Uni graduate lands dream job helping CQ graziers
JUST one day after graduating from Deakin University, Erin Baldwin received a call that would make her agricultural dream come true.
Ms Baldwin is using her degree for a good cause: helping out Central Queensland graziers.
The Mulambin Beach woman completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science with distinction and was offered one of six positions in a pilot Reef Extension Work Placement Initiative, to be mentored at Fitzroy Basin Association Inc.
The program is calling for action to support land management practice changes across reef catchments to improve water quality.
Ms Baldwin decided to study Environmental Science working at Heron Island as a naturalist guide for two seasons.
Through spending time at University of Queensland's research station on the island, she gained an inside knowledge and valuable insight into the cumulative impacts affecting water quality on the Great Barrier Reef.
One of these impacts are agricultural run-off.
"I'm so impressed by the resilience and adaptability of the Central Queensland graziers," she said.
"They're very receptive to understanding different farming practices that may help them to better manage their soil, water, vegetation and biodiversity for sustainability."
Despite initially being drawn to the program because of her love of the Reef, 11 months into her training she developed a passion for the grazing industry.
"Every time I attend an industry workshop, field day or training course and listen to a new presenter, I come away with a whole new set of analogies that I can draw upon out in the paddock," she said.
"One of the best things about this program has been building upon my knowledge and the added network exposure."
After completing the graduate program, Ms Baldwin plans on continuing work with the Fitzroy Basin Association Inc as a project officer.
There she will work across high-sediment source catchments and support graziers with soil management and erosion control, linking graziers with funding opportunities to stabilise eroding stream banks and gullies on their properties.
"I'm so grateful to FBA for giving me the opportunity to put all my acquired knowledge into action," she said.
"I'm really looking forward to working closely with these landholders and seeing what they can achieve, not only for the environment but for their businesses in terms of production."