“Engaging with youth is a huge passion of mine, I didn’t receive the support when I was at school because no one knew what the possibilities were and as a young person myself, that difficulty of not knowing what to do, what was out there, the opportunities that exist…so it’s great to see something like this being organised.” Katherine, Landcare Coordinator, Sydney
About NextGen Landcare
We live in times of uncertainty and change. Bombarded on a daily basis with information about the state of the planet, it’s no wonder young people can feel overwhelmed and unsure on how to make a meaningful difference.
At present, Australia is facing some of the highest species extinction rates in the world, as well as experiencing increased pressures on biodiversity and natural resources due to land clearing, development, climate change and land-use pressures. If we are to reverse the damage that has been done, and ensure a sustainable future is secured for future generations, we need to act now. No generation feels or understands this more than youth. And we get that.
The good news is that there is plenty of opportunity to get involved and do stuff that matters for the environment. And there are many young people all over Australia (and the world) taking the lead in making change happen in their community.
The landcare movement in Australia has been actively restoring the landscape for over 30 years. Landcare has remained one of the largest grassroots community movements where groups and individuals across Australia have a shared vision to restore and protect the environment in their local community through sustainable land management and conservation activities.
Young people are now bringing their own energy, passion and inspiration to landcare, and working alongside their communities (or even starting new ones), to make a difference to the planet in their own unique way!
Not only are young people leading projects for more young people to get involved in, they are also addressing a range of issues young people face such as mental and physical wellbeing, social isolation, and access to safe and accepting spaces, as well as access to career pathways into industries they want to work in. They are creating opportunities for fun and adventure and connection to nature and exploring ways of learning more about Indigenous perspectives and connecting with Country. Using their unique gifts and talents, they have discovered that landcare provides many pathways to make a difference.
Resources for your group
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Useful tips about Landcare
Find a group & get your Landcare Logo
Landcare learning resources with school curriculum and framework links that you can do at high school, with your youth group or local Landcare group
- 30 Landcare Project Ideas
- Local seasons: exploring First Nations weather knowledge
- Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: vision
- Whose Country: exploring First Nations peoples languages map
- Creating a Wildlife Habitat
- Creating a Bee Hotel
- Creating a Beneficial Garden
- Creating a Frog Friendly Habitat
- Creating a Food Garden
- Making a Large Wicking Bed
- Making a Small Wicking Bed
- Creating Compost
- Creating a Worm Farm
- Waterways Clean-up
Do Stuff That Matters Journal
You can do stuff that matters in your community. This journal will help you get started and mobilise your friends to get involved too.
Communicating with a Landcare Group
Get started with connecting and communicating with your local landcare group or any other community environmental group who are doing great things. This guideline has some simple tips that you may find useful to get the conversation started so you can learn from experienced landcarers and get involved in their landcare activities.
Host an Event
Hosting a Landcare event is a great way to bring your friends and others in your community together to do something that matters. This is a guideline with some useful tips.
Promote and share your story
- How to take a video to promote your project and group activities
Useful Links to Get Connected
Explore the great work of other young people and get connected
- Landcarer is an online community platform especially for people like you. You can set up your own group on Landcarer and connect and collaborate with people who share your passion. Landcarer also allows you to monitor and track projects with other people, share stories, photos and videos, and see what other groups are up to. And when you’re out in the field and see something you just need to share, there’s a Landcarer mobile app. Get involved in the one 12 communities of practice – there is one dedicated for youth engagement. Find your people on Landcarer!
- Intrepid Landcare is not your usual on the ground Landcare group. They are an adventurous organisation that empowers young people to do stuff that matters. They provide a common space to inspire, connect and empower young people to act and lead with Landcare.
Meet a range of young people leading projects in their own unique ways. From high school students, to community volunteer leaders, emerging young professionals, to creatives and entrepreneurs! Check them out below.
