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From the CEO
It’s been another busy month for FRRR and for many of our partners, with some very exciting developments in a number of our flagship programs, as well as some new programs – not to mention our ongoing grant assessment activities!
However, we haven’t only been developing new programs and welcoming additional support. We also held our annual Board strategy day, which was preceded by a tour of some of the areas devastated by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires. It was rewarding to see the way in which these communities are recovering.
While we said goodbye to Raylene Hansen, we welcomed Natalie Egleton and Sophie Burke, who are job sharing a Program Manager role in the Bendigo office. Both women bring great skills and knowledge and are already proving a wonderful addition to our small team.
Alongside all of this, we finalised the recipients of this round of the Small Grants for Small Rural Communities and Gardiner Working in Dairy Communities programs. As always there were many more projects than we could fund, so if you are able to support any of these programs, or indeed any of our other programs, we would love to hear from you.
On the subject of flagship programs, I recently presented to The Trustees of The Percy Baxter Trust, managed by Perpetual, on the progress we have made in responding to the natural disasters of 2010/11. We greatly appreciate their support, which focuses on the flood affected areas of Victoria. Next month we will announce the recipients for the latest round of assistance under the Repair–Renew –Restore program. We have received 51 applications across Queensland, northern NSW and Victoria seeking $610,595 in funding, so we are in for another busy few weeks.
Until next time...
New Programs, New Partnerships
We are very excited to announce that Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) confirmed their support for the Caring for Ageing in Rural Australia (CARA) and Culture, Arts, Tourism and Community Heritage (CATCH) programs for three years. These are programs for which there is strong community demand and the support is greatly appreciated.
FRRR and VFFF are also partnering in a unique, three-year program focusing on the Lachlan Region of western NSW. It will support a community driven grant program that aims to build knowledge and support of philanthropy. We look forward to the opportunity to work with VFFF and others on this 'place based' approach.
As we flagged in May, we had an unprecedented number of applications for our Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program. Thank you to all those who responded to our call for help, including the Trustees of The William Buckland Foundation, managed by ANZ Trustees, who have generously agreed to contribute to this program for the next three years.
Finally, we are building a new national education program, and are delighted that the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and the Yulgilbar Foundation are joining us in this new program to enable students, teachers and school communities to access equivalent educational opportunities.
We want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our partners for their support and we’ll share more information about all these exciting developments shortly.
ANZ Seeds of Renewal Grants open 2 July
We are delighted that ANZ Banking Group has once again confirmed their commitment to the Seeds of Renewal Program.
This year the program, which is in its 10th year, will focus on supporting education and employment projects in rural and regional communities across Australia.
The program will distribute $250,000 through grants of up to $10,000 to communities of fewer than 15,000 people. Applications will be accepted from 2 July to 31 August and full details will be available on the Seeds of Renewal pages on our website.
In the meantime, you can read more about some of the great projects that have been funded through previous ANZ Seeds of Renewal Grants in the Grants in Action section of this newsletter.
Gardiner Foundation & FRRR celebrate 10 years supporting dairy communities
For the last ten years, FRRR has administered the Working in Dairy Communities small grants program, which is funded by the Gardiner Foundation. Since its inception, more than $1.1 million has been donated to 240 projects across Victorian dairy communities.
FRRR’s Chairman, Rt Hon Ian Sinclair, joined dairy industry VIPs, including Michael Taylor AO, chairman of the Gardiner Foundation, in Glenormiston on 19 June to toast the partnership – with milk of course!
The celebration heard from two previous funded projects - the Terang wetlands and the Cohuna neighbourhood house and men’s shed. Both have made a significant difference in their local communities.
FRRR’s CEO, Alexandra Gartmann, commented that while the amounts are small, they can be catalytic in their impacts. “This is an investment in the ongoing development of these communities.”
And more small communities are set to benefit from the program, with a further 34 community projects sharing $110,000 in funding this round. Projects range from shade sails to hall repairs, buying wetland plants, installing signage along a walking track and even a fence to keep the cows out! A full list of the funded projects is available on the FRRR website.
Small Grants for Small Rural Communities
We continue to be amazed and inspired by the solutions that small rural, regional and remote communities develop to address local issues. In assessing the more than 800 applications for the May round of the Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program, we were once again impressed and humbled by what we read.
We are delighted to announce that thanks to the ongoing support of our partners - The William Buckland Foundation, R.E. Ross Trust, Perpetual Trustees, The Estate of the Late Edward Wilson, The Myer Foundation, The Pratt Foundation and The Sylvia & Charles Viertel Charitable Trust - FRRR will be once again be supporting 103 communities, who will share more than $350,000 in funding. The following are just a few examples of the kinds of projects that have been funded this round:
- A program that uses art to build connections across the community to support those facing domestic violence
- A School Holiday Program for students in remote communities, designed to emphasise the importance of staying at school
- Involving local students in a film project to demonstrate to their peers it’s worth persevering with senior education, despite a daily five hour return trip to school
- Equipping a Community Cinema to bring residents together and enable local fundraising
The full list of successful projects will be posted on our website in early July.
