The Annual General Meeting is an important event for Landcare NSW. Both the Chair’s Report and the audited Financial Report will be accessible to members prior to the meeting through the Governance link on the Landcare NSW website.
The business that will be conducted during the Annual General Meeting will be outlined in an agenda to follow.
The details regarding the Annual General Meeting are: Date: Friday 10 November 2023 Time: 8:30am-9:30am Location: Online via Zoom (link will be shared prior to meeting with those who register attendance) Register your intent to attend:https://form.jotform.com/222681212181043
As soaring energy bills, grocery prices, and the general cost of living become pressing concerns, many seek ways to alleviate these financial pressures.
What if we told you that being part of Landcare NSW can enrich your life and provide a vehicle to help reduce your living expenses?
As the cost of living continues to rise, we all search for sustainable ways to make our incomes stretch that little bit further.
What if you could do that while also contributing to a healthier planet and a more vibrant community?
That is the magic of being a part of Landcare.
Landcare has traditionally been associated with sustainable agriculture, horticulture, NRM, and environmental and biodiversity management. However, there are numerous examples of Landcare groups and individuals engaging in broader sustainability activities that not only save money but also fit well within the Landcare ethos.
Below are several activities, projects, and programs to consider running through your Landcare group.
Fruit And Vegetable Growing: It is interesting how many people took up fruit and vegetable gardening during COVID-19. Growing and composting your food waste can save significant money, especially if you learn how to preserve excess produce.
Community Gardens: Participation in communal gardening initiatives helps you to grow your own fruits and vegetables, save money on shopping, and can be a great community-building exercise and learning experience. Coordinating and swapping with others can help you avoid an oversupply of certain veggies and lets you concentrate on growing what you are good at.
Food Swaps: Food swaps are exploding across the country. These are great ways to get rid of your excess produce while picking up those things you cannot or do not grow yourself, creating an opportunity for socialising and providing an opportunity for those without increasing space or ability to bring homemade jams, chutneys, and cakes to swap.
Bulk Buying: Group purchases of food, seeds, fertilisers, or other garden supplies can be more cost-effective.
Energy and Water:
Energy-Saving Workshops: Your Landcare group or network can arrange face-to-face or video workshops to learn tips and techniques for reducing energy and water consumption, water harvesting at home or renewable energy options, and lowering bills.
Through your Landcare group or network, you can coordinate the various subsidies the State government provides for replacing energy and water-inefficient devices and electrifying your home.
Tool and Implement Sharing:
Tool Libraries: Setting up tool libraries for gardening and home maintenance tools may be more accessible in rural centres and cities, but it is an excellent way to save everywhere. Many examples of Landcare groups also share items such as Yeomans ploughs, wildlife camera traps, minor bird traps and rabbit warren rippers.
Shopping Local: Using local businesses and contractors keeps more money in the local community and helps local economies, resulting in more local jobs.
Health and Wellbeing:
Outdoor Activities: Participating in Landcare activities is good for the planet and could help you save money on gym memberships and healthcare in the long term. A 2021 study published by Landcare Australia showed an avoided healthcare cost of over $400 per Landcare participant per year.
Children, Family and Community Building:
Kids’ Activities: Many Landcare groups offer educational outings and activities that are not only free but can be a low-cost way to entertain the family.
Children’s Education: The activities and workshops can be educational for children, providing valuable life lessons and potentially reducing the need for other, costlier extracurricular activities.
Networking: The community aspect can also open doors professionally, offering opportunities for job placements, partnerships, or collaborations.
From the rich soils of our community gardens to the knowledge shared in our workshops, the benefits of Landcare membership permeate far beyond environmental stewardship. As outlined above, being an active Landcare member can help ease your cost-of-living pressures in diverse and impactful ways.
Whether it is through slashing your grocery bills by growing your food, learning valuable DIY skills to save on home maintenance, or harnessing the power of community for bulk purchases and shared resources, Landcare offers a treasure trove of financial advantages.
