HOPE Office News

01/11 2021

HOPE Office News - November 2021

Good morning folks,

With our Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for Saturday 13 November 2021, I wanted to ask those of you intending to stay on in your respective Management Committee or Admin Support roles to say so by return email by the 11November 2021. Likewise, for those of you may be stepping down from your current position, please let me know as soon as possible, so that I can advertise vacant positions.

Lastly, some of our more recent volunteer recruits are yet to submit their first articles. I would appreciate receiving some feedback as to the progress or otherwise of your assignments.

Lastly, we have taken delivery of a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone which will be used to ‘survey’ landscapes for envNGOs such as Friends of the Escarpment Parks Toowoomba and regional landcare groups amongst others.



Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135, www.hopeaustralia.org.au

01/10 2021

HOPE Office News - October 2021

Good morning folks,

Firstly, a recap of September's highlights:

  • Ordinary Meeting held on 11 September
  • Issued stacks of media releases
  • Received a $5,000 donation to the HOPE Public Fund
  • Accounts audited with a $112 GST refund coming our way
  • Unsuccessful grant application for Waste Minimisation Brochure project (21/09/21)

Now that the accounts and cheque-books are back in the office, we have arranged to purchase a drone which will be used to help local/regional groups 'survey' their landscapes to ascertain key features and/or problem ares. FREE drone workshops and 'fly-overs' have already been offered to the Friends of the Escarpment Parks (FEP) Toowoomba and the management committee of Dingo Mountain Reserve.

Lastly, our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Saturday 13 November 2021.

We would appreciate YOU stepping up to help with secretarial and treasury (i.e., accounting activities) - as well as assisting with social media postings; and researching material for articles, etc. (see Management Committee and Admin Support Team roles at HOPE Australia Protect the Environment: Our people).



Frank Ondrus, Office Manager - HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135

17/09 2021

HOPE Office News - September 2021

Good morning,

Well, it’s been another mixed bag of fortunes for our group in recent times.

Grant-wise, we were successful in obtaining $4,277.90 from Qld Govt’s Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF) to purchase a drone for landcare/conservation workshops and field work.

Plus, we have 2 pending applications – one to the Australian Government’s Volunteer Grants program for $1,200 to cover fuel costs; and the other to Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) for $3,355 to develop a 3-fold Waste Minimisation brochure and the printing of 20,000 copies for distribution throughout the region.

Fingers crossed that both of these grants will be successful too!

Membership-wise, we are losing more members and volunteers than we are gaining!

The impacts of covid-19 have certainly been noticeable – especially lockdowns, loss of employment and isolation on the mental health and well-being of many of our members and supporters.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Our next quarterly Ordinary Meeting will be on Saturday 11 September 2021, from 10am to 12 noon.

The meeting will be both physical (up to 6 members) and via ZOOM.

ZOOM participants will be asked to speak first on items listed on the agenda.

The meeting will then resume its regular format.

AGM reminder – Our annual general meeting will be on Saturday 13 November 2021

Kerry our secretary, Miriam our treasurer and me, the president, are all feeling run-down and would like to have a break from the management committee.

I would ask locals (i.e. - those of you in the Toowoomba region) to consider stepping up to refresh the management committee for at least a couple of years.

I am still available to undertake the Office Manager’s role and assist the incoming President as required.



Frank Ondrus, Office Manager / President – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135



17/08 2021

HOPE Office News - August 2021

Good morning folks,

Covid-19 continues to directly and perversely impact the health, well-being and availability of our volunteer team and the efforts of our envNGO supporters.

The turn-over of volunteers over the past 18 months has been high and disconcerting.

That is why, a number of our ‘special report’ projects and proposed project proposals have been delayed and may be deferred until 2022.

I thank you for your patience and continued support through this difficult ‘pandemic’ time.

Lastly, as previously mentioned, we need the financial support of our members and friends to help defray our operating costs. Donations may be made at HOPE Australia Protect the Environment: Donations .



Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135

01/07 2021

HOPE Office News - July 2021

Good morning folks,

In recent times, our membership numbers have decreased significantly – and so, I need your help by inviting your networks to support the work of HOPE. Membership and Volunteer details are available at HOPE Australia Protect the Environment: Membership .

