This month for #PeopleOfNRM, we are introducing NACC NRM’s new Coastcare duo! Tegan Knowles and Mic Payne are on a shared mission as Coastcare Support Officers to protect our region’s precious coastlines and it’s ecosystems.
Growing up in Geraldton, I have been blessed with an upbringing inspired by the environment that surrounds us. It was only natural that I’d grow up wanting to preserve it.
After High School I enjoyed completing a Bachelor of Coastal and Marine Science and Management, in Northern NSW. I was lucky enough to be involved in several environmental action groups including our local Coastcare group and the Australian Seabird Rescue. This is where I really witnessed and experienced the power of such passionate and committed people.
Eight years ago I moved back to Geraldton. My husband and I are now trying to keep up with two boys, or what I like to call, mini eco-warriors. In our spare time you’ll most likely find us at the beach, snorkelling or surfing. I love spending time in the veggie patch and am very passionate about zero waste living.
Now, starting the role of Coastcare Support Officer, I feel fortunate that I will be working with the dedicated coastcarers in the Northern Agricultural Region. I look forward to meeting you all face to face when it is safe to do so.
I grew up in Perth and slowly travelled Australia, living in Broome and Cairns for a while. I returned to Perth to complete a BSc in Environmental Science then a PhD on Aquaculture Biology.
2000 saw me set up the Seahorse Sanctuary in Kalbarri where my partner Wendy and I bred seahorses and pipefish for the national and international aquarium fish market with the aim of reducing the pressure on wild-caught seahorses captured for this market.
The facility was very popular with tourists but the GFC led us to sell all our stock and close the facility in 2011.
We both got jobs at NACC NRM where I became the Coastal and Marine Program Coordinator and together we spent the next few years house-sitting in Geraldton.
In 2018 I parted ways with NACC NRM to manage the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Yellowtail Kingfish Broodstock Facility hosted by Batavia Coast Maritime Institute for 18 months.
These days, we have bought an old place in Geraldton so in between playing gigs with a band and fishing I get to do up the house and hopefully turn the backyard sand dune into a garden.
It is fantastic to be back at NACC NRM and I am looking forward to get the Program back on track with a network of dedicated volunteers working in Coastcare.