The most important benefit: By participating in Landcare initiatives, you are part of something far more significant than individual cost-saving. You are investing in a future where local communities and environments flourish, which is a priceless return on investment.
Join us in making a difference—for your budget, community, and the Earth.
In Landcare, every member is not just a participant but a crucial contributor to a greener, healthier, and more financially sustainable future for us all.
We would love to hear from Landcare groups about your initiatives that help your members save money, especially in “non-traditional” areas of Landcare activity. We can then share your ideas and examples with other groups across the State.
Landcare NSW has announced a new governance structure which will come into effect from 1 July 2022 resulting in an enhanced democratic and transparent system for the organisation.
The new structure provides a renewed commitment to governance that continues to place the grassroots Landcarers it represents at the heart of all Landcare NSW does with clear lines of accountability and transparency.
Over a 20-month period, Landcare NSW consulted widely across the State and has modernised its governance arrangements by approving a new constitution at a Special General Meeting in November of last year.
Landcare NSW Chair Stephanie Cameron said: “By staying true to the intent behind forming Landcare NSW in 2007, we have confirmed the purpose of Landcare NSW is to act as a ‘resource advocate’ for local Landcare Groups.
“Throughout, we have struck a balance between good governance at the State level and providing local Landcare Groups the flexibility they need to deliver bespoke on-ground works,” said Ms Cameron.
Landcare NSW will be incorporated as a company-limited-by-guarantee and implement a new Constitution effective 1 July 2022
An independent skills-based Board will be created with a seat reserved for an Aboriginal representative
A Governance Charter will be enshrined
Robust nominations and democratic elections processes will be implemented
Eleven Regional Bodies with boundaries aligned to those of NSW Local Land Services regional boundaries are being established
A State Advisory Council will be formed to facilitate information-sharing and coordination between the Regional Bodies (and the grassroots Landcare groups and Networks/Districts they represent) and the Landcare NSW Board
Terminology used to describe the structure of Landcare in NSW will be clarified to make it more understandable to members and stakeholders.
Landcare NSW Chair Stephanie Cameron said, “I would like to express my appreciation to our Landcarers for joining us on this journey. I believe by reviewing and updating our governance system so it is fit for purpose we will have strengthened Landcare NSW to prepare well for the future.”
Landcare NSW CEO Turlough Guerin said, “The new governance structure and processes will bring renewed organisational clarity to Landcare NSW. Our team has already commenced the work to support the transition and our first Board elections. I very much look forward to engaging with our Board of Directors and State Advisory Council representatives.”
The new system is coming into effect from 1 July 2022 and there are arrangements district networks and regional bodies will need to undertake to make the transition as smooth as possible. Further information specific to the needs of groups will be sent out in the weeks that follow.
A new $290,000 program to build community resilience will be delivered at Bellingen High School thanks to funding from the NSW Government’s Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund.
Landcare NSW, Gotcha4Life and Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) have partnered to deliver the program with the aim of zero suicides by looking at all elements of resilience in communities where people are mentally and physically fit, connected to country, to nature and to each other.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the recovery process in the wake of a natural disaster requires collaboration between communities, organisations and Government.
“The NSW Government’s Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund was designed to support social and emotional wellbeing, and I’m delighted that this new alliance between SLSNSW, Landcare NSW and Gotcha4Life will do exactly that,” Ms Cooke said.
Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the $290,000 program would focus on younger people who experienced significant disruptions during the Black Summer bush fires.
“One day each week, a class at Bellingen High School will take place outside where the students help with habitat restoration, spend time with nature and connect with one another,” Mrs Pavey said.
Chair of Landcare NSW Stephanie Cameron said whilst this project is targeted to bush fire recovery regions, the aim is to create connected and resilient communities.
“A resilient community is one that can withstand and bounce back from natural disasters. With changing climates, more extreme droughts, bush fires and adverse weather events, we need to support resilience now more than ever,” Ms Cameron said.
