Annual General Meeting, Minutes 2015

Minutes of the Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group Incorporated


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


Motion carried.


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:


Jackie Glen

Mirinda Thorpe (by proxy)

Mike Clarke

Frank de Dood

Robert Pergl

Catherine Keil

Rosalinde Baxter


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.