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Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

22 October 2018


In this issue

Message from the Regional Director
Restoration work injects new life into heritage buildings
Students discover the wonder of nature
Cowabunga! Keep an eye out for invasive turtle
Ladies on the Land Workshop Series
AgriFutures Rural Women's Award
Peter Westblade Scholarship
Norman Wettenhall Foundation: Small Environmental Grant Scheme
Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants
Yakka brings you NRM news and stories from across Northern and Yorke region


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Northern and Yorke staff undertaking Aboriginal History of SA Awareness Training

Message from the Regional Director

Well the year is rattling past and we’re now in October.

The Friends of Parks Forum was recently held at Innes National Park with a great turnout and an exceptional agenda and line up of speakers. My sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in putting on such a stellar event.

Northern and Yorke NRM Board Member Peter Stockings was recognised for his contributions to the Point Pearce and Narungga community at the recent Point Pearce 150th celebrations, we are very lucky to have such an inspirational and dedicated individual serving on our Board.

The 2019-2029 Northern and Yorke Regional NRM Plan is currently out for its final round of community consultation. I encourage you to provide feedback on the Plan and help guide the future direction of natural resource management in Northern and Yorke. The consultation period will be open until Friday, 26th October 2018.

Congratulations to the Hart Field-site group who recently held another successful Field Day at their site north of Blyth.  Hart are 'part of the family' who are located in our Natural Resources Centre (NRC).

Finally, farmers and their families across a large chunk of our region are doing it tough and will be for the next 12 months, maybe longer. We have had some of the driest conditions in recent memory and one of the driest Septembers on record. Coupled with a series of frosts, cereal crops across much of the mid and upper north are very down in yield, if they haven’t been cut for hay. PIRSA estimates that 5.8 million tonnes will be harvested in South Australia this year, more than 2 million tonnes less than the 10-year average. Livestock farmers are also having to make some very difficult decisions in the face of water and feed shortages, with many destocking or trying to source fodder in what is an already scarce market. A hard time for many in our regional communities, and a reminder to check in with each other.

Trevor Naismith, Regional Director, Natural Resources Northern and Yorke

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A group of 19 volunteers from the Friends of Burra Parks and staff from Natural Resources Northern and Yorke recently spent six days on restoration works at Bimbowrie Conservation Park

Restoration work injects new life into heritage buildings

Volunteers from the Friends of Burra Parks and staff from Natural Resources Northern and Yorke recently took part in the annual working bee at Bimbowrie Conservation Park, in the Olary Ranges within the north-eastern pastoral district.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscape Ranger Darrin Bennett said that since the beginning of the project, the two groups have completed significant restoration work on historic buildings dotted across Bimbowrie Conservation Park, including the old coach house, horse stables, Cobb & Co. post office, Mawson’s Hut and Antro Woolshed.

"The recent working bee built on previous achievements by the group, this year concentrating on the Antro shearer’s quarters and woolshed," Mr Bennett said.

"The group of 19 people split into three teams, with one working in the original shearer’s kitchen, chipping away the old concrete-based mortar, re-stabilising the original stone work and then repointing with a lime-based mortar.

"The second concentrated their efforts on restoring the original furniture, sanding and restoring benchtops, tables and window frames, while the third worked in the woolshed, diligently varnishing the window frames that were restored at the working bee in 2017."

Continue reading on the Natural Resources Northern and Yorke website.

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Zara Cooper from Jamestown Community School learning about grass seed dispersal methods

Students discover the wonder of nature

Students from Booleroo Centre District School, Gladstone Primary School, Jamestown Community School, Laura Primary School, Orroroo Area School, St James School and St Joseph’s School recently took part in the annual Appila Springs Education Day.

Volunteers from the Caltowie Corridors of Green group have held the event since 2001 to educate local young people about a range of natural resource topics, fostering a greater understanding of our environment and why it needs to be protected.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscapes Ranger Rebecca Brown said the group of 156 students thoroughly enjoyed hearing from a wide variety of guest speakers and learning in an interactive environment.

“This is such a unique opportunity for the local students, and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves while learning about our natural environment,” Ms Brown said.

“The volunteers are extremely dedicated to making this day happen and organising such quality presenters.

“Without a dedicated and passionate volunteer group such as the Caltowie Corridors of Green, an event like this could not have been created and sustained for such a long period of time.”

Continue reading on the Natural Resources Northern and Yorke website.

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The highly invasive red-eared slider turtle

Cowabunga! Keep an eye out for invasive turtle

The community is encouraged to report any sightings of red-eared slider turtles, made popular by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics, after the highly invasive species was spotted on the streets of North Beach at Wallaroo recently.

