E-News Issue 167

Welcome to Issue 167 of Wheatbelt NRM's E- News,

The team at Wheatbelt NRM have some very exciting news to share with you!

Wheatbelt NRM will be moving offices from 75 York Road in Northam to 269 Fitzgerald Street in Northam, at the Old St John Ambulance Hall.  Wheatbelt NRM has greatly benefited from the support of DAFWA and the office accommodation we have had on their site, but as a community group we have been on the lookout for accommodation that is separate from Government and more accessible to the community.
Now we’ve found it! The Hall has undergone some serious renovation over the past few months and is now nearly ready for the team to move in

The moving process will start on Wednesday the 30 th of April and will be complete by Monday the 5 th of May. During this time it may be difficult to make contact with staff members. Please be patient and your enquiry will be attended to as soon as possible. 

Wheatbelt NRM would like to thank our new landlord, the Shire of Northam for their support in making this move possible.

Keep your eyes on future E-news for information on the Grand Opening of the building which will be held on the 4th of June. 

The Image above is a possible design for the front of the building, we hope to start work on this shortly.

Kind Regards,

The Wheatbelt NRM Team

Windmill Grass

Chloris truncata

Windmill grass is a native grass that is a perennial summer active tuft grass. Windmill grass is found on soils ranging from sand to clay loams. It has high heat tolerances, high drought tolerance but low frost tolerance.
Windmill grass is a useful fodder crop as a warm season perennial grass. It can produce valuable and palatable fodder when actively growing. It becomes active very quickly after a summer rainfall event.
Windmill grass is easy to establish as it is a quick grower and needs only minimal rainfall.
It is good to remember that not all grasses are weeds.

Calling all Wheatbelt Farmers

How well do you think private consultants, industry, government, regional NRM groups and other organisations provide support to help you manage your land?

Would you spare 20 minutes to do an online survey and assist them to understand what you think of their support. You will receive a $20 Bunnings voucher as a thank you for your time.
To find out more information and access the survey please click here.


App for recording 'Sightings' out in the bush.

The new Sightings App has been recommend by Wheatbelt NRM's Regional Landcare Facilitator, Leigh Whisson.

This App has been created to help easily record the location and information about sightings of plants and animals out in the field. This App would be useful for anyone working in conservation work, NRM or community members.

Once records have been entered, You can then email the list of records to yourself, or connect your iPhone to your computer and download a CSV/GPX file through iTunes. Your records are not shared with anyone else or uploaded to the Internet – only you have access to them.

For more information, click here. 

Funding and Opportunities

Do you have Bushland that needs looking after?

It may be on your property or it may be a local community reserve or a creekline. Wheatbelt NRM wants to help communities and land holders to protect their local natural areas.

Wheatbelt NRM's Bushcare grants will provide grants of up to $15,000 to community groups, groups of neighbours and individuals to help cover the cost of materials for a range of activities including fencing, revegetation, bushland weed and feral animal control.

Wheatbelt NRM recognises the value of community, so we are encouraging groups of adjoining land managers to work together and jointly apply.

Applications open Monday 31st March and close Monday 19th May 2014.

To discuss your application please contact Rachael Major on 9670 3119 or

For more information, click here. 

Greeny Army Funding 

The Green Army is a hands-on, practical, grassroots environmental action programme that supports local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia.

The programme provides opportunities for young Australians aged 17-24 years to gain training and experience in environmental and heritage conservation fields and explore careers in conservation management, while participating in projects that generate real benefits for the environment.

Applications close 9th of May, 2014

For more information click here. 


State NRM Program Community Grants 

$2.7 million is available through the 2014 State NRM Program Community grants.

Community groups can now apply for grants between $10 000 and $50 000 for activities that help conserve, restore, rehabilitate or enhance a local natural area or conserve biodiversity.

Grants are available for on-ground works, as well as planning, training, and resource assessment activities. Schools, industry groups, not-for-profit organisations, local governments and environment action groups in regional and metropolitan areas of Western Australia can apply.

Applications close 20th of June, 2014

For more information click here. 


Australian Rural Leaders Program: for established Leaders

The ARLP aims to produce a network of informed, capable and ethical leaders who are able to work collaboratively to advance the interests of their industries, businesses, communities and rural Australia in general.   

