"TOGETHER we are one".
That is the motto of Leeton Connect, an organisation in the shire which is aiming to bring together community groups of all kinds for the benefit of all.
Leeton Connect was formed to put together a plan of attack that would allow funding to come Leeton's way from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation under its Investing in Rural Community Futures program.
If all of this sounds like a mouthful, put simply Leeton Connect was able to gain $1 million in funding as a result and is now working to establish a capacity plan that will allow it to access this money and start up initiatives that will benefit Leeton's many and varied community groups.
In the meantime, Leeton Connect is moving forward with the initial start-up grant of $60,000 that it received.
The first thing on the agenda is to gather members for Leeton Connect so they can reap the benefits of being in partnership with the organisation.
Membership costs just $5, so for example, a group such as Leeton Can Assist could sign up and receive:
- Free governance and capacity building training for not-for-profit organisations.
- Access to a community register that captures general local information, knowledge, skills and assets.
- Access to networking opportunities between not-for-profit organisations.
- Support of the new Leeton Connect co-ordinator.
- Insurance cover while involved with Leeton Connect activities.
- Grant funding opportunities.
Leeton Connect chairman Sue Gavel said a short-term co-ordinator, Ryan Scifleet, for the organisation had now been employed.
Mr Scifleet has been working with Leeton Shire Council in a voluntary capacity to build its community service database and put this information online.
"We are excited to have Ryan starting with Leeton Connect, he has the skills and expertise to contact our not-for-profits and built our community register," she said.
"The aim of Leeton Connect is to co-ordinate community knowledge, skills and resources by creating and maintaining databases and creating community engagement and networking opportunities.
"Primarily, the purpose of Leeton Connect is exactly as the name implies - to connect the Leeton community via networking, participation, up-skilling, capacity building, collaboration and inclusion."
A community meeting will be held next month to map out priorities and update all on where Leeton Connect is headed.