Twenty Years of Jerrawa Creek Landcare by Bob Spiller
This month marks 20 years since Jerrawa Creek Landcare was formed and our
Frankfield visit was also a birthday celebration. Some 28 people attended the inaugural meeting of JCLG on 21 April 1993, with Michael Nicholls being elected the first President, John Weatherstone Vice President, Kevin Brown Secretary and Bruce Bray Treasurer. Things were different then. There was intense competition for places on the committee and an election was held with those emerging from the contest being Marj Bullivant, W Merriman and C Medway.
A group was active and probably formed before us around Boorowa but unless revisionist historians find otherwise, we think we were the first group to be formed in the Upper Lachlan catchment.
In her address to the gathering President Genevieve mentioned a lot of people who have played a role in JCLG’s activities over the last two decades including:
Michael Nicholls: President 1993,1994, Vice President 1999 and 2000
Bruce Bray: Treasurer 1993, 1994. President 1995-1998 [and also Treasurer on Yass Area Network of Landcare Groups for a long time]. Life Member
Kevin Brown: Secretary 1993-1995
Ann Basnett: Secretary 1996 1999
Arthur Bollom: Committee 1994 – 2004 [alias “The Ladies Friend” who regularly moved we have a Ladies Night. Also, with Adrienne has hosted visits on things like biological farming and has made the Dawn Den Conference Centre available for meetings]
Stephen Armour: Committee 1996, Secretary 2000, President 2002-2003
Mary Walsh: Publicity Officer 1994,1995, Committee 1995,1996, 1997,1998.- President 2000,2001 and again 2004, Vice President 2002 and 2003. Long term on Upper Lachlan Landcare. Life Member
John Walsh: Committee 1994, Vice President 1997, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, Committee 2005 and 2012. Long term on Upper Lachlan Landcare. Life Member.
Eric Dowling: President 2010 and 2011 [a stint as Mayor of Gunning having prepared him for the more challenging task of JCLG president. Very active with Tussock Tamers]
Vince Heffernan: President 2006 – 2009 [played the leading role in making the Upper Lachlan Water Summit happen from which flowed LandWaterLife, Tussock Tamers and more]
Jill Granger: Treasurer 1995 – 1997
Jan Granger: Treasurer 1998 – 2010. Life Member with Bill
John Weatherstone: Vice President 1993-1996, 2003-2006, Custodian of mounder for yonks and a big help with advice and hosting field days
Norman Hindley: On Committee and sometimes Vice President continuously since 2003 [with Margaret active participant in just about everything we do]
Doug Darbyshire: Committee 2007 onwards sometimes as Vice President [Significant appointment – first village resident on committee and also Ann to whom we owe the name LandWaterLife]
Bob Spiller: First appears as Vice President 2001 [only a heart beat from the top job], relegated to Secretary 2002 where has remained continuously since.
Others who have been on committee for varying periods are Celia Galland, C Medway, Laurie Malone, Andrew Basnett, David Findlay, Paul Wyer, Genevieve Starr, Kelly Dowling, Allen Lees, John Merriman, Angela Winston-Gregson, Don Thomas, Greg Walmsley, Kristen Proudfoot and Lesley Gilligan.
Long standing member Mary Walsh also spoke at the event. Mary said that landcare was like an addiction – with one project completed or one paddock planted, you had to go on to the next. In a way we were almost too successful because getting a project required doing a lot of difficult paper work. She said the late Michael Nicholls had been particularly helpful to the group in those early days in managing the bureaucratic necessities for us. She also made particular mention of the late Don Bush [in whose memory we have the Don Bush Green Corridor] who, although not a member of the committee was always present and active in the background.
Your financially feckless committee felt that a significant occasion like this needed to commemorated. Rather than erecting a brass and granite placque, we chose to splurge on a fine piece of ephemeral art – a wonderful cake emblazoned with the JCLG logo and Australian flora. This unique creation by Anica Salsone of Fanciful Cakes looked as good as it tasted.
There were a number of apologies from members and friends of JCLG unable to attend. One came from Brian Cumberland, formerly of Greening Australia, who had a long association with us from the outset. In his note to us Brian said “Congratulations to all members of the JCLC Group for 20 years of sustained effort. You all should be proud of your achievements and recognise that you are making a difference; a gift from you to our children.” Brian’s sentiments encapsulate what JCLG and other landcare groups are all about and it is well worth celebrating.