Change is in the Air

Anne Reeves, 
President, National Parks Association of NSW

Change is in the air. Change is inherent in life at all levels, from the springing of new life after chill winter to the way in which we engage with the natural world.

In this, our sixtieth anniversary year, we have much to celebrate. Over the years the National Parks Association has worked to better safeguard and appreciate our wild places in many ways, behind the scenes and upfront, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

As we move into the future we are delighted to welcome Alix Goodwin as our new Chief Executive Officer.  Alix brings with her a wealth of senior management experience in the NSW public service, as well as a deep understanding of the not-for-profit sector through her active involvement in the Australian Plants Society NSW.

Alix follows in the footsteps of Kevin Evans, who has now moved on to explore new challenges as he moves to the Bellinger Valley after seven and a half years in the role. Thank you Kevin for the very significant contribution you have made to the life of Association.  There have been some heady ups and downs in this time, from the heady days of the No Hunting in National Parks campaign, through to consolidation of links with the Great Eastern Ranges initiatives, marine and coastal conservation proposals and evolution of new approaches to forest conservation.  And all the while fostering a positive approach through recruitment of an outstanding team of paid staff, interns and volunteers in the Sydney Office and our wider family of members and supporters across the state.  We look forward to keeping in touch as Kevin links up with members in the Coffs Harbour Branch area.

The establishment of a professional stand alone government agency responsible for administering and expanding the NSW national parks system was a prime focus in our first decade, culminating in the passing of the National Parks & Wildlife Service Act in 1967. NPA has been invited, and looks forward to participating in events at Audley and locations around the State being organised by NPWS to mark their fifty year milestone. At this time of increasing pressures due to climate change and landscape fragmentation it is more important than ever to support the capacity to maintain and grow the integrity of the NSW national park system.

Articles in this issue reflect the changing circumstances as we continue to inform and connect people with nature through our activities and evidence based advocacy as well as documenting some of the challenges to be faced, notably roll out of new state biodiversity laws, and the unfolding saga of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Promises to deliver the Plan on time and in full ring hollow unless effective rules and compliance requirements are not only adopted but effectively and openly implemented.   It is in the interests of all Australians to have faith in our governance arrangements and to deliver equitable outcomes that sustain our communities and the natural systems on which we depend for the long term.

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