthening Local Food Security
Improve community health, wellbeing, and educational development through the establishment of a food security program.
Castlemaine $10,000
Colac Area Health Foundation Saving Lives in the Colac Community
Improve community health and well-being outcomes through the purchase of healthcare equipment for use in a local Hospital.
Colac $10,000
Friends of the Great Victorian Rail Trail Tour de Trail
Enhance well-being outcomes and strengthen community connection through the initiation of a community event.
Mansfield $3,700
Penshurst Progress Association Inc Aiding our Community Communication and Cooperation
Increase community engagement, volunteer support and social opportunities, through the purchase of a new printer.
Penshurst $8,000
Central Highlands Rural Health Transforming Aged Care Residents’ Quality of Life
Improve the health and social wellbeing of people living with dementia by providing a interactive games program for residents.
Daylesford $10,000
Cobden District Health Services Inc Cobden Health Boiler Room Upgrade
Strengthen organisational capacity and support the needs of residents through the upgrade of a boiler-room system.
Cobden $10,000
Cycling Without Age Portland Inc
Rotary Club of Portland Inc
Cycling Without Age on the Move
Strengthen community connections for older people and support volunteer participation though the commencement of a cycling project.
Portland $9,000
Paynesville Men’s Shed Inc Let there be Lunch!
Improve mental health and social outcomes for older men in the community by upgrading a kitchen and delivering a healthy eating program.
Paynesville $4,123
St Arnaud Neighbourhood House Inc The Life Story Projects
Improve social participation and the health and wellbeing of aged care residents, through the enhancement of a life story project.
Donald $6,810
West Wimmera Health Service Friends Across the Ages Gone Digital
Improve the health and social wellbeing of older people by initiating a community connections program.
Nhill $10,000
Boort Resource and Information Centre Boort Business and Services Resource Hub
Improve community participation and access to services and education through the development of a fit for purpose community hub.
Boort $10,000
Community Recovery Committee Bunyip Complex Fires Association Inc Tonimbuk Hall Upgrade
Increase community participation and engagement through installation of a climate control system and the upgrade of a Community Hall.
Tonimbuk $9,990
Cowangie Soldiers Memorial Hall New Blockout Blinds
Strengthen community engagement and participation by replacing coverings which are no longer fit for purpose and creating a space that meets community needs.
Cowangie $4,000
Kilmore District Men’s Shed Inc Equipment
Promote learning and development and build organisational capacity through the purchase of new technology.
Kilmore $2,933
Paynesville RSL Sub-Branch A Warm Glow for Better Health
Increase community participation and engagement through installation of a climate control system, creating a comfortable gathering space.
Paynesville $10,000
Southern Otway Landcare Network Inc SOLN Support Centre’s Community Shed
Increase environmental education and community participation through the creation of a secure, hospitable space.
Apollo Bay $10,000
Swan Hill Specialist School SHSS Community Garden
Strengthen student engagement and skill development while establishing a connections to the wider community through the expansion of a community garden.
Swan Hill $5,346
Clunes Neighbourhood House Inc Weight off your Shoulders: 6 Week Weight Loss and Wellbeing Program
Improve the health and well-being of community members through initiating a health focused support program.
Clunes $10,000
Robinvale Network House Inc Covid Community Connection Capabilities
Increase communication of community education programs and activities through development of a website and communication system.
Robinvale $8,862
Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network Inc Ararat Schools Resilient Art Project
Increase the resilience and well-being of young people in the community through the delivery of a mindfulness program.
Ararat $10,000

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Empowering Plantagenet Seniors Inc Empowering Plantagenet Seniors Hub Fit Out
Support community engagement and participation through establishment of a Senior’s Hub.
Mount Baker $10,000
Narembeen Community Resource Centre (CRC)
Shire of Narembeen
Ladies Long Lunch
Increase social connectedness, business skills and mental health wellbeing through the Narembeen Ladies Long Lunch event.
Narembeen $6,750
Esperance Farmers Fund
South East Premium Wheat Grower Association
Set up Foundation – Esperance Farmers Fund
Build capacity of Esperance to deliver locally driven community projects that support the wellbeing and growth of the community through establishment of a local community foundation.
Esperance $10,000
Katampul Aboriginal Corporation Development Katampul Health and Wellbeing Plan: Working Group
Build community capacity through creation of an interagency working group and development of household health and wellbeing plans.
Leonora $9,100
Tjupan Ngalia Tribal Land Council Aboriginal Corporation Walkatjurra Kindilink Mural Project
Build student and community engagement with education and incorporate cultural learning via a transformative mural design process at Lenora District High School.
Leonora $10,000
Littlewell Mingenew Aboriginal Reserve Group
Shire of Mingenew
Littlewell Aboriginal Reserve Seating
Enhance the amenity of the Littlewell Reserve through provision of seating.
Mingenew $10,000
Be Living Smart Inc
Collie Family Centre Incorporated
The 10-topic Living Smart Community Course
Support community to achieve environmental sustainability goals through seven week Living Smart course.
Collie $9,013
Lake Grace Community Men’s Shed Inc. Operation Bandsaw
Increase community engagement, social wellbeing and connectedness for men in the Lake Grace region through the replacement of a bandsaw at Men’s Shed.
Lake Grace $2,750
Northampton Parents and Friends Association Playground for St Mary’s Primary School Northampton
Increase gross and fine motor skill development and children’s physical health and mental wellbeing with purchase of playground equipment for St Mary’s School, Northampton.
Northampton $9,000
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

