NACC in the spotlight

CEO Richard McLellan chatting with NRM conference MC (and media legend) George Negus.

I’m just back in the office after a week or so “on the road”, or actually more accurately “in the air’, having attended the biennial National NRM Knowledge Conference and meetings of Australia’s 56 regional NRM groups’ CEOs and Chairs.

It was fantastic to see the smorgasbord of diverse and innovative interventions that the groups are implementing with partners and communities all across the country – with many excellent presentations and posters being showcased throughout the week in Coffs Harbour.

NACC was certainly “front and centre” amid the smorgasbord, as I delivered presentations during the NRM Knowledge Conference on:

  • Our regional Sustainable Agriculture collaborative initiative NARSAN (the Northern Agricultural Region Sustainable Agriculture Network); and
  • NACC’s use of Twitter to reach new audiences and promote the excellent work being done by NACC staff and our partner organisations and communities.

I also presented a poster on the work that NACC and all of the other NRM groups around the country are doing to help combat the scourge of feral cats.

There was a huge amount of interest in NARSAN – so much so that I was asked to present on it again by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture as the special “Sustainable Agriculture” theme case study at the CEO’s meeting at the end of the week. In their introduction, the Department said they were particularly impressed by the innovative NARSAN framework because of the importance it placed on collaboration, because it is driven by the region’s groups, and because it is aimed at helping “to identify current and potential future opportunities for collaboration between all of the groups in the region, and (specifically from NACC’s perspective) how NACC can better work with and support the needs of the key relevant groups and communities in the region.”

The subject even attracted the attention of ABC Rural who interviewed me and, in so doing, helped spread the NARSAN message across the country.

Getting in touch with nature

Hot on the heels of the National NRM Knowledge Conference, I was invited to present – on the subject of Nature and Sense of Place – at the annual FACET (Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco-Tourism) conference in Perth earlier this week.

This provided a great opportunity for me to speak about a subject that is close to my heart – just how amazing our natural landscape is – especially here in the Southwest Australia Biodiversity hotspot – and how important it is to our sense of identity and connection with our country. And the need to look after it!

We are lucky to have so many iconic places, right across our country, that stir emotions of wonder, excitement, imagination and connection that make these places special to us; and which instil the desire to protect them for future generations.

For me, those places are dominated by the Salmon gum, Gimlet and York gum woodlands that I grew-up in around Kellerberrin; and the granite outcrops that are dotted all across the Wheatbelt and Great Southern. I’m sure all of our NACC Notes readers have similar “special places” that they love, and want to protect.

I encourage everyone to know their “special” place or places, to love it, to “adopt it”, and to help protect it for our children, and our childrens’ children …

Richard McLellan, CEO.

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