Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has entered a new three-year partnership with the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation (KACF).

FRRR partners with the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation to help tackle food insecurity

Creating better days for Australians, Kellogg Australia is committed to tackling hunger and helping to create a more sustainable future for generations to come. Now, with the new partnership between KACF and FRRR, their combined efforts can help tackle hunger and build resilience in vulnerable rural and regional communities throughout the country.

Over the course of the partnership, KACF will donate $300,000 to support grants going towards low socio-economic regions in need, and disadvantaged communities facing high levels of food insecurity.

The funds will be part of FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program, which aims to give small remote, rural and regional communities across Australia an opportunity to access funding to strengthen their vitality and resilience. Grants are flexible and respond to community-identified priorities, such as food security. 

In addition to the KACF funding, Kellogg Australia has also put forward in-kind support in the form of food donations, as well as skilled and unskilled volunteering from its employees.

Esme Borgelt, Managing Director Kellogg Australia, said, “The last couple of years have seen so many of our communities facing increasingly difficult times. From droughts to bushfires to a global health pandemic, the impact on everyone has been significant, and those hardest hit have been our remote, rural and regional communities.

“Almost a quarter of Australians experiencing food insecurity live in regional or remote areas and the aim of the KACF partnership with FRRR is to provide support at a grassroots level to help these communities implement innovative, locally led solutions.” 

With FRRR being the only national foundation centred on social and economic strength in remote, rural and regional Australia, the partnership will help to tackle food insecurity with the knowledge and experience of the local needs by local leaders on the ground.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, said, “It’s fantastic to see a leading global food manufacturer like Kellogg’s make it their overarching mission to leave a mark of meaningful difference. We are delighted to be partnering with them to ensure that support reaches vulnerable communities beyond metropolitan boundaries.

“While the grants will be awarded based on locally identified community priorities, there will be a focus on supporting food security initiatives and enterprises, food affordability and food access programs, as well as projects such as community gardens and school and educational food programs,” Ms Egleton explained.

Baryulgil Community Hall

Nestled in the heart of the bush, halfway between Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour in NSW, lies the rural community of Baryulgil.

In the heart of Baryulgil is the Community Hall, located in the town square. The hall has stood for almost 90 years, and been used for social gatherings and fundraisers throughout the years.

With a population of fewer than 100 people, the community hall provides a much-needed place for local residents to gather. In recent years, the hall had fallen into disrepair, with dry rot in the walls, a leaking ceiling and broken windows.

The team at Baryulgil Charity Sports Club applied to FRRR’s Small Grants program, and received a $5,000 grant funded by The Yulgilbar Foundation, to complete maintenance works to ensure the local community could enjoy the hall for many years to come. 

This grant enabled the Club to replace the damaged walls, remove dangerous stairways and doors, replace rusted gutters, and purchase heritage-colour paint to restore windows and doors that had been damaged by water.

Along with the popular social events and fundraisers, the hall can now be used by emergency services during bushfires, acting as a local hub for the NSW Rural Fire Service. The bulk of the project was completed in late 2019, with additional work delayed by COVID-19 to be completed in the near future.

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.

Up to $5,000 available, plus free grantseeker workshops

Gardiner Dairy Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), is inviting community organisations in Victorian dairy regions – Gippsland, northern Victoria and south-west Victoria – to apply for grants of up to $5,000.

The annual Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program is delivered through FRRR, which has partnered with Gardiner Dairy Foundation for the past 19 years.

Grants are made available to registered not-for-profit groups and can be used for a wide variety of community activities including community arts, health and wellbeing, environment, infrastructure, education, history and much more.

To assist community groups in preparing their grant applications, Gardiner Dairy Foundation and FRRR are running free grant seeker workshops in each of the three Victorian dairy regions. A webinar will also be hosted. (see details below). These workshops provide invaluable advice on how to put together a competitive grant application.

In 2021 Gardiner Dairy Foundation will make available a total funding pool of $120,000. Since launching the program with FRRR in 2002, Gardiner Dairy Foundation has distributed almost $2 million to Victorian dairy communities and has supported a total of 471projects.

“With better seasonal conditions in most regions, morale in dairy communities has improved over the past 12 months,” said Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive, Clive Noble. “People can breathe a little easier and now is a good time for community groups to look at some of the projects they may have deferred.

“I’d like to encourage community leaders to take advantage of these grants, to leverage the money available with other inputs and to continue to improve and enrich their dairy communities.

“Strong and vibrant dairy communities are vital to a strong dairy industry and vice versa.”

