Introducing the Riverina Local Landcare Coordinators

The first quarter of 2016 has seen an exciting upswell in support for Landcare across NSW, with the engagement of 66 new Local Landcare Coordinators. The new Coordinators will work closely with Landcare groups, primary producers, and Natural Resource Managers at a local scale, to support Landcare action on the ground, and help communities to develop the skills and knowledge they need to remain resilient in the 21st Century.

On March 21-23, all 66 Local Landcare Coordinators attended a training and induction workshop at Stockton, to help them prepare for their new roles. You can read about the workshop in this informative blog post by Landcare NSW.

The 66 new NSW Local Landcare Coordinators showing their ‘Landcare hands’ at Stockton in March 2016. Photo © Landcare New South Wales

Here in the Riverina, we have six new Local Landcare Coordinators on-board; two hosted by LachLandcare Inc and four hosted by Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc. All six have already hit the ground running, and are busy meeting up with their local Landcarers and making plans for future actions.

The new Local Landcare Coordinators are joining Landcare stalwarts and Riverina LLS Land Services Officers, Louise Hufton (Harden) and Cherie White (Tumut), and Regional Landcare Facilitators Bindi Vanzella and Kimberley Beattie, to form a well-rounded team providing Landcare support across the Riverina region.

Riverina Map
Map of the Riverina region

Introducing the Riverina Landcare Team

Mikla Lewis OAM
Role: Local Landcare Coordinator (Young & Grenfell)
Employed by: LachLandcare
Where to find her: Young District Landcare office

Mikla lives in Grenfell and has been working with Young District Landcare for the past two years. She is now also working with Weddin and Grenfell Urban Landcare groups. She was instrumental in starting WIRES 30 years ago and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2012 for service to conservation and the environment. Mikla has a broad knowledge of native flora and fauna and an interest in promoting a balance between production and biodiversity conservation. Through her role as Local Landcare Coordinator, Mikla will continue working with her local communities to grow and promote Landcare in the Young and Grenfell districts.

Contact Mikla:   0499 199 016


Megan Harris
Role: Local Landcare Coordinator (Temora/Bland)
Employed by: LachLandcare
Where to find her: Temora Shire Council office, and the Lake Cowal Conservation Centre (West Wyalong LLS office)

Megan lives on an off-grid small-scale farm located at Combaning, south-east of Temora. She has tertiary qualifications in Environmental Science and Sustainable Agriculture and has spent much of her professional career working in the carbon forestry sector in plantation establishment, management and systems development. Her interests revolve around local food production systems and concepts such as ‘paddock to plate’ and fostering communities that are connected to the food they eat. As part of her role, Megan looks forward to helping communities cultivate an understanding of the benefits of healthy relationships between agricultural production systems and the natural environment and promoting Landcare values in the Bland-Temora region.

Contact Megan:   0499 199 076

Megan and Mikla
Local Landcare Coordinators Megan Harris (left) and Mikla Lewis (right)


Gemma Hawkins
Role: Local Landcare Coordinator (mid-Murrumbidgee North)
Employed by: Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc
Where to find her: Cootamundra Local Land Services office

Gemma has a degree in Applied Science (Parks, Recreation and Heritage) through Charles Sturt University and has spent most of her life living and working on agricultural properties in Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Victoria. Gemma is particularly interested in improving the diversity within Landcare groups, particularly collaborating with young people, women in agriculture, and indigenous groups.  She will be supporting Landcare groups in the Coolamon, Cootamundra, Junee and Harden Shires.

Contact Gemma:   0429 192 047


Maddy Gorham
Role: Local Landcare Coordinator (mid-Murrumbidgee South)
Employed by: Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc
Where to find her: Wagga Wagga Murrumbidgee Landcare Office, and the Holbrook Landcare Office

Maddy grew up on an irrigation property on the Lachlan River near Forbes which inspired a passion for the health of the natural and agricultural environment. In 2011 she completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science, and has since worked on various projects to promote the sustainable management of rivers and creeks. Maddy is looking forward to working with landcarers in the mid-Murrumbidgee.

