REGIONAL CLIMATE ADAPTATION GROUPS
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I am extremely interested in planetary health and regeneration and building community resilience against climate change through community led initiatives in sustainability/regeneration. I am currently studying the Diploma of Sustainable Living with the University of Tasmania, units include global food security, sustainable design for houses and landscapes, backyard biodiversity, living with fire, health & wellbeing and sustainability.
Professionally, I have 20+ years’ experience with local government and 10 years of emergency management experience including managing flood recovery following the 2011 floods. I have also worked for the CFA.
On a personal note, I have a farming background and volunteered on many community groups such as football/netball clubs, landcare, arts & culture, so I have a good understanding of how community groups run. I also have lots of life experience!
I am grateful to be a community representative on RCAG, and look forward to working with this valuable group to continue to raise awareness and support communities to adapt to climate change.
During the past four plus decades Barbara Curzon-Siggers has worked across medical, academic, government, community organisations/agencies and as a freelancer in: project management; policy development; community welfare, consultation and advocacy. She is a member of the Hepburn Z-net Project, actively working locally with her town’s primary school, neighbourhood house, community groups and Hepburn Shire Council on sustainability transitions and renewable energy.
She sits on three RCAG subgroups, focusing on the regional economy, health and wellbeing and behavioural change. community cohesion and communication and consultation.
As the Environment and Sustainability Team Leader at Golden Plains Shire Council, David Collins looks to protect and enhance the environment of his little patch of Victoria. With over 10 years’ experience working in the environmental sector across both Australia and New Zealand, he’s focused on finding people-orientated solutions to environmental challenges, both big and small.
David has collected data, managed projects, developed reports (including the Yarra and Bay Report Card), provided expert advice and trained others throughout his career. He is at home both in the office and the field and has a knack for finding good coffee everywhere he goes.
You might find David in a meeting room, wading in a river, looking down a microscope, chatting to a citizen scientist or at his desk writing a grant application. No matter what job he’s doing, his goal is simple – to collaborate with others to find better ways of managing and enhancing the natural environment.
David holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Melbourne.
Ed Riley is a planning officer with over 15 years experience in rural and regional areas across local and national government in the UK, the Isle of Man and, since 2018, Victoria. He believes climate change is a serious threat to our planet and is excited to help Central Highlands’ communities mitigate against the worst of its impacts.
Ed holds an undergraduate degree in English & Geography, advanced degrees in Politics and Planning, and is an appointed member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Planning Institute of Australia. He is employed as the Prinicpal Strategic Planner at the City of Ballarat, and in his spare time enjoys photography, coffee, and craft beer – often at the same time.
Farm Forest Growers Vic
Andrew Lang is a farmer with a strong interest in agroforestry and bioenergy. He has been a secondary school science/maths teacher, developed and managed farm management courses for VCAH Glenormiston, and worked with DPI as a farm forestry extension officer.
He is a Churchill Fellow and a Gottstein Fellow, and since 2008 has had various roles with the World Bioenergy Association. Andrew is the current president of the Victorian Bioenergy Network inc, and of Farm Forest Growers Victoria, both of can play important roles in mitigation of, and adaptation to, regional climate change.
Health Promotion Manager
West Wimmera Health Service
I am the Health Promotion Manager for West Wimmera Health Service and have both professional and private interests in behaviour change and climate adaptation. A varied career in and out of academia and the not-for-profit sector has been centred around an abiding interest in how people understand and adapt to social and environmental influences and imperatives, including the linked and sometimes conflicting roles of lived experience and scientific knowledge.
I had a small livestock property at Noradjuha in the Wimmera from 1998 to 2012 and managed that property through the Millennium Drought, the following floods, Black Saturday and a year of locust plagues. As I prepare my own home and food gardens for a warming environment, I also work with the communities I serve professionally to ensure that climate adaptation is central to planning for health and wellbeing at individual, community and policy levels.
Agronomy and Agribusiness, Longerenong College.
Hamish has a family background in Agribusiness in the Western District of Victoria. This interest expanded into the Wimmera and Agronomy Services in Kaniva.
Hamish has an Adv Dip Agriculture and a Dip Agronomy from Longerenong College and a Grad Dip Strategic Business Mgmt. from Federation University. He holds industry accreditations with AgSafe, AusChem and FertCare.
After a decade of servicing Wimmera farmers Hamish joined corporate crop protection organisations on the East and West Coast of Australia. He had various technical, marketing and business management roles with Seed Grain & Biotechnology, PlantTech and CropCare (Nufarm). He managed the National Clearfield Production Systems portfolio and was involved in the early business development stages of Nuseed. More recently he was involved in sales and product development in Australia for global fertiliser company, Wengfu Group – China. He is now teaching at Longerenong College lecturing in Agronomy, Climate Risk Mgmt. and Agribusiness.
Hamish has a strong community connection in the Wimmera Region having been Past President of Horsham United Football Club, Chair SS Michael and John’s Primary School and contributions to various recreational committees. He has also contributed to many community strategies through his past management responsibility with WorkCo, now Skillinvest. He describes himself as having an addiction to anything outdoors and will be seen regularly along the Wimmera River or throughout the Grampians, either mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming, water-skiing or fly fishing.
