Not-for-profit organisation Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has partnered with Suncorp and GIO to award $500,000 to local community and not-for-profit groups dedicated to the rehabilitation and support of east-coast Australia from the continuing impact of floods in Queensland and NSW, among others, earlier this year.
In 2021, FRRR launched the Rebuilding Futures program to support communities devastated by floods and strengthen their resilience to natural disasters. The $500,000 worth of grants awarded in partnership with Suncorp and GIO will fund the recipient organisations’ projects, which range from equipping community facilities with disaster-prevention materials to buying emergency equipment, restoring flood-damaged infrastructure, and boosting community resilience through healing events and the development of community preparedness plans.
Two initial tranches of grants worth $200,000 were awarded in December 2021 to support 17 groups which were then helping communities recover from the March 2021 floods. Both came from its partnership with Suncorp Group, which had then pledged $1 million to the Rebuilding Futures program.
“The grant applications we received in this round are all the proof needed to reaffirm community leaders are best placed to understand exactly what the people in their areas need at this moment in time," said Suncorp’s head of disaster response and customer experience Cath Stewart.
Steward noted the diversity of the applications, which reflected the importance of responsive initiatives and flexible funding. “These communities were all impacted by the same natural disaster, yet it’s very clear that they have diverse needs based on the point that they’re at on their road to recovery,” she said.
Among the projects and organisations awarded were:
FRRR disaster resilience and climate solutions lead Nina O’Brien emphasised that despite their diversity, each initiative the Rebuilding Futures program awarded – whether for the purchase of emergency equipment or provision of mental health support – was a practical and necessary response to support long-term recovery in flood-affected communities.
“Recovery will take many years, and every community has different needs and different capacity levels when it comes to tackling the recovery process,” O’Brien said. “That’s why it’s so crucial that we provide these local groups with the support they need to build back better and design their own path to recovery when they are ready.”