Community Wellbeing and Resilience


Healthy North Coast’s Community Wellbeing and Resilience (CWR) Program funds local place-based initiatives that support communities to recover from the health and wellbeing impacts of natural disasters and build their capacity to face future compounding challenges.

Since 2022, we have funded 23 CWR grants to a total value of $5.3 million through the Australian Government Department of Health and NSW Government Ministry of Health funding.  

Funding opportunity 2024

Three years of delivering the CWR grant program has provided valuable insights into what matters most for building community resilience, and where barriers exist. Healthy North Coast is using these learnings combined with local needs assessment data1,2,3 and grantmaking literature to inform the next stage of the CWR program.

In March 2024, Healthy North Coast will invite eligible non-government not-for-profit organisations to express their interest in applying for funding under the CWR program. This stage of the program will focus on funding eligible initiatives that address health and wellbeing needs and demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Local knowledge and leadership to enhance community capacity and decision making.
  • Building social capital, including strong social connections, cohesion, partnerships, trust and belonging.
  • Practical place-based solutions that address community health and wellbeing needs.

As part of the grant application process, Healthy North Coast will trial an innovative participatory approach. Participatory grantmaking (PGM) is an emerging approach that involves non-grantmakers in funding decisions and has been found to enable; stronger relationships with communities and grantees, greater flexibility, innovation, and improved transparency.4


February 2024

Information and feedback sessions delivered online

March 2024

Eligible organisations are invited to express their interest in applying for funding (via EOI)

April 2024

EOIs shortlisted. Shortlisted EOIs invited to participate in 1-2 collaborative workshops and grants awarded through a participatory grantmaking approach

May 2024

Funding agreements executed

Information and Feedback Webinars — February

In preparation for the 2024 CWR Grant Program funding round, Healthy North Coast is inviting local community service providers to participate in information and feedback webinar on 14 February 2024 or 19 February 2024 (webinars will be run on both dates, you only need to attend one).  

This session will share insights, learnings, and outcomes from the CWR program to date, and the proposed approach for the program’s next grant funding round. There will be an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed approach. 

If you are interested in submitting an EOI in March, it is strongly recommended you attend our webinar. To register for a webinar, complete the registration form.

Program objectives and principles


Strengthen or build partnerships and linkages between institutions, organisations, groups or sectors, and

Measurably improve community wellbeing and social connectedness

Why this is important

The North Coast of NSW is an identified disaster ‘hotspot’ in Australia.5,6,7,8

The World Health Organisation has identified climate change as the single greatest threat to human health. In the last few years alone, the North Coast has experienced unprecedented bushfires and catastrophic floods, alongside the global pandemic. These events have had a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our communities

We know our region will experience more frequent and severe disasters in the future. Without action, these events will continue to impact our populations health and wellbeing. To reduce future impacts, we need creative, coordinated, and sustainable action.

Building community resilience is key to improving health and wellbeing outcomes after natural disasters and in a changing climate.



The program supports initiatives that demonstrate local leadership and anticipate and respond to local needs. Communities take an active role in enhancing capacity to recover from the health and wellbeing impacts of natural disasters and adapt to future challenges.


The program supports initiatives that; target the specific circumstances of a place, value local knowledge, are informed by local evidence and data, and engage community members as active participants in development, implementation, and evaluation.


The program builds on the strengths within communities to support and mobilise the skills, knowledge, passion and experiences of individuals, groups, families, and organisations.


The program focuses on building partnerships, strengthening community cohesion, fostering collaboration, linkages, and developing innovative ways of working together to solve shared local problems. 


The program focuses on long-term sustainability so that communities are equipped to meet challenges into the future.


The program focuses on meeting local health and wellbeing needs, preventing ill-health, building resilience, and protecting human health and wellbeing from the impacts of a changing climate.

Previous grant rounds

2022 – 2024 | Flood Recovery Grants

In 2022, the program received additional funding from the NSW Government through its Northern NSW Mental Wellbeing Flood Recovery package. Thirteen initiatives were funded, across seven Local Government Areas that were heavily impacted by the catastrophic 2022 floods. A total of $3.3 million was commissioned, and initiatives focused on one or more of the following:

  • Social and community connection 
  • Cultural connection 
  • Trauma-based education 
  • Social and emotional wellbeing 

2021 – 2023 | Bushfire Recovery Grants

The first stage of the Community Wellbeing and Resilience Program was supported by $2 million funding from the Australian Government Department of Health through its Supporting Communities in Bushfire Recovery package 2021 – 2023. Ten local initiatives were funded and focused on more or of the following:  

  • Social and community connection 
  • Preparedness and response capability 
  • Partnerships and coordination 
  • Environmental connection 
  • Cultural connection 

Previous grant recipients (examples)


Education & training funding elibility

Funding is open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.

Workforce Locum support and R&R funding criteria

  • Available to primary care services in disaster impacted communities within the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Available to support short-term workforce coverage, allowing clinicians to rest and recover.
  • Workforce-support funding in total is capped for each site, over a 12-month period:
    • $10k for GPs and/or
    • $5K for nursing and/or
    • $5k administration support and/or
    • $5K allied/pharmacy and other.
  • Funding is not to be used to fill gaps in staffing that have not been able to recruit to and not to replace existing staff.
  • Healthy North Coast will assess requirements and approve available funding directly with the service requesting support.
  • Priority will be given to sites that have immediate, short-term workforce support needs.
  • Requests will be reviewed and supported on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program funding administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) to be paid monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever comes first).
  • Practices will be required to complete a request for payment form monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever occurs first).

Wellbeing Flexible Funding Criteria & Eligibility

  • Open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Activity must be purposeful, with the aim of increasing the wellbeing of your team.
  • Requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with funding allocated based on team size.*
  • Following approval by Healthy North Coast, funding will be administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) upon providing proof of expenses.
  • Funding cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol, or any other goods or services where the vendor cannot quote their Australian Business Number.
  • Planned activities must occur prior to 30th June 2024.
  • Funding will not be available for retrospective activities.
*Team Size
(Total staff and contractors)
Funding Available
Small (1-5)$500-$1500
Medium (6-20)$1500-$4000
Large (>20)$4000-$5000