North Coast

Community grants to support local bushfire recovery 

Healthy North Coast is inviting communities affected by the 2019-20 bushfires to apply for grants of up to $10,000. 

The grants are to fund grassroots community-focused health and wellbeing initiatives. They are being made available through Healthy North Coast’s PHN program. The funding is under the Commonwealth’s ‘Supporting Communities in Recovery’ initiative. 

Healthy North Coast CEO Julie Sturgess said last summer’s bushfires left a lasting impact on many North Coast communities. 

“Community spirit is vital to the resilience and recovery of towns and villages impacted by the bushfires and to the emotional healing of individual community members,” Ms Sturgess said. 

“The activities occurring under this program will aim to strengthen social connectedness and emotional wellbeing, as well as assist communities to recover and heal from the bushfires.” 

The grants, which are available until 31 March 2021, are open to local organisations in bushfire-affected communities for activities that promote: 

  • Social cohesion, connectedness and supportive friendship and relationships 
  • Community wellbeing, resilience, mental health healing and post-trauma recovery 
  • Information about services and where to seek assistance, and/or assistance to identify and support those in distress.

Organisations and community groups based in or operating within the following local government natural disaster-declared areas are eligible to apply to Healthy North Coast for funding: 

  • Port Macquarie – Hastings 
  • Kempsey 
  • Nambucca 
  • Bellingen 
  • Coffs Harbour 
  • Clarence Valley 
  • Richmond Valley 
  • Kyogle 
  • Lismore 
  • Ballina 
  • Byron 
  • Tenterfield (Tabulam, Upper Tooloom, Urbenville) 


Ms Sturgess said a wide range of community organisations may be eligible for the grants. These include Aboriginal or cultural groups, church-affiliated groups, playgroups and children’s groups, groups for older people, women’s groups, men’s groups, youth groups, sporting groups, localcommunity associations, school-affiliated groups, firefighting brigades, charities, animal welfare and wildlife organisations. 

Grant applicants must include an ABN in the organisation’s name. All applicants will be assessed for eligibility and to ensure their proposed activity meets the program’s objectives. There are two levels of funding available: 

  • Level 1: up to $1,500 (GST excl) – available for new community gatherings or activities that enable communities to continue the journey of healing and recovery. 
  • Level 2: $1,501 to $10,000 (GST excl) – for wider-ranging or more comprehensive projects. 

To apply for a ‘Supporting Communities in Recovery’ grant: 

More information on the ‘Supporting Communities in Recovery’ grants, including detailed eligibility and assessment criteria, is available at or by emailing: 


For immediate 24/7 mental health support contact: 

  • Mental Health Access Line 1800 011 511 
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 
  • NewAccess (developed by Beyond Blue) 1300 224 636 
  • Kids Helpline (for children under 12 years) 1800 551 800 
  • headspace (for young adults aged 12 – 25) 1800 650 890 

In an emergency call 000 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.