As we look back over the 2017, I see it as a year that reflects many of the processes we observe and work with in nature to guide us in being successful and sustainable land managers and food producers. The year has seen a great injection of energy, ideas and resources from new committee members and association members, a pragmatic review and re-utilisation of scarce resources, a growth in the productive elements of the SHA and the adoption of a clear process for identifying new projects and how to activate them.

The 2017 SHA Committee has done a great job in taking on responsibilities for activities this year that I believe will make the SHA a strong, effective member driven association in years to come. I would like to thank and congratulate the work of James, Leisa, Penny, Ruth, Ellyn, Fiona and all that have rallied to continue the work of SHA. Your efforts to take on responsibilities and pursue new ventures that will benefit the members and partners of SHA are to be applauded. As we know, and you have found out from your more in-depth involvement, there is a lot that goes into the successful administration and operations of a members based organisation that is looking to be at the forefront of developing and promoting a local food economy and community. And I see you are doing a good job.

I would also like to formally recognise the tremendous efforts of Donna Camac. Donna has been involved with the SHA from the time Richard Everson and I established it back when we both identified its opportunity and potential when we three worked at RDA Southern Inland. The early days of SHA was very fortunate to have the skills, expertise and energy of Donna and Richard working on the details of what the SHA could and should be, how it should be set up to best deliver relevant, tangible benefits to members and what activities it should undertake and partnerships it should establish to grow a commercially viable south east NSW/ACT regional food economy. The SHA was also fortunate to have the benefit of Donna being employed for a short time to again coordinate the administration and operational activities of the SHA. She again performed at a very high level and the SHA will be always grateful for the tremendous value Donna has brought to it over the past years.

The great work of the committee members this past year will now allow me to step down as President of the SHA on the understanding that others will continue to tale on roles that will continue the work of SHA into 2018 and beyond. I would specifically like to thank James, Leisa and Penny for their great initiative and energy in leading this work and for allowing me to step aside and to dedicate my energies to my business in Braidwood. I will continue to be a member and supporter of the SHA and do whatever I can when I can to contribute to the work of the association to deliver benefits to members.


Wishing all a happy and safe Festive Season.


Colin McLean