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.  

Mark Creamer, vice president

How long have you been involved in the parklands?
We moved to the area about 17 years ago and I’ve been a regular user of the park ever since. I feel very privileged to have such an outstanding natural resource on my doorstep. We have a one year old Labrador-Spaniel cross (Saffy), so I’m in the park even more often these days (observing the “on-lead” signs, of course).
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. We work closely with the rangers and the Darebin Creek Management Committee to achieve that mission. The great work done by DPA is only possible because of people like you – volunteers who give their time to caring for this beautiful parkland.
What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?
I love going to the park at different times of day – if I can summon the energy to get out of bed, early mornings are my favourite. Walking alongside the creek, especially after some rain, is a great experience.
What are your interests or hobbies?
Getting some regular exercise is good for body and soul, so I try to do something most days – my favourite is cycling. I’m very keen on music, play a bit of guitar (badly) and sing with the local community choir – the world famous Alphingtones.

Carina Watson, secretary

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 am the current secretary of the DPA which involves organising meetings, managing correspondence and ensuring we abide by the rules for an incorporated association.  I also look after the DPA Facebook page.  I have previously 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, committee member

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!

Charmaine Connan

How long have you been involved in the parklands?
I have been involved with the parklands for many years. I work in the Fairfield area and I enjoy heading to the park for a walk on warm afternoons.

I volunteered to assist with the DPA archive which was established at the end of 2012.

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

I'm a big fan of The Nest installation; and going for walks in the park, enjoying the sounds of the river and the birds.

What are your interests of hobbies?

I love travel, reading science fiction, learning French, playing ukulele, bush walking, cooking, to name a few.

Louise Keene

How long have you been involved in the parklands?
I have been walking with children, friends and dogs in the Parklands for around 25 years. Over the years I have seen the great improvements and felt I wanted to make a contribution. I have also been involved with the DPA committee.
What is your favourite part of the parklands or best parklands moment?
I like the walking through the bushy area along the creek. Its lovely in different lights, and I like looking at progress in the plantings.
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.

More  member profiles coming soon!