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Newsletter | May 2017

A word from the CEO

Where has the first half of the year gone! Here at FRRR much of it has been spent assessing the fantastic applications we've received. We never cease to be impressed by the great ideas and examples of collaboration, innovation and can-do attitudes that we see. We look forward to announcing the outcomes in the next month.

We’ve also been having great conversations with our partners, including some new donors and seen the recommitment of some of our longer term donors. We are delighted to welcome Scenic World, who are based in the Blue Mountains, as a partner for the Back to School and Small Grants programs to benefit Blue Mountains communities.

We are very excited to be launching the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program. To kick off the program, we have engaged the Torrens Resilience Institute to complete a literature review of the theory and practice in natural disaster recovery and preparedness. The findings will inform visits to rural communities, initially in NSW, to reality-test the literature and learn more from communities about their disaster preparedness. We'll then pilot a place-based grants program to fund and evaluate community-led initiatives. We are pleased to be partnering with the NSW Office of Emergency Management for this first step and will be announcing other partnerships in the coming months.

I’m also pleased to report that we have now raised more than $270,000 to support communities affected by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent flooding. While we know that more will be needed, the support from our partners so far is a fantastic start to ensuring we can provide support in the medium to long-term, once communities have identified where they need support. I would like to also take the opportunity to acknowledge the many individuals who have given to FRRR’s appeal – this collective support will make a big difference to the longer term needs of the impacted communities. We will continue to fundraise for this program.

School girl, doing homework


With the end of financial year approaching, it is a great time to consider tax time donations. I know that many of you reading this already volunteer in your local community, but wanted to remind you that you can also make a donation to FRRR. This year, our EOFY campaign aims to generate more support for Back to School and also raise funds so we can support more communities with small grants. All donations to FRRR over $2 are tax deductible and at least 90% of donations go directly to rural community groups.

Finally, as you’ll read below, we’ve been out and about a lot in the last month, and that will continue in June. The FRRR Board is meeting in Toowoomba where we are hosting a breakfast to introduce FRRR to local business, government and philanthropic leaders, and then we are heading out through Goondiwindi, down to Gunnedah and Narrabri. We will be visiting projects we’ve funded and running two grant-seeker workshops to launch the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Cotton Communities program, before heading to the Hunter Valley at the Cheese Lovers’ Festival. In a new partnership for FRRR, they are donating 25 cents from every ticket sold to FRRR to support dairy communities, so if you can get along too, you’ll not only enjoy some great Australian dairy produce, but also do some good. 

Until next time …

Natalie Egleton
Chief Executive Officer

Regional roundup - out and about

Back in July, we moved to having a program manager looking after each state and territory, in the hope that they could develop deeper relationships and understanding of the communities within their region. Our aim was to get them on the road, spending more time in communities and seeing the issues and solutions first-hand, to inform the programs that we deliver.

And it’s working.

Mandy Grinblat, who looks after Victoria, SA and Tasmania visited the Latrobe Valley in Victoria as part of the ‘Valleys in Transition Tour’ hosted by the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, in partnership with Morwell Neighbourhood House and the Mirboo North and District Community Foundation.

Valleys in Transition Tour - La Trobe Valley

The trip provided insights into the challenges faced by communities transitioning from coal-based economies, and explored the role philanthropy can play in this space. It also gave Mandy the chance to meet with a diverse range of local groups and organisations, from State and local government through to community services organisations and grass-roots groups. FRRR is talking to the Latrobe Valley Authority to discuss how we may be able to support the community in the transition process, including through our current grant programs.

Jacki Dimond, Programs Manager for Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT was in New South Wales for a series of meetings relating to the Social Innovation Fund, which aims to help communities address deep and persistent disadvantage in Eden, Wagga Wagga and Kempsey.

Jacki Dimond in Eden discussing the Social Innovation Fund

Jacki hosted a workshop with the eight grant recipients (pictured right) from the Eden program to encourage collaboration as they begin to implement their projects and to better understand how FRRR can help as they get started.

Neriman Kemal, Programs Manager for the Northern Territory and Western Australia visited a number of community groups in Alice Springs, exploring the benefits of completed projects, community challenges and opportunities, funding gaps, and the differences between ‘remote’ and ‘rural and regional’.

