Nature Conservation

Nature Conservation was established in 2002 and is one of six natural resource management groups operating in the south west of Western Australia. Originally known as the Cape to Cape Catchments Group, its activities evolved over time from a specific focus on the health of rivers and creeks to encompass the protection of all biodiversity values in the Margaret River region.

This integrated, whole-of-system approach to regional conservation was reflected in a change of name to Nature Conservation Margaret River Region in 2017. Concurrently new appointments were made to an expanded Board of Directors, the Constitution amended and more focus placed on developing strategies to increase community engagement in conservation activities.

Nature Conservation is an independent, community-based, not-for-profit organisation. It works to combine the grassroots support of the regional community with sound conservation science and pragmatic policy initiatives to achieve sustainable environmental outcomes.

This is reflected in a commitment to community consultation, collaborative partnerships and coordinated action as a means to developing effective solutions to regional environmental problems. To this end Nature Conservation undertakes an integrated program of activities including planning, monitoring, research, on-ground action, awareness raising, education and capacity building critical to the ongoing social, economic and environmental well-being of the Margaret River region.

Our Vision

Our vision is to effectively work for a healthy and biodiverse natural environment.

Board of Directors

The Board are all volunteers who meet on a regular basis. They are responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the organisation and are committed to maintaining high standards of governance and accountability.

Dr Ann Ward | Chair

Ann moved to Margaret River from the Kimberley where she spent  26 years as a Rural GP Obstetrician. Prior to that she was a Flying Doctor in Meekatharra for 3 years. She has a passion for bushwalking in wild areas and has worked in various capacities in the Himalaya, Antarctica, the Arctic and Tonga.  She was formerly on the Board of Directors for the RFDS WA Section for 9 years and is a founding member of Gija Total Health Advisory group, supporting Warmun Aboriginal Community.  Ann has now made Margaret River home.

Hamish Worsley

Hamish Worsley | Deputy Chair

Hamish is an economist and actuary who settled in Margaret River with his family in 2014. Raised on a family farm in southern NSW, he graduated from the University of Melbourne and has worked and travelled extensively within Australia and internationally. He is a Director at NMG, an international strategy consulting firm. His passion is spending time in nature and the outdoors with his wife and four children. He is also treasurer at the Margaret River Regional Environment Centre. “The reason we moved to the region was to live in this unique environment. We had young kids and wanted them to have a childhood surrounded by nature. I’d like that preserved for future generations and wanted to support groups striving for that,” Hamish says.

Nature Conservation Margaret River Region

Crispin Underwood | Treasurer

Crispin is the founder and Director of an environmental consultancy specialising in environmental engineering and natural resource management. He has had a varied career with private industry, Government, the not for profit sector and in farming. Crispin has a holistic approach, which has drawn from his diverse work history, wide ranging travels, and his nature based personal interests.

Michelle McManus | Secretary

Michelle operates a leading and award winning regenerative farming business and currently supports Landsmith Collection. Her industry experience includes urban development, mining, infrastructure, rail, and natural gas as well with SME, arts organisations and local and state government. She has a broad range of experience with stakeholder engagement, communications and management focussing on Sustainable development, environmental management, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Nature Conservation Margaret River Region

Professor Emerita Carmen Lawrence

Former Premier of Western Australia (1990 – 93), Member for Fremantle in House of Representatives (1994-2007) and Minister for Human Services and Health (1994-96), Chair of the Australian Heritage Council (2010-2016), Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Change in the School of Psychological Science at the University of Western Australia and President of the Conservation Council of WA (current). Carmen now has a bush retreat in the Margaret River region and visits regularly.

