It is with profound sadness that I write on behalf of the QWaLC Board and staff about the loss of our Chair and friend, Geoff Elliot on the 26th February 2021. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. Geoff was a longstanding and proud landholder and really loved his property “Verona”. He held a great passion in caring for and restoring our land and waterways, particularly in rural and remote areas of Queensland. His care and respect for his fellow landholders was always evident, first and foremost in his endeavours as part of the Landcare movement generally, and in his role as representative QWaLC Chair and Director for the Queensland Murray-Darling region.
In his role as Chair, Geoff worked closely with members of Government (both State and Federal), the National Landcare Network, Landcare Australia, NRM Regions Queensland, NRM Regions Australia, Global Landcare and many other organisations that collectively contribute to natural resource management across our State and Nation. Geoff was well respected in all of these circles and will be missed. Geoff never tired in his efforts to give voice to QWaLC’s 400+ volunteer member groups, especially those west of the Great Divide, nor in his leadership of QWaLC since his appointment as Chair in 2015. His driving passion was to see a Community Landcare Coordinator program put in place to support volunteer groups across Queensland. It is a great regret that he did not live to see his efforts in this area rewarded. The QWaLC Board and I will continue to pursue gaining increased recognition, support and resourcing for the exceptional work volunteers and members undertake across Queensland. I will do my best to continue to lead QWaLC’s Board and support our members in a manner that Geoff would be proud of. As such, I look forward to working with our member groups in the year ahead.
By Mary-Lou Gittins, OAM Incumbent Chair Queensland Water and Land Carers