Bushfire Recovery Grants - Supporting Communities in Recovery

Round 2 of the Bushfire Recovery Grants has now closed.

Background information

Community spirit is vital to the resilience and recovery of towns and villages impacted by the recent bushfires and to the emotional healing of individual community members.

COORDINARE, the South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network (PHN), invited local organisations in bushfire-affected communities to apply for funding for community activities. These activities will aim to strengthen social connectedness and emotional wellbeing, as well as assist communities to recover and heal from the recent bushfires.

Grants of up to $10,000 were available under the new Commonwealth-funded 'Supporting Communities in Recovery' program to fund grassroots community-focused health and wellbeing initiatives. Organisations and community groups based in the following bushfire-affected areas were eligible to apply:

  • Bega Valley
  • Eurobodalla
  • Goulburn-Mulwaree
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • Shoalhaven
  • Snowy-Monaro
  • Upper Lachlan Shire

You can view the activities funded in Rounds 2 and 1 in the news feed below.

Round 2 of the Bushfire Recovery Grants has now closed.

Background information

Community spirit is vital to the resilience and recovery of towns and villages impacted by the recent bushfires and to the emotional healing of individual community members.

COORDINARE, the South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network (PHN), invited local organisations in bushfire-affected communities to apply for funding for community activities. These activities will aim to strengthen social connectedness and emotional wellbeing, as well as assist communities to recover and heal from the recent bushfires.

Grants of up to $10,000 were available under the new Commonwealth-funded 'Supporting Communities in Recovery' program to fund grassroots community-focused health and wellbeing initiatives. Organisations and community groups based in the following bushfire-affected areas were eligible to apply:

  • Bega Valley
  • Eurobodalla
  • Goulburn-Mulwaree
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • Shoalhaven
  • Snowy-Monaro
  • Upper Lachlan Shire

You can view the activities funded in Rounds 2 and 1 in the news feed below.

  • Round 2 funded activities

    by Sarah McKenzie,

    List of Round 2 Bushfire Recovery grant activities

    We received 77 applications for the second round of the Supporting Communities in Recovery grants program, to assist communities to recover and heal from the 2019-20 summer bushfires. Similar to the previous round, this was an unprecedented response for COORDINARE, and underlies the extent to which communities across South Eastern NSW were impacted by the devastating bushfires.

    We were overwhelmed by the continued creativity and resilience of local organisations who developed projects ranging from sporting activities, arts programs and workshops, environmental renewal, and music and community gatherings.

    Congratulations to the successful recipients (listed below). The many grant-supported events and activities are as diverse as the communities represented across our vast region. Over half of the funding for the second round of grants has already been received in bushfire-affected communities, allowing many initiatives to get underway, and some are already complete. While COVID-19 has created an additional challenge, the communities and organisations involved have demonstrated amazing resilience and plan to deliver COVID-safe projects and activities to their communities.

    Bega Valley

    • Bega Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Green Shoots: The project will be a series of outdoor activities across small towns around Bega, with live music, busking competition and an amateur art competition, to promote local community connection. A final celebration will be held in Bega with awards, performances and display of artworks.
    • Bega Valley Suicide Prevention Action Network Inc (SPAN) – South Coast Nurse-Led Wellbeing Program: Partnering with OzHelp, Pambula Mitre 10 and Bermagui Country Club, to deliver Nurse-led Workplace Tune Up and Gatekeeper Training Program over two days, including digital health screen across a range of measures, confidential results and prompt follow up where results are outside benchmarks, and access to ongoing support, coaching and referral.
    • Cobargo Wellness Group – Ginger the Frog Community Arts: To deliver a wellbeing-community arts project in three remote areas in the Bega Valley Shire, encompassing the regions around Cobargo, Kiah, Pericoe, Quaama, Towamba, Wyndham and Candelo. This project's components include: Creative arts workshops, Workshops on trauma recovery, A live professional theatre show, A post-show Wellbeing Forum with local service providers, Opportunities for the community to provide feedback, Family BBQs.
    • Quaama Public School PC Association – Indigenous Health at Quaama Public School: This project involves learning about Indigenous culture and the role of fire in culture, to promote healing from the trauma of the fires at Quaama Public School. The project involves three components; Indigenous healing and smoking ceremony, replanting and regenerating the Quaama School bushland bird and wildlife sanctuary and Indigenous fire themed mural painting.
    • Quaama Tennis Club – Quaama Tennis Club Community Fun Days: To hold a series of community days where all members of the community are welcome to enjoy social tennis and the community spirit.
    • Southern Women's Group Inc – Seeing Country Recovery Through the Eyes of the Yuin People: This Aboriginal community initiative will to produce a video and recipe cards; a ‘modern take’ to share and record traditional knowledge (yarning). The project will utilize the knowledge and wisdom of community elders; bring together community members to hunt and gather; yarn; cook; share and connect. This will also allow community members to share their fire stories; connect with land, country and nature; connect with how the land is recovering and talk about ways of healing and recovering themselves in the aftermath of the fires.
    • Southern Women's Group Inc – Accessible Art Therapy: To deliver a series of individual and group therapeutic Creative Arts sessions to residents of the Bega Valley who were impacted by the region's devastating bushfires, to provide an opportunity for people to process feelings and emotions, particularly around trauma. For many Art Therapy is a more accessible and ultimately transformative therapeutic modality for processing their trauma.
    • The Crossing Land Education Trust – Extension of Badja Fire Edge Roads Gatherings: This project will facilitate local community gatherings around Quaama, Verona and Dignams Creek, to offer people the opportunity to voice concerns, tell their stories, collaborate and build networks to help improve mental health and resilience. The project is a collaboration between Bermagui RFS, Bermagui SES and Bushfire Recovery Clinicians from the SNSWLHD.
    • Theatre Onset Inc – 21 Chump Street Tour of Isolated Bushfire Communities: Take a program of integrated workshops and performances to isolated bushfire impacted communities across Bega Valley, with the aim of providing young people with the opportunity to gain skills and confidence in the practice of performance, music or dance.


