And it’s goodbye from him …

The headline says “goodbye”, but really this column – my last at NACC – is all about “thank you”.

After three-and-a-half years, I’ve decided to stand-down from the position of CEO at NACC, to (as they say) “consider other options”. My immediate future entails part-sabbatical, part-volunteering, part-private-consultancy, part-early-retirement, part-whatever-takes-my-fancy … but whatever I choose to do next in my life, it is the right time for me to leave the organisation.

NACC has recently come to the end of a five-year funding cycle – under the first phase of the National Landcare Program – and with it, the wrapping-up of a wide range of NRM projects that NACC had developed and delivered with distinction over the four or five years leading-up to the finish date on 30 June. The ‘wrapping-up’ of projects also affected a significant number of NACC staff – many of whom had originally been employed to carry-out those projects, or to provide necessary institutional support – and thus we have undergone quite a reduction in staff numbers as a consequence.

Given this reduction, I have decided to make some room at the management end of the organisation, and will have ‘left the building’ by the end of July. Our longest-serving member of the team, Katherine Allen, who has carried-out that service with distinction, and has fulfilled a variety of roles in recent years more-or-less equivalent to those of an Operations Manager, will be taking-over at the helm of the organisation.

I could leave NACC in no better hands.

In leaving, I’d like to thank everyone with whom I’ve worked with over the years – especially my staff at NACC, but also NACC Board directors, NACC members and supporters, collaborating partners, community group members, and other individuals who have contributed in one way or another to the success of our projects, actions and interventions during the time that I have been here. I won’t even attempt to single anyone out – otherwise this will end-up being a very long farewell column, but I’m sure everyone for whom I have gratitude already knows that, and knows that I am talking and thinking about them as I write.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at NACC (although maybe not the ‘winding-down’ period referred to above and its associated loss of so many passionate and dedicated team members), and am immensely proud of what we collectively achieved during my tenure. I am biased I know, but I like to think that I had the pleasure of experiencing ‘the very best of NACC’ in all of its 20-year history, and will always look back with pride at this chapter of my working life.

Wherever possible, I will also continue to stay engaged with NACC, by volunteering, by joining-in its project activities, and by following with interest as Katherine and her team forges a new chapter, and new model of delivering regional natural resource management projects and activities across the length and breadth of the NACC NRM Region.


I urge all of our current members, supporters, partners, and others to get behind Katherine, the Board, and the team, to ensure the organisation continues to fulfill its unique function across the region. I am convinced that the ‘new order’ will best achieve its regional goals and objectives through a strong, positive, and collaborative approach to land- and sea-stewardship.

For the immediate future at least, I’m happy to play my part in that.

Take good care of yourselves (and do more good).

Best wishes.
Richard McLellan

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Farewell as CEO Richard and thanks for your major contributions. I’m sure I’ll ‘see you around’ and I’ll look forward to your on-going contributions to nurturing our natural environment. And congratulations Katherine on your appointment.
Best wishes to you both – Greg Brennan

Hi Greg, Thanks for the kind words, and yes, for sure I’ll see you around. All the best to you too. cheers, Richard


I’m glad for you. And Katherine will follow on from your leadership with aplomb. No doubt you’ll be a mentor for her for months and problems ahead.

You’ve put a great face on NACC in your time there.

Don’t forget that we have a flash little self-contained flat down here in the Inering Hills and you and Lis are more than welcome to use it at any time. We don’t have to be here especially. No charge of course. Others use it from time to time when we aren’t in situ. (fb Wittwer Farm accommodation for Birdwatchers via Paulina Wittwer.)

A Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo called all through the night. He was was trying to tell me something. ‘Richard is gone. Long live Richard’.

Hi Paulina,

Thanks for the lovely message and kind words.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with you and getting to know you and Peter better through my time at NACC.
I look forward to keeping in touch, to following your amazing exploits leading Landcare in the Carnamah district (and beyond). Lis and I will have to arrange a visit to see you at Inering Hills.

In the meantime, good luck with everything, and keep-up the great landcare leadership. As you know, you’re one of my heroes – actually doing something constructive – on-the-ground, in-the-community – to help make this planet a better place.

Best wishes,


You brought NACC to a higher level of regional delivery & I feel sure Kat will keep this momentum into the future delivery what ever it may be with the help of all us members & supporters.
So onto the next step for NRM & NACC

Yvonne .

Hi Yvonne,

Thanks for the lovely comment, and maintaining that positive, optimistic outlook for NACC. Yes, we’ve had a great three-and-a-half years at NACC while I’ve been here, with much achieved, and much to be proud of. It was fabulous having you on the Board during my tenure to be a part of that success.

Fortunately NACC is in great hands, with Kat at the helm, so for sure …. onwards and upwards.

We’re fortunate to have so many community members, like yourself, committed to good landcare and NRM outcomes, which will help keep the momentum going forward.

Best wishes,


End of an era! But super excited for whatever is coming your way. Thanks for your leadership Richard.
Best wishes, Alexia

Thanks Alexia. I’ve been honoured. It’s been such a treat to work with such an amazing group of people – like you. The future is ‘all good’. Ciao, Richard

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