Twelve years on from the devastating 2009 Victorian bushfires, the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is offering another round of funding to support impacted communities as they continue to rebuild, reconnect and recover.
Supported by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF), the funding is available through FRRR’s Grants for Resilience & Wellness (GR&W) program. The grants of up to $20,000 will support not-for-profits and community-based organisations to lead projects that aid recovery and build community resilience.
The GR&W program fund initiatives that improve mental health and wellbeing of communities and individuals; enhance wellbeing and resilience of pre-school, primary and secondary school-aged children and young people; strengthen community connections, sense of place and community identity; and increase the community’s ability to prepare for future disasters.
To date, FRRR has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to local groups, thanks to VBAF funding.
The finance comes from the general public’s generous contributions following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. Through this round of funding there is a total of $360,000 available for GR&W grants.
Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that the impact of COVID-19 has increased the need to support recovering communities to reconnect socially and continue to enhance their wellbeing.
“Despite the restrictions that the pandemic has put on people coming together, local groups report services and activities that enhance wellness and resilience are still well attended,” Ms O’Brien said.
“One program funded twice previously by FRRR, the Be Well in the Ranges program, has been fully booked out, and the Yinnar Memorial Hall exercise group continues to attract 30-40 participants each week.
“The GR&W program provides flexible support to respond to issues as they emerge. More than a decade since the fires, communities are focusing on building resilience for the future.”
Potential applicants should visit frrr.org.au/funding/disaster-resilience-and-climate-solutions/ to review the guidelines before applying.
FRRR is the only national foundation specifically focused on ensuring the social and economic strength of remote, rural and regional communities.
Its unique model connects common purposes and investment with locally prioritised needs, to create communities that are vital and resilient.
Since FRRR’s start in 2000, it has delivered nearly $115 million to more than 11,000 projects.