NAB Foundation grants support Australians before, during and after natural disasters

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A total of 55 local and regional communities across Australia have been named as the inaugural recipients of the 2021 NAB Foundation $1.2 million Community Grants program.

Mental health and wellbeing funding for volunteer emergency first responders, rebuilding lost koala habitats and providing fire safety education for children are among projects that will help prepare people, businesses, communities and our environment for natural disasters, and support the long-term recovery and resilience work.

NAB Executive Personal Banking, Rachel Slade said the projects would help affected businesses and communities prepare and recover from natural disasters.

“The recent New South Wales floods and Tropical Cyclone Seroja in Western Australia highlighted the need for localised support for communities impacted in the weeks, months and years after a disaster,” Ms Slade said.

“This funding will go where local groups have told us it’s needed to support long-term recovery efforts and to build resilience against future disasters and climate change.”

Common themes from the applications included emergency preparedness, response equipment, wildlife recovery and support, mental health and wellbeing programs, energy storage solutions and reducing communities’ carbon footprint.

Four grant recipients were each awarded an additional $25,000 for having initiatives with even greater longer-term social or environmental impact. These are:

  • Rural Health Connect: An online platform that links people in rural Australia to psychologists over video calls and phone calls, helping to manage the impacts of drought, bushfire, floods and isolation and addressing the fact that rural people’s access to psychologists is less than a fifth of the rate of people in cities.
  • Breaking the Silence: Addresses the complex issue of abusive relationships in 16 regional, rural and remote areas of WA via a helpline, web counselling service, online information hub and service directory. Domestic violence increases during natural disasters, when services can be shut down leaving victims isolated and at greater risk.
  • Australian First Responder Foundation: A not for profit, charitable organisation powered by donations and volunteers who serve and honour volunteer and emergency First Responders and their families mental health and wellbeing through peer support, education, and wellbeing retreats.
  • Yuku Baja Miluka Landowner & Reserve Ltd: Traditional custodians of Archer Point in North Queensland, dedicated to promoting empowerment of people, protection of the environment and respect of cultural diversity.

Rural Health Connect Director Megan Gomez said this money would allow Rural Health Connect to better support residents still experiencing the emotional and financial impact of the devastating bushfires of 2019.

“The task of rebuilding after a natural disaster is a slow and frustrating one and can take a huge toll on peoples’ lives. Being able to access professional support is crucial, particularly when living in a remote area,” Ms Gomez said.

“This generous support from NAB Foundation will allow us to provide support to people who really need it, in a way that they can access it without disrupting their daily lives.”

The NAB Foundation Community Grants adds to the more than $4 million provided by NAB in emergency grants to assist those impacted by the floods in NSW and cyclone Seroja and the $5 million commitment to relief and recovery efforts for the 2019 bushfires.

A complete list of local projects awarded grants can be viewed at www.nab.com/nabfoundation

About the NAB Community Grants

The NAB Foundation’s new community grant program focus is unique in corporate Australia. It aims to make communities more prepared for natural disasters, support long-term recovery and build community and environmental resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

A total of up to $1.2 million will be awarded over two grant rounds in 2021 ($600,000 in May and $600,000 in September) across four granting regions – NSW/ACT, VIC/TAS, WA/NT/SA and QLD.

Applications for Round 2 of the NAB Foundation Community Grants are open until 30 July 2021. For more information please visit www.nab.com/nabfoundation

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