Zali Steggall MP regenerates the dunes for Landcare Week

Zali Steggall MP, the Federal member for Warringah, stepped out at Curl Curl Beach to support a community-planting event to mark Landcare Week, facilitated by Northern Beaches Council.

It came after a successful event at Wentworth NSW on Tuesday to mark 30 Years since Bob Hawke launched the national Landcare movement in 1989.

And while planting local flora species to protect the biodiversity of the dunes, Ms Steggall praised the national Landcare movement for ‘countering a sense of environmental despondency.’

‘We are all feeling a sense of despondency with the intensifying pressures against the environment. But having the opportunity to counter that, and make a difference, with your local Landcare group is crucial and necessary,’ Ms Steggall said on Friday.

‘Landcarers are doing and have been doing an extraordinary job at securing and protecting a vast variety of environments around the country, from the bush to the beach

‘And the effect Landcare – and caring for the environment in general – has on the community is so far-reaching. There are so many positive aspects on health and well-being by getting outside, doing something active and contributing to the community. The benefits for personal well-being are significant

Joined by Michael Regan, Mayor Northern Beaches Council and Bob Hawke’s granddaughter, 30 Years of Landcare ambassador Sophie Taylor-Price, Ms Steggall recalled memories of the late PM during the 1989 launch.

‘I was a young teenager and I quite vividly remember the images on TV of Bob Hawke planting and talking about the bush and regeneration and that sense of responsibility, of caring for our environment for future generation and our environmental legacy. It is great to know that 30 years on, the movement is so strong.’

A staunch campaigner against climate change, Ms Steggall remarked that the strength of the Australian altruistic spirit will help combat the issue.

Ms Steggall said: ‘Australian volunteers are so dedicated and passionate and that self-sacrificing spirit to protect our environment is stronger than ever.

‘We can all feel a sense of despair because the facts are dire but I’m a glass half full kind of person and I believe we have great innovation and technology and have the smarts and the willpower to make a difference.

‘I look at the climate strikes coming up on the 20th of Sept and look at the engagement of the schoolkids, especially in the electorate and I know they care about our environment. They want us as adults to take responsibility and I will do my best on their behalf.’

Meanwhile, after launching the national Landcare Youth Summit on Tuesday, Sophie Taylor-Price remarked being part of the community planting ‘filled her heart with joy.’

‘Surrounded by volunteers dedicating their time and tremendous effort to restore vegetation along these coastal dunes in order to protect Curl Curl dunes from the impacts of coastal erosion, epitomises the heart, strength and passion of the Landcare spirit. And being a part of this today, fills my heart with pride and joy.’

Friday’s event is a culmination of Landcare Australia’s Landcare Week media campaign ‘From the Bush to the Beach.’ Honouring the inspiring work to protect our waterways and coast, the event comes days after a similar event at Wentworth in rural NSW to commemorate the efforts of those to preserve the Bush.

Securing the future of Bob Hawke’s Landcare legacy: Late Prime Minister’s granddaughter Sophie Taylor-Price announces Landcare Youth Summit

Thirty years ago on the riverbanks of Wentworth NSW, where the Darling meets the Murray, 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.

And retracing his steps to the same riverbanks at Wentworth on Tuesday morning during Landcare Week, his granddaughter and Landcare 30 Year Anniversary ambassador Sophie Taylor-Price honoured his ground-breaking address with a special tree-planting and unveiling of a commemorative historical sign.

And while celebrating the thirty-year anniversary during Landcare Week, Ms Taylor-Price announced the first national Landcare Youth Summit.

‘Young people are more passionate than ever about the preservation of the environment, the Australian landscape, Indigenous culture and community wellbeing,’ Ms Taylor-Price said. ‘While Landcare offers everyone the opportunity to make a difference in their local community, we want to provide a platform specifically dedicated to the younger generations of Landcare and how getting involved with the national movement can positively develop their ideas and concepts to help protect the environment for the future.’

The Landcare Youth Summit will provide young people with an interactive platform to amplify their voice and opinions on how Landcare plays a leading role in changing Australia’s approach to sustainable agricultural practices, environmental protection, conservation of land and waterways, coastlines and biodiversity.

‘In my role as ambassador for 30 Years of Landcare, I am particularly focused on giving young people a means to channel their aspirations and frustrations into action and leadership. And the Landcare Youth Summit is a golden opportunity to hear and listen to their powerful roar.’

The summit will offer a mixture of keynote speakers, panel discussions and project presentations featuring young members from sustainability and Indigenous perspectives, biodiversity protection and climate change.

Australia’s Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said engaging a new generation of passionate Landcare champions was critical to the iconic program’s continued success.

‘Landcare is a great example of the breadth of issues a sector like agriculture can offer those working in the sphere,’ Minister McKenzie said. ‘Agriculture is about more than agronomy and animal husbandry; it’s about caring for the land and ensuring it’s managed sustainably so that we can pass it on in good shape to the farmers of the future. That’s why this youth summit is an important initiative – we need to keep the fire alive.’

Meanwhile, Ms Taylor-Price added the Landcare Youth Summit will ensure the future of the grassroots movement, boasting over 6,000 groups nationwide and hundreds of thousands of volunteers.

‘At this spot in Wentworth, 30 years ago, my grandfather dedicated his State of the Environment address to the children of Australia and their ecologically sustainable future. And today, as we mark this significant milestone during Landcare Week, we are placing their future in their hands with the Landcare Youth Summit.’

Later this year in front of a small audience of school and university students and young professionals, the Landcare Youth Summit will deliver a series of addresses, panel discussions, presentations and special guest appearances to inspire and motivate the next generation of Landcarers.

Livestreamed via online and social media channels, registration will be through Landcare’s social platform app, Landcarer where young people can engage and interact with the summit from across the country.

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.’