Wimmera Primary Care Partnership (Project Officer)
I grew up on a farm north of Horsham and started my career in Agriculture at Victorian Institute for Dryland Agriculture (Horsham). I then had a change in direction and completed my nursing degree and post graduate in critical care and worked at Wimmera Health Care Group Emergency Department.
I have also worked on telephone triage (Similar to Nurse on Call) and General Practice coordinator supporting clinical practice with Grampians Medicare Local. This organisation then became Western Victoria Primary Health Network where I was the Regional Manager for Wimmera Grampians implementing government initiatives in health care and commissioning place based programs to improve health outcomes for this region.
I am currently working with Wimmera Primary Care Partnership on the drought coordination response across four shires. This focuses on mental health including the Rural Outreach program, Mental health first aid and community activities to build resilience and reduce social isolation.
Environmental Sustainability Officer
My name is Kaitlyn Braden and I’m currently working for GWMWater as an Environmental Sustainability Officer. The main components of my role are providing environmental advice on capital works projects, delivering sustainability training and awareness programs and managing waste and resource recovery across the organisation.
Lives on 300+ acre covenanted bush adjacent to Grampians National Park at Laharum. Gil was a secondary science teacher and leader for 40 years and he was until recently the Acting EO of WMSA.
Gil has an interest in climate adaptation and has been involved in environmental education since 1970s. He is committed to helping people understand and act to make a difference for the future. He has written and reviewed many plans/programs/projects and funding applications for many groups.
Gil’s focus is on a future for family, friends the community and environment.
Membership on Boards and committees include – WCMA, WDA, GWMWater, WMSA, Grampians National Park Advisory Group, Laharum Landcare, Laharum Hall Committee, Laharum CFA, as well as many environment groups including Vic Malleefowl Recovery Group, Wimmera Growers of Native Plants
Dr Peter Gell
Executive Director, Wimmera Development Assocation
I have worked in the region in climate adaptation and mitigation for the last 28 years. From 1994 through to 2013 I worked at Agriculture Victoria Horsham (Or its namesakes) I first worked as an agricultural extension officer encouraging farmers to improve water use efficiency through improved management practices particular around tillage and nutrition.
From 2003 through 2014 I worked on a range of project educating farmers and other stakeholders around seasonal climate risk and climate drivers and how to utilise seasonal climate forecasts and tools in decision making along climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. I was editor and a key contributor to the Break Newsletter. I also played a key role in the Wimmera Drought response through Millenium drought.
From 2014 until 2019 I was CEO of BCG. I was involved in a number of climate adaptation and mitigations projects. I initiated BCG working with Walnut Energy in building a demonstration Microgrid at BCG supported by DELWP. I was Project leader for the Seasonal Climate Risk Project delivered through Agrifutures and the Forewarned is Forearmed national Project I led the Community of Practice component for BCG delivered through MLA. Just prior to leaving BCG I initiated and designed the Climate Change event BCG hosted In Oct 2019.
Since joining WDA I have become an active member of GNET and I am leading region-wide project bid on Microgrid planning. I have been involved in the ClimateWorks Natural Capital Summit/Roadmap and the Aust Farm Institute Natural Capital event in Canberra. I am a member of the SOILSCRC Research and Advisory project assessment group. I am a board member of Regional Leadership Australia and also Wimmera Southern Mallee Local Learning and Employment Network
La Vergne Lehmann
La Vergne is currently Manager Waste & Sustainability Leadership & Change at Yarriambiack Shire Council. Prior to this she was Economic Development Manager at the Barenji Gadjin Land Council (BGLC) and before this she was the Executive Officer of the Grampians Central West Waste & Resource Recovery Group (GCWWRRG) based in Ballarat & Horsham.
La Vergne has a very broad background having worked as an accountant, journalist, agricultural college teacher, NRM and as tourism manager before discovering the waste and recycling sector in the Grampians region. She has lived in the Wimmera at Dimboola for almost 20 years after moving from Adelaide with her young family in 2000.
She currently serves on the boards of the Wimmera Health Care Group, traditional owner group BGLC and the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.
I have been working in statewide and local waterway management for 15 years mostly in the areas of regional environmental water and strategic planning. Given the Wimmera has borne the brunt of reduced inflows due to climate change my interest is in adapting environmental water and broader waterway management practices and policies to best maintain the many values that this region’s waterways possess.
Wakerley Farm Pty Ltd and Wimmera CMA
I have been farming north east of Warracknabeal for over 30 years, running a mixed cropping and sheep enterprise. I have been following the politics of climate change, whilst living it for most of that time. In the late 2000’s I was on a committee at Grain Growers Association looking at carbon trading, and completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 2009 looking at threats and opportunities arising from carbon pollution reduction schemes. I was also a GRDC climate champion for the life of that program.
I am involved in many local community groups, specifically Rotary, VFF, CFA and our local Best Wool Best Lamb group. I also remain involved with the Nuffield Alumni. I have been a Wimmera CMA board member since 2013.
Regional Climate Adaptation Group
The RCAG is split into two sub-groups – Wimmera RCAG and Central Highlands RCAG.
| Wimmera RCAG
| Central Highlands RCAG
| Past Members
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We acknowledge the First Nations Peoples of the land and waters that we live, care and work upon within the Grampians Region. We respect the continuous culture that has been embedded into history for thousands of years. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.