Sarah Matthee, Acting CEO of FRRR, said that the grants are designed to give dairy communities the boost they may need to make great things happen.

“Last year was tough for most rural communities, and Victorian dairy communities were no exception. We’ve seen from previous grant recipients that a small grant can open doors for further funding, and it will be great to visit some of last year’s grants recipients to see what kind of opportunities have grown from the funding, and how they have used the grants to help address the needs of their communities.

“We know that these communities are determined, inspiring and resilient and full of great ideas. That’s why the Gardiner grants are deliberately flexible – to allow local leaders to respond to what’s happening, and address the biggest priorities. In previous years, that’s been anything from community gardens to festivals, small infrastructure to training. I look forward to seeing what this year’s applications bring.”

Applications for the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Community Grants Program open Monday, 1 February and close Tuesday, 16 March 2020 at 5 pm AEDT.

Grant seeker workshop timetable

Join Gardiner Dairy Foundation and FRRR at one of our free grant seeker workshops. Find out how to put together a competitive grant application.

The webinar will be held:

Date: Thursday 4 February 2021
Time:
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Register at:
https://events.humanitix.com/gardinercommunitygrants

Workshops will be held at:

Warragul
Date:
Monday 8 February 2021
Time:
6:30pm – 9:00pm
Location:
Mercure Hotel, 23 Mason St, Warragul

Colac
Date:
Wednesday 10 February 2021
Time:
10:30am – 1:00pm
Location:
Colac Bowling Club, 4 Armstrong St, Colac

Tallangatta
Date:
Thursday 11 February 2021
Time:
10:30am – 1:00pm
Location: Tallangatta Integrated Community Centre, 33 Towong St, Tallangatta

For more information or to register for the workshops, visit https://frrr.org.au/funding/place/gardiner-communities-grants/.  

Saddleworth in South Australia is a small rural town with a big heart. With less than 500 people, it’s a tight-knit community where the residents easily walk from one end of town to the next in 20 minutes. 

The town has faced some hardships in recent years, making it difficult for locals to access basic recreational sites that larger towns could enjoy easily. With a high number of low-income families living in the area, most without cars, it has become increasingly important to have an accessible and safe playground in Saddleworth for kids to enjoy.   

For over 77 years, the Saddleworth Lawn Tennis Club has been providing the town with facilities for sporting events and recreational activities. The Club is located on the Saddleworth War Memorial Community Centre, and honours those who lost their lives in World War II. The Club features the only publically accessible playground in the area, providing play and entertainment for nearby families. 

The small playground that was in desperate need of an upgrade, as the equipment was becoming non-compliant, and was at risk of being removed entirely. The playground was also sitting in direct sunlight, making it difficult for kids to enjoy playing on hot days when UV levels were extraordinarily high. 

After losing their local supermarket to a fire in 2016, the community was feeling deflated, having lost a major asset to their town. However, when the Club decided to fundraise the amount needed to improve the playground, over 20 volunteers put their hands up to help out, and six local businesses offered their support. 

The team applied for the FRRR Small Grants for Rural Communities grant, which provided $5,000 for stage one of the playground upgrade. These funds paid for a new shade cover the playground, that will ensure kids can continue to enjoy the area even on sunny days, and not just the early morning or late afternoons as they had become accustom to. 

Stage two of the upgrade encompassed replacing some of the equipment on the playground, including a garden border, softfall and bench for families to enjoy, while they sit under the shade sail. The work was carried out by local volunteers. The community can now enjoy their local playground and the newly refurbished facilities.

With summer well under way, the Club has more Junior Teams attending, with more children looking for some entertainment while their siblings play tennis. The new playground is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, and has created a real impact amongst the community.

When faced with the heartbreaking reality of rising deaths among young people, the team at Byron Youth Service (BYS) stepped in to remind their community that young lives matter, and that everyone deserves to feel happy, safe and valued. 

Since 1987, BYS has been advocating for young people between the ages of 12 to 24 years old, by creating, supporting and leading community action. Made up of a team of eight staff and ten volunteers, BYS has been the primary provider of youth services in Byron Bay and the surrounding area since their inception. 

Sadly, for many disadvantaged and at-risk students in the area, there is no access to computers or the internet at home. Having access to the right information and support can help these students overcome issues such as mental health, substance misuse, self-harm, sexual assaults and eating disorders. 

Among one of their many projects, the team at BYS runs Mullumbimby Cottage, where up to 40 disadvantaged students access outreach programs using modern technology, that are designed to build resilience and create a sense of place. The programs on offer at the Cottage provide skills training and facilities that help support and empower young people to overcome the challenges they may face. 

