Changing of the guard
Albury Conservation Company has a new chairperson
There was a significant changing of the guard at Albury Conservation Company’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday 22nd August 2019. David Sexton has handed over the baton of Chairperson to James Jenkins.
David is a Thurgoona resident and has been a community member of our Board since 2007. He held the position of Chair for 11 years, since 2008. David will continue his association with the company as Board Director.
James has been a Board Director and Public Officer of Albury Conservation Company since March 2007. For over 10 years until retiring in June 2019, James was the Director of the Community and Recreation at Albury City Council with duties including community development and services, children’s services, cultural services, the development of Murray Art Museum Albury, library and museum facilities, as well as parks, natural areas, recreation and leisure facilities.
James has significant local government and governance experience. He has also been a Director of Parks & Leisure Australia for over ten years; four of those as Finance Director. He has been Chairperson of the Wonga Wetlands Conservation Association and has recently joined the Board of the nationally-accredited Flying Fruit Fly Circus based in Albury/Wodonga.
James is passionate about integrating the social and cultural aspects of our lives with the natural and built environment. He also has a desire to see local natural and modified environments that are sustainable.
Thankyou David Sexton for a decade as Chairperson
David’s contribution to Albury Conservation Company as Chair can’t be overstated. He has provided outstanding leadership across all aspects of the organisation, including governance and financial management. He has also provided the company with incredible vision, passion and commitment of his time, energy and expertise.
He has been a strong advocate for engaging the Thurgoona community and key stakeholders in our activities that seek to protect the local environment and its threatened species. For example, he has convened and chaired a number of key stakeholder workshops aimed at encouraging discussion and collaboration on local threatened species conservation (e.g. Sloane’s Froglet, Squirrel Glider).
It was also David’s idea to engage the Thurgoona Men’s Shed in 2014 (at a time when the group was just emerging) to trial building nest boxes for Squirrel Gliders. Fast track to now, with our support the group has built over 600 quality nest boxes for Squirrel Gliders and other hollow-dependent fauna (e.g. birds, bats) for a range of clients in NSW and Victoria. The program has attracted significant media attention and has inspired similar programs locally and further afield – more recently a Swift Parrot nest box program in the ACT.
Previously, David was Board Member on the inaugural Victorian North East Catchment Management Authority and has also served as member and chair of various community committees of the NSW Murray Local Land Services. During the NSW Government Review of River Management Committees he chaired the Upper Murray & Billabong Creek Review teams as well as sitting on the Murray River Management Review committee. Under the Kennett Victorian Government restructure of Local Government David served as Chief Commissioner of the newly formed Towong Shire in the Upper Murray. In a similar restructure by the NSW Government he was Administrator of the newly formed Greater Hume Shire, which involved the amalgamation of the former shires of Hume, Culcairn and Holbrook.
David’s interest in biodiversity conservation was catalysed whilst farming at Bremer Bay in southern Western Australia in the 1960’s and 70’s where large-scale blanket land clearing was occurring with the subsequent loss of habitat, native species and the natural environment, coupled with soil degradation and erosion.
The Albury Conservation Company sincerely thanks David for his immense contribution as Chair and we are delighted that he is continuing his involvement. We also wish James the very best as our new Chair in what is an exciting period.
A word from our new Chairperson James Jenkins.
As the newly elected chair of Albury Conservation Company I am looking forward to leading the team to build on the strong conservation work undertaken by the board over the last 14 years. David Sexton as immediate past chairman has presided over a period of base-line environmental research, the commencement of environmental monitoring at over 65 critical sites, strong advocacy for the environment and improved income streams. With a strong basis in scientifically rigorous research Albury Conservation Company has established a strong basis for monitoring the ecological values of the Thurgoona area and surrounds.
Albury Conservation Company will be strengthening partnerships with interested individuals, organisations and government, continuing its long-term monitoring program, seeking to extend environmental monitoring to the broader Albury Wodonga region, continuing its advocacy for the local environment including the establishment of a citizen science project and seeking ways to ensure financial stability for the organisation.