Gold Coast Catchment Association | 2016 Summer News
E-newsletter 24 | December 2016
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Welcome to the new Committee

We hosted our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 5th November at North Burleigh SLSC. There was great attendance from members and City of Gold Coast officers, and interested volunteers and supporters.

We welcomed a new Committee Member, Patrick Malone, who has been volunteering with us throughout the year. His youthful enthusiasm for natural resource management and Landcare will certainly add value and lots of new ideas for the Association to continue to support our members. 

Congratulations to other committee members. Please see our President's report for more information. 

Contact details for the Committee


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M


Summer time has arrive and the warmer than usual weather in Spring has hopefully prepared your thermostat for this coming season. Summer time also means many of us will take our gloves off and put the tools down for bit of relaxtion and reflection before we begin another year of restoring and caring for Gold Coast's waterways and natural areas. 

This year has been a bumper year with many of our members being successful recipients of grants and taking their land and waterway care to the next level. Congratulations to the Eco-village Land Management Group (ELM) for completing their Queensland Government Everyone's Environment Grant and receiving a City of Gold Coast Nature Conservation Assistance Program grant to maintain what they have achieved thus far. Nerang Riverkeepers certainly deserves a big pat on the back with being a Finalist at the 2016 National Landcare Awards, and for completing their Country Paradise Parklands wetland project for Gold Coast Biggest Tree Planting Day. 

We have certainly enjoyed 2016 with facilitating other special projects including the Gold Coast Catchment Crawl, Gold Coast Landcare Forum and assisting with the coordination of Gold Coast Biggest Tree Planting Day. Three key projects that we believe are important to connect our members and inspire new interest across the Gold Coast community. 

As mentioned above we hosted our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 5th November at North Burleigh SLSC. There was great attendance from members and City of Gold Coast officers, and interested volunteers and supporters. We welcomed a new Committee Member, Patrick Malone, who has been volunteering with us throughout the year. His youthful enthusiasm for natural resource management and Landcare will certainly add value and lots of new ideas for the Association to continue to support our members. Congratulations to other committee members. Please see our President's report for more information. 

Please enjoy our last newsletter for 2016. Have a great summer break, Merry Christmas and New Years, and see you in 2017.

Connecting those that care, 
From the Gold Coast Catchment Association

President's report | Wal Mayr 

The following report is a transcript of Wal Mayr's AGM presentation

We are a group totally run by volunteers without paid staff. Most of us are in at least one other volunteer group. We are time poor, but want to make a difference in helping manage and restore the Gold Coast’s waterways and natural areas.

So we have to be careful on how much we take on and what we take on needs to provide maximum benefit to the environment for the effort we put in.

Our core strategy to achieve this is to extend our reach through partnering. So a huge thank you to our key partners, the City of Gold Coast Catchment Management Unit, and the Natural Area Management Unit. We work hand in glove with you guys, and you partially or fully fund many of our projects.

We have also renewed a close relationship with SEQ Catchments, or Healthy Waters and Catchments, as they are now known. It has been

a pleasure working with Paul Donatiu who has already made a big impact in the 10 months he has been working on the Coast. So what have we actually done in 2016?


One of our core tasks is to take the burden of incorporation off small groups. Instead of doing the paperwork of incorporation and financial accounts, we can do those tasks and allow you to concentrate on real work! However, Heather has asked me to point out that it is still your role to manage the actual projects and keep an exact record of expenses.

By nominating us as your Sponsorship Organisation you can go for virtually any grant. For instance you are all probably eligible for your local councillor’s grant. It’s so easy to get $500 - $1000 by simply applying online. Nominate us as your sponsoring organisation, get the grant we manage it and give you the money, as you require it.

This year we have managed the accounts 10 unincorporated groups. Very importantly, through our association with QWALC, we also help you cover your insurance obligations in non-government projects.


As a partnering organisation communication is central to what we do. Despite an impossibly busy life Naomi Edwards has managed to keep our website up to date and publish a regular, highly informative newsletter. This is a great opportunity for smaller groups to market and network through our central hub.

Project Management

• Natalie Hoskins has continued to manage the highly successful Platypuswatch Program in a very professional way. This is a great citizen science program, and it’s also a way to have a great time checking out the morning creek environment and then having a well-catered breakfast with like-minded people.

