Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

More than $580,000 in grants awarded

22 July 2020: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has awarded $584,971 in grants to support twenty-eight projects that will assist the continued recovery of communities impacted by the Black Saturday Bushfires in February 2009.

The funds come from its Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W), GR&W Kinglake Ranges and Community Group Futures (CGF) programs, thanks to the support of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), which the general public generously contributed to in the immediate aftermath of the Black Saturday fires. More than a decade on from the tragedy, nearly $4 million in grants has been provided to community groups through these programs.

The GR&W program focuses on community-strengthening and resilience-building projects for communities. This is the 16th round of the program, confirming that recovery does take time. This round sees 13 projects share in $195,234 in grants. Projects funded this round will help to strengthen community connectedness, create a sense of place and enhance community identity.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that creating spaces for the community to meet and feel safe continues to be a priority for the ongoing recovery of many communities impacted by the Black Saturday bushfires.

“When communities have lost so much, having a safe, comfortable space to come together is so important. It facilitates opportunities for people to reconnect, maintain good mental health and prevent isolation. It’s therefore important that these spaces are in good condition, are comfortable and have the appropriate amenities and levels of accessibility.

“Communities continue to look for ways to build resilience, particularly when it comes to their young people. Activities such as workshops and training provide these young people with the chance to come together and share their experiences while building their skills and resilience,” continued Ms Egleton.

“Other communities are finding ways to continue their recovery through the arts, such as Marysville’s Singing Saturday Choir or Bruarong‘s place-based oral and visual history gathering project.

“The diversity of these needs, more than 10 years on from the initial bushfire events, highlights the importance of having flexible funding available in the medium to long-term.”

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

  • Flowerdale Hall Reserve Committee of Management received a $20,000 grant to increase community pride and continued access to local meeting space due to an upgrade to the exterior of Flowerdale Community Hall. 
  • Myrtleford Chamber of Commerce & Industry received a $5,380 grant to increase youth involvement in volunteering and provide training and support through delivery of La Fiera Festival Young Ambassador Scheme.

In addition, a further $289,252 has been awarded through the GR&W Kinglake Ranges program. In this second round of funding, eight projects have been awarded grants, with several also pointing to the importance of increasing connection with others and the region’s environment.

Among the GR&W Kinglake Ranges awarded grants are:

  • Toolangi District Community House received a $59,649 grant to increase social connection and community participation in Toolangi Castella, through the purchase of resources and delivery of a 24-month program of engaging activities.
  • Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House received a $4,917 grant to increase the collaboration of the arts community in Kinglake Ranges through community consultation and development of a project plan for a local Art Trail.

Another stream of VBAF funding, known as Community Group Futures (CGF), is designed to strengthen the capability of local community groups and not-for-profit organisations to ensure they remain viable and sustainable. This is the ninth round of CGF, with seven projects sharing in $100,485 in grants. These projects will provide support and funding for skilled support to develop marketing materials and tools to increase community engagement, as well as support to undertake and implement plans into the future.

Ms Egleton said that it’s been a long road for many local not-for-profits supporting the recovery of their communities, and it’s important that these organisations can access support to explore their longer-term role within the community, as needs continue to evolve.

“That’s why the Community Group Futures program is so important. It helps not-for-profit organisations to think beyond day-to-day operations and short-term needs and look ahead to what is required to be sustainable and viable to meet the needs of the community in the years to come.”

Some of the projects funded through the CGF program include:

  • St Andrews Community Centre received a $20,000 grant to increase St Andrews Community Centre’s capacity to implement a Growth and Stainability Plan through increasing staff hours.
  • Whittlesea Men’s Shed received a $14,000 grant to increase direction and purpose for Whittlesea Men’s Shed members through the development and implementation of a Strategic Plan and an annual Action Plan.

The next round of GR&W, GR&W Kinglake Ranges, and CGF opens on 26 August and closes 23 September 2020. 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.

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

Jump to : GR&W | GR&W Kinglakes Ranges | CGF

Organisation

Project

Location

Awarded

GRANTS FOR RESILIENCE & WELLNESS

Alexandra Community Shed / Eildon and District Woodworkers Guild Inc. 

