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Newsletter | may 2014

A word from the Team


With Alexandra still travelling, I’m delighted to share what’s been happening at FRRR this month. As usual, there’s plenty going on!

Firstly, we’ve received some generous donations from a number of our partners. The RE Ross Trust will support our flagship Small Grants for Rural Communities program over the next three years. The McCusker Charitable Foundation will also contribute to that program, as well as the CATCH and CARA programs in WA. We also received funds from an individual donor who will support a range of infrastructure projects throughout Victoria in the coming years. We thank them all for their support.

On the program front, we are in the final planning stages of the 2013 Repair-Restore-Renew program. This will provide limited, highly-targeted funds for areas in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland that were affected by natural disasters in 2013. This program is made possible through collaboration between donors including Wilson HTM Investment GroupING Direct, John T Reid Charitable TrustsThe Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and a number of other Trusts and private donors. The program is scheduled to open in June.

Details of the programs currently open are below, including Heywire which opened last week. Our team is also busy assessing the Small Grants for Rural Communities, REAPing Rewards, and CATCH programs. As usual, we have had a huge level of interest in these programs. It's a pleasure to read about so much innovation, creativity, collaborative and community-driven problem-solving.

Later this month I will be running grant-writing workshops with the Kinglake Ranges Foundation on 20 May and with the Into Our Hands Foundation on 3 June. Both of these Foundations were set up with VBAF funds to support long-term recovery needs of their communities.

Finally, we’ve recently received lots of final reports. It’s great to see the impact these local initiatives are making. As we do every edition, we've shared some of these stories. I encourage you to read the Grants in Action from Stanthorpe (Qld), Urunga (NSW), Alvie (Vic) and Mataranka (NT). There may well be ideas that your community can adapt…

Happy reading!

Natalie Egleton
Program Manager, Natural Disasters / Acting CEO

Programs open

May is an exciting month as two highly valued annual programs are now open, offering great opportunities for community organisations:

  • The 2014 CATCH program is open throughout May for applications from organisations such as museums, community art groups, progress associations, event organisers, and cultural groups for community projects in rural and remote locations. The focus is on culture, arts, tourism and community heritage projects. Eligible projects include capital items, equipment, extension programs to remote areas, events and activities that have a demonstrable economic benefit to the community, and intergenerational activities.
    ??The funding is targeted to NSW, Qld, WA and NT. Grants of up to $20,000 will be made, thanks to the generosity of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, the McCusker Charitable Foundation, and The Julian Flett Endowment managed by Perpetual Trustees. Applications close 30 May.
  • ?The final round of STEPS funding will also close 30 May. The program focuses on reducing the effects of volunteer fatigue, strengthening volunteer capacity, creating community networks and partnerships, and encouraging the development of community leadership in communities affected by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires. To ensure your application is considered at this final assessment meeting, please contact the Project Officer Hannah Jakab. 
  • GR&W Round 4 recipients have now been announced, with 10 projects awarded grants totalling nearly $138,000. This program is open year round, and while applications will be accepted at any time, it is important that organisations that want their project considered at the next Advisory Committee meeting submit applications by 13 June. Round 6 applications need to be submitted by 3 October.
  • The FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants opened on 1 May and applications close 13 June. More details are below.

Guidelines and applications forms for all of these programs are available on FRRR's website.

Grants available for youth-inspired projects


After the success of last year’s program and the rousing Heywire Summit in February, it was with much excitement that FRRR and ABC Heywire launched the 2014 ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants program last week.

These ideas, which originated at the 2014 Heywire Regional Youth Summit, cover a range of big issues facing young people in rural and regional Australia. FRRR, with the support of The Pratt Foundation, has pledged $100,000 in grants for rural, regional and remote communities to implement eight ideas to improve the lives of young Australians and their communities.

To discover more about them, read the Heywire Summit Report Booklet or check out the following links:

  1. Beating The Blues In The Bush – Mental Health
  2. All Women – Gender Equality
  3. E-Raced – Migration
  4. The Tools Of Survival – First Aid and Education
  5. One Mob -  Multiculturalism
  6. TRACTA: Try Rural Australian Careers, Try Agriculture – Young People in Farming
  7. Mirror Mirror On The Screen – Drugs and Alcohol
  8. “It’s OK to Ask” Day – Community Spirit and Volunteering

FRRR’s CEO, Alexandra Gartmann, who was one of the mentors at the 2014 Heywire Regional Youth Summit, said that the grants are designed to help bring these ideas to reality in the bush.

