On 2 December 2011 the Straddie Sand Mining Community Fund (the Fund) was officially launched. The Fund was established in response to the suggestions made at the Straddie Community Forum that a financial entity should be established for securing the long-term strength of our community.
As an integral part of the Straddie community and as the Island’s largest employer, Sibelco Australia has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the Fund up and running. But while the Fund is new, sand mining’s contribution the Island’s community is not. Ever since sand mining first began 45 years ago, the operators have been investing in important social infrastructure on the Island alongside providing strong and stable employment opportunities. From funding the One Mile pontoon to the Early Learning Centre to the Island Vibe Festival, enhancing our community’s quality of life has always been a central responsibility of sand mining.
But it’s not just about looking to the past. Listening to the comments of locals there is some concern about what the Island’s community will look like by the year 2020. This is where the Fund comes in by investing in our community’s greatest resource – our people. Established from proceeds of the Island’s sand mining operations, it will be the largest community investment ever made in the history of the Bay Islands. Funds will be available to support our dedicated volunteer organisations, build badly-needed social infrastructure and to ensure sustainable coexistence with the natural environment.
Administering the Fund is entrusted to an independent Advisory Board made up of an Executive Chairperson and six outstanding members of the Straddie community. Two members each from Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout reflect the diversity of the Island’s community. Just like a good old-fashioned town meeting, the Advisory Board will develop into a vital forum for discussing and tackling challenges facing the whole Island. The Board’s work is guided by the following charter:
- Enhancing the quality of life for all members of the Island’s vibrant community
- Supporting the work of existing and future community organisations
- Promoting living sustainably alongside the Island’s diverse wilderness and marine ecosystems
- Facilitating the creation of stable employment opportunities on the Island
- Promoting the unique culture and identity of the Quandamooka people.
Ultimately the Fund will reflect the hopes and aspirations of all Islanders, so we invite you to share your ideas, no matter how big or small, with the members of the Board. Our spirited volunteer organisations are the backbone of our community and should particularly consider partnering with the Fund.
Working together we can achieve great things for the next generation of Islanders.