by Mick Davis
Every two years the State NRM and Coastal Conference is an opportunity for PHCC to engage with environmental groups from outside our region, share our stories and identify opportunities to bring in new ideas and partnerships.
The 2022 WA State NRM and Coastal Conference was held in Mandurah from 19th – 21st September and was a great opportunity for PHCC’s staff to present on projects and catch up with local groups and those from across the state representing all levels of government, other NGO’s and community members.
With a dual focus on how communities are managing land and sea, the event began with a Welcome to Country from Binjareb Elder Uncle George Walley. George encouraged delegates to consider the importance of working as a whole society in all that we do, that like the original First Nations people that managed lands and seas across WA before European settlement, we need to work together and appreciate every part of a system if we want to have a healthy, functional landscape in which to live in the future.
Each of the three days began with different presenters and keynote speakers including Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC (Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Hydrogen Industry); Dr Chadden Hunter (Attenborough Filmmaker and Wildlife Biologist) and Dr Richard Campbell (The Nature Conservancy Australia). The morning sessions also included discussion panels on regenerative agriculture and healing country, providing lots of sharing knowledge opportunities, with so many hearts and minds in the room to ask each panel questions.
The middle part of each day was focused on providing delegates the chance to hear from people across the state, with break-out rooms organised by four topics:
- Adaptation and Innovation in a Changing World,
- Our Coast, Our Land,
- Healthy Systems, and
- Healthy People and Collaboration and Partnerships.
PHCC’s Rivercare Officer Jesse Rowley presented on our Healing Bilya project, centred on River Restoration and Connecting People to Country. PHCC’s Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF) Mick Davis presented on how PHCC is working together with a wide network of environmental officers across the region to support many projects. Both presentations highlighted how PHCC is working with our coastal and agricultural communities to protect and enhance water quality, cultural values across our diverse landscape.
The end of each day was dedicated to providing field trips across the local area highlighting local projects with coastal and landcare groups, many of which were supported by the City of Mandurah, Shire of Waroona or Shire of Murray, who organised a full and interesting conference.
If you want to learn more about the event head including viewing the program or downloading presentations head to https://www.nrmandcoastalconference.org.au/
The Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator is supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government.