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.

We have developed an Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to answer some of the questions we have been receiving as best we can at this stage. We also encourage those Landcare groups and regions with an interest in hosting a coordinator to get in touch with their regional Landcare body: Regional & Local Landcare Coordinators — NSW Landcare Gateway

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.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To find out more contact mtyas@landcarensw.org.au


Listen carefully and you’ll notice a distinctive sound. In between the throaty cries of crows and the screeching of galahs, the warbling tones of the Superb Parrot colour the air as they feast on flowering gums and grass seeds.

There is some debate around the remaining number of Superb Parrots in the wild, whether there is 8,000 or 10,000, however the fact we can all agree on is that their numbers are declining.

But not if local Landcare and community groups have anything to do with it.

Established in 2017, a consortium including Boorowa Landcare, Hovells Creek Landcare, Upper Lachlan Landcare, Lachlandcare & Mid Lachlan Landcare are working together with partners Cowra Woodland Birds, Greening Australia and National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW to ensure that the parrots and the project that supports them has a fighting chance.

Found along inland Eastern NSW, the parrots face many challenges. As a mainly hollow-bearing species, the parrots require trees of over 100 years old – as only mature trees create hollows – and are restricted to certain tree species such as Box-Gum, Box-Cypress-pine and Boree Woodlands and River Red Gum Forest as well as Blakely’s Red Gum, Yellow Box, Apple Box and Red Box.

But with a support group as collectively diverse as the species habitat range, the passion and dedication that the members bring to preserving the species is inspiring and heartening.

Bird walks have been held over all the region, as part of the broader SoS program. The one last month brought it to six.

Educational seminars have been going for more than five years and up to 100 participants have been trained in the monitoring technique through this project.

Dedicated programs spanning years to support not just the superb parrot but all birdlife and the supporting ecosystems? Absolutely.

For Local Landcare Coordinator for Boorowa Landcare, Linda Cavanagh, the involvement and support of community groups and local landholders has helped sustain the momentum for the continuation of the programs.

“Community involvement is crucial. But community enthusiasm is a driving factor and is so important too. Boorowa Landcare is one of five Landcare groups in our region who have taken on supporting the Superb Parrot and the ecosystems on which they rely on.

“One of our biggest drivers has been local landholders collating and collecting data about the birds and feeding into this program.

“Our birdwalks and regular bird surveys help build the knowledge of population trends, key flight paths and the success factors that lead to successful breeding ecology of the Superb Parrot.

“With such a vast habitat area, collaborations such as the ones between all our local landcare groups are so important and we can help build the knowledge base to help support our work and advocacy for the species.

“Of course, the key strength of the program has been the community engagement activities to increase awareness and interest in project participation by keen volunteers, we couldn’t do it without them,” Linda said.

The funding for the program and activities comes from Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (previously Office of Environment & Heritage) and has helped ensure that Superb Parrot restoration actions in the broader Saving Our Species (SoS) program continue. 

Local Superb Parrot expert, Pat Downey, says collective group’s involvement in supporting the species lead to greater data collection and consistency that is in line with Regional and State wide data bases.

“I’ve been working with Landcare for five years and have seen the growth of passion and ownership for the health of the species.

“The education component is critical is helping communities understand their impact on the local environment and how removing just one tree can have a huge ripple effect on all local species. You are removing a potential home, food source, shelter for other species, microbes in the soil for other vegetation. But, by leaving that tree and protecting it by fencing it off to protect it in combination with planting understorey shrubs you are investing in your land, your profitability and the future of a multitude of species.

“Additionally, by fencing off existing paddock trees you are also supporting your livestock as you are supporting the health of the tree and future trees it may lead to and there’s value for everyone in those things,” Pat said.

As you watch their flight and movement you can understand why communities want to support them and their future. They’re beautiful to watch. A shift in the angle of wings, a cresting in the air and you witness a change in colour with the brilliance in green and gold and example of why a shift in perspective can mean the world of a difference.

The Saving Our Superb Parrot is funded by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Saving Our Species (SoS) program.

Biodiversity development key component for environmental projects

Burrumbuttock Squirrel Gliders LAMP Project by Lou Bull.

There is a dark stripe from between the eyes to the mid-back, and the tail is soft and bushy averaging about 27 cm in length. Distinct in appearance and vulnerable in habitat, Squirrel Gliders are some of Australia’s smaller residents.   

In the small town of Burrumbuttock, in the central southern part of the Riverina region, Landcare and community groups have been busy advocating, preserving and enhancing their natural habitat to ensure that future generations, both of the human and glider variety, are here to enjoy it.

Naturally, their homes of choice are tree hollows in 100 year old eucalyptus where they can hide in the dark until evening falls and then come out to feed on insects, flowers and tree sap.

The Burrumbuttock Squirrel Glider Local Area Management Plan (LAMP) Project aims to double the glider population at Burrumbuttock to 1,000, but at a starting number of 555 it’s a long road.

“This project has been going for 20 years. Squirrel gliders are hollow dependant but hollows only start forming when trees are over 100 years old and a nesting pair can use up to 30 hollows across their home range. They move around a lot to match where available food is at different times of year, weather, avoid different predators,” says Regional Landcare Coordinator for the Murray Region, Paula Sheehan.

“The trees we planted may be 80 years away from being homes for the gliders, but we are 20 years closer than if we had not started. In the meantime, they will be a food source and help the gliders move about their range.

Support from private landholders and the wider community is essential for the longevity of the project, Paula says.

“So far we have 41 landholders who have committed to supporting the project on their properties with more on the waiting list. Their support is crucial in ensuring the long-term viability of the species.

