Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke announcing funding for the Cowra New Years Eve Beach Party
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke announcing funding for the Cowra New Years Eve Beach Party

Confronting adversity head on, the Cowra community is hosting their New Year’s Eve Beach Party again this year with help from the NSW Government’s $1.5 million Drought Resilience Fund.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the new Drought Resilience Fund supports community-driven initiatives that reduce social isolation and other risks to wellbeing brought on by the hardships of drought.

“This Fund is about giving drought-affected communities support that will help lift their spirits and maintain those important social connections, which is crucial during these tough times,” Ms Cooke said.

“Local communities know what type of support they need best, and that is why I am asking our towns and villages to nominate initiatives that will bring us together.

“This drought can be a relentless mental health challenge for individuals but community spirit goes a long way in helping people feel connected and stronger.

“It is fantastic to see the Cowra Community NYE Beach Party Committee tapping into the Fund to organise an evening that will bring young and old together.”

The Cowra Community New Year’s Eve Beach Party will provide local residents with a range of free activities including a simulated volleyball court, jumping castle, and water slide as well as live music, food trucks and celebratory fireworks.

The Drought Resilience Fund will support a number of eligible initiatives including ticket subsidies, Christmas concerts and lunches, wellbeing events and community barbecues, sports days and functions.

Ms Cooke said the Drought Resilience Fund will support farming and community families and small rural businesses to come together in ways that meet the particular needs.

“Community members can apply for grants to fund events, activities or programs that lift the community spirit and help everyone pull together during this crippling drought,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our communities are very resilient but it’s the simple things that promote coming together and enjoying local company that are essential to maintaining strength when it’s most needed.

“That is why the NSW Nationals in Government are committed to preserving the social fabric of our regional communities and supporting their mental wellbeing.”

Communities wishing to apply can contact their local DPI Rural Resilience Program staff member to access the Fund or visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au