STREAM Speakers

Sustainable Agriculture

Sponsored by Gallagher

Innovation and technology, soil health, adaptation to climate change, young farmers, connecting farmers to students

Environment & Climate Change

Call for arms for all Australians to be on the frontline together to do something with Landcare action

Community Partnerships in Action

Sponsored by Saving our Species

Building community capacity and resilience, communicating and storytelling, volunteering, partnership, building and sharing knowledge

Landcare Impact

Landscape, biodiversity, community resilience, mental/physical health of individuals, economy

Sustainable Agriculture

Grazing Systems – 30 Years of Change in Australia

Terry McCosker, Resource Consulting Services

In 2000, McCosker published a paper called Cell Grazing – The First 10 Years in Australia.

The paper described the paradigm shift which had occurred in grazing management since 1990 and presented some compelling results from adopting the practice.  The purpose of this presentation is to review cell grazing management in the 20 years that followed.

Cell Grazing management can be defined by the following principles:

  1. Plan, monitor and manage grazing.
  2. Rest period is adjusted to suit the growth rates of the plant.
  3. Stocking rate is adjusted to match carrying capacity.
  4. Manage livestock effectively.
  5. Apply maximum stock density for minimum time.
  6. Use diversity of plants and animals to improve the ecosystem.

In the last 20 years, the industry has moved on with widespread adoption of various forms of cell grazing at commercial scale, and digital tools have captured large amounts of data that can be analysed to determine the level of compliance to the six principles and correlate this to outcomes including cost of production, pasture yield and long-term carrying capacity (annual rolling stock days per ha/100mm annual rainfall).

The data shows that principles 2 (adjusting the rest period according to plant growth), 3 (matching stocking rate to carrying capacity) and 5 (maximizing the stock density for a limited time), when combined, lead to improved grazing yield and land health.

This presentation will outline the key findings of this review and encourage graziers to consider cell grazing in order to achieve improved land and stock outcomes.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Roxanne Blackley
2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Doug Allpass

Overcoming the Tyranny of Distance and Time – Phantoms in the Rangelands

Roxane Blackley and Doug Allpass, Desert Channels Queensland

Desert Channels Queensland (DCQ) has a large data lake of structured (data collected in apps) and unstructured (photographs, grazing/investment plans) information collected through many years of implementing natural resource management projects.

The objective of the Phantoms of the Rangeland project was to take advantage of Machine / Deep Learning advances to automate mapping and monitoring activities using very high-resolution UAV images.

Efficient identification of rangeland condition and threats was achieved by developing semi-automated algorithms to analyse satellite imagery, free-flight (single frame camera imagery) and small-large area orthomosaics captured with commercial drones under standard operating conditions.

This work goes some way to solving the problems of threat identification (bare ground, Prickle trees, Rubber vine etc.) and monitoring across large areas. Rapid analysis of remote sensing (from UAVs and Satellites) has also meant that landholder regional prioritisation meetings can be done with relevant local information at a variety of scales.

It has significantly sped up the mundane task of counting individual plants in imagery, reduced safety issues traversing channels and large thickets, and increased the accuracy of field observations. By integrating fractional cover assessments, we were also able to incorporate antecedent conditions when assessing the outcome of projects.

The biggest advantage to landholders is getting a map, plan, budget and assistance to help them eradicate key threats, freeing up DCQ staff to spend time tackling the most challenging environmental problems.

The process also enables DCQ to conduct long term evaluation of the impact of environmental investment as condition monitoring can now continue with relatively low cost long after the official end of funded projects.

On-Farm Value of Biodiversity Through Sustainable Agriculture Practices

Danny Pettingill, Loddon Plains Landcare Network

This presentation outlines the key benefits of improved biodiversity for farming practices and the farming landscape through farm design, land stewardship and placing a value on farm biodiversity. By increasing overall size and species variety of native plantings and selecting plant species and landscape position that will provide greater benefit for land use, productive farming landscapes can be designed to promote biodiversity to advance sustainable farming practices and regeneration of landscape assets, creating opportunities for enhanced biodiversity and improving on-farm benefits.

The presentation will outline simple ways in which to assess vegetation condition, conduct invertebrate and bird surveys as an indicator of landscape health and place an emphasis on property design to provide benefits in moisture retention, stock management, extend secondary income and management problems such as salinity, erosion and loss of vegetation cover.

It will outline simple ways to assess, plan and manage landscape problems for improved farm productivity, greater social benefit and the regeneration of landscape assets, encouraging landholders and community groups to consider the value of biodiversity at farm and landscape scales as they manage their properties into the future.

Integrating Timber Production with Landcare Practices for Conservation and Profit

Rowan Reid, Bambra Agroforestry Farm

Rowan has lectured in agroforestry at Melbourne University since 1991. He left full-time academia in 2010 to work more closely with farmers and is now the managing director of the not – for – profit Australian Agroforestry Foundation that delivers farmer education and extension programs around the world, including his Master TreeGrower program. Rowan is also the founder of one of Australia’s most successful Landcare groups, the Otway Agroforestry Network.

More than 12,000 visitors have toured his Bambra Agroforestry Farm, which is set up as a 42-hectare outdoor classroom, where he now harvests timber from multipurpose conservation plantings.

This presentation will outline how timber production can be integrated with conservation, highlight how Landcare funding models restrict opportunities for multipurpose forest development, demonstrate the viability and sustainability of multi-purpose forest and conclude that Landcare models, including funding models, must change to encourage farmers to design and manage multipurpose plantings.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Michael Gooden

What is Multi -Species Cover Cropping?

Michael Gooden, Resource Consulting Services RCS

Michael Gooden , while working as a Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator (RALF) for Riverina Local land Services, along with two land managers based at Harefield and Henty are working together to see whether there are any benefits to cattle and sheep grazing on a mix of crops including wheat, vetch, rye, corn and radish.

Preliminary results have shown reduced metabolic issues among livestock, reduced levels of nitrate poisoning, improved livestock grazing habits, and soil health benefits.

As a result of the land holders planting legume alongside the cereals, no urea (synthetic nitrogen) needed to be used on the fodder crops. This reduced the cost of production by $130 -$ 150 /ha, reduced the risk of livestock contracting nitrate poisoning and reduced greenhouse gas emissions emitted via urea production.

While multi – species cover cropping is not going to provide the silver bullet to restore widespread landscape function, it is yet another tool that can be used to improve land and animal management and soil health outcomes.

This presentation will outline the methodology and key findings of the multi-species cropping trial and encourage other producers to consider the benefits of multiple feed types for their livestock.

Management of High-Country Native Pastures

Dr Meredith Mitchell, Agriculture Victoria

East Gippsland native pasture trial sites were established in the spring of 2016 to assess whether grazing management and soil fertility could improve pasture and reduce soil erosion

Two sites were selected in the East Gippsland’s Tambo Valley. The Reedy Flat site had a southerly aspect and was dominated by Microlaena (Microlaena stipoides). The Connors Hill site had a northerly aspect and was dominated by Red Grass (Bothriochloa macra).

The results of the trial, which took place over the 2019 – 20 spring / summer period demonstrated that under drought conditions, careful grazing management helped maintain high levels of ground cover and the application of fertiliser resulted in a higher legume component of the pasture (54 -60%) which in turn led to increased pasture nutritive characteristics.

In short, carefully managed grazing and applying the right amount of fertiliser to native pastures can maintain groundcover, mitigate the likelihood of soil erosion and improve the nutrition of cattle.

