Dick Howarth Memorial Award winner

Our Dick Howarth Memorial life membership winner for 2017 is

Suzanne Wightman.  Congratulations, Suzanne on a well deserved win.

About Dick Howarth

Dick and Maree Howarth were “tree-changers” who retired for a quiet rural life after living and working in the city. They bought two hectares of farmland and changed it to their rural paradise with mudbrick home, dam and lots of native trees.

Dick joined Landcare in about 1998, two years after the Loch/Nyora Landcare Group was formed. He became particularly active when they moved to Loch in January 2001. As president of Loch/Nyora Landcare, Dick advocated for the smaller landholders, and supported the group in actively recruiting and involving lifestyle farmers and town dwellers in Landcare activities. Dick represented his local group at the South Gippsland Landcare Network as firstly a vice president and then president. In these roles he represented the broader Landcare community on various regional and state-wide forums, and played a key role in assisting the Network to move forwards in a strategic manner during challenging times.

In September 2002, Dick passed away after a sudden heart attack. The Network elected to celebrate his life and contributions to Landcare by creating a memorial award recognising outstanding contributions to the Landcare movement by a Landcare member.

About Suzanne Wightman

Suzanne Wightman was an early founder of the Mardan Mirboo North Landcare group. She helped start and support the Mirboo North Secondary College Landcare Cadets programme; switched her dairy farm to being organic including planting shelterbelts with natives; encouraged others to join Landcare, and has been a consistent volunteer with Tree Bees held by our group. Suzanne has also been our Treasurer for a very long time which is probably one of the hardest jobs on the Committee. She is always willing to help to make sure our group functions well. You can always count on Suzanne to be there.

Suzanne is a “hands on” person who has volunteered hundreds if not thousands of hours to help other people plant trees on their properties. She has also provided advice and support as required. She works regularly at Mossvale Park, maintaining the beautiful facility and is part of the management group. She also works regularly at the Baths Road reserve, clearing weeds and planting new trees. She supported Mardan Mirboo North Landcare group with their recent field days, working at the planning and the implementation stages. Suzanne is the friendly face of Mardan Mirboo North Landcare.

Suzanne was presented her award by Board chair, Frank Dekker