Grants help communities rally against drought pressures

Bendigo, 23 October 2019: Thirty-seven drought-affected communities across Australia are sharing in $1,221,170 in grant funding as part of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal's (FRRR) Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program.

The toll of The Big Dry stretches beyond the natural environment

In addition to the environmental effects of The Big Dry, the impact of the drought in small rural and regional economies and on people's wellbeing is equally as devastating – something these TTTT grants will assist in alleviating. During these tough times, funds for the basics like social events, school excursions and something as simple as a haircut is not available, which can lead to isolation and poorer mental health.

"Despite the considerable pressures of the drought, communities are rallying and looking for ways to bring people together both from within their community and from outside, with several grants awarded for event-based projects," explained Natalie Egleton, FRRR CEO.

"It's encouraging to see communities looking for ways to maintain their connectedness and continue to celebrate their towns during these dry times. FRRR is really pleased to assist them in bolstering these events, which create a very positive impact, be it through diversifying the local economy, or improving social wellbeing."

In many communities, tourism offers a significant economic lifeline during drought. Several grants in this announcement will go towards improvements to facilities and events that attract tourists, providing an economic boost to rural communities and small business during this period of reduced spending by the local agricultural sector. Volunteers and communities are experiencing fatigue from fundraising, and local businesses are also impacted, unable to extend their support to provide sponsorship and support to local events.

"Community groups are a vital part of the social and economic fabric of these towns and investing in their sustainability will benefit the whole community. So, we're pleased to be able to inject a small amount of funds towards improving amenities and organisational capacity that make the role of the volunteer easier and more efficient," says Ms Egleton.

Around a third of applications were from communities of less than 500 people, while demand for grants was highest in communities of fewer than 5,000 people. Some of the 37 projects awarded this round include:

  • Pulling it all Together, Brewarrina Aboriginal Corporation, NSW –  $149,708 – Strengthen the organisation's capacity, capability and sustainability by employing a Project Coordinator to support the Management Committee of the Brewarrina Aboriginal Cultural Museum Trust to develop a number of social enterprise opportunities that provide income to ensure ongoing financial sustainability.
  • Enhancing the Rainbow on the Plains Festival, Hay Mardi Gras Incorporated, NSW – $46,075 – Support inclusion and celebrate cultural diversity through the Rainbow on the Plains Festival by funding entertainment, equipment hire and employing an Executive Officer to promote the Festival, attract sponsorship through business partnerships, complete administrative tasks and financial reporting.
  • Longreach School of Distance Education (SODE) Home Tutor Workshop 2020, Longreach SODE P&C Association, QLD – $12,500 – Support lifelong learning and education through a three-day home tutoring workshop for parents, tutors, students and staff to strengthens teacher / home educator networks and mentor home educators. It will also allow students to spend time with their peers and work face-to-face with their teachers. The project gives respite to families on drought-affected properties and is a successful proven model that supports isolated remote families.
  • Reviving Community Spirit in Wanaaring, Wanaaring Rodeo and Gymkhana Club Incorporated, NSW – $16,000 – Promote individual and community health and social wellbeing by supporting infrastructure development, security, ambulance attendance fees and insurance, thereby enabling OH&S compliance for the Wanaaring Gymkhana event in 2020.
  • Audio-Visual Upgrade, Birchip Community Leisure Centre, VIC $20,000 – Build community resilience through the purchase and installation of a new audio-visual system. The system will include screens, projectors, transmitters, receivers, audio processor, ceiling speakers, amplifiers, microphone and wall-mounted equipment rack to ensure compatibility with modern electronic equipment.


R14 Grant map

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

Applications for this program are always open and groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply for funding to help their community come together to tackle the drought.

The next cut-off dates for applications are:

  • 25 February 2020. EOIs for the $150,000 tier must be received by 12 December 2019 – outcomes advised late May, 2020.

