Lessons From Current/Past Strategies

Also includes:

  • What are the lessons from past strategies in our Region for the 'whole of community' New England Sustainability Strategy?
  • Build on proesses that have already occurred (eg Bingara 20:20 vision; NESSiE) to support other regional communities to identify and build their own linking sustainability plans (eg Glen links with Armidale – satelliting, support plans) and use the Councils, NRIDB, CWA. Focus on inclusivity, engage the minority groups
  • How can we take forward all the things from the past that have worked? (Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater)
  • How an we have collaboration across government, community, science, business, NGO for sustainability knowledge development
  • How can we pursue Indigenous sovereignty. Respect, acknowledgement, fair engagement for all. Sharing of culture, Indigenous language and custodianship principles. Acknowledgement of ownership of Indigenous knowledge.

Working Group

Shane Burns
Nicky Chirlian
Hani Soliman
Zoe Miller
Adam Blakester


Past/Existing Strategies, Plans, Models, Frameworks

  • Include oral, written, cultural and practice
  • NIRDB Strategic Plan
  • Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • State Plan
  • ADC/Uralla cultural plan for Indigenous People
  • Land, Community and Business Plans (NSWALC)
  • ADC Social Plan and Strategic Plan
  • Culture & Keeping Place Strategic Plantation
  • Bingara Vision 2020
  • Landcare, SNELCC, Weeds Authority
  • SLEx

How can we involve the whole New England Region in building a sustainable future?

Build on, not duplicate, existing
Create a sense of urgency (like Bingara)

  • For the New England our motivator is the need to be proactive and tackle the bigger issues

Learn from past/existing strategies (Regional especially) so the New England Sustainability Strategy works and makes a difference
Need a fully integrated and inclusive strategy across region and social diversity
Build on existing networks, partnerships and meetings
Need a clear coordinating group/body/leadership plus wider stakeholders working groups
Regional SLEx
Regionalisation (not the same as decentralisation)
What hasn't worked?

  • Agency only representation – focus on their self-interest
  • Focus only on policy
  • Ad-hoc planning
  • Create expectations that can't be fulfilled (so need to be realistic)
  • Funding reliance/over-reliance from one source or source/s tied to policy (which changes)
  • Lack of follow through and follow up
  • Not recognising and celebrating outcomes and successes
  • Work left to just core group/coordinators
  • Plans aren't detailed enough to enable practical strategic decisions and implementation
  • Poor engagement and involvement of Aboriginal people (youth, Elders)
  • Stakeholders identified but not committed (or accountable) and when policies/staff change so do priorities and plans (government, key stakeholders)
  • Over-reliance on external people to implement
  • When KPIs aren't aligned with key stakeholders (doesn't address 'what's in it for me')
  • Not enough funding or not enough time in funding arrangements to achieve outcomes

Ensure plans and partnerships are interdependent rather than co-dependent

What practical steps or projects can be undertaken to do that?

Audit existing plans/strategies/models/frameworks, identified commonality of KPIs and actions for sustainability
Develop a strategic pathway for which plans/partners should be approached in which order
Appoint a driver/coordinator for the Strategy
Review NESSiE and build on success/strength
Develop a partnership with Aboriginal communities and support them (hand up not hand out) to be involved
Further forums/workshops to include region and social diversity (eg. Indigenous, Harmony, Youth Refuge, Overseas students)
Identify a symbol that encapsulates sustainability for our Region (like Platypus for Camden)

  • Becomes a decision making tool and symbolises everything needing to check in with sustainability as part of assessment, decision making and planning
  • Identity and brand and badge

Develop a whole/inter governmental/key stakeholder Memorandum of Understanding regarding areas of common ground/objectives for sustainability to embody commitment from key stakeholders and minimise risk of mission/agreement drift when policies and personnel change
Diversified funding strategy ensuring independence including

  • Fee for Service
  • Fundraising
  • Donations
  • Grants for Projects (corporate, government, philanthropic)
  • Programme funding (government)

Celebrate and share successes and outcomes

  • Pick quick wins/winners to build confidence

Identify and work with Champions for Sustainability
Recognise what we are already doing
Reprioritise and redeploy existing resources – what can be done for little or no cost? Flexibility and adaptability (not necessarily more money)
Form a clear coordinating group/body/leadership plus wider stakeholders working groups

  • Independent non-profit governance for 'whole of community' and maintain integrity with purpose of Strategy, accountable to stakeholders and free to move and work on 'purpose'
  • 'Owned' by whole of community
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