The Lock the Gate Alliance congratulates three remarkable rural women campaigning to stop invasive industrial coal and gas mining who have been recognised on the honour roll of “hidden treasures” launched at the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering in Scone last weekend.
Nicola Chirlian, of Willow Tree, is a member of SOS Liverpool Plains, the North West Alliance, and Upper Mooki Landcare Group. In addition to running her own speech pathology practise, Nicky helped organise the hugely successful North West Alliance stalls at both Country Music Festival and Agquip this year, shining a light on the threat posed to the region’s farmland from coal and gas mining. Nicky has been a major contributor to a push to establish Health Impact Assessments for coal and has spent hundreds of hours driving, collecting and finalising a petition to Parliament.
Megan Kuhn, of Bundella, is a member SOS Liverpool Plains, the North West Alliance and Mullaley Gas Pipeline Accord. She is Lock the Gate’s North West regional coordinator for the Gasfield Free Strategy, working with communities from Gilgandra to Croppa Creek, Walgett to Willow Tree, to help their voices be heard on the critical issues relating to invasive industrialized Gasfields and Coal Mines. Megan worked closely with Nicky to organise and run the North West Alliance stand at Agquip 2013. Her role as a mother to a son with Cerebral Palsy and helping run a grazing enterprise with her husband drives her focus to take that caring role further.
Boudicca Cerise, of Lismore, has been a standout leader in her role for communities in the northern rivers deeply concerned about the expansion of invasive coal seam gasfields in the region. She played a key role in peaceful protests against gas exploration. Her tireless work exemplified Lock the Gate’s peaceful but staunch work in supporting regional people standing up for what they believe, with outstanding, rare and skilful leadership.
Penny Blatchford, a member of the Lock the Gate Alliance Board said, “These women are exemplary members of their communities and Lock the Gate is proud and honoured to work with each of them in our efforts to prevent inappropriate coal and gas mining on farmland and bushland in regional NSW.
“The Hidden Treasures honour roll is a tribute to the women who are so often the backbone of our State. Well, these women, and women in rural communities across NSW, are the backbone of the Lock the Gate movement. So often, it is women in our communities that see the threats being posed to our water resources, our bushland and the health of our children by mining, and take it upon themselves to become guardians of the things we love that have no price and cannot be replaced.
“Nicky, Megan and Boudicca work tirelessly for the values that Lock the Gate stands for: community, generosity, conservation and country. We congratulate them, and all of the women recognised in the honour roll, and thank the Department of Primary Industries for its recognition of them.”