Community organisations and local philanthropists have come together to celebrate what can be achieved when a community bands together, at the annual Community Grant Giving Event for Northern Rivers Community Foundation.
In what has proved the largest Community Grant Round on record for the Foundation, with $1,068,922 distributed, CEO Sam Henderson said the volume of grants distributed reflected the increased need in the community.
“Our Community Grants Round will put an incredible $1 million plus directly back into our community, funding projects for 49 community organisations, spread across the seven LGAs of the Northern Rivers,” Mr Henderson said.
“While this shows there is a need for informed, localised support in our region right now, it also shows the incredible ability this region and our community organisations have to deliver place-based impact where it’s needed.
“It is the generous donations from so many of our community members that makes this work possible. Evidence-based grant making is what we are passionate about, and it’s a privilege to facilitate this in the Northern Rivers.”
The 2022/2023 Community Grants Round includes an incredible diversity of projects funded, covering impact areas of disadvantage; environment; mental health and wellbeing; housing and homelessness; recovery and resilience.
One of the 49 Community Grants was distributed to Bundjalung Tribal Society for their project Ngulungmal Bugalwehn – Garihma Bundjalung Jugun (Leaders of Recovery: Caring for Bundjalung Country).
This project will enable Bundjalung leaders and Elders to work with non-Indigenous trainers to situate Bundjalung concepts of Ngulungmal/Bugalwehn alongside leadership, recovery and resilience, to inform community events.
Resilient Uki, which was born following the 2022 floods, also received a grant for their disaster preparedness project.
Resilient Uki President, Melanie Bloor, said the Community Grant represented a large step forward in being more resourced for future flood and disaster events.
“It means our committee can get all the things we’ve gathered, that we’re storing in our homes, and house them in a centralised location,” Ms Bloor said.
“It’s a lifeline for us. And it’s also a feeling of being supported by our community. That we’re not alone. That someone’s got our back. It feels really good.”
Resilient Uki will use their grant money to create a shipping container cache of supplies to enable them to respond quickly in the first days following a disaster. This will include evacuation centre resources, fuel for excavators to remove landslips, community gathering kits, lighting, cooking utensils and supplies and power options such as a generator.
Another of the 49 recipients, Kyogle Together, will use their grant money to continue a Fair Kitchen and food pantry – helping meet the huge need from displaced Northern Rivers residents when the housing crisis was exacerbated by homes destroyed in flooding. Kyogle Together will employ a local lady for 20 hours per week.
NRCF has also worked to bring external money into the region, with national donors stepping forward to help meet the need they have witnessed following the early 2022 floods, with many expressing their fondness for the region and wanting to support it to flourish.
These individual philanthropists and philanthropic foundations have given generously to the NRCF to facilitate a thriving Northern Rivers and help address some of the disadvantage in our region.
The Northern Rivers Community Foundation thanks all applicants in what was a high demand Community Grants funding round and looks forward to supporting the 49 recipients to deliver incredible projects which support to our region.
Read the full list of this year’s recipients here.
And view the photo gallery from the 2022 Grant Giving Event.