News Corp grants to rebuild rural community
This time last year, locals in Long Beach in the state's south coast sat riddled with anxiety as they saw their surrounding communities engulfed in fire.
In the months on from the devastating fire season - the coronavirus pandemic put an end to any opportunity to reconnect with others in their community.
But the beachside town will now have an opportunity to inject some fun and joy into their neighbourhood with the latest rounds of News Corp Bushfire Fund grants.
Charity Love Long Beach Inc is putting the grant's $5,682 towards an outdoor drive thru movie event and organiser Kaliegh Smerdon said she hopes to provide people with a reprieve from the stress of the pandemic.
"We sat on the beach on NYE and saw the fire tear through Malua Bay and Batemans Bay," she said.
"Then COVID came and we haven't been able to do anything so this grant has really allowed us to get back together as a community and inject some fun and reconnect."
Ms Smerdon's five children Henry, Archer, Lucy, Nash, Sarah and Leo are looking forward to the fun summer event and the opportunity to connect with locals.
Other recipients include $25,000 to support the Mann River Men's Shed in Diehard and $16,000 for the Tomakin Sports and Social Club to install a solar battery system.
The latest round of funding includes 20 grants across NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland totalling $341,280
To date $1,119,825 has been distributed in grants from the News Corp Bushfire Fund in
partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.
"Recovery takes years, not months and we are committed to standing by these communities,
remembering their loss, their stories, their pain and their bravery," News Corp Australia's community ambassador Penny Fowler said.
"This third round of grants builds on the ongoing needs of each community to recover at their own pace - whether that be upgrading essential town halls, providing mental health programs for firefighters, or bringing people together through drive-in movie sessions."
Originally published as News Corp grants to rebuild rural community