HOPE Office News

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

HOPE Office News - December 2020


Hi everyone, Well, we did it! We survived what has been a rather chaotic year and as it draws to a close, we consider how we can continue to act in protection of our environment and improve our advocacy of environmental issues. This month we have International Volunteer Day (5th) where we celebrate the efforts of volunteers worldwide in contributing their time and efforts to furthering important causes. We take this opportunity to ask our readers to consider volunteering with HOPE or suggesting it to someone you know who may be interested. This month’s issue features a good cross-section of articles from our volunteer researchers and as always, we welcome your thoughts on these articles or on any issues you would like to raise. A final note of thanks to our readers for your continued interest and support of the HOPE Newsletter - we look forward to bringing you more articles in the new year.

Happy holidays,

Daniela Dal’Castel, Newsletter Editor – HOPE Inc

Office News December 2020

Good morning folks.

As we approach the end of the calendar year, it’s a time for us to reflect on the HOPE achievements to date; and start thinking about what’s in store for us for 2021.

Having said that, our end-of-year social dinner will once again be held at the City Gold Club, Toowoomba, on Monday 7th December. If you are able to join us, please RSVP by 3rd December as seats are limited to 20. Lastly, the office will be closed from 5pm Friday 18 December 2020; and will reopen at 9am on Monday 11 January 2021.


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

HOPE Office News - November 2020

Good morning folks,
This month’s focus is on our Annual General Meeting (AGM); the 1st Ordinary Meeting of the 2020-2021 Management Team; and reviewing grant applications, projects and future undertakings.

If you would like to contribute to the development of HOPE’s 5year Strategic Plan, please notify the office of your interest in being on a working group; and/or your suggestions regarding HOPE’s future.


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

HOPE Office News - October 2020

Good morning folks,

Office highlights from September included our Ordinary Meeting on Saturday 12th; review of current grant applications; and progress project reports on our "In-house Podcast Series"; the "Management and Monitoring of Native Fauna" as per the national Community Environment Program (CEP); and our 2021 Youth Summit event.

Andrew Nicholson has completed podcast interviews with Mark Tranter - Renew (formerly ATA -  Alternative Technology Association) Toowoomba; Michelle Maloney - Australian Earth Laws Alliance; and Paul Donatiu - Healthy Land and Water.

Steve Cupitt, Crossroads Rural & Environment, is progressing well with our "Management and Monitoring of Native Fauna" project - with the development of Grazing Management Plans guidelines, 8 Species Occurrence Matrix information sheets; and 8 Species Management Plans.

Planning and preparation for our major community event project – the 2021 Youth Summit – is progressing well with our co-host St. Ursula’s College, Toowoomba. Introductory event letters have been sent to all 22 secondary schools/colleges in the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) jurisdiction. We have invited Year 10, 11 and 12 students to submit their top 5 issues of interest and/or concern on the environment, social justice, animal welfare and heritage. The student’s responses will be used to help guide our program of speakers and discussion topics at the summit.


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

Office News September 2020

Good morning folks,

Office staff have continued their efforts to update admin procedures, respond to enquiries and seek funding for projects. Here is the current status of our projects and grant applications:

  • Management and Monitoring of Native Fauna – grant $16,500 received from national Community Environment Program (CEP) ➔ To date, Crossroads Rural & Environment (CRE) have prepared the Grazing Management Plans Guidelines, 8 Species Occurrence Matrix information sheets; and 8 Species Management Plans.
  • Development of Waste Hierarchy brochure – grant applications submitted to ARTC Inland Rail (17/08 Unsuccessful); and GCBF Qld (17/08)
  • Development of Directory of Heritage Facilities and Landmarks in the Toowoomba region – grant applications submitted to Mazda Foundation, RACQ and Arrow Energy o Online grant application re Cover fuel costs of volunteers – Federal Volunteer Grants program (26/08/20)
  • In-house Podcast Series led by Andrew Nicholson
  • Promotional support of HOPE and its activities - CQU Digital Media Project (pending approval)
  • 2021 Youth Summit (major event project)
    • Printing of UN SDG posters – grant application submitted to Honda Foundation
    • Review ‘proposal’ and efforts to date ▪ Recruit more assistance to working group ➔ HOPE and St. Ursula’s College (Toowoomba) are co-hosting the event which will be held at the school’s Salo Centre (hall), 8-14 Rome St, Toowoomba on Saturday 24 April 2021. We have started canvassing year 10,11 and 12 secondary students, across the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) jurisdiction, on their issues of interest and/or concern regarding the environment, social justice, animal welfare and heritage. Their responses will be used to guide the program of guest speakers and discussion groups at the summit.
  • Podcast Series (using consultant) – grant application submitted to Australian Communities Foundation
  • Other Project proposals for consideration o Andrew Nicholson’s proposals
  • Steve Cupitt’s proposals Other matters for consideration include:
  • Membership with other envNGOs ▪ Australian Earth Laws Alliance (ALEA) ▪ Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA)
  • Purchase annual ZOOM subscription – Y/N?

Lastly, the office will soon be updating our Sponsorship Prospectus; and we’re looking for volunteers to help compile lists of potential sponsors. So, if you have some spare time, please contact the office on phone 07 4639 2135 or email office@hopeaustralia.org.au to offer your support.

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

Office News August 2020

Good morning folks,

Due to the Covid-19 lock-down and social isolating conditions imposed by the Federal and Queensland Governments, HOPE has postponed or cancelled most of its planned events for 2020.

We are, however, still looking at potential grants for projects and events to undertake in 2021.

