About Us

About HLN

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Holbrook Landcare Network (HLN) is a Not for Profit community network based in southern NSW, established in 1989. HLN is a vibrant rural organisation managing a range of agricultural and NRM projects to deliver information and support to our community, predominantly farmers. HLN supports farmers to achieve environmental care and improved management; the adoption of sustainable and productive agricultural practices and the support of innovation.

HLN achieves this in 3 key ways:

  • Knowledge transfer – education
  • Facilitator for engagement leading to practice and cultural change
  • Broker for funding and knowledge, for on-ground environmental works and R&D
Holbrook Landcare Network's Strategic Plan
HLN's Vision

HLN’s Vision: An economically and socially resilient agricultural community with a strong environmental ethic.

HLN’s Mission: Encourage, facilitate and support our rural community to achieve positive economic, environmental and social outcomes.

HLN’s Organisational Goal: An independent, regionally relevant, professional, vibrant network providing information and support to producers and communities to enable informed and evidence based decision making with a focus on the high rainfall, mixed farming zone of southern NSW.

Strategic goals chart 2013-16 – PDF 215Kb

Historical Dates
  • 1946/47 – Agitation to Government from Holbrook producers led to the formation of the soil conservation service.
  • 1950 – Informal network of rural producers met to discuss issues.
  • 1962 – Formed one of the first stand-alone rural advisory groups HADRAS. Farmers paid up front based on acres – 40 members.
  • 1970/80 – HADRAS replaced by HADRAG.
  • 1989 – Trees on Farms was formed.
  • NFF, Trees on Farms and HADRAG all met together Holbrook Landcare eventually replaced all
  • 2004 – Funding changes to the regional model and funding environment was difficult
  • 2008 – This year was a turning point for regrouping. Issues base became wider. Still maintain environmental activities and sustainable approach to land management but also focused on production issues. Leading to the array of projects we have today.Historic Dates
Landcare Network have been the recipient of many awards in recognition of the work its members have done in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management including:

  • 1999 – NSW Landcare Awards – Alcoa Landcare Community Group Gold Award – Winner
  • 2000 – National Landcare Awards – Alcoa Landcare Community Group Gold Award – Winner
  • 2001 – NSW Landcare Awards – State Gold Winner for the Upper Billabong Land and Water Management Plan
  • 2001 – NSW Landcare Awards – BHP Billiton Landcare Research Award – State Gold Winner
  • 2002 – National Landcare Awards White Pages Landcare Catchment Award – State Gold Winner
  • 2002 – Country Energy Tidy towns Award Wildlife Corridors and Conservation Award – Winner Rebirding Project
  • 2006 – National Landcare Awards – Finalist
  • 2007 – Tidy Towns Award Wildlife Corridors and Conservation Award – Ten Mile Creek Corridor of Green – Winner
  • 2010 – Peabody Environment and Landcare Award – Semi finalist
  • 2010 – The NSW Land and Property Management Authority Community of the Year award – Nominee
  • 2010 – National Landcare Awards Australian Government Local Landcare Facilitator/Coordinator Award – Finalist Chris Cumming HLN EO
  • 2011 – Murray CMA Millewa Awards for Natural Resource Management – Finalist
  • 2015 – Fairfax Media Landcare Community Group Award – Winner
  • 2017 – Skillset Host of the Year for Green Army – Winner
  • Achievements

Board Members

Sarah Trescowthick -

Sarah has 35 years’ experience working as a journalist and in public relations. Sarah grew up on a farm in the Midlands of Tasmania and left the island state to take up a cadetship with The Age newspaper in Melbourne and study Journalism (part-time) at RMIT. After five years, Sarah left The Age to live in the UK for almost five years and work for News Corporation publications in London, a rural magazine and Radio Humberside in the north of England, and Guerba (travel writing in Africa). Upon returning to Australia, she has worked for the Australian Wheat Board, Charles Sturt University, Albury City Council, Wodonga TAFE, and from 1995-2013 the Forestry Corporation of NSW and NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI). While lecturing in media at Wodonga TAFE, Sarah developed a media training course, which she has conducted for numerous businesses, as well as being the base for media training for the Forestry Corporation and NSW DPI. Sarah now works as a media consultant as well as helping her husband Tim to run a mixed-enterprise farm of cropping, fat lambs and beef cattle near Holbrook.

