Communities will be able to cope better with drought due to 38 projects gaining funding with the Tackling Tough Times Together program.
Thanks to Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewals the program will fund 38 community initiatives in remote, rural and regional communities across Australia each sharing in $1,316,217.
These projects will help local communities tackle the ongoing impacts of drought.
The TTTT program supports drought-affected regions of Australia by giving community groups and local not-for-profit organisations access to the resources they need to respond to, and recover from, long-term rainfall deficiencies.
This program has granted over $18 million (through rounds 1-22) to initiatives that are helping communities to tackle the tough times that come with drought.
The program is possible thanks to the support of several donors, including the Australian Government, which committed $15M to be distributed from 2019-2021.
FRRR's Chief Executive Officer Natalie Egleton said these grants will utilise the last tranche of Australian government funding.
"FRRR was grateful to have the support of the Government alongside 15 other donors, as that enabled this program to expand nationally, just at a time when the drought was spreading across the entire country," she said.
"While there have been good rains in places, there are many places that continue to experience severe drought, or are just coming out of drought.
"Enduring such prolonged dryness is really tough on these communities and their local industries.
"The pandemic has also meant that many of the fundraising initiatives and events that would normally have brought the community together and injected vital funds into the local economy haven't happened now for 18 months."
Ms Egleton said as a result of lack of fundraising some people are more socially-isolated than ever.
"That is why we are so pleased to be able to support these projects at a time when they need it the most," she said.
"Each of these remote, regional and rural communities has their own complex and individual needs, which is why it's crucial that their support and recovery efforts are community-led.
"The projects being funded in this round range from investing in infrastructure and building organisational capacity, to providing services and developing skills, which really highlights the diverse range of needs in these communities.
Among the groups being funded is Parachilna Community Association who are refurbishing a school building, so that it can be used as caretaker residence at the community caravan park.
This upgrade to local facilities will help Parachilna to attract tourists, which in turn will help to financially support the community.
The $44,643 grant means they can install and renovate a bathroom, kitchen and living room.
Another organisation receiving funding is Pikedale Community Inc for their Drawing Through Drought initiative.
This will fund a series of art classes in the rural, grazing community of Pikedale, west of Stanthorpe, which will allow the local community to meet, connect, refresh and ease the stress and mental fatigue caused by the hardship of prolonged drought.
Among the other projects funded this round include:
- Friends of Yantanabie Incorporated, SA - Yantanabie Hall Roof Restoration - $17,050 - The project aims to restore the roof of the Yantanabie Hall. A master builder has assessed that these repairs will ensure the structure remains safe for future generations and community use.
- Country Women's Association of NSW, Walgett NSW - Tranquillity - $13,860- To provide a green space of tranquillity that is accessible by wheelchair. Funds will be used for concreting the disability access and installing a rainwater tank and irrigation system for the garden.
- Cunnamulla & District Show Society Incorporated, QLD - Cunnamulla Show Society Multi-Purpose Function Centre, Stage 2 - $145,000 - The grant will be used to undertake stage 2 of the construction of the new, large multi-purpose function centre at the Showgrounds.
- Rupanyup & District Consultative Committee, VIC - Landscaping Rupanyup Community Space - $60,000 - To create a new community space in Rupanyup where community members can gather and relax. Funding will be used to clear the site, prepare garden beds, install access and paths, plant trees and shrubs, install an irrigation system, build seating and pergolas.
- Lake Grace Community Men's Shed, WA - We Need a Bigger Shed - $60,000 - This will double the members' workspace by adding another shed to the current one. The increased space will give them separate working areas and the option of including a mezzanine floor and a hoist in the future.
The full list of grant recipients and their projects are listed on the FRRR website.
In addition to the Australian government, generous contributions have also been made by The Pratt Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Snow Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Henroth Group and private donors from across the nation.
To join these donors, and support grants like this through FRRR, you can make a tax-deductible donation at frrr.org.au/giving/.
With recent rains in many areas, FRRR will take the opportunity to review the shape of the Tackling Tough Times Together program in the coming weeks, meaning the next round is likely to open early in the new year.
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