Established in June 2015, Better State Environments is owned and directed by Sam Niedra.
Sam has over eighteen years’ experience in the natural resources management industry and has a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAappSc) in Natural Resource Management from Deakin University - majoring in wildlife management.
Prior to starting Better State Environments, Sam worked for a number of well known 'not-for-profit' environmental organisations (e.g. Landcare, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Greening Australia, Nature Conservation Trust of NSW - now Biodiversity Conservation Trust) and local government (Moreland City Council).
His work has covered large parts of Victoria and NSW, including rural, urban and peri-urban areas. Sam has also directly engaged a diverse range of stakeholders - farmers, public land managers, schools (primary to tertiary), researchers, mens' sheds, Landcare networks / groups, 'Friends of' groups, local government, Federal Government MPs, state government agencies, prisoners, developers, rural and urban residents.
As owner of Better State Environments, Sam brings to the business the following key attributes:
An easygoing, friendly and collaborative disposition
Flexibility, adaptability and a focus on the client's needs
Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills, including highly refined writing, editing and analytical ability
Strong project scoping and management expertise
Good knowledge of the funding landscape and excellent skills in developing funding applications
Extensive experience and expertise relating to nature conservation.
In the past few years alone, Sam has helped not-for-profit organisations secure over $3.5 million in funding for biodiversity conservation projects. He has experienced first hand of how not-for-profits operate and the challenges they face in terms of securing funding and building capacity to deliver on-ground outcomes.
Sam is also a leader in engaging communities in biodiversity-related programs. In recent years he has designed, resourced and delivered a number of innovative programs including: BioBlitzes (e.g. Woomargama 2013, Thurgoona 2012), an amateur biodiversity short film competition, an urban nest box project for endangered Squirrel Gliders in Albury, and a 'Big Tree' competition.
Sam also co-produced Snow Gum to River Reds, a short film about Eucalyptus species in southern NSW as told by local residents, was co-author of the Australian Guide to running a BioBlitz (Hepburn et al, 2015), and was a chapter co-author of the book Linking Australia's Landscapes (Fitzsimmons et al, 2013).