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Desert Channels Queensland has continued its enviable record of being a champion of Landcare with recognition at the Queensland Landcare Awards ceremony at Government House on the first day of spring.
On a day when the mercury returned to something like normal after a premature surge into summer, a small band of Landcare faithful gathered to watch Governor Penelope Wensley award DCQ with 2 firsts and a third for their work with Landcare over the past 12 months.
Group CEO, Leanne Kohler says it is great recognition for her team. “This is a real thrill,” an obviously delighted Ms Kohler says. “We have a very talented and hardworking team at DCQ who work closely with a lot of dedicated people in Landcare groups across our region and it’s absolutely wonderful for the team to get recognition for all that hard work.
“Our reputation and success as an organisation have largely been built on the way that we’ve been able to engage and revitalise Landcare groups during adverse times, and partner with them to achieve tremendous outcomes for the region.”
For its work in providing funding opportunities, extension facilities and support to groups and individuals to undertake Landcare activities, Desert Channels Queensland was awarded the prestigious Australian Government Landcare NRM Region Award for the second time. DCQ first won this award in 2005 which saw it become a finalist for the National Landcare Awards in 2006. This was followed up in 2007 with a 2nd place in the same category and, in 2008, DCQ won the right to host the 2009 Queensland Landcare Conference in partnership with the Landcare groups of the region.
DCQ’s Regional Coordinator, Steve Wilson says the group not only promotes Landcare, they use innovation to get the job done. “A good example of innovative thinking is DCQ’s recent roll out of Naturally Resourceful Women’s Workshops,” he says.
“We recognise the vital role that women play in business and Landcare, so we’ve targeted women with workshops that equip them with the skills and confidence to make change.
“Workshops were rolled out in many remote places, and topics covered ranged from property planning to rural health; depression to identification of flora and fauna.”
The other category in which DCQ has excelled is Indigenous Landcare. Having won the Indigenous Landcare Award in 2007, DCQ repeated the effort this year and took out 3rd place as well.
First place was for the Traditional Knowledge Recording project that saw Traditional Owners across three regions and from two community groups come together to record their traditional knowledge on video, edit and archive it for future generations, and create video case studies. The third place was for the DCQ Aboriginal Advisory Panel which has drawn the interest of many other organisations for the way it has given a voice to all the Traditional Owner groups of the region through a single forum.
Leanne Kohler says the awards are the icing on the cake for a group and a community that quietly goes about its work. “This is very, very special,” she says. “We have 6 official, and many unofficial, Landcare groups across our region and they’re all the same: they simply get in and get things done, they don’t blow their own trumpet, and they don’t seek recognition; our DCQ team is much the same. I think it’s the western character.”
Budjiti Elder Phillip Eulo, AAP Deputy Chair Judith Harrison, DCQ Regional Coordinator Steve Wilson, Her Excellency the Governor of Queensland Ms Penelope Wensley AO, and DCQ CEO Leanne Kohler at Government House, Brisbane for the awards ceremony.