CATHY McGOWAN MP (Independent Member for Indi)

Since January 2018, Better State Environments has been contracted by Cathy McGowan MP to provide communications support, specifically to help develop a series of case studies on key focus areas. We have worked closely with Cathy and her staff and Emma Phillips at Merge Studio to research, design and write the following documents: 

Released in November 2018, the third in a series of case studies helps to explain the Parliamentary tools available to the Member for Indi, and highlights how Indi communities and their elected MP are working together, using there tools, to make Indi an even better place to live.

Released in late June 2018, the second in a series of case studies recognises the thousands of people from the Indi electorate who have actively participated in the Federal parliamentary process with Cathy's support and encouragement. 

The first in a series of case studies is a snapshot of the amazing work being done in the electorate by community renewable energy groups (e.g. Totally Renewable Yackandandah) and highlights key barriers that need overcoming to achieve a clean energy future. The document was launched in March 2018 during the visit to north-east Victoria by Josh Frydenberg MP (Minister for Environment and Energy) to meet representatives from local community renewable energy projects.

Released in July 2018,  this report summarises the Indi electorate's reaction to the 2018/19 Budget, announced by the Federal Government in May. The feedback was gained via a three-week survey effort by Cathy's office. 

Hard copies of the above documents can be requested from Cathy McGowan MP's office, and the electronic versions can be downloaded at Cathy's website.

For more information about our engagement with Cathy McGowan MP please contact Di Thomas (Chief of Staff) on (02) 6024 6284.


Since December 2016, Better State Environments has been repeatedly contracted by North East Water (NEW) to provide communications support, specifically the review and writing of internal and external documents. This has included developing a range of documents - policy, procedures, manuals - to support the client’s adoption of an Asset Management Information System (AMIS) in 2017. We also recently helped the client to review and update their Land Development Manual (Nov 2018), and are currently assisting with developing documents required for Stage 2 of the AMIS project, and a review and update of their Engineering Guidelines. Our role is to work with key staff across North East Water’s business units to develop the required documents, utilising the client's own templates and ensuring consistency with their document hierarchy and corporate style guide.  

For more information about our engagement with North East Water please contact Anthony Burrell (Manager Strategic Assets) on (02) 6022 0539.


Since July 2015, Better State Environments has been engaged by Albury Conservation Company (ACC) to deliver a range of services including:

  • Strategy development

  • Grant scoping and writing / Fundraising / Sponsorship

  • Project and contract management

  • Communications including media, website and social media content management

  • Event management

  • Partnership building

  • Reporting

  • Procurement/recruitment. 

Recent achievements have included:

  • Coordinating the development of ACC's new five-year Strategic Plan (2016-21) 

  • Fostering the development of a nest-box construction program at Thurgoona Men's Shed that has produced over 600 nest boxes for clients in NSW and Victoria

  • Securing NSW Government funding for, and managing the implementation of, a project that involved mapping of over 500 hollow-bearing trees (HBTs) in the major urban growth corridor of Albury, and engaging key stakeholders to raise awareness and promote their conservation

  • Coordinating ACC's 'Edge Pledge' crowdfunding campaign, successfully raising over $7,200 from 160 donations in two years for Squirrel Glider conservation in Thurgoona. The funds have resulted in 40 nest boxes being constructed and strategically placed throughout Thurgoona, and the purchase of 30 motion-sensing wildlife cameras for monitoring of Squirrel Gliders

  • Overseeing the roll-out of a Squirrel Glider Monitoring Program in the urban growth corridor of Albury, including securing funding for wildlife cameras, organising wildlife permits /permissions, and the recruitment and management of an ecologist (DM Ecological) to conduct the surveys. In 2018 we helped ACC to secure $78,000 in funding from Albury City Council to continue the Squirrel Glider Monitoring Program for an additional three years until 2020/21.


Better State Environments was a member of the organising committee for our client’s community celebration to commemorate the opening of a new aged care facility on November 10th 2018. We assisted with site planning, program scheduling, logistics and event management on the day. Over 500 people attended the inagural event - exceeding expectations - and the client now plans to turn it into a regular feature.



"In 2015, Better State Environments was instrumental in developing a successful grant application submitted by Holbrook Landcare Network, via the NSW Government's Environmental Trust. The 'Slopes to Summit Bush Connect' project was awarded $500,000 over 10 years for connectivity conservation activities across southern NSW. We also engaged Better State Environments to help plan and manage the media and communication for the 'Wild Pollinator Count & S2S BioBlitz 2015' held over a week in November 2015. The event attracted significant media exposure resulting in over 300 people participating in a variety of citizen science activities".


Kylie Durant - Biodiversity Officer, Holbrook Landcare Network 


"In 2015 and 2016 we engaged Better State Environments to co-ordinate our annual biodiversity education and community planting days. BSE took the lead on most aspects including media, event promotion, organising catering, securing guest speakers and event coordination. They did an excellent job and provided a very professional and committed service, reflected by a turnout of over 100 people at our 2016 event". 


Richard Ahearn - former Manager of Albury Environmental Lands, 

NSW Department of Industry - Lands


"Over five years until June 2015, Sam Niedra (Better State Environments) played a vital role in building the success of Slopes to Summit (S2S), a regional partnership of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative. As the Partnership Facilitator he worked with and impressed many people - NGO CEOs and staff, community volunteers, government and corporate employees, senior researchers, teachers, school children and farmers. Sam brought new ideas to the table, found the funding or support needed, engaged partners and inspired people to implement exciting and innovative ideas. Sam’s track record and inter-personal skills will make sure you deliver against your organisation's goals and put you in a strong position to exceed them".


Rob Dunn - Board Member, BirdLife Australia (former CEO, Great Eastern Ranges Initiative)