Who’s who in the Connecting Country zoo: Asha
Posted on 18 March, 2020 by Ivan
What motivated you to join Connecting Country?
While studying environmental science at Deakin Uni, we learned about habitat fragmentation and the importance of landscape connectivity. So, when I heard about a project called ‘Connecting Landscapes’ happening in my own hometown, I had to learn more! I came along to one of Connecting Country’s birdwatching workshops, met some amazing people, and I was hooked. Working at Connecting Country gives me the opportunity to do meaningful, rewarding work in close partnership with our community to care for our precious local environment. I am a strong believer in the power of community when it comes to land management and conservation.
What have you learnt from your time at Connecting Country?
So much! I learn new skills every day from the other staff on our team and from the Landcare volunteers I work with. Also, working with our local Landcare groups has affirmed for me just how much community groups of volunteers can achieve (answer: a lot!).
Which projects do you manage at Connecting Country?
I have been working as the Mount Alexander Region Landcare Facilitator for just over four years now. During this time I have also managed various other projects, such as reptile and frog monitoring and nest box monitoring projects.
However, I am taking six months unpaid leave from mid-March 2020 to go travelling. During this time Jacqui will be our Landcare Facilitator.
How did you first become interested in our natural environment and our unique ecosystems?
I was lucky enough to spend lots of time in nature with my family when I was young, bushwalking and exploring different places in our local area and elsewhere. I also have fond memories from studying biology at school – looking at aquatic macroinvertebrates from the dam next to campus under the microscope made me realise there’s a whole lot going on out there that we don’t often see. It changed how I looked at the world and made me want to learn more about environmental science.
How do you spend your time away from work?
When I’m not at work I love going birdwatching, camping at Leanganook, or playing a good board game with friends.
What is your all-time favourite music album, and why?
‘Take care, take cover’ by The Mae Trio. Songs like ‘Heart of a storm’ perfectly describes for me the feeling of relief of getting back to nature when you really need it.
What is your favourite place to visit in our region and why?
There was a site in Glenluce where I did bird surveys during my Honours that was smack bang in the middle of the bush. During spring it came alive with wildflowers, and it is the only place so far I’ve been lucky enough to see a Painted Button-quail.
The first one that comes to mind is ‘Ever after’, because I have watched it many times! It’s a nostalgic one from my childhood, but I also loved rediscovering this interpretation of the story as an adult.
We wish Asha a fantastic break while she’s away on six months leave from mid-March 2020. During this time, Jacqui Slingo of Connecting Country is our Landcare Facilitator for the Mount Alexander Region.