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Alby Wooler Mr Landcare
2 Jul 2009
Published To
Description

As a farmer, Alby Wooler has always been a trailblazer. Thirty years ago he broke out of the mould and started a rare fruits orchard on his property ‘Tralee’ on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast. He founded the Capricornia branch of the Rare Fruits Council of Australia and helped a thriving rare fruits industry grow in the district, which now generates over $3 million each year. But most of Alby’s tireless work is not for his own personal benefit. In 1987 he founded the Capricorn Coast Landcare Group, of which he has been president for most of its existence However Alby’s most lasting contribution is almost certainly how he has inspired the young people of his region to become passionate landcare supporters. Alby came up with the concept of Junior Landcare to engage young people in the environmental cause, believing that if they were armed with better knowledge and skills, they would manage the environment better than past generations. He observed that many adults had entrenched mind sets and that children were more open to new ideas. The effort started at Yeppoon State Primary School in the early 1990s with 500 students and then spread widely throughout Queensland. Alby spends time every week with Junior Landcare groups at four schools in his district. He gives his time to schools in more remote areas too, and has visited 65 schools for the annual Schools Arbour Day Program, which started in 1993. Alby has attained a high profile in the region’s horticulture industry and in environmental education through his involvement with and support of others, regular Landcare articles in the media and by the leadership and commitment he shows in his approach to productive and sustainable use of the environment. In 2007 He received an Australia Day Citizen of the Year award.

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