Victorian Landcare Magazine - Spring 2020, Issue 79

Around the State – News from the Regional Landcare Coordinators

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Above The Raywood Regenerative Agriculture Farmer Group used social distancing when inspecting a multi-species crop that has provided winter feed for lambing ewes.

Aboriginal Landcare Facilitator

We are making the most of online opportunities to stay connected as we continue to adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. It’s not ideal, but it demonstrates the resilience of our Landcare communities who continue to care for the Country during these times.

Victoria’s Aboriginal Landcare Facilitator teamed up with Coastcare to deliver an online Aboriginal cultural heritage workshop in June. The workshop answered questions and provided practical advice on engaging with Traditional Owners along our coastlines.

The partnership between Mt Toolebewong and District Landcare Group and Wurundjeri Traditional Owners continues. Brush-tailed phascogale nest boxes are soon to be installed at Wurundjeri’s Galeena Beek property in Healesville.

For more information please contact Jackson Chatfield on or 0419 504 451.


During National Volunteer Week in May the CMA launched the Landcare Volunteer Recognition Program, a two-month campaign to encourage award nominations for Landcare groups and individual Landcare volunteers. Nominees will be acknowledged at an online event later in 2020.

Governing a Community Group governance training was delivered in May over two webinars to Landcare executive members in Corangamite, courtesy of the Mallee CMA. A four-part Messaging for Change webinar series delivered by Dr Trudy Ryan in partnership with Goulburn Broken and North Central CMAs was also provided to Landcare facilitators across the state.

The annual Landcare Group Health Survey was sent out to Landcare groups to complete.

Corangamite Landcare group and network chairs and Landcare facilitators held their quarterly meetings online and a monthly community of practice has been set up to better support our Landcare facilitators.

There are currently 24 Landcare projects underway in the region funded through the 2019/20 Victorian Landcare Grants.

For more information visit (What we do/Community Landcare) or contact Elisia Dowling on 0418 397 521.


East Gippsland 

The region has faced a number of significant challenges over the past few months which have come on top of several years of drought. Bushfires impacted over half of the region during summer and COVID-19 is bringing new and unprecedented challenges.

Resilience is a word that is synonymous with Landcare – communities rallying together to support those in need, offering words of kindness, donations and a listening ear. Landcarers have looked to online options for learning, meetings and as a way to communicate. Working bees planned around social distancing requirements have also been successful.

Landcare communities are finding ways to adapt and respond to the challenges they are presented with.

For more information visit (What we do/Landcare) or contact Carolyn Cameron on 0419 892 268.

Glenelg Hopkins

We are living through strange times – self-isolation, social distancing and working from home are the new norms – so for the average farmer, nothing has changed!

The normal timing of the Victorian Landcare Grants funding has been delayed, but Landcare facilitators are continuing to help their group and network members with other funding sources, information and advice.

Online communication platforms have seen a fast uptake. Many groups have now conducted meetings online and video conferencing is the new field day. It’s not the same as face to face, but it does give the ability for more people to participate in more events. I think it will be the new norm.

For more information visit (Get involved/Landcare) or contact Tony Lithgow on 0418 180 996.

Goulburn Broken

Thanks to our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Kerstie Lee for delivering values-based messaging for Landcare training recently. Originally planned for our regional catchup, the training was conducted online for 50 Landcare facilitators across the state. The feedback was very positive. Participants were impressed by how the training was tailored to their needs and relevant to their Landcare experiences.

We have been busy looking at options to maintain and expand support to the catchment’s community-based natural resource management (NRM) groups under the next iteration of the Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program. We have also been able to complete the review of the Community NRM Action Plan.

For more information visit (Community natural resource management) or contact Tony Kubeil on 0408 597 213.


The CMA has continued to support individual Landcare groups and Landcare facilitators in what has become a trying time for all Victorians.

Landcare projects are still being delivered and communication is strong. The community spirit in the Mallee is certainly still alive. Governance training was delivered in May 2020 via webinar, which was recorded and is now available to all Landcare groups in Victoria by contacting Nelson Burand-Hicks.

For more information visit or contact Nelson Burand-Hicks on 0427 540 468.

