Working for wetlands

The future of the Winton Wetlands is looking bright after the announcement that four new community representatives have been elected to its committee of management. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced the successful candidates following an expression of interest process conducted earlier this year. Dr Dennis OBrien has been re-appointed as chair of the Winton Wetlands Committee of Management and three current members Rob Carolane, Suzi Martin and Sue Lebish have also been re-appointed. The new community representatives on the nine-member Committee of Management are: Ross Davies: Ross has a background as a senior executive in agriculture, catchment management and the water industry. He is currently a consultant at WaterRight. He has extensive consulting experience with rural water authorities across Victoria and NSW. Ross has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, a Graduate Diploma of Agribusiness, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Lindy Allen: Lindy has a background in the arts sector.She is currently the director of Living Proof Media and has previously held roles as the executive director of Regional Arts Australia and chief executive officer of Regional Arts Victoria. She is currently a member of the Falls Creek Resort Management Board, Cultural Development Network, and Creating Australia Ltd. Lindy has a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dennis Patterson: Dennis has a background in business, being the sole owner of a refrigeration business in Mooroopna for 29 years. He has been a councillor on Greater Shepparton City Council since 2012 and was mayor in 2015-16. Dennis is currently a board member of RiverConnect, Tatura Park Advisory Committee, and ACE Secondary College. Suzanna Christison: Suzanna has a background in outdoor education and community development and is currently a regional development consultant. She delivers community leadership programs for Greater Shepparton City Council and is a member of the North East Supporting Action for Youth board and the Whitfield District Primary School Council. Suzanna has a Bachelor of Arts (Outdoor Education), and a Graduate Certificate in Adolescent Health and Welfare. Winton Wetlands Committee of Management chair Dr Dennis OBrien said the project had built some very strong foundations in ecological renewal, community relations, visitor experiences and partnerships. The new committee will be able to focus on delivering the original future land use strategy goals, including some of the exciting projects which are currently under way. During the term of these appointments, the committee will also be developing the long-term vision for the wetlands. The Rural City of Wangaratta will be represented by Cr David Fuller, while Benalla Rural City Council has nominated Mayor Don Firth. The appointments are for three years. Ms Symes said the ongoing renewal of Winton Wetlands was an exciting community-led project. (This) project is providing new opportunities for habitat restoration, wetland education and research, and nature-based tourism activities, Ms Symes said. I welcome and congratulate the new community representatives on their appointments and wish them well in helping deliver this important project for the region. For more information or to get involved with the Winton Wetlands, visit