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From the CEO
Happy new financial year everyone! Our financial year got off to a great start, with nearly $1.2m in funds received in June which has given us a great boost to our 2012/13 funding programs. I’d like to thank the many individuals, trusts and foundations who contributed these funds – your support is greatly appreciated.
I took a couple of weeks off in the early part of the month. While it was very wet in northern NSW and far north Queensland, I did get the chance to see some of the projects that FRRR has assisted communities with, which is always rewarding. I’d like to thank our long term Company Secretary, Andrew Long, who stepped in to manage things while I was away.
Even though I took some time off, the team certainly wasn’t idle. They have been fielding calls about ANZ Seeds of Renewal, launching the next round of Repair-Restore-Renew and Small Grants for Small Rural Communities programs and finalising arrangements for the next round of STEPS, which will open shortly. I’m also pleased to say we will soon be relaunching the Caring for the Aged in Rural Australia program too, so stay turned for more information.
We continued to engage with our partners. Jeanice Henderson, our Program Manager for Education, Arts and Ageing, attended a “Models of Collaboration” workshop on the Leading Learning in Education and Philanthropy (LLEAP) research project. Building on the first year’s research outcomes, the session delved into the how, why, when, with whom and to what effect philanthropy engages with education. This was a great opportunity to hear from representatives from schools, philanthropy and the not for profit sector, and was invaluable in informing our soon to be relaunched education program.
Separately, I met with the National Institute for Rural and Regional Australia, including Director, Anthony Hogan (right). This research body focuses on rural and regional Australia and shares our aim to enhance the lives of those living in these areas. We hope to collaborate further, particularly using their data to inform our program directions.
I hope you find these updates useful – I’d love to hear what you think of them and to also hear about any opportunities you may have for us to support you.
Until next time...
FRRR launches mid-year RRR Program in Creswick
The mid-year round of the Repair-Restore-Renew (RRR) program opened recently with an information session in Creswick, Victoria.
The RRR program provides up to $20,000 toward activities that support communities recovering from the 2010-2011 floods and cyclones that affected Victoria and Queensland.
Creswick was chosen for an information session because one donor has specifically committed $200,000 to support the recovery of the Creswick and Clunes region, which was significantly impacted by the 2011 floods.
FRRR staff, Natalie Egleton and Hannah Jakab, met with about twenty representatives from community organisations including the RSL, Lions, and the Senior Citizens Club, all of whom played a large role in the evacuation and subsequent recovery activities.
In addition to the funds for Creswick and Clunes, funds are available for any other areas of Queensland or Victoria affected by the 2010/2011 floods. Detailed program guidelines and application forms are available on our website or by contacting 1800 170 020. FRRR also invites interested applicants to contact Natalie or Hannah to discuss possible projects. Applications for this round close 24 August, 2012.
Lachlan Community Grants program launches
The program we mentioned last month to support community organisations across the Lachlan Shire with their charitable work was officially launched this month. The Lachlan Region Community Grants Program is a partnership between FRRR, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) and Western Plains Regional Development (WPRD). Three years of seed funding will be provided by VFFF, while FRRR will assist the program by sharing our grant making ability and expertise. We are also hosting a Donation Account and WPRD will coordinate the program on the ground.
The program will be rolled out in three stages: in the first year, VFFF will provide $100,000 which will be awarded through an application process, with the available funding increasing year on year, provided funds are also raised locally, potentially climbing to $150,000 in the third year. A Grants Committee made up of local volunteers from across the Shire will assess applications.
While tIhe criteria and guidelines are currently being developed, it is anticipated that the first round will open in September, with grants awarded by the end of 2012. To register your interest, contact WPRD.
Like what we do? Please tell us, and tell others!
FRRR is always trying to extend our reach, letting more people know about the funding we have available and also sharing details of what communities are doing to solve their local issues and challenges. But we can’t do that alone.
So, if you like what we do, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. That helps us get the word out about all the great things happening across rural and regional Australia and will help to ensure even more support for our vibrant communities.
ANZ Seeds of Renewal closes end of August
Applications have started to come in for the 2012 ANZ Seeds of Renewal grants program. This year the focus is on projects that help advance education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged and under-represented groups in regional communities of fewer than 15,000 people.
Non-profit community based organisations can apply for up to $10,000. For more information or to apply, visit the Seeds page on our website or go into your local ANZ branch. You can also listen to an interview with our Program Manager about Seeds of Renewal 2012.
But don’t leave it too late. Applications close 5:00pm on 31 August 2012 and successful applicants will be notified in November 2012.
Can you help us help more communities?
As some of the stories in the Grants in Action section show, small grants really do make a difference. Following the unprecedented number of applications in our May funding round, FRRR continues to look for partners to fund some of the great small grant applications that we could not support.
We received some very generous donations which enabled us to support a few more projects, but there are still some great initiatives that are seeking funding support.
As an example, the Mid Macquarie Landcare Group in Wellington, NSW, is seeking $5,000 to help them develop a community garden at the local Scout Hall, which provides a valuable outlet for many disadvantaged children in the area. The project would also involve indigenous work crews, as well as work groups from the Wellington Gaol, in erecting a secure fence and helping to create the garden.