Neriman Kemal with community org members in NT

She has identified some opportunities to strengthen how FRRR supports remote communities. A key focus will be how we can help to build remote community capacity. Neriman also spent some time in WA, again meeting local organisations looking at how FRRR can help fill gaps not currently met by local philanthropy. (Pictured: Neriman, centre, with staff from the Northern Territory organisation Ninti One.)

Jeanice Henderson, National Programs Manager attended the launch of ‘The Big Give’ in Albury, organised by Border Trust, which was also a chance to see how they had used their Creating Inspiring Rural Community Leadership & Engagement (CIRCLE) and CPPW grants. From what she saw, it was evident they’ve put them to very good use. They have an impressive new brand, and were able to develop new marketing materials, including a video, to showcase the great work they do. Border Trust has continued to develop their community and philanthropy partnerships with a month long social media, radio and TV campaign which has just concluded – “May is Giving Month… a celebration of our local giving culture”.

Jeanice Henderson with Glenys Atkins EO and Tim Frazer, Board member at Border Trust.

Border Trust has also been a long-term partner in our Back to School program, so it was great to hear about how the vouchers have made a difference to local students. (Pictured: Glenys Atkins EO, Jeanice and Tim Frazer, Border Trust Board Member.)

Programs update

We are currently working our way through the hundreds of applications received for programs that are in the assessment phase, and are very pleased with the variety and quality of applications that we've seen. Keep an eye out soon for details of the recipients of the John Wallis Foundation Small Grants Program which we've helped to assess, and we’ll announce other programs as we conclude assessments in the coming months.

In the meantime, programs currently open or opening soon include:

  • Innovation for Community Impact (I4CI) –  addresses pressing and persistent social issues facing communities in ten regional NSW LGAs. Closes 23 June.
  • Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities – supporting local communities in 14 Cotton Grower Association areas in New South Wales and Queensland, farmers have the opportunity to nominate a deserving not-for-profit group to receive one of thirty $5,000 grants. Opens 30 June.
  • Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) – designed to support projects and activities that benefit and support older people living in small rural and remote communities. Opens 3 July.
  • ANZ Seeds of Renewal - supports education and employment initiatives that sustain local economies in rural, regional and remote areas. Opens 5  July.

A reminder also that FRRR and Social Change 101, in partnership with Mansfield Adult Continuing Education, are currently inviting expressions of interest from individuals in Mitchell and Murrindindi Shires to participate in programs in each of those areas. To register your interest, go to socialchange101.com.au

Remember, you can always find out which programs are open by visiting FRRR’s grant calendar, or following us on Twitter or Facebook.

In the Media

Making music in Central Queensland

Legend and the Locals is an annual concert tour through regional Queensland, which features a different Australian music Legend each year. Central Queensland Rural Weekly reported this year’s tour will visit drought affected communities around Blackall, Hughenden, Capella and Collinsville, inspiring local talent at the same time as providing an entertaining event for the locals.

2017 Legend Sara Storer

They spend two days in each town, with the ‘Legend’ connecting with the community on the first day through workshops aimed at honing the skills of local performers, developing collaborations, and preparing them to step onto the stage, side by side with the Legend. The second day is reserved for rehearsals with the locals, followed by the awe-inspiring show in the evening, featuring the hits of the Legend, and showcasing the talents of the locals.

This year’s Legend is country music super-star Sara Storer. She’ll be visiting twelve towns in Central Queensland, working with a minimum of 360 regional locals through orchestras, bands, choirs and individual musicians. The tour kicks off in August, and is organised by Keppel Coast Arts, who received a $50,000 Tackling Tough Times Together grant funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation. For more information, visit the Legend and the Locals website.

Cooking for Cohesion in Cooma

The Cooking with Cohesion project was developed at the Heywire Regional Youth Summit, and the concept became a popular reality at local events in Cooma, NSW. The project was developed with the aim of breaking down cultural barriers and racism in rural communities through the enjoyment of cooking food.

Mel Sass, Youth Development Officer, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, said applying for an FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grant to use food to connect the diverse parts of the rural community was a no-brainer. 

Cooking for Cohesion Cooma NSW

The events connected young people with multicultural families to learn more about Jamaica and its culinary delights. Watch the video on ABC online to see the project in action and to hear about the ‘confusion of goodness’ when cooking Jamaican jerk chicken. 

Handy tips for community groups

How to measure your success!

Measuring What Matters

We don’t need to tell you how important being able to measure the success of your organisation is, but we do know that it’s not always easy to do.

