Drought-affected rural communities share $1.2M in grants - more available

Bendigo 8 February 2019: More than $1.2M in grants will soon be making life a little bit easier for 43 drought-affected communities across Australia, following the latest distributions of the expanded national Tackling Tough Times Together program.

Drought-affected communities share $1.2M in grant funding

The grants, which are distributed by FRRR, are funded through the collaboration 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, Sidney Myer Fund, Pratt Foundation, Australia Post, Westpac Group, The Snow Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Santos, Aussie Farmers Foundation, Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation, NRMA, Rex Airlines and private donors from across the nation.

The successful community organisations, ranging from hall associations and local show societies to progress committees and environmental groups, will receive grants for projects that local leaders had identified as being important to help people come together and survive the drought.

FRRR CEO, Natalie Egleton, says the expanded program received more than 200 inquiries, confirming the need for support across the whole country, but especially in smaller communities.

"This is the first call for applications from across the country and we received inquiries from four states, confirming the reach of this drought. Not surprisingly, most were from NSW and Queensland," Ms Egleton explained.

"Nearly two-thirds of the applications came from communities of fewer than 5,000 people, with 33 of them from places of fewer than 500 people, so it's great to be able to support community groups in small towns where the opportunity for fundraising locally is limited.

"This is also the first time that we've offered three tiers of grants: small; medium-sized, and larger grants that can be delivered over multiple years. We received strong requests across all three tiers, but most were for the smaller grants, which reinforces our experience of small grants making a big difference to rural communities.

"Most requests were to support projects that reduce social isolation, build resilience and enhance community health and well-being, with the second most popular purpose being to enhance volunteer and organisational capacity," she explained.

A number of the projects referenced the importance of supporting economic activity in their region. The program is supporting a number of projects that develop skills to generate alternate income streams; increase tourism by beautification of local amenities; or support small business growth, which helps to retain the local population or create pathways to employment.

Grants have been made to South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and includes:

  • The Trustee for Cassilis War Memorial Park Land Manager will strengthen community engagement through the delivery of two-day “Working in Groups” workshop in the NSW Upper Hunter.
  • The Wilmington Progress Society Incorporated in South Australia will enhance community cohesion, improve the local economy, inspire and educate the community and provide an entertaining event by facilitating a family friendly fun fair.
  • Charlton’s streetscape will be beautified by the and encourage economic activity through removal of 80 drought and flood-affected damaged trees in the Victorian agricultural town.
  • To manage the dry times in Hovells Creek in NSW, the local Landcare group will improve environmental and economic outcomes for the region through the delivery of six regional educational and networking events.
  • Remote north-west NSW’s Moorambilla Voices program will have increased capacity with the fees covered for three mentors, including one new role, for three years who organise students, volunteers and communities to run annual music teaching workshops and residential camps.
  • A former aviation terminal at Charleville Airfield & WWII Museum in Queensland will be renovated to stimulate tourism and support local economic recovery.
  • The installation of a solar panel system for the Felton Hall in the Queensland Darling Downs will build community connectivity and capacity

There were a number of great projects that needed a little more work on the application, so FRRR staff will continue working with those groups who will be encouraged to reapply.

Groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to consider applying for funding for their community to help people come together to tackle the drought. The cut-off date for the next batch of applications to be considered is 20 February, but groups can apply at any time.

Jump to your state: Qld | NSW | Vic | SA






$20,000 projects

Alpha Show Society Incorporated


Alpha Show 2019

Build community resilience and strengthen local networks through activities and educational workshops at the Alpha Agricultural Show.




Charleville & South West Qld Show Society Inc.


The Rooftop Express Wild West Arena Spectacular

Provide the community with social interaction opportunities through the presentation of The Rooftop Express Wild West Arena Spectacular at the 2019 Charleville Show.




Charleville Airfield & WWII Museum Ltd.

Charleville Airfield & WWII Museum

Stimulate tourism and support local economic recovery by renovating a former aviation terminal, in preparation for its development into a museum as part of a Precinct Master Plan and tourism strategy.




Coominya Public Hall Committee Inc

Disabled Toilet and shower

Increase inclusion and improve amenity in Coominya through construction of a standard shower stall and an accessible toilet and shower at the Public Hall.




Felton Hall Association Inc.


