Welcome to our eNews! Oyster Harbour Catchment Group's Noongar seasonal newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the big stories affecting the catchment and what we are up to.
 acknowledge the Minang Bibbulmun people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present, and emerging and to the wider Bibbulmun community. 
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Issued: 23/8/2021
What's Been Happening in Oyster Harbour Catchment
Djilba E-Newsletter

First Spring: August-September
Season of conception: A mixture of wet days with an increasing number of clear, cold nights and pleasantly warm days

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New website coming soon!
Main Stories:
Monitoring and Containing Weed Invasion
My beautiful archive and discovery team have been amazing and a lot of fun to work with. We have gone through 45 governance and project files so far, learning something new every day. Not including the many digital files that I'm slowly trawling through.our past weed treatment GPS files. 

Invasive weeds are among the most serious threats to Australia's natural environment
and primary production industries. We have many weed species present in the Oyster Harbour Catchment including Sydney golden wattle, gorse, blackberry, African love grass, bridal creeper etc. These weeds displace native species, contribute significantly to land degradation, and reduce farm and forest productivity. For example, Bridal Creeper has a real potential to invade the Stirling Ranges from adjacent roads and farmland.  It could not be controlled within the Stirling Range National Park area, so it is critical to control it mainly on road verges.  Without continuous management, the outcomes of previous weed control projects and surrounding areas are at risk of further infestation. Some of our actions over a decade of weed control can be seen in the below picture spreading throughout the catchment.

We need your help to see if these weeds have come back and where the biggest infestations are right now!

Please download the MyPestGuide Reporter app on your phone and report sightings while you're out and about.

If you have any free time, are interested in history or just want to hang out with some great people please contact me Sayah at and join the Archive and Discovery team.
Southern Beef Field Walks
On Tuesday the 2nd of August, over fifty producers gathered together to talk about the opportunities for spring-sown summer forage crops at our last field walk. Producers were particularly keen to investigate the possibility of Spring forage crops due to the wet season.

The field walk was held at Willyung Farms where Raphano brassica is used for backgrounding cattle before heading to be finished on feed. Sandy Lyon said “Brassica fits nicely into their program delivering what they needed through weight gain/days grazing”

Local Elders Agronomist James Bee and Nathan Tognela from PGG Wrightson Seeds delivered information on Brassica, Millet, Sorghum, and mixed species cover crops options best suited to the district. Depending on the producer’s requirements and best management practices of species throughout the growing season.

Sandy led the group through a paddock of Raphano mixed with oats. This mix allows the cattle to acquire a taste for the species and prepare their digestive system for the 100% Raphano. One of the key messages was to maximize weight gain once you placed cattle on Raphano is having enough paddocks for constant Raphano grazing. Cattle did not respond well to being removed off Raphano, being placed onto regular pasture then returning to the Raphano due to having to prepare their guts. The Raphano on Willyung Farms that is now in the second year of production Sandy explained the grazing and management history and the plan for the upcoming season.

Discussions around the benefits of weed management and decreasing weed burden in the coming season was also a priority discussion for many farmers. 

A huge thank you to the Elders team for the BBQ with light refreshments at the walk's conclusion, allowing much more discussion to carry on. If you would like to be notified of any upcoming southern beef events, please TEXT 0427 214 707 with your name.
Opportunities in a Changing Climate
One of the most successful OHCG/Southern beef events we have had was held on 6 August – the Opportunities in a Changing Climate workshop at DPIRD Albany/Motel le Grande.  The event was booked out with 80 attendees filling the venue. 

Its popularity was probably due to the range of topics and high-profile speakers.  These included Neil Bennett (very entertaining ex BOM) Weather Patterns of WA, Adam Lillicrap (DPIRD) Water Supply and Security, Paul Sanford (DPIRD) Meeting Pasture Feed Gaps, Richard Harper (Murdoch Uni) Carbon sequestration and Dean Revell (Select Carbon) Carbon farming - is it for you?  All the talks were well received and highlighted the relationship between climate, weather, water and feed supply with a long term outlook and information to help farmers maintain or improve production over the coming years.  There was a lot of interest in Carbon Farming and discussion revealed the need for further information – potentially another event required specific to this topic. 

After the formal talks, we moved to Motel le Grand for informal discussions over some refreshments and nibbles (thanks again to Motel le Grande!), with some taking the opportunity to stay for dinner with speakers and organisers.  

