Landcare NSW and the NSW Landcare Program, would like to announce the appointment of Dennis (Den) Barber as the new Aboriginal Engagement Manager with Landcare NSW.
After a rigorous recruitment process, Landcare NSW is delighted to have Den join us to steer the Working Together Program through the next stage of growth.
The Working Together Program is the Aboriginal Engagement component of the NSW Landcare Program which focuses on building relationships, awareness, capacity and understanding of Indigenous sustainable land management practices, and integration of Indigenous values into Landcare principles and teachings.
The 2023- 2027 Program will support further connections and partnerships between Landcare groups and Aboriginal communities, co-designed and led by First Nations people.
Den is an Aboriginal descendant of the Traditional people from Mudgee of the Wiradjuri. He has held senior positions working for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Local Land Services over a period of 18 years which involved direct engagement with Aboriginal communities through liaison, consultation and project management. This included direct involvement with a range of Aboriginal community groups and organisations including Traditional Owners, Land Councils, Corporations, Advisory Committees as well as various Federal, State and Local government based natural resource management agencies and community volunteer groups.
Den has a passion for Aboriginal Culture, Country and Community development and his most recent role as a Director of his own business mentoring and training Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Cultural Burning has lead to working with a diverse range of people and interest groups brought together under Aboriginal cultural practices and knowledge sharing experiences.
Den will commence in his role on Monday 9th October.
We look forward to welcoming Den and continuing to increase opportunities to develop stronger connections and partnerships between Landcare groups and Aboriginal Communities.
The NSW Government has committed $59 million to the Landcare Enabling Program over the next 4 years (2023- 2027). Landcare NSW in partnership with Local Land Services will deliver the Program as a continuation of their long-standing successful partnership.
The commitment to the NSW Landcare Enabling Program 2023-2027, will employ up to 83 full-time equivalent local and regional Landcare coordinators and support staff across NSW. This commitment builds on the success of the NSW Landcare Program, a $22.4m commitment 2019-2023, which supported the employment of 84 part time local and regional Landcare Coordinators in NSW.
Landcare NSW and Local Land Services (LLS) are currently planning the next phase of the NSW Landcare Program. The Joint Management Committee (JMC) which is made up of representatives from both Landcare NSW and LLS engaged Nation Partners to help facilitate and design the implementation plan for the new program.
A working group comprising of LLS and Landcare NSW volunteers was established to support this process co-chaired by Gary Rodda (LLS) and Turlough Guerin (LNSW) and ensured feedback from recent focus groups, the Landcare State Gathering and evaluation reports were taken into consideration.
A key focus is ensuring a fair and equitable process for potential Landcare group applicants.
Coordinator Grants Package
The critical components of the program are the employment of Local and Regional Coordinators.
The Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW) and LLS are developing the grants package. Landcare NSW, specifically the Program Manager, provided input into the design and planning of the program.
The intention is to have the new program grants package available in September, with the view to advise successful applicants in October 2023. Typically, open/close periods for a grant is four weeks.
Details such as part time versus full time coordinator positions, the types of roles that will be supported, salaries and host organisation eligibility will be clearly defined in the guidelines when they become available. Due to probity reasons, we cannot provide any specifics until the guidelines are released.
Once the Minister releases the grant guidelines for the Coordinator component and the application period is open, the NSW Landcare Program plans to hold two online webinars to respond to any questions regarding the application. These sessions will be recorded and made available.
Enabling Components – Shared Services Hub and Digital Landcare
Landcare NSW has begun working on two new components of the Program as a matter of priority to ensure support for host organisations and coordinators.
The new Program has a Shared Services Hub component which will provide a suite of essential support services for Landcare groups to opt in to. The Hub aims to streamline access to centralised support services such as human resources, incuding induction packages for new coordinators as a priority.
Another new component is the Digital Landcare component focused on digitising knowledge to increase efficiencies, access and reach to support hosts and coordinators with readily accessible information. This is being looked at as a priority and Landcare NSW has begun a Digital Projects’ Scoping phase.