This presentation will outline the methodology and findings of the study and encourage graziers to consider this, and other evidence – based approaches, as a means to protecting their investment and the environment.

Restoring Degraded Saline Land Through the Development of a Saline Bush Foods Paddock-to-Plate Supply Chain

Ella Maesepp, Katanning Landcare

With a growing population, and more than a million hectares of land affected by salinity, Western Australia needs to find ways to increase agricultural production in degraded soils whilst improving environmental condition.   

In Katanning, a project is underway which might just achieve these outcomes.

Funded by the Regional Landcare Program Smart Farming Partnerships program 2018-2022, a Paddock to Plate Supply Chain of Saline Bush Foods development project is cranking along.   

The project is taking native plants that already grow in saline soils and working out how they can be grown consistently, and in sufficient volumes, to create a reliable and desirable food supply. Three growth systems – wild harvest, planted in-field and shade house – are being trialled.

These activities are supported by a range of enabling projects including produce promotion, a farmer training package, the running of a Horticulture Certificate course to build a skilled workforce, and construction of a packing shed.

The project team has also commissioned a scientist to examine whether bush food production activities on degraded lands is contributing to soil health, the drawdown of water tables, and reduction of localised salinity.

The project’s long term aim is to encourage farmers across southern Australia with saline lands to enter into this supply chain, diversifying farm income and increasing agricultural production.

By National Landcare Conference time, the native plants will be thriving, the first cohort of students graduated, the packing shed built and commencing business, scientific monitoring will have two years of results, farmer training package development commenced and demand for the products resuming its climb as restaurants and hospitality venues recover from COVID-19.

Care for the Land in Drought: What the Farmers Say

Jennifer Laffan, NSW DPI

There are many useful publications about managing for, and recovering from, drought but once the rains come there is a tendency to move on rather than record successful measures people put in place to prepare for drought.

In response, NSW Department of Primary Industries undertook a study on drought preparation. While many land managers expect drought as just one of agricultural production – related risks, it still makes good business sense to prepare and plan for it.

Forty NSW and QLD producers, from across the grazing, cropping and dairy sectors, were interviewed about their drought management strategies. Although individual circumstances and locations differ, some common themes emerged: ground cover as a priority; livestock selection and management; soil moisture content assessment; need for climate forecasting; water storage; goal setting; financial opportunities and management; mental and physical health of all involved; and last but not least, the benefit of community, including involvement in local Landcare groups.

This presentation will outline the key findings offered by farmers and encourage delegates to consider what steps they could take to prepare for the next drought or to document and evaluate their experiences from previous droughts.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker John Klem
2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Patrick Mitchell

Farming Forecaster – Dynamic Data to Improve Pasture and Grazing Decisions

John Klem, Tablelands Farming Systems and Dr Patrick Mitchell, CSIRO 

Launched in April 2020, the cloud-based decision support tool Farming Forecaster combines real time weather data, soils information and farm simulation modelling to predict pasture growth and feed requirements over the next few months enabling farmers to make smart choices around selling or buying livestock, adjusting stocking rates, and purchasing supplementary feed to avoid over-grazing.

The tool is underpinned by data collected from a network of soil moisture probes and weather stations located on 40 individual sites and updates pasture and livestock conditions daily, enabling producers to see how weather patterns impact soil moisture and pasture productivity.

The information – which is continually updated and delivered to a smart phone, tablet or laptop – is of enormous value to producers, and helps them do a better job of looking after their land and animals.

Farming Forecaster builds the capacity of the regional grazing sector; many of whom are Landcare participants and passionate about sustainable agricultural practices.

This presentation will outline the environmental and economic benefits of Farming Forecaster and discuss the next steps for this accessible and innovative decision support tool.

Cotton Landcare Tech Innovations 2021

Stacey Vogel CRDC

CRDC’s ambitious Cotton Landcare Tech-Innovations 2021 is being delivered over three years from 2019-2021. The project builds on international best practice to implement and develop cutting-edge technologies such as drone mapping and aerial seeding, acoustic monitoring and big data, to help Australian cotton better report on and improve on-farm biodiversity.

Under the National Landcare Program’s Smart Farming Partnerships initiative, the Cotton Research Development Corporation (CRDC) secured a $1.3 million grant to bring Cotton Landcare Tech-Innovations 2021 onto Australian cotton farms to enhance natural resources and biodiversity.

This presentation aims to provide delegates an overview of how the cotton industry is supporting cotton growers with practical and cost effective technology solutions for restoring habitat connectivity and monitoring and managing biodiversity across the industry.

Partnering with the University of New England (UNE), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Dendra Systems UK and University College London, the project consists of four key activities that involve Australia and international experts working in partnership to strengthen cotton farm biodiversity and sustainability management. The key areas of the project include:

  1. Biodiversity management guidelines for cotton catchments

CRDC is identifying priority areas and management practices for biodiversity conservation in cotton growing environments.

  1. Innovation for cotton landscape revegetation (drones & tractors)

Dr. Rhiannon Smith from UNE, in collaboration with ecosystem restoration experts, is leading research to improve the capacity for cost-effective revegetation on cotton farms by trialing new and improved revegetation methods using drone and tractor technology.

  1. Technology for acoustic monitoring on cotton farms (birds & microbats)

Professor Stuart Parson and his QUT team, with world leading researchers in automated acoustic recogniser development and global citizen science, are leading research to support biodiversity on cotton farms, including deploying innovative acoustic technologies to actively monitor, manage, and report on biodiversity for a subset of bird and microbat species.

Environment & Climate Change
2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Simon Molesworth

Greening the Hill – Community-Wide Behavioural Change in Broken Hill

Simon Richard Molesworth AO QC, Landcare Broken Hill Inc.

In late 2019, the far west of NSW, the Outback, experienced the extremes of climate change from soaring temperatures, the reappearance of massive dust storms, scorched earth, deeply drying subsoil and shrinking water sources to stressed vegetation, large scale die off and wildlife in decline.

While the debate over climate change and what should be done about it raged, Landcare Broken Hill decided to take action.

With the catchcry of Greening the Hill, Landcare members launched a community focused campaign aimed at changing behaviour through education and outreach, and practical action in the form of tree planting events.

Greening the Hill embraces 39 separate projects under two banners, Call to Action and a Role for Everyone.

Call to Action projects focus on campaigning, educational, and strategic outreach initiatives to generate behavioural change. Interviews with the Landcare team – 70 interviews to date and counting – have taken place across traditional media on topics ranging from recycling and sustainable tourism to renewable energy and best practice land management. This was reinforced by sustainability messaging across Landcare Broken Hill’s social media feeds and website. Pre COVID-19, Landcare organised monthly public meetings featuring expert presenters to help share information on the need for, and the value of, sustainability.

The Role for Everyone projects have been practical on ground greening activities which have brought people together, built community capacity and raised peoples hopes as they worked together to help the environment.

This session will focus on what Landcare Broken Hill has learned through the Greening the Hill project and provide insights and useful tips which Landcare and other environmental organisations can apply in their own communities.

Biological Control of Environmental Weeds: A Long-Term Investment to Protect and Manage Natural Assets

Louise Morin, CSIRO Health & Biosecurity

Invasive weeds are likely to increase as climate change takes hold and fire, flood and drought events become more frequent and extreme. Classical biological control (biocontrol) is the only feasible management option for environmental weeds at the landscape scale to protect and improve biodiversity and natural ecosystem services.

