The Kinglake Ranges Foundation is to manage the delivery of the Community Cultural Facility which emerged from the extensive post fire community consultations.
It is worth reflecting on how this project fits into the recovery process overall. There have been many thousands of “things” happen in the recovery time. Some happened to us, some we created ourselves, some were for individuals, some for groups and some were at a community level.
The Melbourne based advisory panel that oversaw the donated VBAF funds thought that it would be sensible if some funds went directly to people and some went to groups and community that some would be applied ASAP and some would be held back for the medium and long term. The point here is that the recovery work was not without some structure and that’s the way it progresses today.
It would be reasonable to think that those that donated money to the fund would also think that this is a sensible strategy, apply recovery at different levels and think of the long term as well as the short. They would also likely be pleased that the community, not levels of government, should be the voice that influences where the medium and long term investments are made. The many consultations and the Foundation structure, at the community level, is precisely this approach being realized.
VBAF monies are tightly governed in that they may not go to businesses and they may not go to initiatives that are normally provided for by levels of government. This last one is particularly relevant here as the consistent response from the extensive consultations in our community have been that secondary school, pool and CCF are the long term priorities. Direct access to these particular funds to build a school for example is not possible.
Taking these three initiatives one by one, the current status is :
- The CCF is the subject of a specific grant to be covered below.
- The pool project is resourced by a highly competent and passionate group of volunteers. In 2012 it advocated for and received approximately $20,000 grant from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust to develop a feasibility study. The Foundation is fully supportive of the pool initiative and they have access to these VBAF small grants to help them pursue an innovative solution. The Foundation will be right with them. More strength to their arm!
- The Secondary School initiative, even though identified as a high want, currently does not have a group focused on it in the community.
The Community and Cultural Facility is a $1.8M fund allocated by VBAF in the ‘long term’ category to be used only for this project which came out of very extensive community consultations. For donors to the fund, this project represents 0.4% or 40 cents out of $100.00 of their donation. It is important to note that the project was put forward as a priority by the community. The Foundation has simply been tasked with implementing the communities’ wishes.
Communications around this project are well under way and a community reference group is to be established which will represent the key community stakeholders. You can provide your inputs to this reference group now by emailing [email protected], we will be posting regular updates on this website.
This is perhaps one of the most exciting and important long term recovery projects. It is not without its critics and the Foundation listens to and respects their views and is learning from them as much as the supporters. As project managers we are committed to clear communication and transparency around the project.