Natural Disaster Preparedness Focuses on New Community Grants

As climate change dominates the Albanian government’s first federal budget, more grants are earmarked for communities affected by natural disasters.

The environment is at the center of the National Australia Bank (NAB) Foundation’s 2022 Community Grants Program, with 55 grants of up to $10,000 recently awarded to help local and regional communities prepare for natural disasters, support long-term recovery and build resilience.

Funding comes as a labor federal climate budget also increased support for communities affected by natural disasters, which Treasurer Jim Chalmers said were occurring with “alarming regularity”.

Rachel Slade, director of the NAB Group’s personal bank, said the grants respond to the acute impact of climate change in Australia, as experienced by major floods trickss the southeast coast.

“Now more than ever, there is a growing need to help communities rebuild and prepare for the challenges ahead. Not only a lot communities in Queensland and New South Wales are still recovering from the floods earlier this year, but more people are also weathering the current flood storm in VIC, TAS and again in New South Wales,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the devastation caused by natural disasters will continue, and we know that recovery extends far beyond cleanup. Many of these projects focus on the long-term needs of communities, including supporting mental health, building environmental resilience, and preparing for future disasters.

Four of the 55 recipients were chosen by NAB for an additional $25,000 to scale their projects and create long-term sustainability and impact. This includes the Indigenous Futures Foundation, which will develop a food hub to ensure access to supplies in the disaster and generate community wellness programs.

Co-founder Levi-Joel Tamou said the funding would allow the foundation to expand its work to more Indigenous communities across Australia.

“During the 2022 floods, we donated over 50,000 meals to Indigenous and non-Indigenous families in South East Queensland and New South Wales, some of whom were completely isolated from food and other essential supplies.”

“The grant means we can fund a food center for cooking classes for flood-affected Indigenous families and support mental health wellness and recovery. We will also be able to get more meals for the remote Thursday Island communities.

Other recipients include The Penguin Foundation, protect vulnerable penguins from bush fires; The NSW Rural Doctors Network, to deliver cardiac emergency workshops to rural GPs in areas affected by bushfires and flooding; and the Rural Business Support Service to fund fire farm tours and a community forum on mental health and wellbeing for local farmers affected by the bushfires.

The NAB Foundation Community Grants Program is part of NAB Ready Together, an initiative that helps customers, colleagues and their communities resist natural disasters.

The second round of the program will see remaining funding directed towards mental health and wellness programs, emergency response equipment and wildlife rescue support.