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

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is encouraging community groups in regions affected by the 2019-20 bushfires to apply for recovery funding, with more than $380,000 in grants available thanks to News Corp’s generous support.

The News Corp Bushfire Fund supports a wide range of recovery projects in impacted areas across New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland and the ACT. Not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and community groups are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $25,000 for projects designed to seed recovery.

Since April 2020, the Fund has awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to regions working hard to recover from the Black Summer bushfires. This final round of grants will see News Corp’s contribution total $1.5 million. So far the Fund has supported 61 recovery projects that have helped to address a spectrum of needs as affected communities work to unite, rebuild and recover.

Sarah Matthee, FRRR’s Acting CEO, said that recovery looks different for every community that experienced the Black Summer bushfires.

“Rural communities are incredibly resilient. Each place has unique needs and priorities when it comes to recovery. Working with partners like News Corp, who understand that supporting recovery is not a one-size-fits-all solution, means that we can get funds out for projects that respond to the needs identified by each community – projects that are important for them, as and when they are ready.

“For example, Buxton Primary School students returned to school to find the play equipment had been destroyed. But with a $25,000 News Corp Bushfire Fund grant the school was able to install an eco-friendly playground that has been a hit with the kids. The playground gives them and their families a fun-filled place to play and a safe space to talk about their experiences of the fires and their own recovery,” Ms Matthee explained.

News Corp Australia’s community ambassador Penny Fowler said it has been a humbling experience to be a part of the recovery process for these communities.

“The program objectives are far reaching, meaning the grants can go towards a wide range of recovery activities. We are proud to have already funded so many initiatives that are now actively helping those working in recovery to deliver outcomes today and in years to come. We look forward to the next round of projects,” Mrs Fowler said. Applications for the News Corp Bushfire Fund grants are now open and community groups in Local Government Areas with a bushfire disaster declaration from September 2019 to April 2020 are invited to apply. The round will close 17 February, with funds expected to be awarded in March.

Funding for communities impacted by 2009 Black Saturday fires

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has awarded nearly $725,000 in grants to support 31 projects that will help communities impacted by the February 2009 Black Saturday bushfires continue to rebuild, reconnect and recover.

Supported by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), these grants are funded through three grant programs – Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W), GR&W Kinglake Ranges and the final round of Community Group Futures (CGF).

The VBAF funding comes from the generous contributions by the general public following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. More than a decade on from Black Saturday, FRRR has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to local groups through these programs.

Grants for Resilience & Wellness

The GR&W program is tailored to support community-led projects that focus on strengthening and building the resilience of those places impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

Now in its nineth year, this round of GR&W sees $233,089 in grants awarded to 15 community groups. The funded projects will support and improve the wellbeing, resilience and mental health of community members, help people keep coming together, and help build community capacity and preparedness for future disasters.

Nina O’Brien, Disaster and Recovery Lead at FRRR, said that this round, there were many communities wanting funding for projects that help people connect and also retain their sense of place and community identity.

“Many communities reach a stage in their long-term recovery where reconnecting with place, the environment, and community becomes an important part of the healing process,” explained Ms O’Brien.

“Rediscovering and rebuilding these connections can happen in many different and meaningful ways, and this round of GR&W is a perfect example of that. For some communities, it involves improving community meeting places and venues for activities. Others are using arts and cultural projects to both increase community connectedness and grow community identity and awareness of local history. Other places are helping their community to connect through events and activities like concerts and walking trails.

“Recovery takes time and the process is different for every place, so it’s important that we listen to communities and their local leaders and let them decide what priorities need to be addressed, as things evolve,” Ms O’Brien said.

Some of the projects funded in this round of the GR&W program include:

  • Buxton Primary School, Buxton – Buxton Bush Tucker Trail – $15,000 – Enhance curriculum through delivery of an innovative environmental and Indigenous education program that supports custodianship of local ecology.
  • Yarra Valley ECOSS, Wesburn – Crops for Community to Market – $20,000 – Build a vibrant resilient local food economy through employment of a disability support worker to deliver and develop programs for disaster affected residents.
Grants for Resilience & Wellness Kinglake Ranges

The GR&W Kinglake Ranges program gives community groups and local not-for-profit organisations in the Kinglake Ranges the opportunity to work together and increase local capacity to get initiatives off the ground. This round, $461,993 has been awarded to 14 projects in the region.

