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Newsletter | february 2017

A word from the CEO

It’s a bumper edition of eNews, so I’m going to try to keep this message brief – but it is a challenge, as there is so much happening that we’d like to share.

The month started with the always fabulous ABC Heywire Summit in Canberra. It’s a fantastic opportunity to take the pulse of what’s happening in rural and regional Australia from the perspective of young people who live and work there. And this year was no exception, as we heard from some wonderfully talented young people about the issues that matter to them. I look forward to sharing more about the ideas they came up with to address those issues when we open the grants program in May. The Summit is also a fantastic opportunity to connect with donor partners, Ministers, departmental staff and our Patron in Chief, His Excellency the Governor General, and Lady Cosgrove, who once again hosted us and the Heywirers at Government House. Big thanks to Jeanice for coordinating our involvement in this event, and a big shout out to Leigh Radford, Dan Hirst and all the Heywire team who run such a great program.

We’ve also been on the road around Victoria this month too, connecting with groups in dairy communities and delivering grant-seeker workshops. As Mandy says below, it’s a wonderful chance to connect with local leaders, and to also impart some of our knowledge. Special thanks to Tim and Jenny from Gardiner Dairy Foundation for coordinating the visits and hosting Mandy!

A number of the Program Managers are in the process of organising more community visits, with trips planned to South Australia (6-8 March) and the Northern Territory (7-10 March), and we are also hoping to get to Gippsland, Qld and NSW in the next couple of months, so check out our Facebook and Twitter pages to see photos along the way.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight a new partnership we’ve just agreed with the Regional Australia Institute and Prime 7, to support the Lightbulb Moments campaign. You can read more about it below, but if you have an idea about how to strengthen your community, and would benefit from some publicity and some support from FRRR, make sure you nominate before 10 March.

Finally, there are lots of FRRR grant programs currently open, or opening soon, so please do make sure you read the program update below and check in regularly on the Grants Calendar on our website so you know what’s available.

Until next time,

Natalie Egleton
Chief Executive Officer

Have you had a Lightbulb Moment?

We know that the best ideas for building strong, vibrant communities usually come from those living in those communities. But sometimes it's hard to make it happen, and you just need a little help.

That's why FRRR has joined with the Regional Australia Institute and Prime 7 / GWN7 to support the Lightbulb Moments campaign. This is a competition to unearth the best ideas to build strong regional communities and boost local economies in regional areas.

The ‘top ten’ entries will win a dedicated Project Development Support Package from the Regional Australia Institute and a heap of publicity. One lucky National Winner will even get their own TV ad and Airtime Support Package thanks to PRIME7!

We will share our expertise in rural and regional community project management and work informally with the winning projects to help them fundraise to reach their goals.

Find out more about Lightbulb Moments in this short video and then submit your idea.

On the road in dairy country

Mandy Grinblat, FRRR’s Programs Manager for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania was on the road this month with staff from the Gardiner Dairy Foundation. They’ve been presenting grant seeking workshops and promoting the Working in Dairy Communities grants, which aim to strengthen small Victorian dairy communities, and help build their capacity to deal with local issues, and enhance existing community infrastructure.

They also met with several organisations and volunteers who are working hard to make real differences in their communities. A big thank you to the many groups that generously took the time to share their stories.

Mandy says it’s always inspiring to get out on the road and experience first-hand the fantastic work that is going on in communities across regional Australia. "The passion and commitment you encounter is really infectious – it certainly inspires me in my day to day work!"

The workshops were well received with attendees appreciating the advice on the grant seeking process, from an initial idea through planning, identifying potential funding to writing the application and reporting. There was also plenty of time for discussing projects and applications that are in development.

Applications for the 2017 Working in Dairy Communities grants close 17 March 2017.

2017 Heywire Summit - that's the wrap!

The ABC Heywire Youth Summit was held earlier this month and again, it was a HUGE success. From 700 entries, 41 Heywire winners aged 16-22 living in regional, rural or remote Australia travelled to Canberra to participate in a national conversation about issues that matter to them.

Several of FRRR’s donor partners also attended the Summit and participated in the networking opportunities, alongside Natalie, Sophie and Jeanice from our team. Thank you to SAGE, Audi Foundation, Sally Foundation and board members Patrick Myer and Annabel Dulhunty for your contribution and for sharing your wisdom. Watch the 2017 Heywire Summit recap video for an insider’s perspective on the Summit.

