Executive Message – Chair

Christine Kershaw

As my inaugural year as SWCC Chair draws to a close, I pay tribute to my predecessor David Gardner for his many years of dedicated service.  I would also like to thank the continuing board members Bill, Cliff and Bernie and the Association members for working with me and supporting me to “pick up the mantle”.

I give special thanks to Bernie Masters. This is Bernie’s last term on the SWCC board and his contribution over the past eight years, the maximum term allowed, has been both great and colourful.  Bernie always adds a little spice and debate to a meeting and SWCC has benefited greatly from his contribution over the years.

I would like to acknowledge the journey undertaken by our new board members Michael, Mike, Cush and Brian.  They have embarked on their roles full of enthusiasm, and in a very short period have demonstrated the benefit of bringing new skills and perspectives to our board.  SWCC is well placed with a new board for a new era.

We are once again entering a new operating phase and the solution to this will include adaptation from an organizational perspective.  Throughout my tenure at SWCC, I have been adamant that we, as a sector, need to progress and focus on engaging the wider community.  With this comes the requirement for the general community to better understand what we do and its importance.

Through the new phase of the National Landcare Program, we will deliver a more collaborative program with our regional partners. We started working towards this goal well in advance and we are now benefiting from more increased understanding, trust and cooperation between our groups.  There will certainly be challenges but we are all working towards a common goal.

There is also the opportunity for the work we have been progressing through NRMWA, the WA regional collective, to come to fruition and we have had very productive discussions with the WA Landcare Network and WA Government for a new framework for natural resource management in the state.

Looking forward for SWCC we can see both challenges and opportunities – many of which are based on years of hard work and persistence – and for this I and the board wish to sincerely thank the SWCC staff.   Our team is a committed group of people who work very hard to achieve outcomes for both the environment and the local community. None of this would be possible without the support of the Australian Government – we are ever grateful for the trust placed in the South West community to do the amazing work we achieve through the National Landcare Program.

© 2019 South West Catchments Council

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