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 NSW Chair Stephanie Cameron opened the conference.

“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’.

Landcare NSW CEO Turlough Guerin asking the big questions!

“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.

For a full list of finalists and award winners for the 2021 NSW Landcare awards visit, www.nswlandcareconference.com.au

Grand champions of the NSW National Award categories will now go on to represent the whole NSW Landcare Community at the 2022 National Landcare Awards in Sydney.


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.

Brian at a coastal corridor planting in 2011.

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.

Brian talking about dune vegetation to students in 2018.

“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 late Gerald Carnie who passed away in June 2011.

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:
Landcare NSW
Jodie Lovell, Communications Officer
0439 316 151

Berry Landcarer awarded Life Membership with Landcare NSW

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.


Jodie Lovell – 0439 316 151 

Hunter Regional Landcarer awarded Life Membership with Landcare NSW

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. 



Jodie Lovell – 0439 316 151 

Cultural immersion for Greater Sydney Landcare – Learning about the history and traditions of our First Nations peoples

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.

Out and About with Trees in the House

A casualty of COVID19 is the annual gathering hosted by Landcare NSW and the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Landcare known as Trees in the House.

In the esteemed setting of Parliament House in Sydney’s Macquarie Street, Landcarers and MPs celebrate Landcare’s achievements and discuss future challenges.

The name Trees in the House stems from the practice of giving away a small tree to Parliamentarians to take home and plant in their electorate. For this one evening each year, Members of Parliament can be seen walking the corridors of Parliament House with seedlings in hand, ready to plant.

In the remarkably different year of 2020, the event will be remodelled as Out and About with Trees in the House.

Instead of a large gathering in Macquarie Street, regional events will be held in which Landcare groups will invite their Member of Parliament to plant a tree that will be nurtured by the Landcare community in the area.

Regional events will bring together Landcarers, community representatives, government partners and Members of Parliament to showcase and celebrate Landcare in the area.

In a year when communities have been rocked by drought and fire, only to be hit by a pandemic, Landcare has shown its resilience and determination to care for the land, protect biodiversity and look after people and rural industries.

Landcare NSW will provide information and resources to support Landcarers who would like to take the concept of Trees in the House and replicate it in the regions.

More information will be provided by Landcare NSW in the coming weeks but in the meantime, please direct any questions to Jodie Lovell jlovell@landcarensw.org.au or Rachael Moss rmoss@landcarensw.org.au 

Federal MPs celebrate Landcare with new friendship group

Landcare NSW has expressed enthusiasm for the newly-formed Federal Parliamentary Friends of Landcare (PFL).

“It’s very encouraging to see Members of the Federal Parliament taking an interest in our work,” said Landcare NSW CEO Dr Adrian Zammit. “This is especially important in the context of what will follow NLP2 in terms of long term funding and support for the grassroots community Landcare movement.”

NSW was the first State to form a friendship group in 2015. This group has been very successful and is highly valued by Landcarers and MPs.

“It has enabled us to build a relationship between the NSW Landcare community and the NSW Parliament, we constantly reinforce Landcare’s long tradition of bipartisanship,” said Dr Zammit.

This year, two Federal Senators – Perin Davey representing NSW, and Raff Ciccone representing Victoria – have created a group in the Federal Parliament which already has around 25 members.

Senator Davey is based in Deniliquin and knows a number of Landcarers in her local area.

The aims of the Federal PFL are to celebrate the success of Landcare and to help the community respond to challenges and opportunities. Senators Davey and Ciccone are planning events to enable interaction between Parliamentarians and the Landcare movement.

Landcare NSW encourages all Landcare groups in NSW to contact their Federal Member of Parliament and encourage them to join the Federal PFL.

All they need to do is contact the offices of either Senator Perin Davey or Senator Raff Ciccone, see contact details below.

Contact Senator Perin Davey
Contact Senator Raff Ciccone 

Media Releases

NLN_National Parlimentary Friends of Landcare_Media Release

Joint Media Release-Parliamentary Friends of Landcare- Ciccone Davey

Land and environment jobs would help to build a post-COVID economy

Landcare NSW is disappointed the Federal Budget did not include funding for a Land Management and Conservation Stimulus Package but recommends the Federal Government keep the idea on the table.

Landcare NSW welcomes the Budget allocation for projects to improve ocean health, renew visitor infrastructure in world heritage sites and expand recycling infrastructure.

“This Budget focused on tax cuts and infrastructure but there is still a chance for the Government to stimulate the economy by working with the volunteer Landcare community to create jobs in managing the land and environment,” said Landcare NSW CEO Dr Adrian Zammit.

In the lead up to the Budget, along with 70 farming and conservation groups around the country, Landcare NSW asked the Federal Government to fund a national conservation jobs plan.

Dr Adrian Zammit, said: “Our sector stands ready to make a massive contribution to job creation around the country.

“We are confident we can stimulate the economy by creating jobs to restore the environment which has been severely impacted by fires and drought.

“Our land needs people to plant trees, erect fencing, restore riverbanks, remove pests and weeds and create habitat for threatened species,” said Dr Zammit.

