Karen is passionate about the environment, productive agriculture and sustainable rural communities. She is currently the Regional Landcare Facilitator with the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, having previously taught land management and agriculture at Federation University and worked for the Woady Yaloak Catchment Group and Lismore Land Protection Group. Karen has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a Post Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership, and is a graduate of the Australian Rural leadership Program. Karen is also active in the Australian Quarter Horse industry and works to get horse owners involved in Landcare activities.
Lisette comes from New Zealand where gorse is an epic problem. She’s thrown herself into tackling Victoria’s gorse since moving here in 2008, including through her work with the Moyne Weed Eradication Network and the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network. Lisette has won state training and Landcare awards for her commitment and achievements to weed control and has an interest in creating practical resources to support land managers. Lisette’s experience in working with private and public land managers give her a solid understanding of how they best collaborate to achieve gorse reduction. She has sufficient gorse thorn puncture marks and tiger snake near-misses to give any person who wants to tackle their gorse confidence the VGT includes real people with real experience.
When Peter returned to the family farm near Ararat in Victoria’s western district in the early 1980s it had extensive areas of gorse on Captains Creek. This gorse is now controlled and has been replaced by native vegetation as part of a Corridors of Green biodiversity project in the Upper Hopkins Landcare area. Peter was secretary of the Upper Hopkins Land Management Group for many years and was an instigator of the Ararat Landcare Group, a peri-urban group. Both groups have launched a coordinated attack on gorse in cooperation with Ararat Rural City, Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and various Victorian Government departments. Peter and his partner Christine are currently rehabilitating 500 acres of steep hill granite country on the Great Dividing Range and are interested in sustainable agriculture especially carbon sequestration by re-establishing grassy woodlands ecosystems. Peter says you only control gorse by long-term coordinated community action which often includes a component of enforcement when required. Peter is currently President of conservation organisation ANGAIR.
Nigel is Principal Officer Invasive Plants in the Biosecurity Branch of Agriculture Victoria. He joined the VGT in 2008 as a representative of the weeds policy area of the Victorian Government. Before moving to a policy role, Nigel worked as a research scientist in weed management techniques for 10 years at the Keith Turnbull Research Institute in Frankston after arriving in 1996 from the UK (where gorse is native vegetation). Nigel has worked to provide a link between the VGT and state and national policy and strategies, including the Invasive Plants and Animals Policy Framework and the Australian Weeds Strategy. Nigel is continually impressed with the unflagging enthusiasm of the community members of the VGT and their depth of experience in practical gorse management.
Ron operates a small farming enterprise at Smeaton. Ron is a member of his local Landcare group and a member of the Community Consultative Committee of the North Central Catchment Authority. Ron has a dedicated interest in natural resource management, with a strong passion towards water quality and river health and the fight against gorse.