Supporting Regional Networks

In 2016 AAEE NSW received funding from the NSW Environmental Trust for the project Equipping regional sustainability education networks for creating change.

Stage 1 of this project (Oct 2016 - Feb 2017) involved a Leadership for Sustainability Skills Development Program for the current and emerging leaders of the regional sustainability education networks (RSENs) across NSW. One hundred environmental educators applied to participate in this program and the successful 44 began the program by attending a two-day workshop in Sydney. This workshop covered topics such as Collaborative Leadership, Strategic Planning and Evaluation and running fun and effective networks (see workshop program). In the months following the workshop, participants attended three webinars to extend their workshop learning, on Making your own Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement Plan (MERI), Leading for Collaboration and Group facilitation and engagement.

Stage 2 of this project (Mar 2017- July 2018) involved these participants working within their Regional Sustainability Education Networks to develop:

  1. A strategic plan for their network outlining their vision, objectives, guiding principles, membership and administration etc;
  2. A small collaborative best practice sustainability education & engagement project with network members using $1,500 of seed funding from the NSW Environmental Trust;
  3. A case study of the best practice project undertaken by their network.

This project is now completed. Please read the project evaluation report and see our infographic below to discover the many outcomes of this successful project.

AAEE NSW's 'Equipping Regional Sustainability Educator Networks for Change' infographic

Below are some resources that have been developed as part of the project, that we hope you will find useful:

  • A Guide to Planning a Best Practice Sustainability Education and Engagement Project
    This is a resource for environmental educators from all sectors including community, non-profit organisations, state and local government, formal education, business and industry.
    Download the Guide (which includes a Project Plan Template) and the accompanying Budget Spreadsheet.
  • Strategic Plan Template for Regional Sustainability Education Networks
    This template was developed to assist Regional Sustainability Education Networks to create their own individual Strategic Plans. It may also be helpful for other environmental education networks, such as school/teacher environmental networks.
  • Running Effective Environmental Education Networks- workshop presentation
    This workshop at the 33rd NSW Environmental Education Conference in Oct 2017 provided tips on running an effective network, touched on concepts of collaborative leadership and shared the lessons of the AAEE NSW Capacity Building project for Regional Sustainability Educator Networks. It included many aspects of good network management such as engaging members, sharing workload, succession planning, communication options and preventing volunteer burn-out.
    It will be relevant for members of RSENs as well as those involved in other networks such as school and business sustainability groups.
    Download the workshop presentation.
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