Biocontrol involves introducing host-specific natural enemies, or biocontrol agents, of a target weed into the area where the weed has taken over. Effective biocontrol agents do not eradicate the target weed, but rather suppress it so native species can recover.

For the last five years, environmental weeds in NSW have been the focus of a major biocontrol initiative supported by the NSW Environmental Trust in partnership with the CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

The initiative aims to capitalise on previous or current biocontrol research projects in Australia or other countries to deliver new biocontrol agents for priority environmental weeds in NSW.

So far, applications have been made for the release of a stem-wilting insect on leaf cactus and rust fungus on African boxthorn; research is underway to test candidate biocontrol agents for balloon vine, broad-leaved pepper tree, ox-eye daisy and small-leaf privet; and three new biocontrol agents are being released in the field – a cochineal on Hudson pear, a leaf-smut fungus on wandering trad and a blight fungus on sea spurge.

This presentation provides an update on the progress of the research and release programs and encourages conference delegates based in NSW to engage with these programs.

Seed – getting back to Landcare’s roots

Dr Lucy Commander, Australian Network for Plant Conservation

For something so tiny, native seed packs a lot of punch. From combatting climate change, improving biodiversity, conserving and restoring ecological communities, and feeding and housing wildlife, to preventing extinctions, reducing erosion, and bushfire recovery, native seed is the superstar of sustainability.

Despite its superpower status, the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) found there are a whole range of native seed knowledge gaps ranging from sourcing and collection to storage and germination.

To address these issues, the ANPC has updated the FloraBank Guidelines, the definitive guide to Australian native seed management. Last updated in 1999, the 2021 edition has expanded from 10 modules to 15, and features the work of over 70 authors. The new edition covers topics ranging from Traditional Ecological Knowledge, sourcing, collection, processing, drying and storage, germination and dormancy, nursery propagation, direct seeding, and tips for seed purchasers.

The updated FloraBank Guidelines will be the definitive guide to best practice Australian native seed collection and use. The guidelines will be essential reading to all those using Australian native seed, from policy makers and conservation agencies, to seed collectors, restoration practitioners, landowners and volunteers.

This session will outline the FloraBank Guidelines journey and provide insights and knowledge to support best practice management of native seeds by Landcare and other community-based environmental groups.

Jake Lennon

Bangalow Koalas Community Wildlife Corridor – Protecting the Northern Rivers Koalas

Linda Sparrow and Jake Lennon, Bangalow Koalas

What Bangalow Koalas, a community group devoted to protecting Northern Rivers koala populations has achieved in its first four years is remarkable.

Starting off as a handful of concerned neighbours determined to protect a 400-metre stretch of 30-year-old koala trees has grown into an active, change-creating community group with more than 100 members.

The group’s goal is to create a Koala Wildlife Corridor, which expands and connects koala habitat fragments across much of northern NSW. Using Bangalow as the centre, the corridor extends east to Byron Bay, west to Tenterfield, north to the Queensland border and south towards Grafton.

In a bid to make their dream a reality, Bangalow Koalas has planted nearly 80,000 koala and rainforest trees in just over two years across 33 properties and four local government areas. They hope to reach their target of 250,000 trees by the end of 2025.

The group credits its success to a groundswell of community support including empathetic landholders, local councils, Landcare, community and Traditional Owner groups and a dedicated cohort of members and volunteers, many of whom bring environmental day job expertise to the table, and many more who are willing to get their hands dirty on planting days.

Letterbox drops, fundraising drives, working closely with the media and maintaining an engaged social media following help to sustain Bangalow Koalas momentum and community profile. The group also co-hosts Landholder Workshops and Koala Health and Habitat Workshops, including child-friendly versions at preschools and primary schools, all of which help spread the koala conservation message across the community.

This session will outline the Bangalow Koalas journey, and provide insights and knowledge to support conservation efforts across the community.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Simon Dunne

Increasing the Salty Feet Canopy in the Lower Hawkesbury

Ana Rubio and Simon Dunne, Hornsby Shire Council

Mangroves are a critical part of the coastal ecosystem in the Lower Hawkesbury, improving water quality by filtering pollutants, stabilising and improving soil, protecting shorelines from erosion and contributing to global blue carbon storage.

In a bid to protect these threatened ecological communities, Hornsby Shire Council and local Bushcare groups are working together to propagate and plant native Grey and River Mangrove species in the Lower Hawkesbury.

The team has been guided by the pioneers of mangrove restoration, the Shoalhaven Riverwatch group which produced a guide to sowing, potting, growing and planting Grey Mangroves. Less information was available on River Mangroves which seem to be more fiddley to handle and grow. As a result, the team at Hornsby Shire Council took on the challenge of trying to grow these important species.

The team, comprising environmental scientists, tree nursery experts, highly skilled Bushcare volunteers and extremely motivated community groups, rose to the challenge, trialling different sowing media and nursery techniques, the careful planting of propagules and the ongoing monitoring of seedlings to see what method is most effective for River Mangroves.

Once the mangrove seedlings are over six months old, they will be planted by various community groups including the local schools, community members living in river settlements and Bushcare/Floating Landcare volunteers. Local schools and volunteers will also assist with long term monitoring of select populations.

As well as on ground restoration, the partnership will produce a How to Grow River Mangroves manual and a chart illustrating when both species of mangrove flower, seed and germinate, and the best times to sow seeds and plant them out.

This session will outline lessons learned, next steps, long-term plans and useful insights which may come in handy during your next restoration project.

Making Business Work with Biodiversity: Leveraging the Financial Sector to Improve Conservation Outcomes

Natasha Cadenhead, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland

Agricultural is big business – in 2018 agricultural lending totalled $73.5b and agricultural sales totalled $60b.

All of this money flows through financial institutions and the conditions, or lack of them put on lending, have far-reaching consequences for farmers and the environment.

While there are established standards, and a range of tools, to measure the water, pollution and carbon impacts of potential investments, few financial institutions routinely integrate biodiversity and conservation outcomes into their loan application and consideration processes. 

Fortunately, there is a strong, growing desire in the finance sector for environmentally responsible investment and lending decision support tools.

A number of recent initiatives, such as the Natural Capital Protocol, which ensures natural assets are formally included in planning activities for project finance, impact investing, and corporate insurance, reflect this desire.

Given the interest of the finance sector in incorporating biodiversity impacts into their decision making, why aren’t more of them doing it?

This presentation reviews the need for a robust set of support tools, roadblocks to development and adoption, and the impact of the incorporation by financial institutions of biodiversity standards on farmers and the environment.  

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Maxine Cooper
Karissa Preuss

Meeting Climate Change Challenges in the Bush Capital

Maxine Cooper and Karissa Preuss, Chair Landcare ACT

Over the last few years, it has been a challenging time for the environment and people across Australia who have faced drought, unprecedented bushfires, smoke, heat waves, and most recently the COVID-19 lock down. In the nation’s bush capital, landcare has shown that through innovation, responsiveness and strong community partnerships, it is well placed to assist in recovery from climate change related natural disasters.  This presentation will demonstrate how communities in the ACT Region are meeting current challenges and maintaining and improving both the health of their local environments and the well-being of individuals involved. It will highlight strong partnerships including Aboriginal custodians, citizen scientists, grassroots landcarers, rural landholders, young people, government, and non-government organisations.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Peter Holding

Regional Horizons – Farming Communities Leading the Recovery

Peter Holding, Farmers for Climate Action

Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) supports farmers to become climate leaders, drive change across the sector and collectively influence government to implement climate friendly policies that benefit rural communities.

