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Newsletter | july 2015

A word from the CEO

As you may have seen on social media, we have been celebrating: last financial year we committed a record $8.4 million to rural, regional and remote community groups – an increase of more than $2 million on the prior year.

We were particularly pleased to have been able to provide this level of support, given so many areas of rural, regional and remote Australia are doing it tough, with the ongoing effects of drought and recovery efforts  still underway following the many natural disasters we’ve experienced in recent years.

While it is often the negative things that make the news, it’s important to celebrate the myriad of things that are happening in communities and towns all across the country each and every day to build stronger, more vibrant and successful places to live and work.

As we start the new financial year, I say THANK YOU to the community leaders who consistently amaze us with innovative ideas and persistence in finding solutions to address local issues. Thank you too to FRRR’s generous donor partners who enable us to support those community groups. I also thank the small but very dedicated group of staff and committee members who work with FRRR.

However, we are not resting on our laurels, with many more grant programs currently open. There are more to come, so make sure you follow us on social media, or keep checking our website to see when other programs open.

Until next time…

Alexandra Gartmann

Program update

The end of financial year is always busy and we've recently announced more than $857,000 in grants across three programs - Small Grants for Rural Communities (Round 27); Repair-Restore-Renew 2013; and CIRCLE Leadership Grants.

We're preparing for the official grants presentation ceremony for the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Working in Dairy Communities program, and are in the process of assessing applications for Dairy Australia's LEGENDAIRY Capital program and the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants, as well as the recently closed Community Philanthropy Partnerships Week grants.

Grant programs currently open include:

  • Culture, Arts, Tourism and Community Heritage (CATCH): The 2015 program will provide grants of up to $15,000, in NSW, QLD and NT. Closes Friday, 10 July.
  • Grants for Resilience & Wellness: This program offers assistance towards community-strengthening and resilience-building projects for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. As a rolling grants program, it is always open, however for grants to be considered in this current round, they need to be submitted by Monday, 17 August.
  • ANZ Seeds of Renewal: In its 13th year, this program offers $250,000 in grants of up to $10,000 to community organisations for projects focused on enhancing education and employment opportunities in rural, regional and remote areas. Closes Wednesday, 12 August.
  • Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA): This year we are offering both small (up to $10,000) and large grants (between $30,000 and $80,000) designed to support projects and activities that benefit and support older people living in small rural and remote communities. Closes Friday, 14 August.
  • Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities: Supporting local communities in 14 Cotton Grower Association areas in New South Wales and Queensland, farmers have the opportunity to nominate a deserving not-for-profit group to receive one of thirty $5,000 grants. Closes Monday, 31 August.

We will be launching two new programs to support Victorian areas affected by the 2009 bushfires, so keep an eye on our website.

Tough times get a little easier together

In the thirteen months since our Tackling Tough Times Together program was launched, we've granted more than $736,000 to 67 communities across drought-affected areas in Queensland and New South Wales.

Funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Yulgilbar Foundation and Aussie Farmers Foundation, the grants aim to help drought-affected communities access the resources they need.

As you read this, our CEO, Program Manager, two Directors and one of our donors are visiting some of the projects to understand their impact and the ongoing need. But we've already had some great reports coming in from community groups detailing the incredible impacts they've had from bringing community members together in these tough times. Many have posted updates on their Facebook pages, such as:

If you have something to share with us, remember to tag us on Facebook or send them through to info@frrr.org.au.

CIRCLE Webinar 5

Our 5th CIRCLE webinar focused on compliance and structures of a successful Community Foundation, and explored alternatives such as FRRR Donation Accounts.

Alexandra Gartmann, FRRR's CEO, was joined by Alice Macdougall, Legal Counsel with Herbert Smith Freehills, to discuss the role Community Foundations and Donation Accounts play in helping rural, regional and remote communities. Alice addressed tax compliance requirements, foundation structures, and the necessary steps in building a Community Foundation, from the details of a feasibility study to board selection requirements - giving both a legal and philanthropic perspective. 