North Central

The region celebrated Landcare Week from August 3–9 with a social media campaign featuring beautiful Landcare imagery on Instagram and Facebook. It’s a joy to highlight our amazing volunteers, the landscape scale changes created through Landcare and the innovation groups have shown during COVID-19.

We got down and dirty with dung beetles during June, hosting a seminar with researcher Dr Bernard Doube. The informative seminar included data showing how soil health and carbon content improves, animal gut parasites are reduced, fly numbers fall and water soaks into the soil more effectively, when dung beetles are present. To watch the seminar search for dung beetles with Dr Bernard Doube on YouTube.

Our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator, Darren Bain, undertook socially distanced paddock walks during July. The walks were held with the Raywood Regenerative Agriculture Group to look at how three local producers are using different methods to keep feed up to
their livestock through winter.

For more information visit (Landcare) or contact Tess Grieves on 0438 357 874.


North East

The region has had a whirlwind year so far with bushfires and COVID-19. It’s been a challenge, but groups are adapting well to the changes, using the available technology to continue meeting and collaborating.

Many group projects are continuing. While some events have been cancelled many groups are determined to deliver on their targets and are working within the new rules in order to operate safely.

As the new Regional Landcare Coordinator, I have big shoes to fill. We wish the departing Tom Croft well in his retirement. Tom will always be part of Landcare in the region. It’s been great to meet and talk with the network and group executives. I look forward to a time when we can catch up face-to-face.

Richard Dalkin, the North East CMA’s new Regional Landcare Coordinator, has been meeting group and network executives online.

Above: Richard Dalkin, the North East CMA’s new Regional Landcare Coordinator, has been meeting group and network executives online.

For more information visit (Solutions/Landcare & community groups) or contact Richard Dalkin on 0409 683 467.


Port Phillip and Western Port

Landcare groups in the region have again proved their resilience and adaptability as many of their activities have been hampered by COVID-19. Several groups have continued to schedule and run planting events. Morning tea and chat is no longer possible but socially-distanced works with smaller groups staggered over longer periods are keeping projects on track.

The CMA will soon be signing a partnership agreement with NatureWest. The CMA has recently appointed three Farms2Schools coordinators, a pilot program which will bring farmers to students explaining the process from produce to plate. New works crew employees, funded through the Victorian Government Agriculture Workforce Plan, are also coming on board. The crew will be supporting agricultural and environmental projects across the region.

We are looking forward to a series of workshops and cultural awareness activities delivered by our Indigenous parties for Landcare and other environmental volunteer groups situated in the Maribyrnong and Werribee catchments. The series is part of DELWP’s Waterways of the West Action Plan.

For more information visit or contact Barry Kennedy on 0447 821 559.  


West Gippsland

It’s been perfect weather conditions for tree planting this year in West Gippsland. Sadly, many groups have had to postpone plantings and events due to COVID-19. Some groups who typically relied on schools or community members for tree plantings have had to turn to contractors, individual volunteers, or run small-scale, socially distanced planting days.

Lots of groups have moved their meetings to online platforms, others are using the downtime to plan for future projects. It’s great to see Landcare members supporting each other and utilising the social capital they have built up over many years.

Congratulations to Yarram Yarram Landcare Network and South Gippsland Landcare Network who were successful in receiving National Landcare Program Small Farms Smart Grants.

For more information visit (Getting involved/Landcare) or contact Kathleen Brack on 0428 619 671.



A big part of the work of our local farming and Landcare groups is done by getting together in the paddock and sharing information and establishing new connections. Now we are unable to get together, we have been using webinars to bring the paddock to the people.

Webinar topics have ranged from making and using compost on your farm, to effective use of soil probes and weather stations and other management practices that improve the condition of soil, biodiversity and vegetation.

We are fortunate to work with such fantastic and passionate groups in our region, who are quick to tackle challenges and have built capacity to deliver information and activities through these online tools.

After farewelling Ray Zippel in June, we welcomed Bronwyn Bant to the Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator role. Bronwyn brings lots of great experience and ideas to our Wimmera Landcare team.

For more information visit (Get involved/Landcare) or contact Joel Boyd on 0429 949 196.

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