The attendees came from places as diverse as Penguin (TAS), Yaraka (QLD), Robinson River (NT), Coober Pedy (SA) and Grenfell (NSW) – these Heywirers’ genuinely care about what’s happening in regional Australia and want to improve it.

Working together, they came up with great ideas to address some of the big issues impacting small communities around the country, including: mental health support; improving education and enhancing technology in remote communities; supporting farmers; combatting racism; improving education on LGBTQIA issues; right through to keeping people out of youth detention.

These ideas will underpin the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants program, which will open in May and we look forward to the long-term impacts these projects will have.

The STEER project is a great example of what is possible when Heywire ideas are put into action from the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants program – for STEER the proof truly is in the research! 55% of Green P-platers at the Falls Festival 2016/17 intending to drive home were over their legal limit so the idea worked brilliantly in practice.

The Summit included a new stream for Heywire Trailblazers, alumni of the Heywire and the FRRR ABC Heywire grants program who have started community development projects in rural or regional Australia. These 17 people, who are working across six projects, also participated in networking and capacity building workshops to help them take their projects to the next level. We look forward to seeing what they do next!

Programs update

It’s only the end of February, and this year we’ve already awarded more than $1.4 million in grants to 176 community groups. Recent programs to announce recipients include: School & Beyond; Domino’s Give for Good; Tackling Tough Times Together, GR&W and Community Group Futures.

The Back to School program delivery is well under way, with the team administering the purchasing and allocation of almost 10,000 $50 vouchers from Target and various local businesses. We know there are many families out there that need assistance just to provide the basic school items. We are working hard to deliver the vouchers to our 28 community partners, eleven of whom have raised over $127,000 in their local communities to help disadvantaged students through this program.

The good news is that there is still more funding available via the following programs that are currently open or opening soon:

We are currently working with stakeholders in Kempsey and Wagga Wagga in NSW on the next steps in the Social Innovation Fund program, and putting the final touches to the next round of Social Change 101 workshops, which will soon open for applicants from the Murrindindi and Mitchell regions.

Check out FRRR’s grant calendar or follow us on Twitter or Facebook so you know when grant programs open and close.

In the media

Supporting Kimberley youth

Kimberley Group Training (KGT) wanted to support young people and help address the high youth unemployment rate in Kununurra and surrounding areas.

With the help of an ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant of $13,000, KGT was able to deliver pre-employment and Certificate I Hospitality training for over 10 disadvantaged youth in the East Kimberley region of WA.

They’ve been blogging their training and development on Facebook this month, showcasing the engaging and hands-on learning taking place - “Nothing better than getting out of the classroom and seeing how things are done in the real world!”

The program has been highly successful due to the community business partnerships and philanthropic contributions supporting the project.

Follow their journey on the pathway to success, 'Unlocking the potential of future stars', on the Kimberley Group Training Facebook page.

FRRR on the future of philanthropy, leadership, bike butchers and bushfires

It's been a busy media month for FRRR's CEO, Natalie Egleton. Generosity Magazine published two articles featuring leaders in Australian philanthropy, and Natalie was asked to contribute to both stories.

One was about the greatest challenges facing philanthropy in 2017. Natalie suggested that it's about philanthropists connecting with each other and learning from one another. In the second piece, which was about leadership in philanthropy, Natalie shared her belief that it is about aligning people, ideas, and resources, and fundamentally, empowering others. To read more and hear directly from leaders across the sector, visit the Generosity site. You can sign up for a free three-month free trial, if you're not a subscriber.

On a more local note, Natalie was interviewed by WIN News Bendigo as part of a story on MADCOW - in this case, "Make A Difference Change Our World" and their Bike Butcher project. Despite the macabre name, it is about restoring bikes to help break the cycle of adversity faced by young people in Eaglehawk, outside Bendigo, many of whom were affected by the Black Saturday bushfires.

And on the topic of bushfires, Natalie wrote a piece published on LinkedIn, to mark the 8th anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria. As Natalie highlighted, communities continue to rebuild and adapt. With more natural disasters hitting different parts of the country – bushfires in NSW, floods in WA and cyclones in QLD and the NT – Natalie encouraged communities and potential donors to take a long-term view. Read more on LinkedIn.

