Inspiring the next generation to take action

The Intrepid Landcare Leadership Retreats fast-tracks young people’s understanding of landcare activities in their communities

By Megan Rowlett, Intrepid Landcare

While the appetite to lead change is ripe with the next generation, reversing the damage that has been done and saving what’s actually left can seem like an overwhelming and almost impossible task for many. With this sentiment can come a perception that there will never be any change.

But as twenty young intrepid Victorians from across the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges in Victoria recently saw and heard firsthand, change is happening every day all around us, and it’s the leadership of an often invisible movement of volunteers that are creating hope for the future.

The Intrepid Landcare Leadership Retreats, an immersive fusion of outdoor adventure and conservation activities, personal and leadership development, and community and cultural connections, offer young people a jam-packed weekend which fast-tracks their understanding of what is happening locally with landcare and other conservation organisations. It also supports the growth of a new community of young people eager to act and lead for the environment in whatever way they choose.

Planting native grasses for Tasmanian Devil bedding, hearing about regional efforts to save the Leadbeater’s Possum and critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater, followed by connecting with patrons of the conservation movement (some who’ve committed over 50 years of their life to a cause!) was the start of an inspiring weekend.

Welcomed with open arms to Wurundjeri Country at Coranderrk by Uncle Dave Wandin, authentic conversations offered a deepened understanding of the impacts of colonisation, Indigenous land management, and touched on what a future working together to heal country (and our own relationships) might look like now and into the future.

What emerged out of the weekend was not that the task ahead is impossible. For these young people, they went on to design a whole suite of youth-led projects, and the ideas are still flowing!

It was the actions of the Landcare movement which inspired a realisation that we are all capable of having an impact. That no matter who you are, where you are from and what you can give, every action matters in the pursuit of a healthier global environment.

Even if it’s one reserve, one threatened species at a time.

This retreat would not have been possible without the support of Port Phillip & Westernport CMA and the Yarra Ranges Landcare Network.

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