North Coast

Northern Rivers Community Foundation Grant Recipients Announced

LOCAL COMMUNITY BENEFITS FROM RECORD $327,177 IN GRANTS 49 organisations are set to benefit from the annual Northern Rivers Community Foundation’s Community Grants Program.

Last night, the Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) announced the well-deserved recipients of the latest round of their Community Grants Program. In total, the Foundation gave back to the community their largest ever contribution – $327,177 – which will be distributed amongst a record number of recipients – 49. These worthy organisations are based across the entire Northern Rivers region – featuring in each of the 7 LGA’s from Tweed to Grafton. This year, the grants program focused on organisations that were tackling local issues in four main areas – disadvantage, housing & homelessness, recovery & resilience and the environment. Recipients included a range of well-known, and not so well-known, local not-for-profits, including; Australian Seabird Rescue, Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation, Friends of the Koala, Give them a Chance, End Street Sleeping Collaboration, and Clarence Landcare.

Grants ranged from $1,300 up to $10,000, averaging $6,677, and were supported by funding from the James Frizelle Charitable Foundation, Portland House, Dunnet Foundation, Global Giving & Charmian Bourne. Funding for housing and homelessness grants was also raised through

NlaRunCcFh’es dn Iemwplay ct Now Housing Fund.

NRCF CEO Emily Berry stated that “this year’s Community Grants Program has been our biggest ever, not only in terms of the amount given back to the community, but also the number of recipients both receiving and applying for a grant. All were records! Although it’s pleasing to see how many local not-for-profits will benefit from the grants, it’s also a sign of how in need the Northern Rivers region really is.” Berry continued, “Since 2005, the Northern Rivers Community Foundation has supported the local community with over $2.4 million in grants to address challenges facing some of our most vulnerable people and natural environments. $1.3 million of that has come through the Community Grants Program. We really aim to connect the issues in the community with the grants awarded. What’s more, we hope to connect our donors with these issues and community organisations, so we can grow awareness of our region’s challenges and encourage local community philanthropy.

The recipients included:

END STREET SLEEPING COLLABORATION – $10,000

For: Connections Week 2022 – connecting with people who are sleeping rough

Award Category: Housing & Homelessness

This project will encompass coordination and training of volunteers to assist with Connections Week 2022. Volunteers will collect the stories of people sleeping rough in the region of Byron Bay & Tweed, Data collected will then provide valuable insights into life on the streets by identifying the pathways into rough sleeping and help address homelessness. This grant is supported by NRCF’s Impact Now Housing Fund.

The recipients included:

END STREET SLEEPING COLLABORATION – $10,000

For: Connections Week 2022 – connecting with people who are sleeping rough

Award Category: Housing & Homelessness

This project will encompass coordination and training of volunteers to assist with Connections Week 2022. Volunteers will collect the stories of people sleeping rough in the region of Byron Bay & Tweed, Data collected will then provide valuable insights into life on the streets by identifying the pathways into rough sleeping and help address homelessness. This grant is supported by NRCF’s Impact Now

Housing Fund.  Taylor Mills, Community Impact Officer said “I am really excited about this project as I used to be a rontline worker myself. The goal of this project is to get every service provider working within homelessness to collaborate and work together. This will not only impact those that are homeless but also those who work in this field in the Northern Rivers. When we come together we can make real change.”

GIVE THEM A CHANCE – $10,000

For: Adventure therapy equipment for foster teenagers at Treehouse Farm

Award Category: Social, Economic, Cultural &/or Educational Disadvantage

Treehouse Farm provides teenagers who are in foster care with an activity-based therapeutic home environment in the Northern Rivers. This project will install on-site adventure therapy equipment to facilitate healthy risk taking, problem solving, physical challenge, resilience and self-esteem. The project will benefit 12 teenagers in Out of Home Care, and respite carers. This grant is supported by James Frizelle Charitable Foundation.

Lisa Rayner, Director, said “We’re so happy to have received this grant. Our goal is to implement change in the foster system for older foster children and bring about lasting and meaningful change. This project will enable us to install on-site adventure therapy equipment, and this outdoor adventure playground, coupled with secure emotional connections and firm boundaries, will go a long way in providing what these teenagers need”.

MUDYALA ABORIGINAL CORPORATION – $7,942

For: Mudyala Bush Tucker Garden

Award Category: Recovery & Resilience

Cultural identity is a struggle for many Aboriginal people within the Clarence Valley. Not understanding culture and identity can create mental health issues for Aboriginal families. The 2019/2020 bushfires and COVID19 pandemic has further impacted on the social and emotional wellbeing of the Aboriginal community, causing many to experience mental health issues. It has been proven, particularly through the methods of the Black Dog Institute, that connection to culture and cultural practices reduces risk of illness, increases positive social and emotional wellbeing, and strengthens the identity of Aboriginal people, thus increasing the resilience of Aboriginal people in this bushfire impacted community. Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation has been providing Native Bush

Tucker packs to their Play n Yarn Family Support groups as part of a relief program that strengthens culture and identity. Currently Mudyala relies on the local landcare group to provide the bush tucker. In order to create a sustainable supply, Mudyala wish to create a small nursery to grow native foods for the local Aboriginal community and create a live learning centre. This grant is supported by Global Giving.

Aneika Kapeen, CEO & Director of Mudyala says “This is the start of a bigger opportunity to grow local native bush foods and share knowledge of them, both in the diet and what they mean to local animals. We’ve always wanted to do this but have never had the chance to kick it off before – this grant will give us this chance. We’re 100% aboriginal owned and run, with volunteers making and selling produce made from the bush foods. All profits go back into the community to ensure cultural sustainability”.

CLARENCE LANDCARE – $5,364

For: Cane Toad Identification Cards

Award Category: Natural Environment & Conservation The cane toad is well known for the impact it has on threatened species and ecological communities. Cane toads are more mobile than in previous years and their numbers have grown exponentially.

The bushfires of 2019/2020 opened large areas of land accelerating their spread, while the rain events that followed made conditions perfect for breeding. As a result, many Northern Rivers residents have reported cane toads in numbers not seen before and in areas that were previously cane toad free. The Cane Toad Identification Cards are designed to be a handy reference tool to

assist the public to correctly identify cane toads at each stage of the life cycle. This tool will help to distinguish between the toxic pest and the native frog species often misidentified as cane toads. This grant is supported by Global Giving

Kelly McRae, Education/Project Officer said “This is a very significant project. We need the community’s help to collect cane toads and they need help in confidently identifying them. 70% of cane toads reported to DPI are actually native frogs. These cards will be a really well received tool and we’re thrilled to have received the grant”.

About NRCF

The Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) was established in 2004 to connect people who care with local causes that matter to enhance community well-being in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. NRCF strives to create a compassionate, generous and equitable community. Dedicated to improving the lives of those less fortunate in our community, NRCF supports social, environmental and cultural community organisations across the 7 local government areas of the Northern Rivers. Since 2005, the Foundation has granted $2.4 million*, across the 7 shires of the Northern Rivers, with 347 grants.