From the CEO + Funding for Landcare + Policy and Planning + LVI News + Farewell to Susi + Acknowledgements
I’m pleased to provide Landcare Victoria’s October newsletter. It has been a busy month so this is a bumper edition that I hope you will find useful.
Strategy and implementation have been a focus for Landcare Victoria over the last few weeks. The Landcare Victoria Board is working on a strategic plan that will define and focus our role in support of our members and stakeholders and have an important function in our communications. We’ve also made some important staff appointments, mentioned below.
While COVID hampers my aim to connect as fully as possible with the Landcare community, I have enjoyed several opportunities to join regional forums and AGMs via Zoom. I was also pleased to participate in a Members Council meeting early this month and look to growing the impact and influence of this important forum. Through these connections, I am steadily growing my understanding of the issues and challenges faced by Landcare but also of your tremendous achievements across the State.
Chief Executive Officer
The search for funding to support our Landcare aspirations is never ending and we must be alert to new opportunities. Here are some programs open now:
This $10 million program will support communities to undertake on-ground recovery actions from the 2019-20 bushfires, with grants from $5,000 to $150,000 available.
TheGuidelines for this program, including eligibility requirements, are now available at https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Bushfire-Recovery-for-Wildlife-and-Habitat-Community-Grants-Program
This $2 million program will support the delivery of workshops to strengthen traditional knowledge and build wider understanding of Indigenous fire and land management practices. This program is available Australia wide to Traditional Owners, Indigenous organisations and Indigenous enterprises.
The Grant Opportunity Guidelines, sample application and sample grant agreement are now available at https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Indigenous-Fire-and-Land-Management-Workshops
We all know the important role Landcare plays in building connections in our communities. This VicHealth program aims to support Victorians experiencing disadvantage, by creating meaningful social connection, providing opportunities for physical activity or by addressing food security issues.
The program will provide grants of between $20,000 and $200,000 to organisations, farmer groups and individuals to build drought resilience on agricultural landscapes.
A competitive grants process for organisations, farmer groups and individuals opened on 29 September 2020. Funding for successful applicants is expected to be provided for activities to commence in 2021. Applications close soon.
Landcare Australia has open a small grants program to support Junior Landcare. If your group has a close relationship with a school, this may be of interest.
Landcare Victoria continues to engage with DELWP in relation to renewal of the facilitator program. We have been pleased to provide feedback on draft guidelines and have urged their early release. We have stressed that groups will need time to prepare an application and in turn, DELWP will need time to consider them to allow a smooth transition from one round of funding to the next. We’ve also urged DELWP to have a Plan B ready, in the event that the guidelines cannot be released very soon.
Many in the Landcare community have expressed concern about proposed amendments to the Victorian Land Act that will allow for camping on licensed Crown water frontages. Everybody involved in Landcare knows how important and sensitive the riparian zone is. Many landowners and Landcare groups have invested a lot of effort on projects to enhance and protect these zones. It is very important that the voluntary efforts of Landcarers and the stewardship role of licensees is respected in making any changes.
Landcare Victoria has approached the Minister’s office for an explanation of the process. Some key points from this discussion and other consultations are:
If the amendments pass, Landcare Victoria will focus on ensuring the regulations appropriately protect riparian zones and the interest of licensees from the negative impact of uncontrolled camping. It will be important to ensure that the Government properly resources DELWP to enable it to enforce those regulations
Catchment Management Authorities around Victoria have commenced work on renewal of Regional Catchment Management Strategies with a target of completion by mid next year. These are important over-arching documents that provide direction and coordination for natural resource management in each catchment. They provide an important basis for Government spending priorities in each region.
Each CMA will engage Landcare along with other sectors in the community to ensure that their RCS addresses community needs and aspirations. All the CMAs are committed to effective engagement and the approach they take will vary from region to region. The moral is – don’t be shy. If your CMA has not yet reached out to your Landcare group, contact them to find out when and how you can be involved. This link takes you to the CMA contact details: https://viccatchments.com.au/about-us/our-cma-regions/
Landcare Victoria will continue to engage with the CMAs on a State and regional level to encourage and assist appropriate engagement of the Landcare community.
Volunteers are at the heart of Landcare. They need to be recruited and valued if Landcare is to succeed. At Landcare Australia’s recent webinar, Kim Boswell talked through her method of volunteer recruitment that has been used to recruit thousands of Landcare volunteers in Victoria. The webinar was recorded.
Welcome to two new staff at Landcare Victoria. Claire Hetzel has joined as the Landcare Development Coordinator. Claire will be an important liaison with member groups and facilitators in relation to project development, insurance and risk, member group capacity development. Amanda Grace has been appointed to the role of Office Coordinator. Amanda has been with Landcare Victoria on a casual basis for a couple of years and will play an important role in member records, membership renewals and in keeping Landcare Victoria’s administration in good shape.
As previously advised, long serving Landcare Victoria Executive Officer, Susi Johnson will finish her employment with Landcare Victoria on 30 October. Landcare Victoria and the entire Landcare movement in Victoria is indebted to Susi for her dedication to supporting Landcare over many years.
Landcare Victoria’s CLEA project continues despite the limitations imposed by COVID. Project leader Ross Colliver reports: Networks are the mycorrhizal connectors of human communities. They speed up innovation, spread new practices and seed new narratives. But networks are different to hierarchies. They’re self-organising and owned by no-one. How then can you grow them and harness them? LVI's CLEA project is finding out how Landcare groups can work more skilfully with networks.
Landcare Victoria membership requires members to adopt the Landcare Victoria Inc. Code of Conduct or have a similar code covering these issues. As many groups are holding annual general meetings that will see new members join Group executives, now is a good time to review the Code to refresh memories and commitment to its principles.
Landcare Victoria members who have not yet renewed their 2020/21 memberships are requested to give the matter prompt attention. It is important to remember that financial members are entitled to the benefits of membership, including insurance. If you have any questions, please contact the Landcare Victoria office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landcare Victoria Inc is grateful for the funding support provided by:
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