Clontarf Foundation

Clontarf Foundation

Waislitz Foundation commits $250,000 to aid recovery of communities hit by Black Summer bushfires


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2020 - A $250,000 donation from the Waislitz Foundation in partnership with media company ACM will help the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) fund recovery projects in communities affected by the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20.

The Waislitz Foundation’s donation will be distributed via the bushfire recovery stream of the FRRR's Strengthening Rural Communities program, which offers grants of up to $25,000 for a broad range of projects that support the recovery of affected communities.

The community-led projects can include the repair and replacement of fire-damaged infrastructure, support for the mental health and wellbeing of people affected by the fires, alleviation of volunteer burnout, initiatives to build economic development, and events that bring affected communities together.

The Waislitz Foundation, established by Alex Waislitz in 2013, partners with organisations that it believes can make a real difference in education, poverty eradication, health and indigenous affairs.

The $250,000 donation to FRRR is part of a $1million total commitment announced by Mr Waislitz in January to help Black Summer bushfire recovery efforts nationally.

The Waislitz Foundation has partnered with media company ACM, which publishes more than 130 newspapers and websites throughout regional, rural and suburban Australia, to support the FRRR’s grants program.

Mr Waislitz said he felt privileged to be able to help people in fire-affected communities rebuild their lives and the local connections that gave them strength.

"Every Australian couldn’t help but be touched and inspired by the stories of loss and courage we saw last summer, and I’m keen to contribute to the healing,” he said.

"Through my involvement as a co-owner of ACM, which serves local audiences and advertisers in many regions affected by the bushfires, I have developed a keen awareness of the challenges those communities face and a deep admiration for their resilience.”

“The foundation’s hope is that by supporting a range of different grassroots, community-led initiatives through the FRRR, we can help these local communities renew and strengthen for the future.”

The Chief Executive of FRRR, Natalie Egleton, said the generous support of partners like the Waislitz Foundation and ACM allows the FRRR to fund a wide range of projects that support the different recovery journey of each fire-affected community.

“Recovery from the bushfires is a process that has no end date and that is different for every affected place and person,” she said. “We know that local leaders are therefore best placed to understand the priorities and recovery needs of their community.”

ACM previously partnered with the FRRR for its “South Coast is Calling” initiative, a series of evocative tourism posters created by Canberra Times cartoonist David Pope to celebrate the NSW holiday towns hit hard by the fires. Sales of prints of the artworks were donated to the FRRR.

“We are fortunate to be working with ACM again to support these bushfire-affected communities, as we know the company shares our passion for supporting locally-led solutions,” Ms Egleton said.

“We are also delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the Waislitz Foundation, which also understands the value of philanthropic partnerships when it comes to helping these communities to renew and rebuild.”

Applications for the next round of community grants under the FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities program closes on November 24, 2020. More information is available on FRRR's website - www.frrr.org.au/grants/strengthening_rural_communities.