Staff profile: Graham Fifield

Graham Fifield has been with us for 8 years now, starting off as a student and working his way up to being a leading authority on Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation. Here’s his story so far….

My affiliation with Greening Australia started in 2006. I was an Australian National University (ANU) student looking at the benefits of paddock-scale revegetation on fine-wool Merino sheep. The in-kind support of Greening Australia was invaluable for a ‘poor student’ and the introduction to local landholders really made the project.

The exciting finding of the research was that sheep that had access to the fallen seed pods from wattle trees had a lower parasite burden than those grazing on pasture alone.

I started working for Greening Australia in 2007 and now can’t imagine leaving! I particularly enjoy the fact that I can see my projects from the initial site visit with farmers, to the mapping and database entry and then to the on-ground implementation. This is where my love of direct seeding started. Direct seeding is my outlet to feel like I have made a difference in some small way.

Since 2008 I have been working on the Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation (WOPR) project. Originally the brain child of local landholders Leon and Bubbles Garry, WOPR is an exciting innovation in the way we revegetate our landscapes. By combining production and conservation goals, we have stopped arguing over the width of corridors and started working at the scale of 10 to 85 hectares. The technical, environmental and social challenges working at this scale have certainly kept me on my toes. There is still plenty of room for innovation as I strive for the best possible outcome for landholders, their livestock and of course, our native wildlife.

Words: Graham Fifield