Tony Nott - Vice Chair

Tony has a BSc degree from Adelaide University, a BA (Photography) from Victoria College and an MA (Fine Arts) from the University of Sydney. Tony has worked as a Geophysicist on seismic crews as Senior Observer, both terrestrial and marine in China, SE Asia, UK, USA and Australia. This involved the collection and quality of data, maintenance of equipment, training and supervision of up to 20 staff and workers.  Tony has also worked as a freelance photographer and film maker and taught visual communication and photography, including a period as Senior Lecturer in Photography running the BA Photography course at Charles Sturt University. Tony has spent the last 5 years as a grazier in Bowna NSW. He has been actively involved in numerous community groups including as Chair of Evergraze Regional Group, President of Fowlers/Wagra Landcare Group, Treasurer of the Bowna Fire Brigade and part of the Murray CMA Community Advisory Group.

Dougald Frederick - Company Secretary

Dougald is a semi- retired Chartered Accountant who lives on a 85 hectare property at Ettamogah. Now a sole practitioner he was previously a partner in KPMG having worked in Melbourne, London, Sydney and Port Moresby prior to transferring to Albury in 1988. Having been raised on a dry land sheep/beef property at Caniambo (between Benalla and Shepparton) he has continued his interest in agriculture throughout his working life. Dougald is involved in a number of local community organisations including Hot House Theatre, Albury Wodonga Regional Art Foundation and Parklands Albury Wodonga Public Fund. He has a keen interest in Landcare and is a passionate bird watcher.

Angela Avery - Director

Ms Avery has worked in R&D related to pasture agronomy and grazing management across a range of industries. She was the national leader of the EverGraze project which had a focus on improving productivity and sustainability outcomes for the high rainfall grazing zone. Angela also led research funded by the Murray Darling Basin Commission that assessed the environmental, economic and social sustainability of current land management practices in three catchments across the Basin: Goulburn Broken (Vic), Billabong Creek (NSW) and Condamine (QLD). She also is the author of Pastures for Horses a Winning Resource. Angela is the Centre Director for the Red Meat Innovation Centre led from Hamilton and manages a research group in the Future Farming Systems Research Division (DPI Victoria). This group has 110 scientists across research disciples including lamb production science, soil science, hydrology, hydrogeology, catchment modelling, farming system economics and spatial information. She is also involved in the development of Victoria’s red meat RD&E program.

Helen Burns - Director

Helen has a BSc in Ag (Hons) degree from the University of New England. Helen has recently been appointed as one of NSW DPI’s Pasture Development Officers. She has a background in agronomy and soil science and knowledge of mixed farming and livestock systems in the low to high rainfall zones of NSW with experience in both development and extension, working closely with producers, producer groups, public and private sector advisors, researchers and RDCs. More recently Helen has completed an MLA-funded scoping study to assess and benchmark phosphorus nutrient efficiency and industry management practices in southern Australia, which included consultation with individual producers, key producer groups, state agencies, research organisations, agribusiness and private consultants and the fertiliser industry. Helen believes there is considerable opportunity to revisit and build on past RD&E investment in grazing production systems and present this in a modern economic, environmental and social context to next generation producers and advisors. This aligns with the approach NSW DPI has developed through Landscan and Prograze and will include further development of the Five Easy Steps phosphorus program piloted with Holbrook Landcare members.

Colin Geddes - Chair

Colin Geddes is a third generation farmer at Holbrook.

Sandy Middleton - Director

Sandy Middleton is a farmer in the Mannus Valley and a private agronomist across the region.

Hamish Paton - Director
Hamish Paton

Hamish Paton has a Bachelor of Business (Agricultural Commerce) and an Associate Diploma in Farm Management. Post University Hamish spent 4 years working for the Commonwealth Development Bank as an Analyst/Valuer and spent 3 years working as a Rural Property Valuer. Hamish commenced his farming with the purchase of a 1650 acre property at Bidgeemia in 1996 and in 2000 took over the management of his family properties in the Morven and Mountain Creek districts. Hamish, together with his wife Abby and daughter Indi, currently grow a range of crops including dual purpose wheat, barley canola, lentils and vetch. Hamish is particularly enthusiastic about pulse crops and the vital role they play in sustainable farming systems.