The Re-Weavers are “individual Australians who have greatly enhanced the tapestry of our Earth Community by re-weaving green threads of sustainability back into its living fabric.”

The Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition and the Clarence Valley Branch of the National Parks Association of NSW organise the ReWeavers Awards each year on the Friday nearest to World Environment Day. The awards honour those who have made an outstanding contribution to the environment and affirm that individuals can make a difference.

The first Re-Weavers Dinner was held in 2006.  
There were no awards in 2012 and 2013. 

Re-Weavers of the Tapestry 2005-2018

Clarence Valley Branch of the National Parks Association
Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition - 30th Anniversary
Clarence Environment Centre

Bob Friederich, Canberra (formerly Grafton)
Bill Noonan. Grafton
Phil redpath, Grafton

Leonie Blain, Grafton
 Sharon Lehman, Grafton
Helen Tyas Tunggal, Angourie

Ros Woodward, Woolewehah
Nan and Hugh Nicholson, The Channon

Dianne Roberts, Armidale
Graeme Payne, Grafton
Ashley Love, Coffs Harbour

Joan O'Shea, Grafton
Jim Morrison, Mallanganee
John Seed, formerly of Lismore

Carmel Flint, Armidale
 Stan Mussared, Grafton
 Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Peter Morgan, Grafton
Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay
Celia Smith, Armidale

Peter Wrightson, Ashby
Jim Tedder, Grassy Head
Barbara Fahey, Grafton

Lance Ferris, Ballina
Jim Knight, Kangaroo Creek
Rosie Richards, formerly of Tullymorgan

John & Pat Edwards, Shannondale 
Janet van Spanje, formerly of Nambucca Heads

Roy Bowling, Tucabia
Greg Clancy, Coutts Crossing
 Meg Gordon & Michael Martin, “Arndilly” via Lawrence
 Russell Jago, Ulmarra
 Kay Jeffrey, Iluka
 Col Lee, Mountain View
 Dennis Milne, Minnie Water

Re-Weavers 2011

Joan O’Shea is one of three people being honoured for their environmental contribution at the annual Re-Weavers' Dinner in Grafton on 3 June 2011. Below is a report Joan wrote about  the work she and her husband undertook as volunteers at Epping Forest National Park during their first time there.  They returned To Epping Forest in 2009 and 2010 and will be working there again later in 2011.
Looking after Endangered Wombats

Late in August (2008) my husband Rick and I travelled to Clermont, in central Queensland, to have a month as caretakers at Epping Forest National Park, the last stand for the critically endangered Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii) . It is estimated only about 115 of these animals are left.

One of the caretakers’ duties was to ensure that the 15 feed stations within the park were replenished each day.  Each morning we visited these checking any animal tracks near them (cat, macropod, echidna and hopefully wombat) and recording them.  Then we swept the area so that only the tracks for the day were there next morning.  At most of the feed stations there were cameras which had to be checked daily and downloaded to a computer twice weekly.  Each morning we also checked half of the perimeter fence.  A  two metre high 20 kilometre long fence surrounding the wombat habitat is there to protect them from dingoes.

The wombats are very serious diggers and there was always the worry that they might dig under the fence but fortunately this did not happen while we were there.  They are also very elusive nocturnal animals and we only managed to see two during our stay.

Our mode of transport within the park was a Polaris Ranger (like a golf buggy on steroids) which only let us down once - it broke down in the northern end of the park, furtherest from the camp. It took us an hour and a half to walk back!

Apart from the wombats we shared the park with Easter Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies, Rufous Bettongs, various species of snakes and the biggest goannas you’ve ever seen (Goulds). Unfortunately rabbits and cats also live in the park.  It was a great place for birdwatching.  I identified about 80 species within the park and 10 more on dams adjacent to it.

Sadly, it just seemed we were getting the hang of it when it was time to leave.  We feel privileged to have been able to help in a small way to ensure the future of these wonderful animals and hope to return for another month in 2010.

-          Joan O’Shea

This was originally published in the “Voices for the Earth” column of The Daily Examiiner on 26 January 2009.



Jim Morrison, Joan O'Shea & John Seed      Photo: P Morgan

The 6th annual Re-Weavers Dinner, held in Grafton on 3rd June, celebrated the outstanding contribution of Joan O’Shea, Jim Morrison and John Seed to the environment. Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson presented the Re-Weavers with certificates of appreciation.

Grafton resident Joan O’Shea was involved in the foundation of the Clarence Valley Branch of the National Parks Association and the campaign to save the Washpool rainforest in the early 1980s. In the years since then she has been an active member of several local conservation groups. For more than 15 years as a member of the NSW Wildlife, Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES), she has played a valuable and selfless role in caring for injured and orphaned wildlife.

