More funds for rural communities

$525,000 in grants available for nationwide groups
North East & Goulburn-Murray Farmer

THE Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) is offering more than $525,000 for grants to rural, regional and remote communities to address local community priorities.

Generous support from more than 15 partners means community groups nationwide will be able to apply for up to $5000 to support projects that strengthen their community.

Priority will be given to towns of 10,000 people or fewer.

“Rural, regional and remote communities are incredible places to live, work and raise families,” Natalie Egleton, chief executive officer of FRRR, said.

“However, population size, distance, and remoteness also present challenges and in some cases, greater disadvantage than their urban counterparts.

“Communities with strong local leaders, access to relevant health programs and services, and support services for the most vulnerable and marginalised are critical to strengthening and sustaining these communities.”

Ms Egleton says that while the program will remain as flexible as ever, the extra funds mean that money is available to support specific areas that have not had much support in recent years.

“One of the most under-funded areas that we uncovered in a recent review of FRRR’s impact over the past 16 years was support to strengthen the resilience and capacity of local, often volunteer-led, non-profit organisations,” she said.

“We are delighted that Australia Post has responded to this gap.”

Australia Post head of strategic partnerships and programs, Catherine McKean, said the organisation was pleased to be involved.

“We appreciate how important it is for rural, regional and remote organisations to have the right leadership capability to help form communities where everyone feels they belong, are valued and respected,” said Ms McKean.

Another area that will receive more focus is health and wellbeing, thanks to the John T Reid Charitable Trusts.

A long-term partner, this year FRRR was the recipient of a 60th anniversary grant to help improve health and wellbeing outcomes.

Since inception, FRRR has managed the distribution of more than $80 million in grants and provided substantial capacity building support to community organisations across the nation.

Applications close on September 26.

For examples of the full range funding option, and to see if your organisation is eligible for funding, visit the Small Grants page on the FRRR website.

More farming news and stories can be read in the September, 2018 print edition of North East & Goulburn-Murray Farmer or click here to access digital editions.