Fire affected Victorian communities receive recovery grants

Bendigo, 11 November 2015: Thanks to funding from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, FRRR is supporting 25 projects that contribute to the long-term recovery from the 2009 bushfires. A total of $322,871 in grants is being distributed.

Boolarra South Landcare Group Member Mick Schiller

The Grants for Resilience & Wellness program provides assistance for community-strengthening and resilience-building projects. This round 19 community initiatives will receive funds ranging from $1,000 to $28,000, sharing $231,436. The projects are diverse in nature - from equipment for a quilting group, to the restoration of an old Post Office, improving a local playgroup playground, running mental health first aid courses for teenagers, a bushwalk trail restoration project and a free community festival.

A further six community projects, which share a total of $91,435, have been supported through FRRR’s new Community Group Futures program. This program is aimed at local not for profit organisations, particularly those that have been leading local recovery efforts since the fires. Its aim is to help strengthen organisational capabilities so they can achieve their aspirations.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s Acting CEO explained that the number and breadth of the applications received demonstrates the need for long-term and tailored support for different population groups including children, women and older people, to meet the different needs of communities.

“Nearly seven years on, the needs of communities recovering from the 2009 Victorian bushfires continue to evolve. Both of these programs respond to the issues that have emerged since the fires.

“GR&W funds projects that benefit different groups in the community, helping to build resilience and provide opportunities for people to undertake activities in spaces that facilitate their recovery and enhance wellness.

“But it is also important to ensure the right infrastructure and entities are in place to support recovery as the community evolves. The new Community Group Futures program encourages and supports communities to think beyond the day to day, and look ahead to what structures and bodies are required for them to become the vibrant and adaptive communities they once were.”

Ms Egleton noted that there is still funding available for communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires and encouraged groups in those areas to apply for funds in future rounds. For more details on FRRR’s Grants for Resilience and Wellness program (GR&W), and the Community Futures program visit our website.

The projects funded are detailed below:

Grants for Resilience & Wellness




Boolarra Flora and Fauna Quilting Group

Boolarra Quilting Group Going Forward and Getting Stronger:

Purchase a sewing machine, cutting boards, cutters and measuring templates to encourage increased membership and facilitate increased social and therapeutic benefits for participants.


Boolarra Folk Festival Committee

Old Boolarra Post Office Restoration:

Restore the historic Old Boolarra Post Office to use as the centre for the Boolarra Folk Festival, which will help strengthen community connectedness and sense of place and identity, as well as build the capacity of a volunteer group.


Boolarra Playgroup

Boolarra Playgroup Playground Upgrade - Stage 2:

Construct a 13.5m2 decking and seating area at the Boolarra Multipurpose Building, improving the outdoor area at this community facility to create a safe, functional area for children, parents, and other users. It will also help ensure activities remain in the area.


Boolarra South Landcare Group

Building Community Resilience and Wellness with New Equipment "Working Smarter not Harder":

Purchase a ride-on wheelbarrow, self-propelled mower and weed spray unit to assist volunteers to maintain and manage the Old Mill site, an important community space. The project will increase access to volunteering opportunities for people with a disability and decrease the workload of current volunteers.


CFA - Arthurs Creek / Strathewen

Fire Danger Rating Claymation Project:

CFA members will work with grade 4, 5 and 6 Strathewen primary school students to develop a claymation (clay animation) about fire danger ratings. This will help students become more fire resilient through education and understanding of the environment, and strengthen connections between the CFA and the school community.


Community Resilience Committee (Alpine Shire)

"Teen Mental First Aid" Courses for Young People in Alpine Shire:

Deliver Teen Mental Health First Aid courses to year 10 and 11 students across the four secondary colleges in the Alpine Shire. This will help young people to identify signs of mental health, support sufferers and increase their knowledge of support and services available.


Eaglehawk Secondary College

Life Connections Program:

By purchasing a second enclosure and erecting a fence and shade sails, this grant will enable the small animal handling program to expand, which will support fire-affected students to strengthen their resilience, coping skills, and school engagement.


Foggy Mountain Inc.

Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival:

Enabling students from six primary schools to participate in song-writing workshops and perform them at the 2015 Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival. The grants also helped with hiring of a stage and chairs and engaging an MC and sound engineer for the event.


Grand Strzelecki Track Inc.

Bushwalking Trail Restoration:

Maintaining the Grand Strzelecki Track to ensure it is safe and accessible for reflection, recreation, sports and events that bring the community together and attract visitors to the area.


