Memorial Statement from Landcare Australia on behalf of the Landcare community on the passing of Mr. Hawke.

On behalf of the Landcare community, Landcare Australia would like to acknowledge the vision of the late Bob Hawke for committing the Australian Government to support ‘Landcare’.

The name ‘Landcare’ evolved in Victoria through an initiative of Joan Kirner, (then Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands) and Heather Mitchell, (then President of the Victorian Farmers Federation).

In 1989 the national Landcare movement officially began with Rick Farley of the National Farmers Federation and Phillip Toyne of the Australian Conservation Foundation, successfully encouraging the Hawke Government to commit to the emerging movement.

Landcare grew into a national programme in July 1989 when the Australian Government, with bipartisan support, announced that 1990 would be the Year of Landcare, and the 1990s the Decade of Landcare. 1989 was also the year that the not-for-profit organisation Landcare Australia was formed.

In his speech to launch the Decade of Landcare, Bob Hawke spoke about the importance of co-operation to care for the land.

“The degradation of our environment is not simply a local problem, nor a problem for one state or another, nor for the Commonwealth alone. Rather, the damage being done to our environment is a problem for us all – and not just government- but for of us individually and together.

Over these 30 years, Landcare has continued to play a leading role in managing sustainable agricultural practices, environmental protection, and conservation of land, waterways, coasts, biodiversity and landscapes.

Bob Hawke has championed Landcare since its inception.

His legacy to protect the environment, is that Landcare is now one of the largest volunteer movements in Australia with thousands of people and countless communities working together to solve local environmental issues that benefit all Australians.