Deeply disadvantaged communities share $60,000 in grants

7 June 2017: The John Wallis Foundation and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) today announced that 23 projects across Australia will share $61,843 from the 2017 Addressing Deep & Persistent Disadvantage Small Grants Program.

Taking a community development approach, this national, place-based program targets regions of persistent community disadvantage. It does this by providing grants of up to $3,000 to support projects that are small, locally-driven and can be completed within twelve months.

John Wallis Foundation

The aim of the funding is to help build capacity within communities to deal locally with the issues surrounding disadvantage; and to strengthen local leadership.

Liz McAloon, Executive Officer of the John Wallis Foundation said the program was specifically designed to respond to the issues raised in the 2015 Dropping off the Edge (DOTE) report commissioned by the Jesuit Social Services and Catholic Social Services Australia.

“The DOTE report revealed that complex and entrenched disadvantage is experienced by a small number of communities across Australia, with few signs of improvement over the past 15 years. The 23 grants we’ve funded this year confirms there is capacity within the local community to address entrenched disadvantage. With the right support, these locally-led organisations can be creative and focus on those who most often ‘drop off the edge’,” Ms McAloon explained.

Grant recipient Les Wallam, CEO, Woolkabunning Kiaka Incorporated said that this kind of program is critical to achieving locally impactful projects that directly address local issues and needs.

“This grant will allow us to complete the Roelands Village Bush Foods, Plants & Memorial Garden, which will impact several levels. The creation of a memorial Indigenous bush garden will not only provide a healing space for Stolen Generation members, but also help 12 youths to develop new skills, making them more employable and better equipped to engage with their education. The garden will be an important space for the broader community to come together and learn about the local Indigenous identity, culture and history,” Mr Wallam explained.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, said small grants play an important role in rural and regional Australia and are a good way to help address some of the issues raised in the DOTE report.

Grant Map

“Rural and regional communities face many challenges and experience many gaps in services and infrastructure. Small grants help to address local issues and priorities and enable community groups to implement local solutions to local problems. The John Wallis Foundation’s support of communities through this program ensures the locals have control over what their community needs, which is particularly important for addressing persistent disadvantage,”

The John Wallis Foundation’s investment is widely distributed across regional Australia, with the exception of the NT, as no applications were received.

Details of the projects the 2017 recipients are undertaking are below.





Forster Neighbourhood Centre Inc

The Worimi Elders Oral History Project

Improve school engagement and grades by supporting 43 Grade 5 and 6 Aboriginal students to record the oral history and culture of Worimi Elders.

Forster, NSW


Older Men's Network Inc

Permaculture In The Park

Improve health and wellbeing in a low-income neighbourhood by providing free access to fresh produce and accessible horticultural training.

Westdale, NSW


NSW Service for the Treatment of and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)

Multicultural Youth Social Inclusion and Leadership Workshops

Enhance leadership skills and well-being for 30 young refugee people with 16 weekly workshops building an inclusive and culturally rich community.

Coffs Harbour, NSW



Swansea Community Cottage Inc

Life After Nappies

Empower new young parents to re-enter the workforce by delivering a series of workshops over 20 weeks, assisting them in their transition beyond the early stages of parenthood.

Swansea, NSW



St Vincent De Paul Society NSW Wilcannia Forbes Central Council Office

Good Start Breakfast Program & Uniform Assistance

Encourage school attendance and learning capacity by offering uniform assistance and delivering a breakfast program for kindergarten to year 12 students.

Lightning Ridge, NSW


Women's Resource Centre (Southern Women's Group Inc)

Women's Wellbeing

Empower disadvantaged women with self-care skills and self-confidence through wellbeing workshops to overcome personal challenges, such as abuse, violence, isolation, mental ill-health and poverty.

Bega, NSW



Babinda District Community Association

Computer Upgrade for Free Community Training Programs

Purchase new IT equipment to allow free community training programs to support the skills development of local job-seekers, thereby reducing barriers to employment and building lifelong learning.

Babinda, QLD



Uniting Care Community

Woorabinda Women’s Leadership Camp

Cultivate healthy and safe relationships, gender equality and leadership skills by running a two-day women's leadership course.

Woorabinda, QLD



Wujal Wujal Justice Group Indigenous Corporation

Healing On Country - Closing the Gap cultural exchange

Boost community pride and local understanding with a cultural exchange program between Wujal Wujal young people and Rivermount College students.

Wujal Wujal, QLD



Gawler Neighbourhood House Inc

Community Art Therapy and Wellbeing

Reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing by supporting a year of Art Therapy sessions for adults living with significant mental health issues.

Gawler, SA

$ 1,200


Mallee Park Football Club

Wombat Pitt Upgrade

Strengthen community pride and identity with the upgrade of a significant Aboriginal cultural meeting place used for healing, socialising and cultural exchange.

Port Lincoln, SA

$ 3,000


Tenison Woods College

Riding for the Disabled

Foster community participation for intellectually disabled students through horse riding lessons, supporting therapeutic advances, motor skills and co-ordination building.

Mt Gambier, SA

$ 1,800


The Emu Tree (Finding Workable Solutions)

Emu Tree on KI

Inspire self-esteem, career aspirations and music skills development for vulnerable local young people by running music and digital recording workshops.

Kangaroo Island, SA

$ 3,000

Glenhaven Family Care Inc

Parent and Child Cooking

Improve local families' life skills, health and education outcomes by running parent and child cooking classes, showcasing low-cost healthy eating options.

Sheffield, TAS

$ 2,900

Rural Alive and Well (RAW)

Toolkit Training

Increase local capacity to support people at risk of suicide with mental health first aid training for 20 members of the Derwent Valley and Bothwell Communities.

Oatsland, TAS

$ 3,000


Ballarat Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support Network (Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council Inc)

WestVic Welcome

Support newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers experiencing severe hardship across the region by providing supportive resources and other fundamental aid relief.

Ballarat, VIC

$ 3,000


Kyabram Community and Learning Centre Inc

Homework Club Kyabram

Inspire Indigenous and other vulnerable students to maintain their studies and engagement in school by participating a supportive homework club.

Kyabram, VIC

$ 3,000

Tatura Community House (Lions Club of Tatura Inc)

Vocational Training for The Youth of Tatura

Drive employment opportunity and skills development for young people and enable a new social enterprise activity by purchasing a coffee-machine.

Tatura, VIC

$ 3,000


Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services

Learning English Across the Life-Span

Improve access to community resources, services and participation for newly arrived refugees by purchasing resources to support English classes.

Bendigo, VIC

$ 2,930


Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association

Community Transport Support

Boost self-esteem and access to weekly cultural program and other support services for local isolated Indigenous residents by employing a bus driver for a year.

Hastings, VIC

$ 2,363


Enterprise Learning Projects

Weaving Revival Support Kalumburu Community

Enable 10 remote Indigenous women to start their own small scale enterprise and connect with culture through the delivery of a week-long intensive weaving revival camp.

Kalumburu, WA

$ 3,000


Wongan Hills Therapy Group

A Yearning for Learning - Providing Intensive Learning Support for Kids Who Need it Most

Provide intensive learning support in science, environment and sustainability, the arts and basic sports for special needs and disadvantaged children with an extra-curricular Saturday morning learning program.

Wongan Hills,


$ 3,000

Woolkabunning Kiaka Inc

Roelands Village Bush Foods / Plants & Memorial Garden

Develop education and employment skills for twelve youth by providing a healing space for Stolen Generation members and supporting the creation of the memorial Indigenous bush garden.

Roelands, WA

$ 3,000


Total: $ 61,843

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