Drought affected Qld and NSW communities receive support

Low dam cracked earth fenceline into distance in the dam

Drought-affected residents in more than 50 communities will soon be able to access local support to tackle the ongoing - and in many cases worsening - drought across Queensland and northern New South Wales, thanks to grants from FRRR funded by several generous donors.

The projects the grants fund are wide ranging: from social events like movie screenings and concerts; to workshops to enhance mental health skills, learn craft skills or improve natural resource management; and infrastructure like fitness equipment or stockyards so people can participate in community events. In total, community groups will share $386,973.50.

The 20 grants, which range from $7,600 to $50,000 come from FRRR’s Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program, which is funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Yulgilbar Foundation, Aussie Farmers Foundation and FRRR.

The diversity of projects reflects the different needs of local communities, explains FRRR’s CEO, Alexandra Gartmann.

“This program has the flexibility to help communities implement initiatives they know will work in their area. While they differ widely, they are all designed to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of drought-stressed rural and remote communities, reduce social isolation and/or build community capacity to cope now and in the future,” she said.

“Most of the applications for small grants came from small communities, with more than half of those requesting up to $10,000 from towns with a population of fewer than 1,000 people. These groups really struggle to raise funds locally, so this kind of program plays an important role,” she said.

FRRR has also awarded a number of larger grants, designed to support more people across a larger area, or to have a longer-term impact.

“A fantastic example of a larger grant is the Mundubbera Baptist Church which is purchasing an inflatable movie screen. This will help in building community capacity, as well as taking the locals away from their everyday situation to enjoy a movie and relaxation,” said Ms Gartmann.

Tackling Tough Times Together is a rolling program, and we are currently considering another 28 applications. The next round of applications for grants of up to $10,000 will be assessed after 6 March, 2015. FRRR encourages community groups to review the TTTT guidelines and submit an application.

The complete list of projects funded in these last two rounds is available below. They are split between large grants and smaller grants. With the projects funded in the first round, this means that in the last six months, FRRR has provided grants valued at $512,170 to 35 projects.

Round 2: large grants, up to $50,000

  • Seven projects received large grants to the overall value of $264,950.


Project Title



Wallangra Recreation Reserve Trust

Not Quite Baroque (Broke!) at Wallangra

A two day festival in Wallangra will celebrate the resilience of several small bush communities, involving a series of creative art and music workshops for local school children, workshops for adults and a music concert for the whole community.



Croydon Rodeo and Campdraft Association Inc.

Drought Breaker

A free community event in Croydon on the 2015 Easter weekend which will include a motivational guest speaker, a comedian and a high profile musical act. The event will attract between 250 to 500 people from across the Croydon Shire and allow the community to socialise, have fun, relax and recharge. The Allied Health professionals will be at the event and offering free advice, support and a referral service.


Scripture Union Queensland

"Find Your Voice" Camp Cobbold 2015

Camp Cobbold in 2015 will bring together families and individuals from remote and isolated communities and offer them much needed respite away from their drought affected properties. The grant will cover meals and accommodation.


Waggamba Landcare Group Incorporated

United We Rise - Resilience, Reflection & Re-connection

A range of events will be held over 12 months across the Goondiwindi Regional Council. The variety of events will improve the wellbeing and mental health of participants through directly relieving issues such as stress, isolation and financial strain through providing information and entertainment.


Mundubbera Baptist Church

Movies for the Bush

An inflatable movie screen will be purchased and used by six communities across the North Burnett region. The equipment will allow remote and rural communities to hold family friendly events that reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing.


Queensland Murray-Darling Committee Inc.

Naturally Resourceful

Workshops will support women in drought affected communities of Oakey, Millmerran and St George. The workshops aim to increase the capacity of rural women to effectively deal with natural resource management issues and empower them to lead positive change on their own properties and within their own communities.


Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women's Network Inc.

Who's Gonna Do it For You? Not Just Wishing & Hoping

This program invites year 8-12 students from secondary schools and youth organisations to explore the impacts of drought on their communities and develop these ideas into five minute YouTube clips. The project offers a positive opportunity for young people to creatively articulate their concerns and showcase their abilities.



Round 3: smaller grants - up to $10,000

  • Thirteen projects received TTTT small grants to the overall value of $122,023.50.


Project Title



Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (South Eastern Section)

Pitt Stop & Pearls

The Royal Flying Doctors Service will offer free health screenings for men and women at the Field Day using their aero­medical simulator.


Bush Children's Education Foundation of NSW Incorporated

Breaking Bush Barriers

This project will rebuild their website, update their marketing material and purchase a computer and printer to better support rural families and provide a better service to both donors and beneficiaries.



Community Radio of Wondai Association Incorporated

“On The Road Again” with CrowFM

The radio station will purchase a van to safely and efficiently transport their outside broadcasting equipment to community events.


Conservation Farmers Inc.

Building Family Business & Social Capital in a Regional Agricultural Community

The project will establish a grower group of up to 30 farmers from the region, focused on achieving an increase in the resilience of farming families across the Western Downs region.


Dirranbandi Arts Council Inc.

Workshop Without Worries: Building Community Resilience

The Arts Council will run a series of hobby and craft workshops including smoking meats, furniture restoration, millinery, mosaics and comedy.


Goondiwindi and District Community Garden

Harvesting Drought - Harvesting Rain

The community garden will purchase a water tank, generator, pipes and fittings, and undertake a Water Management Project that will support the garden to become more self-sufficient and sustainable.


Hungerford Sports Association Inc.

Multipurpose Stock Yards for Hungerford Sports Ground

The Association will construct steel stockyards at the Hungerford Sports Ground to improve the facilities and make it easier for participants attending key annual community events to bring their animals.


Oak Park Sport & Recreation Club Inc.

“Re-energise Me” Rural Retreat

The Club will host the ‘Re-energise Me’ Rural Retreat, including a relaxation expert, psychologist, yoga instructor and local health workers to run a series of wellbeing activities over a weekend.


October Moon Festival Inc.

Outback Moon Festival 2015 Extravaganza!

The Outback Moon Festival in Richmond will showcase local talent and bring a popular musical act to town, providing entertainment for the whole family.


Paroo Shire Council

Cunnamulla Community Conquers Cloudless Skies

The ‘Cunnamulla Community Conquers Cloudless Skies Concert’ will feature a popular musical act, entertainment for children and a range of stalls offering financial and health support services.


Prairie Primary P & C Association

Fighting Fit in Prairie

The P&C Association will install permanent fitness equipment in the Prairie School grounds to enable the small community to improve their fitness and wellbeing in a fun and relaxed environment.


Roughlie Community Centre Inc.

It Started with a Shed

A new shed will be built to create a community meeting place in Roughlie.


Tambo Arts Council Inc.

Tambo Gen West Exhibition

An exhibition of young people’s artwork from across the Central West. Aside from exhibiting works, young people will also be involved in the event management including opening night preparations, entertainment, food and drinks service and set up and pack up of the exhibition. 



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