grass roots community organisation that aims to improve 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, NRM South, government agencies and local residents

The committee has three main interest areas:

1.) Agricultural best practice

2.) Weed management

3.) Revegetation and restoration

President James Allwright

I am 55 yrs of age and grew up in a farming family at Hollow Tree. Graduated with B Agr Sc (Tas) in 1980, which gave me the observation & interpretation skills that has allowed me to farm for 30 yrs. In 2008 graduated (again!) with honors which has led me to the chairmanship of The Derwent Catchment Project.

Over the years I have been involved in many catastrophic environmental events (some of my own making, or my management making worst) such as droughts, dust storms, over grazing (feral & domestic) in my quest to convert a wool/sheep farm to higher yielding fat lamb and cropping. I have a wish 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.

Have ridden a horse/bushwalked over much of the central plateau and enjoy wilderness as much as anyone else, therefore keen to promote our weed & revegetation programs.

Vice President John Blyth

I hold a Science Degree from University of Qld. I have 35yrs experience working in landscape design and construction, garden maintenance, garden irrigation, re-vegetation, organic and conservation groups. I moved from SE Qld to Tasmania in 2007 and presently live at Ellendale with my wife on a 25ha block. I have been actively pursuing weed control and revegetation in the Ellendale area. I also contribute my knowledge in these areas to developing Derwent Catchment projects and supporting reafforestation activities.

Secretary Annie Jones

Annie has recently joined us in the position of Secretary and she is a great help in keeping the momentum of the organisation going. Annie lives at Willowdene in Hamilton where she runs a cherry orchard with her husband John. Annie is a very active member of the Derwent Catchment Community, she is also involved with the Central Highlands Community Health Centre and Hamilton Show Society boards.

Treasurer Bob Jackson

Bob runs a sheep farm in the North West of Tasmania near Forth where he also manages a farm machinery hire business. Bob is originally from Western Australia and has an extensive understanding of land management issues from his time in the wheat belt.

Trudy Murphy Assistant Secretary

Trudy has also 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. Trudy has been an active fundraiser for charities in Sydney and is currently with Rotary.