Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

In the North Burnett region of Queensland, access to early education is very limited, and the community-run Eidsvold Kindergarten is the only centre-based service within a 50 km radius. There are many young families in the area of low socioeconomic status, and children entering school at risk of developmental vulnerability. 

Eidsvold Kindergarten management believes that rural children and families are deserving of high-quality Early Learning and that it is vital that they are equipped to give children the best start in life. Relationships are so important in early years education, but the town experiences frequent turnover of teachers. A lack of options for tertiary studies and professional development (which is only available via the internet or expensive travel) is a major factor. Teaching positions are difficult to fill and rely on bringing people in from other areas or appointing teachers who are still studying. 

An FRRR grant enabled Eidsvold Kindergarten to host a professional development day for Early Childhood Educators from North Burnett and beyond, to raise their professional knowledge and skills and in turn, benefit young children and families across the region.

The day-long professional learning workshop was attended by 40 guests from kindergarten, long daycare, schools and family daycare services in Eidsvold, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Biggenden, Wondai and Kingaroy. Eidsvold Kindergarten President Jessie McNeale said educators’ knowledge and ability to plan and document children’s learning was strengthened, and they learned about working with natural resources through a practical session. 

“We were able to inspire educators across a region spanning 500 km to innovate on their teaching practice and provide high-quality environments for children.”

Educators were also able to network, share ideas, and make plans for future professional development opportunities. The project brought positive publicity to the kindy and the town of Eidsvold through newspaper articles and heaps of positive feedback from community members.

“Next time we would like to go bigger and better and plan a whole weekend designed to highlight more of what the region has to offer,” Mrs McNeale said.

 “While local educators stand to benefit most directly from this event, the flow-on effects on young children and families are endless. It is hoped that this event will be the first of many and result in a strong community of collaboration across North Burnett Early Learning contexts.”

Bendigo, 21 November 2019: Schools, show societies, and a family support service are among the 30 not-for-profit organisations in New South Wales and Queensland cotton-growing communities to receive a $5,000 boost from the Bayer Fund this year as part of the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program.

Today’s announcement coincides with National Agriculture Day. This year marks the sixth round of the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program, which is delivered in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and takes the total investment into cotton communities to $900,000.

A local cotton grower nominated each of the not-for-profits that are receiving funds, which will help strengthen community resilience and positively impact on the wellbeing of cotton-growing communities. The majority of grant funding will be used to invest in infrastructure and equipment, and 23 percent of funds are being used to provide activities and services.

“There are many challenges associated with the drought for people living in rural Australia at the moment, and so there was a strong focus on developing organisational resilience, as was supporting lifelong learning, education and training,” said FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton.

“FRRR ran a series of grantseeker workshops in these cotton-growing areas, and the increased demand on not-for-profits for both short and long-term support was a talking point. Additionally, organisations providing direct support to farmers and their families discussed the heavy reliance on volunteers and the impact on those individuals who were giving support to others, while experiencing the effects of the drought first-hand.

“These grants will not only boost morale in the short-term but also create a lasting impact, as FRRR’s research shows that communities typically leverage a grant three times over.”

Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said the grants will provide a much-needed boost to cotton communities.

“We are proud of the contribution our industry makes to the communities in which we operate. It is during times like these, where drought is biting, that the strength of our industry in supporting these communities comes to the fore. I congratulate the recipients of this year’s grants and look forward to seeing what is accomplished.”

Bayer Fund representative in Australia, Carissa Buckland, said that this year’s nominations illustrated that there is strong community spirit within the cotton areas.

“Many of the projects being funded are all about bringing people together – for artistic workshops, picnic areas, school gardens and community shows. It’s great to see cotton growers giving back and doing their bit to strengthen their local community.”

The full list of recipients can be found below.

Organisation

Project

Location

Grant

Darling River Food & Fibre (Bourke), NSW

Bourke Arts Community Inc

Develop organisational resilience and capacity through the purchase of studio equipment and materials to make glazes.

Bourke

$5,000

Gwydir Valley, NSW

St Philomenas Catholic School Moree P & F

Provide access to quality learning environments and experiences through the construction of an all-weather shade area.