    • Batemans Bay BMX Club Inc – Youth BMX Sports Camp: This project will host a free 2 Day Youth BMX Sport Camp in conjunction with Sports Camps Australia, to enable 5-16 year olds to come together, reconnect and increase participation in sport.
    • Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber – Commemorative Light Show on New Years Eve: To start 2021 with a fresh and positive ‘vibe’, and to commemorate the region's recovery and challenges over the past 12 months, hold a bright VIVID-style light show on NYE for the community. From the moment it gets dark, dozens of areas on or near the foreshore of Bateman's Bay will be lit up with bright colours and beam lights, similar to Vivid in Sydney and Enlighten in Canberra.
    • Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber – Community Recovery Mural: To establish a Community Recovery Mural in the heart of the community. This activity will engage the community and assist them in their recovery and healing process from the recent bushfires. A local professional mural artist will guide the process and involve community members in the process of developing and painting the mural.
    • Campbell Page Batemans Bay - Bring Back the Music
      To hold a family friendly outdoor live music community event which specifically targets young people 12-25 years. The project offers a much needed safe space for young people to connect socially, and access information about headspace and other relevant services that can help in their recovery following the impact of bushfires and COVID-19.
    • Creative Arts Batemans Bay Incorporated (CABBI) – Oral History of the Fire: To document the oral histories of the bushfires and deposit the tapes and transcripts with the National Library. The project will consist of a local Oral Historian meeting with interviewees, to share reflect on their experiences during the summer fires on the south coast.
    • Creative Arts Batemans Bay Incorporated (CABBI) – Postcards From The Fire' Online Presence: This project takes the 'Postcards from the Fire' photographic exhibition to a busy public location, providing an opportunity to reach a wider sector of the community over a longer period of time, coinciding with the anniversary of the fire. While the exhibition will be organised with volunteer labour, the project seeks support for a social media manager over this period to promote the project and exhibition and continue to collate submissions, monitor uploads and reformat uploads as required.
    • Mogo Village Business Chamber – Mogo Rising:To hold a single day music event in Mogo, where local bands are able to play for approximately 200 young people from the Mogo community and surrounding area. Volunteers from the business chamber and local sporting groups will act as events facilitators, security and COVID marshalls.
    • Montague Arts and Crafts Society – Bush Telegraph: Childrens Holiday Arts and Information Program: To hold ten half-day art and craft workshops during the summer school holidays for children from Bodalla, Tilba, Narooma and Bermagui, featuring drawing, painting, drama, ceramics and mosaics. Greeting card packs will be produced, featuring photographs of the artworks / activities and containing information about local support services.
    • Muddy Puddles – Creative Arts Therapy Groups: This program will include creative therapies to provide a safe space for children and young people with diverse needs to give a voice to their experiences and learn appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to understand and manage the changes brought about by a natural disaster.
    • The University of Wollongong, Batemans Bay Campus – Wattle Walk: To create a shared experience that celebrates regrowth and healing, inspired by the Australian War Memorial’s 2018 “62,000 Poppies Display” tribute to Australian lives lost in WW1. The project involves extensive community participation in making and displaying a 'sea of wattle' throughout the grounds of the Batemans Bay Education Centre, in conjunction with local Art organisations and the annual River of Art Festival.


    • International Volunteers for Peace Inc – Plants for Peace: Volunteers will collect donated plants from several nurseries and transport them to a central location in various fire-affected communities across SE NSW, for local residents to pick up. This grant would allow us to up-scale our project, to deliver more plants, to link up with more Recovery Officers and Councils to reach more distant locations. The plants are currently being sourced in Sydney and Goulburn but we plan to contact nurseries in other locations to increase options, improve delivery outcomes, and increase cost-effectiveness.


    • A Community Under Fire Community Board – A Community Under Fire: To create a documentary of Braidwood's 2019-2020 Black Summer, focusing on the community's recovery. It will highlight the importance of community – everyday people doing extraordinary things to help our town rebound from its greatest existential threat.
    • Braidwood Regional Arts Group – Art on Fire, A Braidwood Regional Arts Group Community Project: This project comprises four parts for the entire community: an exhibition of artworks, an art installation made of postcards from the community, workshops and a book, to foster mental health mental wellbeing and recovery, enable the community to share experiences, and promote information about local services.
    • Braidwood Youth Performing Arts Association – Summer Festival of Making January 2021: The project involves running a week-long performing arts festival for young people in the Braidwood District. BYPAA organises performing arts holiday workshops and events. The festival program is devised to guide participants through a series of workshops where they will create instruments and costumes from recycled materials, form a musical group, compose a song and perform it as a filmed music-video. We have identified a diverse team of local artists and mentors, including a qualified counsellor, who we propose to employ to deliver this program.
    • Captains Flat Community Association – Captains Flat and Surrounds Recovery Fair: Hold a recovery fair for the residents of Captains Flat and surrounding regions (including Jindra, Jerangle, Anembo, Rossi, Forbes Creek, Hoskintown and Reschs Creek), including an outdoor movie show, fireworks, free amusements rides and face painting, information stalls, children's novelty events and a Men's Shed BBQ.
    • Nerriga Craft and Museum Centre – Community Fun Day: A community celebration day to help recovery from bushfires, including museum dedication, games, races and activities, in collaboration with the Nerriga Progress Association, Nerriga School Student reunion and Nerriga Fire Brigade. The day aims to commemorate the past, enjoy the present and focus on the future as a Museum and community.
    • The Lions Club of Braidwood Inc – Braidwood Lions Young Writers Festival 2020: To produce and distribute a short documentary video to capture the spirit of a Young Writers Festival award ceremony. The video will feature interviews with community including winning authors, teachers, sponsors, judges, Lions Club members, and of course the young writers themselves. The final video would elevate the achievements and creative potential of the young writers in our region in a story, which celebrates resilience, community spirit, and hope.


