Messages from the CMA Chair and Project Steering Committee

Message from the CMA Chair

The North East CMA would like to thank outgoing CMA board chair, Leanne Mulcahy, for supporting the development of this Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS). The CMA welcomes Chris Cunningham as the new board chair and her support in the implementation of the RCS going forward.

The Regional Catchment Strategy explores the many trends and impacts affecting our region. These point to both opportunities and threats to the catchment over the coming six years. Key to our success is the capacity for our communities, land managers, industry and partners to plan for these possible impacts and to work together to strengthen our region’s resilience. 

A big thank you to the many agencies, organisations, groups and individuals who have worked on the co-design of this strategy. The insights gained from the diverse range of contributions holds us in good stead to strengthen our region’s capacity to protect, maintain and enhance the long term health of our catchment.”  

Leanne Mulcahy

Chair (October 2017 – September 2021), North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA)

Developed in collaboration with a range of stakeholders and community members, the renewed Regional Catchment Strategy reflects the histories, interests and aspirations of north east Victoria. The strategy will act as a guide for delivering on natural resource management priorities and support the development of landscape resilience in the region.

As the new Board Chair for the North East CMA, I am excited to support the CMA and other delivery partners in implementing this important piece of work.

Chris Cunningham

Chair, North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA)

Messages from the Project Steering Committee members

Led by the North East CMA, a Project Steering Committee including Traditional Owners/First Nations Peoples, NRM agencies and Landcare has collaborated to prepare the draft North East RCS. Below are some words from members of the Project Steering Committee about the RCS and its renewal.

Agriculture Victoria is greatly appreciative of being involved in the development of the new North East Regional Catchment Strategy. The collaborative process undertaken to develop an inclusive and innovative strategy worked well. The strategy aligns with the Strategy for Agriculture in Victoria and seeks to ensure the region is resilient, flexible to change and well placed to sustain healthy, liveable and productive landscapes across the North East region.

Michael Bretherton, Hume Regional Leader – Agriculture Victoria, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

“The Regional Catchment Strategy has been shaped by the community and experts following an extensive consultation process during 2020/21. As a member of the Project Steering Committee I am proud to support this strategy, which outlines how agencies can best manage our catchment and water resources under a changing climate, whilst taking the community’s values and needs into consideration. North east Victoria is home to many unique environmental assets and deciding how we protect them is critical for the future of our region. The use of socio-ecological principles for mapping strategic outcomes puts community and environment at the heart of the strategy.” 

Brian Thompson, Regional Manager Community and Partnerships , Hume Region – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Duduroa Dhargal Aboriginal Corporation is proud to partner with the North East CMA in the creation of this strategy, as it reflects our aspirations for caring for the sacred lands of the north east region. Our ancestors walked this country for generations before us, and now it is up to us to look after it and make sure it is healthy for generations to come. That is our inherited responsibility, and it is up to all of us.

Minda Murray – Duduroa Dhargal Aboriginal Corporation

“The North East RCS provides a lynchpin for co-ordinated actions by all stakeholders to support the management of a key natural resource.”

Matthew O’Farrell, Manager Strategy, Policy & Performance – Goulburn-Murray Water

“The Gunaikurnai have a customary obligation to care for Country. Working alongside neighbouring mobs and partners like the North East CMA to develop this RCS brings Snow Country one step closer to being returned to traditional management, and to helping the protection of cultural heritage and of Country for the benefit of all.

Lisa Hocking, Policy & Program Manager – Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation

“We Jaithmathang as Original Bloodline Custodians of our Mung Tyerr (Mother Ground) of Buller’s (mountains) Yerto (country high up) and our High Plains Country, have been caring for our Ancestral Country created by Bunjilla since time immemorial until very recent times. We have Ancestral Spiritual and Customary obligations and responsibilities ensuring that our Sacred Totems including all fauna and flora are identified, respected and acknowledged and to be cared for to bring back the proper balance that our fragile Mung Tyerr and ourselves rightfully deserve. Being members of the RCS Project Steering Committee has offered us a wonderful opportunity to positively put forward our views and to advise how Jaithmathang Ancestral Original Country should be managed and to ensure our people’s voices are heard and reflected in future planning in and for our Jaithmathang identified region.”

Goengalla Gorro Konermar Waooter Yin – Jaithmathang Traditional Ancestral Bloodline Original Owners

“As a long standing North East CMA Board member, this is the second RCS development process with which I have been involved. The RCS is an important, high level strategy involving government agencies, industry and community partners in addressing the interface between people and natural world upon which we all depend.  North East Victoria is a beautiful environment, full of natures gems (ie. ecological services in the form of clean water, healthy soils and biodiversity that is integral to both).  It is an environment attracting many visitors and new residents.  This strategy aims to help us all to work together to ensure we maintain natures integrity while supporting a growing demand by people. I am personally delighted with this RCS, as I believe it spells out the challenges and opportunities that lie before us.  It has also been crafted with a high level of engagement, made possible by the imposed use of on-line meetings.  I sincerely hope that this translates into greater collaboration to secure resources and achieve region-wide outcomes.  Thank you to the North East CMA team for their passionate commitment to the contents of this document.“

Maureen Rogers, Board Director North East Catchment Management Authority

North East Water feels very privileged to be included in the RCS Project Steering Committee. Right from the first workshop on ‘What is resilience?’, to respectfully exploring Traditional Owners/First Nation people’s connection to what is a very special part of the state. This journey was driven by conversations and the importance of a healthy region for everyone and for future generations to enjoy and prosper.”

John Day, Executive Operations – North East Water

“The Taungurung have been managing our land and waters, including our forests, rivers, wetlands and floodplains, for thousands of years. We are one with Country.  As Taungurung Traditional Owners, we have a cultural responsibility to speak on behalf of our land and waters; and to care as Taungurung Country. We acknowledge and commend the efforts of our partners, neighbouring mobs and the broader community in working together to develop this RCS and fully acknowledge that, through the implementation of this RCS, we are all continuing to work together to heal and care for our Taungurung Country.

Alejandro Voysest, Taungurung Parks Program Manager – Taungurung Land and Waters Council

Trust for Nature works with willing landholders to permanently protect habitat and wildlife on private land. This RCS reflects our commitment to work collaboratively for the benefit of nature. Through the RCS, Trust for Nature aims to further our work with individual landholders, communities, and our partners, to protect and enhance forever important natural areas on private land throughout North East Victoria.”

Amelia Houghton, Area Manager (North East) – Trust for Nature

“On behalf of Landcare in the north east region, I thank the North East CMA for the excellent participatory process to develop this RCS. The process drew on a diverse range of expertise, perspectives and interests. I am confident that Landcare’s interests and priorities have been captured. Importantly for Landcare, the RCS provides us with a very useful overarching strategy within which to frame and prioritise our environmental work.” 

Julie Hind, President – Wodonga Urban Landcare Network and Landcare Network Executive representative on the Project Steering Committee