This year the Boorowa Community Landcare Group recognised 2 local champions with Landcare Awards on Australia Day 2018.
Nicky Merriman is recognised for “Inspiring students to become environmental leaders through the creation and continued success of the Boorowa Educational Excursion Programme”. St Joseph’s Primary School initiated this unique programme, more commonly known as BEEP, 17 years ago. Nicky Merriman and staff at St Josephs have
been responsible for its’ continued successful implementation.
In its current 3 stage format, Year 6 students from St Joseph’s invite Year 10 students from city schools to help them learn about environmental and agricultural issues. Firstly, the
Year 6 students visit local farmers and businesses, with a designated topic in mind. They then spend time developing their story and in stage three they present what they have learned to the visiting senior students, out in the paddock.
The program culminates each year with a 3 day visit by the Sydney students who may visit up to 15 properties during this time. Nicky organises the itinerary, accommodation, meals and local travel arrangements.
Nicky, a local grazier, has a wealth of cooperating farmers she can call on to showcase their farms and talk about the relationship they have with the land. She has developed good connections with Government and non-government organisations and sources experts to complement this local knowledge.
The programme is empowering for Boorowa Year 6 students as well as informative and unique for the Sydney students. It starts conversations between students, their friends and families about a whole range of topics, challenges and opportunities. It starts a journey in the minds of young people who may one day become active land carers. This I believe, is BEEP’s great strength and these experiences all happened due to the dedication and passion of Nicky Merriman.
Andrew Southwell from Glenflesk, Rye Park received an Australia Day Landcare Award for ‘Ongoing environmental works and outstanding representation of Landcare in the community.’
Four generations of Southwells have lived at the historical family farm Eden Brae,
Rye Park grazing sheep and Andrew’s father grew and planted native trees on this property in the 1970’s.
Andrew, his wife Michelle, and their family have significantly extended the tree lanes, beginning in the early 1980’s, on the family properties for productivity and biodiversity outcomes.
Andrew’s key message to local graziers is to “have the right species of pasture and use grazing management and sub-division to improve production and environmental outcomes”.
Andrew Southwell was an active member of Rye Park Landcare since 1989 and President for a number of years. When the Boorowa groups amalgamated, he continued as a committee member of the Boorowa Community Landcare group (BCLG) for many years.
Andrew Southwell was elected to the Boorowa Council in 2013 and proudly worked with BCLG helping ensure that Red Hill Reserve in Boorowa was gazetted as an Environmental Reserve to protect its unique biodiversity from future residential development. Another key highlight of Andrew’s Council responsibilities includes helping establish the waste recycle centre at Rugby.
During his time of representing Landcare in the community, Andrew has worked on a number of Landcare projects a major one being Boorowa River Recovery. Andrew was considered a pioneer of dryland salinity and pasture management.
Andrew & Michelle have hosted many, meetings, workshops and bird walks at their property and have been involved with a long term Superb Parrot monitoring programme with Greening Australia. Andrew is generous with his time, supporting Landcare in the community and helping others to implement Landcare activities.
Congratulations Andrew Southwell, we thank you and acknowledge your initiative to work for the environmental benefit of the community.
– Linda Cavanagh