“The spirit, passion and drive of the 2014 Heywire participants are inspirational. These young people are experiencing the issues first hand and have thought through how best to achieve impact and make a lasting difference,” Ms Gartmann explained.

“I encourage communities to review the report, adopt an idea, adapt it to your community and apply for a grant.”

Applications close 13 June, 2014.

LightnUp in Lismore

In addition to offering grants, FRRR also helps local community organisations fund-raise, by ‘lending’ our tax deductible status. We do this by hosting a Donation Account, which enables the receipt of tax-deductible donations on behalf of a specific group or cause. Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status is often a great incentive to those willing to donate, and therefore it helps communities fundraise more quickly.


LightnUp Inc is a community arts organisation based in Lismore, a town of 43,000, in the heart of the Northern Rivers Region of NSW. They create artwork inspired by light and shadow and work with communities to tell their stories and create celebration. Their key event - the Lismore Lantern Parade - has been running since 1994.

However, to continue to support the community, LightnUp needs a secure and purpose-built base from which to work. Finding suitable existing space is proving challenging, so they have opened a Donation Account, hosted by FRRR, to raise funds to build a multi-purpose community access arts facility, which will also serve as the LightnUp office and be used for workshops.

The building will also provide the community with training and employment opportunities long after it has been erected. To date the group has raised $2,000, which is a great start to finding their own space.

In 2012/13, just over $1.7 million was donated via FRRR Donation Accounts. To learn more about the benefits of a Donation Account with FRRR, visit our website.

Doing CARTWHEELS in the Cathedral Ranges

If ever there was a project that epitomised communities taking control of their recovery from a natural disaster, this is it!


The Murrindindi Shire in north-eastern Victoria was heavily impacted by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Soon after the fires, Berry Street Victoria approached the Royal Children’s Hospital to deliver a tailored mental health program for affected schools and communities, which was known as CARTWHEELS. The aim was to connect with communities to assist with recovery and develop mental health and social-emotional wellbeing, through the visual and performing arts.

An initial grant of $120,000 from the 2009 Repair-Restore-Renew program started CARTWHEELS rolling, with the support of School Aid TrustThe program is now in its fifth year, and enjoys phenomenal support from the community. Last year, Berry Street received funding via the GR&W program to continue delivering the CARTWHEELS Project in the Cathedral cluster of schools in the Eastern Murrindindi Shire. With additional, unexpected funding coming from the school, parents and community contributions, Berry Street can now begin to withdraw from the project, as school representatives begin to take more initiative and control in the planning and delivery of the project.


The remaining GR&W funds will help schools to cover 2015 Festival expenses but they are already exploring how to meet costs of future Festivals. It’s really satisfying to see that the initial investment of both time and money has led to an event that is embedded in the local schools’ culture, and is nearly at the point of local sustainability.

If you have an idea for a project that could help sustain your community’s recovery from the 2009 Victorian bushfires, apply for a Grant for Resilience and Wellness. There are more stories on the GR&W page about what other communities are doing which may give you some inspiration.

SCOSA Tech Connect project hits YouTube

In 2011, the Spastic Centres of South Australia Incorporated (SCOSA) received an FRRR ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant. They put this funding towards their ‘Tech Connect’ project, enabling the purchase of iPads and accessories for young people with a disability to use as communication and developmental tools.

ANZ recently produced a fantastic video highlighting the impact of their funding, and the success of SCOSA’s Tech Connect project. This video features David Swaine (SCOSA Manager for Community Development) and Adam, a Tech Connect Participant.

FRRR is keen to share more videos and films of projects that we have been involved in, via our YouTube channel - FRRRAustralia.  If you know of something we could include, send us the link via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Community Resources

Measuring success

Chances are that when your group applies for a grant from FRRR or any other funding body, you will be asked how you plan to measure your project’s success. There are some simple, but effective, methods of measuring the success of your project. The three basic steps are:

  1. Clearly identify what you want to achieve / change and ensure there is broad support for this aspiration from those to benefit and be involved.
  2. Consider and identify the Inputs, Outputs and Outcomes.
  3. Record and track your project’s inputs, outputs and outcomes.

There is more detail about putting these steps into action on our Community Resources page.

Sporting Grants Available

Each year we receive a large number of applications for funding from sporting clubs, but unfortunately due to legislation, we are unable to fund these projects. There are however, many other organisations offering grants for sporting clubs, such as The Australian Sport's Foundation.

They've recently launched a small grants program called the Grants for Grassroots (G4G) Fund which funds initiatives and programs aimed at increasing participation in grassroots and community sport. Grants up to $10,000 are available, especially for initiatives relating to youth participation. Applications will close at 5pm on Friday 16 May.

