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Local Landcare Coordinators in place in Murray

Photo of recently appointed Local Landcare Coordinators in the Murray region, along with representatives from host organisations and Murray Local Land Services.Five Murray region representatives were among 60 recently appointed Local Landcare Coordinators from across NSW to be inducted at a workshop at Stockton last month.

Jeanette Crew, Roger Knight, Erika Heffer, Judy Kirk and Paula Sheehan have been appointed to positions in Deniliquin, Barham, Corowa and Holbrook to work with Landcare and volunteer conservation groups over the next 3.5 years as part of the NSW Government’s $15 million Local Landcare Coordinators Initiative.

The coordinators have been appointed to help build and support Landcare and community networks across the region, in a program jointly managed by Local Land Services and Landcare NSW.

Jeanette, who has more than 30 years’ experience in NSW Government Aboriginal cultural heritage roles, is chairperson at Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre in Deniliquin, and commenced her role as Local Landcare Coordinator with the centre in February.

Roger, meanwhile, has extended his current tenure with his appointment at Western Murray Land Improvement Group in Barham. For the past five years, he has worked with natural resource management and sustainable agriculture groups in the western Murray catchment.

A former Rice Industry Graduate, Erika will also continue her current tenure after being appointed to the position at the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, based in Deniliquin. Erika is very passionate about engaging with the farming community about sustainable agricultural practices and other community issues.

Judy has experience in native vegetation management as a field officer with Murray local Land Services, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Science degree. She began her appointment at Corowa District Landcare Group in early March.

With more than 20 years’ experience in natural resource management, Paula has taken on two of the part-time coordinator roles, one with Holbrook Landcare Network and the other with the Petaurus Education Group. She will be based in Holbrook for both roles.

State Landcare Coordinator with Landcare NSW, Sonia Williams, said the connections that people formed at the induction workshop would provide peer support and information sharing opportunities to improve the results achieved on the ground over the next three years.

“This initiative is all about supporting the network of hard-working volunteers in local communities who manage and restore the natural environment, improve the sustainability of agricultural production and build the resilience of communities,” Ms Williams said.

Landcare Program Manager with Local Land Services, Kate Andrews said that by the end of the induction workshop there was a clear sense of excitement.

“The workshop was a great example of the partnership between Landcare NSW and Local Land Services, and set the scene for collaboration throughout the life of the project. Bringing together hundreds of years of experience to build a community of practice across the state will make Landcare and environmental volunteer groups stronger, and contribute to the goals of Local Land Services,” she said.

Photo caption: Front row (l-r): Paula Sheehan, Jeanette Crew, Judy Kirk, Erika Heffer and Roger Knight. Second row: (l-r) Dale Stringer (CEO Holbrook Landcare Network), David Crew (Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre), Edwina Hayes (Regional Landcare Facilitator), Neil Bull (Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia), Rick Ellis (Western Murray Land Improvement Group), Chris Cumming (Murray Local Land Services). Back row: Eric Lavis (Corowa District Landcare Group), Andrew Cooper (Murray Local Land Services).