Sherry’s First Wish
Increase access to functional space for community activities through upgrade to former government offices currently leased by the Alexandra Community Shed / Eildon and District Woodworkers Guild Inc.  

Alexandra

$19,894 

Bruarong Community Centre 

‘Capturing History – Bruarong Stories Remembered’
Improve social cohesion and build strong local cultural identity through place based oral and visual history gathering project.  

Bruarong

$9,420 

Coleraine & District Development Association Inc. 

Grasslands Walk
Increase local wellbeing and tourism attractions through completing construction of a 10km section of the Coleraine – Hamilton Rail Trail. 

Coleraine

$20,000 

Embassy of Ideas Inc. 

Community Feeding it Forward Food Garden
Increase local food security and community wellbeing through establishment of a community garden in Alexandra. 

Alexandra

$20,000 

Flowerdale Hall Reserve Committee of Management 

Facelift for the Flowerdale Community Hall
Increase community pride and continued access to local meeting space due to an upgrade to the exterior of Flowerdale Community Hall.  

Flowerdale

$20,000 

Marysville & Triangle Business and Tourism Inc. 

Mira Shared Community Shed
Increase space for community activities and events through construction of a storage shed at Marysville’s Information and Regional Artspace. 

Marysville

$16,250 

Middle Kinglake Primary School 

The Challenge for the Future- Resilience and Wellbeing – Youth Out Loud
Increase resilience among students at Middle Kinglake Primary School through delivery of the Youth Out Loud Program to grade 5/6 students.  

Kinglake Central

$3,000 

Mitchell Community Resources and Advocacy Group 

Kids2School Program (k2sP)
Increase school engagement for students at Broadford and Upper Plenty Primary Schools through the delivery of a breakfast program and facilitated resilience-building workshop. 

Mitchell Shire

$18,690 

Myrtleford Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc. 

 

La Fiera Italian Festival Myrtleford -Young Ambassador Scheme
Increase youth involvement in volunteering and provide training and support through delivery of La Fiera Festival Young Ambassador Scheme.

Myrtleford

$5,380 

Nillumbik Shire Council 

 

Nillumbik Youth Connect
Increase engagement from local youth in Council planning and development through formation of a Youth Council and Youth Strategy.

Hurstbridge

$17,340 

Singing Saturday
Triangle Arts Group Inc. 

Singing Saturday Choir
Enhance wellbeing and community spirit through funding a music director and accompanist for newly formed community choir. 

Marysville

$8,590 

St Andrews Primary School  

 

Library ‘Broadening’ and Upgrade
Increase access to educational resources through the purchase of new books for the St Andrews Primary School Library.  

St Andrews

$19,250 

St Andrews Primary School 

St Andrews Mental Health Training and Support
Increase community support for individuals with mental health issues through delivery of Mental Health First Aid training courses. 

St Andrews

$17,420 

GR&W KINGLAKE RANGES

Kinglake Friends of the Forests Inc

KFF Forest Surveys Project
Improve community awareness of the biodiversity of the region; increased social connection; increased connection to place; and support for environmental recovery through equipment to support monitoring and community tours.

Kinglake

$2,200

Kinglake Landcare Group
(Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc)

Community and the Local Environment
Increase awareness and management of the local environment through the delivery of a series of expert led community workshops and activities.

Kinglake

$28,736

Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc

Digital Archive for Arts Recovery Project
Celebration of the outcomes of arts-led 2009 bushfire recovery activities in the Kinglake Ranges, through development of a Digital Archive of art and its impact.

Kinglake Ranges and Online

$19,855

Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc

Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House
Increase comfort and resources at Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House through upgrade to heating and cooling and increase to Foodshare Program options.

Kinglake, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek

$65,335

Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc

Be Well in the Ranges Extension
Reduce barriers to mental health support for the 2009 fire affected Kinglake Ranges community, via providing access to locally based mental health professionals.

Kinglake, Kinglake West, Pheasant Creek

$87,000

Toolangi District Community House Inc

Strengthening Our Community
Increase social connection and community participation in Toolangi Castella, through the purchase of resources and delivery of a 24-month program of engaging activities.