“Projects such as these are about supporting and developing biodiversity. It’s not as simple as putting some trees in and waiting. It is so much more than that. We are not just supporting gliders, we are supporting trees, grasslands, lizards, birds, insects and the farmers themselves. It’s all part of a much bigger picture,” said Paula.

Local Landcare Coordinator for Mid Lachlan Landcare Tracee Burke agrees, saying projects that groups develop are not just about one specific species. They are about supporting and protecting biodiversity across all landscapes.

“The collaborative role Mid Lachlan Landcare and private landholders have in the Box Gum Grassy Woodland Habitat on Farm project is crucial. We are working together to create bio-diverse, healthy farms that protect and enhance this woodland.  

“We are working with landholders to find the best way to maintain the remaining trees, encourage natural regeneration, provide connectivity and plant new species if required.”

With less than 10% of its pre-European distribution intact, the open woodland trees are listed as critically endangered both at a state and nationwide level. With their range spanning from Queensland to Victoria, it’s a big task.

“The trees are just one component in the biodiversity of the surrounding areas. With them comes shrubs, grasses, native herbs and with that comes mammals such as the Squirrel Glider, birds such as the Superb Parrot, reptiles and frogs. These all work alongside one another and need to be protected. By doing one, you are supporting the other and we are always thinking of both,” Tracee said.

Images produced with permission.

‘Squirrel Gliders’ Lou Bull – Petaurus Education Group Project Officer 

‘Box Gum Grassy Woodland’ – Local Landcare Coordinator Tracee Burke – Mid Lachlan Landcare 

To find out more:

Samantha Stratton – Landcare NSW


Box Gum Grassy Woodland by Tracee Burke

March Update – NSW Landcare Program 2019 – 2023

The NSW Landcare Program has well and truly established a solid foundation with 72 local Landcare Coordinators and 12 Regional Landcare Coordinators now working to support the networks and groups across the state.

The NSW Landcare Program is a state, regional and local investment in the partnership between Local Land Services and Landcare NSW, empowering people to take action on local problems and deliver outcomes across local and regional issues.

The NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference held in Broken Hill in October 2019, demonstrated the strength of the partnership with government and highlighted the social networks, individual and group efforts that are the lifeblood of the Landcare movement in NSW.

The NSW Landcare Program 2019 – 2023 builds on the previous Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative, and is a collaborative endeavour of Local Land Services and Landcare NSW, supported by the NSW Government and overseen by a Joint Management Committee.

**In May 2020, the program will bring all coordinators and a member of our host organisations to Dubbo with the theme of “Nurturing our Networks”. The event will introduce the program and its components and how volunteer members and coordinators will be supported to work toward delivering on the program outcomes.  An important part of the program will be to demonstrate through data, the critical value Landcare provides in addressing the current environmental challenges.

 A key focus of the gathering is providing the opportunity for networking, peer to peer learning and information to support the coordinators and hosts in the work they do.

To find out who the Local and Regional Landcare Coordinators for your area are click below:

Regional and Local Landcare Coordinators

** UPDATE – As at 18 March 2020, the Joint Management Committee met to discuss the NSW Landcare Program and the perceived risk to bringing everyone in the Landcare Program across the state to meet in May in Dubbo.

Effectively it was felt that due to the uncertainty around infection rates of COVID-19 and other complicating factors, it would be unfair to ask everyone to attend in person from around the State.

We will postpone this event and work toward a new date that is suitable.

We would ask that you immediately cancel any accommodation and travel arrangements.

Update on the NSW Landcare Program 2019-2023

The NSW Landcare Program (2019 – 2023) is a $22.4 million investment co-delivered by Landcare NSW and NSW Local Land Services to unlock the potential of the extensive volunteer network and Landcare movement across NSW.

The Program is a continuation of the previous Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative (2015 – 2019).

The Program is comprised of a number of components:

  • Local and Regional Landcare Coordinators;
  • A Community of Practice Component;
  • People Development;
  • Aboriginal Program; and
  • Program Management and Support.

The Regional Landcare Coordinator is a new role with nine of 11 positions already filled. Contracts have gone out to 72 host organisations with 68 Local Landcare Coordinators employed on a part-time basis.The Regional Landcare Coordinators will work with the 68 part time Local Landcare Coordinators who support the 60,000-strong volunteer Landcare network across NSW. Hosted by local organisations such as Landcare groups, Councils and industry organisations, they are a key resource that underpin local and regional communities of practice and the capacity of Landcarers to participate in on ground actions.

Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit, said the Regional Landcare Coordinators will play an important role in growing the effectiveness of the network of Local Landcare Coordinators.

“We’re seeing the overall health of Landcare groups surge because of the on-ground support that Local Landcare Coordinators are providing. The addition of Regional Landcare Coordinators will play a pivotal role in growing the effectiveness of our statewide Landcare network. They are the drivers of regional resource and knowledge sharing and will coordinate and leverage the strategic goals of Landcare NSW and its member groups,” Dr Zammit said.

The Community of Practice component is about connecting existing groups with networks in ways that magnify peer support outcomes, collation and sharing of knowledge, practices and learnings across a range of topics at a range of scales. It will invest in state and regional scale forums designed to bring Landcarers together to do what they do best… connect as a community.

The Aboriginal Landcare Program component will see the recruitment of an experienced Aboriginal Program Manager in 2020 to deliver on a number of key initiatives identified by Landcare NSW and the Indigenous Working Group that evolved from the last Muster.

The People Development component aims to invest back into the working people of the NSW Landcare Program, to support training, capacity development and other good modern workplace practices. The component will be developed and delivered by the Program Team in consultation with identified goals highlighted in the regional and local priority plans. We envision this kicking off in March 2020.