On Tuesday evening Nature Foundation held their 2023 Annual General Meeting at Payinthi, Eliza Hall on Prospect Road, and livestreamed to remote members online.
The AGM provides an opportunity to update members on Nature Foundation’s 2022-2023 work, achievements and finances, along with the election for Board positions.
The AGM was hosted by Nature Foundation Board Chair, Jan Ferguson OAM, who shared highlights from the past financial year, including:
- Experiencing significant rain events across the country, impacting the landscape and our nature reserves, the impacts had to be factored into our land management and conservation plans.
- Undertaking many surveys across the nature reserves, both baselines and monitoring changes.
- Extending beyond the bounds of our nature reserves, working with neighbouring landholders, such as around Watchalunga, supporting the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren.
- Developing and implementing our Achieving Biodiversity Impact Tool, and factoring findings into improved data collection, analysis and evaluation, to better understand impacts of our conservation activities, make informed results-based decisions and adjust management strategies to continually improve biodiversity impact.
- Hosting a range of guests at Witchelina and Hiltaba, including a number of groups.
- The Clean Energy Regulator issuing the first batch of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) for the Hiltaba Human-Induced Regeneration Carbon project for the initial reporting period from 2020 to September 2022.
- Diversifying our income with Field Services work through GreenCollar.
- Launching the Forever Nature Fund in December 2022.
- Receiving significant funding from NIAA (National Indigenous Australia Agency) to support and grow the Kids on Country program.
- Developing and launching our new Volunteer program.
- Developing and participating in a range of valuable partnerships and collaborations.
View more details in our 2023 Impact Report here.
Board Director and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee, Douglas Ransom, provided a summary of the Foundation’s financial performance for the year, including:
- The 2022/23 financial year result was a surplus of $2.6m.
- The main contributor to the significant surplus was sale of Carbon credits at Hiltaba, $3.3m, a positive market value adjustment of $563k to the share portfolio and profit on sale of two properties, Cygnet Park and Blanchetown $346k.
- There was a decrease in Environment and Community contracts income of $1.6m as a result of the discontinuation of the Revitalising and Water for Nature Programs.
- Expenses also decreased by over $2m between financial year 2023 and 2022, largely due to completion of the Revitalising and Water for Nature programs.
- Nature Foundation ended the year in a strong financial position with Net assets increasing to $17.1m, from $14.4m the previous year.
The Returning Officer then announced the Board election results.
The Nature Foundation Board plays a vital role in setting direction and providing prudent management for the Nature Foundation and its role in nature conservation in South Australia.
This year saw four positions available, and we welcome our newly elected Board Directors:
- Associate Professor Jeremy Austin
- Glenise Coulthard AM
- Greg Limbert
- Lynn Wood
You can read more about each new Board Director below.
These results see outgoing Board Directors, Bec Hardy, who has served one three-year term following a casual vacancy, and Anne-Marie Barbaro who is retiring after one three-year term also following a casual vacancy.
We thank Bec and Anne-Marie for their service and passion for the organisation.
Following the formal AGM proceedings, we heard from Professor Andy Lowe, a dynamic and innovative research leader from University of Adelaide, who shared his thoughts on: What Does a Nature-Positive Future Look Like?
Thank you to all members who participated in this year's AGM; we greatly value your involvement and dedication to the Foundation.
Pictured above: From left – Jan Ferguson OAM (Chair), Dr Andrew Lowe, Alex Ferguson (CEO)
Introducing your new Board Directors
Assoc Professor Jeremy Austin
Jeremy is a multidisciplinary evolutionary biologist who has worked across natural history museums in London and Melbourne and universities across Australia. His diverse research focuses primarily on vertebrates, resulting in ground-breaking discoveries in vertebrate evolution that contribute to improved conservation outcomes for a range of threatened species.
Glenise Coulthard AM
Glenise is an Adnyamathanha woman from the Northern Flinders Ranges who brings a wealth of experience, with over 45 years in the SA Government public sector, specialising in health services and regional areas. She holds the distinction of being Australia’s longest-serving Director on the Board of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, spanning 20 years.
Greg has participated in working bees and events over the years. He brings a broad range of experience in management, local government, tourism and Board member roles, and is passionate about engaging members and supporters.
Lynn has a Master of Business Administration and over 35 years of experience managing people, projects and expectations. Now retired, he has held executive positions in BlueScope Steel and Cobham Aviation Services. He is a lover of the outdoors, particularly our beautiful outback and remote areas.
See all Nature Foundation Board Directors here