IF YOU MISSED THE WEBINAR, you can watch the recording and download the presentation. There is also a link to a series of films about Community Foundations, together with links to training and development resources (including videos) and the recordings of the previous four webinars.

Workplace Giving - another way to give back

We'd like to acknowledge the great support we received in June, which is typical at the end of the financial year. But did you know that there is an easy way to give sustained support to your favourite charity throughout the whole year? Welcome to Workplace Giving!

Workplace Giving involves employers collecting funds on behalf of their employees to distribute to various charities, which are often chosen by employees. It provides the opportunity to transform the way Australians support charity and for organisations to work together as an industry to maximise their impact.

June was Workplace Giving Month, and this year recorded a 36% spike in participation, as Pro Bono Australia reported. So why not learn more about how your organisation can help to give back, and enable your employees to support their favourite charities, including FRRR?

In the media

Greener grass in Gippsland

It’s not easy being green, but with funding from the Fast-track Ag Innovation Program, the Gippsland Grows Greens Grass program is making it a little easier, as reported on the GippsDairy website.

Through FRRR, the William Buckland Foundation is funding GippsDairy to support farmers in the region. The result is a collaborative project arming farmers with the power of new industry ideas to tackle their dairy future.

'Gippsland Grows Greens Grass' aims to put knowledge in the hands of farmers so they can make better decisions about pasture production. For the dairy industry to be sustainable, it needs to improve productivity with minimal impact on the environment. Using home-grown feed is a key profit driver for Gippsland.

The project brings together two groups of farmers across the Gippsland region to discuss pasture establishment and management with the support of an ag-consultant. The project intends to build confidence, knowledge and skills of participating dairy farmers in pasture production and utilisation. Learn more about the Fast-track Ag program.

Generosity magazine highlights rural generosity

July’s Generosity magazine focuses on philanthropy in rural, regional and remote Australia, and FRRR and our donor partners feature heavily. Articles cover a range of topics including mental health support, as well as Community Foundations, with a great feature on Stand Like Stone Foundation. It also features  Gillian Harrison, an arts and philanthropy advisor, talking about FRRR’s CATCH program, as well as an opinion piece from our CEO, Alexandra Gartmann.

In Alexandra’s piece, 'Small is in the Eye of the Beholder', she highlights the limited capacity of regional and rural communities to raise funds, either due to population, economic wealth, limited access to resources and /or a limited knowledge of, and access to, philanthropy. But she points out that it isn’t all about size; it is also about the impact.

“Scale is often determined by our own lived experience, our own giving. We might consider a $2,000 gift inconsequential if our giving spans the tens or hundreds or thousands. Yet, for a community of 300 people, the impact of $2,000 can be substantial.”

“Grant makers have enormous power —  we  have a responsibility to listen to local needs, understand the scale of the impact a grant can achieve, and ‘walk in their shoes’. We shouldn’t dismiss small grants – they can deliver value and make a tangible difference, especially in rural, regional and remote Australia.”

Little hands on the farm

Emerald Little Hands

The Emerald Show Society was a recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program in 2014. With this funding, they launched their 'Little Hands on the Farm' project to redress the disconnect between kindergarten and primary school aged children and their knowledge of farming as a source of food and fibre production.

Five schools were involved in preparing planter boxes with herbs and vegetables for display at the 2014 Emerald Show. The littlies were very engaged in the project, and loved learning how go grow their own food, and to combat the pests that tried to eat it! Check out the video that was featured on the program sponsor's YouTube channel.

Handy tips for community groups

Four financial reports you must read

Nobody expects a director on the board of a non-profit organisation to jump for joy at the thought of reading financial reports. That's why Accounting for Good, a Sydney-based accounting firm that specialises in supporting NFPs, has produced a summary article explaining which reports you need to read, and why. We thought you might find it useful.

Home Ground Advantage grants for sporting clubs

We know that many community sports groups need funding, which due to legislation FRRR is unable to provide, so we wanted to highlight an opportunity. Holden is providing two $250,000 rounds of grants to sporting clubs who need assistance – that’s $500,000 every year for 10 years, and a total of $5 million.

