Meet some DPA members

James Garriock, president

How long have you been involved in the parklands?
I moved to Alphington all the way from Fairfield back in 2012. It was only when I became a regular visitor that I stopped taking the Parklands for granted. I joined the Committee and was asked to be President in 2015. This also means that I'm a member of the Darebin Creek Management Committee. The DCMC is the organisation that the councils give money to in order to manage the creek holistically, and it has both council and community representatives. 
What is your role and what does it entail?
My first task was to consult on the future of the plan which defines the themes and activities the DPA will be involved in for the following three years. It has three pillars, environmental, social and organisational. At the moment I spend most time meeting stakeholders (councils, Vicroads, Melbourne Water etc) and advocating for the Parklands than anything else. There's a lot going on.
What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?
Knowing that my kids are having real Huckleberry Finn moments in nature thanks to those who came before us.
What are your interests or hobbies?
I'm a keen rider, dog walker and nature lover. Fostering mutual respect among these groups is important to me.  

Carina Watson,  vice-president

How long have you been involved in the parklands?
I moved to Alphington with my partner and 3 sons in 2006.  We felt incredibly lucky to buy a house backing onto the parklands and almost immediately became involved with the DPA.

What is your role and what does it entail?
I see my role as ensuring that the DPA continues to fulfil its mission of conserving and improving the parklands as a nature reserve. We have some great initiatives underway to protect and encourage native flora and fauna, all guided by our action and activities plans.   I also look after the DPA Facebook page.  I have previously been the DPA secretary and before that coordinated the Junior Ranger Program and am particularly interested in the parklands as a place to learn about nature informally and formally.  I am also helping the DPA with a project to replace the existing parklands buildings with a purpose built Environmental Education Centre.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?
I love so many things about the parklands but I particularly draw inspiration from the amazing restoration of nature that has occurred which is so evident when you look at photos of the wasteland that once existed here.

What are your other interests or hobbies?
Unsurprisingly my hobbies include gardening, cooking, bush walking and getting outdoors.
 

Ian McMaster, Newspaper Editor

How long have you been involved in the parklands?

I lived in Northcote in the 1980s and used the parklands regularly and participated in tree planting days. In 1987 we moved to Ivanhoe but still close to the parklands. For many years we would pick mulberries, fly kites and ride our bikes with our children.

What is your role and what does it entail?

I am responsible for producing the newsletter and I have a keen interest in the revegetation of the park. I work with other volunteers every Thursday morning planting and weeding under the guidance of the rangers.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?

My favourite part is downstream from Clifton Bridge. One day we planted some grasses along the creek. It was a beautiful autumn day –the creek was crystal clear [well almost] and the birds were out –a memorable day!

What are your interests or hobbies?

I like cycling, fishing, gardening and most of all bushwalking.

Peter Williams, Treasurer and Membership

How long have you been involved in the parklands?

I was born in England and after many years of travelling to interesting countries in between jobs I finally came to Australia, met my future wife Lynn and settled down in Melbourne.  We now live near the Darebin Parklands, considered by our family to be one of Melbourne’s best urban bushland reserves and enjoy taking our overseas visitors there. We believe it is these kind of experiences of Melbourne that they treasure the most. I have been on the committee of the Darebin Parklands Association for over a year.

What is your role and what does it entail?

I look after the finances and process memberships. Oh yes, I also look after the DPA website.

What are your interests or hobbies?

When I get the chance, I enjoy walking and cycling, doing crosswords and our family outings.  And yes, these are often to the Parklands!

Maree Trentin - Junior Ranger Co-ordinator

 

 

What is your role and what does it entail?

 I moved to Ivanhoe with my family in 2007. My background is in Environmental Science Education and I am involved in co-ordinating the various Junior Ranger Activities. If anyone has any skills or resources to support or conduct an activity for the Junior Rangers I would be very happy to utilise your expertise – new activities are always well received. 

Ever since arriving we have appreciated and utilised the beautiful natural environs of the Darebin Parklands. We are so grateful for the insight and perseverance that the founding members invested to create this natural urban oasis for local resident’s body mind and soul and of course the name fauna and flora.

How long have you been involved in the parklands?

Our first involvement with the DPA was through the Junior Rangers and member activities which improved the Parklands.  I strongly believe that it is important for children to have experiences and connections with nature to enhance many aspects of their development and well-being and the literature supports this.  I am thrilled that the Darebin Parklands now has three bush kinder programs for youngsters, many of whom are now growing up in an increasingly crammed urban and built-up environment, where their connection with the natural world may be limited to pot plants (not even a courtyard any more!).  Hence the increasing importance of the Parklands today.

What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?
My favourite part of the Parklands is hard to define, I simply like following the creek and listening to the water flowing. I walk and ride along the bike track several time each week, and enjoy seeing other utilising the outdoor spaces in a wide variety of ways. 

What are your interests or hobbies?
I love gardening and getting out of the City into the bush. Other than that, family, friends and food, preferably together.

Mel Turnbull - Committee Member

How long have you been involved in the Parklands?

I have been a visitor regularly since 2015.

What is your role and what does it entail?

I am a committee member and will be helping at events and with the Junior Ranger program.

What is your favourite part of the Parklands or best Parklands moment?

You can often spot me with a group learning about "fox walking" and "owl eyes" or with a bunch of kids wandering about blindfolded or hiding and playing "eagle eye" or sitting silently listening to the birds.  I work as a nature connection mentor and love the Parklands for its diversity of spaces for sparking a love of nature for kids and adults alike.  I enjoy seeing the Parklands through the eyes of kids, the details they spot and the questions they ask.  I am so grateful for those who have come before us, who had the vision to care for this place that is now such a gem.  My most memorable moment was being visited by a tiger snake while watching turtles during a sit spot at the wetlands.

What are your interests or hobbies?

Gardening, bush walking, bushcraft, singing, practicing circus tricks and playing board games with my stepson.

Andrew Mellor - Committee Member

How long have you been involved in the parklands?
I live in Rosanna but occasionally walk or cycle to the Darebin Creek Trail and then downstream towards the Parklands.  I have been working for Melbourne Water for the past 12 years in their Waterways and Land Group and have had many roles that involve improvements and enhancements to the Darebin Creek catchment.
What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?
The Darebin Creek is my favourite part.
What are your interests or hobbies?
I like cycling, fitness, gardening, food and wine. My family and friends are a big part of my life.

More  member profiles coming soon!