What does the Network do?
In fulfilling its role as an umbrella organisation, BEN has put particular emphasis on supporting groups through promoting their activities and achievements. This has been done through the production of newsletters, hosting or participating in radio programs, arranging special events and expert guest speakers, conducting major conferences on themes of interest to local groups, conducting the biennial Ballarat Environment Awards
BEN is a community-based, not-for-private profit, incorporated association, which, in addition to the overall function of working on behalf of its member groups and individual members, has the following key functions as identified in its Statement of Purposes:
- Co-ordination: to provide a single, unified voice and community focus on environmental and conservation issues;
- Awareness: to raise public awareness and promote a wider understanding of environmental and conservation issues in the region;
- Action: to promote improvements in the local environments through projects and lobbying for action;
- Extension: to broaden interest in environmental issues in the community expanding the involvement of people in member groups and introducing a wide range of topics of interest to BEN members.
BEN is managed by a Committee, with the majority of BEN’s activities organised through four Working Groups:
- Publicity & Promotions
- Education & Research
The Committee’s role is to plan the future of BEN – its directions and priorities for action. The Committee has adopted the BEN 2006-10 Business Plan as its guide to the future management and activities of BEN over that period.
BEN holds its Annual General Meeting in November each year to elect the Committee. Subscriptions are also set at this meeting. It has been the tradition of the Network to set membership fees at a low level in recognition of the fact that BEN is first and foremost a network, rather than yet another organization for people to join, and that its members are usually also members of other community groups pursuing objectives similar to those of the Network.