Our organisation was established to champion the economic and social strength of Australia’s rural, regional and remote communities.

Our work has both a national reach and local focus and is informed by place-based approaches to community development. We execute on our objectives in three ways:

1. Providing grants to not-for-profit community organisations across a range of areas including:

We also work with a number of donors to facilitate one-off grants for special projects. This year, this included:

  • a significant capital works project in Bridgewater, Victoria, from the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust, managed by Perpetual;
  • the third of four installments for the Mooroopna Primary School Violin Music Program, Victoria, from the Margaret Lawrence Foundation, managed by Perpetual;
  • funds for Alexandra Primary School’s oral based language program that promotes social skills and competencies, assisting speech development and literacy skills, from the Geoff and Helen Handbury Foundation; and
  • student welfare projects in Daylesford, Victoria, from the Betty Fulton Fund, managed by the Australian Community Foundation.

2. Building local capacity through training and support

Strong community leadership enables communities to be self-sustaining, resilient and adaptable to economic, social, cultural and environmental changes. Our work in this area includes:

  • Helping to establish Community Foundations and assist them in operating, especially in the early years, to encourage local philanthropy; and
  • Awarding the yearly FRRR/Pratt Water Scholarship to an engineering student at La Trobe University, with the aim of retaining skilled graduates in a rural or regional area.

3. Alleviating the challenges of accessing philanthropic funds

We believe that local people are best-placed to understand community needs, wants and aspirations and we advocate community based solutions for community issues. We help achieve this by offering grant programs to enable communities to execute on local initiatives, and also by:

  • Lending our tax-deductible status to community organisations to help them fundraise; and

The following Donation Accounts were open at 30 June, 2013 for projects which include infrastructure, social inclusion and social capital, capacity building and disaster recovery. In 2012/13, we paid out more than $1.3 million via these accounts towards these projects:

  • Australian Year of the Farmer Project
  • Bio-Agriculture - Soil Carbon Sequestration Project
  • Blaze-Aid - Disaster Recovery
  • Bower Progress Association - Community Facilities
  • Charlton Community Theatre - Restoration Project
  • Daylesford Community Theatre - Restoration Project
  • Euroa & District Inc - Honouring Our Heroes
  • Farina Restoration Group - Railway Precinct Project
  • Food Skil Inc - 2 & 5 Fresh Food Shop & Cafe
  • Friends of St Brigid's - Australian-Irish Cultural Community & Heritage Centre Project
  • Hamilton RSL - Ted Kenna Memorial
  • Healesville Living and Learning Centre Inc - Social Services and Inclusion Projects
  • Honouring Our Heroes Euroa & District - Victoria Cross Memorial Project
  • Katamatite Recreation Reserve Committee - Community Hub Building Project
  • Kyogle Economic Development Committee Inc - Community Cinema Upgrade
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council - Flood Recovery Projects
  • Mitchell Community Resources and Advocacy Group - Mitchell Communities Programs
  • North East Community Initiatives Limited - Career Pathways
  • Red Earth Community Foundation - The Mayor's Red Earth South Burnett Flood Appeal
  • Rotary Club of Kerang - Lake Meran Recreation and Community Facility Rebuilding Project
  • Rotary Club of Melbourne Inc - Donydji Community Development Project
  • Rotary International District 9800 - Australian Bushfire Recovery Fund 2013
  • Smoky Bay Progress Association - Restore Smoky Bay Jetty
  • St George's Anglican Church Red Hill - Red Hill Community Health & Wellbeing Centre
  • Stand Like Stone Community Foundation - Small Grants Program
  • Tatura RSL Sub-Branch - The Private Robert Mactier VC Statue Project
  • Tomorrow:Today Foundation - Education Benalla Program
  • Volunteers for Isolated Students' Education - National Support Project
  • VFFF and Western Plains Regional Development Inc - Lachlan Region Community Grants Program