The Future Drought Fund is helping communities become more resilient.
This national program provides leadership development, community extension grants and mentoring opportunities for agricultural communities. The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) is delivering the program.
The Drought Resilience Leaders program gives participants opportunities to develop their leadership skills and capabilities. The program will:
- create a new generation of young and emerging leaders
- facilitate a culture of learning and knowledge sharing throughout agriculture-dependent communities.
Together with ARLF, the Australian Government is investing in a new generation of drought resilient leaders. The program gives farmers and young and emerging leaders in regional communities an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills through training and mentoring programs and apply this knowledge and skills in their local rural and regional communities.
Leadership development has commenced in seven regions – Goulburn Valley, Vic, Central West Qld, Northern Wheatbelt WA, Eyre Peninsula SA and North West Slopes and Plains NSW, Western NSW and Murraylands SA. Two additional regions will commence soon, with the three remaining regions open for applications.
|Region||Leadership Development||Community Extension Grants|
|Goulburn Valley, Vic||Applications closed and program commenced||Further applications opening in April
(one project commenced following an initial invitation round)
|Central West Qld||Applications closed and program now completed||Applications closed and projects commenced|
|Northern Wheatbelt, WA||Applications closed and program commenced||Applications opening in April|
|Eyre Peninsula, SA||Applications closed and program commenced||Applications opening in April|
|North West Slopes & Plains, NSW||Applications closed and program commenced||Applications opening in April|
|Western NSW||Applications closed and program commenced||Applications opening in April|
|Murraylands, SA||Applications closed and program commenced||Applications opening in April|
|Gascoyne Murchison, WA||Applications closed and program commencing soon||Applications opening in April|
|Mallee, Vic||Applications closed and program commencing soon||Applications opening in June|
|South West, Qld||Open for applications||Applications opening in June|
|North East Tasmania||Open for applications||Applications opening in June|
|Katherine, Barkly and Greater Darwin, NT||Open for applications||Applications opening in June|
Interested young and emerging leaders in these regions are encouraged to apply directly to ARLF to participate in leadership development.
Community Extension Grants are available to applicants who have completed 75% of the Leadership Development program.
As part of the Community Extension Grants, graduates from the Leadership Development program share their skills and knowledge with their local communities through a project that builds drought resilience in agricultural dependent communities at risk of future drought.
Community Extension Grants projects connect rural communities in practical activities to support drought and climate resilience and adaptation allowing communities to engage, collaborate and learn from each other.
Another two grant rounds (for the remaining regions) will open for applications later in 2022.
A Moment for Me Picnic & Paint
Encourages connection, social and community cohesion as well as equipping women with the information and confidence to encourage conversations that support and offer pathways to actively manage (and seek help for) self, family and community care during the mentally challenging times of drought.
A Moment for Me is a series of coordinated events hosted by and for local women in Muttaburra, Isisford, Blackall and Stonehenge. Events will feature guest speakers from Outback Futures in conjunction with activities provided by Sip & Dip and LucyAnn Artistry.
Events give communities the ability to strengthen their resilience to mental wellbeing through reliable tools and strategies at their ‘fingertips’. It will give members of each community an understanding of the Weathering Well app and how to source more experienced help where needed.
The grant will support local events whilst aligning funds for promotion and engagement of event partners.
Why Work Out West? An Investigation
Build networks and encourage local people to find innovative solutions to local problems and initiate a change to the way people approach labour shortages.
Why Work Out West? An Investigation is a regionalised enquiry about labour shortages. The community has an opportunity to fast track its recovery from drought and build resilience through solid employment in varied sectors.
Through two workshops and a local survey, the project will bring together key stakeholders (local businesses, local families and community members, council, RAPAD, local Members) who, with the assistance of a facilitator, will connect, share ideas and ultimately create adaptive, innovative and actionable solutions.
The grant will contribute to the running and management of workshops and other resources to undertake the survey.
MLA & AWI MeatUp Forum 2022
To bring together over 100+ producers from around Western Queensland, at a forum focussed on drought planning, enterprise diversification and market options with an additional focus on personal wellbeing in order to improve business and community wellbeing.
MLA and AWI have collaborated to deliver the MeatUp Forum. As an event partner, the Leading Sheep Committee will host an agribusiness and community dinner and will engage a wellbeing and motivational presenter to tie in the key drought and resilience messages of the MeatUp Forum.
Industry and local stakeholders recognise the transition for the region as it adapts to extended drought, moving from traditional merino sheep and beef cattle to more diverse models of adding sheep meat and goats to existing livestock.
The flexibility and resilience of the local agricultural industry will rely on the wellbeing of the people making this change. The Forum will stimulate a mindset where producers and attendees have a renewed sense of identity and purpose in order to contribute to their business and community’s long-term sustainability.
The grant will ensure drought resilience and mental health issues are prominent at the forum. Other Forum and event costs are being covered through MLA and AWI.
Regenerative Rangelands; Abundant Landscapes and Vibrant Communities
To enhance the health of ecosystems and pastures under the care of landscape managers, in a manner that improves their resilience to drought. Regenerative Rangelands; Abundant Landscapes and Vibrant Communities consists of:
Establish and manage a community garden in Winton which is sustainable, drought tolerant and provides a wellbeing place to enhance community resilience.
This is a new project for the community that will bring to life a community resource that employs the principles of a circular economy to increase the security of members food supply.
This small-scale community infrastructure investment to foster connectedness and improve wellbeing has a long-term vision of feeding the local LGA (1000pax), generate employment and secure fresh food for the region.
It will be a community space to enhance opportunities for social interaction amongst members, through the provision of Bush Tucker, medicinal and food production areas.
The grant will fund a landscape designer, material and tools required for initial establishment and support for a consultant to assist in setting the strategy for a long-term project.
End of Harvest Ball 2022
Bringing farming families together - facilitating social and community connection whilst providing education on topics including mental health.
Building on the success of the inaugural ball in 2021 and the continued community interest in hosting an event that celebrates agriculture, the End of Harvest Ball provides an opportunity for farming families to gather to gather off farm.
The Greater Shepparton Shire Council is supporting the event and neighbouring Councils have been asked to sponsor attendance of their primary producer family.
The grant will support the participation of local primary producers from the Shepparton Shire to attend.
The Mentoring program is a key aspect of the Drought Resilience Leaders program – connecting participants with other farmers and professionals with demonstrated experience in drought and climate resilience and adaptation.
Two rounds of mentoring have commenced with over 400 mentees and mentors participating. Applications for mentees and mentors as part of the third and final round is open until 19 April 2022.
For more information about participating in leadership development or mentoring under the Drought Resilience Leaders program, visit the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation website.
Find details of the payment information for the Drought Resilience Leaders program as required under section 27A of the Future Drought Fund Act 2019 below.
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Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, March 2022
Future Drought Fund: building drought resilience with community leaders, organisations and networks across Australia (PDF 569 KB)
Future Drought Fund: building drought resilience with community leaders, organisations and networks across Australia (DOCX 227 KB)
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