More than $1.7M awarded thanks to Future Drought Fund

FRRR and ARLF are pleased to announce the first organisations to receive funding through the Future Drought Fund’s Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative.

The Initiative, which is being delivered by FRRR in partnership with ARLF, seeks to help agriculture-dependent communities in regions across remote, rural, and regional Australia that are vulnerable to the impacts of drought become more prepared for and resilient to these impacts.

Over the last three months, FRRR and ARLF have worked closely with a local community partner lead organisation in five areas to identify projects that local groups across each region can implement to enhance preparedness for drought.

This first tranche of funding through the Community Impact Program sees five regions awarded $1.7M, which is being shared across 15 organisations.

Queensland - Darling Downs & South Burnett

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Red Earth Community FoundationCommunity Partner Lead Organisation Region 8Darling Downs & South Burnett Region$38,746
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the Darling Downs and South Burnett region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
Momentum HealthBuilding Healthier CommunitiesSouth Burnett, Western Downs & Goondiwindi$92,499
Enhance capability, coordination and collaboration between community networks and organisations that can be drawn upon in times of drought by training local leaders, creating resources and delivering workshops focussed on wellbeing.
Red Earth Community FoundationCherbourg Community Leadership ProgramCherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council$51,388
Strengthen community capacity and leadership through the design and delivery of the Cherbourg Community Leadership Program, to build knowledge and skills to address local challenges caused by drought.
Burnett Catchment Care AssociationSharing Models of Successful GroupsBurnett Region with possibility of working with Toowoomba & Western Downs Groups$62,401
Deliver community led drought preparedness through networking events that build social connections, share innovative approaches to drought resilience and drive local action through peer-to-peer support and a communities of practice approach.
Queensland Murray Darling Catchment LtdWater and Climate Drought Education Schools in Darling Downs & Burnett$73,412
Deliver workshops to school aged children to build knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought and climate change and develop skills to positively adapt.
Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation (BIEDO)Ag Tech in Action in the Burnett North Burnett, South Burnett, Cherbourg & Bundaberg LGAs$69,007
Strengthen community and social connections through events and provide opportunities for young people to build knowledge in innovative approaches to drought preparedness, connect with current networks and develop youth specific networks.

Queensland - Fitzroy Capricornia

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Dawson Catchment Coordinating AssociationCommunity Partner Lead Organisation Region 9Fitzroy Capricornia Region$140,000
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the Fitzroy Capricornia region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
Central Queensland Landscape AllianceRemote Community Capacity Building Focus on Capricornia Catchments work arena$40,000
Create leadership and capacity building opportunities, particularly for local young people, through training and awareness-building activities to develop skills and knowledge to face the unique challenges caused by drought.
Not for Profit HQ LimitedNFP Report Card Assessments –UpskillingFitzroy Capricornia Region$50,000
Build the capability of local not-for-profit organisations to better serve their communities in times of drought and in drought preparedness by delivering a practical skills audit and using the results to develop business and operational plans.
Dawson Catchment Coordinating AssociationImproved Community Access –Dawson CatchmentFitzroy Capricornia Region$35,547
Establish a local community network to improve access to, encourage greater utilisation of or create new community infrastructure by collaboratively reviewing available places, spaces and facilities where community groups can gather, function and support their local community in times of drought.
Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire CouncilWoorabinda Rangers and Youth Development ProgramFitzroy Capricornia Region$42,000
Deliver capacity building activities and field training to increase knowledge of local landscapes and share innovative approaches to drought preparedness, which will strengthen community resilience.

Queensland - Hinterland & Gulf

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Northern Gulf Resource Management Group LtdCommunity Partner Lead Organisation Region 11Hinterland to Gulf Region$31,359
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action in the Hinterland to Gulf region through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
Northern Gulf Resource Management Group LtdLocal Capacity for Regional Resilience Project Croydon Shire, Etheridge Shire & Mareeba Shire$181,250
Strengthen organisational capacity and governance of not-for-profit organisations, including those that are First Nations led, by delivering training, workshops, networking events and leadership development activities, so organisations can better support community interests ahead of and in times of drought.
Northern Gulf Resource Management Group LtdDigital Capacity and Last Mile Connectivity ProjectCroydon Shire, Etheridge Shire & Mareeba Shire$123,700
Strengthen the ability of communities to adapt and prepare for drought by delivering workshops that improve access to and greater utilisation of digital infrastructure, thereby strengthening social networks and enabling people to better connect to essential services and support in times of drought.

