Local initiatives helping to build the region's resilience to drought are set to share in more than $1.4 million in funding.
Funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and a range of other donor partners, the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program focuses on strengthening social connectedness, building social capital and funding transformative initiatives that will enable agricultural communities to be more prepared for the impacts of drought.
The Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal has awarded the funding to 33 remote, rural and regional communities across Australia, including Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers – Connecting Producers with an Invisible Support Network.
The initiative, which helps build capacity among growers for training in mental health and wellbeing and accesses local support services through a series of BBQ workshops, has secured $16,200.
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that when it comes to building drought resilience, resourcing initiatives that enhance social connectedness and networks is more crucial than ever.
“Rural communities are typically pretty self-reliant, and depend on being able to come together and work as a community to prepare for and respond to most challenges,” she said.
“That includes building resilience to respond to the changing climate, and this round we saw some great projects and initiatives that will strengthen resilience and respond to local needs.
“With many of these rural communities impacted by COVID-19, plus drought, fires, and for many the mouse plague, local fundraising has been even more difficult than usual. So it’s wonderful to be able to offer the support these places need to strengthen community connectedness and build their networks.
“We’re grateful to be partnering with the Australian Government, and to have the support of our other donor partners, because it allows us to back these grassroots organisations who are making significant strides when it comes to preparing their communities for future drought.”
Applications are currently open for Round 2 of the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program.
To be considered, applications must be received by 15 November, with funds announced late February.
Projects must be completed by 29 August 2022. Learn more at www.frrr.org.au/FDF.