Emma Scaife

Emma Scaife (Advisor)

Emma grew up in Pemberton where she developed an abiding affinity with the majestic forests of the South-West. Emma holds a Bachelor of Laws (UWA) and a Master of Environmental Management (ECU). She trained as a lawyer in Perth, worked as a senior solicitor for top tier law firms in Melbourne and London, and led a policy team for the British Government introducing new legislation in the UK. More recently, Emma has focused on helping environmental causes, volunteering at The Woodland Trust (UK), the Environmental Defenders Office (WA) and the Conservation Council of WA. After a stint volunteering with Nature Conservation Margaret River Region and living in Margaret River with her family and two children while she studied her Masters, Emma has joined the organisation as a volunteer advisor. “Nature Conservation is doing great things and I’m really excited to get more involved,” she says.

Peter Adamson (Advisor)

Perth-born Peter has a long history as an outdoorsman, caver, mountaineer, boatsman, expedition leader and experiential learning facilitator in natural environments across the world.  He’s a former senior executive in large organisations; a presenter and public speaker whose audiences have ranged from CSIRO scientists to the United Nations; a facilitator whose work ranged from Kimberley Aboriginal community meetings to World Health Organisation teams and corporate leaders; and a rescue and remote area trainer in safe work practices, emergency preparedness and response. Peter says joining NCMRR as an advisor is a chance to give back after “spending most of my life in natural environments and enjoying the many gifts from that lifestyle”. “I’ve seen many significant changes in the Margaret River region – changes that can never be undone, are increasing in momentum and scope year by year, and transforming what was once a very unique ecosystem. NCMRR can influence those changes to ensure a balance,” he says.


Nature Conservation Staff

Drew McKenzie | General Manager

Lyndsey Cox | Research & Citizen Science Officer

Peta Lierich | ‘For Nature’ Program Officer | ‘Our Patch’ Environmental Education Officer

Tracey Muir | ‘Adopt a Spot’ Coordinator

Lauren Scanlon | Western Ringtail Possum Coordinator | ‘Our Patch’ Environmental Education Officer

Mandy Edwards | Coastal Officer

Mike Griffiths | Biodiversity Project Officer

Jodie Passmore | Friends of Reserves Officer | Special Projects

Fran Dohring | Administration & Finance Officer

Trevor Paddenburg | Communications Officer

Zoe McKenzie | Environmental Trainee

Nature Conservation Partners and Supporters

Nature Conservation seeks to leverage the strength of the regional community by raising awareness, inspiring commitment and empowering action on behalf of the environment.

To this end it develops and nurtures a diverse network of supporters within the Margaret River region. This includes strong grassroots support from individuals and local businesses , teams of dedicated volunteers and citizen scientists, a network of strategic partnerships as well as collaborative working relationships with Federal, State, and local government agencies.

Nature Conservation wishes to thank the following groups and organisation for their support during 2018-19.

Strategic Partners

Augusta Margaret River Shire Council
Line In The Sand
Paskeville Foundation
The Water Corporation
Birdlife WA and Cape to Cape Bird Group
City of Busselton
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
Edith Cowan University
Geographe Catchments Council
Gondwana Link
Lower Blackwood Land Conservation District Committee
Margaret River Chamber of Commerce
Margaret River Regional Environment Centre
Margaret River Wine Association
Murdoch University Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit
South West Catchments Council
Transition Margaret River
Yallingup LCDC

Community and Business Supporters

Brewhouse Margaret River
Candy Cow Cowaramup
Cape Mentelle Wines
Cowaramup Agencies
Cowaramup Lions Club
Cullen Wines
Friends of Reserve Group Volunteers
Hairy Marron Café
Nature Conservation Members and Donors
Nature Conservation Volunteers
Rotary Club of Margaret River
Voyager Estate
‘Our Patch’ Participating Schools
Settlers Tavern
Margaret River Distilling Company
Proactive Taxation Solutions
The Larder, Margaret River
Sustainable Settlements Pty Ltd
Grape Escape SW Tours
Bendigo Bank

Holst Design + Build


Higgins Lane motel

Sole Trails Pty Ltd

Walk into Luxury

Supporting Grant Programs

Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Environmental Management Fund
State Natural Resource Management Program
Federal Government National Landcare Program

A special thank you to Christian Fletcher for use of a number of his stunning photographs of the Margaret River region on www.natureconservation.org.au and other organisational products.