    • Bay & Basin Community Resources Limited – Wellness on Point: To coordinate and deliver a series of six monthly workshops / activities, with a health & well-being guest speaker and morning tea prior to activity. Proposed activities include: Keep learning (craft, music and art sessions, IT sessions, Mental Health First Aid/QPR session), Be Active (Thai Chi, yoga for different skill and fitness levels), Connect (Group lunches and morning and afternoon teas, cooking classes, book and movie clubs), Help others (volunteering of residents’ skills to deliver above activities), and Take Notice (appreciation lessons, local garden group, bush walks, mindfulness apps, community safety & emergency preparedness sessions).
    • Bomaderry Community Preschool – Reconnecting and Building Resilience Through Art Workshops: To run eight 3-hour Art workshops for preschool and Kindergarten families, with the aim of reconnecting the community, and building social connections and community capacity. The workshops will be designed to engage participants in visual art making as a form of nonverbal expression. The approach is designed to assist individuals to explore, externalize, process and resolve negative thoughts and feelings associated with trauma.
    • Lions Club of Kangaroo Valley Inc – Kangaroo Valley Mens Group: To coordinate a monthly get-together for men in the Kangaroo Valley/Budgong area for a range of activities (eg kayaking, guided bushwalks, petanque/botchi, bbq masterclass, bushfire preparedness events) to promote a sense of well-being, build relationships and develop community inter-connectedness.
    • Red Head Villages Association Inc – Pictorial History Book of 5 Villages – Manyana, Bendalong, Nth Bendalong, Cunjurong Pt and Berringer Lake: To create a 120-page pictorial history book capturing and celebrating the stories of five local villages. Contributions of photographs and stories will be sought from permanent residents and long-term holidaymakers, plus interviews with people who’ve made a special contribution.
    • Salt Care – Disaster Mental Health Counselling Training: To provide comprehensive Disaster Mental Health Counselling training to equip key workers/volunteers with the clinical skills, cultural capability, and evidence based knowledge to effectively serve in disaster-affected areas.
    • Sassafras and Districts Progress Association – Community Upskilling Program: To provide information and practical education/training to the Sassafras community through a variety of guest speakers and practical training in the topic areas; first aid and bushfire mitigation. Each workshop will be followed by a community get together to promote social connection and wellbeing.
    • Shoalhaven Community Preschool – Creative Arts Recovery Program: Deliver an Arts program to 85 preschool children. The program would run 2 days each week for a period of 6 months, and then showcase children’s art to the wider community as a celebration of healing and recovery. Up until COVID restrictions, we had an intergenerational partnership with a local Aged Care Facility which we would visit with a small group of children each week.
    • Shoalhaven Health and Arts – Reflect and Heal: Create arts-focused community engagement events at 3 separate locations, highlighting arts as a means to reflect and heal. Each event will comprise: (1) A walk within the natural landscape, incorporating mindful art-making processes, (2) an opportunity to join a more sedentary activity, for those less able to participate in the walk, and (3) conclude with a ceremony acknowledging the loss of wildlife and habitats.
    • Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network Inc – Mental Health First Aid Training: To undertake Mental Health First Aid training for the Conjola and Sassafras communities. The training will be conducted within the community, reducing the need for public transport. In addition, as the training would be fully paid for by the grant any financial constraints are eased. The training would be conducted in a face to face environment that adheres to all COVID-19 requirements. Through education, community members will have a common purpose to make connections and build an awareness within the community to positively focus on mental health.
    • Sonder Youth – Changemakers for Ulladulla and Surrounds Bushfire Recovery: Offer young people aged 13 - 25 in Ulladulla, Conjola and surrounding bushfire affected communities activities to promote social cohesion and community wellbeing, including a skills-development mentorship program and completion of the Teen Mental Health First Aid Australia course.

    Snowy Monaro

    • Bredbo Community Progress Association – Bredbo Christmas Capers: To bring together the whole Bredbo community for a Christmas event to celebrate the 2020 journey through bushfire losses and COVID isolation; to reconnect through laughter, food and live music with local bands. Various community and welfare organisations will also be in attendance, including the Bredbo RFS, Country Women’s Association, Bredbo Landcare and Men’s Shed.
    • Cooma Universities Centre Inc – Mental Health First Aid Training For Snowy-Monaro's Future Leaders: To develop skills for new and future, Snowy Monaro leaders in emotional wellbeing, resilience and bushfire recovery through Mental Health First Aid training.
    • Delegate Progress Association – Community Recovery Days Out: To run a series of days out for all Delegate area residents, including to the coast and other bushfire affected communities to help boost their businesses. Target groups will be business owners, families with children, farmers, elderly and the local community, and the project will provide transport, food and PPE. Participants will be able to debrief about their experiences during the fires and COVID isolation within a relaxed social environment.
    • Jerangle Peak View CWA – Community Garden and Networking Project: This project aims to increase social cohesion, connectedness and supportive friendships by holding a series of workshops and garden working-bees to assist in the creation of a community space in the small hamlet of Jerangle NSW.
    • Lake Jindabyne Dragon Boat Club Inc – 'Welcome to the Snowies' Community Concert: 'Welcome to the Snowies' is the concept for a one night community concert to be held on March 6, 2021 on the foreshore of Lake Jindabyne. The event will celebrate the revival of the Jindabyne community after the past twelve months of bushfires, Covid-19, a poor winter snow season and business recession.
    • Multicultural Activity Group In Communities Inc (MAGIC) – Food, Fun and Friendships: This project will promote community connections, foster mental wellbeing, and build skills through food, recipes and cooking through 'Lunch Tables' events, in partnership with the local CWA, Red Cross, View Club and/or local schools. The lunches will promote cross-cultural approaches to cooking and eating together, chatting, understanding and connections.
    • Shannon Payten-McDonald – The Creative Resilience Project: This project blends wellbeing with creative writing to give our community the tools they may need to work through the experiences of the Black Summer bushfires. Participants will learn how to use writing as a way to manage emotions and work through grief, anxiety, loss through reflection and expression. A mental health and wellbeing session will provide information on how to identify people who may be struggling.
    • Snowy River Interstate Landcare Committee Inc – Land and Community Recovery in Southern Monaro: To engage farmers and the broader Snowy Monaro community through two field events (six months apart) focusing on the medium-term recovery of land and community, following the bushfire devastation around Cathcart, Bombala and Rockton. The two events will start with a group workshop with an expert in soil and pasture health to set the scene of renewal and land scape function. The following field component will allow participants to interpret their land and surroundings through the increased knowledge gained during facilitated discussion.

