Landcare community celebrates its champions

The 2018 National Landcare Awards held in Brisbane this October highlighted the inspirational work of 68 worthy nominees – all vying for one of 11 award categories.

For more information and full case studies of the winners, visit


Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award, David Marsh, NSW

Australian Government Individual Landcarer winner, David Marsh.

David is acknowledged for alerting primary producers to the fact that a healthy catchment and long-term profitability go hand in hand. He was pivotal in the early establishment of the Landcare movement, and his property “Allendale” has long been a proving ground for sympathetic land management.

David was delighted to win the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award.

“Receiving this award is very humbling but also makes me feel very proud to be recognised in a roomful of peers who are all doing wonderful things,” he said.


Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management Award, Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation, VIC

Brooke Collins and Jacqui Wandish accepted the Australian Government Partnerships for Landcare Award on behalf of Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation.

Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation represents the Wurundjeri people, the Indigenous owners of the historical property “Coranderrk” in the Yarra Valley.

Through partnerships with Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, Wurundjeri Council’s Narrap Team, Yarra4Life project and its partners, Melbourne Water, and volunteer group Friends of Coranderrk, Wandoon Estate’s sustainable farming practices have delivered outstanding examples of productive beef cattle grazing, habitat restoration and waterway management and protection.

Jacqui Wandin was surprised to receive this award.

“We are really proud to receive this award because we’ve spent years and years trying to improve the property and it’s really nice to be acknowledged,” she said.

“We believe it’s our inherent responsibility to look after our property.”


Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management Award, Precision Pastoral, NT

Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management winner, Precision Pastoral.

Precision Pastoral developed pastoral management tools that help farmers integrate animal and pasture data, linking livestock performance to environmental conditions for more efficient pastoral management.

Farmers making decisions about stocking rates or land management have used the Precision Pastoral Management Tools to give them a better understanding of groundcover trends and animal condition, and reduce their monitoring costs.

Tim Driver was ecstatic to be presented the Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management Award.

“After seeing the fantastic work being done by others nominated in this category, it is truly an honour to receive this award on behalf of Precision Pastoral,” he said.


Australian Government Excellence in Sustainable Farm Practices Award, Lake Baroon Catchment Care Group Inc, QLD

Australian Government Excellence in Sustainable Farm Practices winner, Lake Baroon Cathcment Care Group Inc.

Lake Baroon Catchment Care Group was founded to improve water quality in the Baroon Pocket Dam, the most important source of water for the Sunshine Coast.

The group which supports 34 farms covering 1961 hectares, delivers agricultural, landslide, weed control, and dairy programs that have improved productivity for landowners while delivering broader environmental benefits.

Peter Stevens, who accepted the award, was delighted by the win.

“It’s great to receive recognition for all the years of work we put into this project,” he said.

“There are a lot of people that are going to be very proud of this amazing outcome.”


Austcover Young Landcare Leader Award, Kathleen Brack, VIC

L to R: Austcare CEO Maria Parry presented Kathleen Brack with the Austcover National Young Landcare Leader Award.

Keen to attract more young people to Landcare, Kathleen ran an Intrepid Landcare Retreat at Wilsons Promontory for 20 people aged 18 to 35.

Kathleen targets younger people through her effective use of technology and social media, including using Facebook, to create an online network of young people interested in Landcare in West Gippsland. Followers share job opportunities, information on relevant field days, and feature case studies highlighting their concerns and barriers to adaption.

Kathleen said, “Landcare is such an amazing grass roots movement and I’m thrilled to receive this award.”


Fairfax Media Landcare Community Group Award, Birdlife Australia Gluepot Reserve, SA

Duncan MacKenzie received the Fairfax Media Landcare Community Group Award on behalf of Birdlife Australia Gluepot Reserve.

BirdLife Australia Gluepot Reserve is Australia’s largest community managed and operated conservation reserve.

Situated 64 kilometres from the River Murray in South Australia’s Riverland, the reserve is managed and operated entirely by volunteers. More than 54,000 hectares in size, it is home to 22 nationally threatened species of birds, 53 species of reptiles and 12 species of bats, some of which are nationally threatened.

Duncan MacKenzie was excited to receive the award on behalf of Birdlife Australia Gluepot Reserve.

“It’s an honour to be receiving this award, and it’s really encouraging to know that our work is being recognised by the Landcare community,” he said.


Rio Tinto Indigenous Land Management Award, Spinifex Land Management, WA

Ethan Hansen and Ian Baird received the Rio Tinto Indigenous Land Management Award on behalf of Spinifex Land Management, with Landcare Australia chairman Doug Humann AM (centre).

The Spinifex Land Management Program is a collaboration between an Indigenous ranger team and the local community to provide direction, technical support and resources in the management of the northern fringes of the Nullarbor Plain and deep within the Great Victoria Desert.

Based in Tjuntjuntjara, the second most remote community in Australia, patrolling the region is a logistical feat and an adventure on country, requiring careful planning to ensure appropriate cultural and ecological outcomes and the safety of participants.

Ian Baird was delighted to accept the award on behalf of Spinifex Land Management.

“Receiving this award is an amazing honour for us,” he said.

“We just manage the land our people have taken care of for thousands of years. It’s a huge area between Kalgoorlie and the Nullarbor, so very challenging, but also very rewarding.”


Sure Gro Treemax Coastcare Award, Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group Inc, SA

Sure Gro Treemax Coastcare Winner, Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group. Jo McPhee and Richard Owen received the award on behalf of the group.

Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group aims to protect and rehabilitate saltmarsh areas, with a focus on reconnecting waterways. The Murray Mouth Estuary Restoration Project has been the Group’s major restoration project since 2001.

Seventeen years later, 500,000 plants have been planted on over 100 sites. Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group’s work in increasing habitat connectivity, propagating local species, and mitigating erosion via fencing and strategic plantings has achieved long-term benefits for local flora, fauna, native fish, and invertebrates.

Richard Owen was excited to accept the award on behalf of Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group.

“The quality and diversity of projects across this category was very high and we are rapt to be signalled out to receive this award,” he said.


Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award, Mount Compass Area School Swamp Ambassadors, SA

Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award winner, Mount Compass Area School Swamp Ambassadors were received their award from Woolworths’ general manager Queensland Matthew Franich.

Mount Compass Area School’s Swamp Ambassadors are a student-led environmental program where students are the custodians of the school’s critically endangered Fleurieu swamp.

The students worked hard to change the perception of the swamps, through partnerships with Fleurieu Swamps Recovery Program and undertook leadership and guide training to effectively share their knowledge and promote the importance of Fleurieu swamps in an engaging way.

“The students’ passion and commitment to the school’s swamp is epitomised by their willingness to give up their weekends and afternoons to take community groups on visits to the area,” said Jessica Sullivan a staff leader for the Mount Compass Area School Swamp Ambassadors.

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