Landcare Voices: 16th Interview Available!

Bob Carraill gives a wonderful account of his growing up on farms in the Adelaide Hills, his formal agricultural studies, then his opportunity to take up a SA Department of Agriculture Cadetship which led to various Departmental roles in different regional offices - livestock, soil conservation and extension officer amongst them.

It was in 1963 and recently married to Andrea they decided to move to Victoria to take up an offer Bob had been recruited to, to lead the Vic Department of Agriculture Beef Services Section. Through many Government reshuffles Bob was appointed to other leadership positions in Industry Services and Salinity sections.

Feeling the next Gov Departmental reshuffle to Policy was taking him away too far from direct contact with landholders and having heard of a similarly named position called Director of Policy at the VFF, but a position much more aligned with the way decisions were made in the VFF General Council which had farmer representatives, Bob could see he would be using his Ag Extension and Communications skills and operating once again in a much more direct way with farmers.

Bob joined the VFF in May 1987 and came in when Landcare had started, when it was a time of active competition and conflict regarding Softwood Plantations on farms, issues of clearing of native vegetation and the allocation of water resources. Social and technological change was everywhere.

Bob’s treasure trove of wisdom, acknowledgement of others in Government Departments and those leading farmers around the State, along with his collection of records kept from his era with the VFF including his move from Policy to Landcare is where his recollections become an archive of information for the Oral History Project.

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