Contact Maddy:   0429 458 717


Annabel Lugsdin
Role: Local Landcare Coordinator (Hay and Rangelands)
Employed by: Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc
Where to find her: Hay Local Land Services office

Annabel grew up on a property near Hay, where her family has raised sheep for wool and meat for several generations. She has been working in agriculture her entire life and has a degree in Livestock Science and graduate certificate in Agriculture Consulting. Annabel is keen to connect with other young farmers, and work with her local community to tackle the unique challenges caused by isolation and climatic constraints in the rangelands.

Contact Annabel:   0428 549 647


Kerri Keely
Role: Local Landcare Coordinator (Irrigation areas and surrounds)
Employed by: Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc
Where to find her: Griffith Murrumbidgee Irrigation Office

Kerri has been involved with facilitating environmental education programs in the Riverina over the last ten years, mainly working with school and farming groups. She loves being active and enjoying the outdoors. Through her position as a Local Landcare Coordinator she hopes to encourage all people to become aware of the beauty and importance of the natural environment and encourage us all to become more aware of our impact on earth.

Contact Kerri:   0428 396 826


Cherie White
Role: Land Services officer
Employed by: Riverina Local Land Services
Where to find her: Tumut Local Land Services office

Cherie has been working with Landcare groups in the Murrumbidgee for the past 20 years, with the last 13 years supporting the Riverina Highlands Landcare Network. In 2015 Cherie won the NSW State Landcare Award in the Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator category, for her work supporting local Landcare groups, particularly in the Riverina Highlands. She is currently a candidate for the 2016 National Landcare Award in this category.

Contact Cherie:   0427 407 126


Louise Hufton
Role: Land Services officer
Employed by: Riverina Local Land Services
Where to find her: Harden Local Land Services office

Louise has been acting as a coordinator for Harden-Murrumburrah Landcare Group for over 25 years. In 2013 Louise won the NSW State Landcare Award in the Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator category, and in 2014 she won the Australian Government Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator Award at the 2014 National Landcare Awards. Louise is looking forward to utilising her long experience in this role to provide support for the new Local Landcare Coordinators.

Contact Louise:   0428 863 954 or 02 6386 3954

From left: Kerri Keely, Louise Hufton, Maddy Gorham, Annabel Lugsdin, Gemma Hawkins and Cherie White


Bindi Vanzella
Role: Riverina Regional Landcare Facilitator
Employed by: Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc
Where to find her: Wagga Wagga Murrumbidgee Landcare office

For more than 25 years Bindi Vanzella has actively worked in Natural Resource Management across the Murray, Murrumbidgee (including the ACT) and Lachlan River catchments on private and public land. During this time she has delivered incentive funding projects, botanical surveys, vegetation mapping, ecological restoration plans, community facilitation, education and training, social inclusion activities, research and project partnership development. Bindi also has a hazelnut farm in Batlow which she manages with her husband.

Through her role as RLF Bindi foresees excellent opportunities for industry groups, research bodies, government and community groups (farming, cultural and urban) to collaborate more to achieve a reinvention of Landcare across the region. She firmly believes that Landcare in the Riverina must include both urban and rural communities for a healthier and more vibrant region that everyone can be proud of.

Contact Bindi:   0427 008 976   LinkedIn


Kimberley Beattie
Role: Riverina Regional Landcare Facilitator
Employed by: Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc
Where to find her: Wagga Wagga Murrumbidgee Landcare office

Kimberley has been working with Landcarers in the Riverina since 2010, and is an active member of her local Landcare group in a volunteer capacity.
Through her role as Regional Landcare Facilitator, Kimberley hopes to promote the activities and passion of landcarers across the Riverina region. She maintains the Murrumbidgee Landcare Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with the Riverina Landcare blog.

Contact Kimberley:  0487 953 777  LinkedIn

Regional Landcare Facilitator Kimberley Beattie
Regional Landcare Facilitator Bindi Vanzella


Media releases about the commencement of the Riverina Local Landcare Facilitators may be read here and here.

Five new Local Landcare Coordinators have likewise come on-board in the Murray, you can find out more about them here.

MLi Logo - Gif LachLandcare-1




lls and landcare coordinators logo_Layout 1 copy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s