Grass-roots community organisation that aims to improve the natural condition of the Derwent catchment


The Derwent Catchment Project evolved out of the Hamilton Landcare Group and has been established since 2002. The group has had many active and successful projects working in collaboration with Central Highlands and Derwent Valley Councils, government agencies, industry and local community.

James Allwright


James grew up in a farming family at Hollow Tree. He graduated with a BAgSc (Tas) in 1980, which gave him the observation and interpretation skills that have helped a farming career spanning more than 30 years. In 2008 he graduated (again!) with honors, which led him to the chairmanship of The Derwent Catchment Project.

Over the years James has been involved in many catastrophic environmental events (some of his own making) such as droughts, dust storms, overgrazing (feral & domestic) in a quest to convert a wool/sheep farm to higher-yielding fat lamb and cropping. He wishes to see our district farmers develop a productive sustainable agricultural system that employs industry best practice techniques to manage the environmental/productivity balance issues. This is particularly important as more farmers convert low-input, low-return farms to higher input/higher return.

James has ridden a hors or bushwalked over much of the central plateau and enjoys wilderness as much as anyone else. He is therefore keen to promote our weed and revegetation programs.

John Blyth

Vice President

John holds a science degree from the University of Qld. He has over 35 years' experience working in landscape design and construction, garden maintenance, garden irrigation, revegetation, organic and conservation groups. He moved from south-east Queensland to Tasmania in 2007 and presently lives at Ellendale with his wife on a 25 ha block. He has been actively pursuing weed control and revegetation in the Ellendale area and contributing knowledge in these areas to developing Derwent Catchment projects and supporting reafforestation activities.

Jen Hancock

Jen Hancock


Jen was a Registered Nurse from Austin Health in Melbourne. From 2007, she was the Director of Nursing at Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, which is also part of Austin Health. Jen and her husband moved to Ellendale in September 2017 from an inner Melbourne suburb. They have quickly assimilated to their rural life as producers of saffron and sheep.

Trudy Murphy


Trudy recently joined the committee as our Assistant Secretary. She lives in Ellendale. Trudy has worked in the banking industry and ran a very successful catering business with her husband Peter. She has been an active fundraiser for charities in Sydney and is currently with Rotary.

Derwent Catchment Project

PO Box 22 Hamilton TAS 7140  |  Phone (03) 6286 3211  |