Terrain works hand in hand with Community NRM Groups
May 19, 2016
Terrain NRM has sponsored two struggling community groups to access funding and take a step closer to making a difference in their local area autonomously.
Many community NRM groups find it hard to access grants because they are not incorporated. “Funding bodies generally prefer to deal with an experienced incorporated legal entity rather than an unincorporated group of individuals,” said Terrain’s Operations Support Officer, Marin Haldane.
Terrain Coordinators Steve Bailey and Jacqui Richards have recently assisted Holloways Beach Coast Care and Hinchinbrook Wetlands Alliance to access funding by sponsoring or ‘auspicing’ anAustralian Government Community Action Grant.
Steve said, “The Billy Jagar Reserve project has been a fantastic collaboration between Holloways Beach Coastcare, Terrain and the Cairns Regional Council, and has resulted in some really great outcomes. Prior to receiving this last grant, the Coastcare group was on the verge of collapsing.
Terrain assisted with the application to the Queensland Government’s Everyone’s Environment Grant and have worked closely with the new Coordinator Simone Vinton to auspice the project and help roll it out. The funding has helped to reinvigorate the group and give Simone a great project to keep all the volunteers engaged.”
Jacqui had a similar experience and said “We want to support groups to become autonomous and on the road to incorporation so they can access their own funding. Auspicing can be a stepping stone to building a stronger more self-sufficient group.”
Marin said, “Auspicing a project involves a certain degree of legal, financial and relationship risk and that’s why Terrain has developed an ‘auspicing’ policy. We want to make sure we fulfil our ‘sponsor role’ and support groups in the most effective and fair way.”
Signing the funding agreement is the legal part of the process but more important is the ‘hand in hand’ delivery of the project.
Marin said, “The Terrain aupicing policy is not a one size fits all model and can be adapted to the needs of the group and their project. However the critical elements to a successful auspicing arrangement remain constant: a clear group purpose, a good project and capable people.”
No matter what stage the group is at, the auspicing policy provides a good overview of what Terrain can offer. It gives some guiding principles about contacting Terrain early, establishing a relationship, building partnerships and laying the groundwork for whatever NRM project they are seeking to achieve. Through this process groups may find that what they want to do is best achieved by a different means.
Steve and Jacqui agree that it is essential for groups to develop a relationship with Terrain. Steve said, “We can help the NRM community build partnerships with other active groups, linking people with common interests and direction. A big part of our job is to connect stakeholders with the right people at the right time. Terrain can also provide guidance on future planning to help groups keep kicking goals.”
Marin said, “It’s not something we do every day but in certain circumstances it can be of great benefit to the community and perfectly align with what Terrain is all about; helping NRM community groups succeed in the long term and supporting hard working people with passion and drive to achieve positive NRM outcomes.”