The Barbara Thomas Fellowship program
Gaining and sharing expertise and learning, building partner capacity, and improving the conditions for conservation success are principal requirements for TNC (Australia) if it is to achieve its large-scale conservation goals.
To assist this strategy The Thomas Foundation in 2006 committed $500,000 to establish the Barbara Thomas Fellowship Program.
To early 2012 the Program has supported 10 fellowships, in areas of expertise such as conservation action planning, marketing and communications and Indigenous Protected Areas. Each fellowship has addressed a capacity gap in TNC’s conservation objectives by building its own resources, or resources in its key partner organisations.
Fellowships awarded between July 2010 and April 2012 included:
- Rod Vogel: development of fundraising strategies for the Karrkad Kandji Trust to secure and manage endowment funds for the adjoining Warddeken and Djelk Indigenous Protected Areas. Rod has subsequently conducted fundraising training sessions for other conservation groups
- Victoria Marles (CEO Trust for Nature, Victoria) and Nathan Males CEO Tasmania Land Conservancy): building capacity for conservation covenanting programs in Australia. Victoria and Nathan attended the Land Trust Alliance Rally (conference) in the USA. The Land Trust Alliance represents more than 1600 land trust across the USA, and the conference is the premier learning opportunity. In Australia, privately managed lands account for 65% of all land, and play a critical role in achieving conservation goals
- Wendy Buntin, Director of Philanthropy (Tennessee Chapter TNC): building fundraising capacity with the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA). The Alliance is seeking DGR status with the aim of developing private fundraising programs to diversify its revenue stream. Staffing structures, governance, training programs, targets and strategies for NAILSMA’s fund raising program were developed
- Eloise Kennedy, Director TNC’s Environmental Flows Program: research, priorities and recommend on TNC Australia’s freshwater program
TNC (Australia) says the Barbara Thomas Fellowship program is an invaluable capacity-building mechanism to deliver its. and its partners’ conservation goals in Australia.
Other Fellows and their projects are:
- Greg Low, conservation action planning workshops for Greening Australia WA, Kimberley and Habitat 141
- Angie Sosdian, private fundraising for Greening Australia
- Johnathon Colman, digital marketing strategy
- Cluny McCaffrey, marketing and communications strategy for the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW
- Christin Ellis, major gifts fundraising for Greening Australia
- Bruce Rose, Indigenous Protected Areas
TNC reports interest in and demand for the Fellowships continues to grow.
“The Barbara Thomas Fellowship Program is an important tool for building capacity in conservation, and organisations expertise that supports our goal of increasing the scale and effectiveness of conservation programs.
“In particular, as we enter new partnerships, the ability to offer partners the opportunity to learn from the Conservancy’s experiences and to draw on the expertise and knowledge of Conservancy staff, is of great value.”