Central West Queensland graduates launch drought resilience initiatives

Central West Queensland local participants who have completed the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program have received a total of $64,000 in Community Engagement Grants to support initiatives the help build long-term resilience in the region.  

Of the 21 people who completed the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program, 16 have successfully applied for the $4,000 grants – with most participants electing to work in groups to deliver initiatives that will benefit their local community.  

A total of five initiatives will be delivered with the support of grant funding: 

Project Title Description  Type Total Grant Value 
A Moment for Me Four informal social gatherings will be held in the communities of Isisford, Blackall, Muttaburra and Stonehenge to support mental health.  Group $16,000 
Why We Work Out West  Conduct workshops and surveys to determine the impacts of labour shortages in Western Queensland and identify innovative solutions for local problems. Group $8,000 
Two Ducks Establish and manage a community garden in Winton which is sustainable, drought tolerant and provides a wellbeing place to enhance community resilience. Group $16,000 
Regenerative Rangelands Focus on landscape scale rehydration techniques and adaptive grazing systems to improve soil health and its ability to store moisture, while supporting a vibrant and abundant community of biodiverse species.  Group $20,000 
Meat-Up Forum  Leverage strong producer attendance at the MLA & AWI Meat-up Forum 2022 by engaging a wellbeing and motivational presenter to link in key drought and resilience information and messaging to support longer term outcomes.  Individual $4,000 

Commenting on the announcement of Round 1 Grants, Australia Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) Chief Executing Matt Linnegar said, “The Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program is not just about sharing a learning experience with people outside your industry and network, it an opportunity to proactively help our rural communities in managing the future impacts of drought. But the Community Engagement Grants are really what brings this program to life. It’s when we get to see how participants are collectively applying new ways of thinking and adopting new approaches to address current and future challenges.” 

On completion of the three-session Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program, participants are encouraged to support resilience action by applying for a Community Engagement Grants of up to $4,000. Projects need focus on at least one of the following outcomes: 

  • Building long-term drought resilience and enhanced public good in agriculture dependent communities. 
  • Benefitting a large number of people from a diverse range of social groups. 
  • Encouraging inclusion and participation of under-represented or marginalised groups. 

Applications also needed to demonstrate co-contributions, either in-kind or from other funding sources and broad community support. Initiatives need to be delivered within three months of receiving the grant.  

Central West Queensland is only the second of 12 regional around Australia to run the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program and the first to complete three sessions and award multiple Community Engagement Grants.  

Interested in learning more about drought resilience? 

The ARLF is hosting a ‘lunch and learn’ webinar series which will explore what it takes to make Australian rural communities drought and climate change resilient and ready to take on the future. The next webinar will be held on 24 February 2022. Participate in panel discussions with producers and industry professionals and learn from real-life case studies from across the country. Free of charge, the webinar series is open to all. Register your interest here

About Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program 

The Australian Government established the Future Drought Fund to provide a sustainable source of funding to help Australian farmers and communities prepare for and respond to the impacts of drought. As one of its foundation programs, the Future Drought Fund has invested $11 million in the Drought Resilience Leaders Development Program. Led by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) in collaboration with consortium of partners, the Program gives farmers and regional communities the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, mindset and networks to lead their communities into the future in 12 focus regions across Australia. In parallel, ARLF is running a national mentoring program to foster knowledge sharing and build future drought resilience. To find out more visit: https://rural-leaders.org.au/our-programs/drought-resilience-leaders/ 

Media Contact: For any interview requests with Matt Linnegar or a grant recipient, please contact Sonia Morris (Seftons) at sonia.morris@seftons.com.au or on 0421 672 162.  

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