Australian rural communities to receive more than $1.1M in grants


More than 100 projects are set to strengthen Australian rural communities with 96 communities sharing in $1,112,492 in grants, through the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.

The successful communities, which range across Australia from remote Kintore in the Northern Territory, to Jundah in Queensland and Leonora in Western Australia, will use the grants of up to $25,000 each for a broad range of inspiring projects.

Led by local people, these initiatives vary from encouraging young people from Arnhem Land communities to connect with culture and make healthy lifestyle choices by getting them involved in creating edible garden plots, to helping the community of South Arm continue its recovery following the Black Summer bushfires by purchasing amenities and safety equipment to prepare the local hall for future disaster events.

The aforementioned projects are among the 34 grants going to Australian rural communities with the unique challenge of overcoming the impacts of the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. Supported through a special stream of funding, these regions will share in $589,945 in grants for projects designed to help seed and strengthen their recovery.

Sarah Matthee, FRRR’s Acting CEO, said that communities have found diverse ways to build up their resilience and support one another.

“Communities have also shown us how much they value the vital contributions made by volunteers. We have funded several projects that support and recognise these people, and help tackle the fatigue they feel, especially in light of this year’s challenges,” Matthee said.

“For bushfire-affected communities, COVID-19 has not lessened their determination to keep on recovering, despite the pandemic resulting in gatherings and events, which would have helped people connect and rebuild, being postponed or cancelled. Local leaders have put forward great ideas that are sure to help lift community spirits,” she said.

Some of the projects that will be funded by this latest round of grants include the Pomona Youth Resilience and Well-being Project in Pomona & District Community House Inc, QLD. The project aims to increase access, support and resources for local youth in Pomona by delivering a facilitated, structured community-based youth program.

Meanwhile, The Backyard by Kingscote Farmers and Artisans Market will increase access to local produce and the social and economic recovery of Kangaroo Island by employing a part-time project manager to help reopen the Kingscote Farmers & Artisan Market and develop a pop-up activity space.

The next round of SRC grants will be announced March 2021. The current round is accepting applications until 23 February 2021.