Solar electricity generation and storage at the Felton Hall

Build community connectivity and capacity through the installation of a solar panel system. 




Ma Ma Creek Community Centre Inc

Accessibility to Ma Ma Creek Community Centre

Improve equity, inclusion and participation through upgrading public access to Ma Ma Creek Community Centre, and improving capacity to host events through the purchase of a new fridge.

Ma Ma Creek


Mungallala Progress and Sporting Association Inc.

Shade for the gym

Enhance physical wellbeing and reduce social isolation through the installation of a shade sail over the new outdoor gym.




Outback Gondwana Foundation Limited

Fit out of On-site Kitchen/Laundry &Facilities

Enhance and strengthen the economic resilience of remote communities by encouraging tourism through the purchase of equipment to fit out on-site accommodation kitchen, laundry & supporting facilities.




Red Earth Community Foundation South Burnett Limited

North Meets South - Continuing to Build a Leadership Bridge

Develop leadership capacity and resilience of five North Burnett community members through participation in a 6 day leadership program.

Bunya Mountains



South Burnett Community Orchestra

Heroes, Villains and Freddie Mercury - Fundraising for our Local Farming Heroes

Reduce social isolation and support opportunities for local musicians of all ages to undertake a series of free weekend music workshops and participate in a community concert and a dinner concert.





Topology Inc

Top Up Regional - Central Western Queensland

Encourage educational and social participation, whilst building local skills and resilience through a series of 12 art workshops, a 4-day creative Bootcamp and a free community performance in Central Western Queensland.




Yaraka Sports and Progress Association Inc

Community vehicle upkeep

Develop organisational resilience, support community infrastructure and reduce volunteer fatigue by providing funds for the maintenance, registration, insurance and management of Troop carrier vehicle.




$60,000 projects

Killarney Show and Rodeo Society Inc

Function Room (Supper Room) repairs and painting.

Support social inclusion by completing renovations on flood affected heritage listed supper room at the Killarney Showgrounds.



Red Ridge (Interior Queensland) Ltd

Dress the Central West Collaborative

Cultural engagement and creative self-expression exploring issues surrounding the impact of the drought during 48 workshops, culminating in four cultural events in the communities of Winton, Longreach, Barcaldine and Blackall.

Winton $60,000

New South Wales

$20,000 projects

Baradine P A and H Association

2019 Baradine Show; Lifting Community Spirit drought initiative

Reduce isolation, facilitate community connection, reduce volunteer fatigue and stimulate economic activity through enabling Baradine P.A & H Association to give free entry to the community for the 2019 Baradine Show.



Bogan Gate Golf Club Co-op Ltd

Cooking up a storm to rejuvenate Bogan Gate Golf Club's kitchen

Increase opportunity for social participation and connection through the refurbishment of the Bogan Gate Gold Club’s kitchen.

Bogan Gate


Boorowa Community Landcare Group Inc

Celebrate, Regenerate, Tackling Dry Times.

Support community engagement and drought resilience through Regenerative Ag’ Forum and Landcare activities. 



Carrawobitty Rural Retreat - Forbes Arts Society

Writing Retreat

Creative writing retreat, supporting people to create their own memoirs and share these with the community.





Drought Recovery GLENRAC Style - Glen Innes

Build skills, knowledge and confidence of the Glen Innes farming community through a series of 12 workshops focussing on drought management techniques, natural resources and sustainable agriculture.

Glen Innes



Gravesend Parents and Citizens Association


Music as Therapy

2Provide mental-health support for children from drought-affected families through providing a year long, weekly one-day music therapy program.




Grease and Oil Change Workshop

Grease and Oil Change

Support improved health and wellbeing through facilitated workshops focussed on mental and physical health.



Hovells Creek Landcare Group Incorporated

Managing the Dry times – current and future strategies for local Landcarers

Improve environmental and economic outcomes for the region through the delivery of six regional educational and networking events.

Hovells Creek



Outback Arts Incorporated

Weaving for Wellness

Increase local community access to and engagement with the arts, reduce social isolation and encourage community connection through the delivery of 2 day workshops, well-being talks and mentoring across 8 locations.




Sunset Strip Progress Association Inc.

