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Mark Walters - Chair

Poowong Landcare Group

Mark was appointed as Chair of the Board in 2014, he has operated an Accounting and Financial Planning business in Melbourne for the past 29 years. Eight years ago he purchased 240 acres of rolling hills at Loch. He runs beef cattle on the property. The farm had very little vegetation on it and Mark is in the process of revegetating the gullies and providing shelter belts for stock. Both Landcare and Melbourne Water have provided assistance for this. He has also put in 25 ha of commercial timber plantation for saw log timber. Mark was involved in the Slow the Flow project in Westernport as a cluster representative and was appointed to the SGLN Board in 2010.

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Frank Dekker - Vice Chair

Hallston Landcare Group

Frank has been a resident of Hallston his entire life. He is married to Jeanne and together they have two beautiful daughters Evie 13 and Simone 12. He is heavily involved in numerous sporting clubs particularly tennis, badminton and golf. While he spent a short period of his life teaching, his working life has predominantly been spent as a dairy farmer. Initially as a farm hand, then as a share farmer and now owning the family farm. The Landcare movement has long interested Frank and he feels the principles of sustainable agriculture need to be explored to care and protect our valuable land. The Hallston Landcare Group required a new secretary and with experience in this type of role, Frank was only too happy to follow Mike Carnell’s excellent role as past secretary. The Hallston Landcare Group has a strong core of members and is steadily expanding its membership. Frank was appointed as Vic Chair in 2014.

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Mark Uren

Mardan Mirboo North Landcare Group

Mark has been a member of the SGLN Board for 10 years fullfilling the role of Board Chair from 2012-2014. Mark originally comes from Melbourne where he worked as an IT Manager. In 2003 he established a native seed business and developed several novel techniques to collect and process native seed for specific revegetation projects. Mark has collected large quantities of seed for projects such as the Basslink Offset Project in Giffard and the Delatite Arm Revegetation Project on Lake Eildon. More recently he has been involved in Bushfire Recovery work in the Latrobe Valley and most recently was the Project Manager for the GippsTAFE Bushfire Recovery and Community Jobs Project which employed about 40 trainees and works crew to assist with bushfire recovery activities in the Latrobe Valley.

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Dawn Marotti

Arawata Landcare Group

Dawn is retired on a small 60 acre farm running beef cattle. She has been a member of Arawata Landcare group for about 8 years, and has been Secretary/Treasurer for 8 years. Dawn and her husband Mark, have planted about 4,000 trees on the creek sides and steep areas of our block. Dawn and Mark were the recipients of the Dick Howarth Award for Individual Landcarer in 2001 for outstanding weed control. Dawn joined the SGLN Board in 2008.

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Rosemary Trease

Mardan Mirboo North Landcare Group

Rosemary has been a member of the SGLN Board for 5 years. Graeme and Rosemary Trease farm 130 hectares (320 acres) of country, first selected by Graeme’s family in 1884. The property, “Seven Streams” is named for the tributaries of Berry’s Creek, part of the Tarwin River catchment that flow through the property. When Graeme first bought the land from his father, there were no trees on it at all, apart from some rows of conifers. This was one half of the present farm, in 1987; the Trease’s bought the other half from Graeme’s uncle. The property is a dairy farm, farmed organically for the past eight years. As part of her Diploma of Agriculture studies, Rosemary developed a whole farm plan which aimed to improve the productivity of the farm, whilst increasing biodiversity and the water quality in the property’s waterways. Rosemary received a highly commended in the DPI Sustainable Farming Award - West Gippsland at the State Landcare Awards.


Margaret McDonald

SGLN member

Margaret McDonald was appointed to the Board in 2015. Margaret and her family have been members of SGLN since Sept 2011. Margaret lives in the Tetoora Road area with her husband, Cameron, and two young children. They farm ews in the Tetoora Road area and cattle on land at Strzelecki. Professionally, Margaret has been a Chartered Accountant since 1995, (known as Margaret Amor) predominately working in public practise, in the Taxation/Business services area and auditing.

