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Byron Shire
December 2, 2023

$1 Million for grassroots community groups in Northern Rivers

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Container of Dreams volunteers. Photo Mark Kriedmann

Following the 2022 floods, people came together working with existing community groups and creating new ones as they looked around and determined what needed to be done and how best to get it achieved. 

At the time the Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) was able to respond quickly and pivot to help local grassroots groups with funding and support to achieve the best outcomes for these groups. 

It Takes a Town volunteers. Photo Nat McComas

$1 Million for community resilience

NRCF CEO Sam Henderson said that the fact that the NRCF has been around for 20 years supporting local charities and organisations across all the northern rivers meant that when the floods happened they were able to respond quickly and effectively to their needs. 

This has meant they are now in a position to continue to work effectively with these groups with funding from the NSW Reconstruction Authority and deliver a critical $1 Million Community Resilience Grants Program.

‘The program will bolster the efforts of grassroots community organisations, which have shown unwavering strength in the face of adversity and help lessen the “funding cliff” many are experiencing,  as disaster support funding provided post-floods winds down,’ said the NRCF in a press release. 

Some organisations are brand new as they were created by the community in response to the 2022 flood Mr Henderson told The Echo. Therefore, if needed, part of the funding can support orgnaisations and charities that are transitioning and need strategy planning as they look to their future role in the region. 

‘This $1 Million grant program is an injection of vital support to our region – with so many townships still in the medium to long term recovery stage. We are thrilled to facilitate this money going into place-based projects to target priority areas such as strengthening community networks and connections, improving current living situations and financial wellbeing. We want to build capacity at an individual and community scale, and we want to support the Northern Rivers to thrive again,’ Mr  Henderson said. 

‘It is exactly what our region needs – a significant investment into the place-based community resilience organisations that are helping hold our community fabric throughout this disaster and recovery process. 

‘Community Foundations such as NRCF are trusted members of the local community – and it is NRCF’s  19 years of connection at a grassroots level that positions us to deliver the Community Resilience  Grants Program. When the floods hit we responded quickly – distributing 106 Emergency Response  Grants to our local community organisations within just eight weeks. Many of our recipients were up to their knees in mud and accessing these funds allowed them to deliver vital emergency disaster relief. 

‘We are now 18 months on from the floods and NRCF is proud to again deliver grants thanks to this significant NSW Government funding. Supporting our communities to regenerate and recover on all levels is the priority,’ he said. 

The Community Resilience Grants Program is open from November 15 through to December 4, 2023. View the full eligibility criteria and further information at the NRCF website: www.nrcf.org.au.

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  1. Really hope that the source of the funding (NSWRA) doesn’t mean that NRCF changes their trusted eligibility criteria or processes.


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