Connecting with our natural environment benefits our wellbeing by keeping us physically active, improving mental health, supporting healthy ageing and building stronger communities.
This makes Landcarers among the most important people in our community, promoting healthy activities in the outdoors while making a remarkable difference to local landscapes and our natural environment.
There is a great deal of behind-the-scenes work in keeping Landcare groups, network boards and committees running effectively. In this edition, you will read some of their fascinating stories from the bush and on the farm.
You can learn about a project in the South Gippsland Landcare Network to improve koala habitat in the Strzelecki Ranges, which is helping to rally the community to protect and promote this iconic species. Landholders have completed major revegetation works and the local community has undertaken training to learn how to monitor the local koala population.
You can also read about Merrin Butler, from the Mount Worth Landcare Group in West Gippsland, who promotes nature walk activities and farm visits to encourage more people to experience nature. Christmas Hills Landcare Group also uses regular walks, talks, guest speakers, wildlife monitoring cameras and live animal displays to increase interest in the local natural environment and create a sense of shared purpose.
When it comes to caring for our local landscapes, there is no task too small and no effort that should go unrecognised. By working together and supporting our Landcare groups and networks, we can make a real difference to the future of Victoria’s natural environment and growing communities.
Last year we marked a significant milestone when we celebrated Landcare’s 30th Anniversary with a special recognition event at Queen’s Hall in Melbourne’s Parliament House.
Parliamentary Secretary for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Anthony Carbines, presented the 2016 Joan Kirner Landcare Award to Alice Knight OAM and 10 Landcare Executive Committee Service Awards, one award for each Catchment Management Authority region.
I would like to personally congratulate these worthy winners and thank them for their outstanding efforts.
It is important to celebrate the dedication of our community in this way. We have had an incredible 30 years of achievements and on-ground actions that support healthy landscapes and healthy communities. Landcarers are our environmental pillars and I look forward to seeing what we
can achieve in the years ahead.
Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
The new Victorian Landcare Gateway website received more than 11,000 visits in its first two months after its launch in late September 2016. There was a 96 per cent increase in mobile devices accessing the site. The website has been significantly improved with a new layout, use of larger fonts and faster loading times.
Landcare groups are encouraged to use free online document storage platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox to save documents rather than storing them on the website. Links to stored documents can be easily created on the website.
Information on managing group content on the website can be found under resources.
The Victorian Government review of the Victorian Landcare Program involved extensive consultation with the Landcare community.
The Victorian Landcare Program Review Action Plan details the recommendations made to help shape the Victorian Government’s future support for Landcare.
Victorian Landcare Program Review Action Plan is available on the Victorian Landcare Gateway website.