New chair takes seat

Shepparton News - Country News - - MAN’S BEST FRIEND - By Alana Chris­tensen

Com­bat­ing cli­mate change and work­ing to en­sure bal­anced wa­ter use will be the fo­cus of Goul­burn Bro­ken Catch­ment Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity’s newly ap­pointed chair, An­nie Volk­er­ing.

Hav­ing grown up in Mans­field, Ms Volk­er­ing said the re­gion held a spe­cial place in her heart as she pre­pared to un­der­take her new role.

‘‘I’m still very con­nected to Mans­field and have strong con­nec­tions to Mans­field . . . you can take the girl out of the coun­try but not the coun­try out of the girl,’’ she said.

‘‘Over the last decade or so tak­ing my chil­dren up there and be­ing in that area I’ve re­ally no­ticed a lot of changes in the en­vi­ron­men­tal land­scape.’’

Ms Volk­er­ing will start her new position on Oc­to­ber 1 along­side 56 other ap­pointees to catch­ment man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties across the state.

Also an­nounced last week were new chairs for North Cen­tral CMA and North East CMA, Julie Miller-Markoff and Leanne Mulc­ahy re­spec­tively.

Hav­ing work­ing largely within en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment of parks and other spa­ces with Parks Vic­to­ria, Ms Volk­er­ing has spent the past six years work­ing with the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity in Mel­bourne and said she en­joyed her work im­mensely.

‘‘I’m just look­ing for a way that I can con­trib­ute to the com­mu­nity and look at decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in the pub­lic sec­tor and how might I give some­thing back and the CMA was the log­i­cal place to give some­thing back,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve seen Lake Eil­don at its very low­est and filled up . . . par­tic­u­larly with the growth of tourism, how do we make sure that we pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing tourism?

‘‘It’s not unique to the Goul­burn Bro­ken CMA with cli­mate change and pop­u­la­tion growth (both rel­e­vant is­sues to the re­gion), there’s a whole heap of risks that we are deal­ing with now and will be deal­ing with for long time,’’ she said.

‘‘The health of the en­vi­ron­ment is the corner stone for the com­mu­nity and a pros­per­ous economy.’’

Af­ter the ap­point­ment of 56 board direc­tors, in­clud­ing 10 chair po­si­tions, the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment said more than 50 per cent of the seats on catch­ment man­age­ment au­thor­ity boards were now held by women.

The new ap­point­ments also in­clude five Abo­rig­i­nal Vic­to­ri­ans in what Wa­ter Min­is­ter Lisa Neville cham­pi­oned as a great step towards re­flect­ing the com­mu­nity, views echoed by Ms Volk­er­ing.

‘‘It’s not just about get­ting fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion and meet­ing tar­gets, but right across gov­ern­ment en­sur­ing we are rep­re­sent­ing the com­mu­nity we serve and it is great to see a num­ber of indige­nous peo­ple ap­pointed across the state,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m thrilled and hum­bled and hon­oured by this priv­i­lege, I love this part of the state.’’

Ready to work . . . New Goul­burn Bro­ken Catch­ment Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity chair An­nie Volk­er­ing is among more than 50 new ap­pointees to CMA boards.

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