Meanwhile the Ayr Community Kindergarten in Queensland, a not-for-profit body that runs two campuses providing early-childhood education for 66 children, needs to update their equipment. They want to purchase two interactive whiteboards, at a cost of $5,000, to take advantage of the early childhood education programs available, ensure compliance with the curriculum and aid the transition to primary school.
If you are able to help fund these projects, and hundreds of others like them, please get in touch with us.
Rural & Regional Affinity Group up and running
Philanthropy Australia, the national peak body for philanthropy, runs a series of Affinity Groups, where funders come together on a regular basis to share information on a particular area of funding.
In early 2011, FRRR was part of a small group which established the national Rural & Regional Affinity Group. FRRR now chairs the group, which has approximately 15 trusts and foundations who meet regularly. The main aim is to engage on a national level with other philanthropic bodies and with key government and policy makers. The group seeks out opportunities for leveraging, value adding and collaboration between members and grant seekers, and to build knowledge for greater philanthropic impact through better engagement with regional, rural and remote Australian communities. The group met last week to focus on education. The high number of attendees, both in person and by telephone, and their enthusiasm was indicative of the keen level of interest in the challenges and opportunities around education and the philanthropic sector. FRRR is proud to be involved with such a committed group.
In the media
Taking things into their own hands
In the April edition of FRRR eNews, we shared part of the Mudgegonga community’s recovery journey since the 2009 Victorian bushfires. An ABC Open story recently shared a little more of their story, including a film featuring interviews with some members of the Carroll family about what happened to them on the night of the fire and immediately afterwards. It also highlights the next steps in the community's recovery journey – launching a Community Foundation, which they have called ‘Into our Hands’.
As Paula Pipan, the local coordinator, told ABC, “It’s a golden opportunity that we’ve been handed. People are really excited...They know what’s required here, because it’s their community...(they) are able to take these ideas and put them into actions, which is an opportunity you don’t often get."
FRRR is pleased to have been able to fund the Community Foundation Feasibility Study and a skills and training development program to prepare the community for a Community Foundation (the second group of participants have just graduated) through the STEPS program.
If you or your community need help to continue to recover from the effects of the bushfires, you too can apply for a STEPS grant. Contact us to find out more.
Not so far to scoot!
Thanks to an enterprising application from the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre, residents in the Upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales who use a scooter for mobility, now have easier access to services to maintain their motorised scooters.
The Centre received $1,250 through the last round of the Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program to enable a technician to travel to the Upper Hunter up to four times a year to provide these services. So scooter owners no longer have to scoot over to Newcastle for support! Read more about the difference it will make to local residents at ABC online.
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Grants in Action
Art aids rural recovery
We recently heard from Hospital Art Australia, who received $3,500 in the recent Small Grants round. This group uses art to provide enjoyment to residents of nursing homes, hospitals and hostels in country areas.
“These funds will enable us to reconnect with country areas, such as Quirindi, NSW, which we had to withdraw from due to the cost of transporting paintings to areas outside the reach of our volunteers. The residents will enjoy painting the colour coded canvasses which we supply. Once again, many thanks for your consideration,” wrote Bill Yorke, President.
Small Grant, Big Impact
The South Burnett Pantry, in Kingaroy, Queensland, received $5,000 in the most recent round of Small Grants funding, and they are already putting it to good use.
Ruth Dukes, Secretary of The South Burnett Pantry wrote to say that in their first four weeks of operation, they supplied 173 food hampers to families in the region, including seven emergency hampers.
“On average four people are assisted by each hamper, which equates to almost 700 people provided with food aid. Feedback from people accessing the Pantry has been very positive, with people delighted with the quality, quantity and content of the food and goods provided. Thank you so much for your generous support,” Ms Dukes wrote.
Training, Camera, Action!
Thanks to a $1,290 grant from FRRR Small Grants program and the efforts of the Mukinbudin Conservation Group, local residents can keep a close eye on the native wildlife.
The grant enabled the group, who raise awareness about bushland, native plants and native animals, to purchase three remote sensor cameras. These special cameras are triggered by wildlife moving and photograph the animal, recording the date, time and temperature.
As you can see from the photo above and on our website, the group has put them to good use.
Joan Hobbs, Secretary for the Group said, “This is a great low-labour, non-invasive way for the community to find out about the activities of the native animals.”
Scouts soon to be back in action
The Nambucca Valley Scout Group will soon have a brand new floor in their hall thanks to a Repair-Restore-Renew grant.
As reported in the Nambucca Guardian News, the severe weather events between September 2010 and February 2011 caused significant damage.
The $5,000 will be used to repair, sand and recoat the hardwood flooring in their Scout hall. Records indicate the existing flooring may date from the mid-1950s.
Barnawartha Playgroup relocates
Amidst the organised mayhem of children playing, a small crowd of Mums, Dad’s, community representatives and funders gathered in northern Victoria to celebrate the relocation of the Barnawartha Play Group to the old school in the local Primary School grounds.
Speakers acknowledged the hard work of the committee and Maternal Child Health staff in bringing the relocation to fruition. Those involved were presented with certificates to mark the occasion.
FRRR was one of 11 organisations that contributed to funding the project. Our funding, provided through the Small Grants program in 2010, was used to install fencing behind the building to create a safe outdoor play area.
In addition, the project strengthened relationships throughout the community.
The next phase for the group is a staged developed of the outdoor area and purchase of new indoor/outdoor equipment. Read more