Originally from Mexico, the south-eastern United States and parts of Central America, the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) is an alert pest animal in South Australia because of its ability to quickly adapt to the environment, breed prolifically and spread rapidly throughout much of Australia.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscapes Ranger Janet Moore said that as well as carrying diseases that can infect native turtles, the red-eared slider turtle aggressively competes with native species for food and basking sites and can hamper native turtle breeding success by competing for nesting sites and eating hatchlings. 

"If the red-eared slider turtle were allowed to establish even a small population in the region, it would be a very costly exercise to recover and we urge people to report any suspected sightings immediately,” Ms Moore said.

“The species are very aggressive hunters that may cause serious loss of aquatic biodiversity, preying on frogs, fish and native turtles.”

Continue reading on the Natural Resources Northern and Yorke website.

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Ladies on the Land Workshop Series

The theme of this series is 'Smart Farmers, Smart Farms' Upskilling the Women of the Upper North to be future ready, sustainable and more productive farmers.

It is hoped that the skills learnt from this series will assist the attendees to move their businesses forward and remain sustainable, particularly in challenging climates.

These free workshops are interactive and practical and are open to anybody interested (subject to space!)

Workshop One - Introduction to Precision Agriculture
(a two part workshop series)
Tuesday 30 October 2018, 9am - 2pm
Booleroo Centre Community Centre

  • What is Precision Agriculture?
  • How can I make a start with PA in my business?
  • How can Precision Agriculture make my farm more profitable?
  • How can I make a start with yield maps?

Creche and catering provided free of charge. For further details and to RSVP contact Jess Koch on 0407 986 557 or Kristina Mudge on 0438 840 369.

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AgriFutures Rural Women's Award

The AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s leading award acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities. The Award provides a platform to inspire and support Australian women to use and develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities.

  • The Award is open to all women involved in rural industries, rural and regional businesses and rural and regional communities
  • Location is no barrier. If you want to create impact, innovate and make a difference and/or contribute to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Australia, then we want to hear from you
  • Women must be over the age of 18, and Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • No formal qualifications are required

If you wish to nominate someone for the AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award, please email the name, contact details, and project area to rwa@agrifutures.com.au.

Applications close on Wednesday 31 October 2018. For more information, click here.

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Peter Westblade Scholarship

The Peter Westblade Scholarship honors the late Peter Westblade, a true visionary passionate about breeding profitable sheep and a strong supporter of young people interested in agriculture.

The scholarship exists to promote the practical skills associated with the sheep and wool industry and aims to deliver hands on experience to young people aspiring for a career in this dynamic industry.

The Peter Westblade Scholarship provides:

  • Mentoring from industry innovators and leaders
  • Opportunities to be involved in the sheep and wool industries largest commercial genetic trial
  • Opportunities to be involved with Sheep CRC activities and initiatives
  • Practical training appropriate to the skill set required in the sheep and wool industry
  • An opportunity to develop wider networks of key contact in the sheep and wool industry
  • Travel opportunities; Resource books
  • Promotion, utilisation and adoption of new technologies

The Peter Westblade Scholarship aims to identify, train and develop the next generation of leaders amongst young men and women in the Australian sheep industry. The scholarship is looking for young people who meet the following criteria.

  • Aged 18 to 30;
  • Have a passion for the sheep and wool industry;
  • Is someone who wants to make a difference (no matter how small);
  • Is someone who sees their future in the sheep and wool industry

Applications close at 5pm, Friday 21 December 2018. For more information, click here.

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Norman Wettenhall Foundation: Small Environmental Grant Scheme

The objectives of the Small Environmental Grant Scheme are to support biodiversity conservation projects in Australia that are concerned with one or more of the following:

  • monitoring and recording data
  • community education
  • community capacity building (training)
  • research and science

The grants provide support for people undertaking projects that will make a positive difference to the natural living environment, in land, sea or air, rural or urban.

Grants are available for up to $10,000. The current funding round is now open - for more information, click here.

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Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants

As part of its commitment to a greener future, Woolworths in partnership with Landcare Australia, is giving your school or early learning centre the opportunity to apply for a Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant of up to $1,000.

Hundreds of grants will be offered to inspire kids with hand-on projects with a focus on sustainable food production, improving waste management practices and enhancing native habitats.

You might want to apply for a grant to:

  • create a habitat restoration project
  • plant a bush tucker garden
  • plant a veggie garden
  • run a composting or recycling project

Applications close at 3pm (EST) on 23 November.

Click here for more information.

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What's on in Northern & Yorke?

Keep up to date about upcoming events, workshops, field days and volunteering opportunities by visiting Get Involved on the Northern and Yorke website and 'Liking' the Northern and Yorke Facebook page. 

To submit your upcoming community, volunteering, farmer group or other NRM events or to share a good news story, please send me an email at jessica.henderson@sa.gov.au.

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