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From the CEO
Welcome to FRRR eNews. I appreciated the comments from those who took the time to provide feedback on our first eNews and look forward to your thoughts on this edition.
The last month has been an exciting time for the team. We have been busy assessing applications for Small Grants, the Gardiner Program and the latest round of the Repair-Renew-Restore program, as well as visiting rural and regional communities across Australia and developing new programs.
We’ve also travelled to six States and Territories. I have spent time in Sydney, Port Lincoln, Adelaide and Canberra discussing private and public partnerships, data to support healthy rural industries and Emergency Services volunteer support. Our Program Manager for Education, Arts and Aging was in Port Fairy, VIC, covering local government and community collaboration on grants and at the WA Country Arts Muster discussing support for community arts programs. Our Program Manager for Qld Natural Disaster Recovery has begun visiting flood-affected communities in that state, including the Lockyer Valley, Theodore and the South Burnett.
We’ve also signed a new partnership with Third Link, which is now supporting our REACH education program, part of our refreshed Rural Education Australia Program.
You can read more about all these activities in this edition. Remember, if you have an idea for a project, please get in touch, and if you are in a position to support any of the worthwhile projects and programs we offer, we would love to hear from you.
Until next time...
Demand outstrips supply: can you help?
As we mentioned in the last edition, we had an unprecedented number of applications for the Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program. Successful applicants will be notified shortly, but unfortunately there will be several hundred community projects that we will not be able to support.
To enable us to satisfy more of these valuable community projects, we are currently seeking additional funding.
We would greatly appreciate any assistance you may be able to give, either as an individual donor or as a Trust or Foundation. While some projects request as little as $238, the majority are in need of the maximum for this program - $5,000.
New partnership supports education
FRRR recently entered into a new partnership with Third Link, an investment fund with a difference. The Third Link Growth Fund provides investors with the opportunity to invest in a professionally managed Australian shares fund where all management fees, net of expenses incurred, are donated to the non-profit sector.
FRRR is one of the organisations that Third Link has chosen to support, through its Thrive program. Thrive is about forging long-term partnerships with organisations that help Australian children and young people to thrive, not just survive.
Third Link will provide funding to support the expansion of FRRR's Rural Early Childhood Education Program (REACH). While universal access to quality early childhood education is a national aspiration, the reality is that in small towns in rural and regional Australia, resources are often limited and community fundraising is both difficult and over-stretched. The REACH program addresses that gap, ensuring that 0-5 year olds in rural and regional Australia can thrive in their educational environment.
This program offers grants of up to $20,000 to community based pre-schools, kindergartens, non-profit long day care or occasional care centres, playgroups, neighbourhood houses or toy libraries in rural and regional areas, to assist in the delivery of high-quality early childhood education.
To find out more about Third Link and the Thrive initiative, visit their website. And if you would also like to support one of FRRR’s education initiatives, contact us or donate online.
FRRR in the media
New business opens following Seeds funding
Currajong Disability Services in Parkes, NSW, recently officially launched its new Secure Document Shredding Project. It aims to provide skills development programs for adults with an intellectual disability and provide meaningful work which will improve self esteem.
The project received some start-up funding through the ANZ Seeds of Renewal Grants Program, which we administer and co-fund.
This was used for setting up the business and purchasing equipment, augmenting the $40,000 that had been raised within the local community.
The innovative Secure Document Shredding Project operates under Currajong Disability Services Transition To Work Program for young adults.
Adults with a disability may need additional support to learn or develop new work skills under the guidance of Currajong's skilled employees. The nearest alternative supported employment provider is more than 35 kilometres away.
As Manager Ann Hunter said, “We are providing a cost effective secure waste solution to individuals and businesses needing to destroy documents they are no longer required to keep, while offering meaningful work opportunities to people with disabilities living in Parkes."
Read more about the project in the Parkes Champion.
Reviving the Avenue of Honour in Balingup
Balingup is a community of 450 people 180 kilometres south west of Perth. Its Avenue of Honour, which commemorates local soldiers killed in World War 1, has been revitalised thanks in part to support from FRRR under the Small Grants for Small Rural Communities.
The Avenue had fallen into disrepair, with only two of the plaques acknowledging the names of the fallen remaining.
In 2010, the Balingup Progress Association applied for support to replace the plaques, as part of a larger project aimed at bringing the Avenue back to life. It included new picnic tables, as well as gardens featuring the local vegetation and billboards telling the story of the major World War 1 conflicts. The project involved collaboration between the Progress Association, the Lions Club and children from the local primary school.
