Strong and Resilient Communities

The Strong and Resilient Communities Activity aims to build strong, resilient, cohesive and harmonious communities to ensure that individuals, families and communities have the opportunity to thrive, be free from intolerance and discrimination, and have the capacity to respond to emerging needs and challenges.

This replaces the Strengthening Communities Activity from 1 April 2018.

The Strong and Resilient Communities Activity provides grants funding to build strong and resilient communities by supporting local community organisations in their efforts to overcome disadvantage and solve complex social problems.  Projects funded under the Strong and Resilient Activity have a focus on strengthening the capacity of communities experiencing disadvantage to become more resilient and inclusive through greater community engagement, participation and belonging in the local community. 

This funding helps to foster community cohesion by increasing people’s sense of belonging and engagement. Grants help to strengthen the capacity of communities to become more self-reliant and empowered to address local issues.

The grants place an emphasis on collaboration amongst organisations to develop whole-of-community approaches to emerging community challenges. They enable community organisations to innovate service delivery and work together to better respond to changing community need.

The Strong and Resilient Communities Activity comprises three grant programs:

  • Community Resilience grants –support projects in communities to address potential or early signs of low social cohesion and/or racial, religious and cultural intolerance.
  • Inclusive Communities grants – to improve the social and economic participation of vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals to enhance overall life-time wellbeing and community belonging.
  • National Research grants – for research and advice projects that address emerging issues or provide innovative solutions to issues of national significance which impact upon community resilience and integration in Australia.

The Minister for Social Services, Dan Tehan, announced the successful recipients of the Strong and Resilient Communities grants on 13 March 2018.

In January 2020, the department contracted the Social Research Centre to undertake an evaluation of the SARC grant activity. The evaluation sought to assess the effectiveness, appropriateness and performance of the SARC activity. 

The evaluation found that SARC has positively contributed to whole of community and early intervention responses to address cohesion, improvements in economic participation, engagement with services and positive attitudes towards the community. SARC was effectively promoted to the community sector and funded projects that targeted a diverse range of groups. Findings from the evaluation will be used to improve the design and focus of future grant opportunities.

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