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A word from the CEO ...
2014 has been an enormous year for FRRR: supporting more communities than last year; more programs to meet local and regional needs; and several new partnerships.
We have been able to do this because of the strong leadership and support from our board, with wise counsel from expert assessment committee members.
None of it would have been possible without the support of our generous donor partners, or without the frank and insightful feedback and issues highlighted by community organisations. Thank you to all of you and it was great to be able to thank some of you in person at last week's Board lunch.
We know that many areas across the country are currently doing it tough, with seasons not panning out as planned. As we move into 2015, we will continue to deliver responsive programs and to work with communities to ensure support meets emerging and evolving needs. Our Back to School program will help ease the burden for many families at the start of the school year, and the Tackling Tough Times Together program will continue to help drought-affected communities in Queensland and northern New South Wales. And of course, in the event of summer cyclones, storms or fires, we will be ready to respond and support affected areas, as the need arises. We are always ready to work with donors to direct their funds to support long-term impact in community recovery, and appreciate your support.
I take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge the efforts of the FRRR team. The wheels keep turning because of their commitment, dedication and efforts above and beyond the call of duty. I know they are all looking forward to a well-earned break.
Our office will be closed from COB Friday 19 December, reopening Monday
5 January 2015. However, in the event of a natural disaster, you will still be able to reach us either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the office and leaving a message.
We look forward to reconnecting in January 2015.
Until then …
As we wind down our programs for the summer holiday period, we’ve been busy announcing grant recipients:
- REAPing Rewards: With the support of six donor partners, at the end of November, we awarded 40 grants (totalling $251,966) to community groups across Australia to fund education initiatives.
The initiatives supported will help improve literacy levels, enhance school and community collaboration, provide music and arts programs, update early childhood facilities and resources, and help equip students with work skills for future employment.
- ANZ Seeds of Renewal: Thirty-two community projects across regional Australia are sharing $255,000 in funding. The grants spanned all seven states and territories, and ranged from an immersion program for at-risk youth, to an instrumental music program for children in a low socio-economic area and holistic farm management training to support lateral thinking and decision making. We are grateful to ANZ for their ongoing support of this program.
- GR&W projects: Thanks to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires continue to be supported. $170,000 in funding is supporting 15 projects in local areas, including barista training to improve youth unemployment, fire safety upgrade to a local pavilion, and improvements to community radio for emergency broadcasting.
- Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT): Drought-affected communities in Queensland and northern NSW continue to receive support, thanks to the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Yulgilbar Foundation and Aussie Farmers Foundation. We are in the process of assessing applications for both the small and large TTTT grant programs, and grant recipients will be announced prior to Christmas.
Funds are still available for grants up to $10,000 in the Tackling Tough Times Together program. The next round of TTTT closes 12 December 2014.
- Small Grants for Rural Communities: Round 26 of the program is currently being assessed, and successful groups will be notified prior to Christmas, so keep an eye on your email.
- Innovation for Community Impact (I4CI): We have just finished assessing the first round of this grant program that supports pressing and persistent social issues facing communities in ten regional NSW Local Government Areas. Grant recipents will be announced in January.
Practical advice on seeking funding
Nearly 400 people registered for FRRR’s second CIRCLE webinar - Successfully Seeking Funding. The webinar was led by FRRR's CEO Alexandra Gartmann and Patrick Moriarty, Director of Training and Development at Our Community, and they were joined by Fleur Anderson from Theodore, in Queensland. They shared their tips for successfully seeking funding, which you can review in this recap. If you missed it, you can still watch the recording. Just provide your contact information on the site and you can watch the webinar.
FRRR also produced a case study with Ann Bichel from the Lockyer Valley in southern Queensland, as well as four ‘how-to’ animated clips about seeking grant funding. If you are looking for funding, be sure to watch them.
Fixing Farina: another step in this historic restoration
In addition to providing grants, FRRR helps local community organisations fundraise by ‘lending’ our tax deductible status for projects that align with FRRR’s objectives in rural, regional and remote communities. By having a Donation Account with FRRR, groups can offer donors tax deductible receipts, which is often a great incentive and therefore helps communities fundraise more quickly.
In the uninhabited town of Farina in outback South Australia, a small group of people comes together annually to restore parts of the historic township. Farina lies in the Lake Eyre Basin, on the old alignment of the Ghan railway, between Lyndhurst and Marree along the Oodnadatta Track in South Australia.
The Farina Restoration Group erects information booths throughout the precinct and highlights historical points of interest. The latest area of focus is the railway precinct.
Membership of the Farina Restoration Group has been steadily rising, and they now have a five-year rolling plan to optimise available funding and coordination and prioritisation of restoration activities.
As at the end of September, the Group has raised $13,640 via their FRRR-hosted Project Donation Account, which will help them continue their restoration of a small part of Australia’s outback history. To see more of what they’ve been doing, check out this Landline report from July last year.
In the media ...
Small Grant, big difference
At the beginning of November, the Examiner newspaper reported that the small community
of Glencoe in the south east corner of South Australia celebrated the completion of the extension to its Hall, culminating from a project that began in 2011.
