Who We Are

BERG MM is a passionate, all-volunteer, friends’ group formed in 1987 to save the Balcombe Estuary and Reserves from development and to rehabilitate it to its pre-European state, where possible.  Our aims have been to:

  • remove plants that are not indigenous to the area
  • plant indigenous plants and trees in their place
  • monitor and protect the health of the waterways
  • educate and communicate the value of this work to the local community
  • engage the local community to support the work we do

 BERG MM has over 450 members, 110 Active Volunteers (spending 4,900 hours in 2018) and many Business Partners.  With the major support of Mornington Peninsula Shire and Melbourne Water, we have largely completed the restoration process of the bushland reserves and we are now engaged in maintaining the bushland reserves and extending our environmental work to the surrounding natural environment.

Our new vision is:

To preserve the Balcombe Estuary and surrounding natural environment through community engagement, passionate volunteerism and  best practice habitat management

Our current major aims are to:

  • gain an Environmental Significance Overlay over the whole of the reserves
  • stop the sediment flowing into the estuary
  • double our membership by better engaging with the local community
  • achieve a single-use plastic bag-free Mt Martha
  • be the ‘go to’ organisation for environmental matters in Mt Martha

 What We Do

 Our main activities are:

  • bushland preservation (weeding and planting)
  • working with the Shire to reduce sedimentation
  • monitoring water quality for Melbourne Water
  • working with local schools to educate children about the environment
  • working with the community to create a plastic-free Mt Martha
  • providing environmental education sessions for members and the community
  • communicating and engaging the local community to support the work we do
  • seeking and administering grants from government bodies, environmental supporters and business partners and seeking donations from members to further our work
  • having high quality morning teas wherever possible!

Our Committee

BERG Mt Martha is an incorporated body run by a Committee of Management.  The Committee, which meets monthly, comprises 4 elected officers and up to 10 elected ordinary members. Elections are held at the AGM, generally in October.

Patron:
Terry Denton

Officers:
President: Peter McMahon & ESO Planning
Vice President & Estuary Watch: Bruce Ferres
Secretary: Dianne Lewis
Treasurer & Business Partner Co-ordinator: Julie Zammit

Committee Members:
Liz Barraclough OAM – Field Officer
Sue Milton – WaterWatch  Coordinator
Angela Kirsner – Newsletter Editor
Suzanne Ryan – Coastal Group Coordinator
Graham Hubbard – Marketing

Other Group Coordinators:
Debbie McMahon– Schools Program, Tuesday Group working bee
Jan Jones – Membership Secretary
Richard Kirsner – Website
Patricia McLeod – Publicity
Tamara Keyte – Social Media Coordinator  [Facebook, Instagram]
Annie Dowd – Community Awareness Support

HONOUR BOARD – LIFE MEMBERS

We wish to honour our volunteers and benefactors who have, by their outstanding leadership, dedication, innovation, and generous donations have helped to preserve and restore the precious ecology of the Balcombe Estuary and Reserves.

LIFE MEMBERS

2010 – Keith Wilson

President 2004 to 2010

2014 – Mary Stemp

Inaugural Secretary 1999-2013 & active on ground volunteer

2017 – Liz Barraclough OAM

Outstanding service & leadership as a founding member and inaugural Field officer

2018 – Angela Kirsner

Outstanding service as Committee member, News & Publications writer, and photographer

2018 – Richard Kirsner

Outstanding service as Committee member, Treasurer, webmaster, and photographer

2020 – Graham Hubbard

President 2013 to 2019 (Committee 2012-2020)