“Resilience isn’t just about surviving fire. Resilience is the ability to face all types of adversity and have the tools to look after ourselves and those around us. This project aims to do exactly that to support Bellingen High School and the wider community.”
The majority of the project is working with Bellingen High School on a pilot which sees students educated outside, in nature, using the available resources to teach across the curriculum.
Founder of Gotcha4Life Gus Worland said this partnership would be a game-changer.
“This partnership aims to tackle a myriad of issues that contribute to poor mental health, poor educational outcomes and communities that are not resilient. By strengthening connections to community and to country and by embedding the curriculum in nature, this partnership will lead to support communities with the ability to withstand the challenges that we all face due to the environmental changes,” Mr Worland said.
“Our vision at Gotcha4Life is to take action to end suicide by delivering community-based mental fitness programs that give people the tools to deal with challenges at every age and stage of life. To encourage people to be open, honest and supportive in their relationships and comfortable expressing themselves when they are not OK. To give people the skills to speak more openly about their feelings and experiences, encouraging people to identify someone in their life they can talk to when things get tough.
“The vision of this partnership is that no one worries alone and teaches people about how to build and maintain healthy well-being and feel more connected to their community and country.
“The past couple of years have been devastating for so many rural and regional communities so we’re working together to help provide support where it is needed most.”
Bellingen High School Acting Principal Tim Laverty said the benefits of this program will be far-reaching for the students.
“We need our students to become empowered, energised and contributors to the community. This program will give our children the tools to work on their resilience, to improve educational outcomes, the health of our environment and promote reconciliation,” Mr Laverty said.
SLSNSW Chief Operating Officer Daniel Gaffney said SLSNSW was excited to join forces with Landcare NSW and Gotcha4Life.
“Our organisation plays a powerful role in protecting life, whether it be by saving people on our beaches or through saving them from poor mental health by building resilience and fostering healthy, connected communities. In addition to running traditional First Aid courses, we also run Mental Health First Aid courses to ensure we are all looking after the mental health of ourselves, friends and family,” Mr Gaffney said.
In addition to the program being delivered in schools, other elements of the project include:
Gotcha4Life will runs a series of workshops in the community and the local school, with representatives from Landcare and SLSNSW;
All workshops will start with a Welcome to Country to provide a connection to the local Aboriginal People and to Country;
The local Landcare group will partner with the school to provide on-site education, including propagation, planting, weeding, growing vegetables nest box building etc. This will give the students an opportunity to get their hands in the dirt and benefit from the bacteria that raises serotonin levels; and
SLSNSW will also provide mental health first aid training to those who want to learn more.
Funding for this pilot program has been provided by Resilience NSW through the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund.
About Landcare NSW
Landcare NSW’s mission is to care for the land and the environment. The Landcare movement is a community-based approach to managing and protecting our natural resources – creating more productive and sustainable farms, conserving our environment, and building more cohesive and resilient communities. Landcare connects you to on-ground activities where you can volunteer with like-minded individuals who have a passion for caring for country.
About Gotcha4Life Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation taking action to end suicide by delivering community-based mental fitness programs that give people the tools to deal with challenges at every age and stage of life. Our programs run in schools, sporting clubs, community groups and corporations with the purpose of giving people the skills to speak more openly about their feelings and experience. To encourage people to identify someone in their life they can talk to when things get tough, and teach people how to build and maintain their mental fitness. We offer a range of programs suited to teenagers, teachers, parents, as well as people in the wider community. The ultimate purpose? To equip people with the skills needed to maintain a better level of mental fitness so that they don’t reach the point of suicide. We’re all about early intervention to teach people how to connect, who to connect with and why it’s important to connect. We want everyone to have a Gotcha4Life Mate – a go-to person you can rely on and talk to about anything when times are tough, so no one has to worry alone. Gotcha4Life was established as a not-for-profit foundation by media personality Gus Worland in 2017.
