MORE MEMBERS: President of the Noosa Parks Association Darlene Gower.
MORE MEMBERS: President of the Noosa Parks Association Darlene Gower. Contributed

Tackling the bigger issues for NPA's new voice

IN HER role as the newly elected president of the Noosa Parks Association, Darlene Gower is not going to be one to dwell on the negatives.

Her immediate goal is to build the membership base back to above the 1000 mark.

But Ms Gower, who narrowly missed out on taking the sixth Noosa Council seat in November last year, is also not one to shy away from the major issues or the NPA's detractors.

"I just think that sometimes the perception that people have (of the NPA) is sort of smeared a little by the innuendos," the previous NPA vice-president said.

She described the NPA baiters as a "very small" clique that "continues to have a personal beef against individual members".

"There were letter box drops at the end of the last election to ensure certain people did not get on to the local council," Ms Gower said.

Back in the 1990s the NPA membership was around the 1200 mark but Ms Gower said "it's probably dropped below 1000 now".

"That is something I would like to see turned around because Noosa Parks has done too many good things over the years to have a small group of people, who are afraid that they might not get what they want if we've got a strong group in town trying to protect the place," she said.

She hopes to raise the profile and make the NPA, with the help of the newly elected committee, appealing for a range of members, from those who want to come along to enjoy the Friday Forum nature sessions, volunteering out at the national park information centre to those who want to become actively involved in the various environmental protection campaigns that the NPA has made its name on.

Ms Gower is replacing Ian Seels after his six-year stint at the helm.

"I'm looking forward to it - we've still got Ian on committee with his experience and his knowledge," she said

"We have a great blend of experience and new talent in our 2014 management committee and it is great to see so many girls on the committee."

Five of the new NPA management committee are female.

Members are Duncan Hogg and Paul Summers (vice-presidents), Faith Godefroy (secretary), Liz Smits (returning as treasurer) and in committee member roles Ian Seels, Michael Gloster, Prue McGowan and Valerie Williams.

"People are already joining online which is great and I encourage people to visit or better still come along to one of the NPA's Friday Forums at the environment centre at Wallace Park."

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