Community Tips
A tick in the right direction

In introducing its Charity Tick, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) aims to enhance public trust and confidence in registered charities. The Registered Charity Tick is intended to help the public instantly identify a registered charity.

As these charities are registered with and regulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), you can give confidently to charities displaying the Charity Tick, knowing that they are a trusted and accredited organisation.

We are proud to say that we have recently added the Charity Tick to our website – check it out now!


  1. A word from the CEO  
  2. Lightbulb Moment  
  3. On the road in dairy country  
  4. Heywire Summit  
  5. Programs update  
  6. In the Media
- Supporting Kimberley Youth
- FRRR stories
  7. Community Tips
- Tick in the right direction
  8. Grants in Action
- Demystifying boarding - Mount  Liebig
- Health & careers - Gippsland, Vic
- Learning from past disasters - Dungog, NSW
- Dream to reality - Cunnamulla, Qld

Quick Notes & Links

Demystifying boarding school in Mt Liebig

When English is your third or fourth language, and no one else in your community has completed year 12, the idea of going away to boarding school is understandably daunting.

The Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation, which is running a project in Mt Liebig, 10 hours' drive west of Alice Springs, recognised that higher education is critical for their community’s success. So, they wanted to find a way to demystify life at boarding school for potential students, and their families.

To help them do so, they received a $12,033 ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant for Tjunguringanyi (Joining Together), a community-based project to showcase positive experiences, and ultimately increase the uptake of high school education.

They used noticeboards, Facebook and videos to share stories from students away at boarding school. It’s already helped families understand what it’s like for their children, as well as reduced homesickness for the students. They have also learnt new skills in photography, social media and filming and editing short videos.

A highlight was Mt Liebig students at Yirara College in Alice Springs being featured on the weekly TV school news bulletin. It was shown on ICTV, a free community channel, allowing community members that don’t have the internet or smart phones to also see what it's like.


Health and careers advice in Gippsland

A $4,000 Small Grant funded by The R.E. Ross Trust has helped the Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Health in East Gippsland (CAEHEG) in Victoria to host two camps focused around careers in health for Koori students.

Thanks to generous input from a wide range of local community health agencies, universities and aboriginal health organisations, the camps brought more than 60 young people together with their Elders to learn more about important issues in aboriginal health, as well as explore future career opportunities.

Since the camps, CEAHEG has kept in touch with the attendees through their schools and via social media, as well as offering mentoring and planning further activities. Several students have expressed interest in doing work experience in the health service industry, and CEAHEG is working to facilitate this.


Learning from past disasters in Dungog

In April 2015, the community of Dungog in the New South Wales Hunter region was hit by a ‘super storm.’ The super storm wreaked havoc, resulting in the loss of three lives, destroying many homes, businesses, community facilities and infrastructure, and decimated primary production in the area.

Recognising the lack of preparedness, Dungog Information & Neighbourhood Service Inc. initiated 'Project Bounce Forwards', designed to encourage and support disaster preparedness and resilience capacity building in Dungog and surrounds.

To help bring this important project to life, the Dungog Information & Neighbourhood Service received a $14,200 grant from the Domino’s Give for Good program.

The funding helped deliver a series of Community Preparedness Expos and distribute preparedness kits, reaching more than 350 households within the Dungog and Stroud areas, as well as a further 42 homes from neighbouring communities.


Dream becomes reality in Cunnamulla

The Cunnamulla P-12 State School is located in South West Queensland, and has 126 students. The P&C wanted to ensure their students had access to a performing arts program, despite their remote location.

They were awarded a $10,000 grant from the CATCH program, funded by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, to employ two professional artists to facilitate dance and drama workshops.

The program was not only an opportunity for students to learn dance and drama skills, but also develop their self-confidence, resilience, creative skills and self-pride.

As the program got underway, it became clear that there was a much bigger opportunity. This led to the students of Cunnamulla P-12 developing  a show about issues the students wanted to share with their community.

Over the course of the three performances, almost a third of the town came to see the show,  which sparked conversations about issues facing young people in the community.

The project was also the subject of an SBS /NITV documentary, which we encourage you to watch. It is available until 8 March.


The FRRR Mission is

"to champion the economic and social strength of Australia's regional, rural & remote communities through partnerships with the private sectors, philanthropy and governments."



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