Philanthropic funds ease the burden of drought

Bendigo, 11 June, 2015: Eighteen community groups in parts of Queensland and New South Wales battling the ongoing drought have something to smile about, with the announcement of the latest round of Tackling Tough Times Together grants.

Funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Yulgilbar Foundation and Aussie Farmers Foundation, the grants aim to help drought-affected communities access the resources they need.

Among the projects funded this round are:

  • Helping people stay connected via a local newsletter
  • Alleviating pressures for a short time with community events
  • Assisting families struggling financially to provide their kids with holiday activities, taking them from the bush to the beach
  • Building local small business capacity via digital marketing workshops
  • Building personal resilience via workshops about strategies to reduce stress and improve wellbeing

FRRR’s CEO, Alexandra Gartmann, says that the demand is strongest for projects that reduce social isolation and enhance community connectivity.

“The main aims of the Tackling Tough Times Together program are enhancing mental health and wellbeing, and bringing people together to share their experiences and support one another. This is the fifth round of projects funded and we are receiving reports that the initiatives are making a difference,” Ms Gartmann said.

Resilience, Reflection and Reconnection

Waggamba Landcare received funding to run a range of events over 12 months across the Goondiwindi shire in southern Queensland to help improve the wellbeing and mental health of local residents. By creating a number of different types of events, they wanted to attract different groups of people. The gatherings also had a different focus, including directly relieving stress, addressing isolation and relieving financial strain by providing information and entertainment.

Rebecca Morrissy, who has been involved in organising the events, said the approach has proven worthwhile and receiving grant funding was a key success factor.

“Support from the Tackling Tough Times Together program has provided the glue to help keep our community connected and strong. So far, over 700 community members have come together around these events, which are providing desperately needed circuit breakers for our smaller communities.”

Need for support still high

As communities throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales continue to struggle with the daily reality that drought conditions bring, FRRR CEO Alexandra Gartmann said that the Foundation is working hard to source additional funding to enable the Tackling Tough Times Together program to continue.

“There is clearly a strong need in these communities for continued support as the drought extends into a fourth or fifth year. Our main funding partners, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and the Yulgilbar Foundation have demonstrated their confidence in the resilience of rural communities to overcome adversity, but financial support is needed,” Ms Gartmann said.

“While we can’t make it rain, we can make it possible for communities to come together in various ways to relieve current stressors and symptoms, and most importantly, build capacity and resilience for the future.

“It is people who sustain our communities, and the Tackling Tough Times Together program is helping to provide the scaffolding necessary to support them,” she said.

The donors' generosity has enabled the Tackling Tough Times Together program to distribute more than $736,000 to 67 projects over the past 10 months. But the demand is far greater: the program has received 119 applications requesting over $1.7 million, and the drought continues to impact thousands of communities.

FRRR invites contributions from individuals, trusts, foundations or companies to this program, so that more people and their communities can be supported. Donations can be made online – www.frrr.org.au/donate – or by contacting FRRR on 03 5430 2399. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

The complete list of projects funded in this round is below.

Applicant

Project

Funding

Queensland

Aramac Tramway Museum & Historical Association Inc.

The Drought is Now Under Our Spell

Host a community evening including entertainment from comedian and hypnotist, Steven Spellmaster.

$3,000

Blackall - Tambo Regional Council

Blackall-Tambo Gets Going - Online

Host digital marketing workshops for small businesses in Blackall and Tambo to develop their business skills, build resilience and plan for the future.

$7,500

Desert Rivers Development Board Inc.

Let's Get Crackin!

Connect isolated community members in three communities through fun and educational workshops focused on yoga and stretching, acrobatics and whip cracking.

$9,980

Gulf Savannah Development Inc.

Drought Diversification Day for the Gulf’s Resilient Graziers

Host a Drought Diversification Field Day to increase awareness among up to 100 farmers on the viable options for diversifying their farming operations.

$6,300

Noorama Picnic Race Club Incorporated

50 Years of Racing at Noorama - Let's Reconnect!

Celebrate the significant milestone of 50 years of racing in Noorama, with a community concert.

$2,000

Outback Gondwana Foundation Limited

Dinosaurs can help beat the drought!

Purchase specialised tools to enable the foundation to run workshops training local volunteers in fossil preparation.

$10,000

Saxby Roundup Association Inc.

Come On and Crack Up!

Connect isolated community members in three communities through fun and educational workshops focused on yoga and stretching, acrobatics and whip cracking.

$9,820

St Patricks Parents & Friends Assn

St Pat’s Canberra Trip

Support 23 grade 6 students from St Patricks School to attend a school camp in Canberra and Sydney.

$5,000

Thallon Progress Association Inc.

"Just Add Water" Drought Busters Concert

Support the community to come together and reconnect over a meal and musical entertainment.

$3,500

New South Wales

Anglicare Northern Inland Diocese of Armidale

Building Resilience Workshop

Deliver a ‘Building Resilience’ workshop in Mingoola where participants learn about strategies to reduce stress and improve wellbeing.

$6,165

Anglicare Northern Inland Diocese of Armidale

Building Resilience Workshop

Deliver a ‘Building Resilience’ workshop in Nullamanna where participants learn about strategies to reduce stress and improve wellbeing.

$5,935

Anglicare Northern Inland Diocese of Armidale

Building Resilience Workshop

Deliver a ‘Building Resilience’ workshop in Pinkett where participants learn about strategies to reduce stress and improve wellbeing.

$5,970

Carinda Rugby Union Incorp

Carinda Comment

Purchase a computer, printer software and office supplies to enable the community to produce the Carinda Comment, a quarterly newsletter.

$5,000

Cumborah Community Incorporated

Cumborah "Chins Up!"

Purchase a smart TV, satellite, laptop, projector, portable screen and sound system to enable the community to be able to run accredited training courses, workshops and community events.

$8,013

Glenrac Incorporated

More Women for the Gathering

Support up to 15 women to attend the 2015 NSW Rural Women’s Gathering in Glen Innes in October 2015.

$3,000

Grawin Opal Miners Sports and Recreation Club Ltd

Annual Grawin Show Fund

Support the local radio station to broadcast live from the show and provide free family friendly entertainment throughout the day.

$5,000

South Narrabeen Surf Lifesaving Club Inc.

Bush to Beach 2016

Support students living in the Brewarrina Shire to travel to Narrabeen to participate in the Bush to Beach program.

$8,000

Walgett Little Athletics Centre

Family, Fun & Fitness - Come and Jump on in!

Install a kitchen at the Athletics Centre to improve the facility and increase its usage by local community groups.

$10,000

 

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