Happy Valley Hall

Happy Valley Tree Garden Track:

Construction of a pedestrian track that will open on to a central oval space at the Happy Valley Tree Garden in the Alpine region, helping develop a community space that is available for passive recreation, quiet reflection, community events and activities.


Kilmore Agricultural and Pastoral Society Inc.

Community Street at the Kilmore Show:

Celebrating, showcasing and promoting local community groups and their achievements through a “Community Street” initiative at the 2015 Kilmore Agricultural Show. Funds will support signage, catering for volunteers, and advertising.


Kinglake Ranges Children's Centre Inc.

Parent Education:

Continuing support for a facilitator for a successful Parent Early Education Program in Kinglake. In addition, this grant will assist the group to evaluate the program and develop longer-term funding arrangements.


Men's Shed at St Andrews

Improving Shed Accessibility, Safety and Appeal:

Enhancing access and creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for the local Men’s Shed. Funds will help purchase materials to construct a ramp and stairway and install an electric one person chairlift to assist those with mobility issues.


Nillumbik Community Health Service (Nillumbik Health)

St Andrews Health and Wellbeing Checks:

To help to reduce preventable diseases and hospital admissions as a result of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in the bushfire affected communities, this program will offer free Health and Wellbeing checks for all people living in the St Andrews, Panton Hill and Christmas Hills communities. It will include blood pressure checks, diabetes tests, and access to mental health support workers.


St Andrews Primary School

Young Musicians Rock:

The grant will help purchase ukuleles, guitars, drums, microphones, and stands for the music program at St Andrews Primary School. Participation in making music assists in building skills, self-esteem, confidence, resilience, and experience of children and young people.


St Andrews Primary School

Playing Around:

Funds will replace outdated and unsafe outdoor play equipment on the grounds of St Andrews Primary School to provide a playground that meets the developmental needs of children 5-12 years and create an area for local families to meet and socialise.


The Baldessin Press and Studio

The Print Project - Printing as Healing:

Three weekend workshops for artists from bushfire-affected communities will help artists to learn new skills, build networks and connections and strengthen the cultural identity of the region.


The Butterfly Studio Project

The Butterfly Studio CONNECT Program:

Funding will support the delivery of the Butterfly Studio CONNECT Program. This includes an art-based program; a general health and wellbeing program, the formation of an Art in Community Network, and the reintroduction of a community newsletter, all of which will increase participation in community art projects and health and wellbeing activities.


Toolangi Primary School

Sustainable Futures:

Upgrade the school garden, including levelling and surfacing slippery areas and the purchase of a tank, pump and irrigation system to improve safety, accessibility, sustainability and learning opportunities.



Total funds granted:



Community Group Futures




Ellimatta Inc

Ellimatta Sustainability Project:

By engaging a marketing and fundraising consultant to develop marketing and fundraising collateral, investigate fundraising initiatives, and implement a pilot community fundraising event, this project will help this youth service organisation to become more financially sustainable.


Ellimatta Inc

Ellimatta – Continuity of Youth Development Officer:

This grant will ensure the continued employment of a Youth Development Worker for two days per week for the next 18 months, so young people can continue to access support. This funding will also ensure Ellimatta can focus greater efforts on fundraising and putting strategies in place for greater financial sustainability.


Glenburn Hall and Progress Assoc Inc

Glenburn Growth Project:

Funds will support the installation of sound-absorbing panels in the roof of the Glenburn Hall. Improving the acoustics at the hall will make it more likely that older members of the community will participate in activities, keeping them connected and supported.


Mawarra Centre Inc.

Sustainable Disability Enterprises:

This project will engage a consultant to assess the viability of three disability employment enterprises in Gippsland that work with people with disabilities from fire-affected communities, and identify solutions to increase sustainability. The resulting reports will inform business planning and implementation, as well as decision-making about the future of the enterprises.


Mudgegonga Hall Reserve Committee Inc.

Power Upgrade Mudgegonga Hall:

Upgrading the power supply at Mudgegonga Hall, which is currently unreliable and inadequate for community activities held at the hall, will ensure the community has access to a fully functional meeting place for social activities, events, training, and disaster coordination, if needed.


St Andrews Community Centre Inc.

St Andrews Community Centre Re-establishment:

Supporting the employment of a coordinator for the newly reopened St Andrews Community Centre for the next 12 months. The Coordinator role will help to build community capacity via a program of volunteering, skill sharing, creating social networks and a vibrant community hub, as well as working on establishing more sustainable income streams.



Total funds granted:



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