New england & North West 2340 Landcare Adventure Conference

Guest Speakers

Andrew Watson

Andrew Watson is a 6th generation mixed cropping and cattle producer from Boggabri NSW.  Along with his wife Heike, he farms 3,600ha in the Namoi Valley west of Tamworth growing crops and stock with a focus of long term ecological and economic sustainability.  

Andrew has an Honours degree in Agricultural Economics, Graduate Diplomas in Applied Finance & Investment and Technical Analysis and has graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ course. Andrew also holds an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture.

Kilmarnock Farming has been honoured with various National Production and Sustainability Awards.

Andrew is currently on the Boards of NSW Irrigator Council and Namoi Water Ltd, and is a past Chairman and board member of Cotton Australia Ltd. Andrew has sat on numerous National and State Policy Boards and representative bodies.

Kristy Peters  

Kristy Peters is a wildlife ecologist with over 15 years’ experience living and working in the Hunter Valley, New England and Northern Tablelands regions. She grew up in Tamworth and later undertook her Honours research at the UNE focusing on occupancy and detectability of woodland bird species. Kristy is particularly passionate about our bird and microbat fauna, with her research focusing on woodland birds, microbats, and the use of acoustic recorders, remote cameras and nest boxes as monitoring tools. She currently works as a Woodland Bird Project Coordinator with BirdLife Australia, our country’s largest bird conservation charity. 

Kristy is currently leading a partnership project between BirdLife Australia and Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council aiming to bring the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater back to traditional lands ravaged by wildfires in the Tomalpin Woodlands. Bushfires have severely diminished the mistletoe – a key food and nesting resource – from the woodland canopy, and are unable to regenerate from intense wildfires. Kristy will share how in badly burnt areas on Wonnarua Country, our team of ecologists, First Nations conservationists and arborists are seeding the forests with Long-flowered Mistletoe to boost woodland bird diversity – a world-first in habitat restoration of this type and scale. Learn about how these amazing native plants can boost wildlife populations in woodland, agricultural and urban landscapes, and help our wonderful woodland birds adapt to a changing climate.

Kerrie Saunders & Angela Pattison

Yaama, and hello! Our names are Kerrie Saunders and Angela Pattison. Kerrie is a Kamilarori/Gomeroi woman from Moree, NSW where she was born, raised and still resides. She’s passionate about foods, native grains and the sustainability of country. She is co-founder and owner of ‘Yinarr-ma’ which conducts bush tucker tours along the Mehi River. She is also a member of Moree Urban Landcare where which does restoration and planting native vegetation along the river bank, and a technician with Sydney University at the Narrabri Campus on the Indigenous Grassland for Grain project.

Angela Pattison is an agricultural researcher based in Narrabri, where she resides with her husband and kids. Starting her career breeding wheat and legumes with The University of Sydney, more recently she has been investigating how to bring back some of the grains which were historically eaten by Aboriginal people in this region on the Indigenous Grasslands for Grain project. She is passionate about supporting systems which sustainably produce food for future generations, local communities and the world.

Do you know what foods grow naturally on Gomeroi Country? Could you produce a loaf of bread from a native grassland? This presentation will encourage the everyday person, from urban to rural landholders, to understand native foods in their natural surroundings and how this can feed your family, the community and, maybe one day, the world. (Sneak peak – we will cook native grain bread in this presentation!)

Grant Hilliard

Grant Hilliard is the founder and co-owner of Feather and Bone, a Sydney-based retailer and wholesaler of meat and poultry. Starting in 2006, Feather and Bone has a long history of championing regeneratively-minded agricultural producers, foregrounding their particular practice and engaging with their customers in a direct and powerful way.

Feather and Bone’s insistence on full transparency at every stage of the production and distribution chain accurately anticipated consumer concerns around animal welfare and the environmental footprint of food production. In 2020 Grant, with co-owner Laura Dalrymple, published 'The Ethical Omnivore’, a detailed guide to their butchery practice.

Grant will talk from his experience of working with hundreds of different producers over nearly two decades to illustrate ways farmers can think about their own enterprise and why being able to clearly articulate their story is both important and necessary.

