Supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund through the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative, the Small Networks Grants program can fund simple, one-off or seed-type initiatives to strengthen community networks and capabilities in 35 agriculture-dependent regions.
Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that there is a wide range of one-off projects that promote community networks, which the program can fund.
“From previous programs, we know that social networks are critical to drought resilience because they promote a sense of belonging by providing opportunities for a diverse range of community members to connect and participate.”
“Events, such as field days or practical workshops, are effective tools for improving mental health and wellbeing because they give participants the opportunity to connect with their neighbours and learn skills to address the local risk factors associated with a changing climate. So we look forward to seeing the projects that come forward,” O’Brien said.
FRRR wants to hear from groups with projects that fit into one of these five categories:
Development and Learning: Initiatives to facilitate professional, personal and leadership-related development and learning to support drought preparation.
There are two streams of funding – one offering up to $20,000 in agriculture-dependent LGAs in priority remote, rural and regional locations, and the second stream offering up to $50,000 in eligible LGAs in the NSW Far West, NT Tablelands, NT Arid Lands and WA Great Southern regions, where there is no active Community Impact program. Details of the LGA’s in each stream are on FRRR’s website.
“Through this program, we are enabling agriculture-dependent communities to identify and act on their drought preparedness and resilience priorities at a grassroots level in the ways that best suit their communities,” she added.
Applications are open now and close on 14 November 2023, with successful applicants announced in March 2024. There will be a second round of the program, which is expected to open in February 2024, with funds announced in June 2024.
Potential applicants are invited to join a webinar to learn more about the program and the eligibility requirements on Monday, 9 October from 12 pm AEDT. Registrations can be made via the FRRR website.
For more information, and to apply, visit: https://frrr.org.au/small-networks-grants.
Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.