Staff movements – Executive Officer & Woodlands
NPA has appointed a new Executive Officer, Andrew Cox. Many members will know Andrew as a contributor to the National Parks Journal and accomplished wilderness photographer.
Andrew has a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Studies from Macquarie University. He led the successful campaign to stop plans to raise the Warragamba Dam wall, which would have flooded the lower Kowmung and Coxs Rivers. He was also Conservation Officer for the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs for three years.
In recent years, Andrew has been working in the Wilderness Unit of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, where he served with distinction.
At the start of the year Andrew resigned from the Service and took up the job of Western Woodlands Project Officer for NPA. He has played a significant role in our campaign to protect these woodlands from inappropriate uses such as charcoal burning and to establish a series of woodland reserves.
The Executive welcome Andrew to the position and urge Branches and members to contact Andrew to assist with issues of concern. He can be reached at the NPA office, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that Andrew has become NPA's Executive Officer, we have had to find a new Western Woodlands Project Officer and David Paull has been appointed. We will tell you more about him next issue.
He can be contacted at the NPA office or at email@example.com
Membership fees change, again
As you all know, the GST is with us. Because it is a new system, it is evolving as it goes and the Australian Taxation Office has been continuing to make new rulings. The good news is that NPA has recently been notified that we do not have to charge GST on our membership fees, as long as we meet certain conditions – which we do. This means that most of our membership fees have been reduced.
The bad news is that some of you who have renewed your membership recently have in fact paid too much (because of the GST component). NPA will be doing its utmost to work out some kind of refund system for those affected and our office will be in touch about how this can be arranged.
We will still be increasing our fees slightly from pre-GST levels, due to CPI increases. For the new schedule of fees, see the membership form.
NPA & advisory committees
On 3 July, the Minister for the Environment appointed the NPWS regional advisory committees following the establishment of 19 new NPWS regions earlier in the year. The Minister invited NPA to submit nominees, and 26 of the 44 NPA nominees were selected.
A further 11 appointees have recorded NPA affiliation. NPA is represented on 18 of the 19 regional committees, with 11 consisting of two or more either nominated by NPA or being NPA members. This result ensures NPA has a significant input at a regional level into NPWS’s land management and conservation programs and priorities. NPA appreciates the effort of Alan Catford, Park Management Committee Convenor, in coordinating the NPA nominations.
NPA is planning to hold a workshop for NPA advisory committee representatives in several months, to allow the sharing of ideas and experiences in order to support their critical role.
Profile – Richard Thompson
When Dr Richard Thompson was young Richard, he must have made good use of the extremities of the body: head (or rather its contents) and legs. Head contents earned Richard a PhD in astronomy, and stretched-out legs were applied to real bushwalking.
Thus, although a professional stargazer but with his feet firmly on natural terra firma, it is not surprising that a reasonable, well-balanced person is the result (a quick phone survey of the bushwalking fraternity confirmed this).
Richard’s bushwalking career started at school age with friends in the local area of Blaxland. Later at University, he walked with another well-known bushwalker identity, the late Wade Butler, exploring Kanangra Boyd NP. Around 1978 Richard joined NPA and started to lead walks. About 1980 he was appointed Convenor of the Field Activities Committee, and he still holds this position.
How does one stay with this position for so long without monetary remuneration (a fact which has been established by a secret enquiry)? The secret, says Richard, is that the Committee meetings are informal, open to anybody who wants to take part, are relaxed and should be fun. He also points out that it has never been necessary to take a vote at any meeting. Reliable sources confirm that this remarkable achievement has not been the result of browbeating, bullying or bribery.
Richard’s favoured area of bushwalking is the Kowmung, which he has visited close to 100 times. Special events such as Katoomba to Jenolan Caves in a day, Katoomba to Mittagong are also given high priority. His philosophy? If you get people into bushwalking there is a better than even chance that they learn to appreciate and become more aware of the environment and, by extension, become more sympathetic to the conservation movement. Get more politicians into bushwalking and the conservation movement will benefit.
Recently Richard decided to apply for membership of the Sydney Bush Walkers. Is this a move by a renegade? No! There are many people who are members of both. The only damage which could arise would be the threat of Richard being lured away to join the SBW committee at the expense of NPA.
Fortunately his membership admission is subject to some test walks. A secret strategy has been devised to plant an NPA mole to raise the SBW entry standards to such heights that Richard will only be admitted to the lowest membership class. Voilà! Richard will be NPA Convenor for another 20 years.
We ran an article in the August issue (in "Your NPA") about the Woomargama biodiversity survey and attributed it to Claire Carlton. In fact, it was written by Brian Hawkins. Apologies, Brian, for not giving you the proper credit.
Help in the office!!