About the Capricornia Catchments Management Committee

Management Area

Current Committee

Capricornia Catchments is governed by a Management Committee who provide the strategic direction for the organisation. The Committee meet 6 times a year and are also responsible for project assessment and approvals.

The Committee consists of up to 10 people with particular areas of interest including grazing, Landcare, weeds, cultural heritage, local government, business, industry, water, conservation, fishing and horticulture. The Capricornia Catchments Management Committee is structured such that:

  • Seven (7) Members are elected by the membership (Elected members)
  • Up to three (3) people are selected by the Committee to fill gaps in knowledge or sector representation (Special Members)

Meet our current committee below.

Michelle Hanrahan

President
President

Michelle has been involved with the Committee since inception in 2002 and currently holds the position of President.

As well as juggling a young family & work (Her own consulting business, 3M Endeavours), she willingly volunteers substantial hours to the organisation. Michelle has a tertiary degree in Environmental Science and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has extensive NRM, Environmental, Health & Safety, Commercial & Community Consultation experience.

In 2013 Michelle was appointed to the Emerald Agriculture College Board and in 2014 was appointed to Qld Water and Land Carers Board.

She is involved with a number of community organisations in a volunteer capacity as President of the Blackwater North State School P & C Association, President of the Blackwater Swimming Club and is an Age Manager of the Emu Park Surf Lifesavers.

Michelle is involved with her family’s cattle properties located near the upper reaches of the Fitzroy River and is a member of the Wycarbah & District Landcare Group.

With over 20 years’ experience in the Landcare movement and industrial development (mining and power generation), Michelle is able to strengthen the Management Committee’s planning and decision making capacity through her diversity of skills and practical experiences.

Donald Black

Vice President
Vice President

Donald joined the Management Committee as a Special Member in 2008. The organisation has benefited from his association dating back to when he was Councillor with the Isaac Regional Council.

At that time, priority Neighbourhood Catchment areas were located near St Lawrence and a large wetland project was delivered in the same area so Donald’s links with Council have proved to be advantageous to the organisation. In 2012 Donald was elected as Board member on the Management Committee.

He has been involved in cattle breeding all his life, with properties in the Capricornia Catchments region as well as in the Three Rivers area. He is also a grain grower and has undertaken Grazing and Grains Best Management Practice courses. Don’s interest and commitment within the community for the land and water is shown through the many groups he is involved with. He is very committed to the region and is passionate about the health of the river and feels we cannot damage this anymore.

Don is President of the Three Rivers Committee and is President, Isaac McKenzie AgForce Branch.

He has a keen interest in campdrafting, fishing and dabbles in racehorses.

Melanie Findlay

Secretary
Secretary

Melanie joined the committee in 2015. Melanie is a partner at Rees R & Sydney Jones Solicitors. She heads the Mining and Rural team at the firm. This team specialises in assisting landowners in their property related matters.

Her areas of expertise include Rural Property Transactions, Water Allocation transfers, Vegetation matters (offsets etc.), Mining Compensation matters, Gas Pipeline matters, Gas Exploration matters, Mining Exploration Compensation and Negotiations and Government Resumptions, (eg. powerlines and roads).

Melanie is currently on the Queensland Law Society Mining and Resources Committee and the AgForce Resources Working Group where she assists in advocating for better landowner rights.

Leise Childs

Treasurer
Treasurer
Leise Childs has served 10 years on the Management Committee, five years as Treasurer, and is up for re-election. Leise has been involved in local environmental issues for 28 years, initially as a volunteer of local environment groups. She completed an environmental science degree in 1993 and has worked in a range of positions with community groups, consultants and local government.
Leise currently works for Livingstone Shire Council as the Senior Land Protection Officer. Leise has a long term association with the Shoalwater Bay Training Area as a community representative for Capricorn Conservation Council and Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland – Capricorn Branch on the Shoalwater Bay Environmental Advisory Committee.
Leise has extensive experience in local weed and native vegetation management, particularly from the local government perspective.