Toolangi

$59,649

Kinglake Ranges Arts
(Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc)

Kinglake Art Trail Planning Project
Increase collaboration for the arts community in Kinglake Ranges through community consultation and development of a project plan for a local Art Trail.

Kinglake

$4,917

Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

A Home for Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges and A Walking Track below the Ranges
Increase evidence and planning support for Kinglake Ranges forest walking track extension project through contracting consultants to develop feasibility study.

Kinglake

$21,560

COMMUNITY GROUP FUTURES

Embassy of Ideas Inc.

Social Enterprise Project Officer
Increase support for development of local food security initiatives through employment of a dedicated worker at the Embassy of Ideas.

Alexandra

$20,000

Mitchell Community Resources and Advocacy Group

Kids2school Program (k2sP)
Increase support and viability for school breakfast program pilot programs in Mitchell Shire through employment of a Project Officer.

Broadford

$17,250

Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

Onwards and Upwards for the Kinglake Produce & Artisan Markets
Increase efficiency of volunteers and improve management of the Kinglake Produce & Artisan Market through strategic planning and review of policies and procedures.

Kinglake

$11,500

St Andrews Community Centre Inc

Wadambuk Future Viability Project
Increase capacity to implement a Growth and Stainability Plan through increasing staff hours at St Andrews Community Centre.

St Andrews

$20,000

The Anglican Parish of Eaglehawk – Saltworks
Bendigo Diocesan Trusts Corporation

Saltworks Community Engagement
Increase effectiveness of communication and attract stakeholders through redevelopment of brand identity and update of communication tools for Saltworks Bendigo.

Bendigo

$15,000

Toolangi District Community House Inc

Community House Audit and Action Plan
Increase workplace health and safety through review of policies and procedures at Toolangi Castella, Flowerdale and Kinglake Community House’s.

Toolangi

$2,735

Whittlesea Men’s Shed Incorporated

Strategic Planning and Implementation Support
Increase direction and purpose for Whittlesea Men’s Shed members through the development and implementation of a Strategic Plan and an annual Action Plan.

Whittlesea

$14,000

In 2013, the Mirboo North Community Bank brought the district and surrounds together to identify and prioritise the region’s future recovery and resilience activities following the 2009 Victorian bushfires. From the meeting, what became apparent was the gap in local education and training to support and engage the community in gaining practical skills and knowledge that would increase local capacity.

The Boolarra Community Development Group help promote the social, economic and environmental development of Boolarra and surrounds, taking lead from the community. They work as a liaison between local and state government departments, not-for-profits and community groups to achieve positive outcomes for the region.

They had attended the community meeting in Mirboo and recognised the opportunity to support their region to fill this training and education gap. Reaching out to the Boolarra community they identified a series of courses that would be in demand including event management, safe food handling, chainsaw training, barista training, small motor training, environmental gardening and first aid training courses.

Using a $19,950 grant from FRRR’s Grants for Resilience & Wellness grant program, funded by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, the Boolarra Community Development Group ran nine courses over a year. The Development Group works with local community groups to actively encourage members to participate in the training course. They also had a focus on increasing female participation, which was also identified as a community priority during their consultation.

In total, the courses attracted over 90 participants which was well above the expected target and an impressive feat for a small rural community. Each course was met with lots of positive feedback about the content and delivery of the training sessions.

The district is now benefiting from the breadth of skills and abilities available within the community, reducing the need for outsourcing and supporting the vitality of the region. Many participants flagged that they are interested in the potential for more workshops and training courses to run in the future.

Bendigo, 8 January 2019:  Thirty-six community projects that will assist the continued recovery of communities impacted by the Black Saturday Bushfires will receive funding totalling $555,963. The groups are the latest recipients of the Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) and Community Group Futures (CGF) programs.

Funding is made possible by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF) which the general public generously contributed to in the immediate aftermath of the fires.

Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) will support 27 community groups, who will share $425,082, to implement their local projects. To date, the GR&W program has funded 200 projects to a total value of $2,603,788.80.

