Two local groups are hoping to get grants to make their ideas a reality under the ‘My Community Project’ initiative, which is a NSW Government program providing funds for community projects. The decision on which projects receive funding will be made by public vote (see link below).
Both the Byron Bay High School and the Byron Community Centre have applied for the grants for their projects – one to help water and one to help women.
The My Community Project organisers say that they want the public to decide which projects get funding in their local area. The Project will fund ideas in each NSW electorate to help improve the wellbeing of the people and communities that live there.
Byron High School
The Byron Bay Blue Carbon Initiative is a project by ‘Positive Change for Byron High’ students and HSIE teacher Mr Stuart Galletly who have been working on a project to empower young people and develop leadership towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 – ‘Life Below Water’.
The group have applied for a My Community Project grant for $136,897.
Their idea revolves around education and practical solutions to mitigate impacts of climate change and development through planting mangroves and conserving riparian zones, achieving blue carbon sequestration.
The students want to teach that mangroves store between two and four times the carbon of mature tropical rainforests. They say increasing mangrove coverage will contribute towards reducing atmospheric carbon and its associated impacts and that mangroves offer protection from storms and sea level rise, prevention of shoreline erosion, regulation of coastal water quality, provision of habitat for ecologically important fish and endangered marine species.
Byron Bay High School students will lead the initiative during school term time and work in collaboration with Zero Emissions Byron, National Parks and Wildlife Services NSW, Arakwal Elders, Positive Change for Marine Life and Southern Cross University to regenerate Tallow Creek through creating a mangrove nursery and demonstration site in the months following receipt of the funding.
Byron Community Centre
The Byron Community Centre has developed a specific program called ‘Women Matter Too’. This program is aimed at supporting vulnerable and homeless women in Byron Bay by providing access to essential amenities and services for health and well-being.
This group says there is a significant increase in the number of vulnerable and homeless women in Byron Bay and project will provide an opportunity for them to access all the basics of everyday life; a safe space, hot healthy meals, hot showers and hygiene supplies, shelter from severe weather, internet access, and social interaction. The Community Centre group say that this will greatly benefit the physical and mental health of women doing it tough. It will also provides an opportunity for trained volunteers to give back to their community.
The suite of wrap around services will be developed by the Homeless Projects Coordinator and the Community Programs Manager at the Byron Community Centre with the support of Byron Shire council, the local Uniting and Anglican churches, St. Vincent de Paul, Liberation Larder, BCC volunteer program, local hairdressers, podiatrists, osteopaths, Aboriginal Health, Community and Oral Health. Building on existing relationships and current resources, the project will happen in October 2019.
If you live in NSW and are 16 years or older, you’ll be able to vote for the projects in your electorate.
You can vote for your choice at: https://mycommunityproject.service.nsw.gov.au. Voting across NSW will close on 15 August 2019.