Lake Menindee Community Foreshore Liveability Project

Improve liveability, social cohesion, vibrancy and tourism numbers by providing equipment to deliver bore water to maintain community lawns, Landcare Nursery and new restoration sites.  

Sunset Strip



Tamworth Regional Landcare Association

2019 North West Rural Leadership Program

Increase leadership capacity and skills in rural communities through nine day leadership program delivered over 16 weeks.




The Trustee for Ben Lomond War Memorial Hall Land Manager

A Night of Entertainment for those who have been impacted by the severe drought

Reduce social isolation by offering a no-expense night of food and comedic entertainment at the Ben Lomond war Memorial Hall for community members suffering heavily from the impacts of drought.

Ben Lomond



The Trustee for Cassilis War Memorial Park Land Manager

Delivery of "Working in Groups" workshop

Strengthen community engagement through the delivery of 2 day “Working in Groups” workshop.




Weethalle Show Society Incorporated

Weethalle Country Music Muster

Reduce social isolation and support economic recovery through a three-day Country Music Muster to be held in Weethalle in May 2019.




$60,000 projects


Alithia Learning Facilitator and Resources

Build primary school aged children's problem solving and creativity skills through resources that support children’s development via alternative holistic education program. 




Barraba Public Art Committee -

Barraba Community Incorporated

Barraba Public Art - Silo Project

Drive local tourism and enhance community arts and culture, through the creation of three large murals painted on large silos.




Cowra Business Development Group

Cowra Business Hub

Strengthen economic development and build financial literacy through creation of a business hub to provide access to IT and office space and upskill businesses and employees through mentorship and training programs.




Geurie Rodeo Committee Incorporated

The Geurie Racecourse and Recreation Reserve Revitalisation Project Stage 2

Enhance recreational facilities to meet OH&S guidelines at the Geurie Rodeo grounds.




$150,000 projects

Coonamble and Castlereagh District Landcare and Coonamble Neighbourhood Centre

Keeping it Together

Build a culturally vibrant and resilient community by facilitating inclusive, fun and relaxed events over three years.

Coonamble Gilgandra



Moorambilla Voices Ltd

Moorambilla's Regional Support Network

Increased capacity with the fees covered for three mentors, including one new role, for three years who organise students, volunteers and communities to run annual music teaching workshops and residential camps.



Western Murray Land Improvement Group

Barham Multidisciplinary Centre

To create the Barham Multidisciplinary Centre as a hub for innovation, collaboration and business development opportunities; to attract outside business and R&D organisations for the purpose of developing and demonstrating innovation; and encourage transformative, adaptive communities. The grant will be paid over three years.




$20,000 projects

Advance Sea Lake Inc


Sea Lake Arts Project

Link into local Silo Art Trail to drive local tourism through enhancing the streetscape with the addition of three large murals in Sea Lake’s business district.

Sea Lake



Murrabit Recreation Reserve Committee of Management

Murrabit Recreation Reserve Murrabit Market Food Preparation Upgrade

Reduce volunteer fatigue and build the capacity of the Murrabit Recreation Reserve Committee by improving the food preparation area at the Murrabit Market site.



Tarra Festival Committee


"Together, We are One"

Facilitate community connection and stimulate the local economy through supporting the delivery of the Tarra Festival.

Port Albert



$60,000 projects

North Central Garden Club


Beautify Charlton

Beautify town streetscape and encourage economic activity through removal of eighty drought and flood affected damaged trees.




Wattle Flat Progress Association Inc.


Restore and enlarge the water holding capacity of public reservoir on travelling stock reserve (TSR 28360) within the village

Improve water security and increase dam capacity by removal of silt and clean out of Wattle Flat Village Reservoir.

Wattle Flat



South Australia

$20,000 projects

Riverland Division of General Practice Incorporated

Mallee End of Harvest Night

Reduce social isolation by delivering an evening of mental health promotion, fun and entertainment, followed by two mental health first aid events, creating social connection and reducing the stigma of mental health services.



The Beltana Progress Association Inc

Festival of Small Halls support

Reduce social isolation and promote community connection through bringing the Small Halls Festival to Beltana.



Wilmington Progress Society Incorporated

Beautiful Valley Op Shop Family Fun Fair

Enhance community cohesion, improve the local economy, inspire and educate the community and provide an entertaining event by facilitating a family friendly fun fair.



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