Being able to discuss the issues they’re facing without fear of shame, fear or embarrassment is key in building resilience – and BYS has found that delivering programs using technology can support better outcomes than traditional methods might. 

The laptops at Mullumbimby Cottage allow BYS to run information sessions, show videos, and educate participants on safe social media privacy settings. In both individual and group settings, laptops allow youth workers to provide the support needed to disclose any issues or concerns young people have, in a safe and trusting environment. 

And, after using the same computers to access these programs for over a decade, Mullumbimby Cottage needed a major technology upgrade. Through FRRR’s ANZ Seeds of Renewal program, BYS received a grant for $6,895, which allowed them to purchase five new Apple MacBooks. In addition to having access to the programs BYS run, the new laptops are also available for writing resumes, searching for jobs, researching courses and completing homework. 

The contribution Byron Youth Services has made to their local community is incredibly important, and FRRR is proud to support Mullumbimby Cottage on their mission to help every young person reach their full potential.

Situated 55 km east of Adelaide is the small rural community of Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant acts as a hub for a range of nearby smaller towns including Springton, Eden Valley, Cromer, Birdwood, Palmer, Tungkillo, and Cambrai. The town contains services that cater for the region, such as a public library, a kindergarten and primary school, a hospital, supplies stores, and a post office.

Mount Pleasant is a thriving and innovative community, that holds local events that bring people together, like a monthly Community Dinner, the Annual Mount Pleasant Agricultural Show, and a weekly farmers market. The flourishing community hosts a number of local groups and service clubs and the region also encompasses a number of successful farming and agriculture small businesses.

Established in 2000, the Mount Pleasant Natural Resource Centre Inc (MPNRC) is an active local organisation that works to promote environmental awareness, sustainability and best-practice land management. The community centre provides a significant gathering and activity space and proactively seeks to generate increased visitation, economic opportunities, new jobs and a sense of community for Mt Pleasant residents.

The energy and enthusiasm of volunteers’ play are a big part in MPNRC’s success with nearly 60 active volunteers currently involved with the centre.

Wanting to foster this passion for community engagement, MPNRC realised that their workspace needed a revamp so that it could be bigger, brighter and more inviting, increasing the workshop capacity and volunteer workspace to make it into a safer, all-weather environment.

With a $4,800 grant from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program, collaboratively funded by individual donors, and the enthusiastic assistance of volunteers, MPNRC’s refurbishment of The Share Shed (as the locals call it) saw the community and tradespeople join forces to weatherproof, install, refit, replace, repurpose the shared workspace.

The new space has had a positive ripple-effect throughout the community. The revamped Share Shed has hosted held a number of community upcycling workshops, including school workshops, and Mount Pleasant’s inaugural Makers in the Garden Market. MPNRC’s fundraising sales have increased and the expanded volunteer space means the Centre’s volunteer numbers have increased and MPNRC been able to employ four additional staff members.

Sharing with FRRR just how impactful The Share Shed project has been for the Mount Pleasant community, Faye McGoldrick, MPNRC Coordinator expressed MPNRC’s gratitude and said: “Thankyou – this project means a lot to our volunteers and community. It is fantastic to find funding to expand and build on projects that enable us to increase our community support and engagement.”

The challenge of attracting volunteers to support charitable organisations serving the community is universal, but exacerbated further in remote communities where the potential pool from which to recruit helpers is that much smaller to start with.

This was the challenge NT Friendship & Support Inc (NTSF) faced when they received a grant from FRRR to help them with their volunteer recruitment drive. The group’s mission is to provide professional care and promote an accessible, inclusive and supportive community.

The organisation has a waiting list of vulnerable Katherine region seniors seeking to be paired with a volunteer to assist them, from attending medical appointments and support services, to simply joining them for a cup of tea and a chat. Community members access the service via a referral from a regional assessment team and to be eligible must be 65 year or older, or 45 years or older for Indigenous community members.

Katherine currently has three aged care facilities, all of which are at capacity, with the only other alternative residential aged care facility located 330 km away in Darwin. NTFS has 25 people on the waiting list, five of whom are a high priority for the service. These identified seniors are at risk of isolation and loss of independence. Research suggests that, whenever possible, it is important that people have the opportunity to remain in their communities, connected to country, and independent as long as possible.

NTFS had hoped to recruit and train ten new volunteers, and used the $4,090 grant from FRRR’s Small Grants for Rural Communities program, funded by The Yulgilbar Foundation, to run an advertising campaign to increase their volunteer numbers. Katherine has a transient population which includes the RAAF base at Tindal, and the town relies on families from Tindal to be able to fill vacancies of volunteer positions.

