Our Team

Hunter Region Landcare Committee 2017

Stacy Mail

Lower and Mid Hunter Local Landcare Coordinator

0429 444 305

Previous Landcare experience

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.

Nicholas Alexander

Upper Hunter Local Landcare Coordinator

0418 858 420

Previous Landcare experience

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.

John Hughson


0478 214 498

I have been a Landcarer for about 20 years. First as a volunteer working on a green corridor at Toronto, I was the Chair of Lower Hunter Urban Landcare Network before becoming the first Chair of this Network. I was employed as a Landcare Coordinator / Landcare Projects Officer by Lake Macquarie City Council for 14 years, where I further developed my skills as a Landcarer, as a trainer and as a project manager working with local government, the environment and the community. I am also a foundation member of Landcare NSW, a community led Network of regional representatives from across the state. I held several executive roles in that Network, including that of member of the LNSW Council. I am also the Chair of the Regional Landcare Facilitator project steering committee, where I hope to support the Landcare community engagement elements of that Australian Government funded, LLS hosted position.

Jenny Castles

Deputy Chair

I have lived in Shortland for 47 years and worn many hats on many environmental committees. I am one of the original members of the HRLN and have attended almost every meeting since its formation. I have always been very passionate for the network. The Shortland to Wallsend Landcare Group was formed by a group of us 28 years ago and it was the first registered Landcare group in the Newcastle Local Government Area. The group are still a very active but in reduced numbers. Another environmental hat that I wear is the volunteer Landcare facilitator at the Wetland Centre Australia at Shortland. At this site I am also a Board Member and a Site Committee Member. I have been volunteering at the wetlands for 15 years facilitating the 4 Landcare groups on site. I am very excited that the new committee is revitalising HRLN. Cheers Jen.

Carmel Brown

Committee Member

I grew up in country NSW, helping my parents create gardens in our schoolyards and principal’s residences. At Stanbridge, we’d open a canal plate and flood the garden! At Tingha my father jackhammered out rocks himself to make a playground, and about a hundred gum trees were planted.

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.

Lesley Pearson

Committee Member

I have been a member of HRLN since March 2011 and a member of the management committee since September 2012. I am involved in the property management of St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock having prepared the College property plan in 2011. I have been a member of the college council since Feb. 2008. I presented a poster at the National Landcare Conference in Sydney 2012 detailing sustainability as a fundamental part of the SPCCC property planning on the 40ha property beside Black Creek at Nulkaba. Property developments related to my brief include the development of walking tracks along Black Creek of which 1.6km have now been completed, the development of tree planting activities and fostering the establishment of a Junior Landcare Group as an active part of college life for students. The college was recognised in the Tidy Towns Awards, 2012, for its planning and development of student understanding of the Black Creek environment.