FRRR appoints new Qld based Program Manager for Natural Disasters

Bendigo, 21 August, 2012:  The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has appointed a new Queensland-based staff member.

FRRR has had a long commitment to supporting rural and regional Queenslanders, providing grants to a number of local communities, as well as providing support after Cyclone Larry, which helped shape the disaster recovery program. In total, FRRR has distributed more than $4million to nearly 300 communities.

Annie Wright joins the team as Program Manager Natural Disaster Recovery, based in Queensland. In this role, Annie will be responsible for managing FRRR’s disaster recovery efforts in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, through the Repair-Restore-Renew program.

While other relief organisations and government agencies provide the immediate post-event support, FRRR’s Repair-Restore -Renew program, in collaboration with various partners, focuses on the medium to long-term recovery of affected communities.

Funds are raised from the time of the disaster, with grants made from 12 months after the event, providing support for the medium to long term issues and gaps that always emerge. This delay allows affected communities to determine the areas where they most need support and then, when they are ready, to apply for funds to support those initiatives.

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

“Annie has worked in a number of roles in the agricultural, farming and service industries, so she understands the challenges facing rural, regional and remote Queenslanders. She also has strong practical experience in evaluating and administering a range of socially and economically diverse projects,” Ms Gartmann said.

“As the RRR grants 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.”

Annie says that she is delighted to be joining FRRR and to be working on a program which will directly benefit Queensland and Northern NSW communities who have been through so much in the last couple of years.

“The next round of applications for the Repair-Restore-Renew program is about to commence, and I’m expecting the response from the community organisations in areas that were affected by either flooding or Cyclone Yasi during summer 2010-2011 to be quite strong.

“Repair-Restore-Renew can provide grants of up to $20,000 for community recovery projects. Part of my role will be to help organisations develop project applications and so I look forward to speaking with groups who are interested in applying. I’m also keen to build relationships with other organisations interested in partnering with us to ensure an even greater range of projects can be supported in coming months," said Ms Wright.

Annie can be contacted on either 0438 481 688 or by email at: a.wright@frrr.org.au.

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