Moree

 

$5,000

Moree Water Ski Club Inc

Build community resilience and maintain recreational assets through the construction of a shade shelter.

Bellata

$5,000

Moree Show Society Inc

Strengthen community wellbeing and identity through the delivery of the Moree Show.

Moree

$5,000

Lower Namoi, NSW

Wee Waa Sports Inc

Enhance community identity through an upgrade of galleries and blades over windows.

Wee Waa

$5,000

Wee Waa Fishing Club

Supporting community engagement through the upgrade of a well-used picnic area

Wee Waa

$5,000

St Joseph’s Catholic School Wee Waa Parents & Friends Association

Improve education outcomes through the establishment of a garden area for students.

Wee Waa

$5,000

Macquarie, NSW

Marra Creek Public School Parents and Citizens Association

Increase engagement in learning through the purchase of media infrastructure and a pizza oven.

Nyngan

$5,000

Narromine Agricultural Show Inc

Develop community engagement through the purchase of portable sound equipment and two shade marquees.

Narromine

$5,000

Southern Valleys, NSW

Wirrinya Aquatic Club Inc

Enhance community sense of place through the upgrade of an outdoor area.

Wirrinya

$5,000

St Marys Catholic Primary Hay Parents and Friends Association

Foster school engagement and improve education outcomes by developing an outdoor learning space.

Hay

$5,000

Lake Cargelligo Central School

Provide access to quality learning environments through the purchase of portable agricultural equipment.

Lake Cargelligo

$5,000

Goolgowi Parents and Citizens Association

Increase engagement in education experiences through the establishment of a garden as part of an environmental education program.

Goolgowi

$5,000

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Hillston Parents & Friends Association

Develop community resilience through the upgrade of a canteen area.

Hillston

$5,000

Upper Namoi, NSW

Gunnedah South School P&C Association

Strengthen community participation through the upgrade of an outdoor area.

Gunnedah

$5,000

Gunnedah Family Support

Develop individual and community capacity and social wellbeing through the delivery of a men’s support program.

Gunnedah

$5,000

Gunnedah Family and Children’s Services Inc

Provide a safe and secure start in life for children through the replacement of a soft-fall area around play equipment.

Gunnedah

$5,000

The Boggabri Tractor Shed Inc

Enhance organisational resilience and capacity through the uprade of a kitchen.

Boggabri

$5,000

Walgett, NSW

Walgett Little Athletics Centre

Develop a more engaged, participative community through the upgrade of kitchen equipment.

Walgett

$5,000

Central Highlands, QLD

Rotary Club of Emerald Inc

Provide access to quality learning environments through the development of an all-abilities playground.

Emerald

$5,000

Emerald Branch Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association

Build stronger individual and/or community resilience through furnishing a youth space within a welfare centre.

Emerald

$5,000

Darling Downs, QLD

Toowoomba and District Down Syndrome Support Group Inc

Promote inclusive community engagement through the provision of an annual family workshop and camp.

Toowoomba

$5,000

Pittsworth and District Men’s Shed Inc

Develop a more engaged, participative community through the purchase of information technology.

Pittsworth

$5,000

Meandarra Primary P&C Association

Strengthen community participation through the installation of a concrete path and seating.

Meandarra

$5,000

Jandowae Kindergarten Assoc Inc

Provide access to inclusive learning environments through the upgrade of a playground cubby.

Jandowae

$5,000

Brookstead Community Hall Association Inc

Providing access to community activities through the installation of a solar powered system.

Brookstead

$5,000

Dawson Valley, QLD

Theodore Early Childhood Centre Association Inc

Support early childhood development through the provision of a shade area and the purchase of an outdoor play set.

Theodore

$5,000

Dirranbandi, QLD

Dirranbandi Swim Club Dirranbandi Courts Sports Association Inc

Strengthen community participation and water safety through the purchase of swimming and pool equipment and barbeque to host a community event.

Dirranbandi

$5,000

Macintyre Valley, QLD

Talwood State School P&C

Increase engagement in learning and improve education outcomes through the purchase of an irrigation system to compliment an orchard project.

Talwood

$5,000

North Star Sporting Club Ltd

Promote community safety and resilience through the purchase of a defibrillator and three comprehensive First Aid kits.