With funding from a number of partners, including their sitting MP and local businesses, the $2,000 Small Grant from FRRR was greatly appreciated.
Marjorie Leggett, President of the Glencoe Community Hall Committee, said “Many thanks to FRRR for their contribution that made up enough funds to do a small extension. It is amazing just how much more room this gives to the capacity of the hall. We are already getting extra bookings for the use of the hall. It is a great focal point for our local community.”
REAPing learning together
Kindy kids in Foster in Victoria’s south east will have a head start when they commence school next year at the Foster Primary School, thanks to a great initiative currently being run by the Prep / Year 1 teachers in the last term of school.
The Foster Mirror described how the ‘Learning Together’ program is aimed at building on and improving the transition from Kindy to Prep, in readiness for school in 2015.
The seven-week program runs for two consecutive hours each week, and at its core is the ‘Oral Literacy Play Based Kit‘, which contains a picture story reading book and games / toys designed specifically to encourage creativity, imaginative play and conversation to help develop the children's oral literacy skills.
Principal of the Foster Primary School, Lorraine Gurnett said, "Oral literacy is the foundation of all literacy skills and has a huge impact on children's outcomes as they move through school and in later life," explained Mrs Gurnett. "We are grateful to FRRR and the Ian Potter Foundation for providing a grant to purchase these kits."
The school received a grant for $5,382 through Round 3 of the REAPing Rewards program. The kits will be returned each week and new kits with different books and activities issued.
Major infrastructure grants bring tourists back to Bridgewater
In 2011, floods completely wiped out the Bridgewater foreshore public reserve and the caravan park on the banks of the Loddon River in north central Victoria, and the subsequent lack of tourists to Bridgewater on Loddon over the last few years has had a considerable impact on local businesses. The local supermarket said they lost 20% of their revenue because of the loss of the facilities post-flood.
So it was with considerable excitement that on 26 October 2014 the Bridgewater Public Caravan Park and foreshore reserve was officially reopened. The foreshore project was funded by a $121,000 grant from The Percy Baxter Charitable Trust, managed by Perpetual, in partnership with FRRR, which made up nearly half of the total contributions received for the project, with other main funders being the Loddon Shire Council and the State Government.
As reported in the Loddon Times, Loddon Mayor Cr Gavan Holt commented on the township’s journey since the devastating floods.
"From that awful mess [in 2011], here we are today, and what a fantastic result we have for the Loddon Shire and what a fantastic result we have also for the people of Bridgewater," he said.
Talking TAPs and TRACTAs in Timboon
Recently, ABC Rural’s radio program the Victoria Country Hour broadcast from the Timboon P-12 School in the state’s south west, where the school has been working hard on establishing a special agricultural program.
Over 70% of Timboon P-12’s students are from farming families, with others from dairy service or manufacturing sectors, and a smaller number are from families working elsewhere in agriculture. In 2012 the school identified a need to address the lack of agricultural-based education and the Timboon Agriculture Project (TAP) was founded. The program is governed by a steering committee made up of parents, students, staff and agriculture related personnel. TAP is a school / industry partnership initiative through which businesses and community members support and work with Timboon P-12 School’s teaching staff to integrate agriculture into the school curriculum.
At their Timboon Agriculture Project (‘TAP’s On’) Day, local farming and school communities came together to talk about important farming issues and to partner in activities. FRRR provided funding support to the Timboon P-12 School specifically for the TAPS On Day, thanks to a $7,700 grant from the REAPing Rewards program in conjunction with the Yulgilbar Foundation, which the school will use to fund the TAP Coordinator position for one year, as well as helping with the purchase of marquees for the field day.
It was the perfect event to launch the TRACTA program (Try Rural Australian Careers Try Agriculture), which FRRR has funded through a 2014 ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grant. Students will produce case studies and short films to demonstrate the broad range of occupations and career opportunities in agriculture, and will take their stories to other schools and communities to promote introducing agricultural education programs in more schools.
The school has taken an integrated strategic approach to the issue that they identified, and by leveraging different funding options, have developed a clear strategy that looks at the big picture and considers a wide range of needs. They have been very clever about engaging the whole of community and this approach has resulted in some awesome outcomes. The school even runs their own commercial lavender farm with 1,000 lavender plants on school grounds, thanks to an ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant last year.
We are delighted to help valuable programs like this come to life. Great work, Timboon P-12 School and ABC!
Australian Scholarships Foundation - 2015 Scholarships
The Australian Scholarships Foundation aims to support, build and sustain Australia's not-for-profit sector by offering scholarships for education, training and mentoring programs that will improve your ability to lead and manage your NFP organisation.
There are plenty of scholarships on offer in 2015, so if you are currently employed by a charitable not-for-profit organisation, click here to find out how you can apply for these valuable opportunities.
CIRCLE leadership resources now available
As part of the CIRCLE program, which seeks to create capacity and enhance community leadership in rural and remote communities, we have developed a number of animated clips and video case studies of real life examples, to increase people’s confidence and skills to take on leadership roles and respond to future change.