Elliot is the founder and CEO of Human Nature Projects, a podcaster and TED speaker, UN consultant, wildlife rescuer and filmmaker, author, screenwriter and journalist. Having travelled to all four corners of the world and generally made an oyster of it, he now shares his love of wildlife through storytelling and mentors the next generation of conservationists as a member of CoalitionWILD’s steering committee.
Elliot will be sharing the ABCs of transformative storytelling which allowed him to scale his own charity across over one hundred countries, inspiring thousands of others to action. In the words of Sir David Attenborough: “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced.” Storytelling allows us to deliver these experiences vicariously, to turn heads and change minds, growing a greener future one tale at a time.
Jayden Gunn is a young freelance wildlife photographer and passionate conservationist that specialises in Australian birdlife and vertebrate pest animal management on Wiradjuri land, Cowra, New South Wales.
He is a dedicated environmental educator and enjoys spending the majority of his time introducing people to Australia’s unique wildlife through digital storytelling paired with the photographs he captures. Jayden possesses a comprehensive knowledge of avicultural husbandry and devotes much of his spare time rehabilitating sick and/or injured birdlife and also breeding endangered Australian avian species.
Jayden has been chasing his dream to work in conservation since he was a kid, utilising Landcare as a pathway to acquire industry experience, knowledge and networks to make his dream a reality. Jayden now works for BirdLife Australia and has been an active member of Intrepid Landcare since the beginning of 2019. Jayden will share how following your passion can lead to the most incredible opportunities (and that you can make a difference along the way).
Gabrielle Stacey is a Conservationist, Botanist and Landcare Coordinator in Muloobinba, Newcastle, New South Wales. She works as a Project Officer for the Hunter Region Landcare Network, facilitating conservation events and engaging with community to raise awareness of and participation in Landcare. In addition to her work with the Hunter Region Landcare Network, she is the Coordinator of Fern Creek Landcare – the most youthful and fastest-growing group in the area, and she is a Coordinating Member of Hunter Intrepid Landcare.
Through intergenerational partnerships, collaboration, digital presence and marketing, Gabrielle has greatly increased youth participation in Landcare across her various projects. She believes that “volunteers should leave feeling appreciated, fulfilled and ‘richer’ than when they arrived” and by connecting passionate individuals and experts with volunteers, she has fostered passions and empowered others to follow her lead in environmental conservation.
Gabrielle received the Young Landcare Leadership Award in the Hunter Region 2021, presented at the 2022 NSW State Landcare/Local Land Services Conference about ‘Marketing Landcare to Younger People’ and will be a presenter at this year’s National Landcare Conference. Gabrielle will discuss her journey into Landcare, uncovering new passions and skills and finding her niche in the industry.
Spencer is a young conservationist at 11 years old standing up for the rights of nature and future generations. He is a runner up in the Les Hall Young Conservation Award 2022, runner up 2019 and finalist 2020 in the Holmes Junior Art Prize for Realistic Australia Bird Art, runner up in the World Kangaroo Day Photo Competition and many more!
He is a recipient of the Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots Mini Grants 2022 and has 64,700+ signatures to stop the destruction of 5.8 hectares of remnant habitat at Sunrise Beach on Gubbi Gubbi land, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Spencer loves photography and uses his photographs to teach people about the natural world and how we need to protect it for our survival on this planet. Spencer loves nature and has wanted to protect it from a very young age.
Spencer is a member of many environment groups in his local community. In his presentation Spencer hopes to empower and inspire more youth to stand up for their future and their local environment.
Dhani Gilbert is a proud Kalari (Lachlan River) Wiradjuri young woman, a community educator, and a university student passionate about achieving just and sustainable outcomes for First Nations Peoples, Country, community, and young people. Dhani has grown up involved in community action and Caring for Country practices inclusive of seed harvesting, cultural burning, weed eradication work, native vegetation restoration, and student-led First Nations plant use projects. These experiences have greatly shaped Dhani’s engagement with her studies, work, and future aspirations. She is now studying for a double degree at Australian National University focussing on science communication, ecology, resource management, and biodiversity conservation as well as a bachelor of arts at Charles Darwin University centered around languages and linguistics. Dhani also has a Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture, and Heritage. Dhani will share her experience working with community and the environment as well as delving into the power of collective action and how we can identify and overcome the barriers that prevent us from achieving a more just and sustainable future for all.
