After the grief and trauma the recent and ongoing fire events have brought so many of us, across rural and regional Australia and in our cities and towns, we must strengthen our resolve to protect our livelihoods, our communities and our environment. And we must act quickly but thoughtfully.
As donors our response needs to be focussed on supporting our hard-working community sector partners. First with heart felt immediate contributions to the on-ground work that our firefighters, community and wildlife carers and land owners are doing and then a thoughtful and strategic response to address the medium and long term policy and systems change that is required so that we never witness this catastrophe again.
The AEGN is working to step up our leadership and convening role as we grapple with how to respond to this crisis.
Here’s a few things we are doing or aim to do and that we hope to share with members and others in the philanthropic community:
- Sourced a database of organisations and projects that AEGN members recommend for funding based on geographic region and type of activity. This is on our website and has been shared publicly across social media channels.
- Holding a webinar for the Australian philanthropic sector to “fact check” what has happened and why and who is influencing the narrative.
- Holding a webinar with our US and Canadian partners to update international donors on what has happened and why and what solutions might exist.
- Calling around 25 environment and climate change CEOs to ask what their top five to ten dot points for systems and policy change that federal or state governments should institute as a response to the fires. We hope to use this information to encourage the philanthropic sector to use our influence with Governments.
- Working with Philanthropy Australia and Philanthropy New Zealand to introduce a Trans-Tasman philanthropic response to climate change, drought and fires.
- Finish our Funders Framework on Climate Change to be launched in March.
- Meeting with the Corporate & Philanthropic Sector Working Group which was established as a conduit between corporate and philanthropic donors and government.
- Aiming to meet with the Victorian and New South Wales State Governments.
- Reframing our conference as an opportunity to explore philanthropy’s role at this crucial moment.
- Hosting a very special cocktail event the night before the conference to bring together the broader philanthropic community around this urgent issue.
I look forward to seeing you at all or some of these events and sharing with you the resources we develop.