Greater Sydney Landcare ecological and cultural burn project to present at RESCHEDULED National Landcare Conference

Image credit: **Cultural burn at Yellomundee Regional Park

A Sydney environmental group is taking it upon themselves to upskill local conservation volunteers, groups and private landholders in using ecological fire and cultural burning to ease wildfire intensity.

Focusing on the native vegetation communities of the Cumberland Plain in western Sydney – among the most threatened in New South Wales – Greater Sydney Landcare Network is developing the know-how to carry out cultural and ecological burns in a manner to restore this fire-dependent ecosystem safely.

Presenting their findings at the upcoming National Landcare Conference, now taking place on March 10 to 12, 2021, Greater Sydney Landcare hopes to build knowledge and expertise amongst public and private landholders in the area, in addition to local council.

“Hopefully, the end result is more upskilled Landcarers and more ecological and cultural burns across the Sydney landscape,” explained Xuela Sledge of Greater Sydney Landcare Network.

“We want to arrive to an evolved understanding that ecological fire can be considered as a safe restoration and climate change mitigation tool which is more accepted – and not considered with the fear and anxiety as that which was imposed on us all over the 2019/2020 extended fire season.”

In a partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Services funded by the Environmental Trust – as part of the Save our Species Program – GSLN is bringing together Landcarers and stakeholders to develop skills and share knowledge about cultural burning. This network can also facilitate the development of communication channels and implement education, public events and volunteer activities for the project.

The GSLN program recently submitted an abstract for the National Landcare Conference this year. However, due to COVID-19, the National Landcare Conference Steering Committee have announced the conference will now take place on March 10 to 12, 2021.

If you would like to make a submission to present at the event, deadline for Call for Abstracts has been extended to July 1. Landcare Australia is calling for submission in the below four conference streams:

Sustainable Agriculture: Innovation and technology, soil health, adaptation to climate change, integrating productivity and conservation.

Environment & Climate Change: Encouraging positive action to mitigate climate change with Landcare.

Community Partnerships in Action: Building community capacity and resilience, communication and storytelling, volunteering, partnerships, building and sharing knowledge.

Landcare Impact: Landscape, biodiversity, community resilience, mental and physical health of individuals, community wellbeing, agriculture productivity, economy.

For more info, visit landcareaustralia.org.au/call-for-abstracts/

Create a connected online Landcare community

Imagine if there was a way of bringing the tens of thousands of people involved in Landcare across the country together to collaborate and connect – anytime, anywhere. Imagine a vibrant online community developed specifically for the people who care for our land and water – a place where you can connect with like-minded people, get involved in discussions or ask questions. Landcarer is a place where you can connect with people who share your passion.

Rohan Antao is the Innovation and Technology Manager at Landcare Australia, and this is exactly what he imagined. Rohan lives and breathes digital technology, and believes that it can bring people closer together and make their lives easier.

“I had a vision of creating a thriving and connected online community for the Landcare movement – and that’s where Landcarer came from,” he explains.

“It’s all about community and collaboration, and open to anyone involved with Landcare, Bushcare, Friends of, Coastcare, Swampcare, Dunecare, and any other environmental community group. You can register at www.landcarer.com.au, and collaborate with me on the platform’s ongoing development.”

Once signed up to Landcarer, users can set up a community group, share stories or events, connect with others, or check out a webinar or podcast. You can even manage your group membership renewal online through Landcarer.

“The development of Landcarer is ongoing. I’d really love to hear from groups about what challenges they face in their day-to-day operations, because there could easily be online solutions I could develop to help overcome them,” Rohan adds.

“I want to work with groups on the ground to make sure that Landcarer is delivering a set of digital tools that are valuable, and can save a group either time or money, or both!”

Landcarer is a place where you can connect with people who share your passion, and while you’re there you can let Rohan know what you’d like to see on the platform in the future.

Check out Landcarer at www.landcarer.com.au. If you have any feedback on the platform or would like to organise a training workshop on Landcarer for your group, Rohan can be contacted at hithere@landcarer.com.au.

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

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