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Nearly $800,000 awarded to projects strengthening rural communities

3 min read
strengthening rural communities

Sixty-seven projects across remote, rural and regional Australia will share in $776,583 in grants thanks to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program.

These projects are grassroots initiatives run by organisations led by local people that will strengthen their communities and have direct benefits for those living in them.

In this round of funding, 26 of the projects receiving funding support ongoing recovery from the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires. These initiatives, which will share $444,552, include purchasing fit-for-purpose health equipment for three divisions of St. John Ambulance NSW – all of which were directly involved in the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfire response.

There are also 41 projects being funded through the Small & Vital stream of the SRC program, which will share in a total of $332,031. These grants range from $1,455 to upgrade the NSW It’s Heaven website to make it more accessible for those who have a disability, to a $10,000 grant for the Northern Australian Aboriginal Charitable Trust that will help to deliver three new, free-of-charge laundromats to remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

Jill Karena, Place Portfolio Lead at FRRR, said that a noticeable trend emerged in this latest round of applications.

“Interestingly, we saw a strong interest for community gardens in this round. With the cost of living rising on top of the food shortages that are happening as a result of the pandemic and natural disasters like drought and floods, there are growing concerns in rural areas about food security and the lack of access to nutritious, affordable food.

“This is why flexible programs like SRC are crucial. The funding from this program can be used where community leaders see the greatest need. Our climate and our economy are rapidly evolving and these grants can be used to support a broad range of community-led, grassroots initiatives that are helping to address very current issues in real time,” Ms Karena said.

Some of the 67 projects funded include:

  • OpenField Arts Festival Inc – Berry, NSW – OpenField Arts Festival – Facilitate community and social connection through a multidisciplinary arts festival. $10,000 (Bushfire Recovery)
  • Riding for the Disabled in the Top End – Palmerston, NT – Optimisation of Volunteer Management at Riding for the Disabled in the Top End – Improve the management, rostering and training of volunteers by installing a database program and employing a volunteer coordinator. $9,948 (Small & Vital)
  • Girls from Oz Ltd – Kowanyama, QLD – Helping to keep language alive in Kowanyama – Support language revitalisation and student engagement through a performing arts project in a remote school.$9,212 (Small & Vital)
  • Fat Farmers: Rural Health Initiative incorporated – Cummins, SA – Eyre Peninsula Expansion Project – Enhance community physical and mental health by promoting a community fitness group at a community social event. $8,500 (Small & Vital)
  • Fingal Valley Neighbourhood House – St Helens, TAS – Building Blocks: Play and Learn Together – Support delivery of playgroups, early learning and parenting support programs in rural areas through the purchase of a vehicle. $25,000 (Bushfire Recovery
  • Dunsborough Yallingup Chamber of Commerce – Dunsborough, WA – DYCCI Skills Development and Capacity Building Workshops 2022/23 – DYCCI Skills Development and Capacity Building Workshops 2022/23. $9,994 (Small & Vital)
  • Country Fire Authority Corryong Country Fire Brigade (CFA) – Corryong, VIC – Corryong Fire Station Kitchen Modernisation – Improve capacity of Corryong Fire Brigade to support bushfire recovery and preparedness by upgrading kitchen. $24,040 (Bushfire Recovery) 

A full list of grant recipients is available on FRRR’s website.

The SRC program is collaboratively supported by many generous donors, which are acknowledged on FRRR’s website.

This program always accepts applications and thanks to recent support from the Australian Government, there is now a COVID-recovery stream – Rebuilding Rural Communities. Local NFPs and community groups are encouraged to review the expanded program guidelines and apply. More information about the SRC program is available at

To support grants like this through FRRR, make a tax-deductible donation at

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Lourdes Antenor is an experienced writer who specialises in the not-for-profit sector and its affiliations. She is the content producer for Third Sector News, an online knowledge-based platform for and about the Australian NFP sector.


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