The wellbeing benefits of participating in Landcare
For decades, those involved in Landcare have testified to a greater sense of self, both physically and mentally, resulting from an enhanced link with their local community and environment. This, in turn, has boosted community wellbeing and it has long been the desire of the Landcare movement to quantify the significance of these benefits.
Now, newly published findings by KPMG Australia in partnership with Landcare Australia, indicate Landcare volunteers enjoy substantial improvements to their mental and physical wellbeing – with a significant decrease to their healthcare costs.
Surveying more than 1,000 Landcare volunteers and coordinators from Landcare groups, the findings in the report, titled Building resilience in local communities: The wellbeing benefits of participating in Landcare suggest substantial improvements in wellbeing owing to involvement in Landcare lead to approximate savings from avoided healthcare costs of $403 per individual per year. For the Landcare movement which exceeds 140,000 individuals, that number equates to $57 million nationally.
The report also goes on to address additional savings to the Landcare volunteer community relating to productivity, and benefits owing to natural disaster resilience and recovery, with the combined value amounting to $191 million annually.
Read the Report & Share
This report has been developed for landcare networks and groups, Traditional Owners, landcare facilitators and coordinators, landowners, farmers and farming systems groups, Bushcare and ‘Friends of’ groups, Coastcare, Dunecare and Rivercare groups, youth groups and schools involved in Junior Landcare, government agencies, individuals and other community led environmental organisations involved in protecting, enhancing or restoring their local environment. We invite everyone to please download the report and share with their networks.
Key Report Facts
See graphic of the wellbeing benefits of participating in landcare.
- 46 per cent of survey respondents reported an improvement in their mental resilience.
- Avoided healthcare costs is $57 million for the estimated Landcare population (or $403 per Landcarer).
- Improved productivity is $97 million for the same population (or $487 per Landcarer).
Individual economic benefit
- With health benefits, productivity and disaster resilience taken into consideration, there is a $1,347 per person per year economic benefit from participation in Landcare.
Nationwide economic benefit
- When applied to the entire estimated Landcare population that generates a total economic benefit of over $191 million dollars per year.
Connection to the land
- 93 per cent report a stronger connection to the land.
Connection to the community
- 90 per cent experiencing a stronger connection to the community.
Physical health services
- 19 per cent reported a reduced use of physical health services.
- An estimated total population of approximately 142,000 has been identified through the membership of the state and territory Landcare organisations.
- The majority of people in part-time and casual employment (58 per cent) reported an improvement in their mental wellbeing.
Additional benefits for younger adults
- Younger adults appeared to experience additional benefits of being involved in Landcare in comparison to the older population.
- For example, a majority of people in the 30-34 (61%) and 45-49 (58%) age groups reported an improvement in their mental wellbeing, compared to a minority in older group 70-74 (35%) and 75-79 years (40%).
- 43 per cent of participants who reported that they spent 0-4 hours or less per month involved in Landcare, still reported an improvement in their mental wellbeing.
Major cities vs regional areas
- 59 per cent of those in major cities reported an improvement in their mental wellbeing, compared to 47 per cent in regional areas.