Dr Vicki Stokes

Dr Vicki Stokes is a Senior Wildlife Ecologist with Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) based in Narrabri. Vicki works on the Pilliga project in the Pilliga State Conservation Area, which is a partnership between the NSW Government and AWC to reintroduce regionally extinct native mammals back to the Pilliga, such as the Bilby and the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby. Vicki has nearly 20 years’ experience working in ecology and has worked across the country in a variety of roles and on a diverse range of projects. Vicki is passionate about conserving our native wildlife and the natural areas they depend on and enjoys inspiring others to learn more about our many unique plants and animals. In her spare time, Vicki loves bushwalking, bird watching and wildlife photography. 

In the Pilliga forest, the NSW government and Australian Wildlife Conservancy work together to restore threatened animals to the area that have been regionally extinct for over 100 years. Feral predators, foxes and cats, were and continue to be a major cause of declines of many species of native mammal in the region.  Consequently, an important part of the project has been constructing a conservation fence around a 5, 800 ha area of the Pilliga forest, that keeps feral predators out. It was then a major task to remove all the feral predators from inside the fence. Only once feral predator-free status was achieved, did reintroduction commence of regionally extinct mammals, including the Greater Bilby and Bridled Nailtail Wallaby. Their populations have been steadily growing and over time are expected to contribute to important ecosystem processes, with signs of this already visible. Continued monitoring highlights the benefits of such conservation efforts.

Guy Roth

Guy Roth is the Director Northern Region Agriculture at The University of Sydney’s Narrabri Campus. He has worked for 25 years as a scientist, research manager and educator in agriculture in north west NSW. He is Chair of the National Primary Industries Water Use in Agriculture, Research and Development & Extension strategy and has recently completed a Landcare project on Digital agriculture.

Cameron Leckie

Cameron Leckie is the Regional Soil Coordinator for the Southern Queensland and Northern NSW Innovation Hub. Looking for a career change, he completed an agricultural engineering degree, for which he received a University Medal, and during which he developed a fascination for soil. He is currently studying a PhD investigating the spatial variability of infiltration at the sub-paddock scale.


.           Overview of the National Soil Strategy
.           Soil Capacity Gap Analysis 
            - Method
            - Preliminary Findings: The Good and The Bad
            - Get Involved
            - Future steps

Bronwyn Brennan

Bronwyn Brennan is a Senior Environmental Scientist at Tamworth Regional Council. She works across TRC assisting with environmental compliance, sustainability outcomes and ecosystem management. Prior to this, Bronwyn has a background in agricultural research and soil science. 

Landfill capping is mandated by the EPA post closure, and traditionally achieved through compacted clay. Phytocaps present an opportunity achieve improved environmental outcomes with cheaper, or more readily available inputs. The Forest Road phytocap is the first landfill cap of its kind in NSW outside of the original trial sites at Lismore. This presentation will compare the benefits of phytocaps with traditional landfill capping, look at how and why these benefits occur, and discuss the lessons learnt at the Forest Road site. 

Aurelie Quade

Aurelie has been working in the horticultural and agricultural research industry in the UK and Australia for nearly 20 years. Her research has attracted funding from government organisations, GRDC, the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, and private organisations Pioneer Hi-Bred and Snowy River Seeds. She specialised in plant-pathogen interactions and identified resistance genes in canola and maize. Her latest work, on the genetic diversity of pathogen population, assisted maize breeding programs in developing durable resistance. In recent years, she decided to concentrate her knowledge and research skills to support and develop a sustainable, yet financially viable, agriculture for Australia. Aurelie is now involved with Australian Soil Management (ASM) in supporting R&D projects over Eastern Australia. The R&D projects aim to increase soil organic carbon and productivity in various agro-ecological regions and farming systems. ASM has a tradition of developing innovative and novel approaches to increasing soil organic carbon, supporting land managers and farmers achieve their full soil health, productivity, and ACCUs potential.


Richard & Janet Doyle

Richard and Janet Doyle run a beef cattle breeding and trading operation on their property “Malgarai” on the Macintyre River Floodplain 8 kms east of Boggabilla in Northern NSW.  They have committed to regenerate the soils on Malgarai to create a diverse ecosystem above and below the ground, and to support a profitable and resilient grazing enterprise.  Richard and Janet have embarked on a lifetime of learning and share their experiences, good and bad, on their regenerative journey in a hope to encourage and support others in their own endeavours.

Santos Amadeo

With over a decade of work experience on farm, Santos has witnessed first-hand the complexities of managing landscapes while producing food and fibre. Be it cropping, grazing livestock or even forestry, in all of these different industries, Santos has found a common issue and what is perhaps modern agriculture's greatest dilemma: the deterioration of the natural resources it depends upon.

