What the WinZero Team Members have Achieved so far.
The Decision to Pursue Charitable Status
As an organisation run by volunteers, with a membership full of volunteers, we all know the one thing stopping us from putting many of our plans into action – is money. Enthusiasm, blood, sweat and tears simply doesn’t cut it.
During many conversations with funding bodies, other charities and foundations (including The Southern Highlands Foundation) we were told time and again, that gaining charitable status would make it easier to access large amounts of funding, and tax deductable donations.
Now at this point we were fortunate enough to be advised by Herbert Smith Freehills, one of the country’s leading law firms, and as it was on a pro bono basis the time to engage was limited. As such, it wasn’t easy to run a fully comprehensive consultation process with the membership in parallel with our discussion with Freehills. This forced us to make some quick decisions, with limited time to convey all this to members – a mistake in hindsight.
And so, in October last year, the Management Committee unanimously decided to pursue registration as a Charitable Organisation, and then apply to be designated a ‘Registered Environmental Organisation’ (REO) with ‘Designated Gift Recipient’ status. The first part of this journey was achieved last month when we were advised we are now a Charity.
Despite the obvious distractions involved in getting WinZero ‘reborn’, we have still kicked quite a few goals over the 12 months that we have been in existence (see below).
WINZERO ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR.
- Produced a WinZero overview video which has been screened at Bowral Empire Theatre
- Regularly engaged with Councillors and WSC Senior Management
- Met with the Wingecarribee Mayor from time-to-time
- Participated in Climate Change Strategy development with the Wingecarribee Shire Council
- ‘Upgraded’ our membership of the SH Key Stakeholders Group
- Instrumental in the forming of the Climate Change Advisory Panel
- Set up on-line payments, accounting and membership management
- Appointed external accountant (Oxley Partners)
- Established an active social media presence
- Published website
- Published regular WinZero Newsletters
- Been contacted on environmental issues by the local press
- Became a Zero Carbon Community under Beyond Zero Emission
- Engaged with the World Wildlife Foundation
- Formalised WinZero organisational structure and governance
- Unanimously approved new constitution for WinZero
- Registered as a Charity with the ACNC
- Applied for Registered Environmental Organisation/DGR1 status
- Supported several major grant applications for Regen Landscapes and other projects
- Lodged a number of smaller unsuccessful grant applications
- Developed a truly “green” power supply option with Diamond Energy to promote in community
- Encouraged EV charging infrastructure development in the Shire
- Participated in the first Small Business ‘Producers and Growers Lunch’ at The Loch
- Engaged with other Zero Emissions community groups such as ZESN and ZEB
- Engaged with Ironbark Consulting re carbon emissions modelling
- Supported the Southern Highlands Community Gardens network
- Conducted a Strategic Planning workshop to develop a strategic approach to WZ activities and projects
- Set up a Trello-based on-line teams management system
- Made submissions re: SH Housing Strategy; Climate Bill; and Austral New Berrima Brickworks
- Made presentation at the Parliamentary Hearing on the Climate Bill
- Engaged with the Member for Whitlam, Stephen Jones MP, regarding climate and energy policies
- Initiated engagement with the TrueGreen Group proponent of the electric bus and car assembly plant at Moss Vale
- Organised a presence at Earth Hour in the Botanic Gardens including an EV display
- Engaged with local landowners currently practicing Landscape Regeneration
- Engaged with local landowners regarding interest in Landscape Regeneration initiatives
- Assisted in the creation of the Southern Highlands Community Garden Network
- Engaged with local landowners and market gardeners regarding possible Landshare initiatives
- Worked with the Gundungurra community to establish a local indigenous community garden
- Attended multitudinous Webinars and Zoom meetings!!
The Solar my Schools program is actively supported by WinZero, a not-for-profit organisation formed to inspire and lead the Wingecarribee community to be net zero emissions by 2050. Read full media release