Community Impact Program
RDAMR is coordinating the delivery of the Murraylands and Riverland Community Impact Program. Partnering with Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF), Loxton Chamber of Commerce, Mallee Sustainable Farming, Berri Our Town and Ngarrindjeri Ruwe Empowered Communities (NREC).
What is the Community Impact Program?
The program aims to drive local action in the Murraylands and Riverland to strengthen drought preparedness.
There are five key projects within the program:
Mardawi Community Project (Ngarrindjeri Ruwe Empowered Communities – NREC)
This project targets Ngarrindjeri women who are young and/or living with a disability, and seeks to increase social inclusion and self-determination. Bringing together young Ngarrindjeri Mimini (women) with Ninkowa (female Elders), the project aims to build social connections with each other; cultural connections with traditional practices of harvesting rushes, basket weaving and yarning; spiritual connections with the water; and connection to inclusive business development opportunities. Participants will gain skills, cultural connections and access to ongoing opportunities for social and economic inclusion as contributors to an online Ngarrindjeri Cultural Art business.
River Families First (Our Town Berri)
The drought, COVID, and recent floods have exacerbated the stress and disconnection experienced by young people transitioning to parenthood in Berri, where there is no affordable community playgroup, no public transport, and limited access to health professionals. The River Families First project seeks to establish a peer network that will support, connect, inform, and empower young parents.
Collective Business in Loxton (Loxton Chamber of Commerce)
This project seeks to build the social resilience, resourcefulness and capability of micro and small businesses in the Loxton District, which are vital to community adaptability to drought. Initiatives include developing a ‘Local Collective’ for start-ups and microbusinesses so they can boost sales through cooperative retail spaces, collective online marketplaces, and collective marketing; training and technical support to build eCommerce capability; targeted training for small business owners in making the transition From Mates to Manager; and strengthening technical set up, strategy articulation and governance of the Loxton Chamber of Commerce, with a view to exploring how this model could be scaled up across the region.
Risky Business (Mallee Sustainable Farming)
This project seeks to build on a recent initiative that engaged Mallee Farmers in conversations about risk, risky decisions, and developing plans for the future of their farms. Mobile Farm Expo events will be held over 18 months, to keep the conversation going, and extend the focus to include mental health, social connection, and succession planning. The project will strengthen the capacity of Mallee Sustainable Farmers to facilitate these conversations, including through the purchase of a BBQ trailer, so the expos and conversations can become truly mobile and reach farmers where they are at, and by equipping MSF volunteers with Mental Health First Aid training.
Community Learning Series – Changemaker series
The Changemaker series will be delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and actively supported by RDAMR, it is an important aspect of the implementation of CIP within the Murraylands and Riverland region. The workshops are aimed at active community members, who want to see change in their communities – become changemakers, influence, or advocate. Four workshops will be delivered in 2024, each 2 days in duration with an extensive program of learning.
The Changemaker Series Workshops will consist of:
Our Action – Based on community feedback
Agriculture accounts for around 43% of businesses in the region and about 16.2% of the region’s employment. Agriculture also has a disproportionate impact on other sectors, with many of them – like construction, health, education, manufacturing, retail, and transport – driven by supporting the agriculture sector.