Melanie Ledgett

Department:

Reconstruction WG

I live and work on the Mid North Coast of NSW in the Great Lakes area. My partner and I met while working for Sydney regen company, Total Earth Care. We eventually became the proprietors of Sydney Native Nursery and soon after, moved to our 100 acres of forest near Wallis Lake. We have 3 daughters – 8, 12 and 14; live in our never-ending owner built home and still grow indigenous plants.

I first became interested in bush regen while doing my science degree at Macquarie uni in the late 1980’s. Having bought Robin’s book, I ended up doing regen at Ryde TAFE in 1994 with Robin and Michael and was working for TEC soon after. I went on to work at Taronga Zoo and Sydney Water before asking Robin if I could come back to Ryde as a teacher. I spent about 4 years as a casual teacher at Ryde, which I loved, but moved on after I had my 2nd daughter and we made the break to head up the coast permanently.

I’ve been self employed since 2000, working in all areas of native vegetation management. I’ve written bush fire assessments, landscape plans, habitat assessments and other DA related reports. I’ve also continued to work as a regen contractor for council and NPWS and I have several private native landscaped gardens. Most of my contractor work involves volunteer group support, which I love, as it fills the teaching gap for me.

One of the areas I feel AABR can provide support to its members is in professional accreditation. As a sole trader, this is particularly relevant to me, as I am not part of a larger group or being put through courses by an employer. I think some sort of CPD, continuing professional development, through AABR would be much more relevant than having to do things like update Chemcert certificates to be able to compete for contracts!

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