Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Monitoring and engagement staff update

Posted on 7 March, 2019 by Frances

Farewell Tanya

Last week we farewelled our much-loved colleague Tanya, who is moving on to pursue exciting ventures involving writing and birds. During her five years at Connecting Country Tanya generously shared her incredible knowledge of local ecology. Her enthusiasm for local woodland birds and other animals is infectious, and was the force behind our monitoring and engagement programs. We appreciate her warmth and patience in running engaging events, and openly sharing knowledge with beginners and experts alike. We wish Tanya all the best.

Scroll through to enjoy these pictures by Tanya and friends from Tanya’s delightful farewell picnic in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.


Introducing Jess and Ivan

It is with much pleasure that Connecting Country welcomes our brand new Monitoring and Engagement Coordinators, Jess and Ivan, who officially started last week with a handover from Tanya. Welcome Jess and Ivan – we are delighted to have you both on board!

Jess Lawton – Monitoring Coordinator

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Jess will already be known to many through her previous hard work with Connecting Country’s nestbox program. Jess is now finishing her PhD on the conservation biology and landscape ecology of the Brush-tailed Phascogale. Her detailed research into this threatened species has included setting 354 camera traps for 14,160 trap nights across more than 20 public reserves and 40 private properties across the Mount Alexander region, resulting in over 350,000 camera trap images from 116 study sites! Jess has also worked as an Environmental Project Officer with Nillumbik Shire Council and Nillumbik Landcare Network, working on a forest health monitoring project in the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Jess is based in Melbourne with her adorable dog Bunsen, and splits her time between Melbourne and Castlemaine. She will be working at Connecting Country on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Ivan Carter – Engagement Coordinator

Ivan has worked in environmental management and community engagement roles with state government and private enterprises over the past two decades. He brings a strong background in environmental science, community engagement, event management, reporting and project management. Ivan has run a small environmental consulting business and been Communications and Engagement Officer for a small environmental community group. He’s run stakeholder forums, workshops and field days, produced landowner and roadside signs, and prepared reports, media articles and communications products. Ivan manages social media pages for two other community groups, and a website for the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party. You may have heard him interviewed on local radio and ABC Country Hour!

Ivan lives in the Daylesford area with his young family, and has a passion for soccer and food gardening. He will be based at Connecting Country on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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