WIRES and Landcare Australia join forces in $1million post-bushfire wildlife habitat regeneration

WIRES and Landcare Australia have announced a landmark $1million partnership supporting recovery of wildlife habitats impacted by bushfire and drought across Australia.

Facilitated by unprecedented public appeals and donations, the WIRES Landcare Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants will provide eligible local Landcare environment networks and community groups access to grant funding of up to $20,000 to maximise and coordinate restoration projects.

This is a ground-breaking alliance between two not-for-profits who have been part of the fabric of local communities for over 30 years.

The largest wildlife rescue organisation in the country, WIRES rescues and rehabilitates native animals. They are also working on a range of relief and recovery plans to implement the best solutions to assist surviving wildlife and ensure the survival of remaining animals. While Landcare Australia supports the Landcare grassroots movement of individuals and groups who have a shared vision to restore and protect the environment in local communities through sustainable land management and conservation activities.

WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor said this partnership with Landcare Australia marks the beginning of a powerful union, committed to protecting and preserving Australian wildlife, habitat and local communities from the effects of climate change and extreme natural disasters.

Leanne said: “This partnership between Landcare Australia and WIRES is an important step towards the restoration and recovery of Australian wildlife and landscapes deeply scarred by the unparalleled impacts of bushfires and drought.”

Welcoming the new partnership, Landcare Australia CEO Dr Shane Norrish said the grants program will improve outcomes for wildlife support and associated habitat rehabilitation projects.

Dr Norrish said: “Through partnerships like this, Landcare Australia is helping to drive and coordinate national bushfire and drought response with targeted high-priority actions, being delivered on the ground by locals.

Dr Norrish added: “For over 30 years, WIRES has actively rehabilitated and preserved Australian wildlife and inspired others to do the same. Now WIRES are funding community-led protection of habitat by actively supporting Landcare groups and networks, and other environmental community groups to improve the outcomes for wildlife and biodiversity.”

Applications for grants will remain open until April 20 with successful applicants notified early May.

Landcare Australia will be considering applications from:

  • Landcare groups, networks, or community environmental organisations undertaking works in an area affected by drought or bushfire in 2019 or 2020; with
  • Projects that are directly-related to the implementation of bushfire or drought-related wildlife recovery activities including;
    • post fire habitat restoration/creation projects
    • installation and monitoring nest boxes
    • revegetation of habitat and food trees for native fauna
  • Species the grant program aims to assist include;
    • Threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo
    • Sugar Glider
    • Greater Glider
    • Brush-Tailed Rock Wallaby
    • Koala
    • Kookaburra
    • Regent Honeyeater
    • Rosellas

Leap into Landcare: Use your extra day this leap year to make a difference in bushfire recovery

Landcare is inviting Australians to use their extra day this leap year to volunteer with a Landcare group located in communities impacted by bushfires.

As the country come to terms with the devastation of the unprecedented bushfires, Landcare groups play a critical role in supporting recovery of biodiversity, landscapes and communities – and you can volunteer with Landcare to assist the restoration process.

When conditions allow, Landcare and other community groups will need volunteers to help with regeneration, restoration and rebuilding. With an extra day this leap year on Saturday 29 February, it’s the perfect opportunity to ‘Leap into Landcare’.

If you would like to participate but aren’t sure where to start, please click here for more information.

*The information you provide will help us find you a volunteering opportunity and will be shared with the Landcare organisation in your state or territory as well as local Landcare groups seeking assistance. Please be patient. Some Landcare groups will require immediate action while others may need longer to coordinate recovery projects and activities.

After the first response during a natural disaster, local Landcarers are there for the long term, with on-ground works over months and years. They provide affected people with opportunities to actively participate in community and environmental recovery, working together to repair properties and nurture communities and the environment.

Beyond the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, Landcare groups also provide a social hub, including bringing people together and running workshops with mental health experts to talk to group members directly.

“Landcare groups and volunteers are already part of the impacted areas and are bringing people together in the long-term to work on regeneration, restoration and rebuilding projects over the coming months and years,” said Dr. Shane Norrish, CEO Landcare Australia.

“Landcare projects provide people with opportunities to actively participate in community and environment recovery, working together to restore land, water and coastal landscapes, enhance habitat and strengthen community resilience. And there can never be enough volunteers.”

