2009 Victorian Bushfires - Current Programs

In February 2009 Victoria was ravaged by one of the worst natural disasters in Australia’s history which resulted in the country’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire: 173 lives were lost, and 414 people were injured as a result of the fires. The fires decimated over one million acres of land: lives changed and the aftermath continues to be felt in families and communities devastated by fire.

Since the 2009 fires many individuals and community groups across fire-affected areas have engaged in their community’s rebuilding and recovery efforts. At FRRR, we know long term community recovery takes time - for this reason, FRRR is continuing to provide tailored grant programs to support the communities impacted by the fires, nearly a decade on.

Available programs
Program name Program focus
School and Beyond

School and Beyond will provide funds via approved School and Beyond Partners to support education and training costs for young people directly affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. Approved School and Beyond Partners will be able to apply to FRRR for funds on an ‘as needs’ basis, to support costs associated with keeping individuals engaged in school or employment pathways or to support programs and activities for groups of young people who may be at risk or have left the system.

By providing funds to services rather than directly to individuals the support can be directed to those most in need as identified by those working closely with them and in a timely way. By funding programs as well, it also ensures that funds are made widely available and are accessible to all fire affected youth who may not necessarily have a financial hardship but are still in need of targeted support to assist them to remain or re-engage with education. 

The funds for this program are provided by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund. There is a total of $550,000 available. 

Community Group Futures

This program is specifically for not-for-profit organisations working in and for the benefit of communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. The program provides resources for organisations to consider their viability, sustainability and future roles in their communities, and to strengthen organisational capabilities to achieve their aspirations.

Funds are provided by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund in partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal, and a total of $560,000 is available across three program streams, which will be awarded across a number of rounds: 

  1. Organisational Capability

  2. Viability & Sustainability

  3. Cost Efficiencies for Community Infrastructure

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) program

Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) has a specific focus on providing support for community- strengthening and resilience-building projects for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. It recognises that an important part of long-term community recovery is having opportunities to connect, share experiences, enhance individual and community wellbeing and resilience, and to build strengths and capacities for the future.

Funds are provided by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund and the grants program is independently managed by FRRR.


More information:

The University of Melbourne led a five-year study called Beyond Bushfires, which explored the medium to long term impacts of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires on individuals and communities. Click here to read the report.

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