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Update from the Directors

Have we returned to normality? Not sure we know what ‘normal’ looks like, but what we do know is that our project delivery teams can get out and about a little more now to work with the broader Cape York community.

Directors met mid-June via teleconference and have caught up via video link a few times to make sure that the organisation continues to progress, despite the fact that some on ground delivery was late starting.

Challenges resulting from COVID-19 have been felt across Cape York with many community groups experiencing the pressures from the tough start to the year. Usually June would hear us discussing the outcomes of the wet season and how the dry season is looking in the context of fire, vegetation, and the general health of the country.

June 2020 sees us all focusing on how we can do what needs to be done while abiding by regulatory requirements around movements within Cape York, and while ensuring the care and consideration of every single person in our region, including our staff, is the priority.

Your Directors have not ventured too far from home but are still here for you to communicate with, as and when you like. Director Polly Smith has stayed up in Mapoon most of this year, taking part in local seed collection activities and attending meetings appropriate to her roles. Polly is keen to get to know members across her region and encourages new memberships across Zone 2, from Lockhart to Coen and beyond. Director Sally Gray, Conservation Director, has spent a considerable amount of time revisiting the strategy and approach for Piccaninny Plains with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. The pandemic has encouraged all land managers to revisit this year’s approach.

Director John Charlton, Director for Tourism, Small Business and Mining, has really felt the kick personally from this year’s hit to the tourism industry. For many years John has owned and operated a small tourism business and 2020 is a tragedy business-wise for him. John continues to keep the Directors in the loop with updates around the tourism, small business and mining sectors, and is always there to chat to you across the whole Cape around bringing businesses and natural resource management together.

Director Desmond Tayley will end his role as Local Government Director in the next few months and invest his efforts and energy into campaigning hard for a seat at the state Government table. Watch out for his face around the Cape and do not be shy to approach him!

Community Director Trevor Meldrum has also felt the impacts on his work with Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Inc. with the organisation not being able to get out and about due to the travel restrictions of COVID-19. Trevor is also keen for community members to get in touch.

Director Eric Rosendale, who has strong roots to Bonney Glen Station but is now living in Cooktown, has felt the impact of restricted travel regulations. Eric is very keen to see more memberships across that southern Cape York area, and is always happy to talk to anybody around the subjects of landscape, burning, weeds, or even his beloved golf.

We finally say a huge thank you to Director Joseph Elu for his contributions to the organisation over the past ten years. Joseph was Cape York NRM’s inaugural Chair, later stepping away from the Board, but then returning for a final directorship three years ago. Joseph, although aspiring to retire from all his roles one day, is committed heavily to the Indigenous Land and Sea Council (ILSC) and the Uluru Statement Committee. We wish him the very best and are incredibly grateful for all he has invested into Cape York NRM.

Finally, as your Chair and Director for Primary Industries, I am here to continue talking to all of you around how you are doing and how your country is going, but more importantly how better we can work with you and keep you informed. Stay well and check out our website for regular updates!

Warm regards
Emma Jackson, Chairperson


Cape York Natural Resource Management, 47-49 Maunds Road | PO Box 907, Atherton QLD 4883
1300 132 262
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