Redrawing the Map – Why Collaboration is Vital

I consider myself very fortunate to be CEO of NACC NRM – a not-for-profit organisation who over the past decade has been steering the Northern Agricultural Region towards a sustainable, healthy future.

At the same time I also consider myself very privileged to be mother to three compassionate young girls and wife to a supportive husband.  And sometimes in this busy-modern world you need to take a break from work and enjoy time with family.

So that is exactly what I did earlier this October – packed the camping gear, loaded the the esky and headed north on a nine (actually more like 12 with three kids in tow) hour drive to Exmouth.

Anyone with children would likely know that a twelve hours in a car with kids can be a tad chaotic, so after finally arriving in Exmouth we all enjoyed some much needed respite in the Indian Ocean.

The next stop was Yardie Creek Gorge in Cape Range National Park for some bushwalking and a boat tour.

Yardie Creek is a highlight of the park and a must-do on any visit to Exmouth. The ancient gorge has deep blue water, red limestone cliff faces and a wonderful array of birds and wildlife, including the threatened Black-flanked Rock-wallaby.

And as we looked closely along the gorge, we spotted the Black-flanked Rock-wallaby as they sought shelter on ledges along the southern cliff face – where they await evening before coming out to feed

Now, I know I was on a family holiday but this sight got me thinking about work and how there is a population of these threatened wallabies in Kalbarri National Park. Which led me to start thinking about how sometimes we get caught up in lines on maps and hard boundaries.

Animals travel thousands of kilometres to breed and feed, ecosystem services don’t stop where main roads do, fires burn across farm fences and water flows inland to ocean.

Maybe we could take step back at look at how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cared for country. To borrow words from Bill Gammage (author of The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia) – Australia was inevitably a single estate, albeit with many managers.

And this is why as CEO of NACC NRM, I encourage the team to embrace collaboration – encompassing both teamwork within the organisation, and partnerships with external organisations and the wider community in working towards shared outcomes.

Looking forward to the future NACC NRM will continue to work in partnership with the community, industry and government to ensure we maintain a vibrant and prosperous region and beyond.


Warm wishes

Katherine Allen


1 comment

Seeing these amazing creatures would have been one of your amazing happenings on your family visit.
Cross pollination or collaboration is most certainly king for all community to address.
Thanks Kat for taking time out for your family it is one of lifes greatest pleasure’s

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