FRRR has awarded $1,589,612 in grants for 112 projects that will help build the resilience and long-term vitality of smaller remote, rural and regional communities across Australia, through its Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.
The SRC program is collaboratively funded, and its broad scope enables smaller remote, rural, and regional communities to receive funding for a wide range of initiatives that are led by local people and address local needs. The awarded grants will give these rural places a boost to achieve long-term viability and vitality.
This round of SRC includes funding across three streams – Small & Vital, Larger Leverage and Bushfire Recovery grants. Grants range from $323 for first aid and snake bite kits for the Harts Range Amateur Race Club in remote Northern Territory, to a $25,000 grant to allow Kullilli people to travel to Thargomindah in Queensland and be on Kullilli country to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
For regions continuing to recover and renew following the 2019/2020 bushfires, grants range from $2,500 to encourage locals to participate in recovery activities at the Maclean Spring Festival in New South Wales, to $25,000 grant for the installation of local fauna sculptures that will increase connection to place and enhance public spaces in Marlow, Victoria.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said this round of SRC has seen rural communities across Australia seek funding for inspiring initiatives that build community resilience and support individual and community health and wellbeing at a local level.
“Many communities have been impacted by multiple disasters, including the recent flooding in NSW and parts of QLD. For these regions, economic recovery from the disasters has been severely challenged by COVID-19. For community organisations, the pandemic has hampered fundraising efforts and their capacity to provide services.”
“Understandably, local volunteers are pretty worn out. In response, we have awarded a number of grants for projects that will relieve volunteer fatigue and alleviate the pressures that many volunteer-led groups are dealing with,” Egleton said.
“Rural communities gain strength and vitality when locals have places to gather and connect, so it’s not surprising that we continue to see strong demand for projects that build community resilience by investing in local community assets and infrastructure, particularly the maintenance of community halls. And, as gathering restrictions ease, we are seeing more requests for work on outdoor spaces and for community events, as people come together to strengthen community engagement and participation,” she said.
The Small & Vital grants stream provides funding of up to $10,000 for local initiatives that enhance the wellbeing, strength and resilience of rural communities. This round of SRC has seen 52 projects in places across all States and Territories sharing in a total of $356,342 in Small & Vital grants.
Larger Leverage grants provide funding of up to $25,000, generally for remote or very remote parts of Australia. The larger grants are intended to help overcome logistical barriers that can limit the opportunity for multifaceted projects in these regions. A total of $595,362 has been awarded to 27 projects through the Larger Leverage stream.
This round the Bushfire Recovery stream awarded a total of $637,908 in grants to 33 initiatives designed to help seed and strengthen the recovery of communities impacted by the 2019/2020 summer bushfires. Further information on these Bushfire Recovery projects is available on FRRR’s website.
A full list of Strengthening Rural Communities grant recipients across all three streams of funding is available on FRRR’s website.
The SRC program is collaboratively supported by a number of generous donors, which are listed on FRRR’s website. The current round is accepting applications until 24 August 2021, with funds to be awarded in December 2021.