Rodger Walker loves to solve a good problem.
The self-described “problem solver” believes these are the key foundations to being a top Natural Resource Management Officer.
“Natural Resource Management and landcare work always begins on the ground and often with a practical problem to solve,” he said.
“This is how I see things from my position is as a NRM Officer with the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC).”
Based in the regional office in Jurien Bay, his role puts him on the ground, working closely with the community on a variety of environmental issues and projects.
“I love rocking up to a potential project site and trying to understand and figure out with landholders and others how we can improve a site’s environmental and productivity values in the most efficient, uncostly and timely way,” Rodger said.
Although having only been with NACC since May 2014, Rodger is not new to the role, having spent 10 years in Ravensthorpe on the south coast of WA working in a variety of NRMO/Grower-group roles for Ravensthorpe Agricultural Initiative Network (RAIN).
“I’ve always enjoyed the challenges and opportunities of working with regional communities to achieve better management of the environment as well as adding to the collective knowledge of our diverse regions,” he said.
“Working in biodiverse places such as the northern sandplains, you are never going to know everything, but with a lot of practice you can understand the processes at play and identify a thing or two of use whether it be on flora, fauna, waterways or farming systems.
“Despite our area’s abundant diversity, our sandplain soils are very fragile and, as farmers keep on telling me: ‘Some of the most difficult soils to broad acre farm on in the world’.; Hence the challenge to all of us to help maintain the quality of the environmental resources where we can.
“Everyone has a role, be it big or small and contributions often last more than our lifetime.”
Outside of work, Rodger enjoys the opportunity to travel and explore other places, as well as getting involved with local communities and events, but he said: “Things have slowed down a little recently with two small children to take care of and guide as they grow.”
“I have always been big on participating in sport and country areas are great places where everyone can have a go, whether you have skills and ability or as they say ‘more heart than talent’.
“If everyone put as much effort and funds into the on-ground environment outcomes as they do for sport, the results would be mind-boggling.”