Victorian Landcare Magazine - Spring 2019, Issue 76

VFF/Landcare Victoria Inc. Heather Mitchell Memorial Fellowship Award - Belinda Brennan

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C344 p21a

Above Belinda Brennan presents Landcare facilitator training as part of an ALI delegation in Manafwa, Uganda.

Belinda Brennan’s Landcare journey has seen her active at a local, regional, state, national and international level.

Belinda volunteers as the secretary of Australian Landcare International (ALI), and has been on the committee of Landcare Victoria Inc., Landcare’s peak state body in Victoria.

She has extensive experience in Landcare facilitation, support, strategic planning, community engagement and consultation. Belinda has been part of the Landcare community for nearly 30 years, working both in Western Australia and Victoria. She is currently the Partnerships and Engagement Team Leader at West Gippsland CMA.

Belinda is very well known in Gippsland where she was the South Gippsland Landcare Network (SGLN) Coordinator from 2007-2013.

In that role her patch covered 4000 square kilometres, involved 18 local groups, and took in townships from Loch and Nyora to Mirboo North and Wilsons Promontory. The network was innovative in the way it engaged the many sea and tree changers who had moved into the area.

Belinda partnered with local real estate agents to create a welcome pack and started a new landholder program providing $500 to kick start environmental works.

In 2011 Belinda won the Australian Government Local Landcare Facilitator/ Coordinator Award at the Victorian Landcare Awards. Her work on raising awareness of the habitat needs of koalas in the Strzeleckis was praised for its creativity and commitment to community participation.

During her time at SGLN Belinda was involved in successfully developing and implementing projects valued at more than $3 million. In 2017 she undertook a Diploma of Business in Governance to better serve the Landcare and rural community.

But it was travelling to Uganda in 2018 to deliver facilitation training as part of an ALI delegation that Belinda found truly life changing.

“To work with people who have so little and to have such a big impact was so inspiring,” Belinda said.

Since her return Belinda has presented to a number of Victorian Landcare groups with the aim of connecting them to small community Landcare projects overseas.

“I’m hoping we can share information, provide funding support and showcase the benefits of the Landcare movement and its knowledge to others around the world,” Belinda said.

Belinda will use her Heather Mitchell Memorial Fellowship to fund her attendance at the Uganda National Landcare Conference in November 2019. She will give a presentation on Landcare in Victoria and investigate opportunities for sharing information across the globe. Field trips to Kabale and Kampala to connect with the Uganda Landcare Network are also planned.

The Heather Mitchell Memorial Fellowship seeks to reward an individual for their outstanding achievements in Landcare with assistance for travel, study or professional development. Belinda Brennan’s commitment to Landcare is exceptional.

Award sponsors' logos.

Above: Award sponsors' logos.