Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Investing in the long-term future of rural NSW communities

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has awarded $1,047,716 in grants to support 37 projects led by not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) across six rural communities in New South Wales, through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program.

The more than $1 million in grants is funded through FRRR’s partnerships with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) and The Snow Foundation, which are both committed in helping develop communities in rural and regional NSW.

IRCF is a place-based program that provides local NFPs and community sector organisations with practical support and funding so they can be stronger, more resilient, and fulfill their purpose with greater impact. The program encourages collaboration and community-led solutions that will seed the long-term self-sufficiency of these organisations.

In partnership with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, FRRR launched the IRCF program in the regional NSW communities of Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley. Now in their second year of the five-year program, these communities are sharing a further $557,698 in Ongoing Partnership Grants.

Alli Mudford, IRCF Program Manager, said that these grants mark the start of the second phase of the IRCF program.

“The first phase was about bringing community-based organisations together to explore common needs and identify areas where they could collaborate, as well as identify what support they required as individual organisations. The kind of issues that emerged included the need for staff, organisational training and skills development, and investment in community and organisational infrastructure.

“This second phase of the program is about helping the organisations take action on these common areas of need with the support of these grants.

“For example, in Nambucca Valley, a key challenge is broad community engagement. We are supporting Nambucca Valley Youth Services and Mujaay Ganma Foundation to develop projects to help them engage more deeply with locals, particularly the young people of Nambucca Valley, by providing training and mentoring opportunities.

“In Junee and Leeton, for example, Junee Rhythm and Rail, Junee Senior Citizens and Leeton Show Society will use their funding to purchase equipment and refurbish community infrastructure that is used by a number of local not-for-profits,” said Ms Mudford.

Some of the other projects funded through these IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants include:

  • Junee Community Power received $15,000 to alleviate energy poverty for the community by installing solar power to the Junee Senior Citizens Hall. This will be the start a bigger initiative for Junee not-for-profits and community power.
  • Leeton Connect received $90,000 to support Leeton not-for-profits by employing a coordinator to deliver training and development.
  • Jaanymili Bawrungga in Nambucca Valley received $30,290 to develop a strategic plan to assist with operational objectives and create cultural economic sustainability with the support of a consultant.

A full list of IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants recipients and their projects are below.

FRRR staff will continue to walk alongside these three communities, working with them to implement their community roadmap. Nambucca Valley has seen a strong demand for funding with the first tranche allocated to projects that will be managed in line with the region’s overall allocation for the life of the program. Further grants will be awarded in Leeton and Junee later in the year.

Program now rolling out on South Coast

In April 2020, FRRR and The Snow Foundation partnered with the commitment to increase their ongoing support of South Coast communities and to expand the IRCF program into Bateman’s Bay, Nowra and Ulladulla. As part of the program launch, these communities are sharing in $490,018 in Start-Up Grants.

Kate Dezarnaulds, IRCF Coordinator for Shoalhaven, said last summer’s bushfires and now COVID-19 have had a direct impact on the energy, capability, and resources of these largely volunteer-run NFPs.

“These Start-Up Grants will provide a range of dynamic grassroots organisations with funding for projects that will strengthen them and increase their capacity to support the recovery and renewal of their communities, which have been so clearly impacted by these disasters.

“For example, community organisations such as Shoalhaven Health & Arts and Milton Ulladulla Business Chamber are looking at ways to better connect with their community through improved digital infrastructure. 

“Other groups, like Shoalhaven Community Preschool, Ulladulla and Districts Community Resources Centre, and the Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance, are using their grants to improve governance and provide tailored training and mentoring opportunities for staff and volunteers. These are the kind of projects that struggle to find funding outside of the Investing in Rural Community Futures program, but they make a real difference to the viability and resilience of the not-for-profit sector in the region,”  said Ms Dezarnaulds.

Some of the other projects funded through these IRCF Start-Up Grants include:

  • The Family Place in the Batemans Bay area received $40,785 to develop a 5-year strategic plan that supports the urgent need to adapt to Telehealth to continue to provide services during COVID-19.
  • The Shoalhaven Women’s Resource Group in Nowra received $18,810 to work with a consultant to develop a new fundraising strategy that focuses on the launch of a social enterprise to provide a first employment opportunity for the women they support who are exiting prison.
  • Treading Lightly in Ulladulla received $25,000 to establish a Community Hub to host their regular program of small-scale community building meetings, workshops and activities for the regions affiliated NFP’s – these workshops and meetings often have an environmental sustainability and youth outreach focus.  

A full list of IRCF Start-Up Grants recipients and their projects are below.

Over the coming six months FRRR staff and facilitators on the ground will work closely with the three communities on the South Coast, supporting them to put their Start-Up Grants projects into action.