This will include a thorough review process of all the current digital assets of Landcare NSW and provide a Road Map, detailed plan, recommendations for requirements for the build and implementation phase of the Landcare NSW Digitalisation Project. Given the time it will take to design and implement a solution, it will likely take a minimum of 6-12 months before any new systems could be in place with user testing and training.
Landcare NSW has issued a Reconciliation and Treaty Statement on behalf of the Board of Directors.
The statement comes as National Reconciliation Week draws to a close for 2023. The theme for this year is ‘Be a Voice for Generations’.
“The Board of Landcare NSW supports an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and all aspects of the Uluru Statement from the Heart – Voice, Truth and Treaty. The Board of Landcare NSW acknowledges Australia’s First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and we acknowledge their deep cultural, social, environmental, spiritual and economic connection to their lands and waters. We pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.”
Landcare NSW Chair, Stephanie Cameron said:
“I understand this statement from the Board doesn’t attempt to capture all the views of our members. However, it is our hope and vision that our statement from the Landcare NSW Board will encourage constructive debate on how we progress forward on the important issues of reconciliation and treaty and encourage all of our members to continue these important discussions amongst our diverse Landcare communities in NSW.”
Landcare NSW has been actively working to encourage and provide a voice for reconciliation in the Landcare community.
In 2019, the Aboriginal Engagement “Working Together”Program was launched. This initiative within the NSW Landcare Program aims to increase opportunities to consciously develop stronger connections and partnerships between Landcare groups and Aboriginal Communities.
In 2021, North Coast Landcare Network employed its first Aboriginal Landcare Officer followed by Murrumbidgee Landcare employing its first Aboriginal Landcare Officer.
In 2022, Landcare NSW appointed Mr Rene Woods to the Board in a position reserved for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
The theme encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.
National Reconciliation Week – 27 May to 3 June – is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
What an amazing Landcare State Gathering we had at the Aanuka Resort, Coffs Harbour last week.
With over 180 participants and a very welcomed visit by the Hon. Tara Moriarty MLC, Minister for Agriculture, Regional NSW and Western NSW, it was a fantastic three days of celebration with Landcarers from across NSW coming together to Reconnect, Recharge and Build Capacity.
Local and Regional Coordinators, Host Organisation representatives, members of the Landcare and Local Land Services Executive, Landcare NSW staff and the NSW Landcare Program Team enjoyed a mix of guest speakers, break-out sessions and presentations from Coordinators showcasing the amazing work they have been doing on the ground. Landcarers from Broken Hill to Boorowa immersed themselves in the gathering.
A big thank you to Uncle Micklo Jarret and Troy Robinson who welcomed everyone to Country, with their singing and smoking ceremony before a walk to the beach to dip our toes in the ocean.
The Landcare State Gathering is a bi-annual event that brings together Landcare Coordinators, their hosts, Landcare NSW and LLS together to share, connect and plan future collaborations.
The NSW Landcare Program is a program that supports the employment of 84 local and regional coordinators across NSW to build capacity, leverage funding and facilitate activities and events for Landcare volunteers and the community.
In the last four years (2019-2023) Landcare coordination has yielded $69m in net NRM, land management and community participation in NSW, with a return on investment of every $1 invested, $3 in benefit.
A huge thank you and congratulations to the Local Land Services team and Landcare NSW for coordinating a well-structured, and collaborative event in Coffs Harbour. And of course a huge thank you to North Coast Regional Landcare Network!
This initiative is made possible by the NSW Landcare Program. A collaboration between Landcare NSW and the Local Land Services, supported by the NSW Government.
Over 180 Landcarers and community partners from across NSW will make their way to Coffs Harbour next week as part of the NSW Landcare Program State Gathering.
The Gathering runs from Tuesday 16th to Thursday 18th May, and is an opportunity for the network of Regional Landcare Coordinators, Local Landcare Coordinators and community host organisations, to share experiences, learn skills and re-connect with each other.