Special thanks to SCNRM for sponsorship and assistance, DPIRD Albany providing the venue, as well as Motel le Grande for sponsoring delicious afternoon tea and providing venue and nibbles for the happy hour.  The event also made GWN news!
Meeting the Locals

Dolphins are iconic inhabitants of our waterways, valued by a wide range of stakeholders for their contribution to marine tourism and cultural significance. As top predators, they play an important role in coastal ecosystems, and their decline can affect other species, including commercially valuable ones.

If you spend much time on or around Oyster Harbour, chances are you have seen dolphins. But did you know that you are seeing the same dolphins every time?

Recent research has confirmed that Albany’s harbours are home to a small population of resident Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins. Ranging patterns and sighting rates showed that Oyster Harbour is an important habitat within their home range. Its sheltered waters protect from predators that are particularly important for females with calves, and seagrass beds provide important foraging areas. 

Resident dolphins are among the most vulnerable marine animals due to the extensive overlap of their habitat with increasingly busy developed areas and human activities. Life-history characteristics, including being long-lived with low reproductive rates and extended investment in offspring make dolphins particularly vulnerable to pressures and less resilient to recovery. Resident dolphins also have a small home range. The harbours are their home, they really are our nearshore neighbours! This means what we do can have a really big impact on their lives, just as something happening in our back yard impacts us much more than something happening in the next town. 

Dolphins differ in appearance just like people. It’s easy to identify individuals, once you know what to look for!

Dolphin dorsal fins have notches, scars and differences in size and shape that are as unique as a human fingerprint. Recognising individuals is an important tool that helps us learn about their lives. Using photo-identification, we can determine the size of the population, and monitor whether numbers are changing. Photographing familiar fins year after year can confirm a dolphin is a resident. Finding them in the same place many times can indicate an important habitat.

Understanding the population dynamics, ranging patterns and identifying important habitats in the coastal waters of Albany is critical in allowing us to make good decisions about our own activities to ensure our much-loved dolphins continue to share our harbours for generations to come. 

Kristy Alexander

Mount Barker Noongar Ranger's Showcase
On July 8, members of the OHCG Committee and staff attended the NAIDOC celebration at the Mt Barker Aboriginal Centre along with many other community members. The centrepiece of the celebration was the graduation of the Mt Barker Aboriginal Ranger group member who had completed their Cert 2 in Conservation and Land Management. Through this training, the Ranger team members collected seeds, planted out several revegetation sites, gained their chainsaw qualification and other useful licences. It was lovely to see the pride of the graduates in their achievement and hear from them their commitment to learning and caring for the country. For me, a particular joy to watch was the enjoyment of the children of some of the rangers who seemed very proud of what their parents had achieved and said.

During the certificate ceremony, we learned how successful the training had been. We are happy that there is now a trained team of skilled people in Mt Barker available too; collect local seeds, tree planting, track clearing/ building, woody weed removal, direct seeding, control burning, plant propagation, fencing etc. After the recent storms in the area, the Ranger team were called upon by Plantagenet Shire to help clear local roads of fallen trees. Email team leader Blair Darvill <>  to make use of this great local trained team.

After the formal proceedings and some very tasty refreshments, those present were given a tour of the seed processing area set up at the back of the buildings. We heard that the group first visited Peter Luscombe at his property to learn the elements of processing seed and then set up their own area along similar lines. The processing is very time-consuming and labour intensive and the high-quality seed that the Rangers produced is sold for revegetation of local projects. The seed is very valuable and it would be wonderful if the Ranger group could continue this important work. I can personally recommend the group – they have collected seed on my property and have also planted 4,500 plants for a revegetation project on the land here. They are efficient, hard-working and cheerful.

The celebration also provided a networking opportunity for the OHCG group to catch up with other like-minded people – I observed many engrossing conversations taking place and had a few myself. 

Jenni York  

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

Diljba Events

Albany's Wildflower Society branch
Orchid walk

Sat 21st Aug
9 am at the lower King Store
txt Jo 0428241225 for more info 

AGM2019 (4)

OHCG Committee Meeting
Thu Aug 26th
1 pm -4 pm
Come along and have
afternoon tea with us

Join us for a few hours on
Thursday to meet and
chat to some amazing local
people working in Landcare
and agriculture. You can just
come and listen or you can
use this as an opportunity
to contribute/ help direct
actions of the catchment
group and see if you
want to join the committee. 