A club can apply for a Holden Home Ground Advantage grant of up to $10,000 for projects or equipment that will make life easier for members and supporters. In addition, Holden will offer one grant of up to $100,000 in each round. Clubs are welcome to submit separate applications for both grants.

Applications for the current round close on Monday, August 31.



  1. A word from the CEO  
  2. Program update  
  3. Tackling tough times together  
  4. CIRCLE webinar 5  
  5. Workplace Giving  
  6. In the media:
- Gippsland, VIC
- Generosity
- Emerald, QLD
  7. Handy tips for community groups  
  8. Grants in action:
- Junee, NSW
- Hopetoun, WA
- Douglas Shire, QLD
- Queensland Gulf
- South Gippsland, VIC

Grants in action

Colourful dreaming in Junee

Junee has a small, transient population, as a result of being close to the nearby correctional centre. Many families move to the town for the duration of the family member's incarceration.

SHINE for Kids Co-operative Limited is a community based organisation that aims to improve the lives of children of prisoners and create opportunities to reduce intergenerational offending. SHINE received a $15,400 FRRR grant through the CATCH program, funded by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, to support their Colourful Dreaming project which connected Aboriginal children to their incarcerated fathers through art and culture.

Gloria Larman, CEO of SHINE, said that confidence building was a major factor in the program and the impact of the program for one family was profound.

Read more ...

Hopetoun kids and carers get tech savvy

Hopetoun lies on the shores of Mary Ann Haven on Western Australia’s Fitzgerald Coast, 590 km south east of Perth. Once a thriving port for the Phillips River Goldfields, today it’s a peaceful holiday destination.

Serving the town’s population of around 1,400 is Hopetoun’s childcare centre, the Little Barrens Early Learning Centre. They applied to FRRR’s REAPing Rewards program for funding to equip centre staff and children with up-to-date technological resources. 

The $5,000 grant funded by Third Link enables centre staff to use the tablets on a daily basis to record the children’s learning activities and the children now have the opportunity to develop a familiarity with technology in preparation for formal schooling.

Read more ...

Building capacity in Douglas Shire

The Douglas Shire in far north Queensland is building a stronger community, one skill at a time, thanks to an ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant of $3,013.

The Douglas Shire Community Services Association ran a five day workshop focusing on building skills to better manage daily life and personal affairs for people who are vulnerable, disadvantaged or marginalised within the community. 

“This was a very successful program thanks to the funding that we received. We hope to make this an annual program,” said Kerry Jamison, Association president.

Read more ...

Empowering North Queensland women

In times of drought and financial burden the glue holding a community together can become fragmented and potentially weakened, as everyone gets so focused on day-to-day survival.

The Northern Gulf Resource Management Group (NGRMG) recognised this and decided to bring rural women together ‘one event at a time’ to celebrate the strengths of rural women, at the same time as gaining knowledge and resources to pursue opportunities in sustainable agriculture. Thanks to a Small Grant of $3,122 funded by The Sylvia & Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, this idea was put into action and their first event was held in conjunction with International Day for Rural Women last October.

Event organisers are thrilled that the event’s impact has extended well beyond the day. The attendees and friends have continued to interact over social media, and there are new events on the horizon. 

Read more ...

At-risk youth find support with YAC

The community of Foster, 170 km south east of Melbourne, has been doing great things in recent years to support youth mental health. 

After successfully receiving $5,000 from the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants program, the South Gippsland Hospital Youth Assist Clinic
collaborated and connected with other youth services in the area to develop an initial needs assessment tool that helps to clearly identify at risk youth and the support services they may need. 

What a fantastic way to provide consistent, efficient and thorough support to young people in need – well done South Gippsland Hospital Youth Assist Clinic!

Read more ...

The FRRR Mission is

"to champion the economic and social strength of Australia's regional, rural & remote communities through partnerships with the private sectors, philanthropy and governments."



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Tel: 03 5430 2399
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Fax: 03 5443 8900
Email: info@frrr.org.au