The Federal Government has partnered with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) to provide more than $480,000 in grants to 58 local projects across Australia. 

Delivered through FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program, grants of up to $10,000 will support local organisations to reinvigorate their communities, following significant disruption from COVID-19.  

From improving equipment and facilities at community hubs, to workshops and education programs that will increase community engagement – these small-scale projects are expected to be high impact. Projects included in this final round of the government’s investment in the program include:

  • In Tumut, New South Wales, where $10,000 will support the training of ten volunteer mentors to address isolation, loneliness and disengagement of young people for the Tumut Big Brothers Big Sisters program
  • In Darwin, Northern Territory, where $9,693 will support remote First Nations entrepreneurs and organisations to connect and learn post-pandemic by purchasing outdoor furniture, equipment and signage to establish a culturally appropriate events and meeting space
  • In Bridgetown, Western Australia, where $5,096 will strengthen organisational capacity to attract new Men’s Shed members and provide safe working conditions.

The funding is part of the Federal Government’s $5 million investment from 2022 to 2024 in the Rebuilding Regional Communities (RRC) stream of FRRR’s SRC program. 

A total of 400 projects have been supported over the eight funding rounds.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that these grants support regional, rural and remote organisations to expand their services and are a key part of the Federal Government’s commitment to activating regional economies.

“When we back local ideas and invest in local priorities, we get better outcomes in our communities, which is why we funded the Rebuilding Regional Communities stream – which has invested in hundreds of projects across Australia,” Minister King said. 

Federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain, said that regional areas are known for their strong sense of community and that’s something the government is committed to strengthening, by revitalising community spaces and getting engaging workshops and education programs off the ground.

“Our $480,000 investment in these 58 diverse projects is part of the $5 million we’ve delivered through this program, to support regional, rural and remote organisations improve their facilities and increase community engagement,” Minister McBain said. 

FRRR Place Portfolio Lead, Jill Karena, said that the FRRR’s SRC program is flexible and open year-round. 

“This access to continued funding opportunities is especially vital in communities that are moving beyond the immediate threats and response to natural disasters and other shocks,” Ms Karena said. 

“These are the projects that create a sense of place and identity, and the people and organisations that make these inspiring projects happen need our support. SRC grants provide leverage as they demonstrate to other funders that the projects have value and are supported. 

“But to be able to fund more of them, we need to bring in additional collaborative funders. So we invite all those who want to see a thriving remote, rural and regional Australia to join us to support local initiatives. They really do make a difference.”  

Image credit: OrianePerrin/shutterstock.com

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