Overall it's a great afternoon
where we chat and share
 knowledge; trials, tribulations
and successes in agriculture,
conservation and adopting
best practice.

If you're interested in coming
to this but the time doesn't
work for you please let me

Discussions will be
held around: Best Practise Weaning /
Nutrition/Health Treatments and
 Market Opportunities

Industry Representatives; 
Beachport – Gemma Oldfield
Virbac – Darren Hendry
Zoetis – Ben Fletcher
Local Producer Panel
to Finish the Day
Q&A on Weaning Practices
from Local Cattle Producers
and Feedlotters

Presenters: Bronwyn Fowler-
Nutrien Ag Solutions Animal Health,
Nutrition & Production Specialist
Bridie Luers- Nutrien Ag Solutions
Vet Animal Production, Technical
Services Advisor

Any questions, please

Albany Social Bird Watching Walk
Tuesday 14 September,
Albany birdlife group outing. 
Meet at 8am at the Lower King Bridge parking area.

World Ozone Day
Thu Sep 16th
The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.

The phaseout of controlled uses of ozone-depleting substances and the related reductions have not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations but have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change; furthermore, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth.

Zero emissions day
Tue Sep 21st
Also referred to as ZeDay, the initiative started back in 2008 in Nov Scotia as a day to minimize the use of electricity generated by fossil fuels.

#ZeroEmissionsDay #zeday

AGM2019 (4)
OHCG Committee Meeting
Thu Sep 23rd 
1 pm- 4 pm
Come along and have
afternoon tea with us

If you're interested in coming
to this but the time doesn't
work for you please let me

King River
World Rivers Day
Sun Sep 26th
World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways. It highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness and encourages the improved stewardship of rivers around the world. Spend some time today celebrate, protecting or just spending some time on our local King and Kalgan rivers.

National Op Shop Week
Mon Sep 27th 8:00 am -
Sat Oct 2nd 5:00 pm

This week seeks to raise
awareness of the important
role of charity op shops
in our community and to boost
donations of quality clothing
and household goods to
charity op shops. Boost charity
op shop sales and recognise the
tremendous work of the
volunteers and staff dedicated
to supporting their charity op shop.

Op shops are very important
to reduce, reuse in Australia.
We have numerous, great op
shops in both Mount Barker
and Albany that deserves support and use.



Renew Your

only $11 for individuals
see here

Your membership helps foster
a prosperous, vibrant community for present and
future generations within the
Oyster Harbour Catchment
through encouraging best
-practice natural resource
management and supporting
vital “hands-on” activities such
as revegetation, workshops,
community meetings, and
educational trails.

In return not only are
you supporting a great local
cause but you also get:

We are currently
running 6 projects
in the catchment. 
If you wish to be a part of
the; Holistic Property
Planning, REI's Healthy
Estuaries Initiative, uPtake
trials, National Landcare
Partnership, South Beef working group, Investigation of local historic NRM and/or Plantagenet Shire
weed control projects as a
volunteer or landholder.

We also heavily support two
other groups that you can be
involved in: the Albany
and Surrounds Feral
Cat Working group and the
Southern Beef growers group.
Please check our website for
more information or contact us

Other Help

Water Audit Rebate:
Up to $1000 to check your
farm's water supply coming
into summer https://www.water

Mental Health 
Assistance, R U OK?
regional mental health

You can find more grant
and funding opportunities
from the following websites:
The Australian Government
Disaster Assist website
provides information on
financial assistance available
for current disasters and
information on previous disasters.
Caring for our Country
Department of Agriculture 


What's in Your

Stephen Buckle- Inaturalist observer

Queen of Sheba 
(Thelymitra variegata)

The Queen of Sheba consists of three regional subspecies. They are distinguished mainly by flower colour and distribution, but there is considerable variation in colour in all three species. The Southern Queen of Sheba (Thelymitra variegata) typically has 2 to 6 flowers. It is found from Bunbury to Albany along the south coast and shows great colour variation with stripes and spots of pink, blue, yellow and red.

Orchids rely on specific fungi to germinate their microscopic seed, making some species extremely difficult to grow in cultivation.

