A DEDICATED position for Leeton has been created to ensure not-for-profits can achieve their dreams and goals.
Last year Leeton was chosen as one of three NSW communities to participate in the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, which was set up through a partnership between the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.
This means Leeton will be receiving significant funding, to the tune of $1 million, to assist the town's many not-for-profit groups in a variety of different ways.
To help make this happen, Claire Williams has come on board as the Leeton facilitator for the project.
FRRR's IRCF program manager Alli Mudford said the organisation knows from experience how important it is to have someone on the ground.
"One thing 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," she said.
Ms Williams lives on a cropping farm between Lockhart and Narrandera and is passionate about regional development.
She 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.
Ms Williams will work closely with the Leeton Connect organisation.
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 to do so.
Organisations and collectives in Leeton are now invited to apply for grants for projects that are reflected in this community roadmap.
Ms Mudford said 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," she said.
"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."