RURAL SA communities are set to benefit from a share of more than $3 million in grants to help them combat future drought through the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal.
Overall, 60 rural not-for-profit organisations across Australia will share in the funding through the federal government's Future Drought Fund's Networks to Build Drought Resilience program.
In rural SA, $554,216 will be shared among seven locally-led initiatives that will help build resilience to drought.
The SA communities to receive funding are Loxton; Lameroo, Cleve, Keith & Minlaton; Marama; Penola; Streaky Bay; Tumby Bay and Wudinna.
Local projects include the Rural Women's Gathering 2022 in Streaky Bay; Improving Farmer Skills in Effective Communication and Digital Literacy at Tumby Bay; the revival of the Marama Community Hall; the University of SA will strengthen wellbeing and deepen social support in a drought-affected, agricultural-dependent community (Loxton) with the help of 'Wellbeing Warriors'; while Women Together Learning will launch the "100 billion reasons" program to upskill rural businesses in modern human resource leadership to prepare SA agricultural industries and rural communities for 2030.
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FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said the diversity in applications was what allows these programs to make a meaningful difference in local communities.
"We've seen community-led projects that address the needs of First Nations people, women and young people. It's this kind of tailored approach, responding to the unique challenges of each place, that will enable these communities to build long-lasting networks to build their enduring ability to manage the future impacts of drought," she said.
Ms Egleton also said that despite facing many challenges, these local organisations are committed to building a better future for their communities in the long run.
"Local leaders are so impressive," she said.
"Many groups were still dealing with the impacts of COVID lockdowns and restrictions, not to mention extreme weather events. These circumstances have left volunteers feeling very fatigued, and yet these rounds saw proposals for great ideas and innovative projects put forward.
"We're proud to partner with the federal government on this program, and grateful for the additional funding we have received from our many other donors.
"These partnerships are vital when it comes to equipping grassroots organisations with the resources, they need to ensure their regions can thrive into the future."
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