All 37 IRCF grantees will have until December 2021 to implement their projects.

Jump to IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants: JUNEE | LEETON | NAMBUCCA VALLEY
Jump to IRCF Start-Up Grants: NOWRA | ULLADULLA | BATEMANS BAY

Organisation

Project

Grant

IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants
JUNEE

Junee Business & Trades

Junee Community Events Trailer

Enable improved coordination and resource-sharing through the purchase of a trailer and equipment for events to be utilised by the range of NFP groups.

$30,611

Junee Business & Trades

 

Junee Community Presentations

Improve organisational capacity and upskill leaders and volunteers of local Community Groups by conducting a series of presentations and workshops.

$20,000

Junee Community Power

Invest in the Junee Community Circular Fund (JCCP)

Increase organisational capacity and save operational costs for community organisations by investing in two solar systems to kickstart a circular fund for community-owned electricity generation in the Junee Shire.

$15,000

Riverina Boys

Public Address System Installation
Build organisational capacity and increase community engagement through installation of a Public Address system across four recreation areas in Junee.

$20,000

Junee Senior Citizens 

Saving the Senior Citizens Hall

Reduce volunteer fatigue, build the capacity of the Junee Senior Citizens Club, and assist the wider community by supporting the Junee Senior Citizens Hall upgrade.

$13,000

Rhythm & Rail

Junee Community AV

Build capacity across the not-for-profit sector and increase community engagement through the upgrade of a portable PA system and new control booth.

$19,944

LEETON

Leeton Connect

Leeton Connect – Connecting the Leeton LGA Not-for-Profits Now and in the Future

Build organisational capacity across the Leeton not-for-profit sector through training, resources, an online community directory, and community volunteer and asset registers.

$90,000

Leeton Art Society

LASI Website – Create, Community & Continuity

Improve community engagement and enhance digital literacy and organisational capacity of Leeton Art Society by investing in a new website and digital literacy program.

$15,500

Whitton Public School P&C

Hot Desk for the Whitton Community – Providing Strength from Within

Foster sustainability and connectedness of local community organisations in Whitton by providing a shared central office space complete with office equipment.

$10,207

Leeton Show Society

Leeton Show Society Combined Office Space – A Workspace for Partnering NFPs

Reduce volunteer fatigue and support NFP organisational capacity through upgrade of facilities at the Leeton Show Society combined office space.

$23,436

NAMBUCCA VALLEY

Alithia

Administration and Funding Support

Strengthen organisational capacity and community inclusion and connectivity by initiating a range of measures to support the Alithia learning space in Valla Beach.

$30,000

Bowraville Innovative Social Enterprises Precinct Incorporated

 

Scoping Governance

Build organisational capacity by developing and implementing a strong governance framework from which to train and support other local not-for-profits and social enterprises in Bowraville and the Nambucca Valley.

$44,912

Jaanymili Bawrungga Incorporated

 

Jaanymili Bawrungga Building Blocks

Strengthen organisational capacity and sustainability by developing internal systems, leadership, and governance structures.

$30,290

MiiMi Aboriginal Corporation

 

Gumbaynggirr Administration Support Role

Build organisational sustainability and capacity by employing a young local administrative person for 12 months to provide support to the organisation.

$55,735

Mujaay Ganma Foundation Aboriginal Corporation

 

Yuraal Guunumba Ngurraay: Gumbaynggirr Native Foods Community Garden Project

Foster community engagement, organisational capacity, and share cultural knowledge by engaging trainee coordinators and mentors to kickstart the Mujaay Ganma’s Yuraal Garden Project.

$38,443

Muurrbay Aboriginal Language & Culture
Co-operative

 

Strengthening Muurrbay & Aboriginal Languages for the Future

Support the sustainability of Muurrbay, and more widely the survival of local Aboriginal languages, by updating organisational policies, procedure and plans with the assistance of the Brangan Group working with Muurrbay Board and staff.

$14,600

Nambucca Senior Citizens Club

 

Nambucca Valley Newsletter

Promote community connectivity and reduce social exclusion by supporting a local Nambucca print newsletter and news desk at the Senior Citizens Hall.

$4,030

Nambucca Valley Phoenix Limited

 

The Phoenix Rising – Strategic Plan and Mentoring

Develop a five-year strategic plan to transform NVP into a sustainable social enterprise, supporting people living with disabilities and/or other disadvantages to participate in employment, training, and micro-enterprise development.  

$40,000

Nambucca Valley Youth Services Inc

Marketing and Business Administration Training for Staff and Volunteers Including Young People at the Nambucca Valley Youth Services Centre

Upskill staff and volunteers at Nambucca Valley Youth Services Centre through three workshops across the Valley in marketing and administration and support the collection of content and design for a website and communications strategy.

