Landcare marks 25 years with celebration of volunteers

Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare President Barry Powells (centre) cuts the 25th birthday cake alongside five life members: Desnee McCosker, Frank Kennedy, John Ross, Ron Smith and Elisabeth Edwards. Photo: David Marshall Photography.

COFFS Harbour Regional Landcare (CHRL) marked its 25th anniversary with a well-attended celebration to show appreciation for its volunteer workforce on Saturday 25 May at the Cavanbah Centre.

CHRL Present Barry Powells had the honour of cutting the cake surrounded by Secretary Larry Langman and five life members of the group.

Cameron MediaAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

“Our volunteers are essential to Landcare’s success,” Barry told News Of The Area.

“Even though we provide coordination and support, it is our volunteers’ thousands of hours of hard work each year (13,000 hours in 2022-23) that is getting the outcomes on the ground.

“The passion and dedication of our 350 volunteers in improving our local natural environment benefits the whole of the Coffs community and they deserve our recognition.

“I would like to take this opportunity in National Volunteer Week to thank our Landcare volunteers for their contribution,” he said.

The event featured presentations from three local speakers on their work – Brett Vercoe, Andrew Turbill and Kristin den Exter – as well as local landcare volunteers Lindy Davis, Greg Robinson, Karla Gillies, Paul Hatton, and Dave Wood.

CHRL Coordinator Melanie Craig told NOTA, “The basis for selecting our speakers is that we wanted presentations that were interesting and inspiring.

“Andrew Turbill is a fabulous storyteller and has really interesting ideas on the ecology of birds.

“Brett and Lisa Vercoe are doing amazing work rewilding their property in the Orara Valley – I thought this was close to home and an inspirational story on what landholders can achieve.

“Kristin den Exter is someone who works at all levels of Landcare from grassroots at her local Landcare site to the national level.

“Her dedication and commitment to Landcare is inspirational,” she said.

Andrew Turbill is a local environmental educator and wildlife naturalist with a professional background in conservation science.

One of his greatest passions is birds and he has an extensive knowledge of bird ecology including studying bird language.

Andrew delivered the epic story of the Gondwanan origin of songbirds in Australia and how they spread around the world.

An accomplished photographer and videographer, landowner Brett Vercoe took the audience on a beautifully illustrated journey entitled ‘Rewilding Narlu’.

Brett and his wife Lisa Vercoe have been working hard over the past few years to rewild a former dairy farm in the Orara Valley.

Brett described their vision for Narlu and their achievements so far in restoring lowland subtropical rainforest and koala habitat to create a functioning natural ecosystem.

Over dinner, Kristin den Exter spoke on the subject of ‘Landcare – A Sense of Belonging’.

Kristin is currently the acting CEO of the National Landcare Network as well as a long serving member of Wilsons River Landcare Group in Lismore.

Kristin shared her wide-ranging experiences with Landcare and gave examples of why she thinks Landcare provides a sense of belonging for those that participate.


Leave a Reply