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Jean Carnell

Hallston Landcare Group

Jean worked for 20 years as an I.T. professional in the Finance Industry in Melbourne before making a tree-change with husband Mike to Hallston in 2000. They were lucky to find a beautiful small acreage with bush, birds, animals and a creek. They joined the Hallston Landcare Group and quickly became part of the local community. They have planted about 2000 trees on the property to provide wild-life corridors; many have survived in spite of the predations of the local wallabies.Jean became a member of the SGLN Steering Committee and since then has served on the various Network Management Committees and the Board. Jean’s passion is for the improvement of biodiversity in our region, and has been President of the South Gippsland Seed Bank for over 10 years. Jean received a highly commended for the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award at the State Landcare Awards.

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Arie Bos

Agnes River Landcare Group

Arie Bos has been involved with the South Gippsland Landcare Network for many years. As a landholder of 200 acres and some roods and perches. Arie has fenced off and planted all the creek banks and a couple of steep bits over the years. Arie has had the honour to receive a couple of Landcare awards - local and state. He is a passionate gardener,and is engaged in running a small food garden with the pupils of Toora Primary School. Arie is a life member of the Welshpool Horticultural Society and Chair of the Agnes River Landcare Group. Arie has achieved a body of work that includes working with volunteers, management committees and Landcare groups to restore the environment in his local area and is rightly recognised by all as a Landcare champion.


Phil Piper

Mardan Mirboo North Landcare Group

Phil joined Landcare in 2001, was a founding member and inaugural Treasurer of the Mardan/Mirboo North Landcare group which formed in 2002. In 2006 he went from Treasurer to President, a role which he still fills today. In the 2007 Better Farming Landcare Awards, he won the Dick Howarth Individual Landcarer Award. Phil and his wife Kate live fairly self-sufficiently on a steep 10 acre block near Mirboo North. Phil with the help of Landcare and the group has revegetated all the steep gullies of his property and the 55 acre property next door with tube stock, which now looks nearly like natural bush. Phil has always been passionate about the care of our beautiful land and is particularly concerned about the threat of coal and coal seam gas to our environment.


Helen Hasty

Mardan Mirboo North Landcare Group

Helen has been an active member of the Mardan Mirboo North Landcare group since 2004. Helen and her husband, Ian, live full time on their South Gippsland beef property where they have planted over 10,000 trees for waterways, landslips, shelterbelts and koalas. They were members of a conservation group when they used to live in Melbourne and undertook planting and weed eradication in parks and flora and fauna reserves for about 25 years. Prior to moving to South Gippsland the Hasty's also ran a lighting manufacturing business. Helen is a keen beekeeper and gardener. Helen joined the Board in 2014.


Sally Jelbart

Tarwin Landcare Group

Sally was born in the UK and grew up there and in Canada before travelling extensively and finally settling in Australia in 1983. Sally has farmed in her own right since the late 80's as well as helping her husband, Don, in his enterprise, working off farm and raising a family. Sally has worked in banking, the organic food industry and 10 years ago was qualified as a myotherapist. In the mid 90's, through Gippsland Natural, they became involved in an extensive biodiversity survey on their property- a process Sally thoroughly enjoyed. Having been invovled with Landcare since it started in Gippsland, Sally has seen the benefits to the whole area over the past 24 years. Sally was appointed as a member of the Board in 2014.


Russell Swan

Russell joined the Board in 2015 and is originally from the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne with a 25 year background in Banking and International Finance. Currently he is the Finance and Administration Manager of Saxton Speakers Bureau.

Five years Russell, and his wife Jenni, made the move to South Gippsland. They run beef cattle on a 170 acre, hill country farm at Stony Creek. The farm initially had very little vegetation on it and so they are in the process of re-vegetating Stony Creek, which flows through the property. To date the Swan’s have planted approximately 4,000 trees along the creek, providing a corridor to remnant bush on neighbouring properties.

Russell was a founding member and the inaugural Secretary of the Tarwin Valley Landcare group at its inception in 2011 and he continues to be an active member of the group. Having completed the Whole Farm Planning course, Russell valued the experience that the lecturers shared. This further inspired Russell to work with Landcare to improve the property, waterways and revegetate to encourage indigenous flora and fauna back to the area.