In our daily roles, we see and hear first-hand the challenges facing rural and regional Australia. Similarly, we have insights into the innovative, progressive and persistent ways that community groups across Australia tackle these issues and achieve great results.

We feel it is our responsibility to share this knowledge and get involved where possible.

In 2013/14, we attended more than 30 events in various corners and outposts across Australia to discuss how to best support and assist rural Australians. We also proactively enlisted the support of donors to help us either take action on particular issues – such as partnering with the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and Yulgilbar Foundation in creating the Tackling Tough Times Together program for drought affected communities in Queensland and northern New South Wales – and we used the media to help raise awareness of key issues, such as the opportunities in Community Foundations.

This year, we focused our efforts on a number of themes, including:

  • Partnerships and Networks - working collaboratively and sharing insights
  • Capacity Building - sharing knowledge and experiences with those on the ground
  • Resilience & Disaster Recovery - highlighting the need for a coordinated, long-term approach
  • Community Foundations and Place-Based Approaches - raising awareness of what can be achieved locally

To learn more about just what we did in each of these areas, click on the images to the right.

In addition to face to face interaction, we increased our use of social media, regularly sharing stories via Facebook and Twitter, and broadening the reach of our activities.

We also used our networks to forward applications for projects which we couldn’t fund to a number of groups, including the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN), Australian Sports Foundation and Australian Women’s Donor Network, among others. While not all projects could be funded, some were able to find donors, like these community led environmental projects.