Grant Recipients

2023/24 Local Impact Grant Recipients

Local Impact Grants $283,997

Continuing the proud tradition of supporting those recipients who may be ineligible for larger funding streams, NRCF’s Local Impact Grants support grassroots organisations with grants of up to $10,000.

Recipients include groups and organisations working in, and projects supporting impact areas including: aged services, homelessness support, health and wellbeing, conservation and environment, education and training, disability, family support, Indigenous community support, arts and culture, multicultural integration, youth programs, animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

This program is supported by the generosity of our network of NRCF donors and funding partners:

Paul Ramsay Foundation, James Frizelle Charitable Foundation, The Portland House Foundation, Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal, The Dunnet Foundation Ltd, Global Giving and the Diocese of Lismore.


The United Nations has adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by 2030. Each project in our 2023/24 Community Grants round is relevant to the goals as outlined below.

Local Impact Grant - Tyalgum Community Hall
Tyalgum Community Hall Association

We're enhancing access at the historic, heritage listed Tyalgum Community Hall to make this wonderful facility more inclusive, safe, and easy to access for everyone in our community. A new path connecting the disability ramp and two sets of steps at the side of the hall will be constructed. The Hall was built by locals in 1908 and is renowned for its exceptional acoustic properties, making it a favourite venue for musicians, cultural and music events. It is also a treasured community-building and meeting space, as well as serving as the evacuation centre for the village and surrounding district in a crisis.

Local Impact Grant - Kyogle Family Support
Kyogle Family Support Service

This initiative will help create support and care for those in Kyogle experiencing hardship or distress in their family or living situation. This project will provide food and fuel vouchers to Kyogle's remote areas, including Woodenbong, Bonalbo, and Urbenville, as well as people who come to Kyogle Family Support Service seeking immediate support. The project will also support emergency accommodation for those experiencing domestic and family violence or homelessness in our community who have limited options of a safe place to be. KFSS extends its assistance to the Aboriginal community of Muli, offering vouchers for food and transportation, enabling community members the dignity of attending family funerals to pay their last respects.

Local Impact Grant - Zephyr Education
Zephyr Education

This project is dedicated to helping children whose education has been impacted by Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) to regain a sense of normality and keep their school journey on track. Zephyr Education collaborates with local DFV organisations, working closely with volunteers to fulfil the specific educational needs of individual children. Zephyr provides a wide range of essential school items, including shoes, socks, lunchboxes, water bottles, backpacks and stationery packs tailored to each year level. Additionally, this funding will directly cover the cost of school uniforms and where the school has a "bring your own device" policy, laptops and iPads can be funded.

Local Impact Grant - Container Of Dreams
Container of Dreams

This initiative’s focus will be on access to clean drinking water in communities who are still in recovery from the Black Summer bushfires, and whose water tanks have run dry, such as Tabulam, Bonalbo and Drake. Residents are currently purchasing bottled water from the supermarket and this project will boost community disaster resilience and recovery. Two large 30,000 litre water tanks will be purchased and installed at the Container of Dreams site, for locals to access water. To help with sustainability, these tanks will also catch rainwater run-off from the two large sheds on site. This grant will also provide a small tank, pump, and trailer to deliver water to households unable to travel to the site. Collaboration with individuals and other community organisations such as the Tabulam Progress Association and Drake Women's Shed will help identify need across the communities.

Local Impact Grant - Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital
Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital

Helping get our injured native wildlife back to good health, these hospital cages will allow the safe holding, examination and treatment of Northern Rivers critters until their healthy release is possible. Comfortable, quality enclosures during rehabilitation mean better outcomes for each animal’s recovery, health and happiness. This can shorter recovery time, resulting in a quick return to their wildlife carer and ultimately their natural home.

Local Impact Grant - CWA Nimbin Branch
CWA Nimbin Branch

This active CWA branch provides meals for people experiencing homelessness, aged community members and also caters large community events such as the Nimbin Show and NAIDOC Day. They also have the vital role of feeding emergency services workers during disasters. This grant will enable a kitchen upgrade to continue this important role in the Nimbin community.
Currently cooking and baking is done off site in members’ residences and private kitchens. This funding will purchase and pay for the installation of a 900mm Commercial cooktop and oven, a 2100 x 600cm stainless steel preparation bench and three large cooking pots to Increase capacity and ease of preparing food on a commercial scale

Local Impact Grant - Lismore Region Refugee Settlement
Lismore Region Refugee Settlement

 Lismore Region for Refugees is a group of five local, retired residents who begin work to support the settlement of refugee families from the moment they meet them at the airport. This project will help provide temporary accommodation until permanent accommodation can be secured for each family. As many families fleeing war, violence or persecution have experienced great distress and often trauma, this project creates a “safe place to land” to those granted asylum in Australia. On arrival, the families are met with practical and ongoing support. This grant funding enables the support of a new refugee family through advice and mentoring, social and practical support as the family settles into the region.