While the role of the surf lifesaver is to be a first responder, Surf Life Saving also plays a powerful role in protecting life, whether it be by saving people on our beaches or through saving them from poor mental health by building resilience and fostering healthy, connected communities. In addition to running traditional First Aid courses, SLSNSW also runs Mental Health First Aid courses in areas that are not covered by RAMHP. SLSNSW clubs are also used as emergency evacuation points during natural disasters and for workshops held by Landcare NSW, Gotcha4Life and other community organisations.
Why the Coalition and what does it aim to achieve?
Our Vision: zero suicide in the towns where the program is rolled out. The vision and beliefs of the organisations involved are closely aligned. Building emotional, physical, social, and community muscle – to protect against poor mental fitness – is the glue that binds the partnership. Investing in this relationship and harnessing the extensive networks across the partners means thousands of people in NSW will be able to access and benefit from the connections this partnership brings.
The 2022 NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference was held on Thursday 17th March and for the first time it was an entirely online event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The existing three-day program was condensed into a single day of inspiring, informative and innovative presentations and discussions attended by over 250 attendees from across the state.
“Despite the challenges we have faced in the lead up to this conference, we were able to all come together. If we have learnt one thing in the last two years, it has been resilience and adaptability,” Landcare NSW Chair Ms Stephanie Cameron said.
“Landcare is needed now more than ever. It was so inspiring to see Landcarers from flood affected areas online and sharing their knowledge. Our thoughts and well wishes go out to those who have been and are still being impacted by the devastating floods.”
Hosted by War on Waste’s Craig Reucassal, the event was engaging from the very beginning with an incredible keynote address from Dr Chadden Hunter, producer of the wildlife series Planet Earth.
The day featured concurrent sessions around the theme of the conference: Rethink – Engaging Community; Recharge – Regenerative Agriculture/Land Management; Renew – Biodiversity/Regeneration.
The conference concluded with Landcare NSW CEO Turlough Guerin and NSW Landcare Program Assistant Manager Deb Tkachenko asking the big questions of the over 250 delegates online with their interactive presentation, ‘Rethinking Landcare – Ask the big questions and get answers’.
“Thank you to everyone who presented at the conference and shared their knowledge, learnings and insights,” said Ms Cameron.
The conference was followed by a free, online awards ceremony for the prestigious 2021 NSW Landcare Awards where the winners for each of the eight Landcare Award categories were announced.
Acting Local Land Services Board Chair, Allison Harker said, “The quality of the nominations from all across the state were outstanding and after an extensive judging process we have been able to pick our finalists and ultimately the Grand Champions for the eight award categories.”
“The nominees should be proud of their achievements, particularly in the wake of cumulative natural disasters and tough seasonal conditions.
“These nominees have shown tremendous resilience in the face of adversity and these awards are an excellent opportunity for us to say thank you to them and the wider Landcare community,” said Ms Harker.
Mr Brian Hilton has been awarded the 2022 Gerald Carnie Memorial Award at the NSW Landcare Awards online ceremony as part of the NSW Landcare and LLS Conference in recognition of his local and regional contribution to Landcare over 40 years.
Brian has been a dedicated Landcare volunteer for over four decades and has inspired countless people during this time through his work in restoring the coastal dunes and headland environments in his hometown of Redhead, NSW.
Brian established Redhead Bluff Landcare where he has coordinated several major projects such as the very successful Redhead Coastal Corridor project, to connect vegetation and restore migratory routes for native fauna. Brian’s restoration work is also combatting the spread of invasive weeds such as Bitou Bush, Turkey Rhubarb, Lantana and Coastal Morning Glory, and treating the underlying causes of coastal erosion. Brian remains one of Lake Macquarie’s most active Landcare volunteers to this day.
Landcare NSW CEO, Turlough Guerin said, “Brian’s dedication to the Landcare movement demonstrates the ‘fire in the belly’ he has for Landcare.
“He was instrumental in the growth of his local Landcare group, helped to build Landcare in his region and plant the seed with future generations.”
A strong believer in the power of engaging and educating young people about the importance of caring for our earth, Brian has hosted many school and Scout/Girl Guide groups at his Landcare site, teaching the next generation about our coastal environment.
“In educating the community about invasive weeds, native plants and the importance of habitat connectivity, Brian’s reach goes far beyond the on-groundwork that is carried out at his Redhead Bluff Landcare site.
“His efforts have resulted in a strong and sustainable Landcare community in NSW and this award is well-earned recognition for his contribution over many years,” said Turlough.
The Gerald Carnie Memorial Award for Keeping the Landcare Flame Alive was established by Landcare NSW to recognise Gerald’s special individual contribution to the Landcare movement.
The award is proudly supported by the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Landcare (PFL) as the official partner and sponsor. Newly elected Chair of the PFL, Mr Gurmesh Singh, Member for Coffs Harbour presented the award.
“I have seen Landcare’s efforts firsthand in my electorate and I am very impressed at the results you are achieving. On behalf of all my colleagues in the PFL, your work is valued and very much appreciated.”
In June 2011, Gerald Carnie, a committed Landcarer from the Parkes area, died suddenly at the age of 46, leaving his wife Lorraine and sons, Ryan and Jarrod, grieving and the Landcare community shocked.
Lorraine Carnie, wife of the late Gerald Carnie said this award is a fitting tribute to a great man: “Gerald had the Landcare fire in his belly. He not only talked about Landcare, but he put his words into action.
“Gerald’s work in Landcare was the embodiment of this conviction, what he stood for, what he wanted to achieve and what he did achieve, and the Gerald Carnie Memorial Award is a testament to him and others like him,” Lorraine said.
The Gerald Carnie Memorial Award is awarded every two years in conjunction with the State Landcare Awards.
The award is given to an individual in recognition of their contribution to the development of ‘the philosophy of Landcare’. The recipient champions the development of Landcare to support a change in attitudes, which translates to a more cohesive and resilient community that acts to achieve a healthier environment and/or more productive and sustainable farms.
Turlough said “The quality of all those who were nominated for this award is extraordinary. Our movement is full of unsung heroes who inspire their neighbours to get involved in Landcare and do something positive for our landscapes and communities. I acknowledge them all and thank them for their work.”
Applicants are judged on the impact they have had at the local and regional or state scale to ensure that Landcare can prosper.
The other finalists for the Award for 2022 are:
Deb Tkachenko was one of the first professional Landcare Coordinators in NSW employed through the pilot Dunecare in the late 80s and has worked with Landcare at a local, regional and state level in NSW for the past 30 years. Deb has been volunteering with the North Coast Regional Landcare Network for a number of years and has been a consistent force in assisting North Coast Regional Landcare to take on a more consolidated role. She is currently on the network executive and a member of the steering committee for the North Coast Regional Landcare Coordinator. Deb inspires everyone around her with her ability to build relationships and positive collaborations including work colleagues, volunteers and fellow committee members.
Louise Turner is passionate about the Western Region of NSW, where she has lived and worked for the past 24 years. She has been involved in Landcare not only at a local level, but also at the regional, state and National levels. She is actively involved in her local community where she encourages and inspires people around her with her work in protecting native animals and rehabilitating their habitat to controlling and/or eradicating pest animals and plants. Her passion shows through the work on her own property with restoration of habitat, soil rehydration work and the three seed nurseries she has built with her husband Zane.
For further information contact:
Jodie Lovell, Communications Officer
0439 316 151
Bill Pigott, an active Landcarer in Berry and former Chair of Berry Landcare has been awarded Honorary Life Membership at the 2021 Landcare NSW Annual General Meeting in recognition of his service to Landcare NSW and the Landcare movement.