“These are the kind of jobs and training young people want.

“Building homes and supporting business is welcome but we need a greater focus on the natural infrastructure that sustains our quality of life and enables wildlife to survive.”

Landcare is a well-established, trusted community movement that has robust systems, sound financial management and experience, enabling it to scale up quickly to deliver land and environment projects.

‘This investment would create social, economic and environmental benefits in the short, medium and long term,’ said Dr Zammit.

National Landcare organisations – Time for a refresh

The Council of Landcare NSW has passed a resolution calling for the creation of a single, representative, national peak Landcare organisation that functions through and leverages the strengths of all existing State and Territory Landcare Peak Organisations (STOs).

The NSW Landcare community arrived at this majority view after a four-month consultation process.

At its 12 August 2020 meeting, Council resolved this reform is critical for the future of Landcare in Australia.

Specifically, Council resolved that the following points be conveyed to Landcare Australia Limited (LAL), National Landcare Network (NLN), all counterpart STOs and key Landcare stakeholders and partners.

1. LAL and NLN must immediately resume discussions to form one national Landcare body that represents grassroots Landcarers and provides the range of services needed to support and grow Landcare nationally.

2. This will require open, frank and professional discussion by those in national leadership positions regarding the issues that led to the failed merger and the rebuilding of trust to allow a meeting of the minds regarding the way forward.

3. A realistic timeframe for completion of the process must be set, albeit noting the urgency of the issue, and a formal process undertaken and resourced, with the requisite expertise.

4. The single merged national body must:
a. Bring together the strengths and competencies of the NLN (representation, advocacy, policy) and LAL (marketing, communications, fundraising, corporate relationships);
b. Have a federated representative structure that works through (and not around) each of the eight STOs to ensure Landcare community’s ‘bottom up’ ethos is preserved;
c. Must not include other environmental organisations, corporates nor other entities or individuals that are not deemed to be ‘Landcare’, as voting members of the new national body. Membership must be preserved for the eight STOs and independent board members of LAL;
d. Through a competitive and transparent recruitment process, must seek a leadership and management team that has the requisite skills and experience to lead and rejuvenate the Landcare movement nationally.

Council concluded: ‘As representatives of thousands of Landcare organisations, groups and individuals in NSW, we believe this reform is essential for the future of Landcare in Australia and request it be implemented with due care, responsibility and cooperation as a matter of urgency.’

Polls shows 86% of NSW residents support conservation jobs plan

A new poll has found 86% of NSW residents strongly support Federal Government investment in a Land Management and Conservation Jobs Plan to stimulate the economy.

Out of 12 options the Federal Government could choose to restore employment in regional communities, investment in practical environmental jobs like planting trees, removing weeds and restoring rivers came out on top for NSW residents. 

The polling, commissioned by the National Landcare Network, found three quarters (77%) of NSW residents are concerned about the health of the country’s forests, rivers and wildlife, with a similar number (78%) agreeing that economic stimulus funding should be used to help communities and the environment recover from the bushfires and drought.

“This research shows people want to see government investment to create jobs and stimulate the economy while helping our landscapes recover,” said Dr Adrian Zammit, CEO of Landcare NSW.

“With thousands of Australians looking for work, the Government needs to be proactive in job-creation schemes and collaborate with Landcare organisations who know their local landscapes and are ready to create meaningful work that will leave a lasting legacy for the environment which has been severely impacted by fires and drought,” he said.

The polling comes off the back of data showing that there has been a 134% increase in people actively looking for work through the Federal Government’s JobActive program over the first six months of 2020. There were 1.4 million people looking for work in the second quarter of 2020, which is an increase of 821,000 people compared to the final quarter of 2019.

Funding practical environmental work came in as the second most popular (75% support) out of 12 options for keeping people in regional communities employed, second only to increasing funding for training and apprenticeships (78%).

More than 70 conservation and farming organisations, including Landcare, National Farmers Federation, NRM Regions Australia, Australian Land Conservation Alliance, and Pew Charitable Trusts, are calling on state and federal governments to fund thousands of jobs undertaking practical conservation activities.

A recent report by Ernst & Young, commissioned by the alliance, found that a $4 billion national conservation and land management employment program would create 53,000 jobs, reduce welfare costs by $620 million and raise economic output by $5.7 billion over the next four years, with economic gains rising to $9.3 billion over the next 20 years. 

National Landcare Network CEO Jim Adams said the polling indicated broad support nationwide.

“Australians are overwhelmingly supportive of COVID-recovery initiatives that can keep people in work while also helping damaged landscapes recover,” he said

“They see that practical initiatives to help plant trees, restore degraded river systems and eradicate noxious weeds and feral animals are an ideal way to help improve our landscapes while also ensuring communities survive this tough period.”

“Landcare has a 30-year track record of managing projects and partnerships on the ground to support agriculture and conservation, building community spirit in the process. As a grassroots community movement that is well-governed with high professional standards it is a reliable and cost-effective option for government expenditure,” said Dr Zammit.

A program summary can be found here See program summary here.

A summary of the polling results can be found here.