They came, they saw and they celebrated in Collie!
MORE THAN 100 members of the South West’s NRM (Natural Resource Management) and Landcare communities converged on Collie earlier this month for the 2017 South West Celebration.
Now in its seventh year, the South West Celebration has earned a reputation for being the industry’s can’t-miss calendar event with people travelling hundreds of kilometres from across the South West to attend.
Twenty-seventeen will be fondly remembered as the year Sam the Western Ringtail Possum threw down a challenge to Phoebe the Red Tailed Phascogale to get on the floor and DANCE OFF!
It was also the year Adrian Ward, from the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, convinced us that it is possible to have a healthy environment and a productive economy.
While the Wentworth Group continues to finetune their figures ready for public release in 2018, attendees agreed the cost of protecting Australia’s world-class environmental assets was well and truly financially viable for government and the private sector, and a small price to invest in what we all consider priceless!
A former extreme adventure documentary maker and professional yacht skipper Adrian strongly believes ‘people need nature’.
“Sometimes people just need a gentle nudge to realise how important the natural environment is to them and their national identity,” he said.
“Our extraordinary environment is why so many overseas travelers chose to visit Australia! It’s what makes our lifestyle so enviable.”
Field trips to Honeymoon Pool and Potters Gorge gave attendees a chance to get out into the great outdoors and experience the beauty of the Collie River Valley region first hand.
It was also the perfect opportunity to learn more about local Noongar culture on a walking tour with Troy Bennell, from Ngalang Wongi Aboriginal Cultural Tours.
The tour was followed by an on Country information session with South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council CEO Wayne Nannup about the historic South West Noongar Native Title Settlement.
South West Catchments Council Acting Chief Executive Officer Lisa Potter congratulated members of the South West NRM and Landcare community who are dedicated to protecting, conserving and promoting the potential of our environment.
She said the purpose of the South West Celebration was to recognise and reward everyone’s hard work over the past 12 months.
“It can be hard and lonely work being a Landcare officer in the far east of our catchment,” Ms Potter said.
“The South West Celebration aims to bring everyone together to give them a chance to celebrate their biggest wins while also offering some exceptional networking and professional development opportunities.
“We would like to thank the Minister for Agriculture, Alannah MacTiernan, and Member for Collie-Preston, Mick Murray for attending the 2017 South West Celebration.”
This project is supported by the South West Catchments Council with thanks to the Australian Government’s National LandCare Program.