Landcare NSW Chair Stephanie Cameron praised Bill’s commitment to Landcare on a state, regional and local level.
“Bill is seen as a leader in the Landcare movement, not just at a local level in Berry but also at a state level where he represented South East Landcare as a Landcare NSW Council member for many years.
I would like to thank Bill for his constant support, advocacy and representation on behalf of Landcare in NSW,” said Ms Cameron.
Bill has worked in roles such as coordinator of local Bushcare site, member of the local Catchment Management Authority and local council working groups and committees.
“Bill played an instrumental role in designing the early Musters and was also the inaugural recipient of the Gerald Carnie Memorial Award in 2015,” said Ms Cameron.
Mr Pigott thanked Ms Cameron and the Landcare NSW Council for the award and said he was honoured to join other Life Members.
“I am so honoured to be nominated as an honorary life member and to join such illustrious and inspiring company of pioneers, Landcare stalwarts and heroes. I’m delighted to accept this nomination,” said Mr Pigott.
“Looking back, I am proudest of my role in the early Landcare Musters and a real highlight was the year that my son Peter, one of the early and longstanding Regional Landcare Facilitators, took on the role of facilitating the Muster.
“I appreciate Landcare as a unique community movement and realise the greatest strength is in its diversity, and I particularly appreciate the energy that was derived in those early days from standing up, from turning up, from promoting the values and the visions of the Landcare community in all of their manifestations and expressions. I admire Landcare NSW’s commitment to listen and the courage to hear. The respect and support to nurture and build capacity still remains such an important part of the organisation.
“I am so proud to be a Landcarer and even prouder to be an honorary life member of Landcare NSW,” Mr Pigott said.
Long-time Landcarer, John Hughson, has been awarded Honorary Life Membership at the 2021 Landcare NSW Annual General Meeting in recognition of his service to Landcare NSW and the Landcare movement.
Landcare NSW Chair, Stephanie Cameron praised John’s commitment to Landcare on a state, regional and local level.
“John has been involved with Landcare for over 25 years and has worked to develop, and champion, Landcare at a local, district, and regional level contributing to a legacy of strong, well-established and supported groups in Lake Macquarie and the Hunter,” Ms Cameron said.
As the convenor of the first Landcare NSW Gathering at Myuna Bay on the shores of Lake Macquarie in 2007, John was one of the main drivers behind setting up Landcare NSW as the state peak body for community Landcare in NSW.
Ms Cameron thanked John for his role as a foundation member of Landcare NSW.
“The time and dedication John has brought to the Landcare movement in NSW and Landcare NSW over the years, has helped strengthen the foundation of Landcare NSW.We wouldn’t be where we are today without individuals such as John who had the vision to see what we could achieve as a state-wide movement,” Ms Cameron said.
John went on to represent the Hunter region at the state level on the Landcare NSW Council for over a decade and served on Landcare NSW’s Executive Committee.
John’s many Landcare roles have included two stints as Chair of the Hunter Region Landcare Network, when it first formed, and again after 14 years as Landcare Coordinator with Lake Macquarie City Council.
After more than 25 years, supporting the Landcare movement, and the many champions involved in it, John is now self-employed providing Landcare facilitation and training in conservation and land management.
OzFish in partnership with Landcare NSW has today announced a state-wide citizen science program in a bid to monitor the recovery of waterways since the 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires.
Aptly named Waterway Fire Science, the project which is funded by the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program aims to mobilise community groups and recreational fishers to self-monitor the recovery of their local waterways. Volunteers will use a range of water sampling techniques that will contribute to ongoing research efforts and future bushfire recovery programs.
OzFish’s Project Officer for NSW South Coast, Lucas Kas is enthusiastic about the immediate impact citizen scientists can have.
“The more people we can get to roll up their sleeves and get out in the field to collect data, the clearer the picture we will have of the rate of recovery,” said Lucas.
