Facilitator appointed to help Leeton turn ideas into reality

Bendigo, 27 May 2020: Leeton not-for-profits (NFPs) will now have a set of helping hands to assist in the development, implementation and evaluation of projects suggested as part of the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, with the appointment of a Leeton community facilitator.

Claire Williams
Claire Williams

Leeton was chosen as one of three New South Wales communities to participate in the IRCF program, which was set up through a partnership between the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.

FRRR’s IRCF Program Manager, Alli Mudford, says that the organisation knows from experience how important it is to have someone on the ground to support organisations in their own community and help turn their ideas into sustainable solutions.

"One thing that we heard loud and clear from the Leeton community was how important facilitated discussions are and how important it is to have support to help bring groups and leaders together to talk through community needs and priorities," said Ms Mudford.

"That's why we are delighted to have Claire Williams joining the team as Leeton’s facilitator to support the community with the program."

Ms Williams lives on a cropping farm between Lockhart and Narrandera and is passionate about regional development. Claire has spent several years working in both agriculture and communication, a background she believes will be beneficial when advocating for new opportunities in rural and regional communities like Leeton.

Both FRRR and VFFF have been inspired by the ideas that community representatives have put forward. Local organisations have identified that organisational development, governance, skills development and revenue sustainability are priorities for the Leeton community.

These suggestions have now been incorporated into a local Leeton roadmap for the IRCF program. These priorities were refined during workshops that were held online, due to COVID-19. But there is still the opportunity for other suggestions to be included if organisations didn't get to have their say or their priorities aren't reflected in the roadmap. Groups in this situation are encouraged to get in touch with the new facilitator, Claire Williams.

Local organisations and collectives in Leeton are now invited to apply for grants for projects that are reflected in this community roadmap. Ms Mudford says that FRRR staff and the newly appointed facilitator will work closely with local organisations to support them to apply for these, and future grants as part of Leeton’s IRCF journey.

“Each community we're working with is very different, with its own challenges, unique personalities and the depth and breadth of not-for-profits that work within its boundaries. FRRR's role in the IRCF journey is to act as facilitators and supporters, to enhance the ability of local leaders to deliver the change they wish to see.

"It is absolutely a privilege to be working with the local leaders we've met in Leeton, and I can't wait to see what the future holds and how they turn these ideas into reality."

Applications for IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants based on the Leeton community roadmap are now open and close at 5pm AEST, Friday 12 June 2020. Grants will be awarded in August 2020.

To apply for an Ongoing Partnership Grant contact IRCF Program Manager Alli Mudford on 0448 992 820, or Leeton’s IRCF facilitator Claire Williams on 0429 092 165 or email ircfleeton@gmail.com.

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