Supporting Communities in Recovery Grants – Rounds 1 & 2 recipients


SWSPHN is pleased to announce the recipients of funding through the Supporting Communities in Recovery Grants.

Round 1 recipients 

Round 2 recipients


The 2019-20 bushfires have had a lasting impact on parts of the South Western Sydney region.

This includes communities in Wollondilly, Wingecarribee, Camden and the suburb of Horsley Park (Fairfield Local Government Area).

About the Recovery Grants

SWSPHN invited local community members, groups and organisations to apply for small grants of between $2,000 and $10,000 to deliver grassroot activities in bushfire affected communities in two rounds of funding grants in October/November (Round 1) and January/February/March (Round 2). The activities funded will aim to strengthen social connectedness and assist mental health recovery.

Where does the funding come from?

SWSPHN offered the grants via funding from the Australian Government Supporting the Mental Health of Australians Affected by Bushfires measure. The grants provide the opportunity for communities to come together to foster resilience, healing and capacity building.

How will this help communities?

While the current COVID-19 pandemic has created restrictions on social gatherings, applicants were encouraged to think innovatively about how they can engage with their community. These activities will encourage help seeking and empower local residents with the skills and resources needed to identify when others need support. 

bushfire regrowth tree image


Who were the Round 2 recipients?

SWSPHN is pleased to announce the recipients of combined funding of $59,720 in Round 2 were:

Meghann Fitzpatrick

Restore YOU – $9,720 

The Restore YOU wellbeing workshop series aims to bring together the community in a shared space to learn self-care skills which can improve a person's overall wellbeing (mental, emotional and physical health) in a safe and non-judgemental way.         

Cawdor Public School P&C Association

Cawdor family camp and activities – $10,000

Family camp and activities will provide an opportunity for students and their families to get to know each other and connect with their community.   


SECURE community – $10,000

The SECURE Community Project involves the development and delivery of two therapeutic parent support groups. Participants will be parents of children attending the five to eight years and nine to 12 years group therapy sessions at Wildflower Holistic Services.     

Lifeline Macarthur and Western Sydney

Accredited Crisis Supporters for Lifeline Suicide Prevention Mobile Café – $10,000

Lifeline Mobile Café will provide a mobile safe space for people to access support at community events and gatherings held in and around bushfire affected areas.

Patrick Nellestein (Community Member and Director of Riveroad Interactive Learning Pty Ltd), Alexandra McCarthy (Community Member and Director of Wildflower Holistic Services Pty Ltd)

Sounds of Our Land – $10,000

Sounds of Our Land is focused on collecting the sounds of the Wollondilly and Wingecarribee bushland that was seriously affected by bushfires 2019-2020. The project will enable community members to reconnect with the land, and foster healing and recovery from these events.   

Sage of Mind

Group Schema Therapy – $10,000

Schema therapy is the gold standard in the treatment for complex and chronic post traumatic stress disorder. It works towards healing of complex trauma and gaining quality of life. The program will run for three hours for 10 weeks targeted at those who are experiencing complex trauma.


Who were the Round 1 recipients?

SWSPHN is pleased to announce the recipients of combined funding of $99,235 in Round 1 were:

Camden Community Connections (trading as Big Yellow Umbrella - BYU)

Healing Through Art – $10,000

Healing Through Art is a program aimed at improving positive mental wellness for adults, young people and children by using art as a tool for expression and connecting with other like-minded individuals. BYU will be holding these sessions at appropriate venues within small towns and villages across the fire affected areas of Wollondilly and Wingecarribee.

Dokotela Psychiatry

Beating the bushfires: how to recognise and prevent suicide and mental illness in the community – $7,425

Two online webinars will be presented by a psychiatrist and psychologist to community members and frontline workers impacted by the bushfires. This will assist community members to identify family, friends and colleagues who need support and are suffering from trauma or distress.

Southern Highlands Water Polo (SHWP)

Southern Highlands Water Polo New Players Try and Train Program – $9,750

New players will be encouraged to join the water polo club through a free “try and train” program. Players will be introduced to the game of water polo via a 10-week program that incorporates a weekly one-hour training session, plus the opportunity to form a team and play in the junior or senior competition where they can implement the skills they have learnt. SHWP will promote and source new players via ReFrame.

Community Links Wollondilly Inc (Trading Name: Community Links Wellbeing)

We are stronger together, when we rebuild as a community – $5,000

Community Links Wellbeing will be partnering with local Men’s Sheds, Lions Clubs and other services to support greater participation of those affected by the bushfires as well as the wider community. They will run community events and workshops and offer another soft entry point for participants to their services, while engaging with families in a fun safe environment.

Wingecarribee Shire Council

Experiencing Nature – Health and Wellbeing Activities – $9,500

Activities will include a nature connecting wellbeing workshops, canoes and nourishment on the Shoalhaven River and wilderness experiences for health and wellbeing.

River Road Interactive Learning Pty Ltd 

Stories Towards Regeneration – $10,000

Stories Towards Regeneration –interactive website and presentation of creative works.   

Wildflower Holistic Services Pty Ltd

Inspiring Connection and Instilling Community – $9,950

A large community-designed mural artwork will be displayed on the side of a key building in Oakdale, across from Oakdale Public School. In addition to the mural artwork, two art therapy workshops will be held in Bargo and Oakdale, focused on inspiring connection and instilling community through the regenerative processes.

Wollondilly Anglican Church

We Are Wollondilly – $10,000

A seven-day community event “We Are Wollondilly” will be held during the June/July school holidays, offered free to residents of the Wollondilly Shire. With a focus on building resilience, “We Are Wollondilly” aims to provide opportunities for individuals to get involved and connect with others in the community. 

Picton District Branch of Country Women’s Association (CWA)

Training for community volunteers and responders of disasters – $10,000

First response online training program (accidental counsellor) for members of the CWA.  

Buxton Community Association

Sharing Buxton – $7,610

Shared activities to promote support and communication between everyone, using shared interests to encourage healing.

Quest for Life

Moving Beyond Trauma – $10,000

Moving Beyond Trauma is a five-day residential program specifically designed to assist people with post-trauma stress symptoms (PTSD) to reclaim their lives and create greater control over their emotional equilibrium and their lifestyle choices.                                                                                                                                                                                                             


Find more on the bushfire support available in SWS