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I spent my main careers in the environmental sciences, mainly forestry and applied plant genetics, other ecology, and dissemination of best practices to landholders. I hate weeds and am the local representative for the Queensland Herbarium Weed Watchers network. I had five children and imbued them with a strong sense of environmental awareness, a love of gardening and a strong desire to conserve and protect our land. I believe that the way to achieve this is by landholders working together with a focus on sustainable land management practices and sharing their successes and failures with respect to soil, plant and animal health. Some people in cities appear to poorly understand where our food comes from and have lost the connection to the land. As the current President of Gympie Landcare, I would like to see us learn from science and each other no matter what size the property: “Blockies”, large landholders, orchardist and home gardeners. I strive to improve education at all levels especially of the young. I have created a forest that I maintain and am working on pasture improvement continually seeking advice from experts and high achievers. I like to read poetry, listen to classical music and am passionate about the English language.
I believe that Landcare is one of the few local bodies that persistently have a long-term outlook on sustainable land management practices and environmental issues. When I joined the Landcare committee about 7 years ago it was with the aim of lifting the organisation to a viable financial position. As Treasurer I am committed to maintaining this financial stability and improving and extending our services to the community. I have a long history of community service and a passionate interest in the native animal welfare and preserving the environment. I am kept busy in retirement working with my wife Paula on the rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife and educating people about the need to care for our native animal habitats. From small suburban beginnings, I now live on a property which connects with surrounding forests and provides a release site for native animals.
From a young age I always felt most alive when I was out in the bush or simply gardening with mom. Mom 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.Louise Watson (Education)
I grew up in Brisbane Queensland and have always had a heart for animals in distress. My career journey took me to the police and the Royal Military College Duntroon. My husband Rob and I moved out to Roma in 2012 where we owned a small farm and operated a farm animal rescue program. There I got to work with the local Council training in conservation land management, specialising in pest animal and weed control. We then moved to Gympie where as a wildlife carer I look after injured or abandoned native wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, possums and kookaburras and then release them back into the wild where they belong. As part of the management committee I hope to support landowners to build more native habitat for wildlife to flourish striking a balance between maintaining grazing land and natural habitat reserves for our unique native wildlife.
My wife and I headed off on a round the world sailing trip from South Africa and nearly made it but we were stopped by the beauty of Australia in 1991 and decided to make this our home and have been here ever since. I worked for many years in the agricultural industry in the magnificent Kalahari desert and for several years as a timber cutter in north Queensland. I have previously volunteered with Gympie Landcare in the nursery and as minute Secretary. As a Committee member I bring experience as a former auditor and chartered accountant to not only help guide the financial future of Landcare but also to capitalise on opportunities and the potential for growth and expansion.