Avongro’s Business Development team includes Chairman Ian Hall and vice-chairman Alan Briggs, with experts, educators and project managers brought in as needed. Avongro’s community engagement facilitator Rosanne Scott is another one of our driving forces. Ian, Alan, Rosanne and our project partners have a wealth of knowledge and passion for the promotion and planting of tree crops in the Wheatbelt.
Ian Hall, Chairman
Ian Hall farms at Aldersyde, east of Brookton. Ian’s homestead is adjacent to the Yenyenning Lakes Nature Reserve, where as part of the Yenyenning Lakes Management Committee he helped reverse the trend of water and land degradation. Since hearing Professor Syd Shea speak in 2000 about the potential for pines on sands and the development of the industry, the Halls increasingly included tree crops in their farm landscape. In 2001, they planted 167 hectares to Pinus pinaster in a sharefarming arrangement with the Forest Products Commission (FPC). The Halls have planted 40 hectares of sandalwood, a 10 hectare Pinus brutia trial and 6,000 oil mallees. The Halls also trialed Acacia saligna and a variety of Melaleuca species including Melaleuca uncinata, plus have hosted several scientific trials and demonstration sites involving Casuarina obesa.
‘By having trees on marginal land I am not tempted to try and put it to crop’, said Ian. ‘They physically stop me wasting money.’ As well as the environmental and aesthetic benefits, Ian hopes tree cropping will provide local jobs and keep people in the district. ‘Tree crops may provide employment in planning and planting, pruning and thinning, processing and marketing’, said Ian. ‘Ideally the tree crop industry needs to be self supporting, with short and medium term tree crops providing supplementary income and the funding to support longer term tree crop rotations on the farm.’
Ian’s dedication to farm forestry helped lead to his election as a director for Wheatbelt NRM in 2011.
Ian Hall is just one of the great believers in tree crops as part of future farming landscapes – see our other farmer videos.
Alan Briggs, Vice-chairman
BSc (Forestry) (ANU); Grad Dip Bus Admin. (Curtin); MBA (Tourism focus) (ECU)
A fifth generation Western Australian with a love for travel, Alan worked for 40 years for the Western Australian government in the areas of forest and land conservation and management; recreation and tourism, Ministerial office for Forests; and managed the natural heritage program for the National Trust.
Alan established his own business Natural Heritage and Culture taking on consultancy tasks in his field of expertise.
Alan has lectured at WA universities since 1997, currently lecturing in sustainable tourism at Murdoch University. Alan commenced his PhD in 2012.
Rosanne Scott: Principal Facilitator – Community Engagement and Empowerment
Rosanne Scott started her career as a primary school teacher. In 1989 she was inspired to become involved with environmental work through Men of the Trees W.A.
First Woman President of Men of the Trees (2004 to 2006), and on the Board from 1995 to 2007 – Rosanne served this organisation for 20 years. She Co-Founded Children of the Trees (COTT) as a branch of Men of the Trees (1990 – 1992) which eventually evolved to become Planetary Action Network (PAN), the youth voluntary branch of Men of the Trees (1992 – 2007). Rosanne was presented with an Honorary Life Membership for her service in 1997.
Rosanne Scott founded Perth City Farm in 1994 with a team of young people and held the position of Director for 17 years – pioneering youth-facilitated events in WA, giving young people a voice in managing their own cultural events. It was Rosanne’s passionate vision of a holistic project, crossing all human needs, that saw the birth and evolution of Perth City Farm – kick-starting the Community Garden movement in Perth. Rosanne secured a 40 year lease that commenced in 2004. Her motto “Planting trees to help people grow” combines her passion for the environment and for people.
From 1990 to 2002 Rosanne built bridges with the Wadjari people of the Murchison region 750 km north east of Perth through the Pia project – bringing young people from the city to live and work with Aboriginal people – planting native trees, fruit trees and vegetable gardens. She facilitated holiday programs for the aboriginal children bringing artists and musicians to deliver a whole range of activities. Over the 12 years many people had the opportunity to also learn about dry-lands permaculture.
From 2000 to 2010 Rosanne, with her team of young people successfully planted thousands of trees in the Wheatbelt through Activate Tree Planting events. With an average of 35 people at a time, many of whom had never been tree planting before, trees were planted willingly with the offer of music, food and friendship.
Rosanne was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow by the East Perth Rotary in 2009 for service to the community, and placed on the Conservation Council of Western Australia’s Honours List 2010, for her environmental work over the last 20 years.
Rosanne’s community engagement and empowerment role at Avongro Inc is in the area of her passion – bringing community, education and the environment together – advising Wheatbelt communities on community gardens, facilitating youth initiatives, working with Aboriginal people, tree planting events and partnering with land managers – to ‘Activate the Wheatbelt’.