Jim Morrison of Mallanganee became involved in the environment movement in the late 1990s becoming the spokesperson on plantations for the North East Forest Alliance and the environment representative on native vegetation and water committees and the then Upper North Coast Catchment Management Board. He has been the president of the North Coast Environment Council – the regional umbrella organisation for community conservation groups – for much of the past decade and is a member of the state-wide NSW Nature Conservation Council’s executive committee.

John Seed, originally of Nimbin, became heavily involved in conservation issues following the campaign to save the rainforests of Terania Creek in August 1979.  He founded the Rainforest Information Centre in 1981 and seven years later it was working with more than 60 organisations in 20 countries to protect rainforests and the indigenous people living in them.  John has become a leading eco-spiritual activist, giving roadshows, workshops and lectures particularly in Europe, north America and Australia aimed at informing and empowering people to do something to protect the earth and its life forms 

May the values that have inspired “re-weaving the tapestry” in the lives of Joan, Jim and John become the values of many.

Re-Weavers  2014

Ashley Love played a pivotal role in the reservation of vast areas of forests in New South Wales as national park. He did this through guiding the development of the survey methods used in the Comprehensive Regional Assessments, and also the development of the predictive modelling and other processes used to ensure that the negotiated outcomes improved the adequacy and representation of our parks system. Since retirement, he has continued to lobby for protection of our region’s forests and improved management of our national parks.

Mrs Dianne Roberts, nee Quinlan, was born into a loving Thunghutti family and community in the Macleay Valley. Dianne was taught profound respect for Country and for people. She is imbued with a lifelong love of learning and caring, sharing of knowledge and compassion with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Her achievements have been recognised with many awards including the Order of Australia medal. Although now retired as Principal of Minimbah School, Armidale, Dianne continues her involvement in her Church, other organisations and projects, providing inspiration for many along her life's pathway.

Graeme Payne was born and raised in the Clarence Valley.  He has worked as a full-time artist since 1974.  In his wildlife and landscape studies Graeme is seeking to portray the wonder and connectedness of all life.  The Earth Charter has been an important part of his Earth Community approach.

Re-Weavers  2015

Roslyn Woodward, the President of Valley Watch, the Lower Clarence Environment group, has been  an active campaigner on local environmental issues for years as well as a strong advocate for effective action on climate change.

Nan and Hugh Nicholson were very active in the battle to save Terania Creek Rainforest in the late 1970s and early 1980s – a battle which became an important catalyst for other forest issues. Their love of rainforest led to establishment of a rainforest nursery and publication of six books on Australian rainforest plants. Today their environmental activism continues through involvement in the campaign to keep the Northern Rivers gasfield free.

Re-Weavers  2016

Leonie Blain’s early work included the Daishowa pulp mill and Regional Water Supply campaigns.  More recently she has been involved in the unconventional gas-mining campaign and climate change issues.  Leonie was a foundation member of the Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition and has been secretary since 1991.  One spokesman stated, “This group’s existence would have terminated long ago except for Leonie’s efforts.”  She is also an active member of many local committees such as Council’s Climate Change Community Advisory Committee.

Sharon Lehman came to the Clarence 22 years ago and has been very much involved in searching for ways to make environmental education and communication more effective.  She has a very strong sense of wholeness and the social aspect of our Earth Community is very important to her.  Three major projects she has initiated are Waste Not Want Not, Clarence Valley Conservation in Action and Hands on Nature.  Her work illustrates many aspects of the Earth Charter, one of the world’s great Earth Community documents.

Helen Tyas Tunggal as principal of Harwood Island Public School led the development of the school as a centre of excellence in environmental education.  Over the past 25 years Helen has continued to refine the Learnscapes Planning and Design Process, developed the Clarence Water ambassador education program, written the Kidsgrow school gardening resources and received the 2007 NSW Environmental Educator of the Year award.  She has been a long-serving member of local environment groups including Valley Watch and Angourie Coastcare.
 Re-Weavers  2017

As an officer of the National Parks and Wildlife Service from 1979, Bob Friederich made a major contribution to the establishment of the service in this area during a period of great change and increasing environmental awareness. As a planning co-ordinator and later as Manager of Grafton District, Bob served for 21 years on the North Coast before transferring to the Northern Tablelands as Regional Manager for five years.

Bill Noonan joined the newly-formed Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition (CVCC) in 1988 and was very active in the successful campaign to prevent the establishment of a chemical pulp mill on the Clarence River.  He later became CVCC president, a position he held for 16 years. Bill has participated in many environmental campaigns and has been an articulate advocate for the natural environment over many years.

As an ecologist working for the NSW Government, Phil Redpath achieved large wins for conservation and improved the understanding of several threatened species and vegetation communities.  Along with botanist John Benson, he redefined our understanding of the state of the Australian bush at the time of colonisation, fire ecology and the Aboriginal use of fire.