Landcare Australia is also accepting donations to the 2020 Landcare Australia Bushfire and Natural Disaster Fund. All donations will go directly to Landcare groups for ongoing recovery support. Visit landcareaustralia.org.au/donatebushfires for more information

Landcare Recovery Support Activities

Some of the activities community Landcare groups and volunteers across Australia will co-ordinate during bushfire recovery include:

  • mobilising volunteers to help farmers and landholders with support activities
  • restoring habitat for wildlife including construction and installation of nest boxes and replanting Indigenous vegetation (grasses, shrubs and trees)
  • revegetating bush areas, paddock trees and shelter belts as conditions become appropriate
  • removing burnt and fallen trees from fence lines, roads and access tracks
  • cleaning up rubble from burnt sheds and other infrastructure including fencing which usually involves many kilometres and therefore days of rolling up and removal of damaged wire
  • installing temporary fencing to manage immediate stock and pest control needs
  • replacing permanent fencing over a longer period of time
  • organising knowledge sharing workshops to provide information to landholders on best practice fire recovery
  • supporting farmers and landholders with projects that improve soil health, conservation activities, and adaptation to climate change techniques critical to managing land and water assets
  • working with Traditional Owner groups to protect and enhance cultural heritage and environmental outcomes on Country

Here are 29 things you can do at home or work to get involved in Landcare

Joint Communique

Representatives of the National Landcare Network (NLN) and Landcare Australia (LA) met in Sydney on 13 November 2019 to further conversations that have been taking place since early 2017 about a creating new single national Landcare organisation.

Chairman of the National Landcare Network, Patrick O’Connor with NLN directors, Stephanie Cameron (NSW), Geoff Elliot (Qld), and Jim Adams (CEO) joined Landcare Australia Chair, Doug Humann and directors, Jan Davis and Rachel Gatehouse with Shane Norrish (CEO).

Importantly, the meeting reaffirmed the intent of each party to achieve a single voice for Landcare and to modify the existing Landcare Australia Constitution as the basis for doing this. 

Whilst it was agreed that this should not be rushed, it was also agreed that momentum should be maintained and that the parties would work towards 1 July 2020 as the date for the first meeting of a newly constituted Board of Landcare Australia under a new Constitution which recognises the membership and role of the NLN and state and territory organisations.

All parties recognised that Australia needs the Landcare movement more than ever, and the new organisation should support the movement to grow and develop stronger capacity to tackle pressing environmental and resource management issues into the future.

It was also agreed that there is an important place and need for additional members in the new entity.  Although this will be a provision of the Constitution, the new entity will initially focus on establishing and embedding the existing members, their operating capability and a new culture.  New members would naturally be representative of the Landcare movement and be organisations that reflect the Landcare movement at an international or national level.  It is anticipated that local and regional organisations would more appropriately become members of their respective state and territory organisation.

Working back from the proposed date of the first meeting of a new Board on 1 July 2020, the first activity which the parties intend is to draft a vision and intent document, alongside a values statement and transition plan.  Much of this work has already been commenced and discussed.

It was also agreed to hold a meeting of state and territory CEOs (or equivalent) together with Patrick, Doug, Jim and Shane, tentatively scheduled for 15 February 2020, to discuss operational issues connected with a new entity.  This would look at the opportunities for state and territory organisations under these new arrangements and how all the parties would “mesh” in their activities for the benefit of the entire Landcare movement.

Regular joint communications such as this to STOs and the wider community providing updates on progress are also intended.

 

Doug Humann AM                                                                                Patrick O’Connor

Chairman | Landcare Australia                                                           Chairman | National Landcare Network

2019 NSW Landcare Awards celebrate outstanding Landcare champions

Winning Landcare projects were announced on Wednesday night at the NSW Landcare Awards at Broken Hill Civic Centre, where Landcare champions from across NSW came together to celebrate impressive achievements in the Landcare community.

Hosted by Chris McCulloch, Business Partner for Landcare at Local Land Services, the awards celebrate incredible efforts to protect NSW land, water and biodiversity.

Last night’s ceremony saw award winners from diverse categories, including farming, Coastcare and Indigenous land management, announced by representatives of award sponsors and NSW Landcare community champions/stalwarts.

Stephanie Cameron, Chair of Landcare NSW together with Richard Bull, Chair of Local Land Services paid tribute to award finalists and champions.