North Star

$5,000

 

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.

Organisation

Project

Location

Grant

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.

Bourke,
NSW

$10,000

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.

Parkes,
NSW

$6,750

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.

Roma,
Longreach,
Richmond,
Julia Creek,
QLD

$10,000

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.

Kimba,
Cleve,
Tumby Bay,
SA

$19,900

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.

Dover,
Cygnet,
Huonville,
Geeveston,
TAS

$9,255

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.

Hamilton,
VIC

$16,340

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,
Robinvale,
VIC

$13,480

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.

Hopetoun,
WA

$15,000

Bendigo, 4 June 2019: Seven 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 applications we received confirms that there is significant need when it comes supporting good mental health in rural, regional and remote communities,” said FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton.
The projects will share $99,275, thanks to support from CCI Giving, the charitable foundation of Catholic Church Insurance (CCI).

“Mental ill-health doesn’t discriminate based on whether you live in a rural or metropolitan area. The difference is that those who live in rural areas often struggle when it comes to finding the help they need; at the time they need it. This could be due to geographic location, a lack of resources or access to mental health services, cultural barriers or stigma.

“Through our programs, we’ve seen increased requests for support around mental health across the country. This isn’t surprising given the compounding impacts of the long-running drought, floods or cyclones, as well as economic factors, which can lead to increased stress and social isolation.

“These factors also mean that usual community fundraising options to support local initiatives are simply not available, making programs like In a Good Place increasingly important.”

Ms Egleton says that the projects funded support community-based, non-clinical, and accessible mental health information and support. This includes indirect education via community events, and proactive resilience programs, in schools and the wider community.

Among the recipients is a project involving a series of community activities to bring community members together to reduce social isolation, build stronger interpersonal connections, and create awareness of good mental health practices, following a high-profile local tragedy. The aim is to help people recognise that it is ‘okay not to be okay’ and to provide information about where to access help when required.

Roberto Scenna, CEO of CCI and Director of CCI Giving, said that it was inspiring to see communities responding to mental health challenges in ways that suit them best.

“The funded projects might be for information sharing, skills and capacity building but it’s these non-clinical approaches to mental health care that can assist people at their most vulnerable,” said Mr Scenna.

The next round of the In a Good Place program will open in early July. Keep an eye on FRRR’s grants calendar for the opening date.

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

Organisation

Project

Location

Grant

Blue Mountains Women’s Health & Resource Centre Inc.

Creative Connections
Build the resilience of female students experiencing depression and anxiety through participation in an eight-week resilience program using art and cognitive based therapies.

Katoomba
NSW

$2,970

Clarke Creek State School P&C Association

Clarke Creek Chaplaincy
Support additional Chaplaincy services to assist students and families across three communities to continue to recover from the damage from Tropical Cyclone Debbie, flash-flooding and ongoing drought conditions.

Clarke Creek
QLD

$10,000

Moranbah Primary P&C Association

Supporting students at risk across three Moranbah State schools
Build the capacity to support Chaplaincy services to assist students, families and staff across three schools to access social, emotional, educational and spiritual support within the school environment.

Moranbah
QLD

$15,000

Operation Flinders Foundation Inc

Exercise 5SA19 – Mannum Community College Team

Build the capacity of the Mannum community to support local at-risk youth students to participate in a remote outback intervention program, and support their reengagement with the local community on their return.

Mannum
SA

$20,000

Mallacoota Community Health, Infrastructure and Resilience Fund Inc (CHIRF)

Building the evidence base – Effectiveness of Teen Clinics
Develop an affordable and appropriate community-led evaluation model to investigate the effectiveness of the Teen Clinic model in addressing the health and wellbeing needs of young people living in small rural towns.

Bega
Eden
Merimbula
Narooma
NSW

Mallacoota
VIC

$20,000

Robinvale Network House Inc

Be SAFE
Increase awareness of good mental health and reduce stigma through a free community forum featuring a high-profile speaker and local services.

Robinvale
VIC

$11,553

Westonia Community Resource Centre Inc

United we care – United we conquer
Strengthen community resilience and increasing social connectedness through a series of community activities, culminating in a whole-of-community celebratory event.

Westonia
WA

$19,752