FCA is committed to helping farmers learn more about climate science and policy and communicate with the public about climate change. This is critical as farmers are frequently recognised as some of the most trusted voices on climate change.

FCA’s approach to climate action is:

  • Evidence-based and informed by the best available science.
  • Collaborative, inclusive and respectful.
  • Independent and politically non – partisan

FCA recognises people living in regional, rural and remote settings understand the implications of a changing climate and are at the forefront of the movement for robust climate action.

To this end, FCA has released two landmark reports: Change in the Air – Defining the Need for an Australian Agricultural Climate Change Strategy and Regional Horizons – Farming Communities Leading the Recovery.

The first report was unanimously accepted by the Agriculture Ministers Forum (AGMIN) and the second informed the $5 m Commonwealth investment in the Future Drought Fund.

This presentation will outline the FCA journey, its work with those in the eye of the climate change storm, and the findings and implications of its two landmark reports.

Elyse Herrald Woods Stream Speaker

Healthy Environment, Healthy Landscapes, Healthy People: Why Biosecurity Matters to Landcare

 Elyse Herrald-Woods, Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has primary responsibility for biosecurity in Australia, working offshore, at the border and onshore to minimise the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering Australia.

Over many years Australia has developed a world-leading, sophisticated biosecurity system to protect productive farming systems from pests and diseases; it is now developing a similar system to protect Australia’s environment and amenity.

Australia’s world – class biosecurity system has a mission to protect the country’s unique biodiversity and environmental services. Just as farmers are the core of agricultural biosecurity measures, Landcare and other on-ground environmental workers are critical to environmental biosecurity.

The presentation will outline the critical role that Landcare and other community – based groups play in raising awareness of, and taking effective action against, exotic pests, weeds and diseases. It will also provide information on how individuals and groups can protect our unique environment through recognising and reporting exotic weeds, pests and diseases.

Building resilience across western Sydney’s Cumberland Plain Woodland with partners, people and culture

Xuela Sledge, Greater Sydney Landcare Network

Need a partner on your next environmental project?

If so, think Landcare!

This is exactly what NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) thought when they decided to apply for a Saving our Species grant to help conserve the Cumberland Plain, also known as Sydney’s western suburbs – a place where almost all remnant vegetation is threatened by development.

Landcare’s administrative and governance systems and broadscale network which brought in eight other project partners… was the key to getting the grant.

The Greater Sydney Landcare Network – NPWS partnership saw Parks access Landcare’s governance systems, administrative expertise, engagement experience and unparalleled network (which resulted in eight other project partners coming on board) and ultimately win the grant.

The Cumberland Plain Restoration Program, as it’s now called, centres on restoring Threatened Ecological Communities in Sydney’s west through ecological and cultural burning and habitat enhancement including weed control, artificial hollow installation and the distribution of woody debris.

This presentation will outline how partnering with Landcare networks can support agencies and organisations to plan for and deliver on-ground actions to drive social, cultural and environmental change. It will also outline the benefits of having a threatened species recovery project that crosses all tenures.

Keynote Speaker

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Community Partnerships in Action
Alexi Barnstone
Danielle Packer

Connecting and Collaborating Through a Dedicated Online Community for Landcarers

Alexi Barnestone, Landcare Australia and Danielle Packer, Cattai Hills Environment Network

Landcare is all about community. It’s about connection, and meaningful collaborations to tackle environmental issues. It’s about sharing knowledge and working together. But what if the meaningful collaborations could be extended across geographical boundaries? What if people could connect with each other irrespective of where they were? What if the knowledge and networking that happens at conferences like this one, could happen from your own home, at any time?

Due to COVID-19, more than ever before, people have started to discover the value of technology in the areas of knowledge sharing, building online communities, and connecting with people – and this session will share how this is possible for the Landcare community. Landcarer is an online community platform developed especially for people who care for their local environment. This session will introduce real-life examples of how community groups and networks are using the platform, what issues it has helped them overcome, what challenges they’ve had, and what they have achieved. Delegates will discover the benefits of being part of a dedicated online community where they can access knowledge, connect and collaborate with like-minded people. Sign up for Landcarer by visiting https://www.landcarer.com.au/ or downloading the Landcarer mobile app.

Robin Harding

From Little Things Big Things Grow, Habitat Recovery Alliance

Kim Thompson and Robin Harding, Upper River Torrens Landcare Group

Devastation, helplessness, wildlife loss, sadness, 21,000 ha of habitat gone!

Upper River Torrens Landcare Group (URTLG) members living in, and around, the Cudlee Creek experienced heat, pain and feelings of helplessness during the 2019-20 fire season.

In true Landcare form they started sowing seeds!

Just after Christmas 2020, URTLG shared images of seed trays sown with Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) on social media and asked for volunteers to sow native tree seeds which would eventually end up being planted on local fire scars.

The result: around 800 volunteers offered their help! In response to this groundswell of support, URTLG created a new group – the Habitat Recovery Alliance (HRA).

HRA facilitated nursery workshops where volunteers got the chance to do something practical about bushfire recovery by pricking out, fertilising, watering seeding and writing species tags on their trays and then taking them home to nurture until planting time.

In total, HRA were able to provide 16,500 tubestock to bushfire affected properties.

Thanks to a grant from Landcare Australia, HRA has provided weed control, trees and guards, and volunteer planting services to around 13 local land managers, and tubestock to almost 200 others. While the bushfire was devastating, this experience has shown what a concerned, compassionate and motivated community can achieve when they work together.

This presentation will provide insights and useful tips to support Landcare and environmental groups to apply these ideas in their own communities.

Sue Brieschke Conference Stream Speaker

Roving Restorers: A Win-Win for Nature, Landholders and Community

Sue Brieschke, Hinterland Bush Links

From bush walks to bush regeneration!

Hinterland Bush Links, which works to regenerate the bush in Queensland’s glorious Sunshine Coast hinterland, connect bush walkers and land managers through their innovative Roving Restorers program.

Initiated in 2012, Roving Restorers was based on the idea that people with an interest in the bush might want to play a part in improving its health and that local land managers might welcome volunteer regenerators.

The bet paid off with those hungry to get their hands dirty, and land managers who needed help, coming together to regenerate strategically important habitat sites.

Running for eight years and counting, Roving Restorers attracts around between 12 – 30 volunteers to each activity. Volunteers report they get a great deal of satisfaction from regenerating the bush, post- activity morning tea, and socialising with others who love the bush.

Landholders are extremely grateful for the work the volunteers put in, often becoming inspired to continue the restoration work and sometimes even joining the group and regenerating neighbouring properties.

As a result of the success of Roving Restorers, Hinterland Bush Links has initiated several Council Bushcare groups at ecologically significant Council reserves and has kicked off a second Roving Restorers hub in the north of the region.

Roving Restorers has proven to be an extremely successful model for engaging the community in bush regeneration, and providing strategic conservation support to landholders in the region.

This presentation will provide insights and useful tips to support Landcare and environmental groups to apply these ideas in their own communities.

Breaking the Barriers Between Landcare in NSW and  First Nations Peoples: Recognition, Value, Collaboration

Craig Aspinall, Landcare NSW

In 2017 the Landcare movement spoke: ‘We want Landcare communities and Aboriginal communities to connect, and we want it now!’

Landcare NSW, Local Land Services and the NSW Government responded to the call, investing $1m over four years to increase community partnerships and collaboration with Aboriginal peoples in order to:

  • Identify and remove barriers to collaboration;
  • Ensure best practice Aboriginal engagement is highlighted and celebrated;
  • Communicate the values of the Landcare movement to Aboriginal peoples; and
  • Demonstrate the alignment of these values with Aboriginal peoples’ spiritual and cultural journeys.

