May Evaluation – Community Insights Nambucca Valley

17 May 2023

The IRCF Team hosted a couple of events in the Nambucca Valley as part of the May program evaluation cycle. First up was a workshop exploring the impact of the IRCF program and what comes next. Our Program Manager, Nancy, tells us there was a fantastic turnout and plenty of engaged, robust conversation, with broad representation from across the community.

Some of the key takeways from those in attendance included:

  • a strong sense of optimism
  • a commitment to collaboration – working together on applications – and the benefits of knowing what each other is doing. This marks a shift away from a competitive mindset.
  • a desire for community groups to connect, perhaps through an NFP expo or even dinner dances for boards!
  • a willingness to share insights and tips – eg about quality control and accountability and how to offer support for volunteers (such as training in emergency plans and first aid, but also in practical things like and petrol vouchers.)

The next day, the team hosted a stakeholder breakfast, which attracted people from groups like the Lions Club, new local mental health group, Time2Talk, the Nambucca Heads High School counsellor and an Aboriginal Elder. Again, there were common themes, including:

  • the strain on volunteers from cost of living increases
  • a perception among community members that they don’t have the qualifications required to volunteer
  • the need for leaders to feel connected and supported
  • a desire to enhance the profile of IRCF-funded organisations
  • an acknowledgement of the role of the local NFP sector: “People need to be looked after and these organisations do a hell of a lot of that.”

Thanks to everyone who came along, participated in the conversation and shared your insights. We really appreciate it, because it helps to inform the future of this program and of support in the region.