Fond farewells – Susie Chapman & Craig Welden

Susie Chapman retires

After almost two decades of action on the ground for Healthy Land & Water and its predecessor SEQ Catchments, we say goodbye to well-known and loved Sunshine Coaster Susie Chapman, who retired recently.

The CEO of Healthy Land & Water, Julie McLellan has given her public thanks to Susie in a heartfelt tribute given at the recent meeting of the South East Queensland Catchment Management Association (SEQCMA). Julie told SEQCMA:

“I’d like to thank Susie for the enormous contribution to NRM in SEQ. Her care and support for the community, the environment and First Nations, along with her ability to challenge the status quo and to push for better outcomes has delivered significant results.

Susie achieved a great deal of success, not to mention generated positive impact for the community and environment of SEQ. This has not slipped by unnoticed. Susie is highly respected in the community she worked and for her work and achievements which have contributed to Healthy Land & Water’s successes (and all its previous iterations).

I personally thank Susie for 19 years of contribution, drive and delivery.”

Susie worked in the biodiversity team with Paul Donatiu, who adds:

“Susie is probably the best NRM practitioner I have ever met.

She was able to switch seamlessly from talking to pineapple growers about polymers to designing shellfish reefs to adapting coastal ecosystems to climate impacts – often in the course of a single day.”

While her list of projects and achievements are too many to mention, here are just some of Susie’s outstanding achievements:

  • Sustained long-standing and highly effective relationships with NRM and environmental groups across the Sunshine Coast and often beyond, culminating in her AO.
  • Invested in long-term meaningful engagements with Traditional Owners, long before it became imbedded into Healthy Land & Water’s strategy.
    • This resulted in Traditional Owners being involved in just about every major Healthy Land & Water project on the Sunshine Coast.
    • This enabled our partnership on the amazing cultural heritage work on Bribie Island.
  • A highly astute practitioner within the community development and community education fields. People study for years to try to be productive in these fields, but her highly effective use of these process skills was a fantastic complement to her deep understanding of NRM and environmental issues.
  • Nurtured relationships with key influencers in the NRM/environmental field that she could call upon at will.


Craig Welden to join Logan City Council

Long-term Healthy Land & Water team member Craig Welden is spreading his wings and heading over to join the Land for Wildlife team at Logan City Council.

Craig is well known for his passion and dedication and we are fortunate that he will remain connected through his new role.

Working alongside Samantha Lloyd, Craig has played a significant part in the state-wide expansion and growth of our fire program. Craig has been a skilled advocate for the QFBC, for bushfire, for biodiversity and for Healthy Land & Water across the whole of Queensland. Craig’s extensive experience in the planning, management and application of fire in the Australian landscape has been crucial to the successful delivery of the QFBC to partners and stakeholders. He facilitated the state-wide expansion of the program, particularly into central and Far North Queensland.

Healthy Land & Water CEO Julie McLellan has asked staff and stakeholders to join her in wishing Craig the very best for his new venture and thanking him for his invaluable contribution and dedication to Healthy Land & Water.

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