In Case You Missed It

We regularly post stories on the news pages of our website to share how other groups have used their grant funding, and what they have achieved. These are some of the recent stories, in case you missed them:



  1. A word from the Team  
  2. Programs open  
  3.  Grants for youth-inspired projects  
  4.  Light'n Up in Lismore  
  5. Cartwheels in Cathedral Ranges  
  6. In the media
  7.  Community Resources  
  8. In Case You Missed It  
  9.  Grants in Action
- Stanthorpe, Qld
- Urunga, NSW
- Alvie, Vic
- Mataranka, NT

Grants in Action

Training sparks community understanding

With increasing numbers of people suffering from dementia, more family members and aged-care workers are caring for them. However, the illness can bring about dramatic changes in the person affected, which can be hard to deal with if you don’t have the right skills and knowledge.

Recognising this challenge, The Carramar Home for Senior Citizens in Stanthorpe in southern Queensland sought FRRR’s assistance to bring in an expert to train their staff in how best to support residents suffering from this illness.

A grant of $7,700, funded by the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Foundation (managed by ANZ Trustees) through the CARA program, enabled the group to engage Jane Verity from Spark of Life Dementia Training to deliver two lectures about supporting people who have dementia. There was also a half-day session for community members with a relative or friend with the illness, with most being carers.  In total, the training reached about 60 people in this community of just 4,000.

Kathryn McEwin, Lifestyle Program Coordinator at Carramar, said that as a result of the training, staff and volunteers and family members are much more understanding of the needs of people with the illness.

“While we would have loved to have more staff attend, those who did come along were enthusiastic about the program. They can now be ‘pebbles in the pond’, passing on their changed behaviour and practices,” said Ms McEwin.

Read more ...

Staging sustainable local events

In the Bellingen Shire on the Mid North Coast of NSW, the Urunga Mylestom Chamber of Commerce (UMCC) secured a grant from FRRR that has gone a long way to reducing the ongoing costs of community events held at the Urunga Reserve Community Stage.

The stage is used by a range of community groups including the public school, SES, Surf Club, and Chamber of Commerce. A significant cost of any event was hiring sound wings for the stage, to improve the acoustics during performances. After the area was inundated in the 2011 floods, local fundraising was hampered, so the Chamber applied to the RRR 2011 program for funds to get a permanent solution.

Once the $4,300 grant was approved, local experts and tradespeople devised an effective acoustics solution by installing special beams to attach theatre curtains and lining the tin roof with insulation and timber plywood.

UMCC Vice President Jan Baker said that the Chamber of Commerce is very grateful to FRRR and the RRR 2011 donors for providing the grant to restore and renew their community stage.

Read more ...

Reading rocket launches in Alvie

A community of 400, Alvie is in the heart of the Colac dairy country on the shores of Lake Corangamite, approximately 165 km south west of Melbourne.

Last year the Parents and Friends’ Committee were keen to address the situation of the school’s reading resources, as Principal Richard Szmidel explained.

“Literacy is a significant issue across our school. Due to the shortage of books for children, teachers were having to photocopy readers to send home with students and many were in desperate need of replacement.”

The Alvie School Parents and Friends (P&F) secured a Gardiner Foundation Working in Dairy Communities grant to purchase books for their Reading Program. The P&F received almost $1500, enabling each classroom teacher to purchase around $500 in reading resources for their classroom. 

The P&F members have now covered and labelled the books to keep them fresh and new long into the future. 

Read more ...

Moving learning along in Mataranka

A REAPing Rewards grant from FRRR recently funded the shortfall on the 2013 annual bus lease for the Mataranka School, in the Northern Territory.

The old Mataranka School bus, which was donated second hand several years ago, had become unsafe after developing steering issues, and was incurring high maintenance costs due to its age and wear and tear.

Despite being 420 km south of Darwin and 110 km south east of Katherine, Mataranka is not considered sufficiently remote to be eligible for a bus from the Northern Territory government.

Katherine Group Schools agreed with Mataranka School to support leasing a new bus via Northern Territory Fleet. The school applied for a grant to pay their share of the lease - $10,000 - for 2013.

While this does not address the longer term viability of the service, addressing the safety issues of the old bus and the fact there was a local solution through collaboration with Katherine Group Schools made a strong case for assistance. 

Read more ...

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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Tel: 03 5430 2399
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Fax: 03 5443 8900
Email: info@frrr.org.au