The journey started with the recruitment of the Community Landcare Aboriginal Engagement Officer in May 2020.

The Coordinator works closely with Landcare and Local Land Service teams and Aboriginal communities and organisations to find innovative ways to generate shared social, cultural and environmental value.

Informed by the values of recognition, shared and discrete value, and collaboration, the Coordinator is bringing people together across the state to regenerate a shared environment.

Whilst acknowledging there is no one size fits all approach, nurturing, celebrating and capturing this work helps form a library of best practice Landcare – Aboriginal collaboration models so that others can Break the Barriers.

This presentation will provide insights and useful tips to support Landcare and environmental groups to apply these ideas in their own communities.

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The hand print depicts our connection to country. It gives us a sense of belonging. There are meeting places depicted with the U shapes as people sitting in a gathering. The dots depict tracks and parts of our land, waterways and river systems. The landscape in the hand represents people watching over the land as a form of protection. Working as one we will achieve all goals set in place to enjoy a beautiful future and keep our connections strong. If we don’t have a connection to country then we don’t belong. Our land is precious – if we look after it, it will in return look after us. We as a people need to work together to help heal and look after changes to the land.

Making Seagrass Sexy: The Corner Inlet-Nooramunga Broadleaf Seagrass Restoration Project

Scott Elliott, Yarram Yarram Landcare Network

What happens when you combine one Victorian Landcare group, 18 commercial fishers, eleven restoration sites, 200 hectares of seafloor, 1400 sandbag snakes, several marine scientists and over 300,000 Broadleaf Seagrass fruit?

The answer: an innovative partnership between Landcare, Corner Inlet fishers and ecologists to restore local seagrass meadows and enhance ocean biodiversity.

The Corner Inlet-Nooramunga project team led by the Yarram Yarram Landcare Network and seagrass restoration ecologists from the University of Melbourne and the University of Western Australia worked with fifth generation fishers to roll out the project, now in its third year.

Like other species of seagrass, Posidonia australis releases a fruit that forms large rafts on the surface of the ocean. During the summer of 2019/20 fishers collected 157,000 fruit which were then placed into custom-built aquaculture tanks where they shed individual seeds.    

Fast-moving tides meant the seagrass seeds risked being washed away from the restoration sites before they had a chance to grow. The project team solved this problem by creating custom-made hessian sandbag snakes that trap Posidonia australis seeds that are broadcast over the sites.

Around 500 of these snakes were deployed from Corner Inlet fishing vessels into the restoration sites (which were chosen by local fishers and the project team) in November 2020 and a further 900 distributed in November 2020.

Direct seeding using hessian sandbag snakes has seen Posidonia australis begin to re-establish itself across the eleven sites.

This project demonstrates that engaging with local fishers can inform better ecological outcomes and improve community buy-in and provides a useful model for seagrass restoration projects worldwide.

This presentation will provide insights and useful tips to support Landcare and environmental groups to apply these ideas in their own communities.

Project Hindmarsh – A 22 Year Journey Reconnecting the Little Desert and Big Desert Regions in Victoria’s Wild West

Jonathan Starks, Hindmarsh Landcare Network

Over 20 years ago Hindmarsh Landcare Network members got together and came up with a grand, and seemingly impossible plan – to bring people together for an annual ‘plant out’ in a bid to reconnect western Victoria’s Little and Big Desert regions.

The first plant out took place in 1998 and 22 years down the track Project Hindmarsh planting weekends have become an annual fixture thanks to willing volunteers and the generosity of the business community which grows trees, feeds and houses volunteers and busses them out to sites.

Project Hindmarsh planting weekends are designed to be a fun time away for participants, an opportunity to get outdoors and get dirty, plant trees, socialise, grab a drink or two and enjoy a hearty meal at the end of a busy day.  Most importantly, participants know they have been part of a long-term project which is making a real difference.

Over the two decades since its inception, two million trees have been planted, thousands of volunteers have taken part in mass plantings, over 1000 ha of land has been revegetated and the project has picked up numerous state and national awards in recognition of these significant achievements.

Our vision, which started on a lounge room floor over 20 years ago, continues to inspire people to participate in long-term revegetation projects. We are building on the legacy of those who planted last year, and the year before, and those who planted 20 years ago, whose trees now stand tall over a once bare landscape.

This presentation will provide insights and useful tips to support Landcare and environmental groups to apply these ideas in their own communities.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Landcare in West Gippsland

Belinda Brennan and Marnie Ellis, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Landcare partnership, between West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Landcare and West Gippsland Traditional Owner Corporations, was established in 2018 to help to break down the myths around Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and educate landholders about the values.

Using resources developed in a long-term WGCMA staff training program, a Landcare – specific program was developed including;

  • An introduction to the concept of Cultural Competency;
  • Welcome and Acknowledgments of Country;
  • The region’s Traditional Owners;
  • What is a Registered Aboriginal Party and Native title;
  • The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.

Board members from five regional Landcare Networks completed the training in 2019.

The feedback was very positive, with an overwhelming response for more training for the wider Landcare community. This led to the development of the Cultural Heritage Information Pack (CHIP) and on Country sessions for Landcarers with their local Traditional Owner group.

The CHIP, developed in conjunction with Traditional Owners, contains:

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage guide;
  • Aboriginal Heritage Identification guide;
  • Aboriginal Victoria preliminary report form;
  • Information on local Traditional Owner Corporations and
  • Acknowledgement of Country card.

The CHIP will be used in conjunction with the on Country cultural heritage induction where Landcarers learn how to recognise Aboriginal cultural heritage in the landscape.

This presentation will share the partnership journey, the development and outcomes of the training, the practicalities of using the CHIP and the next steps for the partnership. It will also provide insights and useful tips to support Landcare and environmental groups to apply these ideas in their own communities.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Cath Jenkins

Empowering Rural Women

Karen O’Keefe and Catherine Jenkins, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority

The Corangamite Rural Women’s Network was established in 2014. It aims to empower rural women to contribute, be seen as equal and influence decision making, both on and off the farm.

The Network brings rural women together, strengthens networks and enhances community resilience. Their 300 members include women who have moved from the city to rural properties and farms, agronomists, vets, school teachers, Landcare volunteers, farmers, agency staff and small business owners.  

The Network is guided by an all-female volunteer steering group and supported by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority’s Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator who helps plan and deliver rural women’s events, often in partnership with the local Landcare group. Events include workshops, bus tours, forums and field days. Topics include farm succession planning, permaculture, health and wellbeing, integrated pest management, biodiversity, cultural awareness, niche markets for local produce, soil health, climate, livestock management and crop production. The Network regularly sources local speakers and supports women to step up and present to the group.

The Network was designed to be self-sustaining and participant driven. By focusing on the engagement process and taking an interactive, participatory approach, buy-in and trust has been established within the network, empowering participants and creating a wonderful resource for local women.    

This session will outline the Network journey and provide useful tips to support Landcare and environmental groups to apply these ideas in their own communities.