Also, we urgently need to raise funds to cover our annual operating expenses. Donations can be made directly to our Public Fund account at HOPE Australia Protect the Environment: Donations .

A copy of the Minutes from June’s Ordinary Meting is now available at HOPE Australia Protect the Environment: Committee Reports.

Lastly, we welcome Stephanie Polinar as our new Website Content Officer.


Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135

June highlights from the Office:

  • Accounts paid – Membership Renewal 2021-22 with Volunteering Queensland; and Annual Hosting of our website with CLEVVI (Toowoomba)
  • Submitted online grant application to Arrow Energy’s Brighter Futures Program re: Development of 3-fold Waste Minimisation brochure.
  • Issued nationally e: Media Releases re: Report on HOPE’s ‘After the Virus’ Podcast series’ and “Introduction to Eco-Social Work in Australia
  • New “Special Report” assignments are proposed for the subjects of:
    • Review of “Recommendations to strengthen the EPBC Act;
    • ‘Opportunities to better protect our Threatened Species’;
    • ‘Dealing with Invasive Species (plants and animals”;
    • “Transitioning to Sustainable Energy Future”;
    • “The need to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, Globally” and
    • An overview of the GM-FREE Australia Alliance and its supporters”

12/06 2021

HOPE Office News - June 2021

Good afternoon folks,

The 2 major issues that the office is concerned with at present are:

  • our falling membership; and
  • the vacancies on our Admin Support Team.

Please share our newsletter with family, friends and work/community colleagues – and invite them to join us in practicing sustainable living!  Membership details may be found at HOPE Australia Protect the Environment: Membership .

If you have some spare time to help with admin support, please consider volunteering for one of the positions listed below. Remember, the more volunteers we have, the more evenly the workload can be distributed,

We welcome your thoughts on environmental, heritage, animal welfare and social justice issues.

Please consider posting something on our social media platforms to continue the conversations on possible solutions to the varied problems we face.

On a positive note, 2 of our grant applications were successful.

We will be receiving $534.05 from Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Micro Grants program to purchase some much needed office consumables.

And, fingers-crossed, we’ll be receiving $1,200 from the Federal Government’s Volunteer Grants program to cover fuel costs.


Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135, www.hopeaustralia.org.au

26/05 2021

HOPE Office News - May 2021

Good morning folks,

Our “virtual 2021 Youth Summit” event (19-22 April) went ahead as planned even though student registrations were disappointingly low. It appears that the secondary schools in the Toowoomba region did not support the event and so no information about the event was on-forwarded to Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 students.

We recorded the 4 ZOOM sessions and collated the speaker’s presentations and our documentation in a special Project report (which will soon be added to our website).

Hopefully, the Youth Summit documentation may be used planning of another event in the future.

Lastly, we continue to explore possible projects and appropriate funding options.


Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135, www.hopeaustralia.org.au

07/04 2021

HOPE Office News - April 2021

Good morning,

Our main focus over recent weeks has been on progressing our virtual 2021 Youth Summit event for Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 students and their home-schooled equivalents looking at issues of interest and/or concern relating to the environment, social justice, animal welfare and heritage.

A draft program will be posted on our website shortly at www.hopeaustralia.org.au/projects-events/2021/.

We are also regularly scanning the internet for possible grant funding opportunities for our ever-growing backlog of projects. Fingers crossed; we are successful in our quest!


Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135, www.hopeaustralia.org.au

02/03 2021

HOPE Office News - March 2021

Good morning folks,

Our quarterly meeting on Saturday 13 February focused on the re-imagining of our Youth Summit event from a physical “gathering of students” to a virtual series of ZOOM meetings.

And, I’m pleased to report that HOPE Inc., in partnership with St. Ursula’s College, will hold a series of 4 Zoom meetings, over consecutive days, to discuss issues of concern relating to the environment, social justice, animal
welfare/conservation and heritage.

The 4 afternoon ZOOM meetings will be held on 19 th , 20 th , 21 st and 22 nd April 2021, from 4pm to 5pm. Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 secondary students and their home-schooled equivalents are invited to participate in this
FREE regional event and hear presentations from government, industry, academia and community group representatives. Each presentation will be followed by a Q & A session.

