$3.65M awarded to prepare rural regions for drought

FRRR has awarded $3.65 million in grants to 11 agriculture-dependent regions across Australia, for projects that will better prepare their communities for the impacts of drought and a changing climate.

The $3,654,124 in grants is funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, and delivered as part of the Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative’s Community Impact Program. To date, $9,115,583 in grants has been awarded to 27 agriculture-dependent regions, through the Program.

Delivered in partnership with ARLF, the Program aims to strengthen the ability of agriculture-dependent communities to work together to prepare for future drought or other disaster.

Nina O’Brien, Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead for FRRR, said that the collaborative nature of the Community Impact Program means locals in each region have come together to identify and act on their communities’ drought preparedness priorities, at a grassroots level.

“The beauty of this program is that it’s so flexible. It can support events, initiatives, training and even small-scale infrastructure. But at their core, each project is about fostering the growth of stronger networks to encourage shared learning and more collaboration. We’re already seeing that happen among the program facilitators, who are leading by example, having established a community of practice, and mentoring one another across the regions.

“We recognise that co-design in each region has taken significant effort and we particularly thank the Community Partner Lead Organisations for stepping up and taking the lead in bringing everyone together. It’s been wonderful to be able to harness local knowledge and expertise and to have a cross-section of the community collaborate and create solutions. We know that these projects will strengthen the networks, support, engagement and wellbeing of people across their region.

“We look forward to seeing the continued growth of these networks and to seeing the impacts of these projects as they roll out over the next two years,” Ms O’Brien said.

Funded projects include a youth community hub and film festival on Mitakoodi Country, Cloncurry in Queensland. The Mitakoodi Community and Housing Aboriginal Corporation will use a $76,809 grant to develop the hub and festival, which will build a depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose, and longer-term community belonging that locals can draw upon in future drought.

In Boyup Brook, Western Australia, Blackwood Basin Group Incorporated has been awarded a $40,730 grant to run a series of land management workshops, as well as produce written resources and provide accidental counselling. These capacity building activities will provide local people and communities with opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought.

As part of the program, each region will also access tailored leadership development activities, delivered by ARLF.

ARLF Chief Executive, Matt Linnegar, says the leadership development supports the delivery of local projects and yields long-term benefits for the regions.

“We know that a multimodal approach of leadership development increases the impact the investments have in each region. In addition to the project funding, these leadership development activities build social capital required to support the project and people in each region. We get to connect local networks, create a deeper sense of shared purpose and develop capability that helps people to take action and address challenges and make the most of opportunities.”

Participants also gain access to the wider alumni network of the ARLF. “It’s these connections that prove invaluable to people. When they’re stuck, there’s someone to ask for advice,” Mr Linnegar said.

Other elements of the Future Drought Fund’s Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative are also underway, including a Mentoring program and an online network connecting community members involved in projects in each of the regions, both led by ARLF.

FRRR has also launched a portal providing access to experts to support delivery of their projects, if local expertise isn’t available. A small grants funding round will also open before the end of the year to support projects in areas not covered by the Community Impact Program.