Queensland - Cape York & Torres Strait

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
Cape York NRMCommunity Partner Lead Organisation Region 13Cape York – Torres Strait Region$42,166
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
Torres Cape Indigenous Councils AllianceCape York Torres Water ProjectAurukun Shire, Cook Shire, Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire, Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire, Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire, Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire, Mapoon Aboriginal Shire, Mornington Shire, Napranum Aboriginal Shire, Northern Peninsula Area, Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire, Torres Strait Islands, Torres Shire, Weipa Town & Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire$193,798
Increase skills, knowledge and understanding of the risks posed by drought through the delivery of a water education program and activating a co-designed, community led strategic water security plan.
Cape York NRMCape York Torres Fire ProjectAurukun Shire, Cook Shire, Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire, Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire, Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire, Mapoon Aboriginal Shire, Napranum Aboriginal Shire, Northern Peninsula Area, Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire, Torres Strait Islands, Torres Shire, Weipa Town & Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire$151,012
Improve capability, coordination, and collaboration between professional, social and community networks, which can be drawn upon in future drought, through the delivery of a series of fire prevention training activities, events and forums.

South Australia - Arid Lands

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
SA Arid Lands Landscape BoardCommunity Partner Lead Organisation Region 22Arid Lands Region$32,000
Strengthen drought preparedness and drive local action through the coordination of Community Impact Program activities and evaluation administration.
SA Arid Lands Landscape BoardWomen’s GatheringHawker$73,750
Support communities to learn and share innovative ways to build drought resilience; increase the reach and activities of community leaders, mentors, networks and organisations driving action on drought resilience by facilitating an event for women from across this geographically vast region.
SA Arid Lands Landscape BoardPastoral Field Day Port Augusta City Council$67,750
Support communities to identify and adopt innovative and transformative ways to build drought resilience by delivering a field day, which will enable knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.
SA Arid Lands Landscape BoardOutback Kids & Family DaysFive locations across Port Augusta Region$50,350
Encourage social connection, networking and knowledge sharing to facilitate drought preparedness and resilience building by delivering five family day events to connect communities across a geographically vast region.
Nature Foundation LimitedFamily on CountryHiltaba Station (Unincorporated Area)$46,000
Provide mentorship and leadership development opportunities and strengthen networks and connections by delivering two on-Country, multi-day events that provide opportunities for Elders and Community Leaders to share cultural knowledge on the local landscape and drought.
Isolated Children's Parents Association Marla-OodnadattaICPA Conference SA Arid Lands$5,000
Encourage drought preparedness conversations at the community level and drive local action for children, families and educational outcomes through a regional conference.
Quorn Community Landcare Group IncorporatedQuandong Festival Quorn$35,000
SA Arid Lands Landscape BoardStrengthen local drought resilience by delivering two educational and awareness-raising events that showcase innovative and transformative ways to adapt in times of drought.

In the coming months, the local community partner lead organisation will collaborate with other grantee organisations in the region to deliver projects that include events, training and workshops that will create opportunities for communities to identify and adopt innovative and transformative ways to build drought resilience, develop a change in awareness of and attitudes to drought preparedness at the community level, learn and share innovative ways to build drought resilience.

FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead, Nina O’Brien, says that this is a really exciting milestone and a wonderful opportunity for these communities to drive local action that helps prepare for drought.

“People are more resilient when they’re part of a strong community. Through this place-based program, with the Australian Government’s support, we’re investing in the future, enabling agriculture dependent communities to identify and act on their drought preparedness priorities at a grassroots level.

“The overall aim of this program is to facilitate increased social connection, strengthen network opportunities, build leadership skills, and link capacity building opportunities to ensure widespread local benefit, so that communities are better prepared for the future.

“The program was deliberately designed to be flexible, allowing a bespoke approach in each region that reflects the unique conditions in each area. The projects that we’re funding have broad community support. As part of their development, we paid for a facilitator to support the local lead organisation to help bring key stakeholders into the conversation and to make sure that the projects align with local priorities and connect with investments already happening at the community level.

“We look forward to continuing to walk alongside these local groups as they implement their projects over the next two years,” Ms O’Brien said.

Each of the regions being funded will also receive access to tailored ARLF leadership development activities. Lead organisations can choose between one of five leadership development activities, depending on their projects and local priorities. In the first five regions, four different activities have been taken up.

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

“In addition to the project funding, these leadership development activities are a crucial investment in building the social capital required to support the project and each region. Connecting local networks, creating a deeper sense of shared purpose and developing capability all contributes to people in each region taking action to address challenges and take advantage of opportunities.

“Participants will also gain access to the wider alumni network of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. It’s these connections that prove invaluable to people. When they’re stuck, there’s someone to ask for advice.”

In total, 35 regions will be supported through this program. The remaining regions are due to be announced throughout the rest of 2023.

Other elements of the Future Drought Fund’s Helping Regional Communities Prepare for Drought Initiative are also underway, including the Mentoring program, being led by ARLF, which is still accepting applications. Work is also underway on the design of the network to connect leaders working on these projects across the country and FRRR is finalising the appointment of an expertise panel, which the groups awarded funding can draw on, if they don’t have locally qualified people with the skills they need.

In addition, the first of two rounds of Small Grants for areas that aren’t covered by these Community Impact Program grants is expected to open in later this year.

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