Chairs Report and Introduction by Stephanie Cameron.
2019 marked 30 years of Landcare in NSW, and what an incredible achievement for our community. From a small collection of grassroots environmentalists and agriculturalists to a nationwide movement, we have come so far.
There have been many challenges, but by staying true to the direction of being community owned and driven, bi partisan in nature, and encouraging integrated management of environmental assets, including productive farmland and a sustainable approach to private land management we have continued to move forward.
Our Landcare communities are tight-knit teams who put in many volunteer hours on a tight budget. Without the assistance of programs such as the Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative (2016-2019), we would not be able to get on with the job on our local patch.
It is due to the successful delivery of these initiatives that Landcare NSW was able to secure a commitment from the NSW Government of $22.4 million for the current NSW Landcare Program 2019-2023.
State government funding is vital and greatly appreciated, but the reality is that there are limited and competitive funding options available to service organisations such as Landcare. Due to the diligence of our Landcare community, Landcare NSW has leveraged our strengths and resources to build partnerships and diversify our revenue streams to ensure our community is supported as much as possible.
With the ongoing drought putting increased strain on farmers and communities, the need to support the Landcare movement is more important with each passing day. At a local, regional and state level, each person from the State Chair to the on-the-ground volunteer represents the movement and ethos to our stakeholders. Every person involved in Landcare contributes to the credibility of partnering with us in caring for our land, environment and communities.
The partnerships and relationships we have built in the past year are essential as we continue to evolve our peak body in response to ever changing landscapes and climate conditions. Our strong relationship with the NSW Local Land Services reflects a respectful community-government partnership achieving real outcomes.
As Chair, I have witnessed the incredible results our CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit, and his small team of staff, with the guidance and direction from the Council and Executive, have been able to achieve in the past year for Landcarers right across NSW.
Our Coordinators do a tremendous job. I would like to commend the coordinators, and their communities, for all their efforts and with limited resources to build more healthy landscapes and healthy land-caring communities.
I have been honoured this year to listen to and share your stories and achievements at a state and national level to ensure the strength and power of our Landcare community is at the forefront of politicians, stakeholders and individual’s minds.
2019 presented many challenges, but the growth of the organisation and the continued collaborative strength of the Landcare movement has seen Landcare NSW, the peak body, grow from strength to strength allowing us to provide the vital support for grass-roots Landcarers to better care for our land, environment and communities.