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FRRR reports $22.5M in grants distributed to address remote, rural and regional priorities

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The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) distributed a record $22.5 million last financial year, shared across more than 550 remote, rural and regional communities across Australia, according to the Foundation’s just-released 2022/23 Annual Review. 

Remote and rural communities experience inequity, disadvantage and vulnerability across many basic aspects of day-to-day life.  

Yet they continue to rise to the challenge, innovate and deliver solutions that not only address issues but prove that better outcomes are possible with just a bit of support. 

“In the face of these challenges, communities continue to pull together, harnessing the strengths of local people and their connection and commitment to their places to forge ahead,” said Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR. 

Last financial year, FRRR’s 1,158 grants enabled 972 grassroots organisations and groups to pursue local projects that responded to the now all-too familiar effects of natural disasters; accelerated the net-zero transition; and addressed long-standing structural issues such as housing, energy and food security, service provision and digital inclusion. 

Egleton highlighted that the Foundation saw the largest number of applications in its 23-year history. 

“I’m proud of the role that FRRR has played in supporting these remote, rural and regional communities to strengthen, adapt and innovate to navigate and find solutions to these challenges,” added Egleton.  

According to the CEO, the last financial year, FRRR received 2,639 eligible grant applications requesting a total of $64 million, up more than 25% on the prior year. Signaling that life is getting back to ‘normal’ following COVID, but it also highlights the ongoing challenges remote, rural and regional communities are facing when it comes to securing funding for local projects. 

“Unsurprisingly, more than a third of our grants went to communities vulnerable to, or impacted by, climate-related disasters.” 

Egleton discussed how nearly 430 grants totalling $11.1 million were awarded for initiatives supporting the medium to long-term recovery of places affected by disasters, and projects helping to prepare communities for future climate-related impacts. 

“In 2023 we received more than 1,310 donations, ranging from $1 to $7.9 million, totalling $25.4 million.” 

“Despite an increase in donations, FRRR could still only fund just over half of the eligible applications received,” added Egleton.  

FRRR continues to seek new partnerships with government, philanthropy, businesses and individuals to allow them to fund more of these projects. 

“We also continued to advocate for more well-informed investment in rural people and organisations.” 

“The tenacity of remote, rural and regional people to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable motivates us to continue to strive for our shared vision for a more vibrant, resilient and sustainable remote, rural and regional Australia.” 

“We are grateful for the continued commitment of our supporters and the trust they place in us to get funding to where it’s needed most and to strengthen capacity to adjust and rise to the challenges in these communities,” concluded Egleton. 

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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.


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