The 2019-2023 NSW Landcare Program funded by the NSW Government, is a collaborative initiative of Local Land Services and Landcare NSW empowering Landcarers to take action on local problems and deliver outcomes that address local and regional issues.
Landcare NSW Chair Stephanie Cameron said the event is critical to building common understanding and capacity across the state.
“Landcare’s strength lies in the strength of its grassroots, community movement – it’s about local people doing work on the ground to provide local solutions to local problems,” said Ms Cameron.
“The NSW Landcare Program supports the network of hard-working volunteers in local communities who manage and restore the natural environment, improve the sustainability of agricultural production and build the resilience of communities.”
The objectives of the 2023 Gathering are:
Reconnect – bringing the Landcare community together in person after years of online
meetings and no events
Capacity building – sharing skills through networking, workshops and presentations
Recharge – having the event in a relaxed environment and allowing time for participants to
NSW Landcare CEO Turlough Guerin said the learnings and connections that participants experience at the gathering will provide peer support and information sharing opportunities.
“The State Gathering is an opportunity for our Coordinators and Host Organisations consisting mainly of Landcare groups to input into the next four-year Program and apply learnings to assist in delivering outcomes in their communities in the future.”
This initiative is made possible by the NSW Landcare Program. A collaboration between Landcare NSW and the Local Land Services, supported by the NSW Government.
With the devastation we have seen on the North Coast and other parts of the state through flooding on a scale we’ve not witnessed or experienced before, we are all asking ourselves ‘How can we help?’ ‘How can we get money on the ground where it is needed most?’
After the catastrophic bushfires in 2019-2020, there was community disquiet with how some donor funds collected by the many charities involved were distributed. Specifically the revelation that frequently, the proportion of funds reaching communities was too low as a proportion of total donations. Communities and donors must be confident that their funds are going where they expect them to go, and not on excessive administration costs.
Landcare NSW is a registered charity and prides itself on ensuring that funds are distributed to landholders and Landcare groups on the ground where it is needed most.
As a coordinated network of groups supported by a central team, the organisation provides a diversity of “ecosystem services” helping to restore and remediate and where possible prevent and protect our precious ecosystems from future climate events through our member groups, distributed across the 11 geographical regions that stretch across NSW. This diversity, along with our local embedded community presence, gives us our unique position in the conservation and land management sector.
One reason for the success of the Landcare movement and its attraction to granting bodies and fund donors is the effectiveness of dispersal that occurs when investments are made into our programs. For example, during the recent bushfires of 2019-2020, Commonwealth funds were able to be leveraged through a program managed by a partnership between the National Landcare Network, Landcare Australia and the Peak Landcare State and Territory Landcare organisations, demonstrating that excellent projects and outcomes for improved delivery of bushfire recovery actions are achieved when Landcare is engaged and supported through donations. Landcare NSW has helped to ensure emergency funding was directed to 55 individual Landcare groups along the east coast. This was able to be done rapidly and efficiently.
Independent studies on the leveraging contribution the Landcare movement makes have shown that for each dollar invested into the organisation – in addition to the social and community dividend provided by enabling and engaging local communities – there is a financial return of at least $6. Last year alone, investments into Landcare NSW of $5 million resulted in revenues across the state of $30 million. These revenues were all literally ploughed back into the mostly regional communities in which they were earned.
Typically, we do not operate on donations. We participate in contestable grants across a diverse range of land conservation and productivity areas, competing with government funding from the State and Commonwealth. In the event of a disaster, any funds donated to Landcare NSW, that is 100% of the donations received, are re-directed back into the groups and communities that are impacted by that natural disaster. This 100% pass-through of donations is a critical factor and attribute of our organisation. Because of the way in which we have set up our central team and distributed group model, we do not carry administrative costs for the disbursement of donations.
Landcare NSW, through its regions, networks, groups, and individual members, has a local affinity and presence with the people directly impacted by natural disaster events.
When there is an event, our people are there and are part of the impacted community.
During these floods, we are seeking donations once again to support these communities and landscapes to recover.
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.