K2C history

The precursor of Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C) was a group of people called together by Bush Heritage Australia in 2005 to decide on whether it should purchase a property called Scottsdale near Bredbo. The trigger for this had been a bequest by Dr. Peter Barrer. For Bush Heritage the purchase was conditional on support from a wider landscape conservation effort, i.e. a regional partnership with Scottsdale as a anchor property. Bush Heritage acquired additional funds and purchased Scottsdale at which there has been ongoing research and demonstration into grassland and woodland research and restoration, application and trailing of a variety of weeding approaches, reintroduction of grassland plants, monitoring of African love grass invasion, bird and reptile surveys, and translocation of the vulnerable stripped legless lizard. Many of the K2C partners have been involved in these projects.

A Steering Committee comprising representatives of conservation agencies and other conservation groups emerged. Bush Heritage was the early driver of K2C and employed the first K2C facilitator, Lauren van Dyke, contributing its own funds as well as obtaining funds from the NSW Conservancy Trust. Bush Heritage’s role which included taking responsibility for the partnership’s finances, employing the facilitator, and organising administrative arrangements, was later described as ‘lead partner’.

In 2007 the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, enthused by the example of K2C, created the Great Eastern Ranges (GER) Initiative comprising a number of regional partners, including K2C. Each regional partner adopted K2C as a model with a partnership, a lead partner and a facilitator. The overarching GER body adopted a similar structure.

The services provided by the K2C facilitator, to and on behalf of the partnership, proved very successful. These services included producing and distributing the K2C newsletter  Groundcover; maintaining the K2C’s website; distributing material through partner networks and making media releases; organising field days, events and property visits; developing and delivery of information and training materials to landowners and community groups; answering queries; maintaining K2C’s various databases; supporting and delivering partner programs and projects; seeking funding for projects; undertaking various forms of advocacy; and many more.

In 2009 Bush Heritage decided to withdraw as lead partner of K2C and to play a much less active role. Until that time K2C remained a somewhat lose arrangement but, without a lead partner, it was considered that K2C needed to define the partnership relationship and to find a suitable way to organise its finances and employ a facilitator and, if need be, other staff to work on K2C projects.

This led to two changes in the K2C governance arrangements: the creation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the partners which was signed in November 2010 and the creation of K2C Incorporated which came into being in December 2012.

The resulting structure of K2C has comprised the partnership; an executive of K2C which provides broad guidance of K2C; K2C Incorporated which is the financial and administrative arm of the K2C partnership; engage contractors, including the K2C facilitator, to carry out K2C projects; and sign up associate members (active participants of K2C) including K2C volunteers.

Representatives of the partners get together frequently in K2C Forums where they exchange information and discuss broader issues of policies and initiatives. Often, forums are addressed by experts and to which a broader audience is invited. One forum serves as an annual general meeting to hear reports from the K2C committee and to elect that committee.

K2C sought and attracted funds to carry out projects that were consistent with its objectives, targets and strategies. Projects enable some K2C services to be provided as a byproduct, for example many projects enable K2C to provide information and training to landholders and to build up its network of landowners and others who support its objectives, targets and strategies. Projects have been an important element of K2C funding.

Funding to support the K2C facilitator position has dwindled and in recent years has disappeared altogether. This has led to a heavier burden placed on volunteers and in some cases to reduce services. It must be recognised that some of our contractors have continued to supply support on a voluntary basis.

Recently K2C established the K2C Heritage Fund which has deductible gift recipient status which means that donations made to the Heritage Fund are tax deductible.