New body to launch ambitious projects

A NEW not-for-profit organisation in Cooma, Resilience Inc, is spearheading a range of ambitious and innovative projects that will be environmentally and socially responsible and generate economic activity.

They include a multi-million dollar arts and hospitality centre, an affordable purchase eco-home housing scheme and solar thermal energy plants to supply the entire energy needs of a local rural industry.

They would be funded by donations, philanthropy and fundraising.

It has already received the backing of a number of local businesses who have contributed with pro-bono work.

Resilience Inc comprises seven volunteer board members from diverse backgrounds and expertise.

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They aim to facilitate programs and projects to enrich the lives of people in rural Australian communities.

Some of these include an affordable purchase housing program, renewable energy and sustainability projects, developing and supporting social enterprise, community development programs and community grants schemes.

It will also focus on education and training and employment through the projects.

Headed by foundation president Stephanie McDonald, Resilience Inc will work collaboratively with public, private and community sectors, for projects to drive the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of rural communities.

Ms McDonald said the organisation was set up to support and strengthen rural communities.

"We want to see rural communities thrive," she said.

"We want to bring to the community more opportunity and diversity of opportunity.

"Our aim is to develop different projects that are environmentally and socially responsible and in the process generate economic activity.

"We want to enhance people lives in rural communities for generations to come. "

The organisation has ambitious projects in the pipeline including an affordable-purchase eco home housing scheme.

The scheme is designed to give low income people living in rural locations, who have never owned a home, and are unable to obtain a mortgage through the usual means, the opportunity to build equity in an asset and eventually build their own home.

To raise funds Resilience Inc plans to build an eco home in the region as an art union prize that would be open to the public as a demonstration/educational eco home.

A long term project being developed by Resilience Inc is an arts and hospitality centre based in Cooma.

It would be a professional level, 300 seat performing arts centre, incorporating 30 first class guest rooms, 20 staff and performer residential rooms, function rooms, commercial space and dining facilities in the Cooma CDB.

Ms McDonald said the projects were still in the early stages, but Resilience Inc had a business plan and a strong fundraising model to see these projects become a reality.

"We have business plans and strong networks," she said.

"We believe it is possible and highly doable. But it has to be supported by the community."

Resilience Inc is also working on community projects such at the FIDO Crew in Jindabyne, which provides social outings for people between 18-60 with a disability, together with friends and family members. Resilience Inc provides FIDO crew with administrative support, insurance cover and bank facilities.

Whilst initial projects and programs are starting in the Cooma-Monaro Region the organization is looking to eventually expand to any rural community in Australia.

Ms McDonald thanked everyone who had supported the organisation so far including Jeremy Mears who developed the website which is now live. For more information head to http://www.resilienceinc.org.au/.

BOX OUT:

Stand up for rural communities

Resilience Inc will now start to fundraise kicking off with the event 'Stand up for Rural Communities'.

Eleven stand up comedians from Canberra and the region will dare to tickle your funny bone in the first of a series of comedy evenings at Cooma Little Theatre.

They will be performing in support of Reslience Inc. The event will take place on Saturday March 16 from 8pm to 10.30pm.

Local Dr David Learoyd will MC the night which will feature Hamish Hudson and Emo Parsonson.

Tickets are available from The Fabric Salon in store on 6452 3480. Adults are $20 and concession is $15. More information at www.resilienceinc.org.au.

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