Order of Australia (OAM) for weed warrior Kaye Rodden

Kaye Rodden is the latest recipient of the King’s Birthday Honours’ Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her conservation service. Kaye was involved in a previous VSTWP Extension Project to west of Geelong in 2017-2018, and was very encouraging of the battle with serrated tussock and other invasive plants. Well done to Kaye for her lifelong dedication and passion for conservation and improved land management across Victoria! The VSTWP would like to take this opportunity to thank you for advocating for improved management of invasive plants and animals, including the menacing serrated tussock!

OAM for Kaye Rodden

The farmer has been a part of environmental conservation and protection throughout her life, participating in community groups like Friends of the Barwon and the National Landcare Network.

Ms Rodden helped form the Barrabool Hills Landcare Group in 1995 to tackle rabbits, serrated tussock weeds, and gorse plants while preserving native plants and water quality.

“As a farmer, which I’ve been all my life, my husband and I feel quite strongly about trying to regenerate the landscape we depended on for our income,” she said.

“It (the group) is a bit more than just conservation; it’s also regenerating the landscape and trying to prevent pests, animals and weeds from reinfecting the area we live in.

“If you depend on the land for an income which farmers do, all farmers really are concerned about conservation and there’s a saying that you really have to be green to be in the black.”

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Ms Rodden said she believed the OAM should be shared with the community and that she wouldn’t have been able to achieve anything without her strong family support.

“I’m really humbled to have been singled out in our community of people who I think are champions already. So, I feel a bit embarrassed in some respects,” she said.

“Everyone is concerned about the future of the world that we live in, and trying to conserve what we have and improving our natural environment is something that many of us aspire to.

“If my family hadn’t supported me, come along to all the things that we ran and didn’t mind when I wasn’t there at night to help with homework, if it wasn’t for them then this wouldn’t happen.”

(this article appeared in the Geelong Indy Newspaper-here)