Local Impact Grant - Coolamon Community
Coolamon Community Incorporated

This initiative will not only support the health of First Nations mothers and babies, it will also facilitate kinship care in their communities – an incredibly important factor for positive postnatal outcomes. This project will provide 64 mothers with breast pumps to feed their babies. It will allow First Nations mothers who would otherwise not be able to afford a breast pump to have one. Each pump is gifted to the Aboriginal Health Services who then work with that mother to mitigate any risk factors for removal, provide education on feeding, pumping, storing breast milk as well as cleaning, and caring for baby and mother postnatally. It is this kind of culturally safe care that is the absolute key in obtaining better pregnancy, birthing, birth weight and breastfeeding outcomes which assists in mother's confidence in caring for her baby. Pumped breast milk also allows for kinship care, which for vulnerable families is key in strengthening culture and community.

Local Impact Grant - Arts Northern Rivers
Arts Northern Rivers Inc

Continuing the proud arts and cultural tradition the Northern Rivers is famous for, the Pathways Lab II project offers four local, emerging creatives the opportunity to connect with First Nations leaders working in the creative industries. This includes being mentored to grow their aspirations and gain hands-on experience in an area of interest. Pathways II focuses on young people aged 18 to 30 years. Over a six-month period, participants will be involved in two full-day workshops hosted by leading First Nations creatives, regular creative mentoring sessions, and a week-long placement opportunity at a local arts organisation.

Local Impact Grant - Grafton Community Shed
Grafton Community Shed

An infrastructure upgrade will be done for the beloved Grafton Community Shed – with a new awning to beat the hot summer sun to be constructed.  The shed houses a club formed to foster woodwork, hobbies and crafts in the local area for the benefit and enjoyment of men and women. The awning will span the six-metre by 11-metre verandah, providing a rain and sun sheltered space for the community to continue meeting, working and socialising. This will improve the dedicated space for the important community building of Grafton and surrounds.

Local Impact Grant - Byron Bay Community Centre
Byron Bay Community Centre

A surge in demand on breakfast and homelessness support services in Byron Bay will be met thanks to this project. The project will support new outdoor café-style furniture, gazebo and table umbrellas to create a friendly, pleasant space for breakfast and spending time. A servery step and window bench from the kitchen to the café for safer access will be constructed, as well a storage shed for bedding, clothing, toiletries, and other crucial supplies. This will help keep the centre well stocked to meet need. A new barbecue will also be purchased for the breakfast program and the upcoming men’s group activities.

Local Impact Grant - CWA Glenreagh Branch
CWA Of NSW, Glenreagh Branch

This thriving Country Women’s Association Branch provides an essential community hub for charitable activities which also work to strengthen the social fabric of Glenreagh. This grant will provide a free-standing roof to be constructed over the top of the existing shed, creating weather proofing. A cement slab will be poured to extend the existing concreted area, making better use of existing space and providing a covered outdoor area to service Jumble Sale activities during inclement weather. Maintenance of existing trees will also be undertaken to install the new infrastructure.

Local Impact Grant - Minnie Water Wooli SLSC
Minnie Water Wooli Surf Life Saving Club Inc

The popular seaside community of Minnie Water will have its beach safety bolstered thanks to the purchase of a Side By Side Vehicle (SBSV). This important rescue asset allows lifesavers to provide patrols and community safety services. Due to the harsh coastal environment of salt spray, and despite consistent maintenance, Minnie Water’s six-year-old SBSV has deteriorated and requires urgent replacement. The purchase of this new vehicle will help keep the community and visitors safe, allow easy transport of equipment to the shoreline/clubhouse and allow transport of patients to the clubhouse or ambulance for emergency care.

Local Impact Grant - Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre
Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre

Continuing the work of building safe, inclusive spaces for those experiencing disadvantage, this project provides a structured group program specifically for women who have experienced domestic or family violence. The program includes a range of modalities focused on psycho-educational material, the impacts of violence on families and children, awareness of red flags (warning signs of abuse), healthy relationships, safety planning, self-care and moving forward. The group will run twice in 2024 - during school terms, in Murwillumbah.

