Climate Smart Innovations for the Central West


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 For the full brochure, click HERE

Climate Smart Innovations for the Central West Conference
 -                    18 April 2018

This dynamic conference will highlight how the region has and continues to build an inventive future based on agricultural, environmental and conservation advancements. Hear from a variety of outstanding speakers, take part in farm tours and workshops showcasing the regions latest innovations in response to climate adaptation research and meet the producers to sample some of the amazing local produce.

Hosted by Cowra Shire Council and the Cowra Natural Resource Management Advisory Committee the conference will be held in the central west town of Cowra and aims to showcase innovation in this important regional area.

Cowra Shire straddles the Lachlan River and is reliant on the valley's strong agricultural base. Well known for prime lamb and veal production, the soil types, usually reliable rainfall and abundant irrigation water have brought a range of primary industries to the area. Viticulture, dairying, fresh vegetables, prime lucerne hay together with poultry egg production, broadacre grain and oilseeds give the Shire an enviable economic base.

Cowra and the Shire villages enjoy a strong tourism presence with its natural river valley beauty, the war time history, gardens, vineyards and sports ovals.

Tours and Workshops – 19 April 2018

All tours and workshops are included in the ticket price unless attending the ‘Splash’ Workshop only, then a separate ticket is to be purchased.

Time TBA

Travel by Coach to Moxey Farms, only 30 minutes from Cowra CBD. Moxey Farms is an Australian dairy farm that relies on technology and innovation, sustainable farming and maintaining a high level of environmental management. Nutrients are returned to the land, minimising waste and water is used efficiently through the use of automated centre pivots and flood irrigation.

Take a tour of the farm and its operations and the new bio-digester: turning farm waste into fertiliser.

9am to 4pm

Facilitator: Kristy Good

This workshop embodies the elements of liveability, resilience, sustainability and productivity. It provides participants with the skills to identify good environmental outcomes through good design; indentify best practice design options and promote collaborative thinking for design solutions for water sensitive urban design strategies. It gives local government planners incite on how the program can be incorporated into Development Control Plans.

More information HERE

10am to 2pm

Enjoy a scenic trip Coached around some of Cowra’s amazing wine region with a local tour guide. 
Visit 3 producers; meet and greet the producers, tour the facility and sample their fine food and wine. Lunch provided at one venue.
Tours depart and return at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre.

More information available soon.



Pip has over twenty-five years’ experience working in conservation and is highly regarded for her strategic planning skills. Pip has been heavily involved in the development and delivery of innovative projects and partnerships at a landscape scale across Australia. Closer to home she is a Board member of the Lake Cowal Foundation.

Pip has extensive experience in leading workshops in the use of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation.  She is a leader in the industry, providing both individual and team support as needed. She works closely with a number of organisations in Australia and the Asia Pacific as a Conservation Coach, through which networks she shares her passion for equipping teams to learn from their projects and each other.

Pip brings together strong policy and evaluation experience, a high level of facilitation skills as well as a sound understanding of a diversity of funding, governance and operational models.

Community Solutions information HERE


Paul is an ecologist and researcher who has focused on the restoration of complex, biodiverse grasslands and grassy woodlands since 1998. In 2004 he established the Grassy Groundcover Research Project (GGRP) as a partnership between Greening Australia and Melbourne University - a project that focussed on developing grassland restoration techniques and seed resourcing through the use of native seed production crops - which he headed until 2011. During this time the project developed industry-first methods for reconstructing species-rich native grasslands and grassy woodlands. 

Paul currently leads the Sydney Grassy Groundcover Research Project team which focus' on restoring critically threatened Cumberland Plain Grassy Woodland, where in the past 2 years they have seeded 30ha and are developing Australias largest Seed prodcution facility at Western Sydney University Richmond Campus.

In 2016, Paul was a recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship which allowed him to tour the US to investigate native seed production and prairie restoration. Pauls Winston Churchill Fellowship report is available HERE.  

Paul has done extensive work on farms and road sides and now with Councils and other public agencies (LLS, National Parks, etc) in more urban areas. Paul's speach will focus on the topic of bringing native biodiversity back into rural and urban landscapes which will touch on both ecology and amenity as well as the techniques. By recreating native diverse plant communities this creates the opportunity for fauna to colonise as well as other benefits such as reducing soil loss or surface water loss. A lot of native species are also useful in farming systems for fodder or for their integrated pest management attributes.

Greening Australia information HERE

Andrew is the CEO of the Invasive Species Council – a national organisation that seeks to prevent the arrival of new pests, weeds and diseases that may harm the Australian natural environment. Andrew is passionate about biosecurity from an environmental perspective and particularly focused on the importance of early action and the role of the community. He has extensive knowledge about the threat of invasive ants such as red fire ants. 

Andrew was closely involved in the recent NRC reviews of weed management and pest animal management along with the implementation of the new NSW Biosecurity Act 2015.