Twelve plaques, which are memorials to some of the 47 soldiers from the district who never came home, were purchased with the funding FRRR provided. Following its rededication earlier this month, the Avenue is now a place of contemplation and historical importance for both local residents and visitors.
Have you helped make your community disaster resilient?
If so, the 2012 Resilient Australia Awards, which is an Australian Government initiative, may be the perfect way to have your project recognised.
In the last few years, many Australian communities have faced devastating losses caused by natural disaster events. These have significant impacts on communities, the economy, infrastructure and the environment. However, as we know from the projects we have supported through our Repair-Renew-Restore program, achievements across the nation are making our communities safer, stronger, more resilient and better prepared to manage any emergency situation.
So, why not consider nominating your project for one of these Awards? This year, applications are invited from communities that have projects which commenced after 1 January 2010, or which have had significant outcomes since that date.
Entries close Friday 6 July 2012. More information on the Awards, including eligibility criteria and how to enter, can be found on the 2012 Resilient Australia Awards site.
Connecting with Local Government
FRRR’s Program Manager, Jeanice Henderson, presented recently at the fifth Rural Summit at Port Fairy.
The Summit is the key event for Rural Councils Victoria and gave FRRR an opportunity to connect directly with rural councillors, council officers and community members.
Local Government officers are in the unique, grass roots position of being able to help build the capacity and confidence of community members to apply for grants, whether through the local Council community grant program or working with committees to apply for grants from other organisations.
The theme for 2012 was Get on with IT – Inspiration and Tenacity in Rural Communities. Jeanice was part of a panel which presented the last formal session of the summit entitled “Doing it better and getting paid for it - How can communities and Local Government lift their game?”.
The presentation concentrated on what makes a strong project, citing specific examples, particularly when a Council and community groups worked together, and shared lessons in “What not to do” from unsuccessful applications.
A copy of the presentation is available by emailing email@example.com.
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Grants in Action
Smoky Bay jetty refurbished
The newly refurbished jetty at Smoky Bay, a community of only 198 residents, was opened last month as part of the jetty’s centennial celebrations.
FRRR supported the committee by hosting a Donation Account, which allowed the community to raise these funds locally.
The restoration included newly decked areas with fishing booths, railings and lighting, as well as shelters, seating and picnic facilities.
Congratulations to the community of Smoky Bay on such a mammoth task. Make sure you add this little town to any future visit you may be planning to South Australia.
Read more ...
Blyth community celebrates new fence
The small community of Blyth in South Australia recently officially unveiled the new heritage panelled fence surrounding the Padnaindi Reserve, a valued community gathering place.
FRRR supported the project with funds from the Small Grants program.
The project was a true community effort, with residents coming together to erect the panels over several working bees, giving everyone a sense of ownership, worth and a “feel good” sense of being in the community. In addition, the local primary school community was involved in creating three mosaic murals depicting the district’s fauna and flora.
Since the completion of the fence, many a traveller has been seen taking photos of this community project.
Although unable to attend the opening, FRRR’s Chairman, Ian Sinclair, sent a message on behalf of the Board to the community, saying “The Culture, Arts, Tourism and Community Heritage grants assessment panel was very impressed with the community spirit and commitment to working together evident in your application for this panel fence project. It is a great example of the energy, drive and passion that you characterise on behalf of all rural and regional Australians.”
Read more ...
Getting young mothers out and about
Nanango is a small rural town about 200 kilometres north west of Brisbane. It is home to a growing number of young mothers, many of whom need to access services and support in the neighbouring town of Kingaroy, 30 kilometres away. Thanks to a grant from the Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program, the South Burnett CTC was able to purchase baby capsules and booster seats to enable them to get to Kingaroy and take them to Toowoomba to participate in a leading Family Play Centre. In addition, the CTC also purchased a variety of educational books, toys and DVDs to support early childhood education, as well as kitchen equipment to encourage healthy eating.
In the words of the Acting CEO, Kirsten Firman, “FRRR has helped us to nurture and encourage a desire for healthy living, healthy relationships, positive parenting, education and a positive future. We thank you wholeheartedly.”
Read more ...
Second round of RRR grants awarded
FRRR has announced the recipients of the second round of the 2011 Repair-Renew-Restore program.
More than $195,000 has been distributed across projects up and down the East Coast.
Projects vary enormously but include:
- supporting the coordination of a food sharing program;
- helping to employ a part-time administrator to assist the recovery committee;
- running life balance workshops to support volunteers;
- replacing the fence at a local showground; and
- replacing shelters at a local recreational reserve.
Read more ...