'The Queen of Sheba did not give up her secrets easily, despite our best efforts, germination continued to result in low seedling numbers', says Kings Park Research Scientist Dr Belinda Davis.  

The team recently were eventually able to extract the symbiotic fungus from the roots of a wild Queen of Sheba plant and then grow the fungus in a petri dish in the lab, before adding orchid seeds collected from wild plants. The breakthrough came from determining the nutritional requirements of the fungus for the first time, ensuring its survival and ultimately the survival of the orchids in laboratory conditions. With this new understanding, the team have been able to germinate Queen of Sheba seedlings in their hundreds for the first time. These plants will be used for seed orcharding and eventual introduction back into the wild.

Historically this orchid grew in the heart of Perth (including the Kings Park bushland) but the loss of habitat through clearing has eliminated many populations. It is now restricted to a few small and isolated populations between Bunbury and Albany, which have suffered from trampling and poaching by people in recent years. 
If you see this plant or anything else you think someone will find interesting take a picture and upload it to inaturalist.

The Team

Bruce Radys
Senior Project Officer:
Healthy Estuaries WA

Bruce works part-time,
oversees, and helps the other
staff and works on the
Healthy Estuaries WA Program,
funded by Royalties for Regions.
He aims to improve the quality of
water entering the Oyster Harbour
through the implementation of
fencing and revegetation of
riparian vegetation, and
working with farmers to implement
best practice management,
including soil testing
in high rainfall areas. 

0428 994 408 | 9851 2703

Sheena Smith
Farm Planning
Project Officer

Sheena works part-time
to manage our farm planning
project, helping enable
strategic property planning
and informing landholders
on best-practice

Sayah Drummond 
Communications Officer 

Sayah works part-time to
ensure landholders and the
the wider community are aware
of and can be involved in,
the many exciting OHCG
projects. This includes the
maintenance of our website,
Facebook and email list, while
also trying to make sure
our community/
membership interests
are reflected in all upcoming works. 

0408 423 306 | 9851 2703

Jenni Loveland
Volunteer ASFCWG
Project Officer

Jenni is very passionate
about feral animal control
and works part-time facilitating
a Feral Cat Project and running
the Albany and Surrounds
Feral Cat Working Group (ASFCWG).
This group concentrates
on the issues that we
have in and around the
catchment with feral cats.

0409 572 240 | 9851 2703

What Happened
Last Season?

We Are Nature: Enhancing connections between human and environmental health
Thu Jun 3rd 9:00am - 11:00am

World Environment Day
Sat Jun 5th

World Ocean Day
Tue Jun 8th

World Oceans Day
Tue Jun 8th 6:00am - 6:00pm

GSDC Medal Dinner
Fri Jun 11th 6:15pm - 10:00pm

Global Wind Day
Tue Jun 15th
 6:00 am - 6:00 pm

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
Thu Jun 17th

Paperless Farm Office (Online)
Mon Jun 21st 9:30am - 12:00pm

WA Farmers Forum – Livestock, Grains & a National Perspective
Thu Jun 24th 8:00 am - Fri 25th 5:00pm

Drought Resilience Science to Practice Innovation Forum | National Event
Tue Jun 29th - Thu Jul 1st

Farm Safety: Safeguarding your People and Business (ONLINE)
Tue Jun 29th 9:30am - 12:00pm

Plastic Free July
Thu Jul 1st 12:00 pm - Sat 31st 12:00 pm

WAFarmers Bootcamp to Employment
Tue Jul 13th - Thu 15th

City of Albany FOGO launch
Mon Jul 26th 3:00pm - 6:00pm

School Tree Day
Fri Jul 30th 7:00am - 5:00pm

Growing Leaders Scholarship 2022 - Applications Close
Sat Jul 31st 5:00 pm

National Tree Day
Sun Aug 1st 8:00am - 5:00pm

Summer Sown
Forage Field Walk

Tue Aug 3rd


Albany Social Bird Watching Walk
Tues 10 Aug

National Science Week
14th to 22nd Aug

Keep Australia Beautiful Week
16th to 22nd Aug
Like us on Facebook!
New website coming soon!
  Renew Your Membership  only $11 for individuals see here


Copyright © 2018 Oyster Harbour Catchment Group Inc., All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 118, Mount Barker, W.A., 6324

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Oyster Harbour Catchment Group · PO Box 118 · Mount Barker, Wa 6324 · Australia

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