The Mulloon Institute  -  Enews - September 2018

From the Chairman, The Mulloon Institute

"August" August finished with a message to look out for an Australian Story episode to be broadcast in early October. This screening has now been moved to later in October due to various competing stories (the sad death of Red Symons son, and the Invictus Games)Such is the fickle world of the media. 

All things going well, the show should now be screened on Monday 29 October at 8pm 
on ABC TV, hopefully you will be able to tune in. It will also be streamed live on the Australian Story Facebook page and  will be available afterwards on  the  ABC website,   ABC iView Youtube, and  The Mulloon Institute website .

Hopefully nothing else comes up!  Meanwhile, please enjoy my  "Sedulous" September update.

An Australian Story

So what will this episode be all about and is my monthly update title relevant? Well hopefully it will be relevant by demonstrating how all of us at The Mulloon Institute (TMI), Mulloon Creek Natural Farms (MCNF) and Mulloon Consulting Contracting & Certifying (MCCC) are "working hard and steadily; and diligent and persistent" or as the title says "sedulous".
While I would never claim to be able to predict exactly what any media story might or might not say, the impetus for the ABC to focus on our recently passed founder, Tony Coote AM, and The Mulloon Institute was the current drought situation. You may recall that Australian Story has previously run two episodes focused on the work of Peter Andrews OAM and his landscape rehydration work that greatly improves resilience to drought.
So given the first Australian Story ran over ten years ago, the ABC wondered why his work had not become more mainstream (no pun intended on my "Mainstream" May update earlier this year). Their research took them to Mulloon and particularly Tony's adoption of Peter's work and by extension Tony's founding of TMI and its implementation on the Mulloon Catchment as well as elsewhere. It so happened that the timing of the ABC's research and filming came shortly after we lost Tony so if they get the story correct it should provide a wonderful tribute to his vision and remarkable legacy.

Ready to meet with the Prime Minister
Political Persuasions

The Australian Story feature might also have another aspect to it and that relates to government drought policy and drought response. The arrival of the ABC camera crew to Mulloon Creek also happened to coincide with the expected visit by the Prime Minister, Agriculture Minister and Assistant Environment Minister I reported on in last month's update. When the leadership change interfered with that visit the government's apparent interest in our work was of obvious interest to Australian Story. 
I had thought a re-organised visit by the new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, along with David Littleproud and Melissa Price would have occurred by now given the PM's pronouncement that drought was his "number one priority" but unfortunately not. If it had happened I'm sure it would have featured in the upcoming story. It still may, but clearly won't be in the proactive way it could have. I remain in contact as it is critical the government see first-hand how farmers can be better prepared for the next drought event.

Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project

So shifting from media and politics back to the "sedulous" work of our teams encompassing TMI, MCCC and MCNF. For example, Peter Hazell's "diligent & persistent" work resulted in two approvals from the Natural Resources Access Regulator (previously the NSW Office of Water) for Controlled Activity Applications covering the next two properties (Mulloon and Westview) in our Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP). The timing of the approvals was good as Peter is currently organizing on-ground works to start in mid-October. The final two applications, and the two largest, covering the properties Palerang and Duralla are well progressed and are scheduled to be lodged later this year. The MCLRP is certainly "steadily" making great progress.

Valuing volunteers

Being a charity and a not-for-profit, volunteers have always been an important part of our organization. With more on-ground works coming up this spring in the Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project we are seeking hands-on volunteers to help for one or more days between 15 October and 1 December 2018. Groups and individuals are encouraged to take part and its wonderful that we are getting plenty of interst.  Find out more.

Carolyn Hall from MCCC
Mulloon Consulting, Contracting & Certifying

Carolyn Hall and Cam Wilson have been very "sedulous" on  MCCC activities in various parts of the country completing farm plans such as for  The Scots College's Bannockburn property on south coast NSW and assisting with an application to the ACT Government to help fund repair and rehydration works at the Tidbinbilla property near Canberra.  We are looking forward to attending the opening of Scots' campus at Bannockburn in October and are also anticipating the visit to Mulloon Creek by the NQ Dry Tropics delegation from Townsville.

ANU students conducting landscape function analysis

University visits

Our relationship with our university partners is a key aspect of our living laboratory at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms. Over the past couple of months Research Coordinator Luke Peel  has been "diligent & persistent" in guiding the work of French intern and university student Fran├žois Villain   who chose TMI and the MCLRP to further his studies in Agricultural Engineering.

Luke also coordinated another three day visit by students from the 
Australian National University 's Fenner School of Environment and Society  who were trained in monitoring landscape processes using Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) and Ephemeral Drainage Line assessments. Additionally, they learnt about soil properties (physical, chemical and biological), geology and geomorphological process, and how the hydrological cycle operates in the landscape. Students then took part in a practical landscape restoration activity, using LFA to monitor the immediate effect and future monitoring to see how successful their work was. They then conducted LFA on a neighbouring Mulloon property and installed brushwork to help repair damage from a sheep scald.

Next month we will be hosting around 40 Hydro-geology and Applied Ecology students from the
University of Canberra  who will be learning about different aspects  soil, vegetation, geology, hydrology and overall landscape processes. 

New dates for Natural Sequence Farming training

12-15 November 2018 - a couple of spots are still available.
11-14 March 2019 - bookings now open. Call Peter on 0427 075 397.

With NSF training
now recognised as a pre-approved course with the NSW Rural Assistance Authority , eligible NSW farmers and primary producers can apply for reimbursement of up to 50% of course costs. In other states, please check with your local catchment management authority for available funding.
Training manuals

The updated and expanded version of our training guide -  Landscape Rehydration: Theory & Practice  - has now arrived in the office! We have been receiving great feedback on the guide which is designed to accompany the  Natural Sequence Farming course run with  Tarwyn Park Training .

2018 Banksia Sustainability Awards

Kelly Thorburn and the team have "worked hard and steadily" on an application for this year's Banksia Awards which is the 30th anniversary making them the longest-running sustainability awards in the world. This year the awards have been aligned with the United Nation's 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to elevate the awards' profile and spotlight Australia's contribution to the global push for peaceful, healthier and more prosperous communities and the end to environmental degradation. It is the highest sustainability honour in Australia and we were thrilled to receive the great news that we are finalists in the not-for-profit category. The awards ceremony will take place in Melbourne on 29 November.
Tony's celebrations

Thank you to the many people that contacted us following the passing of Tony Coote and to the hundreds of people that attended the celebrations in Sydney and in the barn at the Home Farm on 9 September. It was a special day and I know Toni and Tony's daughters and their families were overwhelmed with the wonderful support they received and continue to receive. 

A special heartfelt thank you from me for all your kind thoughts and future commitments to growing Tony's incredible legacy.


Gary Nairn AO
The Mulloon Institute, Chairman


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