THE Rural Regional and Remote Women's Network of Western Australia will use a $103,800 Lotterywest grant to help non-for-profit organisations survive the COVID-19 pandemic and thrive for the long-term.
Newly appointed RRR Network chief executive officer Kendall Galbraith said when pandemic restrictions were enforced, the year ahead was looking potentially devastating for her organisation.
"We rely heavily on the revenue generated from face-to-face activities such as events, research and training and with all of that quickly regressing, it was a downhill trajectory that we simply could not afford," Ms Galbraith said.
In response to the pandemic the organisation closed its commercial office space in the Perth CBD, supporting staff to work from home instead and their team halved in size.
With very little resources they quickly adapted to transitioning events online, such as webinars, podcasts and writing regular blog stories of RRR women.
They ramped up their e-communications and reached out to members with personal phone calls and interactions.
"We always knew that the RRR Network had to eventually pivot its operations online and improve our virtual infrastructure - COVID-19 was our trigger," Ms Galbraith said.
The RRR Network has been connecting and representing the 265,000 rural, regional and remote women of WA for almost 25 years.
Originally a reference group to the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development, the network's mission has prioritised creating better outcomes for the State's RRR women.
Today, it is a 4000-strong and connected network of members, subscribers and followers, including business owners and private and public sector workers, ranging across agriculture, tourism, health, mining and other industries.
The funding will go towards reinstating a marketing and membership co-ordinator, other resources and system upgrades to enable the organisation to continue to deliver core services in a new way in response to COVID-19.
This will support women in regional, remote and rural communities to remain connected and resilient, reducing their isolation and supporting their mental health.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.