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Posted on 03/03/2021 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

The Phillip Island Nature Parks Board met in February to discuss a range of issues and opportunities, and continue its ongoing review of policies, compliance responsibilities and strategic planning as set out under its governance framework. The highlights of these meetings are outlined below.

Strategic Priorities
The Board completed its mid-term review of the Strategic Plan 2018-23 to identify and discuss the Nature Parks’ strategic priorities for the remaining two years of the plan, in light of the significant impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Board acknowledged the need to focus on a range of strategies aimed at tourism recovery, while continuing with core conservation activities and programs, and looks forward to providing more information in the coming months.

Annual Budget and Business Plan
The Board reviewed the Annual Budget and Business Plan, and acknowledged that while progress on some items had been understandably slower than originally forecast due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Nature Parks’ team had delivered several outstanding achievements within such a challenging environment.

The Board noted the significant outcomes as a result of the breadth of deployment activities that were implemented by teams from across departments including building and site maintenance such as cleaning and painting, weed removal, assisting with fire management programs, revegetation of well over 26.4 hectares of habitat with 36,246 plants in the ground, planting a new garden entry at Barb Martin Bushbank, wildlife data analysis, collating survey results and more.

Live Penguin TV continued to entertain, educate and attract new audiences, with a series of ‘Meet the Team’ local livestreams, and a dedicated livestream to the UK which launched in February with wildlife presenters Michaela Strachan and Ray Mears as guest commentators.

The Board also noted significant work had been done to refine and document a broad range of internal systems, policies and procedures.

Reconciliation Advisory Committee and Working Together Protocols
The Board received an update from the latest meeting or the Reconciliation Advisory Committee, and were pleased to hear that the Aboriginal Employment strategy will be progressing from April, following a pause in this strategy due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Board is looking forward to the implementation of this strategy and to sharing some positive outcomes.

The Board endorsed the Working Together protocols included in the Reconciliation Action Plan, which will help to shape how the Reconciliation Advisory Committee will be able to work most effectively with Traditional Owners and community members.

The Board also received an update on the scheduled meeting in March, which is due to be held On Country.

The Board was pleased to receive an update showing excellent visitation across the Nature Parks’ attractions during the summer period. The Board acknowledged the drop in visitation since the conclusion of the holiday period, and is working closely with the Management team to ensure that the Nature Parks is well placed to maximise visitation in general in what is a challenging and very competitive environment.

Liz Stinson
Phillip Island Nature Parks

About Phillip Island Nature Parks
Phillip Island Nature Parks is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on its ecotourism attractions to deliver ongoing funding for social, environmental, conservation, research and education outcomes.

The Nature Parks is governed by a Board of Management established under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978. Board members are appointed by the Responsible Minister under the Act and the Board meets regularly to provide governance and strategic direction.