Grant recipients list

OrganisationProject SummaryLocation$
New South Wales: Region 05 Northern Tablelands
Glenrac IncorporatedCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 05
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the Northern Tablelands region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
Northern Tablelands NSW Region $30,146
Glenrac IncorporatedGrowing Social Capital, Glen Innes
Enhance awareness of and attitude toward drought preparedness and build local leadership, networks and social support through a diverse series of community events, activities and delivery partners.
Glen Innes $70,508
Gwymac IncorporatedConnecting our Community for Resilience in Tough Times
Enhance awareness of and attitudes toward drought preparedness through building local leadership, networks and social support through a series of collaborative events.
Inverell$51,290
Southern New England Landcare LtdSNEL HELP – Preparing Communities for Drought
Increase the reach and activities of community leaders, mentors, networks and organisations driving action on drought resilience through the delivery of a series of community activities and events that will share information on the local impacts of drought, drought preparation activities and strengthen local connections, networks and relationships.
Armidale, Inverell, Uralla and Walcha$62,214
Granite Borders Landcare Committee IncorporatedDrought Community Impact Program
Enable communities to identify and adopt innovative and transformative ways to build drought resilience through a series of collaborative workshops targeting innovation in drought preparation information and knowledge sharing.
Tenterfield$70,936
Queensland: Region 07 South-West
Southern Queensland Natural Resources Management LtdCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 07
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the South-West region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
South-West QLD Region$20,500
Thallon Progress Association IncPODDS 4 Thallon & Bollon (Place of Diversity & Development)
Increase the reach and activities of community leaders, mentors, networks and organisations driving action on drought resilience through the development of shared workspaces in Thallon and Bollon.
Thallon and Bollon, Balonne Shire$126,800
Wyandra and District Progress and Recreation Association IncWyandra & Surrounds Drought Resilience Leadership Network – Empower Paroo & Murweh
Increase the reach and activities of community leaders, mentors, networks and organisations driving action on drought resilience across Paroo and Murweh through the delivery of community events, minor community infrastructure upgrades, leadership network establishment and connection to local support services.
Wyandra, Cunnamulla, Charleville$83,615
Queensland: Region 10 North-West
Southern Gulf NRM LtdCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 10
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the North-West region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
Queensland North-West Region$33,007
Southern Gulf NRM LtdProactively Improving Mental Health preparedness in Northwest QLD
Enable capacity building activities where local people and communities have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through the delivery of mental health first aid training across the region.
Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Richmond, Hughenden, Normanton, Burketown, Mount Isa $66,209
Southern Gulf NRM LtdCommunity Group Development Facilitator for Northwest QLD
Improve capability, coordination and collaboration between networks, other community organisations and sectors that can be drawn upon in future drought through delivery of governance, volunteer management, communications and project management training.
Mount Isa, Cloncurry, McKinlay, Richmond, Flinders, Burke, Carpentaria$148,538
Mitakoodi Community and Housing Aboriginal CorporationThe Cloncurry Community Hub and Film Festival
Build a depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose and longer-term community belonging that can be drawn upon in future drought through the development of a youth community hub and film festival.
Mitakoodi, Cloncurry$76,809
Western Australia: Region 21 South-West
South West Catchments CouncilCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 21
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the South-West region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
WA South-West Region$23,768
Warren Catchments CouncilGreen Spaces Counter the Blues
Enable capacity building activities where local people and communities have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through a coordinated series of water efficient landscaping / gardening workshops.
Shire of Manjimup$75,661
Southern Forest Arts IncRivers of Thirst
Build depth of social connection, awareness of and constructive attitudes to drought preparedness at the community level through community development of seven public artworks across towns in the region.
Manjimup, Boyup Brook, Nannup, Bridgetown - Greenbushes$49,908
South West Catchments CouncilCommunity Resilience Network
Improve the capability, coordination and collaboration between networks, other community organisations and sectors that can be drawn upon in future drought through the establishment of a Community Resilience Network of local groups in Community Resource Centres.
Manjimup, Boyup Brook, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Donnybrook-Balingup, Augusta- Margaret River, Harvey, Dardanup Busselton$86,935
Blackwood Basin Group IncorporatedBoyup Brook Community Drought Preparedness
Enable capacity building activities where local people and communities have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought, through a series of land management workshops, production of written resources and accidental counselling training.
Boyup Brook$40,730
Goomburrup Aboriginal CorporationNi! Boodja Waangkiny (Noongar Seasonal Calendar)