“Understanding the way these systems are recovering is key to minimising the impact fires have in the future. It allows OzFish and our partners to see what activities will increase the resilience and revival of our waterways after fire events.”
“Bushfires are inevitable in Australia, but residents can now get involved in how to help habitat revive,” said Lucas.
OzFish and Landcare NSW are calling upon community members interested in making a positive contribution to their local waterways, to get involved.
Through the partnership, OzFish will provide training on identifying the impacts fire has on riparian vegetation, water quality and riverbank stability, as well as how to measure, monitor, respond to, and commence recovery of impacted waterways.
Landcare NSW Chair, Stephanie Cameron said local Landcare groups, recreational fishers and individuals can access training and increase their skills and knowledge to make a real difference on the ground.
“Training will be provided through a series of both online and in-field workshops across NSW, of which the dates and locations will be announced in early 2022,” said Stephanie.
“Volunteers will also learn how to collect key readings of vegetation, as well as harnessing exciting new technologies like eDNA to confirm the presence of any species in the area.
“At each event all equipment will be provided to allow volunteers to carry out a range of monitoring techniques such as water bug sampling and mapping terrestrial and aquatic fauna using underwater cameras,” said Stephanie.
If you’d like to get involved or hear more about the project, head over to Waterway Fire Science – OzFish Unlimited and click on the Waterway Fire Science page under projects and register your interest now.
This Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.
Jonathon Bleakley – Media Manager | OzFish Unlimited
Jonathonbleakley@ozfish.org.au | 0402171914
OzFish Unlimited is a national fishing conservation charity established to improve the health of our rivers, lakes and estuaries. It is a member-based organisation dedicated to make our fishing grounds healthy, vibrant and more productive. Their active work includes; habitat restoration such as resnagging, riverbank planting, fishways, shellfish reefs and educational and community capacity building programs.
About Landcare NSW
Landcare NSW is the peak body and voice of community Landcare in NSW. Our mission is to care for the land and the environment. The Landcare movement is a community-based approach to managing and protecting our natural resources – creating more productive and sustainable farms, conserving our environment, and building more cohesive and resilient communities. Landcare connects you to on-ground activities where you can volunteer with like-minded individuals who have a passion for caring for country.
Recently, the Greater Sydney Regional Landcare Coordinator used a “Working Together” small grant to fund a cultural immersion day, facilitated by Den Barber from Yarrabin Cultural Connections.
Held in the lower Hunter Valley, the day included visiting and interpreting several Aboriginal sites, a smoking ceremony and a dance performance.
It was a popular and successful event, said Greater Sydney Regional Landcare Coordinator, Madeline Florin with 29 people attending with a waiting list.
“There was plenty of discussion that was both informative and, at times, challenging. All who participated found it valuable with about half the participants taking something away that they could use with their own Landcare group.
“A moment of communal comprehension and understanding was when our group was unexpectedly denied entry to a site we had planned to visit. This was confronting and provided a moment of reflection on the fact that many Aboriginal people are not able to access their Country.
“This opportunity was great in that our Landcarers across Greater Sydney are working with varying degrees of knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and land management techniques and there is a need and thirst amongst the Landcare and Bushcare communities to learn and better understand Aboriginal culture. This will promote more respectful and culturally sensitive engagement from the Landcare and Bushcare community.
Madeleine said each participant learnt a great deal and the day’s impact was personal with different reflections from different participants.
“It made everyone think more deeply about the day and we can all take something unique away from it. The co-presenters of Den and Aboriginal Landcare Coordinator from the Cooks River Alliance, Ciaron Dunn, helped give different perspectives, knowledge and views.
This day was just the beginning of a learning journey and many participants reported that they will go away and continue learning.
The “Working Together” Aboriginal Communities Engagement Program is an initiative made possible by the NSW Landcare Program. A collaboration of Local Land Services NSW and Landcare NSW Inc. supported by the NSW Government.