What's Missing

Governance
Who owns the New England Sustainability Strategy? Who is it accountable to? Who are the key stakeholders?
We need to build on what has already been built, achieved, established.
Setting up a group that encapsulates the diversity of the region and has a governance base.

Questions to answer:

  1. What are the needs for the governance model?
  2. Who are the stakeholders?
  3. Accountability - who to, who does it?
  4. Complimentary activities?
  5. Role and responsibility
  6. Models to copy?
  7. Is "it" a vision-setting body or a doing body?
  8. Audit of capability and human resources is critical
  9. What do we really mean by "sustainability"

Principles:

  • Have a plan first
  • Complete the Strategy, use the website as an open-source document
  • Funding risk spread, wide funding base - philanthropic, grants, fee-for-service
  • Councils are central to the implementation of any plan
  • Education for broader community

MODELS
Uralla Sub-Catchment Management Plan is a model that can be referenced.
NESAC already deals with many regional issues and could expand to cultural/social issues

  • Formed to share administration/back office and apply consistency
  • LEP
  • Could be adapted to 'drive' uptake of regional issue and co-operation
  • Difficulty might be cooperation of other stakeholders and layers of government
  • Difficulty might be restrictions on funding (eg philanthropic)

Regional Taskforce

  • Broad base
  • Could be more focussed
  • Planning easy/implementation hard
  • Councils

Youth
Group included: Kathryn Brooks, UNE; Kathy Martin, Armidale Dumaresq Council; Rosemary Johnson; Robyn Bartel, Talloires Declaration Implementation Committee UNE

Gaps:

  • Social/Economic Streams
  • High-School teaching (Primary has more flexibility to incorporate sustainability)
  • Too much pressure on schools to pick up this slack
  • Sporting groups (vegetation, recycling and waste disposal)
  • Use Facebook-social networking to encourage events and groups

Flagged Issues:

  • UNE based activities/encouragement
  • Community Organisations (maybe aline green youth group with already established community groups - Scouts, Army Reserves etc)
  • Apply for grants to train up school students for applying for grants in Term 4 (which is quietest term)
  • Mentors for youth from community
  • Pubic speaking on environment can be used for marketing
  • Haywire (web), Place Stories (film, photos), Youth Speak (youth forum)
  • Youth environmental officer
  • Youth environmental person of the year award
  • Youth Local Council representative position
  • Designing courses with environment included (TAFE, Film School)

Ideas re sustainability:

  • environmental (perspective generally is environment, not economic or social responsibility). Especially primary students who are interested. Teenagers and high schools harder to engage and uni students may be focussed outside
  • Sense of urgency and want environmental outcomes
  • Ethical consumption
  • Moral and social consciousness
  • Interest in taking personal responsibility and wanting governments also to take responsibility
  • Interest in more activities at primary school level – energy and motivation high Cf High schoolers disengaged
  • Impatient and want things to happen now and are annoyed with barriers because have no control over these

Priorities:

  • Ways to engage interests and ways to pursue this - give youth tools to do this themselves
  • Council Awards - recognition of youth involvement
  • Youth being heard and voice valued
  • Moral and social consciousness (ethical responsibility of sustainability)
  • Support passionate youth
  • Enable community engagement of youth at all levels (and so not lumped into one party)

Initiatives:

  • Council involvement - Youth Representative - in each Council area
  • Speakers to highlight issues in communities
  • Facebook page to create awareness and reach youth
  • Network for rest of regional youth
  • Advertise through schools, UNE, TAFE
  • Council/Service Club Awards
  • Youth Festival - get involvement, interested, running it, engagement, key speakers, skateboards, etc
  • Youth Forum

Gaps/opportunities/strengths:

  • Really listening to youth and taking youth seriously
  • Children time rich and money poor – compare adults!
  • Schools high on the list of responsibility bearers but overloaded and need to spread the load throughout the community and meet student-identified needs rather than have just another imposition on the curriculum
  • Sporting groups adopting fringes for native vegetation on creekbanks and windbreaks – Urban Rivercare or specialised youth focussed group
  • Adopt a stretch of creek – and funding applications from DECC
  • Opportunity to engage UNE - Opportunity for colleges in Armidale
  • Adopt a roadside or reserve e.g. for physical weeds removal
  • Mentor system
  • Tree planting
  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Engagement of students – via student-friendly media e.g. facebook
  • Landcare as support for environmental focus
  • Use software and freeware software like ABC Haywire on the environment; Placestories
  • Young Environmental Citizen of the Year for NESAC/ADC
  • Youthspeak 12-24 – have similar for the region or age groups
  • Scout groups to have environmental focus
  • Church groups to have environmental focus
  • Service clubs to support environmental projects
  • Council involvement and support and representation on Council from youth
  • Army reserve – UNE and TAS – have to be careful of competing interest
  • TAFE courses – embed environmental sustainability in some courses – e.g. apprenticeships and work experience for sustainability projects
  • Armidale Film and TV school to film all environmental projects that are underway and have part of curriculum environmental projects
  • Armidale Sustainable Living group and filming projects
  • Community gardens and garden to kitchen projects

Trends:

  • High school disengagement and uni student turnover – but need to recognise realistic limitations
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