A great example of the collaborative and innovative local thinking is Bees for the House, which will increase access to infrastructure that supports community education, through development of an apiary at the Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House.

Among the other GR&W Kinglake Ranges awarded grants are:

  • Flowerdale Community House, Flowerdale – Flowerdale Playgroup Program – $26,250 – Increase support for local parents, and enhance early childhood education, through facilitated playgroup program at Flowerdale Community House. 
  • Kinglake Ranges Children’s Centre, Kinglake – Indigenous Sensory Bush Tucker Garden with Community Mural – $17,530 – Increase cultural and environmental learning through establishment of a yarning circle, firepit, and student inspired mural at a newly developed bush tucker garden.

The next rounds of GR&W and GR&W Kinglake Ranges open early March 2021 and close April 2021. Applications for the GR&W Kinglake Ranges program are now invited from all community groups in the wider Kinglake Ranges, not just those that participated in the initial consultation process in 2017.

Community Group Futures

The CGF program focuses on not-for-profit groups in communities impacted by Black Saturday. It was designed to provide them with the tools to create strong and lasting improvements within their organisation. This is the final round of the CGF program, with $898,237 granted across ten rounds.

Some $29,483 has been awarded to two projects to support the Yackandandah Fire Station and the Stanley Athenaeum and Public Room. The funds will increase their capacity through the purchase of equipment and by funding professional administrative support.

Ms O’Brien said that more than a decade on, these community organisations continue to experience operational and service delivery challenges due to the 2009 bushfires.

“For these community groups, they have had to face the challenge of managing their own recovery while also continuing to provide support and services the people in their communities. The CGF program has supported these organisations to look ahead to the future and implement longer term climate resilience initiatives that will help them achieve their aspirations,” said Ms O’Brien.

“For some community groups, these goals have included greater organisational capabilities, for others it’s been about long-term viability and sustainability, while others looked for ways to improve cost efficiencies for community infrastructure.

“The CGF grants have helped strengthen and sustain these community groups so that they can continue to do what they do best and support their community,” Ms O’Brien explained.

The final projects funded through the CGF program are:

  • Totally Renewable Yackandandah, Yackandandah – Yackandandah Fire station – Resilient Power Supply – $9,983 – Increase the capacity of the organisation to reduce costs and remain available during emergencies through the purchase of a generator that will enhance the Fire Station’s new battery and solar system’s capacity.
  • Stanley Athenaeum and Public Room Indigo Shire Council, Stanley – Prepare and Protect – $19,500 –Increase organisational capacity by employing professional support to catalogue and preserve Stanley Historical Space’s significant local collection. The project will include training that will leave a legacy in the organisation.

