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Kachana News

Kachana at the end of 2005

Dear Kachana Family, Friends and interested Readers,

As Christmas 2005 approaches we would like to wish you all the blessings of Christmas.


With Christmas there comes a message of peace, love, unity, salvation and the reminder that these are attainable despite a track-record, which demonstrates that, we modern humans still have much to learn about all four…

Yet the pursuit of these and other values that give meaning to life remains a worthy challenge… For 2006 we wish you the health and energy to pursue that challenge… May it be a rewarding year for you all.

2005 on Kachana was different…

The first part of 2005 was clouded with the illness and passing away of Milo (Jacqueline’s father). Thankfully his period of incapacitation was short and his loved ones were at his bedside when he peacefully let go of this life in April.

Mid year saw two clan-gatherings in Switzerland from both Jacqueline’s and Chris’ side of the family. It was the first real break in years that we enjoyed as a family. We took the opportunity to relax, reflect and meet up with family and friends; some we had not seen for decades, others had not been born when we set out to Australia. A week before the Henggeler clan-gathering there was a meeting of the Kachana Club in Meggen, Switzerland: Due to short notice and many families being away on summer vacation the meeting of about 80 Kachana Fans saw us about 40% short of the muster of previous gatherings. Sorry, more notice next time… however it was great fun to see those of you who made it!

We returned to Kachana in time to watch the reserves of feed set aside for August, September, October & November go up in flames… with it went about six year’s worth of work in our second model area and much of our main model area including the Millennium Project and the Spinifex Hill Project… Four days of exhausting fire-fighting with the help of a few friends and Big Boss above helped us save the Rainforest in the Karl’s Vlei and Lilly-Pond areas. Feelings of anger, frustration and inadequacy soon gave way to acceptance… If we wish for our work to really stand out it will also have to occasionally suffer this sort of set-back… Not that routine arson and environmental vandalism should be the test of land-management, but the fact remains that lightning strikes do occur at times (albeit probably not in the middle of the dry period of the year) and healthy country should be resilient enough to deal with these. A special “THANK YOU!” to those who helped us with the physical work and for the cash donations that helped replace some of the 7 km of electrical fencing that got destroyed by the fire. We were also able to purchase some nutrient supplements for the stock enabling them to survive on poor-quality feed until new growth appeared.

Time for reflection was limited as our 2005 Kachana Landscape Management Workshop was due in early September. We were thankful for a group of great people. It was the first workshop that provided a small cash-surplus for the Byrne Terry Ellenbrae Fund.

Two weeks after the workshop we got rain!!! As a result we did not have to shoot much stock. There was now enough surface water spread about for them to keep nibbling at the sparse pick without having to spend an excessive amount of energy in search of a drink. As they picked up in condition we shifted them into a part of the Chamberlain Valley that had been spared by the fire. We have had good rain since and intend to get back on track early next year some time… it is however very humbling to realize that this year’s success was largely due to Big Boss sending good early rain… then again I guess we tried hard enough to have the country ready for the rain which we knew would eventually come.

Kachana Pastoral Company occasionally hosts university students to conduct their "practical stages" (a mandatory three-month part of certain study courses) here on Kachana. Philipp Nauer (our sixth student from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) has just completed his practical stint on Kachana. In exchange for the learning opportunity here on Kachana, students actively participate in landscape revitalisation activities five hours/day, five days/week. Philipp took it upon himself to up-date and redesign our Kachana website: www.Kachana.com (adding many photos)... This took him well beyond the course of duty: endless hours at the keyboard and sleepless nights working out how to solve technical glitches and a commitment to assist with helping us iron out any errors. Thank you Philipp and wish you well in the final months of your studies!!!

While short-term financial justification continues to restrict the pace with which we progress in our environmental work, our results are as encouraging as ever… and social support for what we do is beginning to become evident…

Our input to environmental debates continues sporadically while the greater focus remains on producing results and promoting Kachana’s out-door classroom as a national and international destination for environmental learning. As well as offering basic Environmental Literacy training, we are now advertising Holistic Management training. We also have a great guest-speaker lined up for the next Kachana Landscape Management Workshop. Not only do we believe that a significant portion of travelers would welcome educational experiences, we have also learned from our past workshops that the knowledge and experience of people from other regions enhances these learning experiences and helps us broaden our local perspectives. Learning is just that much more fun and interesting…

We send you and your loved ones warm greetings from the heart of the Kimberley

The Kachana Crew



PS Two book ideas (to read and to give away):

Gardeners of Eden: Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature by Dan Dagget I have just finished reading this book. It is short, the reading is easy and the style shows that Dan has the sense of humour it takes to look at himself and his surroundings in honesty. The message is timely and not only relevant to Americans. Some great photos back the words.

Empire of Debt: The Rise Of An Epic Financial Crisis By Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin I have read some of Bonner’s work: it sounds like uncommon good sense to me, albeit that he lacks the new environmental knowledge that we now require to redesign our economies… However his chosen function is like that of a racing-commentator and not that of a horse-breeder, so his observations in relation to where commercial trends are headed are of international relevance... Chris



Notice Board:

Are you fit, motivated and looking for a worthwhile commitment to managing land? (One not quite so remote as Kachana…) Mike and Clair, both dedicated hands-on land managers near Mataranka in the Northern Territory may have a proposition for you:

Expressions of interest sought for holistically minded couple/family/person

Portion of NT Cattle station available to the right persons to run their own cattle in exchange for assistance in general running of remainder of property.

2 bedroom house

Reasonably close to major towns and services

Holistic Management training and philosophy plus Low Stress Handling desirable

Family run operation wishing to consolidate and work towards Holistic Goal

Willing to negotiate a win win scenario.

If you are interested in an exciting opportunity And fresh start for the New Year please contact us On 08-89754955 or holisticNT@bigpond.com