Coordinators from across NSW have been busy taking up the Professional Development component of the NSW Landcare Program to better support the Landcare communities and groups they work with.

The bursary allows coordinators to access funds for courses and training opportunities to upskill in their role and is available to all coordinators employed by the NSW Landcare Program.

Based in the Central Tablelands, Watershed Local Landcare Coordinator Claudia Wythes said the bursary allowed her to explore something more substantial to improve her leadership skills to help support her committee and build skills for the future.

“The professional development bursary has enabled me to take a different approach than the usual courses. I didn’t feel a short course or technical course was the best use of the opportunity. After doing some research, I settled on the Advanced Leadership Program, delivered by Women & Leadership Australia – a 12-month development program for senior and executive leaders.

“With 32 Australian and New Zealand participants from a broad cross section of industries, the program is delivered online with a series of group discussion webinars, virtual workshops, executive coaching and ‘leader as coach’ sessions with a partner, as well as an adaptive leadership challenge.

“While the bursary only covered a portion of the cost, this course and the opportunity it has provided has already helped me tackle different issues and challenges that I am working through in my role. I now have a set of new strategies and a different approach and perspective,” Claudia said.

In the North Coast Region, Border Ranges Richmond Valley Landcare (BRRVL) Local Landcare Coordinator Emma Stone said her professional development opportunity came in the form of recognised qualifications in working safely at heights, safe methods of ladder use and other equipment, awareness of legislation and the policies and procedures to ensure work at heights is undertaken in a safe manner.

“Qualifications such as these ensure that my involvement in providing nest boxes for arboreal dwelling species are conducted in a safe manner in line with current legislation. We have so many of these projects and the opportunity to understand and learn what we can and can’t do is essential.”

“Whilst my training was comprehensive and excellent, the course content was largely tailored towards working at heights in the construction industry as opposed to the context of a natural environment. The bursary also provided me with a day’s mentoring / training event in Bowraville with Nambucca Valley Local Landcare Coordinator Logan Zingus where Logan shared his experience in designing and implementing instream erosion management and structural works.

“Cross collaboration and peer-to-peer training between Landcare groups and volunteers is so important. It builds skills and a supportive network to help deliver projects across a broad geographical area.  And, further strengthens capacity and confidence for staff and volunteers,” Emma said

Emma also took part in Mental Health First Aid Training with Landcare NSW’s partner Gotcha4Life in order to better support her community in these uncertain times

Regional Community of Practice Coordinator, Melanie Tyas, says she strongly encourages Coordinators to utilise the opportunity to provide stronger support for the communities and networks the coordinators support.

“We have a fantastic array of opportunities and connections, and this bursary allows our Landcare community to build their professional profile for now and into the future,” Melanie said.

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