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Grants of up to $10,000

Earlier this year we released our ‘Community Wellbeing Grants of up to $10,000’ for organisations or community groups within bushfire affected communities in the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Lithgow areas.

We had an overwhelming response, and were pleased with the diversity and creative approaches among the grant applications. Over the coming weeks we will be publishing the successful applicants in stages via this page and our social media.

The below projects are just a snippet of what we have funded so far:

Arts Out West, 'Regeneration with Fire': Regeneration with Fire is a creative workshop program held at the Portland Foundry. The program will consist of four parts, including sculpture workshops, a bronzer pour, the production of bronze sculptures for participants and a final exhibition. 

Barrinang Inc., 'Wayu Murungidyal (String Healing): The project will involve two field trips, cultural art workshops, and an exhibition showcasing the finished works of workshop participants and other local artists.

Belong Blue Mountains Inc., 'Connection, Culture and Creativity for Aboriginal Community Program':
The program will consist of two outings for Aboriginal Elders and two facilitated art groups run over a series of weeks at Lawson and Katoomba. Outings may include a trip to a Sydney Museum or visit to other cultural group venue dependent on the aspirations of the Aboriginal Elders. The art groups will be held weekly in Katoomba and Lawson, with target audiences to include the Walanmarra Aboriginal Women’s Group and the wider Aboriginal Community.

Belong Blue Mountains Inc., 'Create and Connect for Wellbeing': Four art and creative workshops over a period of six weeks across the Blue Mountains, aimed at engaging people with lived experience of mental health issues. The workshops will be facilitated by a qualified art professional and both a mental health professional and community worker will be in attendance to provide support where needed. 

Blaxheath Area Neighbourhood Centre, 'Creativity for Wellbeing': Creativity for Wellbeing is a series of art-based workshops working in conjunction with local artists and art therapists to bring soft-entry, socially connection activities to the Upper Mountains area. 

Blue Mountains Artists Company, 'Wellness through Reimagining Waste': The local Aboriginal community would like to see a change in the way that general community understand responsibility to Country and how our interaction with the environment affects climate change. A series of events around the idea of ‘reimagining waste’ will be led by a local Aboriginal artist. These will include a film night, and four community waste art workshops.

Colo Heights Public School P&C Association., 'Supreme Incursions Holiday Program': Organise and deliver five different school holiday programs targeting locally isolated, fire affected school children in the Hawkesbury that have limited or no extracurricular activities available to them due to distance and lack of transport options. 

Gateway Family Services, 'Art in Me': Providing children and young people with a safe channel to process and express their personal experiences of the bushfires through facilitated art workshops. The project will also include a catalogue of the children's work and a final exhibition of the artwork at local primary schools.

Hawkesbury Remakery, 'Open Studio - Creative Experiences': Creative skills sharing workshops across the Hawkesbury, including aged care facilities, particularly targeting bushfire affected communities. The workshops will enable fire affected communities to connect with each other in a creative environment to increase connection and reduce stress.  

Katoomba Highschool P&C Association, ‘Recognising Resilience’: A one-day event will be held at Katoomba High School to acknowledge the resilience of the students and staff through the bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic. A luncheon will also be provided, during which there will be a bushfire preparedness and community engagement opportunity with emergency services such as SES, RFS, Fire and Rescue and local Mental Health and Youth supports invited.  

Kurrajong Heights Bowling Club, ‘Out of the Ashes’: This activity has three parts including an ‘Out of the Ashes’ video on the recovery and resilience of the Bilpin Community, a ‘Road to Remembrance’ visual arts exhibition along the Bells Line of Road remembering the firefighters who helped the region and beyond, and a ‘Fireman’s Ball’ to mark the commencement of the bushfire season. The activity as a whole will focus on remembrance, recovery and resilience.

Megalong Valley Community and Landowners Association, 'Megalong Valley Makers Day': The activity involves two Megalong Valley Makers Market Days and after-market community social evenings. The events will connect residents and bring the community together while showcasing homegrown resources and homemade art. Information and services will also be available.  

Merana Aboriginal Community Association for the Hawkesbury Inc., 'Aboriginal Men's Healing': The Aboriginal Men's (Mula) Healing project will bring together men and boys from the Merana Aboriginal Community Association for the Hawkesbury Inc. (Merana) catchment and surrounding areas to participate in group activities aimed at healing and wellbeing post traumatic events. 

Mountain Lagoon Rural Fire Brigade, ‘Mountain Lagoon Community Wellbeing Events’: This activity consists of up to 12 various community wellbeing events for residents of Mountain Lagoon and surrounding communities. These events will be improve social connectedness, bushfire preparedness and enable access to wellbeing services.

Mount Wilson Progress Association Inc., 'Move.Breathe.Recover': A physical and Wellbeing Program which includes Mindfulness, Tai Chi and Yoga classes. The classes will be accesible to all adults but will particularly benefit those who are geographically isolated and/or elderly. 

Mountains Youth Services Team Inc., ‘Mysty Music Night’: The MYSTY Music Night is a one-day community event aimed at bringing vulnerable young people within the Blue Mountains together in a safe, nurturing and supportive environment. The event will enable individuals to connect with their peers and seek support for ongoing mental health or life challenges, while supporting and enjoying young local emerging musicians and bands.

Peppercorn Services Inc., 'St Albans Community Connection': Peppercorn Services Inc will establish a coffee group that will target the St Albans and wider 'Forgotten Valley' community, specifically men who expressed the need for support to reconnect the community after dealing with natural disasters. 

Toolo LTD, ‘Rebuilding Community Workshops’, The activity consists of 12 free workshops in the community with the theme of ‘rebuilding’ – both in a practical sense and in terms of rebuilding community and personal resilience. Workshops will be held across bushfire affected communities, with a particular focus on children, teens/youth, Aboriginal elders and the unemployed.

Trybal Productions, ‘Salvage’: This project is an installation and art performance base don the recovery experience following the recent 2019/20 bushfires. The installation will be created by bushfire affected participants in the Lithgow community over a series of in person and zoom workshops with a final live performance to be exhibited at Lithgow Union Theatre. The project will enable the audience to listen, interact and engage with the stories shared. 

Western Sydney University Early Learning LTD (WSUELL)., 'Bushfire Recovery Project': WSUELL developed a creative approach to addressing bushfire trauma in young children (0-5 years) through paintings and a focus on regeneration. This project will disseminate these teaching methods more widely. There will be three phases to the activity, including an exhibition of the children’s artwork, a teaching webinar series and publication of the children’s work into a storybook and user-friendly report.

Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre, ‘Arts in Recovery’: An art exhibition that will acknowledge that people affected by disasters are active actors in rebuilding their life and livelihood. The artwork will be produced and submitted by local community members and artists.

Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre, ‘Reintroducing Indigenous Fire Burning Practices’: A series of 3 community events to introduce Indigenous fire management practices to the Macdonald Valley. Events will include a launch, followed by demonstrations of Indigenous techniques on different types of Valley terrain and an end of project event.

Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre, 'BEEing One With Your Community': The BEEing One With Your Community Program will deliver workshops in the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Lithgow areas. Two workshops in each area will be held where the community will learn holistic approaches to rebuilding their fire affected gardens.

Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre, ‘Rising from the Ashes’: Bell and the surrounding areas will be invited to participate in 8 facilitated art-based workshops. The workshops will assist the local community to adapt to a new climate world via creative and artistic means, including a mural design and art installation.