To kick off the month of November, the NACC NRM team took a drive down to Dongara for the 2023 Team Retreat. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the Northern Agricultural Region, reflect on the closing year, and gear up for 2024!
On Thursday 2 November, the team met at Irwin River to embark on a guided river walk. NACC NRM Coastcare Support Officer Dr Mic Payne led the way, explaining the history of the Irwin River, as well as the complex relationship between the river’s many ecosystems and environmental influences like seasonal changes and local agricultural activities.
Our Aboriginal Custodianship team also spoke on the cultural history attached to the Irwin River, touching on stories shared by our friends at Wattandee Littlewell Aboriginal Corporation (WLAC) earlier in the year. The river runs through Wattandee Country, and holds a rich history and cultural significance to the Wattandee people. Thank you to Thomas Cameron of WLAC for dedicating time to share your knowledge and provide education around the importance of the area’s land and waterways.
Finishing up the river walk sweaty and with smiling faces, the NACC NRM team then headed to the Port Denison Sea Search & Rescue to reflect on the morning’s learnings in an interactive activity. This activity, a change of pace, saw each staff member grab a canvas and paint their own interpretation of the river walk, drawing on the informative talks from our Coastcare and Aboriginal Custodianship team. This was accompanied by a fabulous lunch spread from the Dongara District High School canteen. Thank you to the Dongara District High School, and to the volunteers at the Sea Rescue! Thursday evening consisted of some friendly competition at the Denison Bowling Club, where the team battled it out in a barefoot bowls tournament.
After cooking up a storm and enjoying a barbeque breakfast on Friday morning, and before heading back to Geraldton, the team stopped in at the main street to check out Dongara’s impressive local commerce. It was a great way to support small businesses and peruse the showcase of local talent. The town boasts a range of homemade produce, gifts and crafts from across the region, many of which were made from recycled materials.
And that was a wrap on Team Retreat for another year! Reflecting on 2023 was a reminder of the many challenges faced and milestones celebrated by the NACC NRM team and beyond. We look forward to working with the community in 2024 to deliver new on-ground outcomes for the future of our region.