Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Grants up to $20,000 available through the In a Good Place program

8 July 2020: Grants of up to $20,000 are now available to not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) throughout rural, regional and remote Australia to support projects that improve and strengthen the mental health of their communities through the In a Good Place (IAGP) program.

The IAGP program, now in its third year, is the centrepiece of a five-year partnership between the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and CCI Giving. It is based on a shared belief in the value and importance of rural, regional and remote communities and a commitment to strengthening mental health and wellbeing within those communities.

A pool of $200,000 is available for community-led projects that reduce social isolation, increase social participation and connectedness, and increase access to help for people within rural, regional and remote communities who are at risk of, or are experiencing, mental health issues.

Jeremy Yipp, Chief Risk Officer of CCI and Chair of CCI Giving, said initiatives that increase the resilience and social connectedness of rural communities not only have direct mental health benefits, but often also lead to improved mental wellbeing by increasing productivity, economic participation, and employment.

“We have seen so many projects funded through the In a Good Place program that have been a beacon of hope for those living in communities doing it tough. They have made a real difference to the resilience, social connectedness and mental wellbeing of rural Australia. Even just sharing experiences and knowing that you’re not alone is, in itself, powerful.

“We encourage community groups to put forward proposals for projects that will help to tackle the mental health challenges their community is facing, especially with the additional pressures encountered due to COVID-19,” said Mr Yipp.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that COVID-19 has highlighted the impact that isolation can have on mental health and demonstrates why social connectedness, particularly during times of crisis, is so important for the mental wellbeing of those living in rural communities.

“Rural communities have been hit by drought, bushfires, floods and now the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. These events have a huge impact on the mental health of those living in these regions,” Ms Egleton said.

For people living in rural, regional and remote Australia, accessing mental health support is typically more complex than in metropolitan areas. This is due to a myriad of factors including a lack of mental health expertise within the community, the considerable travel time to reach mental health services and specialists and an overarching culture of self-reliance and fear of stigma.[1][2]

“Mental health in rural, regional and remote Australia is a complex issue. Overwhelmingly, there is a consistent need in these communities for better access to mental health services, as well as greater opportunities to strengthen social-connectedness and participation,” Ms Egleton explained.

“It’s not just about those that have a mental health condition having access to clinical services, but also how we can support opportunities to promote mental wellbeing, through the likes of workshops or mental health first-aid training, or simply providing a safe place to chat to someone.”

“Each community is different; with different mental health concerns, needs and priorities. Our partnership with CCI Giving means that we can support community-led initiatives that are meaningful and will have the greatest impact on the mental wellness of those living in these rural communities,” said Ms Egleton.

Applications open on 7 July 2020. FRRR expects this will be a highly competitive program and so there is a two-stage application process. A brief project outline must be submitted no later than 7 August, and full applications for invited projects are due by 11 August 2020. 



[1] National Mental Health Commission. Monitoring mental health and suicide prevention reform: National Report 2019. Sydney: NMHC; 2019.

[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics. People living in remote areas are less than half as likely to access a mental health service. Health case study. 2016. Retrieved from

Over $100,000 in grants awarded across rural, regional and remote Australia

Bendigo, 12 November 2019: Eight projects that support and encourage good mental health practices in rural, regional and remote communities have received grants from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal via the In a Good Place program.

The projects will share $100,725, thanks to support from CCI Giving, the charitable foundation of Catholic Church Insurance (CCI).

Over a million dollars in grant funding was requested in this third round of In A Good Place, highlighting the need for mental health interventions across rural, regional and remote Australia.

“This third round saw an increase in the number of applications using art-based activities as a tool to encourage community engagement around mental health and resilience,” said FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton.Successful applications include a safe space to enable mental health conversations at the Julia Creek Dirt & Dust Festival – an area of Queensland deeply impacted by drought and flood; creative community workshops and an interactive theatre performance addressing mental ill-health and substance abuse in Hopetoun, Western Australia; and a series of targeted workshops for adolescent and adult men, focusing on improving mental health and reducing the risk of suicide in Kimba, South Australia.

“Training and skill development, particularly Mental Health First Aid, was also a strong theme. It’s been well-documented that people living in rural, regional and remote Australia don’t have the same access to health services as major metropolitan centres. This includes a lack of early intervention services, and often there are long waiting periods for services in neighbouring communities. These grants will help communities to really take charge and be as self-sufficient as possible when it comes to taking care of their own.”

Roberto Scenna, CEO of CCI and Director of CCI Giving, said that his organisation was pleased to provide funding for another round of the In A Good Place program.

“It’s vitally important that every single one of us feels empowered when it comes to our mental health. The unfortunate reality is that societal pressures and factors such as where you live mean that that’s not always possible. These grants will make a real difference throughout rural, regional and remote Australia.”

The next round of the In a Good Place program will open in February 2020. Keep an eye on FRRR’s grants calendar for the details.

The complete list of locally-led projects that have been funded this round is below.





Apostolic Church Australia, as the Operator of a PBI

Building a Stronger You
Support students as they transition from primary school to high school, to build personal, social and emotional resilience and promote positive self-esteem to enable them to fully engage in education.



Parkes High School P&C

Parkes High Mental Health Awareness Day
Provide an inclusive day for high school students to engage with mental health professionals to encourage positive mental health and support self-help seeking behaviour for themselves and their peers.



Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival Inc.

Have a Yack in the Outback
Raise awareness and provide opportunities for conversations about mental health, and encourage help seeking by creating a dedicated meeting area at a key outback event in a drought and flood impacted region.

Julia Creek,


University of South Australia

A mental wellbeing program delivered in partnership with community-based men’s mental health support groups and rural South Australian football clubs / leagues
Support a series of targeted workshops for adolescent and adult men, focusing on improving mental health and reducing the risk of suicide.

Tumby Bay,


Huon Valley Council

Mental Health Community Response
Build the capacity of the Huon Valley community to respond to and prevent suicide, and promote mental health through the delivery of Mental Health First Aid training to community members and groups.



Beyond the Bell Great South Coast

Live4Life Southern Grampians
Build community capacity to support youth mental health and build community capacity through the establishment of the Live4Life model within the Southern Grampians shire.



Youth Affairs Council Victoria Inc

Deadly Yarning & Learning:  Our Mental Health
Support the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people by providing culturally competent Mental Health First Aid training and supporting the establishment of a community of practice to provide ongoing support.

Swan Hill,


Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council

Raving About Mental Wellness
Provide opportunities for conversations around mental health and wellbeing through creative community workshops and an interactive theatre performance addressing mental ill-health and substance abuse.