Victorian Landcare Magazine - Summer 2019, Issue 74

Q&A with Bass Coast Landcare leader Kellie Nichols

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Above: A view from the sea – Kellie Nichols on the ferry to French Island.

By Rosemary Scott-Thompson

Name:

Bass Coast Landcare Network

For more information about the subject of this story

Name:
Bass Coast Landcare Network
Website:
www.basscoastlandcare.org.au

Kellie Nichols is the Executive Officer of Bass Coast Landcare Network (BCLN). She started working in Landcare in 2002 and is known locally as a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm.

Kellie Nichols is the Executive Officer of Bass Coast Landcare Network (BCLN). She started working in Landcare in 2002 and is known locally as a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm.

Kellie leads a team of 33 people in a large and flourishing network, successfully juggling the needs of her growing family and her commitment to her work and the environment. I asked Kellie about her role and what inspires her.

Q. What was your inspiration to study environmental science?

“The songs of Midnight Oil. I loved being outside and riding my horse through the bush from my parents’ training stables and spending time with my grandfather who was a farmer. My biology teacher at school, Mr Brown, was also inspirational.”

Q. How did university direct your future employment?

“I loved the various jobs I had with DELWP when I left university after my honours year. They involved fire management and ecology, emergency response and developing the fire web, which was very exciting. Family brought me to Phillip Island and I began work with the Bass Coast Shire Council that eventually developed into the role I have now and the formation of the BCLN.”

Q. What are the best aspects of working with BCLN?

“The people. Every day I am inspired by the people I work with, the amazing volunteers, and the community connections that drive such a thriving environment. Every day is different. I love being part of making a difference locally and I enjoy mixing with the BCLN corporate partners too. With ten member Landcare groups there is a diversity of talented and committed people to call on and work with. I also like staying connected with my own Landcare group, Australian Landcare International, and other groups that enrich my work.

“My husband and I both work fulltime and we have two school-aged children, so the flexibility of being able to work from home sometimes and involve the children in Landcare activities helps us juggle the work/life balance.

“I want to keep extending my knowledge so I’m continuing to study. An MBA in the area of social impact is next. This year I also completed the Gippsland Leadership Program. It was a fantastic experience.”

Q. What are the most challenging aspects of your role?

Funding is the greatest challenge. BCLN has been very successful so it is challenging to maintain that level of success and sometimes frustrating when we can’t find the right funds for amazing projects. It is also a challenge to make sure that the funds don’t drive or dictate the projects and we continue to be true to our strategic plans for the community.

“Staff and volunteers need a level of security and I feel a responsibility to ensure that we continue to grow, or at least maintain BCLN’s ability to deliver environmental works into the future.”

Rosemary Scott-Thompson is an Education Officer with BCLN. For more information go to www.basscoastlandcare.org.au

Above:

Explore other articles about

Community Group management


By Rosemary Scott-Thompson

Name:

Bass Coast Landcare Network

For more information about the subject of this story

Name:
Bass Coast Landcare Network
Website:
www.basscoastlandcare.org.au