The GR&W program assists community strengthening and resilience building projects. Some communities will use their GR&W funding to support their Black Saturday 10th Anniversary commemorative activities in February 2019 with concerts planned for Arthurs Creek and Balook, commemorative service and community dinners in Boolarra and Traralgon South, Jeeralang North will also hold an event, while a community arts project and exhibition will take place in the Kinglake Ranges.

The Community Group Futures (CGF) program will fund $130,881 across nine community groups. To date, CGF has funded 43 projects, valued at $513,656.

The CGF program supports not-for-profit organisations think beyond day-to-day operations and look ahead to ensure they can meet on-going community needs. Solar energy projects again proved a powerful drawcard as community groups look to self-sufficiency and reduce overhead costs. The Royal Historical Society of Victoria meanwhile is looking to digitise their records given the bushfire-prone environment.

“As we approach 2019 and the ten-year anniversary of Black Saturday, it’s heartening to see these communities continuing to work together to recover. Community needs continue to evolve and local leaders – many of whom have been involved since 2009 – continue to find ways to support the community and bolster their resilience in the years to come,” said FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton.

“While it’s nearly a decade since this horrific event, it’s important that these communities take the time to reflect on the impact the fires had and, in many cases, continues to have,” Ms Egleton continued.

“As in the aftermath of the fires, it’s the communities themselves who know how to serve their people best, and we are pleased to be able to support them in achieving this.”

GR&W – Round 14
OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Alexandra Secondary CollegeMY ( Murrindindi Youth ) Reflective Garden
Increase connection to place and space for reflection at Alexandra Secondary College through establishment of a reflective garden.
Alexandra$16,014
Arthurs Creek/ Strathewen Brigade Country Fire AuthorityFire Safety Community Messages for 2019
Creation of two animated fire safety adverts to consolidate the learnings from Fire Education Sessions delivered at Strathewen Primary School.
Strathewen$20,000
Arthurs Creek/ Strathewen  Brigade

 

Country Fire Authority

10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Black Saturday 10-year memorial Eric Bogle Concert.
Increase opportunity for the Strathewen community to connect and support each other while acknowledging the 10th anniversary of the bushfire disaster through delivery of a community concert.
Arthurs Creek$3,455
Balook and District Residents Association (BADRA) Inc

 

10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Rainforest Rhythms
Increase community connections and stimulation for local tourism through delivery of a live memorial concert, Rainforest Rhythms, held in the Tarra Bulga National Park.
Balook$2,500
Boolarra Folk Festival Committee

 

10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Boolarra and District Community 2019 Commemorative Bushfire Event
Opportunity to reflect on the 2009 bushfire disaster for the 10-year anniversary, via delivery of a commemorative service and community dinner for Boolarra and the surrounding region.
Boolarra$19,000
Cire Services Inc.Supported playgroup for Healesville area based at Badger Creek
Increase support and reduced isolation for local parents, through delivery of supported playgroup program at Badger Creek Primary School.
Badger Creek$11,021
Hazelwood – Jeeralang Community Association Inc.

 

10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Hazelwood Jeeralang 2009 bushfire commemoration activities
Increase community connectedness and opportunities to support each other, through delivery of a Black Saturday 10th Anniversary event at Hazelwood Jeeralang.
Jeeralang North$9,193
Kinglake Historical Society

 

Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.

Kinglake Heritage Centre
Increase access to local historical information, through upgrade of an unused community space to accommodate the Kinglake Historical Society.

 

This organisation will also benefit from the project submitted to CGF Rd 7 by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria Inc. The project will support Kinglake HS to digitize and preserve historic material.

Kinglake West /

 

Pheasant Creek

$20,000
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.