More information HERE

Mick Callan is the Project Support Officer for the Central West Councils Environment & Waterways Alliance where he works with 18 member councils across the Central West of NSW to develop, implement and review environmental projects, as well as organising capacity building events such as meetings, registered training, forums, workshops and conferences.

Mick has previously worked in Local Government as an Environmental Programs Coordinator with Bathurst Regional Council and has a history of implementing award winning environmental projects including "Racing to Save the Mount Panorama Woodlands" and "Protecting and Connecting Bathurst Copper Butterfly Habitat".

Mick is the current Jo Ross Memorial Award winner for his contributions to the environment of the Bathurst Region and has qualifications in both Forestry and Management and is currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Ornithology.

More information on Central West Councils Environment & Waterways Alliance HERE

Kristy graduated with an honours degree in Environmental Science from the UNSW and has worked in the field of environmental planning and management for 18 years. In the last 10 years Kristy has also worked with local and state government to help build capacity in the implementation of best practice stormwater management.

In 2016 Kristy was engaged to build the Splash Network, a capacity building organisation. The Splash Network was established from seed funding from three organisations; OEH under the Building Resilience to Climate Change Fund, Blacktown City Council and Sydney Water. The purpose of the capacity building program is to work across NSW and support local and state government to embed integrated water cycle management and climate change adaptation and resilience as core council business. In this short time Kristy has established effective working relationships not only with the seed funding partners but also with the Centre for Cooperative Research for Water Sensitive Cities, Department of Planning, Central West Environment and Waterways Alliance, WaterNSW and other state capacity building organisations including Clearwater, Healthy Land and Water and Water Sensitive SA.

Kristy is an advocate of water sensitive cities and is strongly committed to seeing cities across NSW transition to more liveable and resilient cities and the multitude of benefits that come from this.  

Well-designed urban green infrastructure supports connections between people, water and nature, and creates opportunities for experiences that improve human wellbeing. These benefits are even more important when climate change impacts to the stormwater system are considered. Our changing climate (higher temperatures, increased intensity of rainfall, and longer dry periods) will create pressures on urban waterways, and the residents of our cities.

Green infrastructure contributes to a more resilient community when it is designed to achieve not only stormwater management objectives, but also other benefits such as mitigating urban heat island impacts, providing a diverse water supply and helping people to connect with each other and the natural environment.

While the integrated design process can be challenging, a known success factor for achieving these outcomes is a collaborative design approach, where planners, landscape architects, engineers and other disciplines contribute equally to the process.

More information HERE

Peter previously worked for the NSW DPI 1981-1989. He was initially employed in the export and import branch Sydney and then commenced duties as District Agronomist in Walgett.

Peter commenced in Cowra in 1990 as a commercial agronomist and he has been with Elders for the past 17 years assisting growers with cropping and pasture systems and mentoring network agronomists. Over the last 35 years I have witnessed many changes to farming systems as growers adapt to risk, succession planning, compliance, commodity prices and the many challenges thrown at their business. A significant reduction in tillage, a far greater understanding of the soil resource and more sustainable farming systems are the result of the many agencies working co-operatively over this time.

The area is truly diverse with an array of crops, pastures, extensive and intensive livestock production and horticulture. Irrigation supports this diversity and provides a secure economic base for support industries to establish in Cowra and surrounding towns.

Peter believes that farmers and those agencies that support them have to be adaptable, flexible and responsive to change to truly explore opportunity.

Dr Guy Fitzhardinge owns and manages a large beef enterprise, Thring Pastoral Company, in the central west of NSW. He has previously been on the Board of Meat and Livestock Australia and The Meat Research Corporation and he was the Chairman of the Beef Genetics Cooperative Research Centre.

He is keenly interested in issues relating to the environment and its sustainable use, and is currently a Director of WWF Australia and previous to that Bush Heritage Australia. He spent 9 years as a members of the Commonwealth Threatened Species Scientific Committee supporting the listing of species and communities under the EPBC Act.

For more than a decade Guy has been working with indigenous communities in northern Australia. He has worked for the Kimberly Land Council, Central Australian Land Council and Northern Land Council and is a Director of the Northern Australia Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA). He was the founding Chairman of the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust – a Natural Resource Management Trust supporting the land management work of two very remote communities in Arnhem Land.

WWF Australia
Northern Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance

Steven is a climate applications scientist with the Climate Change Institute (CCI) at the Australian National University. His role in CCI is to examine opportunities for improved climate risk management, within primary industries, both in Australia and internationally.  He will also be looking at opportunities and activities to include multi-national and global food producers, telecommunications and other industries.

Steven has been undertaking research into the following:

  • the translation of climate change impact scenarios from rainfall and temperature into forms useful for decision makers, such as crop and pasture production, biodiversity, farm incomes and broader socio-economic impacts;
  • participatory engagement with decision makers to improve the value derived from climate risk management in decision making;
  • the development of quantitative models and methods to derive value from seasonal climate forecasts and climate change projection information in agricultural, natural resource and biodiversity management, including the economic valuation of climate forecasts; and
  • developing and implementing practical concepts of vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity across scales, including the design of nested institutional arrangements and ways of increasing the societal value of climate impacts science, and re-defining biodiversity conservation objectives.