Sadly, the recruitment drive wasn’t nearly as successful as they were hoping, due largely in part to the low turnover of families at Tindal. Of the initial 13 people who registered their interest in volunteering with NTFS, for various reasons, this translated into only two new volunteers.

Part of the grant was supposed to cover the cost of National Police clearance, Ochre Card Cultural training and First Aid certification for up to ten people (the magic number they were hoping to recruit). NTFS found themselves with surplus funds, so after seeking approval for a variation to their grant agreement, they applied the funding to another of their initiatives, the Seniors Community Bus, to ensure Seniors are supported through the COVID-19 crisis.

With no public transport available in Katherine, this service enables the organisation to support Seniors in getting to and from local services and various medical appointments, unhindered by the cost of high fees on taxis when they are available. The bus adheres to social distancing requirements (5 passengers as a maximum in a 14 seater bus), with rigorous hygiene and disinfection control measures in place.

So while the NTFS team and volunteers are stretched to their limits, they continue to provide valuable and necessary services to marginalised and vulnerable members of their community.

Shooting Stars is a unique program, formed by Netball WA and Glass Jar Australia in 2014. It uses netball as a vehicle for empowering young Aboriginal women living in remote WA to improve their school attendance rates, while promoting health and wellbeing.

Shooting Stars aims to drive social change and close the gap created by gender imbalance in Indigenous support programs. Less than 30% of Aboriginal girls complete year 12, and the importance of the link between education and employment is well documented.

Participation in the program is incentivised with the opportunity to be rewarded with attendance to a camp and this has a huge impact on the success of the overall program delivery. Girls must meet the Shooting Star program benchmarks – either maintain an 80% or above attendance rate or show an improvement of 20% or more from the previous term, and exhibit exemplary behaviour in class.

“Being accepted onto the camp empowers these girls to feel that if they work hard, anything is possible.”

Funding of $5,000 from Round 33 of FRRR’s Small Grants program contributed to the Confident Me Cultural Rewards Camp held in Meekatharra in June 2019. Thirty girls, aged between 13 and 18 years, travelled On Country with Elder Noeleen Gilla, who led cooking and art activities. The cooking activity led to an engaged discussion around health eating habits and what the girls could do to better support their health and wellbeing by making healthy choices about what food they consume. The Confident Me workshop, a part of the Dove Self Esteem project, was a major component of the camp, and helped the girls focus on self-esteem and confidence, learning about media literacy, body image in the media, and how to manage social pressures. The camp culminated in a yarning circle about their experience of the camp, “They shared ideas in a safe, culturally appropriate environment and learned from one another and from camp facilitators.” The yarns are recorded and transcribed for evaluation of the camp. As you can see, the Camp is much more than a netball program!

“We are most proud that we are able to reward Shooting Stars for their improved attendance and behaviour at school. By supporting them to make positive choices throughout the school year we were able to reinforce their success through the Reward Camp, showing them that their hard work is valued.”

Melanie McKee, Community Investment Coordinator, 2019

Drake is a small town in the shire of Tenterfield, located on the border of NSW and QLD. With one pub, one shop, one community centre and most properties coming in at around 100 acres, there is little opportunity for interaction and entertainment between community members. There was an interest among residents in learning more about permaculture, particularly as the land can be quite unforgiving when trying to grow food and plants. 

The Granite Border Landcare Committee (GBLC) saw an opportunity to teach the community new skills, create new shared community resources and foster connections and relationships between neighbours through the creation of a six-part permaculture workshop series.

With a $4,000 Small Grant, funded by The Yulgilbar Foundation, the GBLC was able to create and deliver this workshop series over a six month period.

Amanda Craig, who managed the program, said the project established a strong, energetic, community focused group with a core membership of 10 people.

“While the overall aim was to establish a permaculture group, which it has done, the community benefits are greater than that.”

“The group members and other interested people that attended workshops have established strong ties within the small isolated community and are now branching out to include other activities as the recent garden make over at the community resource center,” Amanda said.

The workshops included Build a Chook Pen, Build a Raised Garden Bed in a Mandala Circle Garden, Learn to Build Compost Bays, Building Swale’s Workshop, Propagating Vegetable Seedlings, Build a Wicking Bed and How to Build a Greenhouse. The six-month series helped to build community connectedness, improve local community infrastructure, and develop a volunteer community group.

Since completing the series, this group has continued to hold workshops and is working on beautifying the garden around the local community centre.