Enable depth of social and cultural connection, awareness of and constructive attitudes to drought preparedness at the community level through the development of a place-based, locally developed Noongar seasonal calendar that captures the knowledge and resilience of the people and culture with storytelling.
Bunbury$66,000
South Australia: Region 24 Northern and Yorke
Regional Development Australia Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains IncorporatedCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 24
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the Northern and Yorke region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
SA Northern and Yorke Region $56,893
Lochiel Progress AssociationDiner en Rose
Build depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose, and longer-term community belonging that can be drawn upon in future drought through a community event celebrating the local landscape.
Lochiel– Pink Lake (Wakefield Regional Council$21,170
Wirraminna CareScone / Coffee Times Bringing Neighbourhoods Together to Share Socially
Build depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose and longer-term community belonging that can be drawn upon in future drought by addressing social isolation within the community.
Williamstown, Eden Valley$7,000
WoTL LtdManaging Yourself and Your Business Through Drought and Other Disruption
Enable capacity building activities where local people and communities have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through leadership workshops specifically designed for women.
Riverton, Clare, Kadina$67,000
Two Wells Regional Action TeamDrought Resilient Greening for Community Wellbeing
Enable a change in awareness of and attitudes to drought preparedness at the community level and enhance the public good by planting drought-tolerant trees at three entrances to the township of Two Wells.
Two Wells$3,000
Barossa Improved Grazing Group IncorporatedBuilding Local Human Capacity to Support Drought Preparedness Across the Barossa Generations and Community
Enable capacity building activities where local people and communities have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through supporting and training young farmers.
Barossa, Light, Mid Murray $55,000
Victoria: Region 27 Mallee
Mallee Sustainable Farming IncCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 27
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the Mallee region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
VIC Mallee Region$76,818
First People of the Millewa-Mallee Aboriginal CorporationCommunity Impact Program – Mallee Region
Build depth of social connection and increase skills, knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change through land management training and mentorship of young First Nations people.
Neds Corner Station, Mildura$41,200
Birchip Cropping Group IncMallee BCG Young Farmer Network
Enable capacity building activities where young farmers have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought in remote, rural, and regional Australia through the growth of a Young Farmers Network.
Quambatook, Birchip, Manangatang$32,960
Mallee Sustainable Farming IncThe Mallee Matters
Build awareness of and changed attitudes to drought preparedness at the community level through the production of short videos that showcase local resilience.
Northern Mallee areas$65,920
Food Next Door CooperativeFood Next Door Co-op: Sustainable CALD Market Gardening
Build the capacity of local people and communities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought in remote, rural and regional Australia through irrigation management training for CALD communities.
Mildura, Merbein, Nichols Point and Red Cliffs$56,856
Rural Business and Community LimitedShared Shop
Increase economic diversification in an agriculture-dependent community through the establishment of a cooperative ‘shared shop’ for microbusinesses in Donald.
Donald$32,960
Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria Wimmera South West IncResilient Small Businesses
Deliver capacity building activities where local people and communities have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought in remote, rural and regional Australia through the establishment of a small business resilience network targeted at new, young and Indigenous business owners.
Mildura$41,200
Millewa Advisory GroupMillewa SHIM Shed
Build depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose, and longer-term community belonging that can be drawn upon in future droughts through the establishment of a community gathering space in the Millewa district.
Millewa$17,304
Victoria: Region 29 Wimmera Southern Mallee
Wimmera Southern Mallee Development LimitedCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 29
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the Wimmera Southern Mallee region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
VIC Wimmera Southern Mallee Region $44,228
Wimmera Southern Mallee Development Limited Community Connector Program
Improve the capability, coordination and collaboration between networks, other community organisations and sectors through service mapping, gap analysis, resource development and network capability building and service promotion before the next drought hits.
Whole of WSM$133,700
Wimmera Southern Mallee Development Limited (Migrant Settlement Services)Migrant Youth Support
Build depth of social connection, shared cross cultural drought knowledge and longer-term community belonging that can be drawn upon in future drought through a drought resilience building program for young migrants.
Horsham, Nhill$50,000
Wimmera Catchment AuthorityRanch Billabong
Build depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose and longer-term community belonging through the revitalisation, and increased visitation of a culturally significant site by the local First Nations and wider community.
Barenji Gadjin Land Council $40,000
West Vic Business IncorporatedCommunity Placemaking
