An update for Sustainable Neighbourhood volunteers
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Sustainable Neighbourhoods News

Happy holidays!
Thank you for the incredible work you do to bring our community together and create a more sustainable Lake Macquarie.
We wish you all the best for a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, and look forward to another excellent year in 2017.
Sustainable Neighbourhoods is featured in the December edition of the Australian Conservation Foundation's Habitat magazine.
Thank you Colin for initiating this excellent promotional opportunity.
Check us out on page 36.
Contacting the Alliance during January
Rachelle, the Alliance Secretariat will be on leave from 22 December, returning 8 February 2017.
If you have requests for the Alliance Board or general assistance with Sustainable Neighbourhoods matters, please contact Janet Purcell, via email or phone 4921 0074.

Lake Macquarie City councillors have adopted a new City Vision and set of Community Values that will guide future planning and provide direction for how the City responds to change and growth.

The City Vision and Community Values statements were created by a Community Reference Group of 20 Lake Mac residents drawing on extensive feedback from the Shape Your Future community engagement campaign.

The new Vision and Values reflect the priorities of Lake Mac residents, with a strong emphasis on environmental protection, lifestyle and wellbeing, community connectivity and the development of a diverse, adaptable economy.

They will guide future policies prepared by Council, including the new Community Strategic Plan, to be released in 2017, and a new land-use strategy, for which planning is under way.

To view the new City Vision and set of Community Values, and learn how your input helped to shape our future visit

Sustainable Celebration
We spent a lovely afternoon with Sustainable Neighbourhood volunteers, Council staff, and three of our Councillors at our recent celebration event.  It was a great chance to meet some new faces and enjoy afternoon tea together.  We learned how the Cardiff Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group organised two excellent Car Boot Sale events, and even squeezed in some planning for our 2017 citywide projects.
Plastic free... almost
Our plastic free afternoon tea was delicious!
Here's how we avoided disposable plastics for the afternoon.
  • Home-made goodies like cakes, slice and biscuits were definite winners.  They are easy to transport in a reusable container, paper, or wrapped in a tea towel.
  • Some of us bought treats from the bakery, which come in paper bags and cardboard boxes.
  • We chose juice and ginger beer that comes in glass bottles.
  • Fruit comes in its own packaging!
  • We bought nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate from the self-serve section at the supermarket, but just put them into mushroom bags instead of the plastic ones provided.
  • And of course we all brought our own reusable shopping bags.
A couple of pesky plastic bits turned up though.
  • We bought some coffee that looked like it was in a paper bag.  But the 'paper' bag had plastic lining on the inside.  Next time, I am taking a jar to my favourite cafe and will ask them to grind my coffee beans directly into it.
  • One of the juice bottles had a small plastic seal around the lid.
Find funding for 2017
Some of the best ideas come to you while you are relaxing. 
If you're suddenly inspired with a great project idea over the holidays, keep these grant programs in mind.

Council's Environmental Sustainability Grants
Up to $3000 for community based sustainability projects in Lake Macquarie.
Next round opens Monday 23 January and closes Monday 27 February.
Information session, Monday 6 February.

Council's Community Funding Program
Up to $5000 for community events.
Monthly application rounds.

Council Donations and financial assistance
Council may provide up to $1000 financial assistance to not-for-profit groups and other organisations, through its Donations and Financial Assistance Policy.
Applications for financial assistance are invited in May or June each year.  Unforeseen requests can be considered at other times.

Australia Post Our Neighbourhood Grants
Up to $10,000 for projects that address one of their key focus areas: Digital capability, Employment pathways, Community inclusion or Disaster readiness.
Next round opens in February 2017.

Community Litter Grants, Keep NSW Beautiful
Up to $5,000 for projects that address local litter issues.
Currently open.  Applications can be submitted at any time, but will close 1 March 2017.

Hunter Local Land Services
Up to $10,000 for community education and engagement projects.
The 2016-17 round is closed, but a request for assistance can still be submitted if there are unallocated funds available.

Various categories and funding amounts.
Submissions usually close in about May each year.
Top tips to win grant funding

Plan in advance.  Develop your project concept, possible activities, and funding requirements well in advance; before you even see a suitable grant opportunity.
Seek support and approvals from relevant organisations and partners well in advance.  Include a letter of support with your application if relevant.
Tailor your application.  Ensure your grant application fits with the funding agency's aims, and addresses the grant's criteria.
Be clear and concise about what you will actually spend the money on.
Highlight the impacts of your project.  How will your project change people's lives, change behaviour, or result in a healthier Lake Macquarie environment?

Remember that prior approval from the Alliance Board is required for the Alliance to sponsor a grant application.
Copyright © 2016 Lake Macquarie Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance, All rights reserved.

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