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

Jump to your state: NSW | SA | QLD | VIC






Up To $150,000

Brewarrina Aboriginal Corporation

Pulling it all Together
Build the capacity, capability and sustainability of the Brewarrina Aboriginal Corporation by employing a Project Coordinator.



Up To $60,000

Gravesend Community Group Incorporated

Gravesend Town Hall Upgrades
Support social cohesion and community connectivity in Gravesend through the restoration of Gravesend Community Hall.



Hay Mardi Gras Incorporated

Enhancing the Rainbow on the Plains Festival
Support inclusion and celebrate cultural diversity through the Rainbow on the Plains Festival.



ICPA NSW Moree Branch
Isolated Children's Parents Association of NSW Incorporated

ICPA NSW State Conference Moree 2020 - The Heart of Communities
Support community connectedness and resilience and reduce volunteer fatigue by providing access to, and support for, the annual State Isolated Children's Parents Association of NSW (ICPA) NSW conference in Moree.



Tenterfield Show Society Incorporated

Tenterfield Show Society Community Infrastructure Project
Improve facilities at the Tenterfield Showground, equip a pantechnicon for wide community use and provide entry fee waivers and free entertainment for people attending the 2020 Tenterfield Show.



The Scout Association of Australia NSW Branch

Connecting Together for Regional Scouts
Support community volunteers to stay connected by proving digital connectivity with wi-fi and laptops for 45 Scout groups across NSW.



The Spring Ridge Country Club Ltd

Clubhouse Upgrade and Renovation to Ensure Safety and Structural Soundness of Building
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase the capacity of the organisation and community through the renovation of the Spring Ridge Country Club facility.

Spring Ridge


Trundle Central School P&C Association

Trundle Express (11-Seat Toyota Bus)
Support educational participation for children and young people and address disadvantage exacerbated by drought through the purchase of an 11-seat Mini bus.



Wirrinya Progress and Sports Association Incorporated

Resilient Wirrinya - Supporting a Vibrant & Proactive Rural Community
Reduce volunteer fatigue, build the capacity and increase opportunity for community participation and connection through the refurbishment of the Wirrinya Hall.



Up To $20,000

Ashford Central School P&C Association Incorporated

Rural Shindig 2019
Reduce social isolation through the delivery of the "Rural Shindig 2019" evening meal and entertainment in November at the Ashford Showgrounds.



Binya P & C Association

Updating Binya Public School's Technology to Improve the Learning Outcomes of our Students
Enhance educational participation for children and address disadvantage through the upgrade of technology at the Binya Public School.



Dunedoo Sports Club Ltd

Tunes on the Turf (TOTT)
Reduce social isolation and stimulate local economic renewal through the delivery of Tunes on the Turf, a three-day music festival in Dunedoo.



Gunnedah Meals on Wheels Association

Health and Wellbeing Days for the Ladies of the Land
Reduce social isolation of the women of Gunnedah by hosting a series of "Health and Wellbeing days for the ladies of the land" from January 2020 to June 2020.



Lyndhurst Soldiers Memorial Hall and Village Committee Incorporated

Audio-Visual Purchase and Installation
Increase learning and social engagement in the community by purchasing audio-visual equipment for Lyndhurst Memorial Hall.



Mulga Bill Festival Incorporated

Banjo Paterson Museum Sculpture
Strengthen the Yeoval community's Banjo Paterson exhibition, and attract more visitors through the design and construction of a bronze Banjo Patterson sculpture.



Walgett District Sporting Club

Walgett Community Comes Together
Reduce social isolation and enhance community wellbeing through the delivery of a free "Come and Try" day of sports and other family friendly activities for Walgett and surrounding districts.



Wanaaring Rodeo and Gymkhana Club Incorporated

Reviving Community Spirit in Wanaaring
Reduce social isolation and build community engagement through re-establishment of camp draft event.




Up To $60,000

Eudunda Business & Tourism Association Incorporated

Silo Murals
Stimulate local economy and create tourism-driven town revival through Silo Mural and linked Art Trail to the Colin Thiele Gardens.



