Lower and Mid Hunter Local Landcare Coordinator
I have always loved nature and the great outdoors. Though it wasn’t a direct path, its no surprise that I found my way to a rewarding career in Natural Resource Management! Working for Conservation Volunteers Australia, I led many projects in the Hunter Region including Green Army and bush regeneration teams and still volunteer with native animal rescue groups.
Landcare passion and aspirations
I want to see people of all ages working together in landcare to sustain our natural environment. True connection and community building comes when we work together, share experiences, and learn from each other, not from social media,(though useful for communication:) I am committed to supporting the efforts of all our valuable Landcarers in the Lower Hunter. I aim to engage with the wider community for the benefit of the environment and us all.
Upper Hunter Local Landcare Coordinator
I have a strong passion for protecting our native flora and fauna, which was fostered by my previous work as an ecologist.
Landcare passion and aspirations
While the environmental consulting industry is responsible for developing my love of our natural environment, it didn’t fulfill my desires for conservation, and that’s why a career with Landcare appealed to me so much. One of the things that has inspired me about Landcare is the way it connects the local community not only with the environment, but also each other. I look at Landcare in the Muswellbrook Shire currently as a dormant thing, ready to grow into something great. I have great hopes for facilitating the creation a number of new Landcare groups in the Muswellbrook LGA, while also helping bring some new energy into some of the existing groups in the wider Upper Hunter region.
As Chair, Les hopes that the HRLN will grow in its representative capacity for the region’s Landcarers, combining the various sources of knowledge and experience into an effective voice for encouraging biodiversity and at the same time supporting all who seek positive land management practices in the Hunter Valley.
My aspirations are to assist HRLN in achieving its objectives by providing professional advice and support to Landcare Groups in the region so that the Hunter Valley’s environment is protected for the benefit of many generations to come.
We had family picnics on bush creeks most weekends, and camped on the coast most holidays. I guess that’s why I chose to live at Catherine Hill Bay 20 years ago, despite the cottage having boards hanging off – the village, bush and beach were like home.
Our garden here is full of lilly pillies, callistemons, grevilleas, frogs, lizards and birds.
When my son became a Cub Scout, I soon took over coordinating 1st Swansea Scouts Landcare. We saw the hall become surrounded with bushes, the lake edge change from kikuyu to native plants, and best of all, local Indigenous elders joined us in planting a bush tucker garden.
Catherine Hill Bay Dunecare/Landcare then restarted and we joined them regenerating the dunes on Graveyard Beach and the banks of Catherine Hill Bay Ck, at the south end. The CVA week long visits and regular enthusiastic residents dwindled to just a couple of us, and for a few years we just kept all the walkways to the beach clear, replanting the pigface in bare areas.
2013 brought some welcome interest: Damien Hawcroft and other locals took on regenerating the slopes and dunes in front of the Surf Club and BBQ area, and I took over coordinating. These public areas look vegetated and cared for now.
Other areas are still black, burnt in October 2013, but we’ve gratefully received loadsof Landcare plants and are taking this opportunity from nature to get these into the formerly bitou areas.
Why am I still in Landcare? I’m continually inspired by the people in Catho still fighting to protect history and community; my bit is giving the flora and fauna a helping hand.
I’ve also joined the Lake Macquarie Landcare Network in 2013 and then became the Chair, so I represent us on the Hunter Region Landcare Committee, too.
Member Hunter Region Landcare Group since 1996 – awarded Life
Chairman of Lake Liddell Trust since 2004.
Toastmasters: Member since 2002.
Member of Kairos, which entails regular visits to St Heliers Correctional Centre.
Volunteer at Muswellbrook Art Gallery
Scouting: 40 years as Leader.
I have been volunteering with Shortland Wallsend Landcare every Tuesday for about 3 years. Committee member since October 2017. I love Landcare because satisfaction it brings in looking after the environment and seeing the positive changes we make. I enjoy the social interaction and the good friends made along the way.