FRRR wins Best Small Grant at The Australian Philanthropy Awards

Bendigo, 23 July 2019: The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal was last night recognised by The Australian Philanthropy Awards, winning Best Small Grant Award for the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council’s Barcoo Way project.

The Barcoo Way, in Blackall

The Australian Philanthropy Awards recognise and celebrate extraordinary achievements in contemporary philanthropy for work that is visionary, high impact and transformative. The Best Small Grant Award recognises that having an impact and affecting social change does not always involve large amounts of funding.

The Barcoo Way project received a $45,000 FRRR Tackling Tough Times Together grant funded by donor partners The Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and Qantas. The Barcoo Way stretches from Tambo, 862km north-west of Brisbane, over 500km to Windorah in Queensland’s Central West. The ongoing drought, fluctuating commodity prices, floods, and wild dogs had created enormous pressures for this region’s small, sparsely populated community. With small businesses reporting a 40% decrease in turnover, the local economy needed a boost to diversify the local income.

The grant enabled a specialist consultant to work with local stakeholders to identify and develop a ‘tourism trail’, incorporating the development of products and services around the river, landscape, local connections, regional stories, culture and heritage, events, food and lifestyle.

Five regional photographers were engaged to capture the region, and this imagery has been used on the website, www.barcooway.com.au, to attract traffic and drive engagement with this new tourism product. A marketing strategy was also developed to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the Barcoo Way.

Small grants from FRRR leveraged by community organisations, local businesses and individuals achieve an additional three dollars in-kind or through additional fundraising. This makes FRRR’s contribution to communities across rural, remote and regional Australia even more significant.

Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal CEO, Natalie Egleton said that this project and its recognition in the 2019 Australian Philanthropy Awards is a testimony to the multi-faceted benefits that a small amount of funding can have for the community and the sustainability of the local and regional economy.

“Western Queensland has experienced intense drought for over seven years now, and every part of the community is affected. The Barcoo Way project inspired us at FRRR because it took such a proactive, collaborative and innovative approach to create new economic opportunity during dry times. The Barcoo Way showcases the incredible landscapes, heritage and culture of the region and has already achieved impressive results, with an 860% increase in campsite bookings over nine months in Yaraka alone.  

“We are humbled to have received this award along with the Barcoo Way Committee and to have been recognised as a change-maker in creating a better future for communities in rural, regional and remote Australia,” Ms Egleton continued.

“We thank Philanthropy Australia for this acknowledgement of our work, and thanks to the team at FRRR and our very generous donor partners, The Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and Qantas, for helping to bring this initiative to life.”

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