    Multiple LGAs

    • Lifeline Canberra Inc – The Working Mind Recovery Program: To provide seven 'The Working Mind' (TWM) mental health training courses in bushfire affected communities across SE NSW. TWM was born out of protecting individuals and groups who have been through traumatic events (or experienced vicarious trauma) and are potentially struggling with psychological injury or illness that requires support; or individuals caring for others who are showing mental health decline.
    • NSW SES Volunteers Association – Mental Health First Aid for NSW SES Volunteers: Mental Health First Aid will be delivered to NSW SES Volunteers who live and volunteer in the South Eastern PHN area. The training discusses mental wellbeing, resilience and recovery, and utilizes examples from within NSWSES and other First Responder organisations. This breaks down stigma and barriers that many people have around mental health and gives participants skills on how to challenge stigma within their own units.
    • Regional Development Australia Southern Inland – Discovering Resilience: Deliver a 60-minute webinar to males across SE NSW, focusing on improving mental wellbeing, and moderated by Hugh van Cuylenburg of the Resilience Project. The Resilience Project delivers engaging and relatable programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses, providing practical, evidence-based mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.
  • Round 1 funded activities

    supporting image

    We received almost 100 applications from organisations and groups in response to the Supporting Communities in Recovery grants program, to assist communities to recover and heal from the 2019-20 summer bushfires. This was an unprecedented response for COORDINARE, and underlies the extent to which communities across South Eastern NSW were impacted by the devastating bushfires.

    We were overwhelmed by the creativity and resilience of local organisations who developed projects ranging from sporting activities, to Aboriginal healing and recovery, arts programs, environmental renewal, music and community gatherings.

    Congratulations to the following successful recipients, the many grant-supported events and activities are as diverse as the communities represented across our vast region. Most of the funding for the first round of grants has already been received in bushfire affected communities, allowing many initiatives to get underway, and some to be completed. While COVID-19 social distancing has required some activities to be deferred, others have been able to adapt through the use of social media and online platforms.


    Bega Valley Shire Library: Where There's Smoke writing workshops - Host a series of writing workshops designed to help people along the road to recovery by sharing their experiences in a supportive environment.

    Bega Multicultural Centre: Workshops in Massage for Home Use - Hold four workshops to teach home based massage therapy to the general community, to help reduce stress, support community wellbeing, resilience, mental and physical health. The techniques are simple and effective and the workshops will provide comprehensive notes with photographs. These workshops will empower participants to help each other deal effectively with stress on a long term basis.

    Flip the Script Collective Incorporated: Animation Appreciation Club for Bega Valley Youth - Give young people of the Bega Valley the opportunity to join with friends, family and community members at a monthly meeting, while providing contact with support services providers in a casual setting combined with screening of animation films from around the world.

    Wellways: Participant Social Activities - To hold new weekly social activities in conjunction with other community organisations and services, such as fishing groups, gardening groups, art groups, music groups, gaming groups and cooking groups. These social groups will benefit participants through community engagement, sharing post-bushfire stories and feelings and learning skills for recovery and resilience.

    Kameruka Cricket Club: Far South Coast Cricket Association RU OK? Community Cricket Day - Cricket NSW and Cricket ACT are supporting the Far South Coast Cricket Association across all levels of cricket across the region from juniors to seniors. This community event will be held for friends and neighbours to reconnect. RU OK?, Black Dog Institute and Rural Adversity Mental Health Program will be represented and other local mental health service providers will be promoted.

    Bermagui Preschool: Recovering and reconnecting workshops and support for families - To run ten family workshops and a support group aimed at helping families and staff cope with the impact of bushfires and to develop resilience and strengthen social support networks.

    The Crossing Land Education Trust: Bermagui Badja Fire Edge Community Connection - To hold a series of monthly workshops for communities on the edge of the Badja Fire around Bermagui. The workshops will be actively promoted, and delivered by experienced facilitators and trainers, including representatives from the local RFS and SES organisations, and collaboratively share experiences, monitor wellbeing, and identify community concerns and expectations as well as provide information about services and assistance available now and in the future. These workshops will then lead into discussions that develop into joint actions and a collective future vision for the community, focusing on increasing the community’s resilience.

    Bega Valley Motorcycle Expo: Bega Valley Motorcycle Expo Community Mental Health Initiative - To hold a community expo that brings together community groups and people of all ages and backgrounds to reconnect and share stories of recovery and hope. The expo provides a wide range of activities including BBQ and local food and coffee vendors, children's activities, fashion parades, motorcycle trade and club displays, displays from Bega Valley VRA & SES groups, and representation from RU OK?, RAMHP, Black Dog Institute, and headspace Bega. The expo provides an ideal opportunity to focus on community mental health issues and community reconnection with services and support to assist in post trauma recovery.

    Cobargo Preschool: Art, Music and Storytelling Therapy for Preschoolers and their Families - Offer preschoolers and their families art, music and storytelling sessions to encourage and support the children to explore their feelings, process their trauma, come to terms with the loss experienced, and bring joy back into their lives through self-expression. The artwork produced will be included in an exhibition in a local gallery in September 2020.

