Landcare hero up for major award

SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES: Bob Jarman has been nominated for a 2012 National Landcare Award.
SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES: Bob Jarman has been nominated for a 2012 National Landcare Award.

Known to many as a local environmental hero, Kyogle's Bob Jarman is a quiet achiever who has spent the past 20 years working in Landcare, making a difference in how we manage our natural resources. While Bob doesn't identify as a hero, he does agree that sometimes, the people behind the scenes need a bit of recognition too.

Last year, his work in the Northern Rivers area was recognised when he won a NSW Local Landcare Facilitator Award and now he's in the running to win one of the 2012 National Landcare Awards to be announced on September 4. The local community can show their support by going online and voting for Bob in the 2012 National Landcare Awards People's Choice Award.

"At first I was a bit uncomfortable about winning an award, but then I thought what a good thing it is to promote our area and the good work people are doing here," Bob said. "As community support officers we aren't really seen, but we work closely with local farmers and build up trust and support. People can feel comfortable working with us and not get caught up in bureaucracy."

Bob used to be a dairy farmer and believes that land-use practices can work in harmony with our natural environmental systems. He has spent a lot of time working with community members to help them develop their land using sustainable practices. He has also been instrumental in helping them access funding to get the work done, attracting over $2 million of funding to the Northern Rivers Catchment in the last five years alone, for on-ground natural resource management and sustainable agriculture projects.

"I've always had a connection to the land and I also have a background in town planning," Bob said. "I understand that as a farmer, you can work with the land, but you still need to make a living. Making sustainable changes is a slow process and you need to implement things slowly.

"Landcare has introduced me to many wonderful, committed people who work so hard in many ways for the benefit of our environment and I'll always remember the enthusiasm and commitment of the landholders and fellow coordinators I have worked with."

CEO of Landcare Australia, Heather Campbell, believes the National Landcare Awards are an excellent way of showcasing the breadth and diversity of the amazing work being undertaken by Landcarers across the country.

"From sustainable agriculture to coastal restoration projects and everything in between, the National Landcare Awards are about celebrating all aspects of grass-roots environmentalism, irrespective of geography, age or gender," she said.

"The Northern Rivers can be proud to be represented by Bob Jarman at this level, and I hope that locals will show their support by voting in the People's Choice Award."

To vote for Bob in the 2012 National Landcare Awards People's Choice Category, visit www. nationalaward. Voting closes on Tuesday, September 4 at 4pm.

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