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Maree Gillott (President)
After 31 years running my own legal practice in Logan, together with other business interests, my husband David and I moved to Wolvi in 2018. Now that life has moved into (slightly) less frenetic gear, I’ve got the time and space to involve myself again in the things that matter. I’ve always been involved in community organisations of one type or another and the opportunity to combine my experience in not for profit management and my long held interest in sustainable land management was too good to pass up. I’ve got a particular interest in permaculture and regenerative agriculture, as it has long been apparent to me that industrialized methods of farming are making us, and what we eat , sicker than we have ever been.
My Husband and I were lucky enough to find our way to a well -watered cattle property in the foothills of Mt Wolvi which will be keeping us well occupied in our “non-retirement”. At last, I have both the means, and the opportunity to put all the theory I have accumulated from the permaculture/ sustainable agriculture reference books sitting on my shelves and apply them to our new place. The aim is simple- I am just looking to leave our small patch of the world in better shape than we found it .
Becoming a part of Landcare will hopefully allow me to help spread the seeds of change even further.
Alex Van Beek (Vice-President)
It’s taken 50 years, a chequered career path and 2 degrees (social geography and psychology) to finally find my calling as a social systems researcher. With that aim, I am now at the tail end of a doctorate focussed on how collaborative community-based research can create social change. It may sound boring, but it’s not!
We all know our natural environment with the incredible life it holds, is in serious jeopardy. It is now that we need as many people as possible working together to turn this around. I believe that there are certain principles that can help this along. These include being strengths and solutions focussed; valuing diversity and collective creativity; and sharing decision-making and resources. While it can take a while to get it moving, the ability of collective action, based on inclusive, empowering and positive relationships, can do amazing things.
At a personal level, my sister and I own 30 acres at Calico Creek and are members of Landcare, Land for Wildlife and ANARRA. Our aim is to rehabilitate our land back into wildlife habitat while still maintaining space for our 4 spoilt horses and 3 gorgeous little cows.
By bringing my own skills, knowledge and strengths to the table, I hope to do my bit to help Landcare do its bit to help restore and preserve this beautiful region for many generations to come. With everybody contributing a little bit and getting all these little bits working together towards a common purpose – we can achieve the extraordinary.
Mel Marx (Secretary)
From a young age I always felt most alive when I was out in the bush or simply gardening with mum. Mum taught me most of what I know about caring for the soil, nurturing wildlife and growing things. Watching how we are destroying our land at an alarming rate meant I needed to stop talking and do something. So we bought a 40-hectare farm in Wolvi to start restoring our own piece of land. I believe that caring for the earth starts with an individual. The more individuals that do that will eventually bring a tipping point of earth restoration. I joined Gympie Land Care to learn how to make a difference, particularly using native plants and sustainable land management practices. Being invited to join the management committee is an unexpected privilege where I hope to use my experience in organisation effectiveness to assist the organisation to get more focused and organised so that we can support those individuals who are going to give us the restoration tipping point.
Liz Stewart (Treasurer)
My husband and I moved into the Mary Valley region in 2020 having lived in many locations around Australia as well as Asia, Europe and USA. I am inspired by the outdoors and how we as custodians look after this great land.
I bring a wealth of business management experience to Landcare having had a very full career across a number of industries. I currently run a Mentoring and Coaching business when I am not working outside or helping Landcare achieve financial performance and business growth.
I have a Masters in Project Management and certified in Change Management and Process Improvement.
I have always had a sense of adventure, fun, a love of nature and the natural world, and a passion for growing and providing people with clean nutritious food and promoting healthy, happy lifestyles.
My husband David and I were certified organic from 2000 until 2022 operating a commercial intensive horticulture farm supplying quality food to Australia and at times overseas.
Having now sold the farm I still have a passion for developing local sustainable clean food and supporting farmers and landholders to manage our environment and ecosystems, to ensure the profits we make from farming is not at the expense of the planet.
I have always had a strong belief in Land Care and I am keen to contribute from my business, farming and community experience. I have also spent many years working in the government and private sectors as a Local Area Coordinator and have received a great deal of training in building sustainable and inclusive communities