Local Impact Grant - The SHIFT Project
The SHIFT Project Byron

Supporting women through the challenges they face moving from homelessness to independence, this initiative creates group activities focusing on wellbeing. The groups include practical, evidence-based tools to uplift wellbeing which can be drawn upon beyond the program. Incorporating monthly nature-based group activities, women can apply acceptance-based practices while connecting with each other and nature. The weekly group art therapy sessions at the SHIFT residence will provide women a safe and inclusive space for transformational healing - inspiring creativity, building creative skills and increasing collective and individual resilience.

Local Impact Grant - Queer Family Northern Rivers
Queer Family

This grant will fund a series of local events with queer young people, to boost mental health and belonging and ultimately lower the risk of suicide in a vulnerable population. The events will include opportunities to discuss/tackle experiences of homo/transphobia as well as support to create resources which queer youth can use and distribute. This will connect isolated young people to form friendships and support systems. Oppression and discrimination have devastating impacts on LGBTQ+ people, leading to Minority Stress, which causes poor mental health. Conversely, experiencing Queer-led and affirming programs (validating/celebrating identities) improves mental health. Notably, using correct pronouns/names for trans and gender diverse youth lowers their suicide risk by 50%. Funding a queer-affirming and queer-led program like ROY, ultimately prevents suicide.


Local Impact Grant - Goonellabah Tucki Landcare
Goonellabah Tucki Landcare Incorporated

Giving a boost to the 25-year legacy of landcare and restoration in the Tucki Creek area, this project will help protect and regenerate both fauna and flora in this biodiverse area. This funding will support the planting of approximately 4,000 native plants including pararistolochia praevenosa (Richmond Birdwing butterfly vine) and a diverse range of native plants into five open riparian areas along Upper Tucki Creek in Goonellabah. Restoring riparian zones along waterways is an important step in flood mitigation, and will help regenerate the flood damaged Tucki Creek.

Local Impact Grant - Broadwater & Rileys Hill Community Hall
Broadwater and Rileys Hill Area Community Hall

Broadwater was ravaged in the 2022 floods, having a notable impact on the community’s connectedness and morale. This project will build a community shed to hold events to build community spirit and support the recovery journey of the region. Reinvigorating the community fabric that previously existed in Broadwater and Riley’s Hill areas pre-flood will be done by hosting quarterly community dinners at the new shed. The building will also support the community garden space which has just been established. Community gardeners meet monthly and are planning workshops on sustainable gardening, preserving and cooking. Enthusiasm is high, with gardening tools, raised garden beds, potting mix and pots purchased and it’s hoped the new shed will create a space in nature for community to come together to feel supported and uplifted, through produce swap and give away days.


Local Impact Grant - Story Dogs
Story Dogs

Tackling literacy in a creative way, this project ensures children will be engaged by something many of us love - animals. Story Dogs is a reading support program where children read to an accredited dog and its handler. This project will help over 75 primary school students learn to read, a skill for life which boosts their inclusion, confidence and life opportunities. The project aims to boost children’s enjoyment and engagement after years of disruptions caused by bushfire, flood and the pandemic. Over 1,200 one-on-one reading sessions with a dog, handler and student will be delivered across a range of schools across the Northern Rivers.

Local Impact Grant - Indigenous Futures Foundation
Indigenous Futures Foundation

Tackling the impactful concept of “strengthening mob using the power of food and education,” this project distributes free, healthy, nutritious meals to remote, regional and metro Indigenous communities. The initiative partners with Aboriginal Medical Centres to ensure the effective distribution of meals where they are needed. Every fortnight meals are prepared in the FareShare Kitchen, resulting in up to 2,000 frozen meals being distributed. This funding will go towards keeping their refrigerated food delivery truck on the road and reaching First Nations communities with nutritious food to boost health and community wellbeing.


Local Impact Grant - Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation
Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation

Clarence Valley Close the Gap Day aims to increase community awareness around the 19 national socioeconomic Close the Gap targets to reduce disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This large-scale event provides social inclusion, cultural awareness, access to services and is inclusive to all community members and is disabled friendly. Over 1,200 students and more than 300 community members and service providers attended in 2023, reaching 29 schools in the Clarence Valley and having visitors from the neighbouring communities.


Local Impact Grant - HART Services Inc
Home Assistance and Regional Transport Services (HART) Inc

Aiming to meet the growing challenges of ageing and isolation through inclusive transport services, HART will also aim to take better care of the environment by “going green” with their fleet of community transport vehicles. As their current fossil-fuel powered vehicles come due for replacement, they will purchase electric vehicles, or other sustainable technologies, slowly converting their fleet. With their ambition to halve the 125 metric tons of carbon dioxide produced by their fleet in the next three years, this NRCF grant will enable purchase of electric charging stations to support this conversion.