All of these resources are available free of charge on FRRR’s YouTube channel, and we encourage you to explore them:
- WATCH: The Newstead community in Victoria held a community summit in 2008 to talk about local issues and their future vision for Newstead. Working groups were formed and they have since delivered a raft of community projects that benefit their local area.
- WATCH: Ann Bichel, 2013 Community Philanthropist of the Year, has raised more than $1.5 million through grants to support her local community. Ann shares her tips for success in this short video.
- WATCH a series of animated clips that provide advice on how to successfully raise funds via grants. The four clips cover: Planning your project; Developing a budget; Writing your application; and Implementing your project.
- There is also a useful organisational planning template developed by Patrick Moriarty from Our Community, which was mentioned during the last CIRCLE webinar. It helps a community group to capture all the key information about your organisation - including ABN, GST registration, history, purpose etc. It ensures that your group is providing a consistent message about your organisation and that all the information you need to apply for funding is in one place.
The FRRR office will close on Friday 19 December, and reopen on Monday
5 January, 2015. We take this opportunity to wish everyone in our network a happy, healthy and safe holiday.
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Grants in Action
Preserving Underbool's underground history
Underbool, on the Mallee Highway in north west Victoria, is home to just 200 people. The first burial in Underbool took place in 1913, however records only began in 1923 when the Underbool Cemetery Trust was formed.
The nine current Trust members support those who’ve lost a loved one and manage the upkeep of the cemetery. In the last three years, they have installed new toilets, a cement path, outdoor seats, grave covers, fencing, planted trees, re-sheeted the car park and installed plaques recognising unmarked graves.
Most recently they used a $1,665 grant from FRRR’s Small Grants for Rural Communities program, funded by the William Buckland Foundation, to preserve the original minutes and register of deaths books, and the cemetery map.
These date from 1923 and 1962 respectively, so understandably their condition had deteriorated.
The books were repaired, reconditioned and bound, and the map was reproduced in a larger and clearer format. This means it is now much easier to read and follow. The books are stored in handmade brown paper bags and the map is in a strong cardboard cylinder. These measures ensure they will be well-preserved for Underbool’s future historians and local rural families.
Yankalilla adult education is keeping up with the times
The ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant program has supported the Yankalilla District Council’s vision of a community with an enriched quality of life, by helping fund computer and coffee making skills.
The Yankalilla Youth and Community Centre runs an Adult Community Education program that helps adults reconnect to learning opportunities and successfully transition to further education, employment and community participation.
The Centre needed some new equipment to provide both small group or one-on-one basic computer skills and barista training. In 2013, with the ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant, the Centre purchased two laptops with large screens, computer software and internet connection, as well as a brand new barista machine.
The local involvement clearly shows the success of the program:
- 34 participants have completed basic computer training;
- 8 participants undertook MYOB simple budgeting and finance systems;
- 22 participants completed the Introduction to Barista short course.
Gundy's 'Yes Chef Kitchen' gets the nod
Between 2011 to 2013, Care Goondiwindi had several clients with a disability undertake the Hospitality ‘Kitchen Operations’ Certificate 1 at Boggabilla TAFE. The teachers saw first hand the changes that this course made to the participants. Due to funding cuts, the Cert. 1 in Hospitality is no longer available and this has greatly affected the participants, both in terms of their skills development and social interactions.
To counter this, Care Goondiwindi applied to FRRR for funding to deliver a cooking program. The aim was to enhance and develop the life skills of their clients as they work towards independence. The ‘Yes Chef Kitchen’ project is now a reality, with the first classes helping people with a disability to gain skills and knowledge in food preparation and cooking.
The $4,000 Small Grant funded by The Pratt Foundation went towards electrical appliances, cookware and other utensils, as well as ingredients used in the program. While the primary aim is to help those with a disability, it’s also aimed at changing community perspectives. There are plans to submit entries in the cooking competition at the annual Goondiwindi Show; have family nights where the clients prepare tasty and nutritious meals for their families and friends; and to serve meals to the community at the Gourmet in Gundy event.
Fencing for the future - freedom to roam in Timboon
The kindy kids in Timboon are now free to roam (safely!), thanks to a Gardiner Foundation grant from FRRR.
Located 235 km south west of Melbourne, Timboon is a dairying community that acts as a service centre for the Port Campbell National Park and the famous Great Ocean Road drive. It is known for producing some of the finest gourmet products.
With enrolments increasing at the Timboon and District Kindergarten, the management committee applied for a grant to fence a block of land adjacent to the Kindy to provide a larger grassed, open area for new curriculum activities, as well as more space for the kids to run and play.
The purchase and installation of the new security fence was partly funded by a $4,700 grant from the 2014 FRRR Gardiner Foundation Working in Dairy Communities program, and the extended playground was officially opened at the end of October.
Bronwyn Rantall from the Timboon and District Kindergarten said securing the funding for the project was easier than she thought.
“This was the first grant application I had ever completed so it was a little nerve wracking! FRRR staff were extremely helpful and supportive however, and we can’t thank the grant program partners enough for their support.”