• Our annual Gold Coast Catchment Crawl was again a great success.

• The Gold Coast Landcare Forum was a huge undertaking. It was such a great event. Beautiful native flowers; interesting and entertaining speakers; a wide range of stands. In every respect it was a success and an entertaining and informative day. Thank you Naomi Edwards, Sarah Barnes, Saraya Robinson and Heather Mayr for organising it.

• Gold Coast’s Biggest Planting was another organisational challenge rivalling the building of the pyramids! And it was a complete success. Again thank you to the core organisers Jesse Kenny and Naomi Edwards with background support from the ever present Adam Wardrop.


We have a close and positive relationship with City of Gold Coast. This gives us the opportunity to communicate closely with the second largest local government in Australia and influence the direction of key environmental initiatives. Over the year we have had detailed discussions with key managers on issues ranging from water quality testing, managing recreation areas and how the City interacts with environmental volunteer groups.

I think it is fair to say we have made a difference this year. We have had an awesome committee this year. Peter Leahy and Paul Donatui were also regular guests at our committee meetings. We appreciate you making the effort to come and contribute.

We have behaved like a team and everyone has taken a share of the load. It’s been a pleasure working with you all.

Wal Mayr, 
Gold Coast Catchment Association 

Money up for grabs! 

Here is a summary of current grants that would be suitable for our members. 
Should you wish to apply for a grant please email us as we can support you either as an auspice, letter of support or help facilitate a partnership with other key organisations. 
Healthy Waterways Report Card

Healthy Waterways Report Card for 2016 was launched on Wednesday 16 November. 

The Report Card provides an annual assessment of the pressures facing our waterways, their current environmental condition (A-F grade), and the level of social and economic benefit the waterways provide to local communities (1-5 star rating).

To view the 2016 results please click here.

Queensland to ban the plastic bag from 2018!

Congratulations to everyone involved with campaigning to ban the use of single-use plastic bags in Queensland from 2018. We welcome the bipartisan support from both sides of government. This is a great step forward for our great State. 

See ABC article for more information. 

South Australia, the Northern Territory, the ACT and Tasmania already have plastic bag bans.
National Landcare Awards

The 2016 National Landcare Awards were held in Melbourne in September. We had two members in the finals with Nerang Riverkeepers for the best Community group, and Naomi Edwards for Young Landcare leader. 

Western Australia stole the show and picked up multiple awards, including the best Community group.The best Community group winner was the Blackwood Basin Group (BBG), who has been coordinating community-managed Landcare projects across the Blackwood Catchment for over two decades; working with 54 catchment groups, assisting over 500 farming families and delivering more than $16million of Landcare activities throughout the iconic river basin. To think that there are over 5,500 groups across Australia, congratulations to Nerang Riverkeepers and all the finalists for making the final cut. 

There was suspense in the room for the Young Landcare leader category with a historical tie with Naomi Edwards (QLD) and Ella Maesepp (WA) being both awarded for their efforts in leading in Landcare in their respected communities. It is great to see young leaders recognised for their efforts in Landcare. 

And congratulations to another Queenslander, Stephen Burgess (QLD), for receiving the 2016 Bob Hawke Landcare Award. All finalists were incredibly inspiring for this category. You can see their stories here on You Tube.

Click here to view the award winners | Watch a summary of the conference here

The Queensland Landcare Awards will be open next year. Should you wish to nominate a group or individual please contact us as we can provide advice and perhaps support your award nomination. 

We successfully hosted the Gold Coast Landcare Forum on Saturday 8th October at Robina Community Centre. It was well attended with over 120 registrations who listened to incredibly inspiring speakers, many thanks to a team of outstanding volunteers who made the event possible. 

The keynote speakers, including University of Queensland's Professor Tor Hundloe, Griffith University's Professor Catherine Pickering, Patrick Brabant, Founder of EnviroWarrior & Ambassador for Naturally GC, and Kate Hefferman, a Botanical Gardens and all round native plant native expert and advocate were incredibly engaging and inspired the audience to go native.

The series of workshops post lunch and panel added practicality to encourage everyone to think about what they can do to protect and care for our local native plants and animals. 

We wish to thank all the supporters for backing the forum, and in particular, Cr Hermann Vorster, who donated 100 native plants per person to be planted across the Gold Coast. 

