NPAQ Association Experience – National Parks Association of Queensland

NPAQ Association Experience

Author: Debra Marwedel, Honorary Life Member, National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ)

When asked to write an article about my experiences on Council for the National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ), I was not expecting the flood of memories that this triggered and I’m delighted to share some of that with you here.

For those who do not know me, I retired at the 2020 Annual General Meeting after serving ten years on Council, six of those years as Honorary Secretary and member of the Executive, and one as Assistant Honorary Secretary.

As a Councillor and member of the Executive since 2010, I had the privilege of working with three Presidents – Tony O’Brien (2007-2012), Michelle Prior (2012-2017) and Graeme Bartrim (2017-2020).

These three Presidents generously used their individual leadership styles, management skills, and personal networks/contacts for the benefit of the Association. Each were right for their time – influencing, responding, and adapting to changes in Government policy and the hearts and minds of Queensland communities – the latter being influenced by challenges including climate change and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am honoured and grateful for the opportunity to have worked closely with them as they reshaped and evolved the organisation.

Behind the scenes, a couple of important shared successes have been improvements in the Association’s governance and its response to financial challenges.

A new and capable leadership team is in place and will continue to deliver on the Association’s purpose, and to develop its people, processes, and the performance of the Association.

2020 was a year of celebration for the Association, 2020 being its 90th year of advocacy for national parks and protected areas in Queensland. What has made my time with the Association rewarding has been the Councillors’ energy and shared vision for national parks and protected area outcomes, and the leadership within the Association. The challenges being the ever-changing environment in which the Association operates and ensuring we respond appropriately.

Thank you to the organisation’s members, supporters, donors, staff, and volunteers for their contribution to the successes of NPAQ. It is by working together that we have achieved much and will continue to do so.

Above: Photo: Joshua Willson. Banner: Photo: Jonte J.

One thought on “NPAQ Association Experience

  1. Richard Proudfoot says:

    Thank you Deb. As a past 3-year councilor, I witnessed first hand your dedication and professionalism to the National Parks cause. I am tempted to say that you will be greatly missed but I hesitate because I know that the incoming council team (and secretary) will be just as focused as those who have previously served.
    However I can safely say that you have earned you place as an Honorary Life Member, joining such a select group of people who have done so much for our national parks.

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