Natural resource management efforts recognised

Groups and individuals improving environmental health in the Goulburn Broken Catchment were recognised at the 2014 Goulburn Broken Natural Resource Management Awards held at Swanpool on June 27.

GB NRM Awards 2014

Groups and individuals improving environmental health in the Goulburn Broken Catchment were recognised at the 2014 Goulburn Broken Natural Resource Management Awards held at Swanpool on June 27. 

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority CEO Chris Norman said the annual awards recognised the outstanding efforts of the community in volunteering their time to protect and enhance the Catchment’s waterways, land and biodiversity. 

“Congratulations to all this evening’s winners and to everyone nominated for these awards,” Mr Norman said. 

 “The Goulburn Broken CMA relies strongly on landholders, school children, Landcare groups, Conservation Management Networks and individuals to deliver programs across the Catchment that improve the health of our rivers and creeks, protect and improve habitat for native animals and plants, recognise the region’s cultural heritage and bring about practice change in sustainable agriculture.  Efforts to boost the Catchment’s resilience leads to increasingly productive landscapes that will support the long-term viability of our communities in the face of constant change.” 

The winners of the five awards were: 

Hubert Miller Award – Jacci Campbell

Jacci is a foundation member of the Sheep Pen Land Management Group and the Gecko CLaN, holding executive positions on both groups for many years. She has successfully lead the development, co-ordination and implementation of several flagship programs in the region, such the Climate of Opportunity, Pasture Cropping and Resilient Farming projects. She has also closely collaborated with other community / landcare and farming groups to inspire and develop their own projects. Jacci has identified knowledge gaps in industry and facilitated several training opportunities such as pasture assessment, soil analysis and psychological wellbeing.  

Community Education Award - Buxton Primary School

The Buxton Primary School has adopted a whole school environmental focus. Through this initiative the school has:

  • Re- developed a Land for Wildlife block (post black-Saturday) to encourage local flora and establish habitat for local fauna, creating a space as an educational tool to engage learning.

  • Developed a Bush Tucker Garden in partnership with Berry Street’s Edible Garden program that has allowed children to extend their knowledge of traditional Aboriginal uses for plants and to grow them.

  • The school has studied the Leadbeater’s Possum and the specific habitat requirements that make this possum so special to the Buxton area. The development of a presentation to highlight the plight of the possum was presented to the local community and won the school a Zoos Victoria ‘Love Your Locals’ Award. 

Community NRM Group Award – Strath Creek Landcare Group

The Strath Creek Landcare Group has been proactive in community land management action and biodiversity conservation for more than 20 years. The area has undergone significant demographic change in recent decades, resulting in complex and changing land management issues. This Group has managed to build many social bridges within the diverse community by being inclusive, hard-working and visionary. Achievements include: Protecting the King Parrot Creek; Focus on Fauna project; Improving biodiversity on farm dams; Platypus Survey; and Strath Creek Biodiversity Project. 

Community NRM Network Award- The Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network (BBCMN)

With its focus on the Box-Ironbark forests and waterways of the Broken Boosey region, the BBCMN strives to engage the community and landholders through education and events, and by producing on-ground works aimed at increasing and improving the quality and abundance of the region’s precious native habitat. The BBCMN recently celebrated 10 years and consists of a committee of eight landholders and five agency staff, and 550 enthusiastic and interested members.  Major achievements include: A Blue Print for woodland birds in the Broken Boosey; Practical Parrot Action; and numerous field days and information sessions including the recent Destination Chesney Vale Walk & Squawk at Winton Wetlands. 

Community NRM Sustainable Farming Award – Tom Abbottsmith-Youl – Toms Paddock

Tom is a young farmer from Glenburn who runs nomadic chickens that live in chook caravans that follow his rotationally grazed cattle around. The chickens scratch over and fertilise his pastures, which has led to an improvement in soil health at minimal cost and without the use of synthetics and chemicals. The system has also improved his pasture health, nutrition and productivity. Additional farm income is generated as a result of demand from the region’s eateries for his free-range eggs. Tom was inspired to start using chook caravans after attending a workshop the Goulburn Broken CMA ran in August 2011 that featured renowned USA holistic farming expert Joel Salatin talking about the benefits of using environmentally sustainable, chemical-free practices to improve farm productivity. 

Winners of the Goulburn Broken Natural Resource Management Awards will be put forward for inclusion in the Victorian Landcare Awards to be held next year.