Stream Speaker Rebecca Burch

Children as Partners in Communities

 Rebecca Burch, Nature Explorers

Learn how Nature Explorers, a nature based sustainability educational program has built relationships and partnerships with two local Dunecare groups to engage children to be active citizens in their local community. This presentation focuses on the role that relationships and partnerships play in our children’s learning and the community. The Nature Explorers program builds relationships within the local area to strengthen community and support enriched positive outcomes for children and adults through connection and knowledge sharing.  Children involved in the Nature Explorers program engage in authentic and meaningful learning in and with nature.  They develop awareness of cultural connections to land and knowledge of sustainable practices. It provides opportunities for children to develop skills in managing risks in a safe learning environment. The child led investigations fosters holistic child development, physical, mental, social and emotional, including growth of resilience, self-confidence, learning ability, concentration and creativity.  Through community connections, the program fosters the next generation of environmental stewards. 

James Link
Donna O’Neill
Lina Cabai

Quantifying the wellbeing benefits of Landcare and engaging urban customers in biodiversity enhancement projects on farm

James Link, Landcare Australia, Donna O’Neill, KPMG Australia and Lina Cabai, Country Road

This session, presented in a conversation style, will see James Link, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Landcare Australia discuss key partnership objectives and outcomes with Donna O’Neill, Director – Corporate Citizenship at KPMG and Fabia Pryor, Brand Community and Impact Manager at Country Road.

For decades, those involved in Landcare have testified to a greater sense of self, both physically and mentally, resulting from an enhanced link with their local community and environment. This, in turn, has boosted community wellbeing and it has long been the desire of the Landcare movement to quantify the significance of these benefits. Now, newly published findings by KPMG Australia in partnership with Landcare Australia, indicate Landcare volunteers enjoy substantial improvements to their mental and physical wellbeing – with a significant decrease to their healthcare costs.

Surveying more than 1,000 Landcare volunteers and coordinators from Landcare groups, the findings in the report, titled Building resilience in local communities: The wellbeing benefits of participating in Landcare suggest substantial improvements in wellbeing owing to involvement in Landcare lead to approximate savings from avoided healthcare costs of $403 per individual per year. For the Landcare movement which exceeds 140,000 individuals, that number equates to $57 million nationally.

The report also goes on to address additional savings to the Landcare volunteer community relating to productivity, and benefits owing to natural disaster resilience and recovery, with the combined value amounting to $191 million annually. In 2020, Country Road proudly partnered with Landcare Australia to support the regeneration of Australian farmlands, with a focus on increasing biodiversity in cotton growing regions. The partnership is designed to enrich biodiversity by assisting local cotton farmers in protecting soil health, providing natural habitats for threatened species and improving water quality across river systems.

Research findings from ‘Management of Biodiversity in the Cotton Landscape: Iconic and Threatened Species’, a report developed by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) with support from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program Smart Farming Partnership Initiative Round 1, have been used to identify regions and projects that best support environmental outcomes. Since October 2020, sales from Country Road’s famous Verified Australian Cotton Heritage Sweats have been supporting the partnership, alongside a corporate contribution, with Country Road committing to a minimum of $600,000 over the next three years. Through this partnership, Country Road has also embarked on a customer education journey to showcase the on-farm biodiversity stewardship and enhancement projects in their supply chain which has been received well by urban and rural customers alike, further bridging the gap between the city and the bush.

Hundreds of urban dwelling staff members from KPMG and Country Road have also rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty volunteering on local Landcare projects via Landcare Australia’s corporate volunteering program.

Landcare Impact

Have We Made a Difference? Landcare and Landscape Change in the Holbrook Region

Kylie Durant, Holbrook Landcare Network

Measuring the long – term impact of land restoration work is a genuine challenge for many Landcare groups.

Holbrook Landcare Network (HLN) partnered with Murray Local Land Services to assess the impact of investment in revegetation of the Holbrook Landcare area between 1990 – 2014.

This study compared changes in vegetation cover across more than 2,700 restoration sites (23,600 ha).

The results of the study were extremely positive, showing specific and general coverage increases, all attributable to Landcare investment.

The key findings included:

  • Specific sites within HLN area have seen vegetation cover increase by 15 percent in the period; and
  • Overall, nearly 90 percent has seen an eight percent increase in cover.

Many of the plantings are less than 10 years old and are on a positive growth trajectory which will result in increased vegetation cover over the next 30 years. 

The study is also looking at the impacts of increased vegetation on biodiversity. The Australian National University’s long-term Southwest Slopes regional biodiversity study is looking at bird and mammal density in the HLN area to provide evidence that increased vegetation results in increased wildlife.

The changing priorities of funders and the short-term funding cycles Landcare survives on make it extremely difficult to generate and maintain long – term data sets in order to showcase change over time but this presentation shows it can be done.

The presentation will share HLN’s learnings and insights from this ambitious project and provide suggestions and pathways to enable other Landcare, and community – based environment groups measure the long – term impact of restoration and revegetation work.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Angela Turrell

Jallukar Native Grasslands in Action

Angela Turrell, Jallukar Landcare Group 

The Jallukar Landcare Group’s No.1 priority is to restore native grasslands through building community capacity.

On-ground activities started in 2016 with many hours of wild field collection, storage and cataloguing. In 2017-18 seed production areas were established, including nursery propagation and mass plant beds. Finally, in 2020, despite the COVID-19 restrictions, Jallukar’s first site of 1.6ha was seeded with 40kg of precious seeds.

This achievement would not have been possible without the help of nearly as many people as there were seeds. Greening Australia shared expert knowledge gained in their efforts restoring grasslands in western Victoria.  Local botanic experts led field trips and shared their invaluable knowledge of plant varieties. The Pomonal Wildflower Nursery has a new lease on life as the home for seedling propagation. Others provided private land for mass beds. The local Catchment Management Authority funded workshops, field trips, excursions, and a resource library. Others have written grant applications and reports, and helped out with project management, communications, publicity, events, working bees and information stands at wildflower shows. Volunteers from Landcare and community groups including the Grampians Australian Plant Society have joined in, contributing time, expertise and enthusiasm.

The Jallukar Native Grasslands Project, which won the 2019 Victorian Landcare Environmental Award, has achieved something special: it has galvanized Landcarers, brought expertise and resources together, and in the process, strengthened volunteer capacity.

Along with the tangible benefits of restoring native grasslands, it is the sheer enjoyment experienced by volunteers and the community through the discovery of an amazing part of our unique and beautiful native flora story which has been the real joy of this project.

The NSW Landcare Program: What Are the Critical Elements That Continue to Enhance Its Impact Beyond Local Coordinators?

Julie Busuttil, Local Land Services and Natasha English, Landcare NSW

How do we enhance the impact of local Landcare groups in NSW?

The answers to this question inform the co-designed government – NSW Landcare Program.  

The Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative (LLCI) – a state-wide Coordinators network – demonstrated that while Local Coordinators are an essential part of Landcare’s success, elements such as regional coordination, professional development, building organisational capacity, enhanced government partnerships and better linkages with Aboriginal communities also help drive impact.

Landcare NSW listened and the new Program delivers across these priority areas.

Regional coordination

Regional coordination is being driven through the Regional Coordinators network supported by the program team, host organisations and steering committees set up to guide the Regional Landcare Coordinator role. These positions are charged with developing Local and Regional Priority Plans so local activity is informed by regional priorities.

Professional development and organisational capacity

For the first time, the NSW Landcare Program is investing in professional development for Coordinators to help build personal agency and organisational capacity.

Improved linkages with First Nations communities

The NSW Landcare Program has invested $1m in a state-wide Aboriginal Community Engagement initiative designed to facilitate increased, strategic engagement between Landcarers and Aboriginal peoples.

