Ant has been a Ranger with Parklands since 2003.
Why you are involved with Parklands?
I am passionate about social justice, regional development and empowering both individuals and communities to "lead the change you want to see". My first experienced of Parklands Albury Wodonga's "people first approach" was whilst working as at one of Parklands' earliest partner organisations, Wandoo Aboriginal Corporation. I am particularly pleased to be involved in shifting the partnership with the local Aboriginal communities to greater co-management.
What do you bring to Parklands?
A few decades of experience in the not-for-profit sector working with organisations committed to social justice, sustainability and empowering communities and individuals. People are the greatest asset in any community and relationships are critical to bringing about sustained positive change.
I also bring a lot of creativity... in finding resources (people, finance, equipment, tools) and problem solving. There are no problems, just lots of challenges and opportunities if you are open to viewing the world differently.
There is also the resilience you get from a decade of clambering up numerous Alpine peaks and rockfaces. Just like mountaineering, the "parklands journey" requires that ability to keep chipping away, enjoying the journey with a shared vision of the destination.
What is your most memorable experience with Parklands?
No two days, two bushlands or two partner organisations are the same. There is such a rich tapestry of memorable experiences that it is difficult to define any particular one as the most memorable.
There is the icey wind on Sandy Creek Bridge as the sun sets on a freezing cold autumn evening whilst the Tallangatta Secondary College Hospitality students serve up a scrumptious three course meal to 130 dinners during a High Country Harvest Festival event that was organised in partnership with the Tallangatta and Bonegilla Rail Trail Advisory Groups.
That same "antarctic wind" howled as trail runners clad in little more than shirts and singlets slipped and slid along the Klings Hill trail in one of the challenging Riverina Endurance Trail Run events that Parklands was partnering.
Perhaps the most memorable (and repeated) experience is phone calls from volunteers sharing their excitement about finding employment.