 

10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Respect and Remember – “The Kinglake Ranges Journey”
Opportunity for the community to reflect on the 2009 disaster event and 10 years of local recovery, via a six-week interactive community art exhibition displayed in Kinglake.
Kinglake
Kinglake West
Flowerdale Toolangi
$28,176
Lions Club of Kinglake Inc.Avenue of Honour
Recognition and commemoration of soldiers who fought for Australia with the creation of an Avenue of Honour leading up to and surrounding Kinglake’s war memorial.
Kinglake$2,000
Maiden Gully Hall Committee Inc.New Chairs for the Maiden Gully Hall
Increase comfort and safety for community groups that meet at the Maiden Gully Hall through the purchase of new chairs.
Maiden Gully$8,316
Men’s Shed at St AndrewsShed extension and machinery upgrade to enhance member and local community health and safety
Increase storage area and upgraded machinery, increasing space and improving working conditions at the Men’s Shed at St Andrews.
St Andrews$19,776
Mitchell Community Radio Inc.Broadford Monthly
Increase awareness of local initiatives and community activity, via outside community radio broadcast delivered from Broadford Living and Learning Centre.
Broadford$1,880
Firefoxes Australia Women Rising Together From Black Saturday90 Up: Stars burning brightly
Increase awareness of how to overcome adversity and build resilience, through capturing and sharing the stories of Murrindindi Shire residents who are over 90-years-old.
Alexandra
Yea
Eildon
Buxton
$20,000
Mudgegonga Hall Reserve Committee Inc.Mudgegonga Hall Child Safety Fence
Increase safety for families with children when attending community events and activities, due to upgrade of fencing around Mudgegonga Hall.
Mudgegonga District$10,863
Nillumbik Shire CouncilTech, Tea and Tales
Increase skills in technology and communication for local seniors via delivery of the youth led Tech, Tea and Tales program in collaboration with the St Andrews Community Centre.
St Andrews$20,000
Reedy Creek Progress Association
Reedy Creek Progress Association Inc.
Reedy Creek Community Gatherings
Opportunities to connect and build community resilience, through the delivery of seven community gatherings at the Reedy Creek Hall over 2019.
Reedy Creek$2,500
Resilience Planning Community of Practice Inc.Beechworth Festival of Change
Increase inspiration and motivation to implement solutions to community issues, through delivery of skill development and resources at the Beechworth Festival of Change.
Beechworth$20,000
Rotary Club of AlexandraGo Green
Increase support for residents to clean up their properties in preparation for the bushfire season, through purchase of tipping trailer for volunteer run green waste program.
Alexandra
Taggerty
Thornton
Eildon
$5,500
Toolangi District Community House Inc.Staging for the C J Dennis Hall
Support cultural development and improve audience experience with the purchase of a portable stage for community hall in Toolangi.
Toolangi$5,457
Traralgon South and District Association

 

10th Anniversary Commemorative Event

10-Year Black Saturday event
Opportunity to reflect on the 2009 bushfire disaster for the 10-year anniversary, via delivery of a commemorative service and community dinner for Traralgon South and the surrounding region.
Traralgon South
Callignee
$12,395
UCA – Kinglake West Uniting ChurchFeeding the Many Needs
Increase social and physical wellbeing and strengthened community networks through delivery of fortnightly community meal program.
Kinglake West /

 

Pheasant Creek

$4,400
Whittlesea Community HouseA mosaic of community connections and resilience
Strengthen community connectedness achieved through the delivery of inclusive creative art workshops that will produce four mosaic installations for the Whittlesea community.
Whittlesea$15,130
Women on Farms – West Gippsland IncSponsorship for women to attend the Women on Farms Gathering

 

Opportunity for farming women from bushfire affected areas to increase wellbeing and resilience, through support to attend the Women on Farms Gathering 2019 in Warragul.

Warragul$9,800
Yinnar and District Memorial HallNO LIMITS
Removing barriers to participation in facilitated health and wellbeing activities, through delivery of a weekly Exercise program for Seniors 60yrs+ in Yinnar.
Yinnar$18,500
Ellimatta Inc.A Bright & Positive Future for Youth – 2

 

Continue access to support services and programs for youth through supporting the employment of staff at Ellimatta Youth Service in Kinglake.

Kinglake$30,000
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.Be Well in the Ranges

 

Removing barriers to mental health support for the Kinglake community during the 10th Anniversary of Black Saturday by providing ease of access to locally based mental health professionals. Removing barriers to mental health support for the Kinglake community during the 10th Anniversary of Black Saturday by providing ease of access to locally based mental health professionals.