Enhanced Government Partnerships

Landcare Coordinators and groups have increased capacity to better engage with all levels of government as a result of program investment in regional coordination, professional development and community engagement.

This presentation will outline the analysis behind the current NSW Landcare Program, and illustrate how community feedback from the LLCI helped to design the NSW Landcare program.

We Don’t Just Grow Trees, We Grow People

Phillip Moran, Noosa and District Landcare Group Inc.

As the second largest employer in the town of Pomona in the Noosa Hinterland, Noosa and District Landcare Group [NDLG] believes in helping people gain meaningful, local employment.

As a result, we have run a range employment programs over the years including the 22-week Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) and 12-month First Start programs, both managed by the Queensland government.

Those who have undertaken traineeships have found work with NDLG, local councils, NRM organisations, or in the conservation and horticulture sectors. Over three quarters of NDLG’s SQW graduates are studying or working full time.

Work and study are just some of the benefits of NDLG’s employment programs. During the training participants’ health begins to improve thanks to physical work in the open air, they begin to feel part of something bigger as a result of teamwork and they become part of the Landcare family – a family which supports them psychologically and socially. The most important benefit, though, is the moment when participants develop a sense of community. The value of this shone through during the COVID – 19 period where many people, particular the young, were facing social isolation, and in some cases, despair.   

Being part of a community does not make the hard things go away, it just means you’re not alone when you are experiencing them – and that makes a big difference to vulnerable young people.

This presentation will demonstrate the multiple co- benefits of employment programs including mental and physical health, community, resilience, contribution to regional economy and positivity in difficult times. It will also describe the value these kinds of programs deliver for Landcare groups and encourage other community groups to consider running them in the future.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Intrepid Landcare 2

Wild Wellbeing – Personal and Community Resilience in a Disrupted World

Megan Lee and Jayden Gunn, Intrepid Landcare

The reality of a changing climate, ongoing ecological loss and continued destruction of the environment takes a toll on many people. Mass coral bleaching, extreme drought, an unprecedented bushfire season, followed by a global pandemic, has tested us all in many ways.

As a result, Intrepid Landcare is curious to explore how we can support ourselves and our communities through these unprecedented times?

Landcarers are no strangers to the benefits that come with tending to, and looking after, the environment as a community and research is beginning to confirm how Landcare provides multiple avenues of connecting, working and being together – conditions known to improve our mental health and wellbeing.

This presentation will explore diverse ways individuals and communities are overcoming adversity and embracing practices that build resilience and connection, leading to improved mental health and wellbeing.

It will follow a number of unique stories of people in our community, and invite the audience to reflect on their own wellbeing strategies and what they can do to look after themselves and each other, now and into the future.

Volunteers – Their Significant Contribution to the Management of Perth’s Environmental Values

Ingrid Sieler, Perth NRM   

Perth NRM has been undertaking regular survey to better understand the capacity of environmental community volunteers within the Swan Region.

This unique survey provides insight into how environmental volunteer groups are organised, how they are funded and supported, with whom they are working, personal motivations and time spent undertaking on ground and administrative tasks.    

Findings of the most recent survey of 110 environmental volunteers, which was undertaken in 2017, included:

  • 80 percent of respondents reporting that on-ground work is undertaken jointly with a managing body
  • Environmental volunteers work closely with their local government authority and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to manage their natural areas and reported the interaction between them as effective or extremely effective
  • Environmental volunteering was linked to the desire to protect and preserve the environment

The surveys demonstrate environmental volunteers in the Swan Region make a significant contribution to the management of Perth’s unique environmental values.  They also identify a key gap when it comes to providing training to volunteers, paving the way for an evidenced-based business case for the provision of greater training opportunities, which in turn will benefit the regional environment.

This presentation will outline the value these surveys provide to Perth NRM and encourage other Landcare, and community- based environmental groups, to undertake these kinds of reviews to see what’s working and more importantly, what’s not.

2021 National Landcare Conference Speaker Clinton Muller

The Potential of International Landcare

Mary Johnson and Clinton Muller, RMIT

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on poverty eradication and the promotion of sustainable patterns of consumption and production. 

There is a recognised nexus between poverty eradication, improving lives and livelihoods, access to food, water and energy and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Bottom up mechanisms that position community at the forefront of landscape management and decision-making activities, through the adoption of participatory community mobilisation approaches such as the Australian -inspired Landcare model, are one way of helping achieve the SDGs.

Accounts suggest that the Australian model of Landcare has been deployed and adapted in up to 30 countries across the Pacific, South-East Asia and Africa, with mixed success.

A recent study, Investigating the Potential of International Landcare, was conducted to compare Landcare practices in Fiji, Indonesia the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda and identify drivers of success. 

This paper will discuss the key findings and lessons drawn from the study including common elements for Landcare to emerge and flourish and the opportunities to support agricultural extension approaches to deliver livelihood outcomes.   

The Impact of a Garden

Vicki Horstman, Fitzroy Basin Association     

Impacted by persistent drought, a damaging storm and a global pandemic a community garden in central Queensland’s remote Indigenous community Woorabinda has provided invaluable learnings – and ingredients for egg and lettuce sandwiches.

Fitzroy Basin Association and Woorabinda State School worked together to create a garden based at Woorabinda School, as a means of connecting the community to the environment and supplying fresh, free and healthy food.

What was a bare patch of earth is now a communal area, featuring a water tank, irrigation, fruit and bush tucker trees, veggie boxes and traditional language name plaques. The garden has sown seeds for capacity building, cultural development, and community participation – including knowledge exchange from Ghungalu Nation Elders and permaculture experts.

This presentation will take listeners through the ups and downs of what is seemly a simple garden. From the triumph of the first meal provided by the garden to the devastation of the many unpredictable challenges. Sharing how each problem was overcome, be inspired by a story of people, passion, persistence, and culture.

By partnering with First Nation People, FBA integrates traditional ecological knowledge and cultural practices with contemporary natural resource management to achieve positive environmental outcomes.

The Gully – A Story of Community Resilience and Wellbeing

David Alan King, Gully Traditional Owners

Country and community can be restored by combining modern bush regeneration techniques with traditional Aboriginal practice. 

In Hazelbrook, NSW a range of people have been regenerating key sites across 35 ha of Gully Country including Gully Traditional Owners, volunteers the Blue Mountains City Council bush regeneration team and corporate groups.

The Gully Traditional Owners Community Engagement team also run educational walks and talks on the site.

The regeneration process is informed by the need to reduce human impact on the site, and traditional pathways across Country are used wherever possible.      

Country is quite often stronger than individual methodologies but combined it can be restored to healthy land for communities and Country. Gully Traditional Owners have seen the natural bush restore itself throughout the life of this project, even though the regeneration teams only focus on a few sites. 

What has become clear is that by combining modern bush regeneration approaches with Aboriginal practices Country and community can be restored.     

The Gondwana Connections Art Program: Giant Paintings Mapping Special Country

Basil Schur, Green Skills Inc.

What began as an eco-restoration program, as part of Gondwana Link in Western Australia’s biodiversity hotspot has evolved into a cultural collaboration as well.     

For the last decade Green Skills has helped run eco-camps, youth art and community art collaborations, bringing together Noongar elders, artists and family members with Wadjella people, creating and exhibiting large paintings about country. The paintings represent deep connections to Boodja, the Land.     

These events have allowed Noongar elders, artists and their families to express their views and to articulate their connection to country, providing valuable insights into understanding Noongar spiritual connectiveness to the land.

