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Newsletter | august 2012

From the CEO

It seems I say this every month, but wow – what a busy month - so busy that we didn't realise it was over, so apologies this is a little late!

With ANZ Seeds of Renewal and the latest round of Repair-Restore-Renew just closing and CARA, Small Grants, and the STEPS programs reopening, I may be saying the same thing next month!

When you’re in the thick of it, it’s easy to forget just how much has happened, but during August we had some productive meetings and saw first-hand some of the innovative solutions being implemented across the country.

A highlight was the Community Foundations Conference in Mackay, as well as a number of meetings about potential new collaborations, including the National Institute for Rural and Regional Australia, Country Education Project and Regional Australia Institute. This week we're off to the Philanthropy Australia conference to network and share the stories of rural communities.

It is rewarding to share your amazing stories, especially when we continue to hear about wide reaching impacts and project outcomes like some of those in this edition. We hope you enjoy it and as ever, we would love to hear your feedback or speak to you about areas where we can collaborate.

Until next time...


Alexandra Gartmann

Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA)

Applications for the CARA program are now open. This national small grant program is offering up to $10,000 for projects and activities that help, build, foster and encourage older people in small rural and remote communities across Australia.

If you are a community-based, not-for-profit group we would love to talk to you about projects that:

  • support older people through active/positive living programs
  • provide activities that support good health and alleviate isolation
  • create opportunities for older people to volunteer or take part in intergeneration activities
  • generally work with older people, or
  • provide residential aged care.

Groups from NSW are also encouraged to apply for three year funding for a great project that will make a difference to older people in small rural and remote communities.

For further information, review the CARA page on our website, call the Program Manager, Jeanice Henderson, on 1800 170 020 or email info@frrr.org.au.

Applications close 5 October, 2012.

Small Grants program seeking applications

Do you have a community project that needs support? FRRR’s flagship Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program is currently inviting applications from not-for-profit groups on behalf of communities with fewer than 10,000 people. Up to $5,000 is available to support local community projects.

As you can read in the Grants in Action section of this newsletter, the impact of these small grants can be substantial.

Applications close on 28 September, 2012. Full details, including guidelines, FAQs and the application form, are available on our website. However, if you'd like more information, email us at info@frrr.org.au or call 1800 170 020.

Tips for success

We have recently fielded quite a few enquiries about what makes a good grant application. So we thought we’d share some tips on what you can do to ensure your application stands out.

FRRR Program Manager, Sophie Burke, advises community groups to carefully consider the guidelines and eligibility criteria before lodging applications to ensure the organisation is eligible to apply and the funding need aligns with the grant’s purpose.

She offers five tips that make for a good application:

  1. Make sure you answer the question that has been asked;
  2. Be clear, simple and focused in your answers;
  3. Demonstrate the community need for your project, and the broader community benefit;
  4. Make sure your budget is detailed and balanced; and
  5. Start your application now – don’t leave it until the last minute.

Sophie also strongly recommends that community organisations include supporting material to strengthen their application.

“Letters of support are an effective way to demonstrate both community need and community benefit. Written quotes and costs provide solid evidence that the budget is realistic and well planned. These documents help the assessors,” she explained.

Her final tip is to make sure you're applying to the right program.

“Make sure you read all the information and guidelines available for the program, and ensure you understand the purpose of the grant and whether your project fits this program. If you aren’t sure, contact the FRRR office for guidance,” Sophie says.

Helping country kids get 'Back to School

For most of us, $50 is not really much at all. But for some families, it makes a world of difference. Thanks to FRRR’s Back to School program, families have $50 to spend on their children’s back to school needs.

Last year, with the help of local community organisations, schools and the generous support of donors, led by The Sidney Myer Fund, we were able to help more than 12,000 students.

While the new school year is still a few months off, we’d like to be able to help even more children ensure that they can get Back To School in 2013. Can you help?

Back To School focuses on children and families in need. Through the program, we provide $50 gift vouchers for either Target or a local store. These vouchers can be redeemed for items such as school uniforms, clothing, shoes, school bags and stationery. Distribution is undertaken in partnership with local Community Foundations, service providers and schools - who each know the level of need within their community. However the sad reality is that demand for vouchers always outstrips the funding we have available.