Our Community has created a free book showcasing simple ways for not-for profits to measure their success. Measuring What Matters: An Introduction to Project Evaluation for Not-for-profits, is the jargon-free way to introduce yourself to data collection and evaluation. To check out the super helpful resource download yourself a copy here.

Time for change?

The Action Evaluation Collaborative has developed a fun and creative way to identify what it takes to make the changes you want to become a reality but also, importantly, looks at the motivations behind these changes.

Simple Theory of Change Exercise

The Simple Theory of Change Exercise guide sets out step by step how to run the activity. This could be a useful resource for any community group or organisation with a vision for the future, particularly for those with an idea for a community project. To get started visit their website.




  1. A word from the CEO  
  2. Regional visits  
  3. Programs update  
  4. In the media:
- Central Qld
- Cooma, NSW
  5. Community tips  
  6. Grants in action:
- Warren, NSW;
- Tas. Midlands;
- Rosewhite, Vic;
- Cherbourg, Qld;
- Castlemaine, Vic

Grants in action

Warren CWA Hall revamp boosts spirits 

Warren CWA Hall

The CWA hall is the venue for the local branch meetings, as well as children’s ballet classes, art classes, public speaking events and public auctions in Warren, 500 km from Sydney in NSW.

But it was desperately in need of a facelift. A $5,000 grant from the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program, funded by the Monsanto Fund, allowed them to repair the exterior, as well as renew the tiled flooring in the bathroom.

The facelift has made the hall more attractive to potential users, and provided a much-needed morale boost to the Warren CWA.

Image courtesy of the Warren Weekly.

Read more ...

Hot spot snapshots in Tasmania

Hot Spots Topshots in Tasmanian Midlands

Greening Australia Tasmania runs workshops and other activities that are designed to help the community better co-exist with nature, so they better understand and protect the natural environment.

One of their flagship programs is the ‘Hot Spot Snapshot’ program, which is designed to engage young people in biodiversity, by connecting them with experts in the field in a fun and engaging way.

A $4,000 grant from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program, funded by the Yulgilbar Foundation, helped them purchase wildlife cameras, video production, workshop materials, and travel for students so they could be part of this collaborative community project in the Tasmanian Midlands.

Watch this film to see more of what they got up to.

Read more ...

Happy Valley’s tree of life garden

Happy Valley's tree of life garden

The small communities of Havilah and Rosewhite in north-eastern Victoria were directly impacted by the 2009 Victorian fires, and residents continue their journey of recovery, which has included the creation of a tree garden in a two-acre area beside the local Community Hall. 

The Happy Valley Hall Committee received $5,940 via the Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) program, funded by the Victorian Bushfires Appeal Fund (VBAF). They used this money for the second stage of the project, constructing walking tracks between the plantings, leading to a rock feature at the centre of the arboretum. Viewed from the air, the paths within the garden look like the tree of life.

Happy Valley Hall Committee member Robin McDonald said that this project continued to build resilience and community wellbeing throughout the fire affected neighbourhoods. 

Read more ...

Presenting the Ration Shed

The Ration Shed Museum at Cherbourg

The Ration Shed Museum in Cherbourg plays an important role in preserving and sharing aboriginal history in south-east Queensland.

A major part of the Museum’s activity is educational, sharing what life was like for Aboriginal people living under the Aboriginal Protection Act during the first half of the 20th century, as well as showing the many wonderful aspects of Aboriginal culture and contemporary Cherbourg life.

The Cherbourg Historical Precinct Group, who is responsible for running the Museum, received a $9,240 ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant to train their volunteers to use the educational resources and materials and present them in an engaging and user-friendly way that makes them accessible to various groups.

The feedback the Museum has received from schools and people who have since visited the Museum has been extremely positive.

Read more ...

Printmaking from the ground up

Castlemaine Press

Castlemaine Press is a community access printmaking studio in Castlemaine, Victoria. Their objective is to provide affordable access to printmaking facilities for artists, and host an exciting program of classes for beginners and experienced printmakers alike, as well as providing space for collaborative projects, artists’ residencies and exhibitions.

They received a grant from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program to contribute to their project by providing funds for equipment and fittings to establish the studio.

The $3,528 grant, which was funded by the R.E. Ross Trust, went towards the purchase of materials and equipment to establish the space, and they then relied on volunteer labour to construct the facilities within the space.

This is a great example of a good entrepreneurial model, creating accessible resources for members of the community.

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