Above Graeme Nicoll features on the GippsLandscapes podcast. Graeme milks 300 cows at Fish Creek with wife Gillian and is passionate about sustainability and Landcare.
Aboriginal Landcare Facilitator
Always Was, Always Will Be, was the theme of NAIDOC week from 8–15 November 2020.
NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Committee and it’s a week where we celebrate the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The 2020 NAIDOC week was celebrated online, allowing us to go on virtual bush walks with Traditional Owners, witness smoking ceremonies, hear Elders explain cultural burning, learn Aboriginal history, understand Indigenous plant uses and more, all from the comfort of home.
I enjoyed participating in the first ever Victoria Nature Festival, a virtual event that was held in September/October 2020. In my role as a Nature Festival Cultural Ambassador I explained how I remain connected to nature during a pandemic. It was a good platform to promote Landcare. For Nature Festival content go to www.vic.gov.au/victoria-its-our-nature
For more information please contact Jackson Chatfield on email@example.com or 0419 504 451.
The Corangamite Rural Women’s Network hosted an inspiring webinar with guest speaker Cathy McGowan MP on the International Day of Rural Women in October 2020. The session encouraged women to turn up, speak up and step up in their communities.
Several webinars on cover cropping in south west Victoria have been delivered to landholders. The CMA has supported the
community and industry groups to apply for Round 4 of the National Landcare Program’s Smart Farms Small Grants and the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program grants.
The Corangamite Landcare Volunteer Recognition Program 2020 recognised fourteen individuals, four groups and eleven networks. Recipients were rewarded with hampers including products sourced from local producers within the region, nursery vouchers and framed certificates.
Webinar training for Landcare facilitators was delivered in partnership with Goulburn Broken and North Central CMAs. Messaging for Change was conducted by Dr Trudi Ryan, Introduction to Mentoring by Tamara Boyd and Inclusive Leadership by Dr Bree Gorman.
For more information visit www.ccma.vic.gov.au (What we do/Community Landcare) or contact Elisia Dowling on 0418 397 521.
Landcare in East Gippsland continues to adapt to COVID-19. Online meetings are becoming the norm with groups and networks embracing the challenge of new technology. Distance has always been an issue for people involved in Landcare, but evening meetings can now be attended from the comfort of the lounge room.
As restrictions begin to ease groups are focusing again on delivering current projects and planning for the future.
The region was successful in receiving funding for 28 projects across fire impacted areas through the Victorian Government Biodiversity Bushfire Recovery Grants. Projects include engaging school children in rehabilitation works and learning about water quality after fire and on ground works such as weed control, revegetation and fencing. Other projects will monitor ground parrots and provide habitat for the glossy black cockatoo.
For more information visit www.egcma.com.au (What we do/Landcare) or contact Carolyn Cameron on 0419 892 268.
Some late spring rain was a bonus for landholders completing revegetation projects in 2020. COVID-19 restrictions have disrupted many projects as organisation such as Landmate and Conservation Volunteers Australia have been unable to operate. It is a credit to groups who found alternate methods to get the trees in the ground.
Our region’s Landcare facilitators have done a fantastic job in adopting new technology so we can continue our work. They have redesigned training packages, field days and meetings to be accessible on-line. They have also worked on upskilling their Landcare members to be able to connect to these services.
Opportunities have been created by the Victorian Government Working for Victoria program. The CMA’s work crew has assisted landholders with additional revegetation projects including fencing paddock trees. The crews have also partnered with Landcare groups to deliver invasive species control.
For more information visit www.ghcma.vic.gov.au (Get involved/Landcare) or contact Tony Lithgow on 0418 180 996.
Community natural resource management in our region is all about peer learning, sharing ideas and getting works done on the ground. Groups and networks have adapted well to the new online delivery model; however, it is not the same as meeting and working together in person.
Uncertainty around Landcare facilitator roles has caused concern among our networks. A strong partnership approach to planning has seen some potential partnerships arise to address new program directions.
Groups and networks have been providing positive early input into the renewal of the CMA’s Regional Catchment Strategy. This information, along with newly commissioned social research, will guide the future management of our land, water and community and environmental assets over the coming years.
For more information visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au (Community natural resource management) or contact Tony Kubeil on 0408 597 213.
Increased rainfall events provided favourable growing conditions for broad-acre crops covering a large extent of our region in 2020. These positive conditions reinvigorated a number of farming communities across the Mallee, including the Millewa Carwarp region, which has been in significant drought.
