Minutes of the Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group Incorporated
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Birdsland Environment Centre
3pm. 30th August, 2015
The president, Vicki Boyle, welcomed the assembled guests and extended a particularly warm welcome to the guest speaker, Anne Fitzpatrick.
Apologies were noted from Anne Elizabeth, Merlin Brown and Mirinda Thorpe.
Anne explained that she is the part-time facilitator of the Yarra Ranges Landcare Network of which, with 9 other Landcare Groups, SDLG is a member but was addressing the AGM in her capacity as a volunteer with the Eltham Copper Butterfly Project.
Anne’s involvement with this special project arose when she was employed by Greening Australia, one of the project partners along with Eltham East Primary School where Anne’s children were students, Nilimbik Council and the Communities for Nature Program. This small butterfly was only discovered in 1930 then thought to have gone extinct until it was rediscovered in Eltham in 1986 on a small pocket of public land, prompting interest from entomologists and the local community.
The Eltham Copper Butterfly has a fascinating ecology which is highly specialised and involves a species of ant called the Notoncos ant. The butterfly only breeds and feeds on one plant, the lovely sweet bursaria, Bursaria spinosa. It lays its eggs on the bursaria after the plant has flowered in summer. The ants collect the eggs and store them in their burrows under the plant. The eggs pupate, turning into caterpillars which emerge from the ant nest at night to feed on the plant, guarded from predators by the ants. The ants in turn, feed off a sugary caterpillar exudate, highlighting the complexity of relationships in the natural world. This is a fascinating and complex interdependency between three species and a fourth – we humans.
Though the butterfly has since been found in several sites apart from those in Nilimbik, the school has made this little butterfly their own, hosting an annual Eltham Copper Butterfly Festival, creating butterfly artworks, participating in ecological surveys and habitat planting projects. They even have their own Copper Butterfly song which will be released on CD.
The project is in its fourth and final year of funding which has seen several sites in Nilimbik protected in perpetuity for the butterfly’s survival. It has also demonstrated the value of community partnerships in environmental management and given this generation of students from Eltham East Primary School an opportunity to participate in a successful citizen science project which will be forever connected to their school community.
Anne’s well illustrated presentation revealed her obvious delight in being part this important project and we thanked her for her generosity in sharing it with us. Anne was presented with flowers and a book by Friends of Sherbrooke Forest, “Sherbrooke Forest, its Flora and History’ transported in one of our screen printed calico platypus bags. Anne’s presentation finished at 3-45 pm.
President, Vicki Boyle presented her report and let the meeting know that Jenny Saulwick, Katherine Rainbow and Navila Valdes were stepping down from the committee.
Treasurer, Michael Clarke, presented his finance report.
Mike said he was standing down as treasurer after 4 years but would stay on the committee. He had engaged a book-keeper to assist the incoming treasurer with the many grants SDLG managed. He hoped the accounting systems he had developed would stand the group in good stead and that our finances would be less complicated now as we no longer auspiced the Landcare facilitator account for the Southern Ranges Environment Alliance. (SREA).
Questions were then taken from the floor and explanations given and accepted.
Motion: that the 2015 finance report be received
Moved by Mike Clarke
Seconded by Vicki Boyle
The outgoing president then requested SDLG member, Dianne Atkinson, conduct the formal business of the Annual General Meeting. Dianne declared a spill of all committee positions and called for nominations for the positions of:
President Darcy Duggan Nominated by Vicki Boyle Seconded by Ros Baxter
Darcy Duggan was duly elected president
Vice President Vicki Boyle Nominated by Mike Clarke Seconded by Frank do Dood
Vicki Boyle was duly elected vice president
Treasurer Helen Pilcher Nominated by Vicki Boyle Seconded by Darcy Duggan
Helen Pilcher was duly elected treasurer
Secretary Vicki Boyle Nominated by Jackie Glen Seconded by Ian Rainbow
Vicki Boyle was duly elected as secretary
General Committee Members:
Mirinda Thorpe (by proxy)
Frank de Dood
Dianne offered congratulations to all concerned and handed the meeting over to the new president, Darcy Duggan who thanked Dianne for her kind contribution to the proceedings. Darcy said he looked forward to a productive year of working towards strategic and integrated environmental management outcomes which would benefit local bio-diversity and community alike.
Meeting closed at 4pm for refreshments.