$1.4M in grant funding boosts drought-affected communities more available

Bendigo, 15 July 2019: As Australia’s on-going drought conditions continue to take a toll, it has never been more important for communities to come together to maintain morale. To help, the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is distributing over $1.4 million to 48 community groups in drought-affected regions across Australia, through its Tackling Tough Times Together grant program.

The Sea Lake Advancement Committee's mural

The funds will be shared throughout communities in NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia, with over half of the projects geared towards reducing volunteer fatigue and building organisational capacity for the groups that are such a valuable asset during tough times.

Tackling Tough Times together is funded with the collaborative support of more than 15 donors from government, philanthropy, business and individuals, including the Australian Government which committed $15M to be distributed over three years. Generous contributions have also been made by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, ANZ, Paul Ramsay Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund, Pratt Foundation, Australia Post, Westpac Group, The Snow Foundation, Henroth Group, Stockland CARE Foundation, Santos, Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation, NRMA, Rex Airlines and private donors from across the nation.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton explained that despite some reasonable rain in some areas, the drought is far from over, and there is significant need right across Australia.

“FRRR received more than 100 applications requesting over $4M for funding in this round of the Tackling Tough Times Together program. Most came from small, isolated rural communities that are really suffering as a result of the extended drought. When people don’t have the money to spend in small towns, or just a few families move away, businesses become really vulnerable and communities struggle to survive as there are less people available to pitch in and help.

“Schools are usually at the heart of small communities, and when times are tough, they often feel the brunt of it. Educational opportunities for children and young people were a key focus this round, with lots of wonderful initiatives to let kids be kids during what can be a really distressing time,” Ms Egleton said.

Another area where communities are seeking support is strengthening the capacity of local community groups. Volunteer fatigue is at an all-time high, and community groups are struggling to raise funds for day to day operational issues, like electricity bills and insurance, let alone the likes of governance training or bringing in external expertise.

“I was lucky enough to visit a recent Tackling Tough Times Together recipient, Theodore Community Link, who received a $12,000 grant to run a two-day workshop with its committee members, Chamber of Commerce and local Council,” Ms Egleton said.

“The session was designed to help develop the group’s leadership potential, and clarify their strategic direction, as well as explore structural options for group following a significant bequest. The external perspectives were an important part of laying the foundations for a community with a strong, clear vision. It was great to be able to support these local leaders who are working hard to create a thriving community able to withstand all sorts of challenges into the future.”

Some of the 48 projects awarded this round include:

  • Bush kids matter, Cobar NSW, $68,620 – The Cobar Mobile Children's Services will ensure 24 children on 11 isolated properties experience the optimal start to their education and are school-ready. For the older children, the Service fosters the importance of school engagement and learning by supporting student wellbeing. The grant funds will also be supporting the employment of two early childhood educators, which will also contribute to the economic recovery and renewal of the area.
  • Women on Farms Gathering 2020, Inglewood Vic, $20,000 - Kooyoora Women's Network Inc. to host the event that will see a collection of farming women from across Victoria come together to share their experiences and learn about alternative farming enterprises that diversify opportunities and build economic resilience, personal development, advocacy and, especially in these tough times, the importance of self-care.
  • Cotton Capital Country Music Muster, Wee Waa NSW, $34,915 - Promote social wellbeing and community cohesion through a community-wide event in October. The Muster encourages tourism and supports local business, showcasing the district’s attractions, while providing an opportunity for the community to come together in times of adversity.
  • Deepwater & Districts Community Radio Inc., Glen Innes NSW, $13,725 - Improve social connections and community information sharing by purchase new technology to enable 2CBD, the local community radio station in Glen Innes, to reliably broadcast live from events in the local community.
  • Glenmorgan Create & Make Workshop, Glenmorgan, Qld, $4,759 – The local QCWA branch will hold three creative workshops covering lampshade making, cheese making and bench seat making workshops. The workshops will bring the community together in an engaging and supportive environment, providing an opportunity for residents to learn new skills and support each other during this time of drought.
  • Lake King Hall rejuvenation project, Lake King WA, $56,400 - The Lake King Progress Association will refurbish the Lake King Hall into a more modern, user-friendly facility for all community groups and members in the wider Lake King area. Funds will be used to: repaint the walls of the hall, foyer, child health nurse’s room, supper room and stage; replace carpet in the foyer, supper room and child health nurses room; replace the current stage curtains which no longer meet safety standards; purchase new tables for functions; new fridges and new benches in the disabled toilet and stage holding areas; and install a new baby change area.

Groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply for funding to help their community come together to tackle the drought. The cut-off date for the next group of applications to be considered is 23 July, 2019 for funding to be received in September.

Local leaders should note that if funding is required for projects to be delivered in the first quarter of 2020, applications need to be received by 24 October, with EOIs for the $150K tier closing 10 September. 

More information on the Tackling Tough Times Together grant program is available on FRRR's website.

The full list of recipients is below. Jump to your state: Qld NSW | Vic | SA |Tas | WA






Up to $150,000

Cobar Mobile Children's Services Incorporated

Bush Kids Matter
Reduce social isolation and increase access to educational opportunities, through the provision of a mobile children’s service.



