Ameliaranne Michell

Ameliaranne Michell

Hello. My name is Ameliaranne Michell. I am the Regional Landcare Coordinator (RLC) for the Northern Tablelands (NT), in northern NSW. I feel very happy and lucky to be working in this role.

The RLC role is a support resource for the four very strong and dedicated local Landcare networks in this region. It plays a part in supporting and strengthening the flow of regional (and state) communication, the sharing of resources and collaboration between each of the Landcare networks, our government partner the NT Local Land Services, and other partners. This foundation helps us to together, have an impact that is even bigger and stronger. In the area of NRM we face increasingly limited resources, so it is essential we use what we have wisely and where possible as a shared regional and cross regional resource. Strong networks operating within coordinated and integrated Landcare regions help to support a coordinated and integrated Landcare in NSW. Getting this right means we can make a greater contribution to the care of our natural environment.

THE REGION Also known as the New England Tablelands, the Tablelands is a plateau of beautiful and majestic ranges and granite boulders, straddling the top of the great dividing range. The eastern escarpment of the Tableland has spectacular gorges, rainforests and waterfalls, protected in more than 25 National Parks, with three of them listed as World Heritage Areas by UNESCO. The regions enterprises include beef, sheep, goat and wool, as well as a diversity of crops such as legumes, vegetables, nuts and community gardens.

Landcare has a long history in this region with four well established local Landcare networks, led by four very experienced and talent diverse Local Landcare Coordinators who in turn support the Landcarers in our region: • Glen Innes Natural Resources Advisory Committee (GLENRAC) – based in Glen Innes • Granite Borders Landcare Committee (GBLC) – based in Tenterfield • Gwydir & Macintyre Resources Management Committee (GWYMAC Inc.) – based in Inverell • Southern New England Landcare (SNEL) – based in Armidale

OUR CHALLENGES • Like all NRM sectors we face the trend of increased competition for decreasing funding. • Increasingly dryer times sees the imperative to rehydrate our landscapes, capture and keep water and maintain and protect our groundwater systems, when water is such an in demand and valuable commodity. • Helping to protect the health of our soils (because of current land management practices the UN predicts that we have 60 years of topsoil remaining), maintaining groundcover and vegetation, and protecting species habitat such as the regent’s honeyeater, to name one of our region’s endangered species. • Weeds are an increasing problem across much of the region. Wild dogs and feral pigs are the most significant vertebrate pests followed by foxes and rabbits.

ABOUT ME I was born in Tamworth but grew up on a farm outside of Manilla, NSW. About 20 years ago I finished an Environmental Science degree at Newcastle Uni. Life however, had other plans and led me overseas for 5 years. I returned to Australia, finding work in Sydney in State Government Learning and Development / Project Management / Stakeholder engagement. In early 2018 I discovered the work of Zach Bush MD and the role of regenerative agriculture in producing chemical free and more nutrient rich food and in the process regeneration of soil health. He joined the dots for me between soil health, human health and planetary health. This captured my imagination and gave me hope and solutions for global problems. He changed what I thought about. Funnily, it was soon to change my life. In late 2019, out of the blue, life presented me the opportunity to work for Landcare. Along with this came a move to the beautiful Northern Tablelands, country I always admired when driving through with my family as a child. So, 20 years later, life has brought me back to my original passion, giving me the opportunity to use my experience and skills to help contribute to taking care of our natural environment.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET INVOLVED? If you would like to support the Landcare groups in this region, or start your own group, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.