A Thorn in Our Side

Mimosa Bush  - Photo Courtesy of Inverell Shire Council

Mimosa Bush – Photo Courtesy of Inverell Shire Council

Mimosa is a dense invasive, thorny shrub that has taken over large tracts of land in the north-west of NSW. It normally grows to around 1.5 metres high and almost every part of the plant has thorns which can cause eye damage to stock, who will often seek out the protein rich seed pods. Each pod contains about 10 seeds which pass through grazing animals and are then deposited over larger areas, ensuring the continued spread of the bush.

Until recently mimosa was deemed to be a native, not a noxious weed, which meant it came under the Native Vegetation Act 2003 and restrictions applied to clearing, especially where it was not rated as an invasive native species. The plant is found on approximately 23 million hectares of NSW; agricultural land and areas set aside for conservation. It reduces habitat for all animals, reduces the amount of groundcover and other herbage which impacts upon biodiversity and can, in some instances, cause soil erosion.Mimosa bush- Public Domain

If you have ever driven north, east or west of Moree, in the northern part of the state and noticed almost ‘wall-to-wall’ thickets of plants with a yellow flower – that is yellow mimosa.

In the latter part of last year CWA of NSW ran a campaign to have yellow mimosa listed as a noxious weed and on 30th August 2013 the Minister for the Environment and Minister for Heritage, Robyn Parker MP, announced that it was “all over for yellow mimosa” i.e. it had been declared a feral native plant species under native vegetation regulations.

Ms Parker acknowledged the part that CWA of NSW had played in achieving a win for landholders and managers of public land and we appreciate the NSW Governments approach to addressing our concerns.

Right, tick that box….now, what’s next girls?

You Look… Different

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Traditionally we are not good at “blowing our own trumpet”, bragging about our achievements or promoting what we do. Boasting was seen as “humbug”! What a great word, HUMBUG! Wonder where it came from….

One of the areas we are focusing on this week, CWA of NSW Awareness Week, is change. Changing the way we harness the technologies and opportunities available to us, to shake off the thinking that boasting is “humbug”.

Let’s promote our website, share the topics on our Facebook page and blog ‘till we drop!

Tweets and instagram exponents, um…..well, you do whatever it is you do and I’ll catch up soon.

As discussed before, change is about perception and whether you like it or not, our world is changing, fast. Opting in doesn’t mean forgoing our integrity, ideals or commitment to those we support, it just means achieving what we can with the tools provided to us at the time. Just as we have always done. Except now everyone will know, not just us.

If we want people’s perception of us to change, then we have to change how they perceive us.

Tea and Scones Have Moved On

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Awareness Week has finally arrived and it’s time for us to tell everyone else, that we’ve moved on from tea and scones to a chai latte and strawberry macaroons.

Over a ‘cuppa’ (chino) we’d like  to tell you that our agenda covers a variety of issues; from protecting land and water to no standing on school buses; debate over foreign ownership to the adverse effects of energy drinks on our kids; issues surrounding mental health to ensuring the school curriculum includes teaching children where food and fibre originates.

While you’re polishing off that last crumb of macaroon you should know that we raise funds for scholarships, medical research projects, international aid and emergency and disaster relief across the state and Australia, respectively.

This year we are focussing our efforts on the things we are not normally known for:

  • Charity; in the last 12 months we have raised and distributed almost $1 million, in Australia and abroad
  • Diversity; our members are from all cultures, all walks of life, all ages and they live in the country and the city
  • Change; we are making better use of social media to communicate our activities, harnessing technology to benefit our members, reaping the rewards of sharing wisdom and history with energy and enthusiasm

We will be celebrating Awareness Week from 14th – 21st September 2013 with a host of local events and activities, which are listed here, if you would like to participate.

CWA of NSW is full of passionate, accomplished and committed women. They all have interesting stories and different perspectives on why they are members and I hope to share some of these with you during our Awareness Week, starting tomorrow morning – turn on the telly to Channel 7 at 9.20am to see me and a couple of marvellous members featured on Sunrise.

There’s a LOT more than just ‘tea and scones’ at this table!