    Cobargo Community Bushfire Recovery Fund Inc: Cobargo Community Renewal Project - To hold a series of workshops and community connection events that support the Cobargo community to identify and work together on renewal projects, while connecting socially, sharing stories and taking control of their own recovery. These workshops will be held regularly, to maintain energy and motivation and to help realise the successful establishment of community-led actions. With the community taking the initiative in their own recovery, wellbeing and resilience will be built, which will greatly assist in healing trauma. The community will participate in collaborative practices that can continue into the future, and will be instrumental in laying good groundwork for the long-term recovery of the Cobargo community.

    Bushfire Recovery – Fire Responder Appreciation Event – To hold a community event to recognise the hard work of the firefighters, with each Fire Response Group receiving the Football Club’s 2020 jersey which is designed around the recognition of the fire heroes in the Eden community. The event aims to get the community together for an afternoon and provide a social gathering with food and an opportunity for the firefighters to talk to each other and community members.

    PlayAbility Incorporated: Workshop for staff affected by bushfire crisis - A multi-faceted approach to improve the wellbeing and sense of connectedness within the organisation and in the community, starting with a workshop on understanding trauma, and how individuals can set a program of self-care for themselves and help people within the organisation to support one other.

    Eden Community Access Centre Inc: Eden Dance - This project aims to provide a space for people to connect with others through meditative contemplation, dance, conversation, art and other activities to enable participants to practise self-awareness and control with the support of peers and professionals. The free events will be held monthly for six months, after which it is anticipated the project will become self-sustaining. These activities will strengthen social connectedness and emotional wellbeing, as individuals will be able to connect with each other, share stories and support one another to deal with their experiences and emotions. Informal mental health support will be available in the form of practitioners and contacts to support post trauma recovery, as well as contact details for a range of services, including Anglicare, Domestic Violence, Far South Coast Family Support services, and Dept of Communities and Justice.

    PCYC NSW: Far South Coast Club (Grant shared across Bega Valley and Eurobodalla shires): School Holiday Programs in Bushfire Affected Communities - Deliver structured activity programs (including bubble soccer, archery and mixed games) in the school holidays in bushfire affected communities of Eden, Bemboka, Bermagui, Mogo, Moruya and Batemans Bay.

    Grace Church Bega Valley Inc: Shed Night - Hold a community wide event to bring people together to connect and share stories in a safe non-threatening environment. This will be an opportunity for informal mingling and access to information about local services and how to seek assistance, and will include a guest speaker on post-trauma support.

    Bega Valley Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) Inc: Moving Forward - Increase Mental Health Training Capacity - Build mental health training capacity for the Bega Valley region to better deal with emerging mental health challenges arising from the recent bushfires, through local training and enabling specialist training of local staff as instructors through Mental Health First Aid Australia.

    Sapphire Life Opportunities: Merimbula Community Square - A connection point for people who need to access food, clothing, bedding and other physical provisions. The service is run by Sapphire Life Church volunteers, and provides links to resources for physical and mental health recovery for the local community.

    The Yoga Humm: Free Restorative Yoga Classes - To offer free restorative yoga classes online (following COVID-19 restrictions), to be promoted from Batemans Bay to Eden and across to Cooma via posters, newsletters, Facebook and Instagram.

    Murrah Hall Preservation Association Inc: Food, Music and Dance @ The Murrah - To support the communities across the region through food, entertainment, dancing and focused supportive presentations/discussions from local health/welfare and psychology professionals. Creating a series of popular events increases the likelihood of building and reinforcing relationships and conversations. Printed follow-up and contact material from recognised agencies will also be available.

    Pambula Preschool Kindergarten Association: Welcome and Recovery BBQ - A welcome and recovery BBQ to bring the local community together to strengthen community bonds, share stories, reflect on the collective sense of belonging and about how connecting with each other during times of adversity helps support the community's emotional wellbeing.

    Edmund Rice Education Australia (Pambula Beach Flexible Learning Centre): Surf and Ride - To attempt to engage, through outdoor activity programs, approximately 100 young people in the Sapphire Coast of secondary school age who are no longer enrolled in education. The program will run 12 surfing/learn-to-surf sessions at local sites, including working with Katungul to target Indigenous young people that have been directly affected by bushfire. A 10-12 session mountain biking program will also be run in a range of different locations based upon needs, ages and abilities of the participants.

    PlayAbility Incorporated: Community Drop-in Support Group for Quaama - Run a facilitated drop-in support group to provide a social outlet and a place where members of the community can gather, with scope to bring in providers and support organisations to present and facilitate discussions in areas such as health, legal issues and parenting support.

    Towamba Public School P&C Association: Fireflies - Students will create artworks across two school terms in 2020. The first series will investigate the initial responses of the local environment to The Border Fire while the second series of works will involve research in the local environment some months later to identify evidence of change and renewal. The project will culminate in inviting the whole Towamba Valley community to the opening of a gallery exhibition of the art.

    Towamba Progress Association: Towamba Meet, Greet and Mend - To offer a series of five separate events (one held every eight to ten weeks) to build community spirit and a sense of belonging, including: (1) Family fun day and non-competitive sports carnival; (2) Music Bingo trivia night; (3) Star spotting with telescope and storytelling; (4) Paintball excursion; and (5) Day walk through Ben Boyd National Park/Green Cape.


    Creative Arts Batemans Bay Inc: Postcards from the Fire - Public sourcing and exhibition of photographic images of the bushfire experience to facilitate the South Coast community’s wellbeing and post trauma recovery, not only of the people directly affected but also to expand the broader community’s understanding of the impact of these fires on society as a whole. The exhibition also aims to raise community awareness of the long recovery process.