Community art is an inspiring vehicle for building bridges and trust between Noongar and Wadjella people. It is also a powerful medium for sharing cultural and environmental knowledge. The process of the creating the art works is inspirational and educational, and the outcomes form part of a community exhibition that tours centres around the South West, as well as providing a wonderful backdrop to community and Landcare events.   

Exhibition openings and associated cross-cultural forums have now been held in Albany, Denmark, Walpole, Northcliffe, Manjimup, Cranbrook, Ongerup, Katanning and Perth. When not on tour, the paintings are displayed and housed at the Gondwana Link office in Albany.        

This presentation will outline the evolution of eco-restoration program to inter-cultural art collaboration, and the cultural, social and economic benefits of the Green Skills events. It will also encourage other Landcare, and community -based environmental groups to consider ways of interweaving the creative and restorative.

Plenary Speakers

Trish O’Gorman, Landcare Australia | Matt Crawley and Naomi Wells, Bellarine Catchment Network

Connecting and collaborating through a dedicated online community for Landcarers

STREAM: PARTNERSHIP

Landcare is all about community. It’s about connection, and meaningful collaborations to tackle environmental issues. It’s about sharing knowledge and working together. But what if the meaningful collaborations could be extended across geographical boundaries? What if people could connect with each other irrespective of where they were? What if the knowledge and networking that happens at conferences like this one, could happen from your own home, at any time?

Due to COVID-19, more than ever before, people have started to discover the value of technology in the areas of knowledge sharing, building online communities, and connecting with people – and this session will share how this is possible for the Landcare community. Landcarer is an online community platform developed especially for people who care for their local environment. This session will introduce real-life examples of how community groups and networks are using the platform, what issues it has helped them overcome, what challenges they’ve had, and what they have achieved. Delegates will discover the benefits of being part of a dedicated online community where they can access knowledge, connect and collaborate with like-minded people. Sign up for Landcarer by visiting https://www.landcarer.com.au/ or downloading the Landcarer mobile app.

Trish O’Gorman, Landcare Australia | Matt Crawley and Naomi Wells, Bellarine Catchment Network

Connecting and collaborating through a dedicated online community for Landcarers

STREAM: PARTNERSHIP

Landcare is all about community. It’s about connection, and meaningful collaborations to tackle environmental issues. It’s about sharing knowledge and working together. But what if the meaningful collaborations could be extended across geographical boundaries? What if people could connect with each other irrespective of where they were? What if the knowledge and networking that happens at conferences like this one, could happen from your own home, at any time?

Due to COVID-19, more than ever before, people have started to discover the value of technology in the areas of knowledge sharing, building online communities, and connecting with people – and this session will share how this is possible for the Landcare community. Landcarer is an online community platform developed especially for people who care for their local environment. This session will introduce real-life examples of how community groups and networks are using the platform, what issues it has helped them overcome, what challenges they’ve had, and what they have achieved. Delegates will discover the benefits of being part of a dedicated online community where they can access knowledge, connect and collaborate with like-minded people. Sign up for Landcarer by visiting https://www.landcarer.com.au/ or downloading the Landcarer mobile app.

Trish O’Gorman, Landcare Australia | Matt Crawley and Naomi Wells, Bellarine Catchment Network

Connecting and collaborating through a dedicated online community for Landcarers

STREAM: PARTNERSHIP

Landcare is all about community. It’s about connection, and meaningful collaborations to tackle environmental issues. It’s about sharing knowledge and working together. But what if the meaningful collaborations could be extended across geographical boundaries? What if people could connect with each other irrespective of where they were? What if the knowledge and networking that happens at conferences like this one, could happen from your own home, at any time?

Due to COVID-19, more than ever before, people have started to discover the value of technology in the areas of knowledge sharing, building online communities, and connecting with people – and this session will share how this is possible for the Landcare community. Landcarer is an online community platform developed especially for people who care for their local environment. This session will introduce real-life examples of how community groups and networks are using the platform, what issues it has helped them overcome, what challenges they’ve had, and what they have achieved. Delegates will discover the benefits of being part of a dedicated online community where they can access knowledge, connect and collaborate with like-minded people. Sign up for Landcarer by visiting https://www.landcarer.com.au/ or downloading the Landcarer mobile app.

Trish O’Gorman, Landcare Australia | Matt Crawley and Naomi Wells, Bellarine Catchment Network

Connecting and collaborating through a dedicated online community for Landcarers

STREAM: PARTNERSHIP

Landcare is all about community. It’s about connection, and meaningful collaborations to tackle environmental issues. It’s about sharing knowledge and working together. But what if the meaningful collaborations could be extended across geographical boundaries? What if people could connect with each other irrespective of where they were? What if the knowledge and networking that happens at conferences like this one, could happen from your own home, at any time?

Due to COVID-19, more than ever before, people have started to discover the value of technology in the areas of knowledge sharing, building online communities, and connecting with people – and this session will share how this is possible for the Landcare community. Landcarer is an online community platform developed especially for people who care for their local environment. This session will introduce real-life examples of how community groups and networks are using the platform, what issues it has helped them overcome, what challenges they’ve had, and what they have achieved. Delegates will discover the benefits of being part of a dedicated online community where they can access knowledge, connect and collaborate with like-minded people. Sign up for Landcarer by visiting https://www.landcarer.com.au/ or downloading the Landcarer mobile app.

Trish O’Gorman, Landcare Australia | Matt Crawley and Naomi Wells, Bellarine Catchment Network

Connecting and collaborating through a dedicated online community for Landcarers

STREAM: PARTNERSHIP

Landcare is all about community. It’s about connection, and meaningful collaborations to tackle environmental issues. It’s about sharing knowledge and working together. But what if the meaningful collaborations could be extended across geographical boundaries? What if people could connect with each other irrespective of where they were? What if the knowledge and networking that happens at conferences like this one, could happen from your own home, at any time?

Due to COVID-19, more than ever before, people have started to discover the value of technology in the areas of knowledge sharing, building online communities, and connecting with people – and this session will share how this is possible for the Landcare community. Landcarer is an online community platform developed especially for people who care for their local environment. This session will introduce real-life examples of how community groups and networks are using the platform, what issues it has helped them overcome, what challenges they’ve had, and what they have achieved. Delegates will discover the benefits of being part of a dedicated online community where they can access knowledge, connect and collaborate with like-minded people. Sign up for Landcarer by visiting https://www.landcarer.com.au/ or downloading the Landcarer mobile app.

Trish O’Gorman, Landcare Australia | Matt Crawley and Naomi Wells, Bellarine Catchment Network

Connecting and collaborating through a dedicated online community for Landcarers

STREAM: PARTNERSHIP

Landcare is all about community. It’s about connection, and meaningful collaborations to tackle environmental issues. It’s about sharing knowledge and working together. But what if the meaningful collaborations could be extended across geographical boundaries? What if people could connect with each other irrespective of where they were? What if the knowledge and networking that happens at conferences like this one, could happen from your own home, at any time?

Due to COVID-19, more than ever before, people have started to discover the value of technology in the areas of knowledge sharing, building online communities, and connecting with people – and this session will share how this is possible for the Landcare community. Landcarer is an online community platform developed especially for people who care for their local environment. This session will introduce real-life examples of how community groups and networks are using the platform, what issues it has helped them overcome, what challenges they’ve had, and what they have achieved. Delegates will discover the benefits of being part of a dedicated online community where they can access knowledge, connect and collaborate with like-minded people. Sign up for Landcarer by visiting https://www.landcarer.com.au/ or downloading the Landcarer mobile app.