According to Annette Lambert from the Millewa-Carwarp Landcare Group conditions have turned around. “The 2020 cropping season has been significant as it marks a turnaround from close to zero crops in the drought conditions of 2019 to good yields. We are not out of the woods by any means as it takes a number of years to recover from extensive drought, but the general community consensus is very positive and optimistic,” Annette said.
Landcare gatherings have been able to recommence cautiously in line with the relevant COVID-19 guidelines.
For more information visit www.malleecma.vic.gov.au (Get involved/Landcare) or contact Nelson Burand-Hicks on 0427 540 468.
Our annual Chicks in the Sticks event for rural women was hosted online in October 2020. It was a joyful event with three exceptional speakers, Rebecca Phillips from Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, Anna Carlile from Viola Design and Katrina Myers from Barham Avocados. The speakers captivated the 40 women who participated and there were lots of opportunities for connection. It was a rainy day and a relief not to be in the paddock.
Landholders and Landcare groups strengthened their partnerships as they co-developed bids for the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program. Our Landcare Team is proud of the quality of the submissions and wishes everyone the best success.
The CMA continues with the renewal of our Regional Catchment Strategy. The draft strategy will be published online and available for public comment in early 2021. Keep up to date with progress at www.nccma.vic.gov.au/regional-catchment-strategy.
For more information visit www.nccma.vic.gov.au (Landcare) or contact Tess Grieves on 0438 357 874.
There’s a lot of new growth in the region and Landcare groups are keen to get active on their projects. A number of groups have conducted socially distanced events where they can, while others have put events on hold and focused on on-ground works.
The CMA has engaged three crews as part of the Victorian Government Working for Victoria program. The crews are based in Wodonga, Omeo and Corryong. The crews will be supporting landholders in the region that have been affected by bushfires as well as supporting other natural resource management groups, Landcare groups, landholders and property owners on their conservation projects.
For more information visit www.necma.vic.gov.au (Solutions/Landcare & community groups) or contact Richard Dalkin on 0409 683 467.
Port Phillip and Western Port
Landcare and other environmental projects are among the beneficiaries of the CMA’s new 44-strong works crew. Supported through the Victorian Government’s Working for Victoria initiative, the crews have been working since December 2020 on a variety of public and private properties. Groups that need a hand can still register an expression of interest for agricultural and environmental teams to help out on weeding or autumn planting projects up until at least April.
We welcome Andrea Clifford, the new Landcare Facilitator for South Gippsland Landcare Network and Chantal Morton as the Landcare Facilitator for Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network.
Landcare networks and other partners have been involved in the production of the Regional Catchment Strategy. A draft document for public exhibition is expected by April 2021.
Recent training opportunities for Landcare volunteers and Landcare facilitators have included an online film and story development course, mental-health first aid, and a two-part webinar series exploring the causes and empowering techniques presented by eco anxiety.
For more information visit www.ppwcma.vic.gov.au/landcare/ or contact Barry Kennedy on 0447 821 559.
Agriculture and Landcare is continuing to go from strength to strength in the region.
Maffra and Districts Landcare Network, with the support of Yarram Yarram Landcare Network, has been supporting farmers through their Wellington Weeds and Pest Animal Control Project. This project uses small grants, training and workshops to help farmers tackle weeds and pest animals in drought affected areas.
Bass Coast Landcare Network and partners have been working on their Bass Coast Climate Project, Growing Southern Gippsland to help farmers adapt to climate change through a new website and case studies.
Landcarers in the region feature on the GippsLandscapes podcast hosted by Gerard Callinan and available on iTunes. Recent episodes feature stories on Coral and Kevin Hughes, Karl and Rachel Russo, Charlie Pinch and Graeme Nicoll.
For more information visit wgcma.vic.gov.au (Getting involved/Landcare) or contact Sam Shannon on 0409 944 114.
2020 was a challenging year for Landcare. Many groups and networks were able to progress their projects due to valuable support from works crews as part of the Working for Victoria program.
The Wimmera Biodiversity Seminar, which has been held annually for 23 years, was able to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions and shift online. The 11 speakers can now be viewed at any time on the SWIFT Vic YouTube channel.
Regular Wimmera Partnerships meetings – involving all Wimmera Landcare facilitators, agency extension officers and other group support personnel – also shifted online and provided an important forum for us to stay connected, share ideas and tackle issues through our regional teamwork approach.
For more information visit www.wcma.vic.gov.au (Get involved/Landcare) or contact Joel Boyd on 0429 949 196.