Kinglake$89,206
Community Group Futures – Round 7
OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Art Resource Collective IncorporatedSolar PV Project
Installation of solar panels for the Art Resource Collective Inc, Yinnar, reducing energy costs and increasing the viability of an entity that supports community access to cultural and artistic opportunities.
Yinnar$10,000
Ellimatta Inc.Ellimatta Sunshine for Power
Increase viability and sustainability for Ellimatta Youth Centre, through installation of a solar power system.
Kinglake$7,781
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.Sustainability in the Ranges – Solar
Build community resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through installation of 6.4 kW solar system.
Kinglake$10,000
Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House Inc.Kinglake Ranges Arts Recovery Officer
Increase collaboration and support for arts organisations and initiatives through employment of an Arts Recovery Officer for the Kinglake region.
Kinglake
Kinglake West
Pheasant Creek
Kinglake Central
$20,000
Mount Beauty Neighbourhood Centre Inc.Volunteering for Success
Increase volunteerism for community organisations in Mount Beauty, through employment of a Volunteer Coordinator to increase awareness of, resources and support for, volunteer roles.
Mt Beauty
Bright
Tawonga
Myrtleford
$20,000
Murrindindi Little Athletics CentreGood Governance in Murrindindi
Increase support for community-based Committees of Management, through delivery of Governance training to 10 groups in Murrindindi Shire.
Alexandra
Kinglake
Yarck
Taggerty
$14,300
Royal Historical Society of Victoria Inc.Digitise or lose it!
Preservation of local history through the purchase of equipment and the delivery of training to digitise historic documents and photos at four historical Societies in bushfire prone areas.
Marysville
Kinglake
Alexandra & Fawcett
$20,000
Toolangi District Community House Inc.Solar Panels for the Community House
Reduce running costs and increased investment in community through installation of solar power system for Toolangi District Community House.
Toolangi$8,800
Yarra Valley ECOSS Inc.Project Development Officer at ECOSS
Enhance program outcomes and organisational viability, through employment of skilled support to develop policies, procedures and workplans that underpin program delivery.
Wesburn$20,000

Bendigo, 12 July 2018: Thirty community groups impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires have received grants to support the ongoing local needs that continue to emerge.

Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), these community groups will share in $341,438 across two grant programs to implement their locally-led projects.

Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) will fund 19 community groups, distributing $244,667 for 21 local projects. To date, the GR&W program has now funded 173 projects and distributed over $2 million.

Community Group Futures (CGF) will distribute $96,771 across 10 community groups. To date, CGF has now funded 34 projects, valued at $382,775.

It’s been nine years since Australia saw the highest-ever loss from a bushfire. More than one million acres of land were decimated: lives changed forever, and the aftermath continues to be felt in families and communities affected by the fires.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, explains that despite the time that’s passed, the recovery is ongoing.

“Grants from the VBAF were first distributed in 2010. Rebuilding a community does not happen overnight, it takes time. This is why we continue to provide support to the communities impacted by fires, nearly a decade on. Both these programs are flexible and designed to meet the evolving needs of the fire-affected communities.”

In the latest round of the GR&W program, the majority of applications FRRR received were for projects focused on strengthening community connectedness and enhancing local community identity and sense of place.

For example, Firefoxes Australia have received $15,620 for their Murrindindi Women’s Forum and Women’s Health and Wellbeing Expo to employ an events co-ordinator. This will help relieve fatigued volunteers, as well as support catering, venue hire and transport. These events have proven important in connecting women from across the Shire and tackling the challenges of isolation, thereby helping to deal with the mental health issues that have arisen due to the devastation of 2009.

Earlier this year Community Group Futures was awarded an additional $338,237 from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund Panel, bringing the total funds for this program to $898,237. Its aim is to ensure there are strong, sustainable and focused local community organisations and leaders that can support their communities and the activities they wish to engage in.

Projects such as the Toolangi Castella District Community House – C J Dennis Hall project – will use a $2,240 grant to support the creation of processes and procedures and to increase their capacity and readiness to assume the management of the local community hall. The C J Dennis Hall continues to be an asset to the Toolangi community, serving as a meeting place that encourages community connectedness, and in the event of future disaster events, as a place of refuge.

Ms Egleton noted that there is still funding available for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires with the next GR&W and CGF grant rounds opening on 6 August 2018.

