The Connected stream sees the TFFF collaborate with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) to provide one-off project grants enabling increased community connectedness. The TFFF recognises the FRRR's expertise in this type of responsive grassroots grantmaking and further resources its capacity to deliver support to Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The TFFF's support is specific to the FRRR's Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program, which preferences applications from communities with populations under 15,000 people. Small & Vital grants up to $10,000 are available for a range of community-led projects that strengthen local people, places, and climate solutions. The FRRR receives SRC applications on an ongoing basis which are assessed quarterly, and occasionally awards larger 'Out of Session' grants for time-critical applications (previously known as Larger Leverage grants).
While acquitting a previous commitment of $392,000 for distribution in FY23, the FRRR was also successful in a new application to the TFFF to continue this partnership. From FY24-26, the Strengthening Rural Communities program and administration has an annual TFFF investment of $400,000 at its disposal, the first instalment of which was also paid this year. A further $32,680 was approved for three organisations.
FRRR Small & Vital grants
FRRR Out of Session grants
of SRC grants awarded to First Nations organisations and/or projects^
total Connected funding distributed
The figures in the infographics above refer only to funding approved and distributed in the 2022/23 financial year.
The MJD Foundation (MJDF) is a grassroots, Aboriginal-controlled organisation that partners with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities to support families living with Machado-Joseph Disease (MJD) and Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 7 (SCA7).
MJD is a hereditary, neurodegenerative disease found all over the world, however, there is a high prevalence in Aboriginal people with genetic ties to northeast Arnhem Land. The first official diagnosis was made in 1995, although there are stories told by the Warnumamalya people of Groote Eylandt as early as the late 1960s.
The MJD Foundation was established on Groote Eylandt in 2008 to address the serious lack of services and information for families affected by MJD and SCA7. Since then, MJDF has worked to establish its ‘Our Way’ approach for supporting clients, families, and communities, based on a strong Aboriginal Community Worker two-way engagement model. Its programs include in-community primary health and disability support services, genetic counselling, therapy, education resources, MJD House: respite accommodation in Darwin for clients and carers, Kin Connects: facilitating visits to Country for in-care clients, and research and advocacy.
Gayangwa Lalara OAM, a Warnindilyakwa woman, is the Vice Chairperson and Senior Cultural Advisor for MJDF. At 80 years of age, she has been an advocate and carer for four generations of her family; few people have the depth of insight and experience with MJD that Gayangwa has. Through her determined leadership, the Foundation has grown to work with 26 remote communities across the Groote Archipelago, Arnhem Land, Central Australia, and Far North Queensland. Funding through the FRRR SRC program is assisting MJD Foundation to develop a permanent ‘in-place’ support service for families in Ngukurr (formerly Roper River Mission).
Photographs courtesy of MJD Foundation.
Delivery of the culturally based ‘Artists in the Black’ program in seven communities across Qld and NT: Palm Island, Cardwell (Girringun), Cherbourg, Numbulwar, Ngukurr, Minyeri (Alawa), and Borroloola (Waralungku). ‘Artists in the Black’ supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, filmmakers, musicians and arts organisations with legal advice and resources.
Installation of climate control measures in the Belyuen community store, improving operating conditions for store employees, kitchen staff and customers. The new climate control measures will also improve food security for remote residents in Belyuen.
Development and performance of Neighbour, a new culturally diverse theatrical performance piece. Neighbour aims to foster a greater understanding and acceptance in the community for culturally and linguistically diverse people by sharing their personal stories.
Expansion of the Drover's Camp Heritage Museum to include a First Nation's exhibition. The new exhibition aims to strengthen community connections, boost tourism and commemorate drovers' culture, particularly First Nations drovers.
Installation of a 10kW solar system at the Arts and Cultural Centre. The power cost savings created by the new solar system will improve the Corporation's ability to support and service the community.
Development of a transferable and culturally appropriate housing model with the Tennant Creek community. The Wilya Janta Housing Collaboration aims to address recognised causes of remote First Nations communities’ social and health inequities, along with increasing local employment opportunities by restarting the community’s brick industry.
Installation of a perimeter fence at a new, independent primary school in Napranum Aboriginal community. The fence will ensure student safety and help qualify the school for government funding.
Purchase and installation of three defibrillators in publicly accessible locations to strengthen the lifesaving capacity of the community.
Provision of men’s health checks and educational sessions at the festival and associated car show to support men's mental and physical wellbeing.
Concreting the canteen floor and installing solar lighting to improve the club’s ability to provide a safe facility for the broader community to use, including the Rural Fire Brigade.
Recording of oral histories and restoration of the Bamaga Cemetery to ensure the unique cultural history of Bamaga, and its founding by Torres Strait Islanders, is not lost.
Electrical upgrade for better lighting at the Bushman's Art Gallery to increase engagement with local art and boost and strengthen the local economy.
Restoration of a historical steam tractor and the creation of a covered area to showcase it at the Mitchell museum, in order to strengthen tourism and engagement with local history.
Purchase of new sound equipment to improve the club's ability to provide free community entertainment.
Support for the 'Brave Bodies' Dance Program for remote youth, to encourage youth engagement and participation in the creative arts.
Funds to celebrate the shared centenary anniversaries of schools in Julatten, Bushy Creek and Euluma Creek, encouraging new community members and past students to come together to foster a sense of identity and community connection.
Restoration of the 1960’s hall by repairing decking, handrails, entrance ways and kitchenette facilities to make the community meeting space safer and more welcoming.
Provision of trauma first aid training to residences in Surat, St George, and Condamine, to strengthen local communities’ ability to respond to medical emergencies.
Support for three bush camps for young leaders to learn and perform two traditional Corroboree Dances - the Wanga and the Lirriga Dances. Camps are designed to encourage youth involvement and grow cultural knowledge.
Provision of volunteer lifeguards with the necessary qualifications to open the school pool to the broader community free of charge. Access to a local pool will boost community wellbeing through encouraging socialisation and exercise.
Development of a plan to establish a permanent medical support presence in the Ngukurr community for people impacted by Machado-Joseph Disease, to enable people to live well 'on Country'.
Purchase and recording of virtual coaching sessions in digital and social media, allowing volunteers’ to develop the skills to digitally connect with their community and other special interest groups.
Support participation in a research program to save the Great Desert Skink from extinction and augment Indigenous knowledge.
Installation of electricity at the park's community shed to provide the first 'powered' public meeting space in Sapphire, helping locals come together and connect.
Purchase of replacement horses to improve the association’s ability to support and service the community.
Installation of accessible roller doors that enable local artisans to demonstrate old time trades and skills more easily for an interactive visitor experience, along with improving volunteer experience and safety.
Provision of defibrillators in three remote communities across the Tiwi Islands, increasing access to life-saving equipment.
Purchase of a trailer and three teardrop banners, expanding organisational capacity and enabling wider social engagement and broader mechanical skill development.
Installation of outdoor blinds and strip lighting at the Tara Neighbourhood Centre, improving useability of the outdoor deck and increasing comfort for community groups all year round.
Purchase of an interactive digital whiteboard to support improved educational outcomes for local children.