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

OrganisationProjectLocationAwarded
GRANTS FOR RESILIENCE AND WELLNESS
Alexandra Football & Netball Club IncReserve Development
Enhance facilities that support community connectedness and fitness, via upgrade of power supply for new community hub at Alexandra Football & Netball Club
Alexandra$15,000
Art Resource Collective IncPottery and Print Equipment Fund
Increase access to the arts, and local connectedness through, upgrade of ceramics equipment and infrastructure for community arts group
Yinnar$18,997
Arthurs Creek Fire Brigade
Country Fire Authority – Head office
Spreading the Knowledge-Bushfire Education Program 2020
Build community resilience, through development of resources to deliver local CFA bushfire awareness program across five schools impacted by the 2009 bushfires.
Strathewen$20,000
Bruarong Community CentreProtecting and Sharing – Developing the Bruarong Collection Research Resource
Preserve and protect the community’s heritage, through uploading and cataloguing images, objects, and documents.
Bruarong$18,500
Buxton Primary SchoolBuxton Bush Tucker Trail
Enhanced curriculum through, delivery of innovative environmental and Indigenous education program that supports custodianship of local ecology.
Buxton$15,000
‘Honour the Taungurung’ Community Project Group
Yea Community Service Group Inc
Honour the Taungurung
Work towards reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional owners through creation of a community meeting place featuring Taungurung designed artwork celebrating local Indigenous culture.
Yea$28,734
Kilmore District Men’s Shed IncSolar Power
Enhance sustainability of local Men’s Shed, through the installation of solar panels.
Kilmore$8,960
Kilmore District Men’s Shed Inc  Plastering
Enhance sustainability of local group, through the completion to construction of a local Men’s Shed
Kilmore$6,054
Marysville Community Action Team
Murrindindi Cycle Club
Feasibility Study for more cycling options in the Marysville Area to increase tourism
Explore potential for ecotourism development and rejuvenation of community’s economy by extending visitor season with feasibility study into Cycle Trails
Marysville$14,000
More Murals
Rubicon Forest Protection Group Inc
Life of a Leaf: Notes from the Forest
Enhance creative development and recovery, through creation of a 16-track compilation CD reflecting on the Black Saturday fires
Marysville Buxton Taggerty$15,200
Rotary Club of AlexandraMusic in the Park Increase local connection and enhance culture, through supporting the delivery of community music event.Alexandra$5,450
St Matthew’s Church
Saltbush Community Initiatives Inc
Hope…It Grows! Renewal
Increase community access and renew facilities, through upgrade to community garden and space.
Long Gully$15,300
Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group IncProvide Seating along the Say G’Day trail at Wandong
Enhance local walking trail and increase accessibility for residents with different abilities, through installation of seating areas.
Wandong$6,695
Whittlesea Men’s Shed IncDust Extraction and Air Filtration System
Improve the health and well-being of community participants, by upgrading the air filtration system in the wood working workshop.
Whittlesea$20,000
Yarra Valley Ecoss IncCrops for Community to Market
Build vibrant resilient local food economy, through employment of a disability support worker to deliver and develop programs for disaster affected residents.
Wesburn$20,000
GRANTS FOR RESILIENCE AND WELLNESS – KINGLAKE RANGES
Flowerdale Community House IncFlowerdale Playgroup Program
Increase support for local parents, and enhance early childhood education, through facilitated playgroup program at Flowerdale Community House. 
Flowerdale$26,250
Kinglake Football Netball ClubCommunity coming together with healthy mind and body
Increase local connectedness and reduce social isolation, through delivery of a family focused event at local Sports ground.
Kinglake$3,530
Kinglake Ranges Children’s Centre IncIndigenous Sensory Bush tucker Garden with Community Mural
Increase cultural and environmental learning through, establishment of a yarning circle, firepit, and student inspired mural, at a newly developed bush tucker garden.
Kinglake$17,530
Buzz of the Bees
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc  
Bees for the House
Increase access to infrastructure that supports community education, through development of an apiary at the Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House.
Kinglake$7,508
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncDindi Collective: Supporting Organisational Capacity of Neighbourhood & Community Houses across Murrindindi
Increase capacity and collaboration between seven Community Houses in Murrindindi Shire, though establishment of a supportive Network and delivery of professional development.
Kinglake$64,173
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncKinglake Ranges Fund – Community Grant Development Officer
Increase local capacity to develop community projects and apply for grant funds, through employment of a Community Grants Officer.
Kinglake$41,941
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncMakerspace Mates
Increase opportunities to support connection, reduce isolation, and learn about new interests, through the delivery of free, no skill needed, creative workshops.
Kinglake$19,763
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House IncThe Matanya Effect – Healing with Horses – Skills for a Calmer Life
Increase access to locally based support for mental health, through the delivery of equine assisted learning to residents of the Kinglake Ranges.
Kinglake$17,700
Kinglake Trust Reserve IncEllimatta Centre Periodic Maintenance Project
Increase access to spaces where the community connect, through preservation and maintenance of community hub at Kinglake Trust Reserve.
Kinglake$25,850
Kinglake Historical Society
Kinglake West Mechanics Institute Hall and Reserves Committee Inc
Strengthening Community Understanding of Kinglake’s Heritage
Increase space and resources for Historical displays and research, through expansion to Kinglake Historical Society and purchase of additional equipment.
Kinglake$162,334
Middle Kinglake Primary SchoolProviding Opportunities for Positive Social Interaction
Increase use of outdoor areas at Middle Kinglake Primary School for learning and socialising, through purchase of outdoor cushions and beanbags.
Kinglake Central$1,000
Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges IncRotary and Lions Storage Facility
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase local capacity, through the installation of a centrally located storage shed for community equipment.
Kinglake$39,910
Toolangi-Castella Local History Action Plan Working Group
Toolangi District Community House Inc
Toolangi-Castella Local history Action Plan
Increase local connectedness to culture and heritage, through development of an oral history and photographic display, and website for Toolangi-Castella.
Toolangi$14,742
Toolangi Tennis Court Action Team
Toolangi District Community House Inc
Toolangi Tennis Court and Surrounds Re-development
Enhance local meeting space and increase safety, through upgrade of pathways, retaining walls, and landscaping at Toolangi Tennis Court reserve
Toolangi$19,762
COMMUNITY GROUP FUTURES
Stanley Athenaeum and Public Room
Indigo Shire Council
Prepare and Protect
Increase awareness of local historical collections significance, and protect it from future disasters, through engaging a Collection Management Consultant.
Stanley$19,500
Totally Renewable Yackandandah IncYackandandah Fire station – Resilient Power Supply
Increase local resilience and preparedness through installation of a generator at the Yackandandah Fire Station.
Yackandandah$9,983

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.