• Lisa Elliott

Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance Inc.

Networks for Nature: growing Biolinks Alliance’s online knowledge sharing capabilities

Contact Name Dr Sophie Bickford Email sophie@biolinksalliance.org.au Address 350 Lauriston Reservoir Rd Phone Number 0422227471

Charity website https://biolinksalliance.org.au/ DGR Registration Link https://abr.business.gov.au/ABN/View/54216785599 ACNC Page Link https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity/bb665266cccd38b7de4ddea25e7d9e51

Please provide a brief, two sentence overview of the project that requires funding.

In response to coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings, this project will develop online conferencing, content generation and sharing capacity for Biolinks Alliance to virtually deliver its planned annual flagship Knowledge Sharing and Networking activities and citizen-science training projects. It will build lasting organisational capacity for greater knowledge-sharing and collaboration required to scale-up strategic nature conservation.

Overview of Organisation The Biolinks Alliance was formed in 2010 by community conservation groups in Central Victoria in recognition that in order to halt environmental and species decline in Victoria, large-scale landscape restoration was necessary. This scale of work would require coordination of effort, knowledge as well as new and innovative approaches.

The Alliance is currently comprised of 18 member landcare networks, conservation management networks and environment groups extending from the Grampians across to the Australian Alps and from the Dividing Ranges to the Murray River.

Biolinks Alliance has identified a unique role for itself as a capacity and partnership building organisation that will ensure that the significant momentum there is for community-driven conservation on public and private land in Central Victoria is supported, coordinated and amplified.

Describe the project that requires funding: Biolinks Alliance has been working through how to respond to the extraordinary disruption the Coronavirus pandemic is bringing.

Our response plan is to ensure that the Alliance remains a strong organisation, ready for when restrictions lift, as our mission post the devastating fire season is as critical as ever. But also to look at how we can continue to grow the communities' capacity for taking informed ecological action while public gatherings are not possible - through adapting the delivery, and some reprioritising of the implementation, of our Strategy (2019-22 Passage to the Future).

The coronavirus has particularly impacted Biolinks Alliance’s key Knowledge and Networking Program. It’s 2020 Annual Knowledge Symposium “Glideways” scheduled for April 30-May 1 has been postponed and two Citizen Science Wildlife Monitoring workshops scheduled for April 2020 have been cancelled. The planning of its annual speaker event, featuring international and national thought leaders in Connectivity Conservation, is on hold.

We have identified we need to bring forward the further development of our online Knowledge Hub (originally slated for 2021) and also develop the means to deliver our 2020 flagship knowledge sharing and network building events online through staging online workshops, conferences and speaker-series, as well as produce digital training/how-to videos to keep our citizen science projects going.

This project will engage an experienced digital project manager and content producer to:

  1. Establish the tools and capability for the Alliance to convene online workshops and conferences and, from them, produce online video content for wider sharing

  2. Deliver the 2020 Annual Knowledge Symposium “Glideways,” as an Online Conference supporting interactive workshops and the production of video recordings of proceedings.

  3. Design, promote and stage the 2020 High Profile Speaker Event as a series of ticketed Online Talks.

  4. Produce key digital content to support community engagement, learning and participation in the Alliance’s Landscape Projects

  5. Expand the capability of the organisation’s existing online Knowledge Hub

In doing so, this project will:

  1. Maintain Biolinks Alliance’s profile and activity in the Not for Profit conservation-sector as a key new network and knowledge sharing organisation enabling large-scale collaborative conservation

  2. Support the continued delivery of the collaborative-Landscape Projects: ‘Glideways’(a Vic-NSW-Qld collaboration through the Great Eastern Ranges), ‘Glideways in the Melbourne Ark’ and Heathcote Local to Landscape

  3. Result in greater ongoing collaboration through the adoption of new digital collaboration technologies.

  4. Harness the untapped potential there is in the community to connect with nature and take informed positive steps to assist it on their properties and in their local areas – actions that can be taken in confinement.

So, while digital delivery is in direct response to new social-isolation measures, it is bringing forward the development of a key project in the Alliance’s “Knowledge and Networking” Strategic Program and will have an enduring legacy, enabling BA to develop and share vital information to empower more people to take effective conservation actions to restore the health of the environment and stop species extinctions in central Victoria.

Please describe any collaboration you have had with other organisations in relation to this project: The Symposium has been programmed with the Great Eastern Ranges connectivity conservation initiative and Alliance Member Groups who are involved in the Glideways Project(especially Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network, Southwest Goulburn Landcare Network, Wombat Forestcare) and collaboration around its online delivery will continue through this project. Alliance member groups involved in the Heathcote Landscape Project and Glideways in the Melbourne Ark are partners in developing online delivery of citizen-science projects (wildlife monitoring training videos & story telling of local projects ecological objectives).

Funds requested from Pool of Dreams sub-fund: $25,300

Other sources of funding Macedon ranges Shire Council $3000 – Staging Glideways Symposium.

Private donations to Biolinks Alliance. $2500 (supporting project management).

When would this project be expected to start? May 15, 2020.

When would you anticipate this project to be completed? Feb 28, 2021.

Please click here for further information.

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