Up to $60,000

Burren Junction Hall Committee
Walgett Shire Council

Burren Junction Hall & Community
Support social inclusion by restoring the Burren Junction Hall, and build organisational capacity by facilitating workshops to scaffold and connect community organisations with a set of common goals.

Burren Junction


Cotton Capital Country Music Muster

Cotton Capital Country Music Muster 2019
Promote social wellbeing and community cohesion through the delivery of the Cotton Capital Country Music Muster including Cocktail party annually in October.

Wee Waa


Guyra Show Society

BBQ, Canteen and Bar Pavilion upgrade
Enhance community connectivity by upgrading the existing BBQ and bar pavilion at the Guyra showgrounds to incorporate a canteen and kitchen with cooking facilities.



Making Tracks Far West NSW Incorporated

Making Tracks Youth Engagement in Education and Employment
Increase self-esteem, community engagement and work readiness skills in disengaged youth through the delivery of the Making Tracks Program.

Broken Hill


Oberon and District Museum Society

Museum Machinery Pavilion
Preserve local history and community cohesion by the construction of a shed to display machinery of local significance within the grounds of the museum.



Woolomin Recreation Reserve Committee

Tamworth Regional Council

Woolomin Playground
Reduce social isolation for children and young people of the Woolomin village through the installation of a playground at the local recreation reserve.



Tullamore Central School P&C Association

A Play Space to Encourage Student Wellbeing, Resilience & Friendship
Reduce social isolation for children and young people by creating a social play area within the Tullamore Central School grounds.



Up to $20,000

Age of Fishes Museum

The Age of Fishes Museum’s free educational Fossil Club and school holiday activity days for children in the Central Western Region.
Provide educational activities for children of the Central Western NSW region through the delivery of a Fossil Club and school holiday activities program.



Baradine Preschool Incorporated

The Dusty Playground
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of the organisation by installing a rainwater tank and sprinkler system in the Baradine Community Pre School.



Black Springs Public School Parents and Citizens Association

Trailer to Support
Reduce volunteer fatigue by purchasing an 8m x 5m checker plate trailer for community use.

Black Springs


Bonalbo Central School Parents and Citizens Association

Livestock Based Learning
Develop awareness, knowledge and skills for students of Bonalbo Central School through the purchase of livestock scales for their agricultural program.



Carinda Diggers Hall committee
Carinda Rugby Union Incorporated

Dancing to Drought Resilience
Reduce volunteer fatigue by refurbishing the Carinda Town Hall floor.



Deepwater & Districts Community Radio Incorporated

2CBD Outside Broadcasting
Improve social connection and community information sharing by purchase of technology to enable 2CBD, the local community radio station in Glen Innes, to reliably broadcast live from events in the local community.

Glen Innes


Early Links Inclusion Support Service Incorporated

Holiday Happenings
Advance social welfare and participation for siblings and children with disabilities through the delivery of school holiday activities.



Quota International of Walcha Incorporated.

‘Walcha Sound Sights’ project
Reduce social isolation and facilitate strong social cohesion and connection by supporting the collection of local indigenous, farming and other historically relevant stories to be captured in the Soundtrails application.



Tamworth Toy Library Incorporated

A Renovation to Enhance Connection
Increase inclusion and improve amenity and visual appeal by renovating and restoring the Tamworth toy library.



Country Women’s Association of NSW

Renovation of wooden flooring in Trundle CWA Hall
Build community connectivity and capacity through restoration of the flooring at the Trundle CWA Hall.



Village Hall Players Incorporated

Can You Hear Us?
Promote community health and social wellbeing through the purchase of sound equipment to increase sound quality for performance in small town halls. 



We of the Nevertire

Nevertire Drought Breaker Ball
Reduce social isolation and provide relief from the effects of drought by hosting “Nevertire Drought Breaker Ball”.








Up to $150,000

The Jamestown Agricultural & Horticultural & Floricultural Society

Jamestown Regional Shearing, Wool Pavilion and Sheep Industry Education Centre
Promote the agricultural industry and increase engagement in learning and education through the construction of a multi-purpose facility that will incorporate an education centre and sheep shearing pavilion at the Jamestown Showgrounds.



Up to $60,000

Cambrai Agricultural Museum Incorporated

Cambrai Agricultural Museum Roof Restoration
Strengthen connection to place and community connectivity in Cambrai by replacement of the failing roof of the Cambrai Agricultural Museum and removal of accumulated debris.



Kimba Commuity Development Group Incorporated

Mosaic of Kimba's Iconic Species – Community Public Art Program
Reduce social isolation and invest in community infrastructure through the delivery of nine community workshops to assist in the design of a mosaic mural to be created and placed in the Kimba Town Centre Park.



Up to $20,000

Minnipa Progress Association Incorporated

Minnipa Community Hall Kitchen
Reduce social isolation, build community connectivity and capacity and support economic development
through the replacement of the Minnipa Hall kitchen.




Quorn Agricultural Show Society Incorporated.

