Welcome to Rangelands NRM’s last newsletter for 2013 which I hope provides you with interesting and valued information and that you can enjoy.
This is an opportunity for me to say thanks to the Rangelands NRM staff who have contributed through the year to the newsletter and especially to Teresa, who has often under duress written some of the stories, edited and pulled together all the bits and pieces that go to make up the finished article. The more than 1000 readers we now have is a testament to the quality of the work done by her and to our contributors. I hope that next year this will be even bigger and that our readership increases and the work in the rangelands generates even more interest.
The other main thing I want to do in this newsletter is to say thanks and goodbye. I have been with Rangelands NRM now for six years and I finish on the 24 December. In future newsletters you will see a new name up the front; Gaye Mackenzie has been appointed as the new General Manager and she will be in the office and raring to go on the 6 January. Most of you will know that Gaye has been working for Rangelands NRM for about three years now so it isn’t strange to her. She has been instrumental in developing our business, particularly in the Pilbara and also in making sure our internal processes are improved and relevant. Gaye is a strong believer in our focus on people as the key to the management of rangelands natural resources and the need to ensure that all our communities are well informed and listened to. She will bring a different perspective to Rangelands NRM which is essential for the future of the organisation and the challenges that you will face in the next few years with different State and Commonwealth paradigms to work in.
I have had a very satisfying few years with Rangelands NRM, some of them quite challenging but in general I will go with a lot of very positive memories and I hope that the organisation will continue to grow and develop. One of the really good things that has happened in the last couple of years has been the re-engagement with our communities. We have had the opportunity to make these redeveloped relationships more meaningful as our major funders have come around the circle and begun again to appreciate the need for people to own their environment and have the opportunity to have a say in what is being done to manage it. This is never perfect of course, and there are still many areas where it is difficult for Rangelands NRM to contribute, but we have been able to broaden the scope of our programs and I hope this can continue. However, your support is essential, your voices above all else can make this happen. We are always considered by the funders to have a vested interest but the voice of communities is heard better and this is going to be very important in the next few years in a decreasing funding environment.
I wish Rangelands NRM well, and I look forward to getting the newsletter regularly with stories about the region and what new and exciting is happening. All the very best to all rangelands-dwellers and those that support the region. Thanks again for the good times and the positives that have come from my time with you.
Dr Brian Warren
General Manager, Rangelands NRM
20 December 2013