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Newsletter | March 2016

A word from the CEO

It's not that long since my last message, but we wanted to give you a quick update on some of the programs that are currently open, and also share a few things that have happened in the last couple of weeks.

We’ve been working with our partners on several upcoming programs, including this years ANZ Seeds of Renewal grants and the second Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week. Last week Frankie and I also spent a couple of days in Kempsey on the Mid North Coast region of NSW, talking to schools, family and youth service providers and Aboriginal elders about the new Social Innovation Fund program, and Innovation for Community Impact (I4CI), which is currently accepting applications. In these meetings, we encountered much depth, passion and plenty of opportunity, reminding us of the value of visiting communities to hear first-hand their needs, challenges, priorities and ideas and what they can do to lead change. Our team is looking forward to getting on the road as much as possible.

There was also great collaboration on display at the Philanthropy Australia Family Foundations network meeting -  it was rewarding to share some of our practices with grant-makers like the Snow FoundationCAGES Foundation, VFFF and The Funding Network. It was timely to get different perspectives on processes, as that has been a key focus since I became CEO.

Frankie and Louise at the AIGM conference

Louise and Frankie were also on the hunt for best practice at AIGM’s Grantmaking in Australia Conference, themed “Disruptive Grant Making”. And Jeanice says she learnt a lot from the Positive Education conference, while Sophie shared some of our experiences with grant-seekers at a workshop hosted by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation in Camperdown.

Alongside all of this travel, we’re gearing up for a period of intensive assessment, with a number of program closing dates looming or having just passed. Small Grants for Rural Communities (SGRC) is again proving popular, as the guidelines have been downloaded from our website over 3,000 times! Check the program update below for details of the programs currently open.

Finally, we’re recruiting for a Donor Relations and Development Manager, so if you know anyone that fits the bill send them our way! The full job post can be found on ProBono and Ethical Jobs. Applications close this Friday, March 11th.

I hope that you have a wonderful, safe Easter with family and friends, and  look forward to meeting more of you over the next month.

Til next time!


Natalie Egleton

Program update

In the next couple of weeks, we will announce the recipients of the latest round of the Tackling Tough Times Together grants. While there were reports of rain in Queensland, the sad reality is that most communities have missed out, and even those that did get rain will soon need more. So we know that the next round of grants will be highly anticipated - keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages to see when they are awarded.

We will soon be publishing a report that confirms that these grants really do make a difference to these communities. Given the ongoing need, we are working hard to find additional partners so we can offer more rounds of Tackling Tough Times Together. Again, please get in touch if you can help.

With so many programs open, it's not surprising that there are lots of applications coming in via email and in the mail. If you're still working on yours, get in quickly, as several programs close in a couple of weeks:

  • Gardiner Dairy Foundation Working in Dairy Communities – up to $5,000 for projects that help build strong Victorian dairy communities. Closes 14 March.
  • REAPing Rewards – an education grants program that targets enhanced education outcomes in rural and remote communities. Closes 24 March.
  • Small Grants – FRRR’s flagship granting program supporting small communities with grants of up to $5,000. Closes 24 March.
  • Innovation for Community Impact (I4CI) – helps address issues like domestic and family violence, education disengagement, criminal behaviour, and unemployment in 10 LGAs in the Hunter New England, Mid-North and Central Coast districts. Closes 8 April.
  • Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) - provides assistance towards community-strengthening and resilience-building projects for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. Closes 15 April.
  • Community Group Futures – assists not–for-profit organisations working in and for the benefit of communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires, with a view to supporting future viability and sustainability. Closes 15 April.
  • School & Beyond – eligible organisations can express interest in becoming a School and Beyond Program Partner to provide approved education and training support to young people directly affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. EOIs may be submitted at any time.

9,000 BTS vouchers sent out

We have now shipped the final batch of Back to School (BTS) vouchers to local partners, who will deliver the $50 vouchers to local families needing a hand up. In total, we’ve distributed 9,000 vouchers, worth $450,000 to 43 community organisations and foundations. That’s 43 regions that will benefit across WA, NT, SA, Vic, NSW and Qld!

We have loved the pictures on Facebook of stacks of vouchers arriving in the hands of local organisations like Border Trust Community Foundation and Stand Like Stone Foundation, and we've already received some heartwarming emails from recipients.

“We live on a remote cattle station and I teach our 3 children through the School of Distance Education system... Entering our 4th year of record-breaking droughts in CW Queensland is ‘par for the course’ but kind donations, vouchers and support packages such as yours have aided in keeping our hopes high.”

