Celebrating 30 Years of Landcare: Bob Hawke’s granddaughter Sophie Taylor-Price calls on young Australians to continue late Prime Minister’s Landcare legacy

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.’

2019 State and Territory Landcare Awards: Nominations are now open

Landcare Australia is inviting nominations for the 2019 State and Territory Landcare Awards which recognises individuals and groups across the country for their outstanding contributions to preserving the unique Australian landscape.

In 2019, Landcare celebrates its 30-year national anniversary. And over the last three decades, Landcare has played a leading role in changing Australia’s approach to sustainable agricultural practices, environmental protection, conservation of land and waterways, coastlines and biodiversity.

The Landcare Awards are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate Landcare champions from rural and urban communities motivated by a shared vision to restore and protect the environment in their local community.

Federal Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said the awards also recognised the valuable work of land carers and farmers who work towards delivering sustainable agriculture outcomes.

“Landcare shows the very best of Australian sustainable agricultural practices,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The Landcare Awards help promote these practices, which contribute to a successful balance to support Australian agriculture for generations to come.”

For over 20 years, the Landcare Awards has celebrated those working towards sustainable land use and undertaking on-ground action to protect, enhance or restore an area on behalf of the community.

Landcare Australia CEO Shane Norrish says it’s a chance to celebrate the achievements of those leading the wider community to engage and participate in managing the environment and natural resources in their local area.

Dr Norrish said: ‘There are so many people who have made a positive impact on improving land management practices. And these prestigious awards give us the chance to recognise and honour tireless volunteers making a difference.’

Landcare Australia encourages nominations from groups, networks and individuals involved in protecting and improving their local environment. They include:

  • Sustainable farmers and farming systems groups
  • Indigenous landcare groups and individuals
  • Urban landcare groups including ‘Friends of’ and bushcare groups
  • Coastcare, Rivercare, Dunecare groups and individuals
  • Environmental groups
  • Natural resource management agencies
  • Local government
  • Research agencies
  • Agricultural co-operatives, industry associations, suppliers or individual primary producers
  • Junior Landcare (including day care centres, primary and secondary schools, youth groups)
  • Youth groups including Scouts and Girls Guides

Winners from the 2019 State & Territory Landcare Awards will go forward to the 2020 National Landcare Awards held during the 2020 National Landcare Conference. The National Landcare Awards ceremony also includes the Bob Hawke Landcare Award sponsored by the Australian Government.

Nine national award categories are now open for nominations:

  • Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award
  • Australian Government Partnerships for Landcare Award
  • Australian Government Landcare Farming Award
  • Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management Award
  • Virgin Coastcare Award
  • Australian Community Media Landcare Community Group Award
  • Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award
  • Indigenous Land Management Award
  • Austcover Young Landcare Leader Award

Vital the UN adopts the Landcare approach – International Biodiversity Day

To mark International Biodiversity Day on today, May 22, the National Landcare Network and Landcare Australia have called on the UN to adopt the Landcare approach to protect and preserve threatened eco-systems around the globe.

According to a United Nations report earlier this month, scientists claim ‘1,000,000 species are now threated with extinction and the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.’

The National Landcare Network and Landcare Australia agree it’s vital the UN adopt the Landcare approach to increase awareness of biodiversity issues.

‘Landcare embodies the theme of sustainable food production, landscape restoration and healthy living, from urban spaces to the back of Bourke,’ Peter Bridgewater, Chair of the National Landcare Network said.

He added: ‘In Australia we champion Landcare and all it’s done in the last 30 years. And if the UN had Landcare, it could embrace the obvious solutions to biodiversity threats that really work.’

Rachel Gatehouse, Acting Chair of Landcare Australia says that ‘over the past three decades, Landcare has successfully tackled the issue of biodiversity degradation and species extinction through its grass-roots community movement in Australia.’

She added: ‘And now is the time for the UN to adopt a similar program. It’s absolutely vital to the preservation of threated biodiversity across the planet.’

Bob Hawke Memorial Statement

Vale The Hon. Bob Hawke AC

On behalf of the Landcare community, Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network would like to acknowledge the vision of the late Bob Hawke for committing the Australian Government to support ‘Landcare’.

The name ‘Landcare’ evolved in Victoria through an initiative of Joan Kirner, (then Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands) and Heather Mitchell, (then President of the Victorian Farmers Federation).

In 1989 the national Landcare movement officially began with Rick Farley of the National Farmers Federation and Phillip Toyne of the Australian Conservation Foundation, successfully encouraging the Hawke Government to commit to the emerging movement.

Landcare grew into a national programme in July 1989 when the Australian Government, with bipartisan support, announced that 1990 would be the Year of Landcare, and the 1990s the Decade of Landcare. 1989 was also the year that the not-for-profit organisation Landcare Australia was formed.

In his speech to launch the Decade of Landcare, Bob Hawke spoke about the importance of co-operation to care for the land.

“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 of us individually and together.

Over these 30 years, Landcare has continued to play a leading role in managing sustainable agricultural practices, environmental protection, and conservation of land, waterways, coasts, biodiversity and landscapes.

Bob Hawke has championed Landcare since its inception.

His legacy to protect the environment, is that Landcare is now one of the largest volunteer movements in Australia with thousands of people and countless communities working together to solve local environmental issues that benefit all Australians.

Projects with environmental or sustainable agriculture outcomes eligible to apply for Gallagher Landcare Fencing grants

Sydney – 30 April 2019 – Landcare Australia is launching Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grants.

The funding Gallagher is providing for these grants includes a combination of in-kind fencing and monetary support. Eligible applicants throughout Australia are invited to apply for projects that align with improved grazing management and/or conservation.

Eligible applicants for the Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grants are invited to apply for an individual fencing project grant for up to $8,000 (ex-GST) including fencing materials – up to 12 grants are planned for 2019. Grants are open to Landcare, Coastcare and Junior Landcare groups; individual landholders, farmers and graziers and volunteer-based community groups.

Grant recipients will undertake fencing projects, using Gallagher products. All projects must show tangible environmental or sustainable agriculture outcomes.

Shane Norrish, Landcare Australia CEO, said, “We are delighted that by funding these grants, Gallagher is extending its partnership with Landcare Australia and providing much needed financial and product support to conservation fencing and grazing management projects.”

Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grant applications are open until Friday, 31 May for projects that align with one or both of the below priority areas:

  •  Grazing management: Electric fencing for pasture management techniques using permanent or portable systems to subdivide paddocks for more effective grazing, maintaining groundcover and keeping the pasture fresh, high energy and palatable which ultimately leads to increased milk and meat production, and stabilises soils.
  • Conservation fencing: Installing conservation fencing to help exclude threats to valuable native plants and animals, such as: browsing or trampling by herbivores (including stock, rabbits, deer or kangaroos) and preventing damage from people.

Malcolm Linn, Gallagher Australia General Manager, said “After a successful partnership at last year’s National Landcare Conference we’re excited to broaden our support with Landcare Australia throughout 2019 and beyond. This year’s Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grants is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase – through our people and products – our commitment to grazing management, conservation, feral fencing and assisting Australia’s Landcare community.

Landcare Australia began its partnership with Gallagher in 2018 when the company was a sponsor at the 2018 National Landcare Conference and provided a range of in-kind Gallagher Electric Fencing products to support several Landcare Group projects nationally.

To learn more about the Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grants and how to apply, visit https://landcareaustralia.org.au/gallaghergrants