Gerald Carnie Memorial Award

Keeping the Landcare flame alive

In June 2011, Gerald Carnie, a committed Landcarer from the Parkes area, died suddenly at the age of 46, leaving his wife Lorraine and sons, Ryan and Jarrod, grieving and the Landcare community shocked.

The Gerald Carnie Memorial Award for Keeping the Landcare Flame Alive was established by Landcare NSW to recognise this very special individual’s contributions to the Landcare movement.

It will be awarded at the bi-annual NSW State Landcare Conference to an individual in recognition of their contribution to the development of “the philosophy of Landcare”. The recipient will champion the development of the ideas that help us to “think global, act local”, and engender change in attitudes, which translate to a healthier environment and more productive and sustainable farms and more cohesive and resilient communities.

At the inaugural award ceremony, part of the 2015 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference in Orange, David Walker said: “Gerald Carnie had the Landcare fire in his belly. He knew that Landcare is vital to building resilience in our communities in order to build it in our landscapes. He worked hard for a Landcare partnership between government and the community that is equal, and based on respect and trust.”

There were six nominations for the inaugural Award:

  • Muriel Abraham – Wyangla Dam
  • Christie Eleman – Parkes
  • Claire Masters – Limpinwood
  • Bill Pigott – Berry
  • Martin Royds – Braidwood
  • Robyn Watson – Boggabri

Bill Pigott from Berry Landcare was the 2015 winner, and the award was accepted by his son, Peter, also a Landcarer, on his behalf.

Bill said in response: “To receive one award is amazing, however this is quite overwhelming… I know Peter will have said how honoured I am.

“My contributions have not been achieved without the efforts and encouragement of so many. I would have said, had I been there, that I believe that all that we achieve is done through joint effort and mutual support. That is Landcare. I could not have achieved a single thing without the support, inspiration and passion of others. That is Landcare. We do it together.

“Would that Gerald was still with us. I treasure my memories of his energy and enthusiasm.

“Thank you, Landcare NSW, for the opportunity you have given me to be part of an amazing movement that has become a mover and a shaker in the volunteer, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management space and for feeding the fire in our bellies, sustaining the vitality and resilience of Landcare in this land. We do it together and I am honoured to be part of that.”

Bill’s nomination stated: “I nominate Bill for the passion he has put into the Landcare musters – his organisation and the way he inspires participants is fantastic and then the devotion to handling the enormous amount of data that is produced is amazing. Whilst Bill is an enormous contributor at the State level he is also an active member of both his regional and local Landcare organisations. That kind of commitment is worth celebrating. He is the Wise Wizard of Landcare in NSW.”

David Walker’s speech announcing the winner of the inaugural Gerald Carnie Award, 2015.