Last week our NACC NRM team ventured out into the region for the annual retreat!
Wednesday morning, we headed south bright and early to sunny Greenhead. After settling in, we visited The Green Head Gallery Cafe for a delightful and nourishing lunch with some of the amazing locals.
We were joined for lunch by Yued Elder, Charlie Shaw and Marg Shaw, who spoke to us about the area, and Welcomed us To Country. With sustenance in our bellies, it was time to get our hands dirty!
The weather was perfect for dune brushing on the Greenhead coastline. We were lucky enough to have join us, the knowledgeable support and helping hands of Greenhead Coastcare Group members. Dune brushing is the process of covering damaged or eroding dunes with pruning materials from local vegetation. Not only does this discourage people from walking on the dunes, which destabilises them, but it also helps to trap seed and encourage vegetation growth at the site. The NACC NRM team split up into several groups, and along with the help of Greenhead’s volunteers, teamwork made the dream work. In just a few hours, all the brushing material was spread out on the exposed parts of the dunes, and we called it a day.
That evening, we gathered to watch the sunset over Dynamite Bay before enjoying a delicious meal, thanks to our hosts at Centre Break Beach Stay. After dark, the NACC NRM musical talents emerged. Our Coastcare Support Officer extraordinaire by day is also our sea shanty star by night. Guitars, triangles, drums, and all kinds of instruments were passed around, with a team singalong quickly ensuing! What a joyful way to end a very fulfilling day.
On Thursday, we were up early on the road to Dongara. There, we gathered at the Irwin River mouth and enjoyed a sunny river walk. The Irwin River boasts a range of flora and fauna, as well as some very successful revegetation. Our ‘coasties’, Mic and Tegan, gave us a history of the revegetation sites as well as a rundown on the range of plant and animal species found along the riverbanks. Unfortunately, some unwelcome African boxthorn is also re-emerging but the walk provided a great opportunity for everyone to see how this spiky pest can envelope native vegetation. We also spotted lots of beautiful samphire. Did you know samphire can be cooked and eaten like asparagus?
The Annual NACC NRM Team retreat provides an opportunity for members of our team who are mostly office bound to get out of the office, to meet stakeholders and see what happens on-ground. It is also how we strengthen collaboration across our programs and share knowledge between teams. Invariably everyone’s favourite part of the retreat is the community activity, and 2021 was no exception. I can’t wait to see what our community project looks like in 2022 when we head inland. Stay tuned.