Due to the overwhelming success and positive feedback we intend on coordinating another forum in the future. 

To see more photos please visit our Facebook page here

Gold Coast Biggest Tree Planting Day was held on Sunday 16 October at Country Paradise Parklands in Nerang. It was well attended with over 500 volunteers taking part in planting 17,100 native plants! 

Hosted by Nerang Riverkeepers and proudly supported by the City of Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Catchment Association, the event was extremely festive with local bands, food stalls and interesting workshops to learn about the local environment. 

This year's event completed a milestone with completing the wetland restoration project at the Parklands. In the past few years over 42,000 native plants have been planted on the biggest tree planting days. Due to the overwhelming success and positive feedback we intend on coordinating the biggest tree planting day next year, and this time it has been earmarked for Robina (to be confirmed). 

Many thanks to all supporters and volunteers. This event could not be possible without the immense support we receive from across the Gold Coast | 
 Proudly supported by City of Gold Coast's Catchment Management Unit and Cr Peter Young, Sid Cramp MP, and the Gold Coast Catchment Association, everyone was invited to support the biggest tree planting day. 

To see more photos please visit our Facebook page here.

Austinville Landcare turns 11 (not 10)!

Congratulations to Austinville Landcare for turning 11 this year. They have been working hand in hand with private landholders, City of Gold Coast, Healthy Waterways and Catchments, and Queensland Parks and Wildlife to restore the catchment. This has included attracting many competitive grants and facilitating pest animals and invasive weed management projects to always hosting a decent morning tea at their working bees on the last Sunday of every month. 

It is great to see a community Landcare grow from strength to strength and continue to tackle their vision - a weed feed valley. 


Austinville Landcare celebrating with a big tree planting and cake

Gecko's Annual Environmental Awards

Gecko's Annual Environmental Awards night was held last month and it was a night filled with celebration and inspiration as many local environmental champions were acknowledged. Each year, Gecko acknowledges individuals, groups and businesses within the south east Queensland community who have made a significant contribution to the preservation of, or improvement to, our local natural environment.

It was great to see young champions to long-term environmental advocates, local businesses and many groups awarded for their efforts. 

Habi-tec, a passionate team of Arborists who have developed unique skills to create hollows in trees that are marked for removal which provides much needed habitat on the Gold Coast were awarded a Beaded Gecko. Among the Beaded Gecko Award was Jesse Kenny for his efforts in coordinating Gold Coast's Biggest Tree Planting Day. 

It was great to see Saraya Robinson receive a Golden Gecko for her efforts with driving Naturally GC, Beaches to bushland and Gold Coast Landcare Forum (among much more). 

Lindy Smith and Naomi Edwards were each awarded with a Jewelled Gecko for their significant long-term contribution to the environment. Lindy Smith has been involved in many environmental campaigns and is the spokesperson for Tugun Cobaki Alliance who have been raising awareness about the water contamination from Aqueous Film-Forming Foam. 

Congratulations to all award-winners! 

Update from PlatypusWatch | Achievements for 2016

Platypuswatch has had a successful year with spotting more Platypus than ever before, and conducting new site surveys in the Nerang Catchment. 

Annual achievements include: 

  • 186 members 
  • 56 volunteers in surveys 
  • 136 hours of surveying 
  • Contributed data to Platycount 2016 
  • Conducted eDNA testing in Tallebudgera Creek
The survey results below speak for themselves, which are promising for Gold Coast's waterways (please note this year was the first year for surveys in the Nerang Catchment).

Platypuswatch will kick-start again in 2017, however, if you see a Platypus you can always submit your siting to Natalie Hoskins, the coordinator, by emailing

Congratulations to everyone involved in this year's surveys, and thank you to the City of Gold Coast for providing ongoing funding to support the citizen science program. 

Highlights from across the Gold Coast this year!

If you have an event or opportunity you would like to promote on our e-calendar please submit to your event by emailing

Discover what's natural on the Gold Coast with NaturallyGC 2016-17 Program.

To keep up to date, at least reminded about the 800 free or low cost activities visit As a subscriber, you will receive information on over 800 free or low cost activities through monthly email alerts.

Download the program here
Do you have an event to share? Please email 

Gold Coast Catchment Association upcoming meetings: 

To be confirmed in early 2017

Copyright © 2016 Gold Coast Catchment Association Inc., All rights reserved.

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