    Muddy Puddles: Stormbirds Disaster Recovery Programs for young people - Deliver approximately 25 sessions of the Stormbirds program free of charge to young people in our community, to provide a safe space for children and young people to give a voice to their experiences and learn appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to understand and manage the changes brought about by a natural disaster. The program will also allow identification of young people that may need more intensive and ongoing support, and potentially offer outreach to townships within the Eurobodalla where transport may be a barrier, e.g. Moruya, Narooma, Mogo.

    The Salvation Army: Summer Holidays Replacement Day - To take bushfire-impacted young people on a fun day trip up to Ulladulla to play tenpin bowls, swim at the indoor pool and share lunch and dinner, to help make up for the 2019-20 summer holiday period that was lost due to the bushfire events.

    Age Matters: Elders Cultural Healing Gathering - The Booraja Elders Cultural Healing Gathering will bring together ageing Aboriginal Australians who reside in the community in the Eurobodalla. The gathering is an opportunity for frail and isolated seniors to come together for a community lunch, along with their carers and community members, to build social and cultural connections and link to social services.

    Southcoast Health & Sustainability Alliance: The Moos News - Community Communications - Establish a regular 'Moos News’ community news bulletin for the region, to promote community connectedness and resilience through the dissemination of information to improve communication, facilitate social cohesion and break down isolation. It will be distributed both online and in A4 size booklets to engage with older demographics and those in isolated communities where post-bushfire communications are limited.

    Surfrider Foundation Ltd Eurobodalla (Grant shared across Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla shires): South Coast Youth Bushfire Relief Surfing Program - To run the 'Swell Program' for youth in four bushfire-affected communities (Conjola, Durras, Malua Bay and Broulee), with the aim of promoting healing and recovery from bushfire-related trauma of the bushfires. Each program comprises a series of six lessons and includes lunches and transport for participants to and from venues. The program focuses on physical and mental fitness, community engagement, positive growth, social inclusion and healthy life choices, and is designed to place at-risk youth together with youth peers on an even playing field to learn new life skills, experience positive and meaningful change and to improve mental health through learning to surf.

    Long Beach Community Association: Long Beach Bushfire Recovery Get-Together - To hold a community event with BBQ, dancing and live entertainment from a local band, and information booths with a variety of local and state organisations such as Council, aged services, NSW Health, mental health and other community services. The event will encourage people to renew connections and start new relationships, and promote access to local community support agencies.

    Open Harts Inc: Retreat, Reset, Renew – Retreat for Healthcare Professionals – A short residential program aimed to provide health care professionals with an opportunity to engage in focused self-care activities.

    The Family Place: Leaf by Leaf Art Therapy Project - Conduct art therapy workshops in Moruya and the Batemans Bay area. Where required, participants will be offered private debriefing space and links to relevant support services. This project offers healing through art, and drawing community together under the guidance of an experienced art therapist and well supported by staff with relevant expertise.

    PCYC NSW: Far South Coast Club (Grant shared across Bega Valley and Eurobodalla shires): School Holiday Programs in Bushfire Affected Communities - Deliver structured activity programs (including bubble soccer, archery and mixed games) in the school holidays in bushfire affected communities of Eden, Bemboka, Bermagui, Mogo, Moruya and Batemans Bay.

    Narooma High School – NAIDOC Week activities – To support a series of culturally relevant activities during NAIDOC Week 2020 for Narooma High School students. The activities will be designed in conjunction with the students’ Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and developed with each year group, and will explore themes that promote Indigenous cultural knowledge and improve cultural awareness across the student body. This inclusive approach to celebrating NAIDOC Week is particularly important this year following the devastating impact of the 2019-20 bushfire season and continuing COVID-related restrictions on Koori community participation in on-campus activities.

    Nerrigundah Agricultural Bureau Inc: Community Support Get-Together - A get-together held for the local community and others who supported the devastated areas in and around Nerrigundah. Bringing together the affected community with those whose efforts greatly assisted them will cement existing relationships, develop new ones and ultimately assist the healing process.

    Rosedale Association Inc: Return to Rosedale' Welcome Event - Hold events including a community-wide afternoon tea, Landcare ‘weedathon’ and sausage sizzle to strengthen community connectedness, support emotional wellbeing and assist individuals and the community to recover and heal by sharing their experiences. A clinical psychologist will support this process by talking about the effects of trauma.

    Tomakin Community Association: Community Recovery BBQ - Host a free family-friendly BBQ event for the Tomakin community and local RFS volunteers and their families, including children’s activities and local Recovery Support groups to provide information of further resources available in the community.

    Tuross Head Progress Association Inc: Post-Bushfires Forum / Social Soup Kitchen - (1) Hold a bushfire community forum to examine the impact of the bushfires, evacuations and subsequent power and telecommunications interruptions on the predominantly elderly Tuross community, to enable better planning and preparedness for future emergency situations. (2) Over the cooler months, hold regular soup kitchen get-togethers for older people to build closer community spirit and encourage community engagement.


    Regional Development Australia Southern Inland: BusSI - To develop an information and services internet hub to support regional communities across SE NSW, comprising a landing page with multiple navigation points, including: Networking; New business/Start-ups; Business growth; Innovation; Funding opportunities; and Mental health supports. Each sub-page will have links to information, services and supports related to each heading. Social cohesion and connectedness will be facilitated through the networking page, including events, online communities and groups for individuals, start-up businesses, agribusinesses, and tourism businesses. The innovation page will have links to local groups looking to collaborate and innovate with other businesses or industries, or funding that is available for businesses wanting to innovate. The mental health supports page will provide information and details for emotional, mental and financial services and support available to assist locals in our regions. The hub will improve the dissemination of information and supports to have the best chance of reaching and supporting the highest number of individuals and businesses in our regions, thereby facilitating our drought and bushfire affected regions in their rebirth, growth and resilience for current and future disasters.


    Araluen Progress Association: Exhibition: Recovering from a summer of drought, fire and flood - Hold an exhibition of photographs and other artworks sourced from locals, which document the impact of natural disasters on the community and enable people to process and share their personal experiences and celebrate an increased sense of mental and emotional wellbeing. A photobook of the works exhibited will be developed for lodgement with the Braidwood Library, and a community mural developed.

    Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council: Landcare Muster - Hold an inspirational get-together with participants from across the 20 local landcare groups, providing an opportunity to connect with like-minded people. The groups will share ideas and knowledge to help post-fire recovery throughout the Upper Shoalhaven and Upper Deua catchment areas and will be addressed by guests such as Budawang Elder Noel Butler.

    Braidwood Holistic Therapies: Mongarlowe Mozzies Debrief - Hold a community debrief with support from a local counsellor, including a social get together for Mongarlowe’s 'Mosquito' army which withstood active fire in the area for more than five weeks. The event includes connecting through shared cooking and socialising, children's activities, screen-printing of special 'Mongarlowe Mozzies' t-shirts to promote social cohesion and supportive friendships, recognition through awards, and a viewing of a short documentary film made by those on the fire ground.

    Nerriga Progress & Sporting Association Inc: Nerriga Community Reunion - Hold an all-day community event in Nerriga to bring together the community, firefighters and Emergency Services who risked their lives to protect the region during the bushfires. Mental wellbeing information and resource materials will be available at the event which will be a positive gathering where people can celebrate survival stories, support one another and engage with emergency teams who helped defend the community under extreme conditions.


    Bomaderry Community Inc: Community Acts of (not-so-random) Kindness - Deliver a series of free community-led activities to promote human connectedness, foster emotional resilience, support local businesses, and advocate community wellbeing. Events have been designed to appeal to diverse community demographic group, e.g. a community Easter egg hunt, 'Find your mojo' drumming circle, jazz and coffee afternoons, street performers and street theatre, free movie screenings, bush poetry evenings, board games activities, and an Alice in Wonderland-themed garden party with croquet. All events also include support services and information appropriate targeted to each audience.

    Budgong Community Group Inc: Community Restoration Project - To hold regular community events every second month to provide support and information in a social setting, to bring the community together to help deal with the devastation and aftermath of the fires. These events will include participation from the RFS and other volunteer representatives and help support improved bushfire preparedness for the community.

    Surfrider Foundation Ltd Eurobodalla (Grant shared across Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla shires): South Coast Youth Bushfire Relief Surfing Program - To run the 'Swell Program' for youth in four bushfire-affected communities (Conjola, Durras, Malua Bay and Broulee), with the aim of promoting healing and recovery from bushfire-related trauma of the bushfires. Each program comprises a series of six lessons and includes lunches and transport for participants to and from venues. The program focuses on physical and mental fitness, community engagement, positive growth, social inclusion and healthy life choices, and is designed to place at-risk youth together with youth peers on an even playing field to learn new life skills, experience positive and meaningful change and to improve mental health through learning to surf.

    Kangaroo Valley Bushfire Recovery Inc Association: Kangaroo Valley - Stronger Together - To hold (1) a series of events every 4-6 weeks to bring together women of all ages and interests through a variety of group activities to promote connectedness and mental wellbeing; and (2) a community celebration event to launch the new pump track for local children and families.

    The Conjola Community Recovery Association Inc: Community Resilience Functions - To hold a series of community gatherings to connect dispersed residents from bushfire affected areas in and around Conjola. These events will include a shared meal and children’s activities as well as focus on themes to assist with the recovery process, including Financial Counselling and Management, Rebuilding Gardens after Fire, Self-Care Workshop and Building Resilience through Art and Music.

    Nulladolla Pottery Group: Creative Coastal Appeal - Hold various inter-related therapeutic group art and craft activities, enabling fire-affected communities to come together to use art as a method of release. An art exhibition will be held to raise funds for bushfire-affected people and local charities through the sale of donated artworks, while artistic items of personal significance lost by bushfire-affected people will be replaced with the help of local artisans.

    St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Parish Milton: Rising from the Ashes - Undertake two initiatives: (1) a 'Rising from the Ashes - A Time for Healing' community event at the Ulladulla Civic Centre - with local stalls, a food fair, music, family entertainment, a healing and renewal blessing, and other activities. (2) engaging a Bushfire Disaster Recovery Parish Outreach Minister to facilitate grief, loss, trauma and healing programs/initiatives and coordinate a disaster recovery program for families and others impacted by the bushfires within parish boundaries.

    Murramarang Spinners and Weavers Milton Inc: Creating and Distributing 'Love Boxes' to those Affected by Bushfires - Volunteers will purchase and make materials for "Love Boxes", including hand dyed scarves, knitted beanies, natural local soaps and chocolates, 'green harvest' bird-attracting flower seeds, hand turned wooden utensils, and hand written cards painted by local artists. Boxes will be distributed to bushfire-impacted people, and are intended as a morale booster for those rebuilding their lives and provides a lasting reminder that they are not forgotten by their community.

    Ulladulla Public School P&C Association: Ulladulla Public School Wellbeing Day - Hold a wellbeing day for the whole school community to connect and build upon its wellbeing and resilience. Community organisations and other services will provide support to assist families and students to recover from bushfire trauma. A range of activities including sporting and art activities will be provided to engage students and their families.

    Ulladulla Local Aboriginal Land Council: Weave and Yarn - To enable people to come together and yarn while learning traditional basket weaving techniques in a safe, culturally appropriate manner. Two initial face to face workshops will be followed by weekly online sessions, while footage of the workshops and interviews with participants will be used to produce a short video to be used as a cultural tool in the future.

    Ulladulla and Districts Community Resources Centre: Recovery Connections - Engage a dedicated support worker to work with bushfire affected communities in the area to provide support and establish group activities and training.

