Chair's statement

This year has been one of the biggest on record for studies and on ground works for Healthy Land and Water, despite the many challenges the year has brought. The breadth and impact of our portfolio continues to strengthen, and Healthy Land and Water has continued to be successful in securing funding for projects that will have a lasting impact for the region.

"One of the unexpected side effects bought about by COVID-19 has been a renewed focus by South East Queenslanders on their local environs. The devastation of the bushfires followed closely by the impact of COVID-19 appears to have refocused people on the importance of their ‘backyard’."

- Stephen Robertson, Healthy Land and Water, Chair

As the COVID restrictions started to lift, there have been reports of South East Queenslanders flocking to their natural attractions.

The increase in recognition of the importance of these areas bodes well for being able to build on this connection and inspire greater community involvement and action in protecting and enhancing their local natural assets.

It is not only COVID that has been reshaping how we work. Times are changing and what has worked for us in the past is now being reimagined to extend the appeal of our work to a broader audience - an audience who receives their information very differently. We are focused on coming up with new ways to integrate and communicate our work.

Our team has been working on all ends of the spectrum to ensure we can deliver for the environment and community.

Our relationships with key stakeholders have been a key focus during the year. We’ve put a concerted effort into ramping up discussions about our projects that are critical to the region with the people and organisations who can help make real change happen. We’ve also been regularly touching base with our Local, State and Federal Government representatives on upcoming opportunities to partner with us on collaborative projects which deliver on the ground change for South East Queensland.

We continue to have excellent working relationships with the environment and agricultural sectors and the business and industry sectors. It is important to leverage the work, the skills and the funding across these groups to accelerate change for our region.  

On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to announce the creation of a new strategic funding initiative, the Community Natural Asset Investment Reserve. This will allow the delivery of key high-impact projects which may not have had adequate external funding sources of their own. The Board will be playing a key role in determining the projects and activities to be funded through this fund.

"What we’ve achieved throughout the year has been made possible by the hard work and dedication of our CEO and the team at Healthy Land and Water. When referring to our team, I’m referring not just to our highly skilled and committed staff, but also the active network of members we collaborate with to ensure our natural resource assets in South East Queensland are well managed."

- Stephen Robertson, Healthy Land and Water, Chair

Thank you also to the Board of Directors, whom I am delighted to have the privilege of working with. The commitment and passion of our Board can be clearly shown in the strong direction and leadership of natural resource management for the region.

I would like to close by recognising the financial support of our funding providers which makes our work possible, and I sincerely thank them for their ongoing commitment. As the strong population growth in the South East corner brings a raft of additional pressures, enduring investment will be ever more crucial in designing and managing healthy and liveable environments.

COVID and doing things differently

2020 has been a challenging time for many organisations and communities considering the COVID-19 pandemic. For Healthy Land and Water this has been unprecedented and created a lot of unexpected uncertainty and changes to how we conduct business. Despite these challenges Healthy Land and Water has continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and we have been fortunate to have staff that have been highly flexible and adaptable to these rapidly changing circumstances.

Work during the pandemic has also required much adaptability from our delivery partners and funding providers – the spirit of cooperation during this time has been fundamental to ensuring we continue to make gains in protecting and enhancing the environments of South East Queensland.

Along the way we have learnt many lessons that have informed how we do business differently, whether it be innovative approaches to workshops and field trips or how we network with stakeholders across the globe, many of these practices are sure to put us in good stead for the future and further strengthen our organisation’s capabilities.