About us

Our vision is a thriving community and economy supported by a healthy natural environment.

The Derwent Catchment Project evolved from the Upper Derwent Landcare Group, which was established in 2002. Our group is run by a local board who are largely producers in the Derwent region.

The Derwent Catchment Project team delivers evidence-based practical on-ground programs that clearly reflect the core issues and management required to address sustainability and land degradation in the Catchment. We aim to provide a link between environmental sustainability and practical management and production-based systems.

We are co-funded by the Central Highlands Council, Brighton Council and the Derwent Valley Council.

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  • To empower and inspire the community to be involved in active land management across the catchment
  • To facilitate community and industry innovation and investment in best-practice natural resource management
Supporting best-practice farming

Supporting best-practice farming

Managing weeds

Managing weeds



Our story

The Derwent Catchment Project has been growing in the region since 2015, building on the original formation of the Upper Derwent Landcare group in the ’90s. We are a community-driven organisation with the byline ‘Increasing productivity – restoring landscapes’, which reflects the core focus of our committee and its members. 


DCP is an Incorporated Association under the Associations Incorporations Act 1964 (Tasmanian legislation). DCP is governed by a committee of management under its constitution, and currently has seven positions on the board (including Chair and Vice Chair). There is an expectation that the term limit of board members is capped at 12 years to support renewal and succession planning. DCP holds an annual general meeting each year at which members have the opportunity to review the organisation’s performance and ask questions of the committee. To obtain a copy of the DCP constitution or to enquire about membership please contact secretary@derwentcatchment.org

ABN: 532 305 711 21

Our team

Our project team is a mix of facilitators highly experienced in natural resource management and pasture management, on-ground works experts, and a full-time nursery manager to run our native plant nursery at Hamilton, where we grow 25,000 natives a year for revegetation and shelter-belt projects.


Josie has worked in NRM extension, biodiversity and environmental sustainability for over 20 years. Her responsibilities have included people management, capacity building, strategic planning, industry engagement and project management. She is a specialist in management effectiveness evaluation and auditing.

Josie Kelman

Executive Officer

Eve has been a professional in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation since 2007. She works with land managers on projects that increase landscape resilience – agricultural best practice, coordinated weed management, fire and flood recovery, revegetation and conservation projects.

Eve Lazarus

Program Coordinator

Mel has been working as a professional in the areas of natural resource management and project management for over 20 years. She has a wide range of experience working in Tasmania and Queensland, coordinating NRM, disaster recovery, cultural change, and community engagement projects and programs.

Mel Fazackerley

NRM & Engagement Coordinator

Morgan comes from a background in horticulture and conservation and has recently undertaken further study in a Master of Integrated Water Management. Morgan has been able to explore how water and its multiple uses can be managed in a holistic way while benefiting both end users and the environment.

Morgan McPherson

On-ground Works Manager

Karen has a passion for growing native plants and has worked in the landscape and horticulture industry for since 2003. Most of that time she was employed at the Plants of Tasmania nursery. Karen joined the team full-time in 2020 and is excited to be working in a regional community and growing natives for shelterbelts and revegetation projects specific to the challenging conditions.

Karen Phillips

Nursery Manager

Tobias combines his environmental knowledge and field experience to communicate and improve ecological literacy. Originally from NSW and then spending many years exploring western Canada, he hopes his experiences and developing skill sets will be used for positive restoration and conservation outcomes here in Tasmania. He holds a degree in natural environment studies from UTAS and is currently studying his Honours in biogeography.

Tobias Burrows

Communications Officer

Justin has over 17 years’ experience working with bush regeneration and conservation land management. His previous work has involved running his own business and working for councils in their weed management team. Justin is an avid bushwalker and enjoys being outdoors and in nature.

Justin Hawkins

Work Team Leader

Tim grew up on farmland near Hobart and his love of bushwalking and being outdoors inspired him to complete the Conservation and Land Management course at TAFE. He joined the Derwent Catchment Project in 2022 and is excited to be working in a field that he is truly passionate about.

Tim Clark

On-ground Team

Sam grew up in the sunny foothills of kunanyi and has loved the bush ever since. Beginning with a Green Corps traineeship, He has been working in bush regen on and off for 20 years. Notable detours include a carpentry apprenticeship, collecting data for a carbon accounting business, running a school garden program, and managing a volunteer native plant nursery.

Samuel Beattie

On-ground Team

Maggie has worked as a tour guide for the past four years in the Northern Territory. She is now based out of Hobart and has started a traineeship with Derwent Catchment Project while studying conservation and ecosystem management at TAFE.

Maggie Gilder

Trainee Restoration Officer

Our Committee

Charles Downie operates “Glenelg” at Gretna, running merino sheep, Angus cattle and growing wine grapes. He studied farm business management at Marcus Oldham College in Geelong, and has worked in agriculture in WA, USA and Victoria, and spent time in agribusiness banking with NAB. Charles is 2021 Nuffield Farming Scholar. He is particularly interested in seeing farm management based on sound science and research, and ensuring sustainability in agriculture addresses financial, social and environmental needs.

Charles Downie


Trudy recently joined the committee as our Assistant Secretary. She lives in Ellendale. Trudy has worked in the banking industry and ran a very successful catering business with her husband Peter. She has been an active fundraiser for charities in Sydney and is currently with Rotary.

Trudy Murphy


Sarah graduated from Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania in 2006 and went on to complete a research masters before working as a policy manager at TFGA and then research assistant at the Australian Innovation Research Centre. She currently works part time teaching agribusiness at the University of Tasmania as well as managing a farm in Westerway and Ellendale. Their farming approach manages the land to its capabilities and enhances its natural assets so that they might pass the land on in better condition to future generations.

Sarah Gatenby-Clark

Vice President

Rachel's family became owners of Waterfalls Café in Mt Field National Park in 2012 and have never looked back. Rachel has worked tirelessly to promote and advocate for her patch of paradise, and tourism in Tasmania, all while building an award-winning business. Rachel was elected to the board of Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania, standing down in 2018 when she was elected as a councillor in the Derwent Valley.

Rachel Power

General Committee Member

Jen was a Registered Nurse at Austin Health in Melbourne. From 2007 she was the Director of Nursing at Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, which is also part of Austin Health. Jen and her husband moved to Ellendale in September 2017 from an inner Melbourne suburb. They have quickly assimilated to their rural life as producers of saffron and sheep.

Jen Hancock


Ryan is an agribusiness specialist working for Compass Agri. He is responsible for overseeing all Compass’ managed farms in Tasmania as well as growth and management of the grazing offering across the state. He brings with him over 27 years of dairy industry experience gained both in New Zealand and Australia.

Ryan Ashby

General Committee Member

James grew up in a farming family and graduated with a BAgSc (Tas) in 1980, which gave him the observation and interpretation skills that have helped a farming career spanning more than 30 years. In 2008 he graduated (again!) with honors, which led to the chairmanship of The Derwent Catchment Project. Over the years he experienced many environmental challenges such as droughts, dust storms and overgrazing (feral & domestic) in a quest to convert a wool/sheep farm to higher-yielding fat lamb and cropping enterprise.

James Allwright

General Committee Member

Michelle was first elected to the Derwent Valley Council as Mayor from a February 2022 bi-election, and re-elected in October 2022. She advocates to attract funding and support at both state and federal levels supports local business, industry and tourism. She prides herself on serving the valley as a mayor with integrity, compassion and local interest at heart.

Michelle Dracoulis

General Committee Member

Collaborative partners

Our partners include a wide range of industry, NGOs, government and community organisations collaborating to make a difference on the ground.