Marie Jones: President
Marie lives at Golden Point on the outskirts of Chewton and is passionate about the local native flora and fauna, water quality and engaging the community meaningfully in improved natural resource management. Marie is a member of Golden Point Landcare and President of Friends of the Box Ironbark Forests (Mt Alexander Inc.), and a member of the North Central Catchment Management Authority’s Natural Resource Management Committee. Marie’s key interest is in engaging the landcare community and government agencies in a strong partnership based on effective communication to create a sustainable environment.
Brendan Sydes: Vice-President
Brendan is a resident of Castlemaine and a member of the McKenzies Hill Action and Landcare Group. He is an environmental lawyer by profession. Brendan works for the Environment Defenders Office, a not for profit community legal centre specialising in environmental law and in that role advises a range of landcare, community groups and conservation NGOs on environmental legal issues. He also lectures in environmental law and water law at Latrobe University and Melbourne University. Brendan is particularly interested in biodiversity conservation and especially the role of the community in ecological protection and restoration at the landscape scale.
April Merrick: Secretary
April lives in Axe Creek bordering the Pilchers Bridge Nature Conservation Reserve. April and her husband have covenanted their 8ha block of Box Iron Bark Forest and are working to restore its natural values through reintroduction of fallen timber and understory vegetation. April’s passion for native flora lines up with her professional role as Executive Officer of the Bjarne K Dahl Trust. She is also a member of the Axe Creek Landcare group and a community member of the Winton Wetlands Committee of Management.
Elvyne Hogan: Treasurer
Elvyne has recently moved to Castlemaine from a 50 acre property at Shelbourne East where she eradicated rabbits, allowing the native vegetation to regenerate. Having worked for Trust for Nature for 15 years, Elvyne is familiar with this area and many of the people committed to protecting their patch of bush. Elvyne was a founding member of Upper Spring Creek Landcare Group for fifteen years (President for ten) and on the Mid-Loddon Sub-catchment Network committee. Now on a small block Elvyne is keen to be involved in working with the community to improve the biodiversity of the Mt Alexander Shire.
Maurie is a fitter and turner by trade and lives in Guildford where he has conducted two anzac day dawn services, the inaugural event in 1972 and the most recent of 2009. Maurie has been a member of the Guildford Landcare group since it’s inception in 1995, he has been Project Manager since 1997 and Vice President since 2001. Maurie believes strongly in the value of community engagement, particularly as a strength of the Landcare movement. Maurie was a member of the Advisory Board for the formation of the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, a member of the Mount Alexander Shire Weeds and Streamsides Committee, a member of the Mt Alexander Shire and Macedon Ranges Shire Landcare Steering Committee and the Hepburn – Central Goldfields Landcare Steering Committee.
Geoff works as a Knowledge Broker with the North Central Catchment Management Authority. His key role is with the Future Farm Industries CRC working with a small research team exploring the development and application of INFFER (Investment Framework for Environmental Resources www.inffer.org), a new investment framework for NRM. His background is in landscape ecology, teaching and community education and he was involved in the establishment of the Victorian Landcare Centre at Creswick (from 1992 – 1998) and in various roles with the North Central CMA since then. He has a long standing interest and involvement with communities working to improve biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes. Geoff is a trustee with the Norman Wettenhall Foundation a philanthropic organisation that supports projects that aim to enhance the vitality and diversity of the Australian natural living environment.
Malcolm is a third-generation sheep farmer at Sandon. He is particularly interested in improving the environment whilst increasing farm productivity – especially in soil health. Malcolm believes that in order to achieve landscape change, broad-acre farmers need to be engaged and assisted in on-ground projects of community benefit. He further hopes that he, one day, will be able to shift from sheep to eco-system services production (particularly on the more marginal areas) to make a living from the land and then have the favour returned!
Paul Hampton is secretary of the Muckleford Landcare Group. Along with some friends he is part-owner of a 100 hectare bush block at North Muckleford that is subject to a Trust for Nature Conservation Covenant. He teaches acting at Ballarat University and the Alexander Technique privately. He is secretary of the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (AUSTAT). In his spare time he is researching the early pastoral history of the Muckleford valley.