With the drive and passion for finding the answers to this dilemma, Santos moved to Australia to further his studies through a master's degree in agroecology. After completion, he found South Pole Australia, the perfect fit to pursue a career, filling the gap between research and farming in his nature-based solutions sourcing specialist role. He firmly believes that finding harmony in integrating agriculture to its surrounding ecology is key to solving today's pressing issues.

This presentation highlights land management as a comprehensive and integrated approach, taking into account the entire landscape rather than just individual components. This perspective combines the goals of carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation in order to achieve optimal outcomes for farming enterprises. By farming in harmony with the local ecosystem, this approach seeks to balance the needs of human society with those of the natural environment.

Roger Ottery

Roger Ottery started out in technology and finance, and had family exposure to the dairy industry in the Hunter Valley. In 2003 Roger and partner Jill started beef cattle production, and moved to ‘The Oaks’ at Big Jacks Creek in 2008 where they run a commercial Angus breeding and fattening business.

The business focus is on high quality food production, and profitability, and increasingly on the environmental sustainability and restoring the natural functions of soils, waterways and diversity that underpin those goals.

Several projects have been undertaken with LLS and Landcare related to riparian zone restoration, as well as rehydrating landscapes, and more managed grazing practices.

In 2019 Upper Mooki Landcare planned a group project focussed on ‘Rehydrating the landscape’ open to landholders in the Upper Mooki catchment and we joined in. Rehydration is a broad topic, and on our property Jill and I undertook 3 activities –

  • converting contours to Swales
  • conversion annual fodder area to permanent pasture
  • additional creek fencing

My presentation will cover the 3 points in that project, and also my journey in how I see land care.

Business/Property description

‘The Oaks’ is located in the foothills on the north of the Liverpool ranges. It provides the ability to graze native pastures as well as grow fodder crops to breed and finish Angus cattle. On the property are Big Jacks Creek and Oaks Creek allowing only managed stock access.

Lu Hogan 

Lu is based at UNE where she is the Manager of the Armidale Node of the Southern Qld and N NSW Innovation Hub funded by the Future Drought Fund. She has a degree in Agricultural Science and post graduate qualifications in Agricultural Consulting and worked extensively in research, development and extension for the livestock sector with MLA, AWI, Sheep CRC and UNE. Lu has also been a livestock producer throughout her career in a range of locations from the western rangelands to the high rainfall New England.

Emmanuela (Manu) Prigioni

Emmanuela (Manu) Prigioni is a social entrepreneur, artist, Permaculture designer and regenerative urban food grower based in the Blue Mountains. Her passion for restoring land and regenerative systems was born in 2014 when she overcame postnatal depression through growing and restoring her home garden, and reconnecting to place and community. This experience convinced her to change her path from media arts to land restoration and social outreach. After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Media Arts and working as a part time lecturer at UNSW Art and Design, she completed a Full-Time Diploma of Permaculture at The National Environment Centre, TAFE Riverina Institute and a Milkwood Permaculture Design Course. She then obtained Permaculture teacher training with Rosemary Morrow, and learnt about regenerative land management by volunteering in several First Nations-led initiatives, including David King’s Garguree Swampcare and Darug man Uncle Lex’s ‘The Ganya,’ where she learnt and developed a passion and interest in cultural burning practices. She recently obtained Cultural Awareness training at Merana Aboriginal Community Association in the Hawkesbury. She also studied soil microbiology by completing full time correspondence study with Doctor Elaine Ingham. Her work has involved regular public speaking, coordinating the Farm It Forward social enterprise and taking part in local community work. Since the beginning of her practise as a Permaculturalist in 2015, her passion lies in advocating and public speaking, helping others connect to land, place and community. Her work with Farm It Forward has been focused on creating a space to create and foster community interconnection. The Farm It Forward social enterprise she co-founded has fostered community resilience through bushfires, floods and pandemic since the beginning of 2019.

Short outline of your presentation Social entrepreneur Manu Prigioni will be telling the story of how a social enterprise in the Blue Mountains pioneered a unique way of growing local resilience in and around our towns and cities, whilst simultaneously increasing food security, restoring soil, caring for community and addressing issues of social isolation.

