Survey any number of volunteers what they would least like to do on a committee and the universal responses are – finance and strategic planning.

But even for tiny organisations like BR4R, they are essential tasks. We owe it to our financial supporters, volunteers, and not least the people we help, to be clear about what’s possible in the coming year and how much it costs to achieve those goals.

With that in mind a good number of us met in Ballina on January 27 to plan the activities for BR4R’s vision of continuing to welcome, respect and support refugees and people seeking asylum.

Here are our key activities:

  1. Fundraising: Treasurer Alan Larsen provided an excellent analysis of the areas of fundraising which BR4R has traditionally engaged in and those that have had biggest impact, not only financially but also in the engagement of the community as volunteers and financial donors.
  2. Communication with members, volunteers and the wider community: There was lot of discussion on how best to communicate and what do people really want to read about. As a result we now have a small but skilled and enthusiastic team ready to collate and distribute good news stories and lessons learnt, using a range of communication tools across social media, print and radio formats.
  3. Advocacy: This continues to be a clear focus of BR4R and we have a great capacity in this region to do much more of this. This year we will be using Refugee Week in June, to raise awareness of the harrowing plight of refugees and asylum seekers. Politicians and decision makers need to know that the North Coast of NSW cares about these people. Look out for a call out for volunteers to take up the pen and pick up the phone soon.
  4. And of course we need to administer BR4R. Someone has to do all the paperwork.
Planning pillars