On July 20 1989, the late former Prime Minister Bob Hawke delivered his speech to launch the national formation of the Landcare movement.
His iconic address marked an unprecedented union between farmers and conservationists coming together to form a national Landcare model to help protect the Australian landscape for future generations.
‘The degradation of our environment is not simply a local problem, nor a problem for one state or another, nor for the Commonwealth alone. Rather, the damage being done to our environment is a problem for us all – and not just government- but for all of us individually and together.’
Marking the thirty-year anniversary in Melbourne today, Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Agriculture launched the national Landcare 30-year anniversary.
‘Australian farmers have an international reputation as sustainable land managers and Landcare has played a significant role in the future adoption of innovative agricultural practices,” Minister McKenzie said.
“By making a difference and helping to create healthy soils, vegetation and supporting biodiversity, Landcarers and farmers are playing a part in growing a sustainable Australian agriculture industry.”
“It thrives through a spirit of cooperation, bringing farmers and the wider community together for a common and noble goal.”
Newly appointed Landcare 30-year anniversary ambassador, Sophie Taylor-Price, paid tribute to her grandfather’s vision for the future by calling on all Australians to work together to enhance environmental conservation.
‘On this day, 30 years ago, my grandfather asked the community to join together in tackling environmental challenges,’ said Ms Taylor-Price, a consultant with EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability team.
‘30 years on and look what Landcare has achieved. Landcare has evolved and grown into a movement of over 6,000 groups and hundreds of thousands of volunteers across rural and urban Australia. Pop was so proud to be a part of Landcare – he called it a great Australian success story.’
Sophie added: ‘Look to the agricultural and environmental challenges we face; we need grassroots movements like Landcare now more than ever. We need it as a bridge between conservationists, farmers and other land managers. And we need it to engage with young Landcarers empowered to know they have a voice as environmental leaders for today, not just for the future.’
Sophie was joined by Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish who explained active engagement with younger generations will ensure the ‘enduring legacy of Landcare in the future.’
Dr Norrish said: ‘Young people are more connected than ever with environmental issues. And Landcare is one of the only conservation not-for-profits where individuals, young and old, can get involved in protecting the environment in their local area.
‘It only takes a small number of people to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty but their work captures and motivates others to be a part of that process. It’s seeing that you individually, at any age, can make a real difference, rather than sitting back and wondering when someone is going to do something about it.’