Dear friends of Sunshine Coast Social Enterprise,
Life – what happens when you are busy making other plans. If ever an adage was true. This year has certainly brought home the importance of remaining agile and resilient in the face of change. The emergence of COVID-19 has impacted members of our network, and the communities they serve, in many different ways. For some it has meant an increase in demand, others have been brought to a grinding halt and many have been reflecting on how they might pivot to best respond to this new world. No matter the impact, it is clear that this crisis has proven that a rethink of ‘business as usual’ is required and people and environment need to be at the heart of what comes next.
Our network and Sunshine Coast region have a strong reputation for being motivated and passionate about social enterprise. The Social Enterprise Network Sunshine Coast (SENS) leadership team worked very hard over the last 18 months to lay the groundwork for our growth, and in order to work more closely with Sunshine Coast Council, we took an opportunity to transform our network and seek to increase our impact through a refreshed strategy and new leadership team members.
I want to take the time to pay tribute to the many people involved in the last leadership group who gave countless hours to furthering SENS through organising monthly catch-ups, the regular newsletters, moderating our vibrant facebook community or advocating the for social enterprises. A collective thanks must go to Helen Andrew (Spare Harvest), Davinia Vella (Making it Happen), Colin McMahon (Sunshine Coast Council) , Peter Jenner (USC), Mel Butcher (the Social Deck), and Cheryl Harris (Volunteering Sunshine Coast), among others for their hard work and contributions.
I am excited to announce that over the last month a new incorporated association has been created and new management committee formed. With this new beginning I’m also very pleased to reveal a new name – the Interchange, Sunshine Coast - a name that represents our role as a facilitator and enabler for social entrepreneurs to come together for shared learning and collaboration.
This new governance structure and team will enable us to begin our organisational transition and identify new opportunities to scale our reach and impact, including giving us the ability apply for grants and establish formal partnerships. Welcome to the new management committee.
We have collated past network feedback (2018 Forum, 2019 Vision session, network meetings) to inform our new path forward, but think it is critical we hear your current thoughts on what is important for the network and Interchange Sunshine Coast to focus on now and in the future. Over the coming months you will begin to see more communication from us, and including seeking your feedback on how we might best practically support you on your journey.
We also look forward to sharing, and gaining feedback on our emerging goals and action plans.
If you have any questions or ideas about how we can best support you to deliver impact to the Sunshine Coast community don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Stay safe and look forward to talking soon,
President – the Interchange, Sunshine Coast