Joshua Gilbert is a young Worimi man, who is a well known climate and environmental advocate, having bridged the climate change and agricultural discussion to lead one of the first, proactive, international climate change motions.
He has been named Australian Geographic’s Young Conservationist of the Year, shot a documentary with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, was a Young Australian of the Year Finalist and shares his Aboriginal wisdom with audiences, such as his TEDxCanberra presentation.
His work on Traditional Native Foods has helped shaped the industry and provides farmers and Traditional Landholders with opportunities for the future.
Joshua is the current Indigenous Co-Chair of Reconciliation NSW and on the Boards of KU Children’s Services and the Aboriginal Housing Office. He is also the ambassador for Bridging the Gap Foundation and Young Farmers Connect. In 2021, Josh was announced as the Nature Conservancy Council’s Rising Star.
Patrick is a passionate young 12 year old farmer, composter and nature-lover! Instigating three projects at home including his very own native paddock, composting system and worm farm, he is sharing his story with the hopes of inspiring more young people to take simple, easy steps towards living a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable life.
Patrick will share his journey into looking after the planet from school National Tree Day plantings, to learning about native birds and what he could from the likes of Gardening Australia and other online forums, and then taking this knowledge home and doing something with it. Since setting up his own composting system and worm farm, he has now learnt what this does to different soil types and how the whole system is important when creating and looking after habitat for wildlife, as well as producing food.
Christmas Island District High School
On Christmas Island each year a group of Year 9 and 10 students hit the beach to protect Christmas Island’s unique environment and wildlife. One of the biggest threats is marine debris! Greta Beach, an important turtle nesting beach on the island, is one of the beaches most heavily impacted by tonnes of marine debris from March – November. This also affects the quality of the beach for young people to enjoy because it is so polluted.
Hear about how these students are spreading the word about the impacts of waste on the environment, and what they are doing to protect wildlife and look after the places they love, so that all generations can benefit from a healthy environment.
Brentwood Secondary College Green Team
Brentwood Secondary College, located in Glen Waverley, Victoria, is a five-star ResourceSmart School catering to the educational needs of Years 7-12 students since 1969.
Brentwood’s ‘Towards Zer0 Bremissions’ project was awarded the Premier’s Sustainability Award in 2021 and the ResourceSmart School of the Year Award in 2022. The project is entirely student-driven by the Brentwood Green Team, and demonstrates a strong commitment to taking immediate action on climate change.
The Brentwood Green Team comprises of 30 students from Years 7 to 12. The team meets every Tuesday during lunch to discuss sustainability issues that concern the college, develop new projects and report progress on current projects. Over the past few years, Brentwood has not only focussed on improving infrastructure and reducing usage in electricity, water and waste but also worked on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Climate Change requires an immediate, collective effort. Brentwood’s Premier’s Sustainability Award-winning campaign ‘Towards Zero Bremissions’, has put Brentwood a step ahead of others by educating our community about the importance of immediate climate action.
The Green Team will share how young people can make a difference and that ‘change is possible’! Schools can also learn about how they can improve their sustainability practices and reduce their environmental footprint.
About Intrepid Landcare
Intrepid Landcare is an adventurous organisation that empowers young people aged late teens to early thirties to lead on stuff that matters. We provide a common space to inspire, connect and empower young people to act and lead with Landcare. We do this by delivering a range of leadership and personal development programs, and community engagement services.
Intrepid Landcare has supported hundreds of young people and communities all over Australia to develop and drive their own local environmental initiatives. These initiatives have then gone on to engage thousands of young people around the country.
Intrepid Landcare also supports a national community of practice of young leaders who connect and learn together through free online gatherings and events.
More info at www.intrepidlandcare.org