Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

$2 million Fund to respond to the needs of the Clarence Valley and surrounding regions

A new partnership between the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and The Yulgilbar Foundation will give rural and regional communities in the Clarence Valley and surrounding regions in Northern New South Wales a much-needed boost.

New partnership to help turn community groups’ ideas into reality
Clarence Landcare Inc

A total of $2 million will be invested across the region over a three-year period, through multi-year and one-off grants. Priority will be given to projects that are optimistic and forward-looking, led by locally-based community groups and not-for-profit organisations (NFPs).

The Yulgilbar Foundation Fund will assist community organisations to implement a wide range of initiatives. The Fund will focus on supporting projects that foster artistic collaborations, encourage educational participation, support environmental sustainability, and build capacity for communities to respond to recent bushfires and persistent drought.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said that The Yulgilbar Foundation shares FRRR’s belief that local people are best placed to know what is needed to strengthen and support their community.

“Like much of rural New South Wales, the Clarence Valley has worked really hard to overcome a long run of persistent challenges, including the 2019-20 bushfires, ongoing drought, and the complexities of COVID-19. This Fund means communities can address the needs that these challenges have created, in ways that make a real difference. 

“We have a long history with The Yulgilbar Foundation and look forward to seeing this Fund further strengthen communities in the Clarence Valley and beyond,” Ms Egleton said.

Community groups and NFPs can apply for the grants through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process. with Round 1 opening on Thursday 18 February.

More details, including the program guidelines and EOI form, are available here.

Clarence Landcare Inc

Clarence Landcare is located in regional NSW. Their mission is to promote sustainable land, agriculture, water, vegetation and biodiversity management practices and principles to their local community.

The largely volunteer-run organisation has been taking care of the land in the region for more than two decades. They regularly running community projects and initiatives focused on sustainable land care. The team also hosts workshops at their head office to educate and engage the wider community.

Located in the main street of Grafton, the Clarence Landcare office is in the 100-year-old Dougherty House. After the building was recently repainted giving the exterior of the building new life, it became clear that the interior was in desperate need of an upgrade.

Not only had the furniture been in use for more than 20 years, the team was also lacking basic essentials to help their meetings and workshops run smoothly. There was mismatching furniture and outdated technology made it very difficult for members to join meetings remotely.

The team applied to the FRRR Small Grants for Rural Communities program, and received a $5,000 grant to help them upgrade their workspace. The funding, made possible thanks to The Yulgilbar Foundation, provided improvements such as new blinds, couches, coffee tables, rugs and faux plants, giving new life to the old office.

In addition to the furniture, the funding was also used to purchase some much-needed technology, including a new iPad, Smart TV with a TV stand on wheels, web cam and microphone. This technology has enabled the team to dial into meetings remotely, making it easier for Clarence Landcare staff to stay connected digitally.

“I feel we are heading in a great direction now thanks to this FRRR grant, we don’t need to look like a poverty stricken not-for-profit organisation anymore. We now have the vision and committee support to keep improving our public face of Clarence Landcare. This will really help us gain confidence and attract clientele for future projects. The function of every new piece of equipment has far outweighed the predicted benefits,” said Landcare Officer Debbie Repschlager.