“As the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires occurs in February 2019, any community organisations in the impacted areas that wish to hold commemorative activities should apply in the next round of GR&W, which will open on 6 August.”

The projects funded in this round are listed below.  GR&W Program | Community Group Futures Program

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) Round 13 recipients

Organisation

Project

Amount

Alexandra Indoor Heated Pool Inc.

Alexandra Indoor Heated Pool
Support health and wellbeing through access to swim classes, hydrotherapy and aqua aerobics by constructing an indoor heated pool for the local community.

$20,000

More Murals
Alexandra Primary School

Alexandra’s Beasties
Improve connection to place, the natural environment, and engagement in cultural activities, through delivery of youth focused community mural project.

$18,850

Boolarra South Landcare Group

Mechanical Weed Control for Environmentally Sensitive Areas
Boost access to the local environment and management of noxious weeds through the purchase of a Billy Goat mulcher to support local volunteer to maintain public areas and walking trails at the historic Boolarra Mill site.

$5,000

Chapter Seven Ltd.

Fun Mudder Project Planning and Delivery
Develop work ready skills and experience for local disengaged youth, through participation in a program of activities that will contribute to the delivery of a major community tourism event, Fun Mudder.

$18,000

Clonbinane Community Action Group

Paving the Road to Resilience
Improve access and additional space for community activities, through sealing of uneven carpark at Clonbinane Hall.

$16,912

Coleraine & District Development Association Inc.

Toolang Walk
Increase safety and amenity for the local community and visitors to the area who access the area for wellbeing activities by repairing local walking track.

$16,941

Ellimatta

Stem Makerspace
Reduce barriers to educational opportunities and support engagement with science and technology for primary school aged students, by creating a “STEM makerspace” at Ellimatta Youth Service.

$14,567

Firefoxes Australia

Women of Murrindindi
Support the recovery of women in Murrindindi Shire with community events and activities through the employment of an event coordinator and funding event costs.

$15,620

Flowerdale Community House

And So, We Sew!
Build social connections and practical skill development by purchasing sewing machines and equipment enabling the delivery of low cost sewing classes.

$2,895

Foggy Mountain Inc.

Foggy Mountain Music Project
Increase sense of place and connectedness for local children, through participation in song writing about community and performance at local festival.

$8,000

Freedom Care Inc.

Project Squirrel II
Improve access to stock for clients and volunteers at local food relief service by purchasing and installing shelving.

$4,212

Healesville Interchurch Community Care Incorporated

A bus of new beginnings – HICCI Community Bus Project
Increase capacity and safety of the volunteer transport service for disadvantaged residents in Healesville and Yarra Glen through the purchase of a bus.

$11,990

Kilmore District Men’s Shed
 

General And Disabled Toilet Facilities
Support accessibility for all community members by adding an accessible toilet block at the site of the new Kilmore Men’s Shed.

$20,000

Men’s Shed at St Andrews Inc.

Safeguarding the health of members

Protect the health and safety of all users and remove barriers to participation for members of the community with health concerns with the installation of dust and fume extraction systems at the Men’s Shed at St Andrews.

$13,400

Mount Beauty Neighbourhood Centre Inc.

Kitchen Upgrade
Ensure Mount Beauty Neighbourhood Centre availability for community activities, courses and initiatives with the renewal of the kitchen floor to meet OH&S requirements.

$5,100

Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

Kinglake Ranges Community Stadium Project
Increase capacity to deliver large locally driven community activities and events through purchase of floor covering, heating and lighting to enable use of basketball stadium.

$19,419

St Matthew’s Church
Saltbush Community Initiatives Inc.

The People’s Pantry Long Gully
Increase food security and social connections in the disadvantaged and fire affected community of Long Gully by purchasing storage and support for start-up costs for the cooperative food share program.

$6,000

St Andrews Community Centre Inc.

St Andrews Recovery and Community Building
Drive participation in community events and activities, through delivery of special interest classes, community meals and events at St Andrews Community Centre.

$12,747

Toolangi Castella District Community House Inc.

Upgrade of Maternal Health rooms
Provide additional space for community activities and initiatives with upgrade of disused community building.