Of course, we have ongoing commitment to advocate on national environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity protection, threatened species and eradication of pest plants and animals.

HOPE’s first major event proposed for 2021 is a Youth Summit for years 10,11 and 12 secondary school students on issues relating to environment, social justice animal welfare and heritage.

This event will be held in conjunction with National Youth Week activities in April 2021.

Stay safe, stay well, stay interested!


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

Office News July 2020

Good morning,

Whilst reviewing the first half of the year and compiling information for my report to the June quarterly Ordinary Meeting, I was once again surprised and pleased at the high level of activity by our volunteer admin support team and external supporters.

I’d like to pay particular thanks to Kerry Kruger for bringing the website maintenance up-to-date; Daniela Dal’Castel for taking over the Newsletter Editor position; Sean Egan and Hauauru Rae for crafting 10 media releases between them; Steve Cupitt and Andrew Nicholson for their assistance in developing projects and writing grant applications; and finally, to those volunteer researchers who prepared submissions to both the Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill (x2) and the EPBC Act Review (x4).

Other significant highlights included:

  • 17/12/19            Initiated ‘in-house’ appeal for books & magazines for Gatton Women’s Prison
  • 08/02/20            Strategic Planning Meeting
  • 14/02/20            Andrew Nicholson’s attendance at National Climate Emergency Summit, Melbourne
  • 24/02/20            Earth Laws Forum, Toowoomba
  • 21/04/20            Received notification that our application for listing on the national Register of Environmental Organisations was successful. Yahoo!!!

Grants (3 unsuccessful; 2 successful; 4 pending)

  • Funding for new computer system received from Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF) Qld
  • Funding from federal Communities Environment Program (CEP) to undertake: Management of Endangered, Vulnerable and Near Threatened (EVNT) Fauna / Flora Species in typical Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) / Threatened Ecological Communities (TEC) vegetation communities through knowledge – Species Likelihood of Occurrence Matrix, Property Specific Species Mgt Plans and Site Mgt Plans
  • Issued e:letter to all Australian local government authorities and the national/state/regional media re: The Time is Right to Adopt a “Climate Resilience Policy” Note - Close to 100 jurisdictions representing 8 million people – a third of the population – have declared a climate emergency, including the government of the Australian Capital Territory, based in Canberra, and South Australia’s Upper House.

Current grant applications:

  • Australian Ethical Investments – Develop a series of Podcasts on local environmental issues
  • ARTC Inland Rail – Development of a Waste Minimisation brochure
  • Printing of UN SDG posters
  • TRC Micro Grants program — Unsuccessful
  • Australian Communities Foundation (06/06)
  • The Honda Foundation (12/06)
  • “Youth for the Environment” Summit to be held during National Youth Week, April 2021

Listing on Federal Register of Environmental Organisations and what it means for us:

Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status with tax office (ATO)

  • Ability to mount major fund-raising campaigns;
  • Access to a greater range grants with DGR a requirement; and the
  • Ability to attract corporate sponsorship

As of 1 July 2020, HOPE members and supporters will be able to make ‘tax deductible’ donations via our website at http://www.hopeaustralia.org.au/donations/ - with receipts being issued on request.

Finally, I hope that the remainder of 2020 is as productive as the first half of the year.


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



Office News June 2020

Good morning folks.

A huge thanks to all of our volunteers for contributing articles and other items for our website, newsletter and social media. Your efforts and on-going commitment to the HOPE organisation is much appreciated.

As the financial year draws to a close, we look forward to pursuing grant opportunities to undertake new and interesting projects for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

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



Welcome to June 2020,

It’s a big month with World Environment Day and World Oceans Day – both with online events and activities to participate in, as we continue to face limitations on social gatherings. We may be physically apart, but we can still raise our voices together for nature and push to accelerate ambition to protect biodiversity.

Once again, we feature a good cross-section of articles from our volunteer researchers.

Lastly, this month’s Office News welcomes everyone’s thoughts for June’s meeting (13th) on campaigns, events, and projects – what should HOPE be involved in for the remainder of 2020 as well as 2021.

Daniela Dal’Castel, Newsletter Editor – HOPE Inc.




World Environment Day


World Oceans Day


Global Wind Day


World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought




NAIDOC Week (postponed)


World Population Day


Schools Tree Day




National Tree Day


National Landcare Week


International Day for World Indigenous Peoples


International Youth Day

15th - 23rd

National Science Week

17th - 23rd

Keep Australia Beautiful Week


World Humanitarian Day

Office News May 2020

Good morning folks,

Please bear with us over the coming months as the country deals with the COVID-19 crisis. We do not have access to our network of volunteers and like-minded people/organisations as many are either not working or do not have access to the Internet/computers. But we will bring you as much up-to-date information as we are able to.

It's official! We're on the National “Register of Environmental Organisations” (21 April 2020). We’re now waiting on the ATO to confirm our access to Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. Once our ABN has been updated by the ATO, we should be able to:

  • amend our website donations page to reflect the HOPE public fund account details (http: www.hopeaustralia.org.au/annual-pledgedonation/)
  • Initiate ‘fund-raising’ exercises – locally, state-wide and nationally
  • Search DGR eligible grants for our projects
  • Update and circulate our Sponsorship Prospectus – locally, state-wide and nationally

Please note that most of the above-mentioned items will be actioned after this financial year ends.

It is hoped that we can attract sufficient financial support to cover our operating costs – plus allow us to employ consultants and others to undertake work for us.

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.

Please contact the office on 07 4639 2135 or email office@hopeaustralia.org.au to offer your assistance.

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 www.hopeaustralia.org.au/membership/volunteer-form/