Helping hand for lifelong conservationist
Maisie Enders has dedicated much of her life to restoring the land. At 90 years old, she manages her 120 ha farm at Carboor by herself. Recently she received a hand from a Working for Victoria works crew to rebuild dilapidated fences.
Maisie and her husband Stan bought the property in 1953 and later practiced regenerative farming and holistic farm management. Maisie was also a wildlife carer, taking in hundreds of orphaned wombats, wallabies and possums. In 2004, the entire farm was placed under a conservation convenant, protecting this important habitat and sustainable farming system forever.
Lately though her cattle have been getting out through deteriorating fences. Thanks to the North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA), Trust for Nature has had access to Working for Victoria crews funded by the Victorian Government to support landholders with covenants throughout the catchment.
Working for Victoria (WFV) is a state government initiative responding to the COVID pandemic. It is designed to help jobseekers find work across Victoria and North East CMA has employed three teams working with organisations including Landcare, Trust for Nature and Parklands Albury Wodonga, as well as with private landholders.
A team of seven – Blake, Chris, Alex, Isaak, Bryce, Shannon and Fraser – have rebuilt fences on Maisie’s land to protect tree belts, re-hung a dozen gates to make them open smoothly, repaired old fencing and slashed under an electric fence so Maisie can turn it on safely.
Chris and Isaak, who have completed undergraduate degrees in environmental management and science, said the program helped them gain practical skills and certifications. Alex, who grew up on a local farm, said he enjoyed the opportunity to be out of the office.
The crew has been helping out other landholders in the region, including Diana Simpson, whose covenant is adjacent to Warby-Ovens National Park. The crew removed old fencing, giving wildlife unrestricted access to the park.
Trust for Nature’s North East Area Manager Amelia Houghton said thanks to Working for Victoria, Trust for Nature has been able to provide much-needed assistance to more than 20 landholders with conservation covenants in the north east.
“Trust for Nature has been really pleased by how the Working for Victoria program is being delivered, and the close collaboration between North East CMA and Trust for Nature has made the process of linking the crews to landholders seamless. Trust for Nature has received very positive feedback from landholders who are impressed by the skill level, professionalism, and attention to detail that the Community Liaison Officer and work crews are displaying,” she said.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Trust for Nature as it has allowed us to provide more support for landholders to protect their conservation covenants, particularly those recovering from bushfires.”
We thank the North East CMA, and the Working for Victoria crew for supporting landholders with conservation covenants.
James Whitmore, Communications Coordinator, Trust for Nature, 0450 653 811, firstname.lastname@example.org