$9,900

Traralgon South and District Association

Community access to defibrillators
Increase perception of safety and access to life saving equipment, through installation of Automated External Defibrillator at Traralgon South.

$2,949

Traralgon South and District Association

Traralgon South and Callignee Youth Group – “Place to be Me”
Support local youth in small community to remain connected, through the provision of subsidised social activities.

$2,165

Community Group Futures (CGF) Round 6 recipients

Organisation

Project

Amount

Bushfire Education Foundation Inc.

Bushfire Education Centre and Museum Project Officer
Support local volunteers to establish feasibility and support the development of a National Bushfire Museum, Education and Research Centre in Marysville through the engagement of a Project Officer.

$20,000

Firefoxes Australia

Firefoxes Future Focused (FFF)
Increase individual board member and organisational capacity and enhanced direction, through the facilitation of training and planning workshops for the Board of Firefoxes Australia.

$20,000

Healesville Community Renewable Energy Inc.

Strategic Planning and Implementation Support for Healesville CoRE
Support more sustainable living for the Healesville community through the development of a strategic plan to guide renewable energy strategies.

$7,208

Healesville Toastmasters Club Inc.

Good Governance in Healesville
Improve skills and capacity for grass root Committees, through the delivery of governance training to 10 community groups in Healesville.

$12,200

Mitchell Shire Concert Band

Solar4MSCB
Reduce energy costs and increase the viability of an entity that supports community events and fundraising opportunities with the installation of solar panels for the Mitchell Shire Concert Band Hall.

$6,493

Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre

Myrtleford – Building Sustainable Community Futures
Strengthen planning and direction for Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre through the engagement of external support to lead strategic planning and a review of management systems.

$10,000

Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges

Communications and Innovation
Build capacity for volunteers supporting the initiatives of the Rotary Club of Kinglake, through the purchase of a computer and iPad.

$4,600

Taggerty Community Progress Group Inc.

Setting up training on a Financial System for CH@T
Improve capacity to support the establishment of the Community Hub @ Taggerty (Neighbourhood House) through the purchase of accounting software and the engagement of professional training and implementation support.

$6,396

Toolangi Castella District Community House Inc.

C J Dennis Hall
Increase the capacity of the Toolangi District Community House to assume management of the local community Hall by creating processes and procedures, and clean-up of storage areas.

$2,240

Whittlesea Showgrounds & Recreation Reserves Committee of Management

Strategic Plan Development and Implementation
Create direction and support for volunteer Committee of Management to manage the Whittlesea reserve facility for the use of the wider community through the development of a Strategic Plan.

$7,634

Over the years, Fundraising Accounts, formerly known as Donation Accounts, have helped many groups in rural and regional Australia with their work in natural disaster recovery, especially where they are large and daunting projects.

One such group, which we profiled in our last Annual Review, is BlazeAid. They coordinate the efforts of volunteers to support farmers and residents impacted by natural disasters. Not only do they help to build fences and repair infrastructure, but they also restore the spirits of natural disaster survivors who may have lost family and friends, pets, stock, homes and property.

The donation account helps them raise funds to do this work, by providing tax deductible status to their donors.

BlazeAid’s remarkable achievements

Since we published the Annual Review, we’ve received an update from BlazeAid, with some truly remarkable statistics about what they achieved in 2014:

  • 1,397 volunteers contributed 14,671 volunteer days building and repairing fences and stock yards, cleaning and painting homes and shearers’ quarters, carpentry, mechanical and whitegood repairs, caretaking and helping with childcare and home education.
  • Assisted 513 properties across Victoria, South Australia and Queensland fire and drought affected areas.
  • More than 50% of their operational expenses relate to catering and fuel costs, a significant portion of which is in relation to their Drought Relief work in Queensland, where volunteers travelled long distances, and were self-sufficient with meals.
Tax deductible status attracts donors

We wanted to share this story to highlight to other groups that may be faced with recovering from some of the recent natural disasters across the country that a Fundraising Account could make a difference to your ability to fundraise to get things back up and running.

For donors, it’s also a great way to channel your support directly to areas in need, while also receiving the tax deduction.