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More than $1.2M in grants awarded to help tackle the Big Dry

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The Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal has awarded $1,264,396 in grants to 29 projects that will support communities across the country that are experiencing prolonged rainfall shortages. The funding is through its award-winning grants program, Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT).The grants will help drought-impacted regions access the resources needed to bring people together, so they can feel connected and supported. These places, like many parts of remote, rural and regional Australia, continue to face the real and persistent challenges caused by Australia’s Big Dry. Despite rainfall across some areas, these extended dry periods and long-term rainfall deficits may continue for some time.

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, said that the TTTT program encourages communities experiencing the Big Dry to take the lead in their recovery and renewal.

Many places facing long-term rainfall shortages have seen their local economy hit. These resilient communities are finding ways to strengthen their economy and encourage local spending and tourism. For Orroroo Carrieton, the District Council is boosting the local economy by developing the Black Rock Wool Press Rotunda as a local attraction. The Rotunda will showcase local historic artifacts including the restored Black Rock Wool Press.

“Other places like Washpool in South Australia and Cecil Plains in Queensland, are renewing their regions by upgrading local facilities to give people a place where they can come together in safety and comfort.

“We are delighted to be able to award these grants to help turn local ideas into reality. We know it’s challenging to get these projects off the ground in the midst of a pandemic, especially when many are dealing with reduced local fundraising capacity, and fatigued volunteers.

“We want people experiencing drought to know that there is still funding available. TTTT is a flexible grant program specifically designed to support communities as they move to recovery. Our team will work with you to help make your project happen, even if it might look a bit different to what you’d initially planned, in light of COVID-19,” Ms O’Brien explained.

Some of the 29 projects awarded this round include:

  • District Council of Orroroo Carrieton, SA – Black Rock Wool Press Rotunda – $143,252 – Boost local economy and tourism opportunities by supporting the development of the Black Rock Wool Press Rotunda to showcase local historical artefacts including the restored Black Rock Wool Press.
  • ABC Foundation Limited, WA – AWRAE: Aboriginal Women’s Research Assistant & Evaluation Training Project – $60,000 – Create opportunities for Indigenous women of Carnarvon and surrounds to develop leadership skills by training them to research and evaluate projects delivered in Indigenous communities.
  • Gooloogong Historical Society Incorporated, NSW – Stage 1 – Restoration and revitalisation of Gooloogong’s meeting place – $59,752 – Reduce volunteer fatigue and increase community connections and sense of place by restoring the Gooloogong Clubhouse to house the Gooloogong Historical Society.
  • Drillham Primary Parents and Citizens Association, QLD – Along the Garden Path – $13,000 – Reduce social isolation and encourage people to come together and connect through a two-day creative arts workshop program.
  • Wheatbelt Business Network Incorporated, WA – Accredited Mental Health First Aid Training in the Wheatbelt – $26,300 – Develop community leaders’ skills and training to provide support for their communities by engaging them in Mental Health First Aid training.

Applications for the TTTT program are always open and groups in drought-affected areas are encouraged to apply for funding to help their community come together to tackle the drought. Grants are available for a broad range of grassroots, community-led initiatives that directly and clearly benefit local communities.

The cut-off dates for future rounds are:

  • 24 May 2021. Outcomes will be advised late August 2021. (Note: Stage One for the $150,000 grant tier must be received by 13 April). Outcomes will be advised late November 2021.
  • 24 August 2021. (Note: Stage One for the $150,000 grant tier must be received by 12 August). Outcomes will be advised late November 2021.

Tackling Tough Times Together is possible thanks to the collaborative support of several donors, including the Australian Government which committed $15M to be distributed over three years. Generous contributions have also been made by Pratt Foundation, Stockland CARE Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, The Snow Foundation, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Henroth Group and private donors from across the nation.

Image: Tim Mossholder from Pexels

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