OAN Board - Otway Agroforestry Network

Board Members

 

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President - Robert Marr is a retired Farmer and Business Owner with an interest in sustainable timber activities. He lives on the farm "Mawarra" at Timboon West. It has been leased to the same dairy enterprise for the past 32 years. Robert operated a family sheep farm for 25 years, running first cross and Romney ewes for prime lamb production, also a family cropping business at Darlington. In the 1990s, Robert with his wife Catherine, owned and operated a small manufacturing business in Cobden, making farm machinery which was distributed Australia wide. He is now able to pursue a passion and commitment to designing and making furniture from recycled and reclaimed timber. Every piece made has a story to tell.

 

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Co-ordinator and Public Officer - Andrew Stewart, Agricultural Scientist (B.Ag.Sci and Dip.Ed) and 4th generation Otway farmer ("Yan Yan Gurt West). His farm produces prime lambs, wool, beef, native flowers and various tree products from integrated, multipurpose agroforestry plantings. Andrew is a founding member of the Otway Agroforestry Network and the recipient of many Landcare and farm forestry awards, including the 2020 $50,000 Bob Hawke Landcare Award.

 

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Board Member - Rowan Reid, Forest Scientist (B.For.Sci and Masters For.Sci.), Otway landholder and tree grower for 35 years on his Bambra Agroforestry Farm and author of "Heartwood - the art and science of growing trees for conservation and profit". After leaving his full-time academic position at Melbourne University, Rowan is a fellow of the University of Melbourne (Agroforestry lecturer since 1991), managing director of the Australian Agroforestry Foundation. Rowan is the originator of the Australian Master Treegrower program. There have been more than 120 MTG courses delivered around Australia and about 50 overseas (Africa, Indonesia, Timor Leste and Vanuatu).

 

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Treasurer - Mike Robinson-Koss (Bachelor of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Dip Ed)) is the co-owner of Otway Greening Australian Plant Nursery, where they specialise in growing local species for rural landscapes. Mike is a founding member and past president of the Otway Agroforestry Network, a graduate of the first Master Treegrower course in 1996 and has helped deliver many Master Treegrower programs around Australia and overseas, including Uganda and Timor Leste.

 

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Vice President - Becky McCann (M.For.Ecosys.Sc., B.Sc(Bot)) grew up on the family dairy farm near Cobden, SW Victoria. She has worked across the NRM sector: Coordinator for the Heytesbury and District Landcare Network; executive positions on the Victorian Landcare Network, initiating a regular NRM radio segment and undertaking project officer work with the SA state government. Becky has recently returned to the family property to become the third generation to manage the land.

 

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Site Visit and Peer Group Mentor Program Co-ordinator - David Curry (Bachelor of Arts (Biogeography and Economics) and Masters Degree in Education) is a farmer and tree grower in the Pennyroyal Valley located in the Eastern Otway Ranges. The farm produces beef and various tree products from integrated, multipurpose agroforestry plantings. David has been a member of OAN for 24 years and has been co-ordinating the site visit and mentor program since 2007. He is a past President of the East Otway Landcare Group and long term member (18 years) of the Upper Barwon Landcare Network Executive Committee. David has worked for Greening Australia and Dairy Australia in NRM positions.

 

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Board Member - Claire Dennis has a degree in Agricultural Science and was in the first group to graduate as a Master Tree Grower (1996) and a Peer Group Mentor. Claire is part of a family farming partnership on the volcanic plains just north of Birregurra. The farm produces medium fine wool, prime lambs, beef cattle and crops of canola and wheat. She worked for 18 years with Greening Australia - helping farmers with tree growing and protection of remnant vegetation.

 

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Board Member - Ian Campbell has Bachelors and Masters Degrees of Agricultural Science and is a farmer at Deans Marsh, running beef cattle and sheep. He and his family have used tree planting and Whole Farm Planning to transform an overcleared and eroded farm into a sustainable and productive property. Ian has also worked professionally, as a sheep advisor, as a lecturer in Animal Production, and most recently as Manager of the Department of Agriculture in the Falkland Islands.

 

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Membership & Communications Officer - Deborah McSephney has degrees in Linguistics and Business Management. She lives in Pennyroyal in the foothills of the Otway Ranges. She and her husband manage a farm that produces grass fed beef and seasonal garlic. They became interested in agroforestry following a multi-year project to revegetate the creek and water courses running through the property. Deborah joined the OAN in 2018 and graduated from the 2019 Master Tree Growers course. Before retiring to the Otways, she was an executive manager with the ANZ bank and has extensive project management experience. She was a Board member of the Lorne Community Hospital from 2016-2019.