“The voucher has come at a time when we have needed it most. It's amazing how much this has helped to clothe our growing children.”

“The start of the year is always a hard time financially. This voucher will buy my girls some underwear and some uniform essentials. Thank you once again, so nice to know there are kind people out there!”

This program has such a big impact and we are very pleased to have secured a new partner (who wishes to remain anonymous) contributing $50,000 per year to BTS until 2018. As always though, more support is always welcome! The 2016 BTS program received requests for vouchers from an additional 30 community organisations, so there is plenty of need for more support.

Statistics released this month by the Australian Early Development Census (AECD) reported that close to half (44.5%) of children in very remote communities were developmentally vulnerable, compared to around one fifth (21.1%) of children from major cities.

It doesn’t seem like a lot for many of us, but $50 can make a huge difference to kids in these communities, and to their families. With the means to buy basic clothing items and essentials needed for learning, kids are able to get a better start to the school year by feeling like they fit in, increasing their receptiveness to educational experiences.

In the media

Celebrating 30 years of Crocodile Dundee

Our media tracking service recently went into meltdown, thanks to the iconic Australian movie, Crocodile Dundee. The movie is still number eight on the list of top films at the Australian box office from any country, but what does it have to do with FRRR?

Well, as The Daily Liberal (and another 100 titles!) reported, to celebrate the film's 30th anniversary, the proprietors of the famous Walkabout Creek Hotel in McKinlay, Northern Queensland, Frank and Debbie Wust, are planning the Dundee Fest weekend.

McKinlay is a town of only 16 people, so a tent city and portaloos will be set up to accommodate the ambush of movie buffs, with the help of the McKinlay Shire Council and a $10,000 grant from FRRR, via the Culture, Arts, Tourism and Community Heritage program and funding from the Vincent Family Fairfax Foundation

While there might not be any crocodile wrestling, on 23-24 April there will be a reptile show, bush tucker survival and Crocodile Dundee on the big screen. This celebration is a great way to keep McKinlay on the map, appealing to both locals and tourists. The Dundee Fest will utilise the amenities brought in for an earlier event in the neighbouring town to save on additional freight costs – a great example of rural towns thinking creatively to make things happen.  Photo: Daily Liberal

On-farm training for a career on the land

As recently reported in The Land, the Hay Inc Rural Education program kicked off on 1 February with 15 participants from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, taking on an intensive introduction to the basic concepts in stock handling, and property maintenance on various properties in the Riverina.

Thanks to a $10,000 grant via the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation program, the inaugural Hay Inc Ag Gap farm placement concept will be implemented this year to ensure that participants are receiving a truly hands on farming experience.

Ag Gap is a unique rural training and experience program designed to encourage youth to embrace careers in agriculture and rural life during their gap year after high school. It is an affordable oppurtunity for youth to develop their skills and learn from people with many years in the agricultural field. Along with FRRR, it has received strong support from local and national industry groups which will ensure its support well into the future. Photo: The Land

Country giving with the Sally Foundation

For the last couple of years, FRRR has been fortunate to work with Mike and Geraldine Roche, founders of the Sally Foundation.

ABC News recently published a story about the establishment of the Sally Foundation, which honours Geraldine's grandmother.

The Roches have lent their support to the Innovation for Community Impact and Heywire programs, and Geraldine was with us last month at the annual Youth Summit in Canberra.

As the article outlines, the Roches are among a growing number of "bush philanthropists" who want to give back to their country roots and the kinds of rural and regional areas they grew up in.

There are many wonderful comments in the article, but one of our favourites is Geraldine's comment that while establishing a Foundation was not for everybody, anybody could be a philanthropist.

She said, “It’s amazing what $100 will do.” We couldn't agree more! Read the full articlePhoto: ABC Central West, Melanie Pierce

Handy tips for community groups

Australia Post Our Neighbourhood grants now open

FRRR has been providing Australia Post with some support on their new community relations program, Our Neighbourhood. It is a program that aims to create healthier, more vibrant and more inclusive communities through a range of initiatives and local grants.

They are currently inviting applications for grants especially for projects that seek to connect isolated or disadvantaged people to their wider communities; that strengthen existing connections, or build new ones; and have a broad community impact (beyond just one organisation). They are awarding grants of up to $10,000.

