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Rural communities receive $1.5M boost in grants

2 min read

More than $1.5 million in grants has been announced for 110 community groups across remote, rural and regional Australia through FRRR’s flagship Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program. 

Awarded via three streams of funding – small and vital projects, COVID recovery and disaster preparedness or recovery – the grants will go toward initiatives that address a variety of diverse needs and local priorities, including infrastructure upgrades, strengthening resilience, addressing service gaps and growing networks. 

The projects range from a winter-care program that will see support packs delivered to elderly residents of St Arnaud, VIC and a series of emergency bushfire preparedness workshops for the community of Batlow in NSW, to helping install silo art in Lameroo, SA as a way to reinvigorate tourism and enhance local sense of identity following the pandemic. 

Jill Karena, FRRR’s Place Portfolio Lead, highlighted that the diversity of requests once again highlights the importance of having a small grants program like SRC.  

“The needs of remote, rural and regional communities differ, so it’s critical to be able to offer flexible funding like we do through this small grants program. It means that local groups can respond to local priorities in their communities.”

“This round, projects ranged from domestic violence support and mentoring programs to food security and tourism initiatives to help rebuild the local economy,” added Karena.

According to Karena, there was a really strong demand for support to enhance community infrastructure, particularly maintaining meeting places so people can come together and strengthen local connections.

FRRR also saw a significant number of requests relating to increasing the reach and emergency communications capability of groups like community radio stations. 

“We also saw a focus on infrastructure in the COVID recovery grants, with groups aiming to enhance community resilience in the face of disruptions, whether they be environmental or health-related.”

FRRR is also supporting quite a few projects that help to rebuild connections within communities post-COVID – especially in places that lots of people moved to during the pandemic.

“Alongside this, it’s wonderful to see more projects that are engaging Indigenous Australians,” said Karena.

“From a disaster perspective, it’s pleasing to be able to help organisations be proactive about their safety, strengthening communications and adding to the equipment available locally, so they’re not as reliant on SES or Government in the event of a crisis.

Karena highlighted that these are the projects that create a sense of place and identity, and the people and organisations that make these inspiring projects happen need our support.

“To continue to do that, we need funds, so we invite all those who want to see a thriving remote, rural and regional Australia to join us to support local initiatives. They really do make a difference,” Karena concluded. 

Related: FRRR and Gardiner Foundation offer grants to local not-for-profits

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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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