Recent publications include:

  • Brown, P. R., Bridle, K. L., & Crimp, S. J. (2016). Assessing the capacity of Australian broadacre mixed farmers to adapt to climate change: Identifying constraints and opportunities. Agricultural Systems, 146, 129-141.
  • Crimp, S. J., Gobbett, D., Kokic, P., Nidumolu, U., Howden, M., & Nicholls, N. (2016). Recent seasonal and long-term changes in southern Australian frost occurrence. Climatic Change, 139(1), 115-128.
  • Crimp, S. J., Zheng, B., Khimashia, N., Gobbett, D. L., Chapman, S., Howden, M., & Nicholls, N. (2016). Recent changes in southern Australian frost occurrence: implications for wheat production risk. Crop and Pasture Science, 67(8), 801-811.
  • Cvitanovic C, Crimp S, Fleming A, Bell J, Howden M, Hobday AJ, Taylor M, Cunningham R. (2016) Linking adaptation science to action to build food secure Pacific Island communities. Climate Risk Management 11, 53-62.
  • Kabir, M. J., Alauddin, M., & Crimp, S. (2016). Farm-level Adaptation to Climate Change in Western Bangladesh: An Analysis of Adaptation Dynamics, Profitability and Risks (No. 576).
More Information HERE

Sam is the Director and founder of Central Coast Modern Hypnosis and Happy U HQ.  Sam is a Hypnotherapist and a Performance Coach with a Diploma of Modern Psychology, is a Master of Clinical Hypnotherapist, a Master of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)Practitioner. Sam is based on the Central Coast of NSW.

NLP explores the relationships between how we think and how we communicate and our patterns of behaviour.  This technique allows individuals to overcome mental obstacles such as depression, anxiety and phobias by retraining the brain to think and communicate more positively and effectively.

Hypnosis is a profound state of relaxation where the critical facility is bypassed allowing a conversation with the subconscious.  Which allows the brain to change effortlessly to reflect positively without the functions of the brain to interfere.

Sam’s aim is helping people to become’ the best version of themselves’.  The practice helps clients to find their life’s purpose so that they can live an inspired life full of joy, love and happiness. 

Sam notes that:

Our communities continue to brace against the onslaught of depression and anxiety as changes in farming practices,  the potential impacts of climate change and life in general get harder and harder for people in rural and regional communities.  The statistics provided by  the National Rural Health Alliance inc, are not in our favour.  With suicide being one of Australia’s biggest killers.  In 2016 there were 2,866 deaths due to suicide, an average 7.9 deaths per day.  A recent study on mortality has shown that men in regional and remote areas are 1.3 to 2.6 times more likely to suicide than  their urban counterparts.  The research shows that 15-24 year old males in regional areas are 1.5-1.8 times more likely to suicide than their urban counterparts. Generally male youth suicide in regional, rural and remote areas as a whole is estimated to occur as almost twice the rate as in metropolitan areas for a number of reasons. Studies also show that 2/3 of all farmer suicides occur in older age groups over 55.

This is a crisis people! 

Sam’s presentation will be an introduction, an inspirational presentation on how to change your patterns of thought and behaviour to increase your wellbeing.

More Information HERE

Master of Ceremony

Bruce was a Rural Reporter with the ABC for 18 years, 14 of those years in the Central West. 

He has a degree in Economics, major in Agricultural Economics and has post graduate qualification in Financial Management and Horticulture and is a casual academic at Charles Sturt University in the areas of Financial Management, Risk Management and Agricultural Marketing. 

Bruce started a communications business in the Central West 9 years ago after leaving the ABC and undertakes work for a number of government and private sector organisations. Some of his roles in this business include website content provision, writing media releases, undertaking training workshops, chairing events and providing media communication during major bushfires.

He is an active member of the NSW Farmers Association as the Orange Branch chair; member of the Association Executive Council and a member of the Business Economics and Trade Committee and the Horticultural Committee.

Bruce was elected as a Councillor to Blayney Shire Council in 2017 and also became a Councillor on the Upper Macquarie County Council which covers weeds management on the eastern tablelands. He chairs the Blayney Traffic Committee and Tourism, Towns and Villages Committee and is a member of the Central West Business Enterprise Centre Board.

Bruce has a passion for sustainable agricultural production and has a small orchard, berry crop and several acres of ornamental gardens.


Tickets on sale now! Available at Cowra Visitor Information Centre and online HERE





After the 5th of March


Early Bird

Before the 5th of March


Alliance Member

Members of the Central West Environment & Waterways Alliance



Under 18


‘Splash’ Workshop

‘Splash’ Workshop only ticket (19th of April)



The conference is on Wednesday 18 April 2018.
Tours and Workshops are Thursday 19 April 2018.


Cowra Civic Centre 
77 Darling Street, Cowra NSW

For more information, contact:

Environmental Services - Kate Alberry or Cassandra Gailey
Phone:   (02) 6340 2040
Email:      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.