Quorn Agricultural Show
Support opportunities for social and educational participation and address disadvantage caused by the drought for young people through the provision of children entertainment funding for the 2019 Quorn Agricultural Show.



Umeewarra Aboriginal Media Association Incorporated

Solar for Social Good
Strengthen operating viability and capacity through the purchase and installation of a solar system for the Umeewarra Radio 89.1FM.

Port Augusta







Up to $60,000

Balonne Shire Council

Restoration of the Nindigully Boomerangs
Enhance community identity and promote tourism by restoration and display of the original three boomerangs used on the set of the iconic Australian movie ‘Paperback Hero’ to coincide with the Nindigully Film and Music Festival.



Booringa Action Group Incorporated

Mitchell Visitor Information Centre Upgrade
Promote tourism and stimulate the local economy through the repurposing of an existing space within the Great Artesian Spa complex as a new Visitor Information Centre for Mitchell



Better in Blackall Incorporated

#Better in Blackall Festival
Promote community health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation through the delivery of the “Better in Blackall”, five-day festival.



Dirranbandi Progress Association

Dirranbandi business precinct Christmas beautification project
Strengthen community wellbeing and stimulate township beautification through the installation of permanent lighting and the creation of community Christmas decorations.



Up to $20,000

Central Highlands Science Centre Incorporated

Feasibility Study
Science Discovery Centre
encourage educational and social participation and stimulate tourism by commissioning a feasibility study into the tourism potential for the Central Highlands Science Discovery Centre in the proposed Emerald Arts, Culture and Technology precinct.



Downs and West Community Support
Sisters of Charity Community Care Limited

Dragonfly Health & Wellness Retreat
Advance health and wellbeing for 35 socially isolated farming women living in drought who have suffered recent loss of a loved one by delivering a three-day wellbeing retreat 20 to 22 September 2019.



Freestone Memorial Hall Association Incorporated.

Freestone Friday Friendlies
Provide the community with ongoing opportunities for social interaction by improving facilities at the Freestone Memorial Hall.




Laidley Agricultural and Industrial Society

Keep them in!
Maintain community recreational assets by replacing boundary fencing at the Laidley Showgrounds to ensure it is secure for community safety and aesthetically appealing for tourism.



QCWA Branch Glenmorgan

Glenmorgan Create & Make Workshop
Reduce social isolation through the delivery of three creative workshops to the village of Glenmorgan.



Ravenshoe Men's Shed Incorporated

Ravenshoe Men’s Shed Incorporated
Reduce social isolation, support community engagement and improve safety by improving infrastructure at the Ravenshoe Men’s Shed.



Yamsion Recreational Grounds Association Incorporated

Yamsion Hall Shed
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of the community through the installation of a 9m x7m steel shed with a concrete floor.



Yowah SES Group
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

Delivering Emergency Service training across the Shire
Strengthen emergency response and preparedness of SES volunteers throughout the Paroo, Bulloo, Quilpie and Murweh Shire Councils.










Up to $60,000

Corryong and District Memorial Public Hall Incorporated

Investing in community assets by upgrading power boards and power supply to the Corryong and District Memorial Hall.



East Loddon Food Share Program Incorporated

Food for Families
Advance social and public welfare through the distribution of food and care packages to families in need across Loddon, Campaspe, Buloke and outer Greater Bendigo regions.



Speewa Heritage Collectors Club Inc.

Stay Healthy Enduring Drought - S.H.E.D.
Preserve local history and increase social cohesion by constructing a shed adjacent to the Speewa Community Hall for the restoration, preservation and display of historic items.



Woodside and District Football and Netball Club Incorporated

Cooking Up the Kitchen
Increase amenity and functionality through an upgrade of the Woodside and District Football and Netball Club kitchen.

Woodside $56,000

Wycheproof Golf Club Incorporated

Wycheproof Golf kitchen amenities upgrade
Increase opportunity for social participation and connection by upgrading the amenities of the Wycheproof Golf Club kitchen. 



Up to $20,000

Kooyoora Women's Network Incorporated

Women On Farms Gathering 2020
Reduce social isolation through the delivery of the annual Women on Farms Gathering in Inglewood Victoria in March 2020.



Woorak Community and Land Management Group

Woorak Community Barbecue Trailer
Maintain social connectedness through the purchase of a barbecue trailer for community use.



Yarram Regent Theatre Committee of Management Incorporated.

Yarram Regent Theatre Facade Restoration
Enhance cultural heritage and encourage economic activity through the restoration of the deteriorating facade of the Yarram Regent Theatre.








Up to $60,000

Lake King Progress Association

Lake King Hall rejuvenation project
Support social cohesion in the community through rejuvenation of the Lake King Hall.

Lake King







Up to $20,000

Dolphin Sands Ratepayers Association Incorporated

Managing Bushfire Risk for Property Owners & Emergency Personnel
Improve bushfire readiness and reduce environmental pollution through the hire of a commercial size mulcher and operating crew to be used to reduce bushfire fuel.

Dolphin Sands


Privacy Policy

Website by CeRDI, in collaboration with JAW Communications and Twenty 20 Graphics