We would therefore love to hear from anyone – individuals, Foundations, Trusts or Corporates – who would like to help more Aussie kids start the school year on the right note. Find out more about the program or donate via our website, or speak to our Program Manager for Education, Jeanice Henderson, on 1800 170 020.  Or leave your suggestions for how we can raise funds on our Facebook page.

In the media

Seeds Grant helps put Wheatbelt youth on track

An exciting project funded under the 2011 ANZ Seeds of Renewal program kicked off in late July, as reported in the Avon Valley Advocate. Its focus is to provide young people in WA’s Wheatbelt with an opportunity to gain valuable life skills and a qualification through a hands-on project.

The Alternative Learning for Youth project is the result of collaboration between Regional Development Australia (RDA) Wheatbelt and the Shire of Dowerin. FRRR and ANZ were able to support the project, with a grant of $11,299. This is enabling six young people from across the Wheatbelt to travel to site and work for two days on the restoration of the rail infrastructure, over 16 weeks. At the end of the program, participants will qualify for a Certificate I in Leadership.

The Wheatbelt Rail Heritage project is a tourism initiative which aims to provide a unique attraction for visitors to the Wheatbelt. There will be a static display as well as the restoration of historic steam locomotives and passenger carriages. The aim is to have a fully functioning steam train service operating between the towns involved.

Applications for the 2012 ANZ Seeds of Renewal grants have just closed and we look forward to sharing details of more innovative projects like this one later this year when we announce the recipients.

Ayr Men's Shed Fully Equipped

Funding totalling $19,919 has been granted to the Burdekin Men's Shed Association (BMSA) in Queensland, under FRRR’s Repair-Restore-Renew program.

According to the Ayr Advocate, the “elated” BMSA secretary, Charles Ford said the grant will go towards the purchase of essential tools and equipment for the wood and metal fabricating workshops.

"The workshops will soon be fully equipped with the necessary equipment required for BMSA members to carry out their personal projects, or to combine with other Men's Shed projects," he said.

The Burdekin Men’s shed offers support to local men who are recovering from the 2011 disaster event.

Applications have just closed for the next round of FRRR funding, but further applications are invited. If you want to know more about the Repair-Restore-Renew program or review the list of successful Round 3 projects, visit our website.

The power to 'give where you live'

Earlier this month FRRR co-hosted the 2012 Community Foundation Annual Forum: Learning, Giving and Growing Our CF Movement. The event explored current challenges and opportunities, and highlighted several successful initiatives across the country.

A Community Foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation operating in a specific geographic area which, over time, builds up a collection of endowed funds from many donors in the community.

The Mackay Foundation hosted this year’s national Forum, which included an address by Allan English, 2012 Queensland Community Philanthropist (pictured here). This Foundation is a great example of ‘give where you live’ and has delivered $750,723.38 in grants for their community. (Check out our Facebook page or  our Community Foundations page for more photos.)

FRRR has been a catalyst for the development of several Foundations, funding feasibility studies to determine their viability. We have also supported Community Foundations through a Sustainability Grant, helping to meet operational costs during the early stages of development.

Donation Accounts are another way FRRR helps Community Foundations facilitate granting to a wider group of organisations and activities than may be possible under the existing Community Foundation structure.

The partnership between FRRR, Visy Corporation and Tumut Community Foundation is an example of a successful Donation Account. In the six years between 2006 and 2011, the partnership has distributed $280,000 across 97 projects. This was shared between 60 community organisations, few of whom had DGR status.

You can read more about the tangible difference made by the partnership on our website – it might provide some great inspiration for your own community.

To explore the benefits a Community Foundation could offer your community or your philanthropic fund, visit Australian Community Philanthropy or contact us.

Welcome to Annie Wright

Annie Wright has been appointed Program Manager Natural Disaster Recovery, based in Queensland. In this role, Annie will manage FRRR’s disaster recovery efforts in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, through the Repair-Restore-Renew (RRR) program.

FRRR CEO, Alexandra Gartmann, says that Annie’s skills and knowledge, and personal experience of the impact of the floods, will enable her to work closely with Queensland communities, to really understand their issues and provide support beyond just a grant.

“As the RRR grant program approaches the end of its first year, her insights will be invaluable in ensuring the support and encouragement that is required to participate in business and community programs is made available to the people and communities who need them most,” Ms Gartmann said.