$41,990

IRCF Start-Up Grants

NOWRA

The Shoalhaven Women’s Resource Group Limited

CREATING A FUTURE – Delivering Diversified Revenue to Thrive

Support sustainability and succession of The Shoalhaven Women’s Resource Group Limited by development of a diversified revenue strategy including feasibility studies into potential social enterprises to enhance their funding mix and reduce vulnerability to changes in grant funding.

$18,810

Shoalhaven Community Preschool Incorporated

 

Staff Wellbeing and Capacity Building Program

Empower the staff, strengthen their resilience post-bushfires, and increase their cultural awareness through the provision of a tailored staff development program, cultural awareness training and the employment of an Aboriginal Identified trainee.

$15,000

 

Shoalhaven Health and Arts

Shoalhaven Health & Arts – Website and Outreach

Create community awareness of the program of Arts & Health activities being developed for the Nowra community by the newly formed organisation – Shoalhaven Arts & Health Inc through the development of marketing and communications channels designed to reach those with lived experience of recent bushfire trauma and the local services that support them.

$10,000

Shoalhaven Neighbourhood Services Inc

Client Management System (CMS) Enhancement to Enable Shoalhaven Neighbourhood Services to Become More Sustainable, Flexible, and Adaptive

Streamline the delivery of in-home services through the purchase, migration, and implementation of a custom-designed CRM for Shoalhaven Neighbourhood Services so that they can better support the aged and people living with disability in the Nowra area.

$28,304

South Coast Beef Producers Association Incorporated

Shoalhaven Cattle Industry Training Centre

Improve opportunities for commercial South Coast beef producers through the construction of a fit-for-purpose cattle handling, showing, and training facility at the Nowra Showgrounds.

$47,508

Tomerong School of Arts

Connecting Community, Building Resilience

Enhance community connectedness through the creation and distribution of a quarterly community newsletter and new-resident welcome pack that will promote community life, volunteering opportunities and events centered around the Tomerong School of Arts.

$5,900

ULLADULLA

Milton Promotions Committee

Milton Back in Business

Stimulate activity in the local economy to aid economic recovery from the fires and COVID through a cooperative marketing campaign seeking to encourage visitors and residents to shop local in Milton.

$10,000

Milton Ulladulla Business Chamber Incorporated

Community Connect Shoalhaven (CCSS)

Enable the fragmented community sector of the Ulladulla / Milton area to better communicate, collaborate and support each other through the creation of a community newsletter, website, and database of organisations, events and volunteers.

$17,870

Ulladulla and Districts Community Resources Centre Incorporated

Building Foundations

Develop supportive relationships and deeper connectivity to culturally diverse communities, especially the local Aboriginal community, through a research and training program for staff and volunteers followed by the formalisation and documentation of strategic partnerships with aligned organisations.

$45,902

 

Independence Ulladulla Inc

Everybody Deserves to THRIVE

Enable Independence Ulladulla to secure their tenancy and operations, modernise their operating systems and update their training to provide a much-needed School Leavers’ Employment Support program and expand their community engagement offering to non-resident disability clients.

$50,000

Treading Lightly Inc

 

Treading Lightly Community Hub

Establish a Community Hub for Treading Lightly to provide a visible focal point and an efficient delivery mechanism for the regions affiliated NFP’s to host their regular program of small-scale community building meetings, workshops and activities that often have a focus on environmental sustainability and youth outreach.  

$25,000

 

Red Head Villages Association Incorporated

 

Red Head Villages

Enhance social cohesion, get prepared with ‘shovel ready’ projects and improve future disaster preparedness through the preparation of a master plan for the five villages of the Red Head area just north of Ulladulla.

$31,971

 

BATEMANS BAY

Community Life Batemans Bay Inc

Look Listen Learn

Inspire and develop capacity and organisational sustainability by conducting a one-day workshop for directors, staff, and volunteers, with a focus on nurturing individual leadership, good governance, responsibility, and accountability.

$5,045

Eurobodalla Education and Therapy Services Ltd

Building Allied Health in the Eurobodalla

Strengthen organisational succession planning for the team at Muddy Puddles and retain local people and skills by establishing a student placement program for Allied Health workers.

$37,500

 

SEARMS Aboriginal Corporation

Community – Stronger Together

Prepare the SEARMS Aboriginal Corporation for their next chapter with the development of a community engagement plan and new strategic plan to capitalise on their partnerships and networks and adjust to changing funding dynamics.

$40,000

Clyde River and Batemans Bay Historical Society Inc

Aspire, Acquire, Become!

