Enabling and Influencing from the Road
In addition to grant-making, an important part of FRRR’s remit is to enhance the capacity of communities, helping them build skills on the ground. This year, we ran grant-seeking workshops, hosted webinars, funded scholarships, led a research project on rural education, attended the innovative Harwood Labs sessions and spent more than 400 hours on the phone to communities, advising and supporting them.
FRRR’s heart is on the ground with local communities but we also have an important role in sharing what we know about life in rural communities with policy makers and other funders. As FRRR’s reputation grows as a community ‘insider’, the team are presenting at and participating in more and more forums and workshops.
Increasingly, we're asked to share our expertise with corporations too, providing insights into the challenges and opportunities facing rural communities.
Read more on this in the full version of the Annual Review.
Insights from the road
Since moving to a state-based structure, our Program Managers have visited TAS twice, SA twice, NSW several times, SE QLD, Alice Springs, the Goldfields region in WA, and undertaken multiple trips around Victoria.
These visits deepen our local insights, allow us to assess past impacts, build awareness and profile of FRRR, strengthen networks and relationships, and ultimately support the case for further support of rural, regional and remote communities via FRRR’s programs.
|Neriman visited 14 community groups in the Northern Territory to explore the impact of completed projects, community challenges and opportunities, funding gaps, and the differences between ‘remote’ and ‘rural and regional’. One of the highlights was learning about the Tangentyere Artists, a social enterprise that provides arts skills and professional development, arts industry training, marketing and promotional services to local artists.|
When Natalie and Jacki visited the Bellata Hall in NSW (population 407), it was being painted. The addition of the movie screen and air-conditioner (both Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants) had reinvigorated the venue, created a new income source and provided a positive venue and activity for local young people.
Mandy and Natalie met the Jordan River Service team in Tasmania, who deliver a range of services relating to family support and food security, including a breakfast club delivered through local schools. They are also involved in a community produce pantry, helping address food security.
|Jeanice, Natalie and Sophie played a hands-on role at the annual Heywire Regional Youth Summit. Jeanice, along with two ABC representatives, was a panel member for the groups to pitch their early conceptual ideas. Taking on board the panel’s feedback, the groups continued to work together to refine and hone their ideas and ultimately came up with seven incredible project ideas.|
Mandy and Natalie had two days in South Australia. Day 1, they presented to the Philanthropy Australia SA network and met with representatives from several NFP's working across the arts, environment and community services sectors and day two was spent with Foundation Barossa. This trip provided opportunities to talk about FRRR, as well as learn first-hand about key challenges facing SA communities.