At Landcare Australia we are delighted to have as our patron former Governor-General Major General the Hon. Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd).
Our Patron is responsible for raising awareness and non-government funding for the Landcare movement. In this role General Jeffery is an advocate for Landcare, working to raise awareness of our work to protect, restore and sustain the productivity and value of Australia’s natural environment.
General Jeffery is also appointed, through until December 2017, as the Australian Government’s National Advocate for Soil Health, to raise public awareness of the critical role soil health plays in the wellbeing of the broader landscape. In this role he has travelled around Australia to meet farmers and land managers, scientists, policy makers, students, and community groups to discuss and learn about soil management issues and opportunities, and to speak at various forums, conferences and field days.
General Jeffery believes in the importance of helping people understand that good soil health underpins the sustainability and resilience of the landscape, delivering high quality ecosystem services whilst helping to meet global challenges, including food security and climate change issues. This all ties in well with the work of the Landcare movement.
I am delighted to have been appointed as Patron of Landcare Australia, especially in the year that marked 25 years since the foundation of the organisation and the launch of the Landcare movement as a national initiative.
Over the last quarter of a century, the Landcare movement has grown, from an unlikely alliance between farmers and conservationists, into one of Australia’s largest and most recognised volunteer movements, in supporting a community of dedicated volunteers and professionals working to achieve a resilient landscape.
Farming groups, Bushcare and Coastcare groups, natural resource management professionals and individual volunteers, work side by side to ensure the health of our natural environment across a diversity of landscapes and locations. Landcare’s reach is Australia wide.
Of particular note is Landcare Australia’s Junior Landcare program. It encourages young people to develop a sense of responsibility to the land and other natural resources, and in so doing to play an active role in ensuring the healthy future of the environment.
As an adjunct to this, I am particularly keen to support a concept in which every school in Australia has a school garden, that teaches our children, from a young age, where their food comes from, and how important the health of our natural environment is to ensuring its future supply.
As Patron of Landcare Australia I look forward to fostering the next generation of young Landcarers and building an even stronger and more resilient Landcare movement for the future.