Local Impact Grant - Brunswick Valley Landcare
Brunswick Valley Landcare

The much loved Mother’s Day community tree planting event will be supported through this project, with the follow-up care and maintenance of the 2,000 to 3,000 plants put into the ground on the day. This annual event is a fun community day for families and all community members. Plant health will be regularly monitored to ensure the young plants flourish and leave a positive environmental legacy, supporting the work of Brunswick Valley Landcare’s regeneration mission of our local land.

Local Impact Grant - Give Then A Chance
Give Them A Chance

In a beautiful collaboration between Veteran Mentors and youth in Out of Home Care who have complex needs, this initiative aims to create bonds and skill sharing to boost the life skills and wellbeing of teenagers. The mentoring program will see the Veteran Mentors share the diverse skills they’ve learned throughout their military careers. These include effective strategies in achieving success in the most challenging environments, skills around mental and physical resilience, effective communication, conflict resolution and fear/stress management. The project is centred around the teenage participants benefiting from the Mentors’ life experience and learning new skills that they can bring into their own personal toolkits to use themselves after the program has finished.


Local Impact Grant - Ballina Region for Refugees
Ballina Region for Refugees

Digital Connections for Multicultural Communities
Helping improve the vital skill of digital literacy for refugees settled in the Northern Rivers is the core aim of this project. Tailored to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities living, the Digital Connections project not only delivers essential skills within a multicultural context, it also has transformative effects for the connectedness and community belonging of participants. The overall aim will be to improve CALD communities’ capacity to network and to access information and support using digital technology, thus increasing autonomy, independence and strengthening the social fabric of their new communities.


Local Impact Grant - Sprung!! Integrated Dance Theatre
Sprung!! Integrated Dance Theatre

This funding will support ‘Bleachers’, a new dance-theatre work by the always engaging Sprung Ensemble. Sprung!! delivers a range of contemporary dance and community arts programs specifically for emerging d/Deaf and disabled artists.Touching on the human need for community, it draws from personal stories and contemporary performance practices to explore relationships, social dynamics and belonging through the lens of diverse experiences. The development will set Sprung up for a local co-presentation with Lismore’s acclaimed Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA) in 2025.


Local Impact Grant - Seaside Shelter Tweed Heads
Seaside Shelter

Seaside Shelter provides unique and tailored support to young people experiencing homelessness, while providing them with a safe place to stay. This funding will go towards a new kitchen at the Seaside Shelter site to provide safe, comfortable shelter for the young people residing there. Young people are allocated a case worker who provides one-on-one support to help them achieve their goals and support life skills development like cooking, budgeting and how to maintain a tenancy.


Local Impact Grant - Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers
Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers

Three relocatable release aviaries for orphaned possums that require care will form the core of this project, allowing the little critters to be reintroduced safely back into the wild once ready. The project aims to facilitate a large number of possums back to their native habitat on the Northern Rivers. This will be made possible by recruiting, training and equipping new carers; mentoring and support; identifying release locations and acquiring relocatable release aviaries. Possums who have lost their mother are extremely vulnerable and often won’t survive in the wild without intervention. They can become orphaned by losing their grip on their mother, or through their mother being hurt or killed through coming into contact with cars or dogs. This project will support the care of one of Australia’s most iconic animals.

Local Impact Grant - Human Nature Adventure Therapy
Human Nature Adventure Therapy

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people through individual counselling, group work and physical challenges in natural environments, this project will focus on four therapeutic outdoor adventure activities. Each group will comprise up to 10 young people, with the program delivered from January through to August 2024, free of charge to participants. Alongside these outdoor activities, young people will receive a combination of peer-support and professional therapy to build resilience, process their trauma and improve their mental health and wellbeing. For the young people of the Northern Rivers, whose recent years have involved a global pandemic that meant doing school online from their homes, as well as bushfires and floods, mental health is an important focus.


Local Impact Grant - Mullum SEED
Mullum Sustainability Education and Enterprise Development (Mullum SEED Inc)

This project focuses on the building of an alliance to encompass all the different interest groups who care and wish to contribute to the river's health. The Brunswick River Regeneration Alliance is an initiative that has evolved from conversations since around April 2023. Meetings of custodians along the Brunswick River and various organisations actively seeking to support regeneration of the river, recovery from the 2022 floods and building of greater resilience of the catchment to future natural disasters led to the proposal for greater coordination.