    Sonder Youth Ltd: Changemaker Program for Shoalhaven Bushfire Recovery - Conduct several small groups of young people in bushfire affected communities in the Shoalhaven, providing a space for support, social connection and healing. Participants will be mentored to execute a project of their own design such as short films, murals, tree planting and storytelling aimed at aiding their bushfire recovery, with the aim of empowering them to give voice to their lived experiences of the bushfire season and to connect with their community in a positive way. At the completion of each 10-week course, a celebratory event will be held for the community, at which the project participants will showcase their work.

    Milton Therapy and Learning Centre: Bushfire Trauma Recovery for Young People and Their Families - To provide mental health trauma support for young people with disabilities and developmental delays through two approaches: 1. Stormbirds – provides an opportunity for children and young people who have experienced a natural disaster to share their experiences of change and loss in safe and creative ways, understand and attend to their feelings, and learn skills for adapting and recovering. 2. Group Art Therapy Program – an 8-week, small group program covering topics such as: establishing safety and trust, exploring what happened and growth and integration.

    National Parks Association NSW, Milton Branch: Discover to Recover - 10 walks in nature - To run a series of ten ‘Discover to Recover’ guided bush walks over the coming year. Each walk will have a theme based on nature recovery, such as recovery of eucalyptus and rainforest, effect of fire on soil, what to replant in the garden, seeds and propagation, weeds and how to deal with them, what will flower in spring etc, all of which will be accompanied by a subject expert. The walks will start with a short presentation on the topic followed by a walk in nature, and conclude with a social morning tea or similar to give the opportunity to discuss the experience and what we have learned and what we can do. The activity is designed to allow people to reconnect with nature, return to physical activity by walking in the bush, gain a sense of control, provide opportunities to connect with others, learn something new and enhance mental health.

    Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra Inc: In School String Project - Volunteers will deliver a free school-based violin tuition program in the Shoalhaven across three school terms in 2020. Children can develop their musical skills, connect with each other, utilise musical tools for control and be champions of their emotions, enjoying an activity that involves peers and promotes engagement with the wider community and the improvement of community morale.

    Bundanon Trust: We Need to Talk About Fire - A program of activities in response to the 2020 bushfires. It will provide a platform for dialogue about fire across disciplines and communities, bringing together Indigenous knowledge systems, community action, healing voices, scientific evidence and creative and artistic responses.  It will explore our relationship with fire, its history as both a technology and as a significant cultural practice, its contemporary manifestation as a harbinger of catastrophe and community division and as a symbol of our deep fear of the future with a rapidly changing climate.

    headspace Nowra: headspace Totem Skateboarding - To hold a series of free skateboarding events / workshops facilitated by Totem Skateboarding in conjunction with headspace staff and Youth Reference Group in various bushfire affected towns. By engaging with young people and their families headspace will use these events as an engagement tool to triage and identify young people who have significant trauma and need mental health support.

    Sussex Inlet and District Rugby League Football Club: Bushfire Recovery Community Rugby League Round - Hold a 'Bushfire Recovery' round at the start of the 2020 rugby league competition season, coinciding with junior and senior home games. The club will host a BBQ for all attendees, as well as family entertainment and give-away prizes. This event will help the people of Sussex Inlet feel more connected and supported by their local rugby league club and build on the friendships that are the cornerstone of small communities.


    Bredbo Community Progress Association: Community Recovery Weekly Farmer BBQs - To hold a series of eight weekly BBQs (in conjunction with Blaze Aid volunteers) to bring the community together to help build connection and provide opportunities for affected farmers to engage with the broader Bredbo community as it rebuilds.

    Bumbalong Valley Progress Association: My Fire Action Plan Reviewed - This multi-faceted project will give local families a better understanding of fire behaviour, its impact on individual properties and the wider community, improved future bushfire preparedness, and promote local community commitment to the NSW RFS. The ‘Assessing Your Property For Fire’ program will enhance community and individual understanding of fire and how to protect property. Reviewing the pre-fire ‘Fire Action Plan’ for each property with property occupants, and drafting new ‘Fire Action Plans’ as necessary, will enhance people's ability to make more informed decisions in future fire emergencies, while practising basic household first response firefighting actions and first aid will enhance personal confidence around handling fire and associated injuries.

    Monaro Family Support Service: Snowy Monaro Parent and Community Events - Expressing Emotions after Bushfires - To run a complementary activity to the Stormbirds Program for children, and a series of open community events aimed at providing parents with tools to support their children and families after a bushfire experience. Sessions will focus on expressing emotions after a fire experience, to promote positive recovery and healing, and will feature information tables by locally available support services, with staff on hand to address enquiries about where and how to seek assistance, especially long term supports past the crisis stage. Each community event will be delivered by two qualified Facilitators, trained in the Parent component of Stormbirds, as well as having experience in directing discussions towards narratives of community resilience. The funding will also be used to cover the costs of the Stormbirds workbooks for children.

    Monaro Farming Systems: Men of the Monaro Crop Tours and Ladies of the Land Luncheon - To hold separate activities for men and women to provide an opportunity for farming families to regroup and share their experiences to reduce the mental load stemming from the bushfire event. The 'Men of the Monaro' Crop Tour will visit up to four local farms to inspect crops and talk with a qualified agronomist, as a way to bring men together to socialise, build connectedness, share stories. Similarly, the 'Ladies of the Land' Luncheon will provide an opportunity for women to engage with each other over lunch with a guest speaker.

    Barnardos Australia (Southern NSW): School Breakfast Club - To provide a weekly breakfast club at the school during Terms 2-4 in 2020 and Terms 1-3 in 2021, with proactive in-kind support from various partners, including volunteers and activities at each breakfast club from Barnardos (youth caseworker), Council (Youth Development Officer), Jindabyne Central School (2 teachers) and the Country Women's Assn (baking, cooking, serving), and support and information from other local agencies.

    Peak View Rural Fire Service: Peak View Post Fire community event - To hold a community wide event to commemorate the impact of the bushfires on the community, thank the RFS, emergency services and other volunteers, and to help support the community to move forward.

Page last updated: 23 Nov 2021, 11:12 AM