Combating climate change and working to ensure balanced water use will be the focus of Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s newly appointed chair, Annie Volkering.
Having grown up in Mansfield, Ms Volkering said the region held a special place in her heart as she prepared to undertake her new role.
‘‘I’m still very connected to Mansfield and have strong connections to Mansfield ... you can take the girl out of the country but not the country out of the girl,’’ she said.
‘‘Over the last decade or so taking my children up there and being in that area I’ve really noticed a lot of changes in the environmental landscape.’’
Ms Volkering will start her new position on October 1 alongside 56 other appointees to catchment management authorities across the state.
Also announced last week were new chairs for North Central CMA and North East CMA, Julie Miller-Markoff and Leanne Mulcahy respectively.
Having working largely within environmental management of parks and other spaces with Parks Victoria, Ms Volkering has spent the past six years working with the Environmental Protection Authority in Melbourne and said she enjoyed her work immensely.
‘‘I’m just looking for a way that I can contribute to the community and look at decades of experience in the public sector and how might I give something back and the CMA was the logical place to give something back,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve seen Lake Eildon at its very lowest and filled up ... particularly with the growth of tourism, how do we make sure that we protect our environment for everyone, including tourism?
‘‘It’s not unique to the Goulburn Broken CMA with climate change and population growth (both relevant issues to the region), there’s a whole heap of risks that we are dealing with now and will be dealing with for long time,’’ she said.
‘‘The health of the environment is the corner stone for the community and a prosperous economy.’’
After the appointment of 56 board directors, including 10 chair positions, the Victorian Government said more than 50 per cent of the seats on catchment management authority boards were now held by women.
The new appointments also include five Aboriginal Victorians in what Water Minister Lisa Neville championed as a great step towards reflecting the community, views echoed by Ms Volkering.
‘‘It’s not just about getting female representation and meeting targets, but right across government ensuring we are representing the community we serve and it is great to see a number of indigenous people appointed across the state,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m thrilled and humbled and honoured by this privilege, I love this part of the state.’’