During the forum, the group was asked this question:
If we had a magic wand that we could wave to make our work together everything we hoped for, what tangible things would we see?
The following responses provide a glimpse into our goals and hopes for the future as coast carers:
- We have more volunteers, especially younger people joining us.
- Community participation in our on-ground activities is filled with people from all parts of the coast, of all ages and cultures, and with a gender balance.
- We have better links with land managers and agencies, and they are providing more help with our working bees.
- We have more funding for on-ground works – and we are accessing new funding sources.
- Funding agencies recognise the need for longer-term funding of our projects, which is enabling both certainty and monitoring of these projects into the future.
- We have found ways to generate money from tourism to put into our on-ground works.
- Applying for grant funding is now simple and accessible for all groups – only the essential information is needed to complete the submissions.
- Our efforts have resulted in improved communication between all agencies, land managers and groups.
- Our education efforts have raised awareness of the fact that we all share many goals, which has resulted in greatly strengthening communication.
- We have evolved our communication to a point where each player has full knowledge of what each other is doing. As a result, groups are building on each other’s work, sharing skills and resources.
- Succession planning and management has become a reality, and all groups are working together to plan ahead and share ideas.
- The ongoing ‘politics’ continues… despite this, our work continues to get stronger with a healthy focus on catchment boundaries (instead of political lines on a map).
- One single regional agency (or point of contact) has been established.
- Our successful work has been widely acknowledged and promoted throughout the community.
- It has become the norm for companies and larger organisations to provide staff on paid time-out to assist with on-ground works (e.g. Rip Curl Planet Days).
- Growth in the employment of our people and groups has happened!
- We are seeing richer biodiversity through the removal of weeds.
- More and more people now know the difference between weeds and indigenous plant species.
- Our community of volunteers and groups is using online tools in unique and effective ways. We use these tools to coordinate, share knowledge, and recruit and attract new people.