Annie says that she is delighted to be joining FRRR and looking forward to working with local communities that were affected by either flooding or Cyclone Yasi during summer 2010-2011, and to building relationships with other organisations interested in partnering with FRRR to provide ongoing support.

Annie (pictured right above) can be contacted on either 0438 481 688 or by email at: a.wright@frrr.org.au. You can read more about Annie online.


  1. A word from the CEO  
  2. Caring for Ageing Rural Australians  
  3. Small Grants Opens  
  4. Tips for Success  
  5. Helping country kids  
  6. Wheatbelt youth on track  
  7. Ayr Men's Shed fully equipped  
  8. Give where you live  
  8. Welcome to Annie  
  10. Grants in Action  

Grants in Action

Country kids gain city savvy

Coonalpyn is an isolated rural community of 215 people, 170km southwest of Adelaide. It faces many of the same challenges of any rural community, including young people having to leave town to further their education. 

Rather than just accept this reality, the Coonalpyn Communication Network  embraced the challenge and, with funding received from FRRR’s Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program, has developed an educational program aimed at helping country kids become city savvy.

FRRR provided $1,600 which funded a course for two of the schools in the region to equip children with the skills and knowledge necessary to survive in the ‘big smoke’ when they leave town to further their education.

Denise Richardson, Volunteer Coordinator said, “The course is designed to provide our youth with a better understanding of city demands which will help them function effectively and independently as young adults living away from home.  This includes the importance of a healthy diet and exercise and how to handle finances, including paying bills. They are able to ask questions in a non-threatening environment, which enhances their learning experience."

Read more

Sheltered from the heat in WA

Despite its idyllic location,  Jarrahdale, 65 km south-east of Perth, faces significant challenges. While it is part of the second fastest growing shire in Western Australia, it doesn’t yet have the population to generate sufficient rates to cover the needs of the community.

The Jarrahdale Community Association (JCA) members have worked very hard over the past three years to create a new recreational facility for their community called Forest Green.

A $4,400 grant through Small Grants for Small Rural Communities enabled a shelter, seating and a shaded area to be constructed.

Vice President of the JCA, Kim Petersen, said that the grant from FRRR was paramount in the success of the project.

“We desperately needed this second shelter - temperatures in Jarrahdale can reach into the early 40’s in summer. The installation of an additional shelter and seating at the Forest Green reserve was entirely dependent on the success of this funding application. The grant from FRRR provided the bulk of the funding necessary, and with it we were able leverage further support to enable the completion.”

Read more

A different Aspect

For those families and individuals affected by an autism spectrum disorder, it can be quite daunting, especially when first diagnosed. 

The Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) Far North Coast Centre for Autism, in Alstonville, in the Northern Rivers, NSW, provides a unique, single source of information about autism spectrum disorders.

With the help of a grant of just over $4,700 from FRRR, Aspect has begun restocking the Centre's borrowing library with up-to-date literature and sensory equipment. This includes books, DVD games and a new iPad to assist in the effective dissemination of information on autism spectrum disorders and their treatment.

Christa Bayer from Aspect said, “Parents need emotional support, practical strategies and current information to assist their child in learning to manage his or her autism. These library materials are fundamental in helping build capacity by extending the learning environment into the home."

Read more

Meandering Malleefowl

Located 214km north-west of Melbourne in Victoria, the Wedderburn Conservation Management Network (WCMN) is focusing on increasing awareness of the endangered malleefowl.

Predation from the red fox is a factor, but the critical issues are changed fire regimes and the ongoing destruction and fragmentation of habitat.

There are only four known breeding pairs in the Wedderburn region, and two pairs have developed the dangerous habit of meandering across roads in the area.

Thanks to a grant of $496 from FRRR, and with the assistance of the Loddon Shire Council, the WCMN has erected additional signage to make motorists aware that these birds are active in the area, often crossing major roadways. These signs encourage motorists to slow down when driving on the roads.

Dr Michael Moore, WCMN Chair, said “The  signage will assist in protecting the malleefowl, as well as help to educate the community about their presence."

Recent surveys conducted by the WCMN indicate that the numbers of malleefowl are increasing – a positive result for all concerned.

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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Thanks for reading, If you would like to support our work in the renewal of rural & regional Australia please contact us or donate online, via EFT or cheque.

Tel: 03 5430 2399
Grants: 1800 170 020
Fax: 03 5443 8900
Email: info@frrr.org.au