Sarah Becker

Committee Member
Committee Member
Sarah is the sixth generation of her family to be actively involved in agriculture in the Dawson Valley. Needless to say, she holds a strong passion for the rural sector.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Queensland. She is a Chartered Accountant who assists her father to run the firm James Becker & Co which specialises in agribusiness.

Sarah also acts as Financial Controller to the family’s rural operation. This business includes cropping, dry land irrigation, commercial cattle and stud cattle.

This hands on experience has made her sought after in dealing with her national agribusiness client portfolio and her knowledge and experience should enable Sarah to make a positive contribution to Capricornia Catchments Inc.

Ken Mason

Committee Member
Committee Member
Ken has been farming fruit and vegetable for 35 years, firstly on his parents farm at The Caves, in partnership with them. In the last 25 years Ken has been developing his own farm at Woodbury growing a wide range of certified organic produce.

In the last 15 years Ken has been using biodynamic principles to decrease inputs but still getting good yields of high quality produce. His farm is now certified biodynamic with NASAA. He was a founding member of WARU Permaculture Group Yeppoon and have been involved in many working groups with them. In 2010 Ken was invited by Biodynamic Agriculture Australia to do workshops on biodynamic farming with Hamish Mackay and John Priestly in Brazil. In the last 3 years he has been working with CQU, Australia Aid UNDP, MEDEP, DoA Nepal on a Mandarin Supply Chain Project. Ken’s main part in this project has been hosting Nepalese farmers, training farmers on better practice like composting, drip irrigation, micronutrients, farm certification for organic production, fruit grading and better marketing of fruit into export markets like China and India, as well as forming growers groups and setting up a packing shed in the Syangja District.

John Wall

Committee Member
Committee Member
John has been on the Committee since 2010 as a Special Member and now as a Committee member. He is with the Raglan Creek Catchment Working Group and works closely with Gladstone Regional Council to coordinate and manage group activities. John is a cattle and grain producer who understands the value of new innovative ideas to develop sustainable farming and grazing methods and protect the natural environment.

As a hands-on manager and producer, John has been an advisor to farmers and land managers on issues such as climate change, adaptation to crop and grain production, water and nutrient efficiency, waste and salinity management. He has over 40 years’ experience as a stockman, manager/farmer and understands the concepts of self discipline needed for sustainability in land management to identify opportunities, utilise, plan, trade better and boost income to take tough conditions.

Wade Mann

Special Member
Special Member

Wade Mann is a Dharumbal man of Dharumbal Aboriginal Nation. He has extensive experience in social, welfare, Aboriginal community development and is a respected person in the Rockhampton community.

He has worked for Qld Government for over 20 years and has extensive experience developing relationships and working with the community.

Before establishing his own small business in 2009 he held executive positions and management committee positions within Non-Government organisations, sporting clubs and recreational clubs in Rockhampton. He was formerly Chairperson of Darumbal Community Youth Services, President Norths Junior Rugby League Club and most recently Chairperson National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Day of Celebrations Committee (NAIDOC) 2012. He has previously served on consultative groups to improve and support development of programs in tackling Indigenous disadvantage in the Rockhampton community.

He has played an important custodial role in supporting and raising awareness of Dharumbal culture in Rockhampton region through education of young indigenous men. He has used his knowledge to support young indigenous men understand their culture and raise awareness in their Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communit

Catherine Hayes

Special Member
Special Member
Catherine is the voting representative for Rockhampton Regional Council and has been a special member of the Capricornia Catchments Inc. Management Committee for the past 12 months. Her current role within Rockhampton Regional Council is Manager Community Standards and Compliance which includes managing the Pest Management Unit. She is also one of Council’s representatives on the Capricorn Pest Management Group Management Committee.

As a qualified Environmental Health Officer for nearly 20 years, her role has been to maximise environmental and public health within the built and natural environment by identifying, preventing and remedying health and environmental related hazards and risks. The experiences, knowledge and skills she has gained through this role readily translates to the functions and objectives of the Capricornia Catchments Inc.

Rockhampton Regional Council has and continues to work with Capricornia Catchments Inc. Having a Council representative on the Management Committee enhances the organisations working relationship.

Catherine Hayes is nominated by the Rockhampton Regional Council.