‘Last night’s Landcare Awards Gala Event in Broken Hill was a great celebration of Landcare in NSW. The awards recognised individuals, groups and partnerships across the state as well as, and most importantly, First Nations custodians caring for country,’ Mr Bull said. 

Mrs Cameron added: ‘On behalf of the Landcare NSW community, I congratulate all the nominees and recipients of the awards. Landcare is about communities working together to create positive outcomes for the environment and the agricultural landscape across NSW.  It has never been more important that we continue to support and recognise the dedication and commitment of our Landcarers and recognise their tremendous efforts.’

Grand champions of the NSW National Award categories will go on to represent the whole NSW Landcare Community at the 2020 National Landcare Awards in Sydney.

Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish, commended recipients of the NSW Landcare Awards on their outstanding accomplishments.

‘It’s an honour to be able to recognise the great work being carried out by our Landcare champions in NSW,’ Dr Norrish said.

‘The Landcare Awards program provides landcarers the ideal opportunity to get together and celebrate the individual and collective achievements of landcare in the community.

He added: ‘Landcarers across Australia deserve to be acknowledged and we’re looking forward to seeing NSW winners represent their community at the National Landcare Awards next year.’

Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award – (l-r) Finalist Don Durant, Kygole Landcare Group Inc; Winner Nerida Choker, Upper Lachlan Landcare; Jane Ireland, Coffs Harbour Jetty Dunecare

Indigenous Land Management Award – Doug Humann, Chair of Landcare Australia with Aunty Francis Bodkin

Australian Government Landcare Farming Award – Doug Humann, Chair of Landcare Australia with Justin and Lorroi Kirkby, Amarula Dorpers

Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award – Teachers and students of Megalong Valley Public

Young family behind Margaret River Organic Farm offering ‘low-food-mile, carbon positive produce’ set to represent WA on national stage

The young family are all involved in the work-life of their farm; here Lawson is pictured with his eldest daughter Phoebe Armstrong after collecting eggs from their hand-raised pullets

A growing family of five offering ‘grass-fed-and-finished beef and vegetables for sale within a foodshed of fifty kilometres’ is set to represent the state after winning the Australian Government Landcare Farming Award at the 2019 Western Australian Landcare Awards.

With their three kids – including a newborn – Lawson Armstrong and Laura Bailey employ practices that nourish soils, water systems, and biodiversity on the 120 acre property.

Aiming to sequester carbon and restore a healthy water catchment & abundant productive pastures, the family move their high-welfare beef cattle and laying hens, daily. While using minimum till methods and planting native species to increase diversity, they also restored creekline vegetation along a tributary of Margaret River that flows through the property and preserve existing remnant bushland as a biodiversity sanctuary.

On top of that, the family connect with the local community by offering educational tours, workshops & events, from sustainable farming and eating to educating kids about native bee hotels.

‘As low income earners, we must look to low-input, low-cost solutions,’ said Laura. ‘Daily animal rotations have been our most successful management technique, and when finances allow, we are enriching pastures to encourage the next level of plant succession.

‘But the realities of having another baby have meant we’ve had to take a philosophical attitude to our farm’s growth.  Flying solo with our farm and young family of five, we do not have the luxuries of a team of staff or extended family nearby to help, so often our challenges involve restricted human and capital resources.  Our days are jam-packed nurturing our toddler, tween and teenager as well as our livestock and environment. 

‘But using regenerative agricultural methods aiming to re-connect the dots between healthy country, healthy animals and healthy communities has helped us work at our own pace.’

Aus Government Landcare Farming Award – Margaret Organic Farmer. (L-R) Lawson and Laura with Keith Bradby OAM, Chair of WA Landcare Network

Margaret River Organic Farm will go on to represent WA while competing for the Australian Government Landcare Farming Award at the National Landcare Awards in 2020.

Dr Shane Norrish, CEO at Landcare Australia, commended the family on their outstanding accomplishments.

‘It’s an honour to be able to recognise the great work being carried out by Margaret River Organic Farm,’ said Dr Norrish.

‘A hugely deserved winner, they have not only significantly contributed to the protection of native flora and fauna species through on-ground, grassroots activities. But through their tireless work, Margaret River Organic Farm is nurturing the voices of international environmental leadership and we’re incredibly proud to help shine a light on their inspiring, important efforts.’