New England Sustainability Strategy
The New England Sustainability Strategy, or NESS, is an innovative whole-of-region strategy and collaborative governance model. It is probably one of the most participatory sustainability strategies anywhere in the world. The Strategy was created over a two and a half year period and involved more than 1,100 community leaders, professionals, key stakeholders and organisations from a regional population of 45,000 people.
NESS works to brings together the wide array of interests, organisations and people who have a stake in the sustainability of the New England Region ~ to collaboratively create their shared vision, identify change strategies, implement initiatives, and monitor and assess the progress being made.
A Model for Collaborative Governance & Strategic Planning
NESS has become a model for collaborative governance and strategic planning, both for sustainability as a whole and for priority sustainability issues such as youth development.
NESS has been tailored and used for the Lismore Sustainability Strategy, the North Coast Energy Strategy, the Tamworth Youth Development Strategy, the Northern Inland Regional Development Plan and the Partners in Recovery | New England mental health sector reforms.
NESS was awarded the 2010 community organisation of the year by the Armidale Business Chamber.
NESS has been integrated with other regional strategic plans including the Northern Inland Regional Development Plan and Armidale Dumaresq Council’s Community Strategic Plan.
The current priority is to ensure that the sustainability strategies are progressed, particularly through the efforts of the various relevant organisations and projects taking place across the New England region.
Starfish grew out of NESS. Many of its founders were also members of the NESS Executive, which is nicknamed NESSiE.
Starfish is auspice for NESS.