Grant funds support ongoing recovery from 2009 Victorian bushfires

Bendigo, 10 June 2015: More community groups will benefit from the latest funding from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s Grants for Resilience and Wellness (GR&W) program, which supports affected communities in their ongoing recovery from the 2009 Victorian bushfires. Five community groups will share $59,103 to implement their projects thanks to FRRR’s funding partner, the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund. To date the GR&W program has funded 71 projects, valued at $971,103.60.

The GR&W program provides assistance for community-strengthening and resilience-building projects for affected communities. It recognises that while the fires were in 2009, recovery is still ongoing and an important part of community recovery is having opportunities to connect, share experiences, enhance individual and community wellbeing and resilience.

The most common need this round is strengthening community connectedness, sense of place and community identity. The successful projects included community fitness activities, increasing the skills of female community radio presenters, supporting fire-affected women to attend a networking, mentoring and leadership development forum, and Landcare seminars to strengthen knowledge of local flora and fauna and provide opportunities for community members to come together. There is also a dedicated program to build resilience among children who experienced the fire. More details on each of the projects funded are below.

FRRR’s CEO, Alexandra Gartmann, said that the projects reflect the trends in the grant program over previous rounds, as well as the different ways of facilitating long term recovery.

“These grants highlight the need for long term and tailored support for different population groups including children, women and older people, and for the different needs of communities. One of the benefits of the grants program is the ability for communities to identify responses to these issues that are community-driven and specific to their particular context,” Ms Gartmann said.

Ms Gartmann 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), visit our website.

The projects funded in this round are detailed below:




Baynton-Sidonia Landcare Group

Baynton-Sidonia Landcare Group Seminar Series: 
A series of seminars on Landcare issues will bring together 50-100 people in the fire-affected areas of Sutton Grange, Redesdale, Glenhope, Barfold, Baynton, Pastoria and Sidonia. This project will help in building community resilience, as well as address practical landcare issues.


Beechworth Health Service


Healthy & Resilient Together (HART): 
This project targets 460 children in early childhood and primary school settings, 57 staff, and 388 families in the Indigo Hills district. It will help them to build resilience and address issues that have emerged since the fires.


Gippsland Women’s Forum (Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault)


Connecting Women in Gippsland Conference:
The ‘Connecting Women in Gippsland Conference’ will be held in November 2016 and supports women affected by the 2009 bushfires. The conference will strengthen their social networks.Funds will subsidise travel costs, provide transport from various locations around Gippsland, provide Auslan interpreters and socially inclusive venues.


Mitchell Community Radio Inc.

Women at Work – OKR FM Women’s Access Project: 
Women play an important role in recovery and fire preparedness. Engaging and increasing the skill base of more women as community radio presenters will help to strengthen the resilience of the community. Funds will be used to engage with women via local advertising and community outreach.


Toolangi District Community House Inc.


Community Fitness 3: 
This project will ensure the continuation of the successful community fitness program and the evaluation of its impact, with a view to sharing the lessons learnt with other communities.




For comment, contact Alexandra Gartmann or Natalie Egleton on 03 5430 2399 or email

About FRRR

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) was established in 2000. Its mission is to champion the economic and social strength of Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities through partnerships with the private sector, philanthropy and governments. Since inception, FRRR has managed the distribution of more than $51 million in grants and provided substantial capacity building support to community organisations across the nation. To find out more about FRRR, visit

(Picture via CSIRO)

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