Like just about every year, 2017 was a bit of a roller-coaster ride, no better illustrated than by this year’s on-again, off-again rainfall patterns that culminated in very mixed results for farmers across the NACC NRM region.
We’re very fortunate, here at NACC, because the “highs” of the roller-coaster year far outweighed the “lows”, leaving us with much to look back on with satisfaction, and much to be proud of at the end of the year.
Achieving consistent “highs” doesn’t come without lots of passion, dedication, commitment and sheer hard work. And we’ve had all of that (and more) in spades in 2017.
Accordingly, I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed towards those successes – particularly the staff at NACC who have put-in an amazing amount of work. Despite some loss in staff capacity, our teams have pulled together and worked hard to ensure that all of our programs have continued to be delivered on time and to the high standards on which NACC prides itself.
I’d also like to thank our Board, and all of our members and supporters – especially the hard-working volunteers, community members and community groups who have worked with us on projects and activities. Our successes are due in large part to them, our partners, our funders (especially the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program), and everyone else who has worked with NACC in one way or another this past year to help us rack-up the awesome list of 2017 achievements.
Collectively we’ve achieved some fantastic outcomes in protecting our region’s invaluable natural assets through a wide range of Landcare, Coastcare and Bushcare activities. NRM, Landcare and Coastcare community groups, along with hundreds of individuals – farmers and community members – have worked with NACC over the course of the year to make a real difference to land and sea stewardship. I’d urge everyone to have a look at NACC’s 2017 Annual Report to see some of the fabulous examples of on-ground achievement over the past year.
I’d like to wish everyone a safe and joyous festive season and new year, and look forward to further collaboration in 2018.
The year ahead, particularly the transition to the next phase of the National Landcare Program is sure to throw-up some big challenges for NACC – and everyone working on natural resource management in our region. We’re looking forward to meeting those challenges and having another bumper year for sustainability for all concerned.
Key highlights of 2017
1.) All of the core NACC Programs – Biodiversity, Coastal & Marine, Sustainable Agriculture, and Aboriginal Participation – exceeded all of their (many) project Outcomes and Deliverables within the organisation’s Strategic Plan and contracts with the Australian Government and other funders – on time and on budget.
2.) NACC achieved a 20/20 result in the NLP Audit conducted by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy. NACC was ranked among the very top NRM regional organisations in the country and acknowledged for its leadership in a number of ‘Areas of Best Practice” including:
- NRM Planning (inc. stakeholder/community engagement) and presentation of our plan on NARvis.
- Reporting standards (using MERI).
- Hierarchy of planning: Regional > Organisational > Program > Individual Work-plans.
- Communications planning and implementation.
- Community engagement and partnership development.
- Use of Polldaddy to collect data for incorporation into MERI reporting.
3.) NACC developed and launched the inaugural Midwest Aboriginal Ranger Program – after being awarded a $1.5 million contract by the Australian Government (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet). This is being delivered in partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), and local Aboriginal enterprise Western Mulga
4.) NACC’s Coastal & Marine Program team was declared the country’s Best Coastal Community Engagement Group in the 2017 Australian Coastal Awards at the Australian Coastal Councils Conference in Redcliffe, Queensland. The team was also a finalist in the WA Landcare Awards for Community Engagement.
5.) NACC was declared the winner of the Midwest Community Participation Award at the 2017 MidWest Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Excellence Awards. NACC was also a finalist in the Not-for-Profit and Aboriginal Engagement
6.) The very successful 2017 WA Threatened Species Forum – organised and conducted in collaboration with NRMWA and DBCA.
7.) Very successful outcomes for the NACC 2017 Board elections; Annual General Meeting; and Regional NRM Awards.
8.) NACC joining the Rangelands NRM Alliance; and signing an Memorandum of Understanding with the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI).
9.) NACC being nominated as the “Environment Hub” for a multi-stakeholder MidWest Research & Development initiative by the MidWest Development Commission.
10.) NACC undertaking its first exhibition collaboration with the Geraldton Museum (Museum of Western Australia): Little Footprint, Big Future.
11.) NACC completing and launching its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan.