Victorian Landcare Magazine - Summer 2023-24, Issue 86

From the Minister

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hi res headshot DIMOPOULOS STEVE 59

As the Minister for Environment, I’m thrilled to continue to support organisations like Landcare as we work together to protect and preserve our beloved natural environment.

It takes a group of highly skilled and energetic Landcare facilitators to ensure that Landcare and environmental volunteer groups are operating at their best. This magazine issue celebrates the work of those in Landcare support roles, who are the backbone of our Landcare and environmental volunteer groups and networks.

These stories about Landcare facilitators, coordinators, project officers and other support roles are deeply inspiring. The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) provides funding for 80 part-time Landcare facilitator positions through its Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program. These Landcare facilitators support more than 700 Landcare and environmental volunteering groups and networks across Victoria, to build their capacity and resilience and support work to protect, enhance, and restore our land and natural environment.

Mallee Landcare facilitator Marissa Shean tells us how new technologies including online and virtual meeting platforms are upskilling and empowering Landcare facilitators. These platforms have helped her to collaborate, chat and participate in webinars and training that she would have otherwise had to travel long distances away from the farm and family to attend.

Sue Pretty, also from the Mallee, coordinates the Kooloonong-Natya Landcare Group. Sue says that although her group has a small membership, it has a big appetite for conservation. She believes Landcare has a critical role in rural communities providing social support and emergency responses. The recent flooding in the area is a focus of her current work.

The Bass Coast Landcare Network (BCLN) is one of Victoria’s most successful Landcare networks. Dave Bateman, BCLN’s Executive General Manager and Landcare Facilitator, joined the organisation as a Project Officer in 2007 and has played a major role in its growth and development. Dave finds BCLN a rewarding workplace full of passionate people who care about what they do.

The spotlight is also put on Volunteering Victoria – the state’s peak body for volunteering – focusing on advocacy, sector development and the promotion of volunteering. Volunteering Victoria runs training and workshops and provides opportunities for networking support and mentoring for facilitators and others who work with volunteers.

Ultimately, the consensus is that working for Landcare is about people and relationships as much as it is about the environment. Having visited some Landcare groups myself, I have seen firsthand the sense of community and support Landcare is able to create. Landcare has the unique ability to unite local communities in both caring for the land and caring for each other.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers that work with Landcare and make it so special. I would particularly like to thank the Landcare facilitators who are steering, educating, and supporting each local Landcare group. Your work is invaluable, in preserving our wonderful land but also in assisting local groups to achieve their own goals.

For those interested to find out more about our review of the outstanding Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program, visit the Engage Vic website.

Thank you again to all our Landcare facilitators, and I am excited to see more of your work into the future.

The Hon. Steve Dimopoulos MP
Minister for Environment
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events
Minister for Outdoor Recreation



2024 Victorian Landcare Grants

The Victorian Government has provided $3.55 million funding for the 2024 Victorian Landcare Gants to enable Landcare and environmental volunteer groups/networks to undertake on-ground works, education, and capacity building projects that protect, enhance, and restore our land and natural environment.

Project Grants: up to $20,000 for on-ground works, capability building activities, community education and engagement that protects or improves
our natural environment such as native vegetation, native fauna, waterways, wetlands, and soils.

Support Grants: up to $500 to assist groups/networks with costs such as insurance, incorporation and operational needs, or meetings and events or newsletters, websites and other communication.

Eligibility: open to all Victorian Landcare and environmental volunteer groups and networks that are community-based and have a focus on on-ground land and natural environment improvement work. This includes Landcare groups/networks, Friends of groups, Conservation Management Networks, Committees of Management, Coastcare groups and Aboriginal groups and organisations working on Country.

Applications close: 5pm Tuesday 30 April 2024

More information:

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