Build depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose and longer-term community belonging that can be drawn upon in future drought through capacity building activities where local people and communities have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through the establishment of a Place-making network.
VIC Wimmera Southern Mallee Region$46,393
Victoria: Region 32 West Gippsland
Food & Fibre Gippsland IncCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 32
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the West Gippsland region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
VIC West Gippsland Region $96,050
Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria-Gippsland IncBackbone
Build awareness of and attitudes to drought preparedness at the community level by producing two drought resilience special editions of the Rural and Regional Backbone magazine.
Latrobe Valley, South Gippsland, Wellington, Bass Coast$99,880
Food & Fibre Gippsland IncGated Framework – Community
Build capability in community leaders, networks and organisations to undertake strategic drought resilience planning and future drought preparedness activities through the development of a template drought preparedness framework.
Baw Baw, Latrobe Valley, South Gippsland, Wellington, Bass Coast$109,978
Gippsland Women's Health IncGendered Violence Prevention – Active Bystander Training
Develop skills, knowledge and capacity to face the unique challenges caused by drought through Active Bystander (Family Violence) training.
Baw Baw, Latrobe Valley, South Gippsland, Wellington, Bass Coast$44,122
Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria-Gippsland IncADAPT
Increase the reach and activities of community leaders, mentors, networks and organisations driving action on drought resilience by subsidising the delivery of ADAPT wellness program including online training and ongoing mentoring supporting small to medium sized grassroots organisations to access informal wellness support mechanisms at a community level.
Baw Baw, Latrobe Valley, South Gippsland, Wellington, Bass Coast$35,000
Victoria: Region 33 Ovens Murray
AgBiz Assist LimitedCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 33
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the Ovens Murray region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
VIC Ovens Murray Region $30,000
Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Fund LtdCommunity Capacity Building
Support capacity building activities where local people and communities have opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through a community leadership program.
Indigo Shire$95,000
Startup Shakeup LtdDigital Work Skills
Build capacity of local people and communities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through business digital skills training.
Indigo Shire and City of Wangaratta$95,000
AgBiz Assist LimitedWellbeing and Social Connection
Build capacity of local people and communities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through mental health awareness and support activities and training.
Indigo Shire and City of Wangaratta$170,328
Tasmania: Region 34 North and North West
Rural Business Tasmania IncCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 34
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the North and North West region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
TAS North and North west Region $47,000
Southern Farming Systems LtdEmpowering Rural Youth to Build Capacity in Tasmanian Rural Communities
Build depth of social connection and increase skills, knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change through tailored drought related events for three distinctive climates in the region.
Scottsdale, Ulverstone, Campbell Town$102,000
Rural Business Tasmania IncLocal Communities Volunteer Project
Build depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose and long-term community belonging that can be drawn upon in future drought by connecting volunteer-based community organisations with young people in the region.
Fingal, Deloraine, Scottsdale, Whitemark$114,084
Tasmanian LeadersDrought Resilient Impact Preparedness (DRIP)
Build capacity of local people and communities to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through a targeted leadership program.
TAS North and North west Region $99,709
RANT ArtsClose Up: Drought Preparedness
Build awareness of and attitudes to drought preparedness at the community level through the creation of accessible educational videos.
Devonport, Burnie, Latrobe, Meander Valley$31,059
Tasmania: Region 35 South Region
University of TasmaniaCommunity Partner Lead Organisation (CPLO): Region 35
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the South region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
TAS South Region $38,778
Rural Business Tasmania IncLocal Community Volunteer Project
Build a depth of social connection, a shared sense of purpose and longer-term community belonging that can be drawn upon in future drought by connecting volunteer-based community organisations with young people in the region.
TAS South Region $100,000
Southern Regional Natural Resource Management AssociationIgniting Community
Build culturally informed drought preparedness and social connection through a shared sense of purpose, which can be drawn upon in future drought through a series of cultural burn workshops.
Southern Tasmania$100,000
Reconciliation Council of Tasmania LimitedYouth Mob
Build depth of social connection, awareness of and attitudes to drought preparedness at the community level by developing land management skills of young First Nations people.
Clarence and Sorell Municipality$82,960
Tasmanian Small Business Council IncTasmania Small Business Community Resilience Project
Build the capacity of local people and small business to develop the skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought through a series of business workshops and field trips.
Dunalley, Triabunna, Swansea$90,000
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