However, as we flagged last edition we were not able to fund all the worthy applications. So, alongside the assessment process, we have been researching organisations who may have funds available, as well as seeking in-kind assistance to enable us to support more projects. We will continue to do this and hope to be in a position to fund another group of projects in the near future. Once again, if you or your organisation are able to help, please contact our office.
Pratt Water Scholarship Awarded
Earlier this month FRRR’s CEO, Alexandra Gartmann, visited LaTrobe University’s Bendigo campus to present the FRRR / Pratt Water Engineering Scholarship to this year’s recipient, Mitch Trounce.
This is the seventh year of this grant which was designed to encourage civil engineers into rural/regional areas by providing them with some on-site work experience in the hope of retaining them in a rural/regional area following the completion of their studies.
Fourteen students have been supported during the lifetime of this scholarship program, some for the full four years of their degree, others for two or three years.
The Gloucester Project still reaping what it's sown
It's always rewarding to hear about the continued evolution of projects that FRRR has supported. That's why we were delighted to receive an invitation to an Open Day hosted by The Gloucester Project.
The Project was started by the people of Gloucester, NSW, in 2008 in response to changes in their local economy.
The first project, funded via Small Grants for Small Rural Communities in 2009, involved establishing the Tucker Patch, which recently moved to a bigger and better location.
In 2010, they then won an ABC Revive and Thrive grant which allowed them to plant a citrus orchard. It was designed to test and demonstrate the growing and economic viability of selected horticulture and orchard crops to local land holders, and encourage diversification.
We congratulate the people of Gloucester who continue to develop this wonderful program. Find out more on The Gloucester Project website.
Wingham Museum treasures on display
FRRR's Chairman, Rt Hon. Ian Sinclair, recently officiated at the opening of a display case at the Wingham Museum.
The cabinet was partly funded through FRRR's CATCH program and the generous support of the Julian Flett Fund.
The aim of the CATCH program is to provide the support that is necessary to maintain the rich and diverse history and culture of rural and regional Australia, and to support and sustain arts and tourism activities.
The Manning Valley Historical Society sought help to create a special display cabinet to house one of the museum's prized pieces, a Gaelic Bible used for the first Gaelic service held in Australia.
You can see the cabinet and read more about the historic items now on display in the Wingham Chronicle.
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Grants in Action
Copley becomes ceramics centre
The small town of Copley in outback South Australia now has a ceramics studio, after ANZ Seeds of Renewal provided the funds required to complete their new building.
The studio came about after the Volunteers for Isolated Students’ Education, which assists outback Australians with their education, worked with the community to develop a proposal to build a ceramics studio using some metal working skills they had previously developed.
While it’s taken a while to come to fruition, the town now has a ceramics studio which is definitely worth a visit next time you’re travelling through the Flinders Ranges.
Find out more...
Okines goes online, thanks to Seeds support
ANZ Seeds of Renewal funding has helped local residents of Okines in Tasmania to enhance their pre-employment skills and feel better equipped to undertake everyday activities.
The Okines Community House applied for funding to help equip a computer training facility. Thanks to a grant of $6,111 from the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program, they were able to install six computers, software and a central printer. Community members can now send and read emails, do resumes and job applications, look for employment and undertake research.
Project Coordinator, Nat Siggins, says that they are delighted with the outcome.
“These facilities have and will continue to create valuable opportunities to improve the pre-employment skills of community members, in addition to advancing the knowledge and skill base of various members of the community.”
Girudala now well connected
In 2011, the Girudala Community Cooperative Society in Bowen, Queensland was awarded a Seeds of Renewal grant of $5,000. This enabled them to purchase computer software and educational materials to assist the entire community.
At the Girudala training and educational hub, younger community members are now participating in a bi-weekly homework program where they can access educational tools online. Elderly community members are learning to use computers for the first time - connecting with relatives overseas via email and researching their family trees.
Upper Brogo now more fire safe
The isolated community of Upper Brogo, north of Bega in NSW, doesn’t feel quite so isolated since ANZ Seeds of Renewal funding enabled them to upgrade their local fire outstation.
The main brigade operates from Quaama, 35 kilometres away. This hilly area is prone to bushfires and the old shed did nothing more than house the fire truck.
The new facility, built by the Brigade members themselves, is now not only a place where residents develop and improve their training and bushfire preparedness, but also a community meeting place which has reinvigorated the community and helped bring people together.
Read more ...
Getting healthier, with help from FRRR
The community of Blighty is a little healthier, thanks to a $2,650 grant from the 2011 Small Grant for Small Rural Communities program, which was supported by the Yulgilbar Foundation.
The funding enabled a fitness specialist to work with the group and also paid venue hire fees so they could hear from health professionals on key topics of interest and begin to focus on preventative health measures.
The President of the Blighty Advancement Committee recently wrote to us saying it really is making a difference. Read more about the kind of sessions they have been running, which included a visit from a McGrath Foundation Breast Cancer nurse.