Build organisational capacity through the delivery of Governance training for the Clyde River & Batemans Bay Historical Society and their three local partner historical societies before a major expansion of built infrastructure and complexity of operations.

$22,923

 

 

The Family Place Inc

Growing a Strong Service for a Strong and Vibrant Community

Drive innovation in service delivery, strengthen governance and invest in leadership for The Family Place through the appointment of a consultant to guide strategic planning for the future while acknowledging trauma and providing space to heal after the fires.

$40,785

 

Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance

 

Turbocharging South Coast Volunteer, NFPs

Drive widespread and coordinated capacity building across 20+ grassroots NFP’s in the Eurobodalla area through the appointment of a project coordinator to support governance, leadership, and communications programs.

$37,500

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and The Snow Foundation have announced a $2.5 million, multi-year partnership that will help boost the confidence, ability and skills of not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in Batemans Bay, Nowra and Ulladulla.

This partnership has been formed to support a placed-based program – Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF). This program was first launched in 2018, with FRRR and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation partnering with local organisations in Leeton, Junee and Nambucca Valley across a five-year period.

Now, with the support of The Snow Foundation, FRRR can build on the momentum of this important program to support organisations across the Shoalhaven region to keep going, and ultimately, thrive.

The IRCF Shoalhaven program will see FRRR work with local NFPs over a five-year period to determine how they can best help themselves, so they can effectively focus on what they set out to do to help their community.

To kick-start the program, each community will receive up to $175,000 in Start-Up Grants for NFPs in Batemans Bay, Nowra and Ulladulla. FRRR will work with local groups to determine how this funding can be best utilised so it makes the greatest impact now, and into the medium to long-term. These Start-Up Grants are flexible and designed to support organisations in their capacity to deliver services. This support could include costs like investing in community leadership, skills and training, strengthening communications and networks, human resources, mentoring or even wages for operational planning.

FRRR’s CEO, Natalie Egleton, says the team at The Snow Foundation share FRRR’s belief that local leaders are best placed to know what is going to make the biggest difference in their community.

“The drought, bushfires and now COVID-19 have highlighted the important role that not-for-profit groups play across the Shoalhaven region. They are embedded in the community, so they know what is needed. However, many groups are struggling to know how to sustain themselves so they can continue this important work. Through the IRCF program, we will work with local leaders so they can more effectively focus on what they set out to do and help meet both the current and emerging needs of their communities.

“The answers will come from within the community. FRRR’s role will be to act as facilitators and supporters, to enhance the ability of local leaders to deliver the change they wish to see. The ultimate aim of the IRCF program is to break the cycle of a reliance on short-term funding and invest in the long-term viability of core not-for-profit groups.”

The Snow Foundation’s Founder and Chair, Terry Snow AM, says that he expects NFPs in the Shoalhaven region to respond enthusiastically to the IRCF program.

“The great thing about this program is that it’s far more than just being about giving out grants. They are important, of course, but the heart of this program is about bringing community groups together, sharing insights, pooling resources and finding ways to work together, to become stronger and much more effective, and ultimately to help create a stronger community. This is critical, as we have so much to do to rebuild following the devastating bushfires and now the challenges of COVID-19.”

FRRR’s IRCF Program Manager, Alli Mudford, says that it’s fantastic to be able to bring this program to the Shoalhaven area, which is focused on securing the long-term future of community groups.

“This program will see us work with these communities over a sustained period of time, so the not-for-profit groups become stronger, more resilient and are able to fulfill their missions with greater impact.

“We know from our experience with our partner communities in NSW that communities have ideas – they just need the time, space and resources to come together and share ideas and collectively build solutions to problems.

“FRRR recognises the importance of having a local coordinator on the ground to implement the program. We are currently working to employ someone locally who can bring their deep local knowledge and existing contacts to this project. This project coordinator’s role will be to provide community level support to enhance the delivery of the supported projects, to add value to other locally driven initiatives, and to strengthen cross-sector and cross-community collaboration.”

The first step of the IRCF program is to bring local leaders together. This would normally be done face to face, but given the current situation, it will be online, with separate online meetings for each community, from 4 to 6 May. Details of these workshops are:

  • Ulladulla: 4 May – 10am-12pm
  • Batemans Bay: 5 May – 10am-12pm
  • Nowra: 6 May – 10am-12pm

Participants can register for a session by visiting FRRR’s website.

Once the initial workshops have happened, local organisations will be able to apply for the Start-Up Grants. Individual, locally governed NFPs are eligible to apply, although collaborative applications are encouraged, as FRRR has found that organisations often have similar needs. Applications for Start-Up Grants will close Friday, 29 May 2020.