Mr Weedy aka David Trood

David Trood is an Australian-born, prize-winning travel and commercial photographer who pushes the boundaries of visual storytelling with his passionate narrative of people and nature. For over thirty years he successfully completed thousands of photographic assignments in over 40 countries. David has been called a Hasselblad Master and is a valued contributor at Getty Images. He was born in Queensland and was based in Denmark (until 2020). Since the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 he has made his home in Northern NSW where he has turned his passion into growing organic food through the land management design of Permaculture. He documented his learning process and garden growing through his regular, online videos, The Weedy Garden, which turned into a YouTube sensation

Wally Hammond

Wally is a proud Gomeroi mari, born in Moree who has lived and worked in Tamworth for many years. Currently, Wally works with North West Local Land Services as an Aboriginal Community Support Officer on the Kamalaroi Guda Koalas and Warratah Projects liaising closely with the community to increase awareness and engagement in projects. Both NW LLS projects have a significant cultural heritage component with long-term goals for the protection and improvement of biodiversity values, enhancing habitat for koalas and other endangered species, including protecting significant Indigenous cultural sites

Martin Thoms

Martin Thoms is the Professor of River Science at the University of New England.  He and his post graduate students have been researching the rivers and floodplains of the Murray Darling Basin for over 25 years.  He is a member of the newly established Water in the Landscape Initiative (WiLi) that is working with and for the regional community of the Upper Namoi Valley.  As a collective, WiLi seeks to tackle those ‘wicked’ water problems that we all seeks to solve.

Dr Oliver Knox

Dr Knox is originally from Scotland with degrees from the University of Aberdeen in Genetics and Plant and Soil Sciences. He first worked in Australia in the cotton industry from 2003 to 2008 before returning to Scotland and working mainly on bulky organic fertilisers including composts, manures, digestate and biochar in various agricultural systems. He returned to Australia and UNE in 2014 to take up a Cotton RDC co-funded post as the co-ordinator of the Cotton Hub at UNE, which seeks to deliver cross disciplinary work on the issues affecting production of sustainable cotton. His interests are holistic, working with cropping systems and how the plant, abiotic and biotic soil components interact. He works on projects that range from broad acre farm management to the microscopic life of our soils. To connect these scales, he has been instrumental in developing and delivering #soilyourundies to Australia as a means to assess your soil health.

Dr Gundula Rhoades

Dr Gundi Rhoades was born in Germany and studied veterinary medicine in Hannover.  After qualifying as a veterinary surgeon, she moved to England where she worked in small animal and mixed practices for 7 years. She moved to Australia in 1998, married a beef cattle farmer, passed her Australian Veterinary Examination and had three children. During the last 20 years in Australia, she ran the farm first with and then without her husband breeding Angus bulls, and then converting the property to organic. She started her own mixed animal practice in 2002 and has grown this to a 3.5 vet successful clinic in Inverell, NSW. She has always worked full-time as a veterinarian, treating pets as well as horses, cattle, sheep and goats. She is as comfortable in the operating theatre as in the cattle yards pregnancy testing cows all day long. While doing all of what ‘normal vets’ do, her special focus is on nutritional medicine. During her years as a veterinarian and farmer, she has developed a keen interest in the soil, the health of animals and people, and has ‘connected the dots’ between disease and chemical farming, she wrote a book ‘The Food Solution . Dr Gundula Rhoades

Craig Little

Craig’s role with Landcare NSW is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships, processes, and protocols that lead to increasing engagement between Aboriginal people, Landcare groups, networks and coordinators. The role will provide support and advice to Landcare NSW in developing mutually beneficial engagement and strengthened relations between Traditional Owners, Aboriginal organisations and Landcare at local, regional and state levels across NSW whilst recognising the extensive relationships that already exist in local and regional contexts.

Craig is a Githabul man from the Border Ranges area and has a connection to Yaegl in the Clarence River area. He has worked for Clarence Valley Council, TAFE NSW and Namatjira Haven Drug and Alcohol Healing Centre in Alstonville. He has connections with most communities from Coffs Harbour to the Border Ranges and is active in the Yaegl Elders group that meet with schools for advice and help run social events for his community.

(Located in the North Coast region)

Our members often say that when you become part of Landcare, you’re not just joining a group, you’re becoming part of a family. The concept is so compatible with Australian culture it’s hard not to get involved! By becoming a TRLA member, you’ll be supporting our work, learning new skills, becoming part of the solution, and helping to make a difference for the future.


together we can make a difference

funding support

Did you know (TRLA) run an Annual Small Grants program for Landcare activities connected to the Tamworth region.

Volunteer Landcare and Grassroots Community groups can apply up to $2,500 for activities that meet an objective of TRLA’s strategic plan with eight successful projects being awarded funds from across the region.