Pekina Community Association Incorporated

Encouraging Community Interaction During Tough Times with Improved Facilities at the Pekina Community Centre.
Increase comfort and amenity for community events and activities held at the Pekina Community Centre through upgrade to air conditioning, restrooms and kitchen.



The Flinders Ranges Council

Flinders Ranges Arts and Stage Project
Invest in community infrastructure and equipment through the purchase of a portable stage for all communities in the Flinders Ranges Shire Council and enhance local access to services and activities through the provision of three Pierre Ulric Magician performances in Quorn and Hawker.



The Mount Remarkable Agricultural Society

Sustainable Water Storage Facility for the Melrose Showgrounds
Increase the Melrose community’s resilience to drought through the construction of a sustainable water storage facility.



Up To $20,000

Blanchetown District Hall Incorporated

Blanchetown Hall Air Conditioner Replacement
Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase the capacity of the organisation through the replacement of air conditioning at the Blanchetown District Hall.



Cradock Heritage Group - The Flinders Ranges Council

Cradock Memorial Garden Community Shelter
Enhance the sense of place and belonging of the community through the installation of picnic tables, seating and shade in the Cradock Memorial Garden.




Up To $60,000

Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum Incorporated

Painting Grain Silos at Meandarra
Support local economic renewal and recovery through the creation of the Meandarra Silo Art installation on the GrainCorp Silos of Meandarra.



Proston and District Heritage Association Incorporated

Construction of an Outdoor Performance Stage and Delivery of Creative Poetry & Writing Workshop
Enhance the Proston community identity through the construction of a community performance stage and document their history in a book to celebrate their centenary. 



Up To $20,000

Barney View Community Church Incorporated

Barney View Fence Rehabilitation
Reduce volunteer fatigue and enhance community pride through the rebuilding of the fence at the Mount Barney Uniting Church grounds including a front and back entrance with gates and transportation of a pre-purchased shipping container for storage for special events.

Barney View


Injune District Tourism Association Incorporated

C17 Locomotive Restoration and Preservation
Boost tourism and stimulate local economy via restoration of historically significant locomotive display.



Light Up Longreach

Light Up Longreach
Promote community cohesion and engagement through the provision of decorations in the business centre of town and park, and to hold a number of free community events.



Longreach SODE P&C Association

Longreach School of Distance Education Home Tutor Workshop 2020
Support lifelong learning of remote distance educated children, with provision of a three-day workshop for parents and home educators.



Millmerran Ministers Association - Millmerran District Hospital Auxiliary Incorporated

Millmerran Christmas Carols
Facilitate and promote social inclusion, wellbeing and community cohesion through support of catering and local entertainment at the annual community event.



St George
Isolated Children's Parents' Association - Qld Incorporated

Breaker Camp 2019
Support social, cognitive and emotional skill development of remote children through access to educational activities at school camp.

St George


Stamford Race Club Incorporated

Stamford - Racing into the Future - Canteen Upgrade
Increase opportunity for social participation and connection by upgrading the canteen amenities of the Stamford Race Club.



Stanthorpe Festival Association Incorporated

Weeroona Park Wine and Food Fiesta Kids' Zone
Reduce volunteer fatigue and create capacity by supporting fencing, shade tents and children’s entertainment and activities at the 2020 Weeroona Park Wine and Food Fiesta Kids Zone.




Up To $60,000

Nullawil Progress Association

Nullawil Streetscape Enhancement Project
Enhance economic renewal through the development of a shaded picnic area at the Nullawil Silo Art observation site by October 2020.



Up To $20,000

Birchip Leisure Centre

Birchip Community Leisure Centre – Audio-Visual Upgrade
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the organisation's capacity by upgrading the audio-visual system.



Donald Learning Group Incorporated

Food for Thought
Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of the Donald Learning Group through the upgrade of kitchen facilities.



Gateway Beet Incorporated

Lighting Up
Enhance local tourism and community awareness through the installation of an LED digital sign for the promotion of local attractions, events, activities, alerts and happenings.



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