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 350 members, more than 100 Active Volunteers (spending 4,700 hours in 2023) 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
  • increase community support and involvement in protecting our local natural environment
  • 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 – Eric Smalley
Vice President – Position vacant
Secretary – Kathy Smalley
Treasurer & Business Partner Co-ordinator – Sue Milton

Committee Members:
Liz Barraclough OAM – Field Officer
Angela Kirsner – Newsletter Editor
Peter McMahon – ESO Planning
Marion Orchison
Ian Horton
Geoff Pritchard
Terry Moar

Other Group Coordinators:
Bruce Ferres – Estuary Watch Coordinator
Suzanne Ryan – Coastal Group & Social Media Coordinator
Cheryl Wilkinson – Membership Secretary
Sean Callander – Website

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)

2022 – Dianne Lewis

Secretary 2011 – 2022