WIMMERA CLIMATE ADAPTATION GROUP

David Drage

David Drage (Co Chair)

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.

LaVergne Lehmann

LaVergne Lehmann (co Chair)

La Vergne was until just recently the Executive Officer of the Grampians Central West Waste & Resource Recovery Group (GCWWRRG) based in Ballarat & Horsham. GCWWRRG works with 12 local government authorities in western Victoria on collaborative procurement, statutory planning, strategic planning, optimising service delivery, community engagement and education and industry engagement. At present the focus of the organisation’s activities are recycling, circular economy, waste to energy, e-waste, single use plastics and litter, just to name a few.
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 has now been in the EO role for 5 years, having previously held the roles of Procurement Manager, Engagement Manager and Waste Education Officer.
She currently serves on the boards of the Wimmera Health Care Group, traditional owner group; Barengi Gadjin Land Council and the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.

Daryl Scherger

Daryl Scherger

Daryl Scherger has spent most of his working life managing the harvesting of native forests with the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment and its predecessors. In 2005 he joined Ararat Rural City Council as a Natural Resources Officer where he developed a Roadside Management Plan, Sustainable Water Use Plan, emergency water supply sites, implemented councils’ Greenhouse Action Plan and investigated bioenergy as a way to utilise green and timber waste.
In 2012 he joined Pyrenees Shire as the Project Manager for the Regional Bioenergy Project where he oversaw the installation of the Beaufort Hospital wood boiler and produced a report on heating the Horsham Aquatic Centre with timber waste. He is currently a bioenergy consultant for Pyrenees Shire working on implementing the installation of a straw pellet heating system at the Skipton Hospital.

Steven Hobbs

Steven Hobbs

Yarrock Farms

I have a family farm 18km NW of Kaniva in the West Wimmera region of Victoria. The property is a mixed farm enterprise, producing a variety of crops and running both Merino sheep and Prime lambs.
Since 1999, I have had an interest in the production of renewable fuels, and in 2003 was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study Decentralised Energy production. I have established a small scale, oilseed crushing plant on farm, and incorporate the presscake and vegetable oil into the livestock operation.
Having experienced significant changes in weather patterns, I have changed the farm enterprise mix to 25% cropping and 75% livestock in an attempt to minimise the impact of climate change. There is now a focus on cover crops, re-establishment of perennial pastures and maintaining greater ground cover. I collect and use data and genetic information to breed and select higher profit ewes, allowing increased flexibility with stock numbers.
I have committed to a Soil Carbon project under the ERF and I am ultimately hoping to achieve a carbon neutral farming operation.

Chris Sounness

Chris Sounness

Executive Director,
Wimmera Development Association

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.

Krista Fischer

Krista Fischer

Project Officer
Wimmera Primary Care Partnership

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 postgraduate 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.

Gil Hopkins

Gil Hopkins

Wimmera Mallee Sustainability Alliance (WMSA)

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 is currently 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

Greg Fletcher

Greg Fletcher

Wimmera CMA

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.

Kaitlyn Braden

Kaitlyn Braden

Environmental Sustainability Officer
GWMWater

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

Jared Hammond

Jared Hammond

Horsham Rural City Council

Background:

  • Background in landfill and waste management, resource recovery, urban road infrastructure and project management. Developing skills in sustainability, and currently project managing the development of HRCC’s Sustainability Strategy.
  • Currently Coordinator Waste & Sustainability at HRCC. Responsible for the planning and ongoing management of two key facilities identified as being of regional importance in the Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan 2017, in support of the Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan.

Interest in climate adaptation and RCAG:

  • Principal climate change focus has been mitigation orientated to this point, however the practical implementation of adaptation measures is of interest.
  • Current network primarily regarding resource recovery (established through other council officers via the Grampians Central West Waste & Resource Recovery Group

Simone Dalton

Simone Dalton

DHHS

 

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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.