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Ernie Rider (President) 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.
Antoinette Augustinus (Secretary) My work as an Assistant Pharmacist in the Netherlands and later, my studies in Naturopathy and Homeopathy in South Africa, naturally caused me to take an interest in the environment, agricultural practices and how they impact on human and animal health and nutrition. In 1982 I opened the ‘Natural Health Centre’ in Gympie which became a busy practice, and subsequently I gave post-graduate lectures in Homeopathic medicine throughout Australia as well as teaching at a college on the Gold Coast. Meanwhile I put organic and permaculture principles in practice in my paddocks and gardens from Gympie, to Tamborine and Tasmania. Field Days on Biodynamic farming that I attended on a sheep property in Tassie showed remarkable improvement in their soil, so I applied those practices to my horse paddock and the resulting quality of the horse manure transported into my garden helped to grow fantastic fruit crops especially on the heirloom varieties of apples that I planted whilst I lived there. I feel very passionate about preserving and restoring our precious environment in the Gympie Region, I may not be able to influence the rest of the world, but agree that we can think globally and act locally…Therefore, it goes without saying that Landcare is such a fantastic organisation for all of us to learn, share and act, so I am honoured to be able to do my bit as part of the GDLC management committee, and learn as much as I can to make a difference and join with like-minded people in the region.
David Rowlands (Treasurer) 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.
Mel Marx (Marketing, Promotions & HR)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.
Barry Lambooy (Finance) 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.
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 whereas 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.
Suzanne Lanham (Minutes Secretary) By way of quick summary to explain how I got here: born in Nambour, grew up on a farm, (first dairy then cotton), in Theodore, left to work in big bad cities like Brisbane, Townsville, and Canberra for education and a career as a Human Resource practitioner in the Australian Public Service after a very enjoyable four years or so travelling and working in Europe. After leaving the Public Service, I had my own business as a Human Resources Consultant for a number of years, before buying my block of land at Woolooga in 2006 as a precursor to making the move from Brisbane in 2008 after my Dad passed away. I had always been a gardener in my various homes, was adamant I didn’t want to be a little old lady in the city and was intent on becoming as self-sufficient as possible. My criteria for my future home included having good soil and a dam for gardening purposes, both of which I found at Woolooga. (I am also walking distance to the Woolooga Hotel, which I have to confess, played some part in my choice of location.) I have an acre and a half of land which was previously part of a cattle property, and which had not a single tree on it. I lived in a caravan on my block for 15 months after the 2011 flood, keeping myself occupied by relocating granite rocks and stones to form veggie gardens while I planned the construction of my house. I then moved into my new home in 2012, since which time I’ve been busy planting and enjoying the fruits of my labours. I’ve been in the Landcare volunteer team on and off since about 2015, and enjoy the camaraderie of the like-minded people I work with. I love watching my block becoming populated with maturing native plants, and knowing that I have provided food and home for my hive of native bees and the many birds which visit me.