Applications close 29th of August, 2014.

For more information click here. 


Heywire 2014

The Heywire competition is now open to people aged 16 - 22, to submit a story about life in Australia outside the major cities.

Your story can be created in any form of media: text, video, photography or audio.

Applications close 16th of September, 2014.

For more information click here


Telstra Women's Business Awards

Nominations are now open for the 20th Telstra Business Women’s Awards. As the longest-running state, territory and national awards program for business women. During this time, the Awards have played an important role in encouraging diversity and innovation. The awards have also inspired other women to work hard to reach their goals.

Applications open on the 26th of May 2014

Applications close on the 14th of July 2014

For more information click here. 


Upcoming Events

Dolphins, Whales and other tales

Date: Saturday 26th April
Time: 7pm – 9:30pm
Venue: CWA Hall 101 Stirling Tce, Toodyay

The Perth Advocates For The Earth and the Toodyay Naturalist Club present Leighton De Barros, Wildlife Film Maker. Leighton will present film from over a quarter of a century of wildlife filming.

A Cuppa with.. Mary Woods

Date: Thursday 8th May
Time: 5.30 pm
Venue: Webinar

Mary Woods will talk about her own family’s brush with depression and the group that she co-founded called Tie Up the Black Dog.

Mary and her friends are making it their resolve to team up with like-minded organisations, businesses, personalities and members of our community to take action against “the black dog”; raising awareness about depression and mental illness and supporting those who need our help most.

The Tipping Point Conference 

Date: 7-9 May 2014
Location: Abbey Beach Resort, Busselton WA

This conference has a strong focus on tipping points in social, ecological and economic systems and ways of managing change to ensure a positive future for generations of Western Australians.

For more information click here. 

16th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference

Date: 26-29th May, 2014
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
The Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference is a not-for-profit event held every three years to bring together researchers, land managers, students and policy makers dealing with pest animals.

Click here to view full details

Liebe Group Womens Field Day 

Date: 19th of June 2014
Location: Dalwallinu, Western Australia

The Women’s Field Day was created to build the management capacity of women to make a difference to their family, farm business and the agricultural industry.

For more information, click here. 

Perth Sheep Updates

Date: 30th of July 2014
Location: University of WA, Crawley.

The theme for the conference will be "Sheep genetics - getting the most benefit from your flock".

For more details, click here. 

National Landcare Conference

Date: 17-19th September 2014
Venue: Crown Conference Centre, Melbourne

This year’s National Landcare Conference promises to be an exciting celebration of 25 years of Landcare as a national program with a focus on the future and what this means for Landcare, with a program based on the theme – Celebrating our history – growing our future.

For more details, click here. 
Focus On

Leigh Whisson - Regional Landcare Facilitator

The new regional land care facilitator for natural resource management group Wheatbelt NRM has begun the role, designed to help landholders improve the soil and ecosystem.
The Australian government has funded the position for the next two years, with an emphasis on helping farmers adopt sustainable agricultural practices and continue investment in the environment, such as tree planting.

Leigh Whisson is well equipped for the role, after spending time on different conservation projects in the Wheatbelt.
One of his first jobs after graduating from Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia was trying to save the then threatened Western mouse or Pseudomys occidentalis in the central Wheatbelt.
“I spent more than three years monitoring populations and trying to control feral cats and foxes, which are their main predators, around a number of important populations, and I visited numerous nature reserves in the central Wheatbelt,” Leigh Whisson said.
“The Western mouse is one of the native species that indicate the health of the environment, and we know if they are present, the vegetation is in reasonable condition.
“I’m pleased to say they are now off the threatened species list.”
Other career highlights included working on a 68,000 hectare Australian Bush Heritage owned property on the edge of the Wheatbelt, north of Wubin.
Mr Whisson spent more than two years working on feral animal control (including wild dogs, foxes, cats and goats) and weeds and water management.
He also spent time on the Department of Parks and Wildlife owned properties Doolgunna and Moologool stations, rehabilitating creek lines and controlling overland flow to stem erosion and land degredation.

For more information contact Leigh Whisson on 9670 3100 or

Story by Kate Raston
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