Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and Bellingen Councils unite with Charles Sturt for crisis recovery
- In a national first, three local councils will fund 59 places for Charles Sturt to train a skilled network of leaders to aid Mid North Coast’s current and future crisis responses
- Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and Bellingen councils will together fund 59 places for selected community members and council employees to study two community leadership and resilience subjects with Charles Sturt
- Scholarships for community members open on Wednesday 3 June and successful recipients will start online study at the end of the month
In the wake of COVID-19, bushfires, floods, and drought, three Mid North Coast councils have joined forces with Charles Sturt University to create and train a skilled network of local community leaders to fuel the region’s recovery.
Local councils in Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and Bellingen – as part of the Mid North Coast Joint Organisation(External link) – will fund 59 places for selected council employees and local community members to undertake online study in two micro subjects from Charles Sturt’s Graduate Certificate in Community Leadership and Resilience(External link).
The recipients of the council-funded education will make up the Mid North Coast Community Leadership and Resilience Network - the first network of its kind, created by three local councils in partnership with Charles Sturt - to provide support, ideas and opportunities to build leadership capacity and develop collaborative strategies for the region’s recovery.
Director of External Engagement for Charles Sturt in Port Macquarie Ms Kate Wood Foye said, “Charles Sturt University is thrilled to work alongside these proactive regional councils to facilitate the framework and learning underpinning the multi-location resilience network.
“The scholarships materialise a valuable opportunity for these communities to develop community leaders with vital skills to create significant change and strategies for lasting recovery in a region so deeply affected by drought, bushfire, flood and COVID-19.
“This Mid North Coast cohort will be the first of its kind enabling future leaders to collectively learn, share ideas and support each other through each subject, creating a highly skilled and supported network of individuals to initiate regional recovery with lasting economic and social impact.”
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Kempsey Shire Council and Bellingen Shire Council will together fund 39 community scholarships and 20 council employee professional development scholarships.
The community scholarships were established to include local residents from a diverse range of backgrounds and organisations, who are already key community leaders and show a commitment to leading transformational change to enable the Mid North Coast region to recover and thrive.
General Manager of Bellingen Shire Council Ms Liz Jeremy said, “The Mid North Coast Joint Organisation of Councils has committed to understanding each of our communities’ priorities and concerns.
“Our region has weathered a range of challenges across recent times around years of drought, fires, floods and now COVID-19, which highlights an understanding of the need to work in a much more focused way around the environmental social and economic impacts Bellingen faces now and into the future.
“The Community Leadership and Resilience Network project is a key enabler to responding to what our communities have told us about what is important, enhancing council and community capacity, and creating a cohort with expertise in what continues to be imperatives for the ongoing wellbeing of our communities.”
Members selected for the network will commence their online study with Charles Sturt on Monday 29 June.
The University will create a dedicated study group for the network and will deliver the subjects so the group can target regional priorities and create solutions for the Mid North Coast region.
Applications for the community scholarships(External link) open on Wednesday 3 June and close on Wednesday 17 June. Further information is available(External link) on the Charles Sturt website.
To be eligible for the community scholarships, applicants must resident in the local government area for which they are applying, be able to demonstrate local community involvement, be willing to join and commit to the Mid North Coast Community Leadership and Resilience Network, and be able to dedicate time to university study. Further criteria is available(External link) on the Charles Sturt website.