While 2021 didn’t have the “shock value” of 2020, it is fair to say that it we are still living in challenging times. While here, in Western Australia, we are relatively protected from the effects of Covid-19, it still continues to play havoc with many aspects of our lives. Border closures and the impacts on seasonal labour have been major talking points throughout the Wheatbelt.
Looking Back At 2021
“Wet”, is one word that we could use to describe that past year. The early rain in March was a welcome sight but the downpours just kept coming, extending right through until November in some areas. We saw raging rivers, flooded paddocks and deluges right throughout the region.
It has, again, been a busy year for our farmers and our team. We’ve seen great success in our Optimising Fodder In Mixed Farming Systems, we’ve delivered a series of diverse events and we’ve seen three projects come to an end. Read the full wrap up here.
We’ve also worked with the Wheatbelt community on 106 biodiversity projects throughout the Avon River Basin. We engaged with landholders right across the region to install new housing sites for Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos, increase Malleefowl monitoring, protect remnant TEC Woodlands and rehabilitate waterways.
For our Aboriginal NRM program, 2021 will be remembered as a huge year of learning and growth. From the Noongar Boodjar Rangers’ blossoming native seed collection enterprise through to milestone celebrations, ongoing training and media appearances it has been a big year. See just a few of our key highlights from the past 12 months here.
During Biodiversity Month in September, we launched Hotspot Heroes – our league of biodiversity superheroes! Aimed at families with primary school aged children, Captain Numbat and his posse of supporting superheroes help to preserve the Wheatbelt’s threatened plants and animals. The program is a fun (and free!) way to get kids involved with local biodiversity. We’re excited to expand the program further in 2022 and deliver a series of school holiday activities, comics and a special biodiversity challenge.
Looking Forward At What’s To Come
First and foremost – we’re taking a short break. Our office will be closed from Friday, 24 December through until Tuesday, 4 January.
Then, when we return, it will be with some new faces. We are currently on a quest to find a new Executive Support Officer, an Aboriginal NRM Coordinator and a short-term Events Coordinator for the much anticipated Talkin’ Soil Health conference in March.
Talkin’ Soil Health is one of the most prominent soil health events in the country. It brings together experts and practitioners from the Wheatbelt, across Australia and even from overseas. It is a highly anticipated biennial event that will be held in historic York over two days in March 2022.