If you have a project that is due to commence after 1 October 2016 and complete no later than 30 September 2017, which fulfils their criteria then we encourage you to apply.

Grant applications close on Friday 1 April at 5pm (AWST).

Maybe it's not money you need, but in-kind items?

Did you know you can receive quality donations for your community through a free service called GIVIT?

GIVIT’s vision is to match generosity with genuine need. Their purpose is to satisfy the unmet need of those doing it tough by championing the Australian community and inspiring an online network of givers - aiming to ensure every charity receives what it needs through the simple act of giving. Since the website was established in 2009, GIVIT has facilitated the donation of more than 250,000 items from nail clippers to large electrical items and everything in between.

You can register online and list the items that your community needs.

Visit www.givit.org.au or contact kirsty@givit.org.au for more information.


  1. A word from the CEO  
  2. Program update  
  3. Back to School distribution  
  4. In the Media:
- McKinlay, NT
- Hay, NSW
- Sally Foundation
  5. Handy tips for community groups  
  6. Grants in action:
- Elliston, SA
- Kinglake Ranges, Vic
- Djarindjin, WA
- Boots For Change

Grants in action

Creative thinking pays off for Elliston Kindy

Mural at Elliston Kindy

Thinking creatively seems to be a strength for the people in the small remote coastal town of Elliston, SA, who are using their imagination and skills for the benefit of the Elliston RSL Memorial Children’s Centre.

The Children's Centre desperately needed to update their outdoor space to enhance and support imaginative play for 13 kindergarten and up to 16 playgroup children.

They received $2,905 through FRRR’s Small Grants for Rural Communities program, thanks to our funding partner Thyne Reid Foundation.

Anne Scammell, Director of Elliston RSL Memorial Children’s Centre explained that when they came to do the blackboard they realised that they could paint a mural directly onto the wall rather than use the marine ply that they had bought, a change that FRRR happily supported.

The children now have a great space to play – supporting their development of fine and gross motor skills, language and social skills. 

Read more ...

Clear ambitions from Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival

Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival singers

After a natural disaster, like a fire, it can take many years for tourists to come back to an area.  It takes a concerted effort from a cohesive community to start seeing positive growth again.

In the Kinglake Ranges, which was affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires, the Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival is helping achieve both of these important recovery factors.

The three day festival held last October attracted 1,500 attendees, 70% of whom were visitors to the region.

FRRR supported the project through the Grants for Resilience and Wellness program, which is funded by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund. The $4,850 grant helped them to continue a song-writing program for six local primary schools.

President of Foggy Mountain Inc, Brad Quilliam, said “The workshops gave the children a voice through song. In 2014, the children wrote about what they had lost and this year, it was about what they have gained.”

Read more ...

Culturally inclusive kindy at Djarindjin

Student at DELC

Like other communities in the Kimberley region in WA, Djarindjin faces increased health and development challenges for children under five and their families.

The Djarindjin Early Learning Centre (DELC) was established by Save the Children in partnership with the Djarindjin Community Council to help address some of these issues. But it had limited resources.

Save the Children saw a need for more culturally inclusive and relevant early childhood education support materials. Using a REAPing Rewards grant of $9,045, funded by Third Link Investments, they were able to purchase additional resources and cover some activity costs in the new Centre.

DELC has now introduced Aboriginal culture into learning frameworks, providing quality early childhood education opportunities for up to 30 children from the local Indigenous community.

Read more ...

Australian Farmers' Markets embrace boot led campaign

Not everyone would make a link between boots and an awareness campaign focused on family farms, food production and rural youth issues, but that’s exactly what the Australian Farmers’ Market Association (AFMA) intended to do when it adopted the Boots For Change idea from the Heywire 2015 Regional Youth Summit.

More than 35 farmers' markets have pledged their support for the national Boots For Change campaign, which will run over 60 days in rural and regional towns and capital cities from April 2nd - 30th.

“Boots are a great country metaphor, and very versatile. Market shoppers will be asked to wear boots, recycle old boots in novel ways, and compete in boot scooting competitions, activities that will link back to and focus on food, farming and integrative youth programs in these rural communities,” explained Jane Adams, AFMA spokesperson.

Shoppers at farmers' markets keen to support the initiative should check their local market's website or go to the Boots For Change website for the latest news on Boots For Change market days in April.

The national Boots For Change launch will be held at Orange Farmers' Market, NSW, during Orange FOOD Week on Saturday 9 April.

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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Email: info@frrr.org.au