37 remote, rural and regional communities across New South Wales are getting a much needed boost to support COVID-19 recovery, disaster resilience and recovery and small yet vital community needs thanks to more than $400,000 in grants from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal.
On the South Coast, the Bermagui Area Chamber of Commerce & Reboot Restart will get $4,400 to Increase tourism and social wellbeing to support bushfire recovery in Bermagui.
While Regional Arts Victoria in Mallacoota will get $25,000 to Support the specific bushfire recovery of young people in East Gippsland through the delivery of a school-centred creative arts program.
The Murramarang Community Garden group in Bawley Point will get $10,000 to support bushfire preparedness by purchasing an electric ride-on mower to increase volunteer participation in garden maintenance, regardless of physical abilities.
The Rotary Club of Milton Ulladulla will get $10,000 to put towards a Youth Driver Education Program.
In total 131 initiatives across Australia are sharing in $1,340,387 in grants.
The grants are awarded through FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program, via one of three streams of funding: Small & Vital (S&V), Prepare & Recover (P&R), or the Rebuilding Regional Communities (RRC).
Collaboratively funded by donors ranging from private individuals to larger foundations, the SRC program
supports a diverse range of initiatives across remote, rural and regional Australia.
While each of the 131 awarded projects meets a unique local need, all funded initiatives have one thing in common – they each have a clear and direct benefit to the community and to those living locally.
Jill Karena, Place Portfolio Lead at FRRR, said it is truly inspiring to see the determination and resilience of community groups and local leaders, who continue to front up and strive for a stronger, and sustainable, rural Australia.
“In this round of SRC grants, we’ve seen a shift in project focus, with a significant increase in initiatives
that address the wellbeing and sustainability of community organisations,” Ms Karena said.
“The majority of these grants are for practical, infrastructure-related projects that will enable local groups in rural places to continue to provide vital services, and ensure community spaces are safe, secure and welcoming,” she continued.
“Our RRC team continues to coordinate the new webinar series to support applicants called, ‘The Know
and The How’ and clearly there’s a strong community appetite for topics that address fundamental issues for
the not-for-profit sector, as the third session, focusing on strategic planning for community organisations,
has already been booked out twice.”
“For nearly one third of recipients, in just this round of funding alone, this is the first time that they’ve applied for an FRRR grant.
“For those organisations that are previous grant recipients, the SRC program’s straight-forward application
process, and the flexibility of the grants to fund local needs, are just some of the reasons they continue to
apply for SRC grants.”
Rotary Club of Pambula Incorporated was awarded a $25,000 SRC grant in 2021 to support community recovery and engagement via entertainment events across fire affected communities using the Sapphire Entertainment Pod (pictured above).
Meanwhile, the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal has awarded more than $210,000 in grants through its Telstra Connected Communities Grant Program as well.
Locally, $10,000 will go to the Eden Community Access Centre to Boost community knowledge around cyber safety.
While the Rileys Hill Community Centre will get just over $2,500 for Strengthening IT Access and Literacy for Broadwater Residents by conducting IT training sessions and upgrading computer software.