Once the Youth Summit program of speakers is finalised, we’ll circulate the Youth Summit program to secondary schools and issue a regional media release.

A package of take-home resources will also be made available to participants.
Youth participants will be asked to submit their registration for one or more of the Youth Summit ZOOM meetings directly to HOPE at office@hopeaustralia.org.au. Students should include their name, year level and school.


Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135, www.hopeaustralia.org.au

08/02 2021

HOPE Office News - February 2021

Good morning folks,

Firstly, the launch of our new “Directory of Heritage Facilities and Key Landmarks in the Toowoomba Regional Council jurisdiction” brochure was well received at the Australia Day Celebrations at Highfields Pioneer Village.

Our proposed Youth Summit event (as part of National Youth Week activities) has been re-imagined from a physical “gathering of students” to a virtual series of ZOOM meetings. More details on the changes will be announced shortly.


Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135, www.hopeaustralia.org.au

HOPE Office News - January 2021

Good morning folks,

Welcome to 2021. The impacts of covid-19 during 2020 were manifold; and will continue to impact our work schedule during 2021. Projects and undertakings for this year include:

  • A ‘re-imagined’ Youth Summit (April 2021) – i.e., from a physical gathering of students to a series of ZOOM meetings (program to be finalised by end of March)
  • Prepare ‘special reports on Food Security (Regina Kimble); Water Security (tbc); and Circular Economy (Mariana Marabini)
  • Funding secured to develop a 3-fold brochure “Directory of Heritage Facilities and Key Landmarks in Toowoomba Regional Council Jurisdiction” (Daniela Dal’Castel)
  • Seeking funding to develop a 3-fold brochure “Waste Hierarchy” (Daniela Dal’Castel)


Frank Ondrus, Office Manager – HOPE Inc., ph. 07 4639 2135, www.hopeaustralia.org.au

Volunteers needed

More active volunteers – both local and remote (i.e. online) – are required to help us maintain our level of activity. Volunteers are needed to help with projects, events and display activities, as well as general admin duties and media/publications, work. We invite members and supporters to step up and volunteer some time and talents to help share the workload. Current vacancies include: Researchers; Media Officers; Publications Team members; and Newsletter Editor.

A fair portion of the above work would ideally be done by locals (i.e. in the Toowoomba area) because the HOPE office is in Toowoomba. However, quite a bit of the literature review, research, media and publications activity can be done via email. If you have a little bit of time to help us in any way, then contact the HOPE office on email office@hopeaustralia.org.au or phone (07) 4639 2135.

Current volunteer positions available are:

  • Researchers – required to review and comment on a range of discussion papers, policy documents and reports provided by government departments, business and industry organisations and NGOs.
  • Media Officers – required to write media releases, event notices, date claimers and design promotional flyers/posters for projects, campaigns, events and activities
  • Publications Team members – required to write information articles for our newsletter; website summaries; and assist with the development of PowerPoint presentations and information sheets
  • Website Content Maintenance Assistant – required to perform weekly updates and routine maintenance as provided by Office Manager

Benefits of volunteering

Volunteering is of great benefit to the community. It also benefits you personally in a range of ways:

  • Gain work experience and develop new skills – Boost your career prospects. Update your resume with a whole new skill set.
  • Make new friendships and connections – Meet like-minded people. Create professional networks.
  • Enjoy new social & cultural experiences – be immersed in all kinds of environments, people and causes.
  • Be a part of your community – Discover, connect, make an impact and have fun. Enjoy better physical and mental health – Studies show volunteering makes us healthier and happier.
  • Develop personally and build confidence – Expand yourself. Enjoy a sense of achievement and fulfilment.
  • Act on your values – Try something new. Follow your passions and interests.
  • Step out of your comfort zone – Challenge yourself in a supportive environment.
  • Stand up for what matters – Be inspired and be an inspiration.
  • Make a difference – The feel-good factor of supporting Queensland communities.

Enjoy the benefits of being a volunteer today!

To volunteer with us, please visit http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au/membership/volunteer-form/