Above: Port Phillip and Westernport CMA Landcare Network Leaders Forum held in November 2017.
Aboriginal Landcare Facilitator
Since joining the Victorian Landcare Team I have travelled to various locations around the state meeting with the Regional Landcare Coordinators to develop a plan for a stronger Aboriginal presence in Landcare.
I have also been working closely with Aboriginal Victoria (AV) to build a partnership between the Victorian Landcare Program and AV, which has led
to the establishment of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage guidelines for the Victorian Landcare Grants 2018/19.
My goal is to ensure all Landcare groups and networks understand their roles and responsibilities under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
The journey towards understanding Aboriginal culture took a further step forward recently when the West Gippsland CMA held stage one of cultural heritage training. This three-stage program works with the region’s Traditional Owners to provide a hands-on approach to Aboriginal cultural competency, which gradually introduces staff into the world of Victorian Traditional Owners.
For further information: contact Jackson Chatfield on 0419 504 541.
2018 brought some challenges for Landcare in the Heytesbury community, with many landholders impacted by the severe bush fires across the south west in March. The resilience, courage and commitment of the landholders impacted by the fires and their ability to pull together in time of need is admirable.
The Heytesbury Landcare Network has been coordinating support and on-farm educational events to help with fire recovery, in partnership with local shires, state government and the CMA.
The Landcare Victoria Inc. forum held on the Bellarine Peninsula in May saw 50 delegates from across the state come together to learn from and with their peers. Thanks to the Bellarine Landcare and Coastcare community for supporting the forum.
A heartfelt farewell to Regional Landcare Coordinator, Tracey McRae. Please see the story on page 24.
For further information: visit www.ccma.vic.gov.au/what-we-do/community/landcare.aspx or contact Bret Ryan on 0433 569 972.
Drier weather conditions early in the season have challenged many Landcare projects. Groups have risen to the occasion and are adapting projects to the changing conditions, including spending additional hours hand watering plants to ensure their survival.
An online mapping tool has been developed to assist groups with project management. The tool will allow the groups to map their planned works at the application stage of the project as well as at completion. A training session will be held to explain this easy-to-use and timesaving tool.
Social media training sessions were run recently to teach volunteers tips and strategies for generating attention through using different social media platforms.
For further information: visit www.egcma.com.au/what-we-do/316/ or contact Carolyn Cameron on 5150 3582.
The region’s Landcare groups have commissioned, sponsored or conducted many innovative projects. Some of the recent activities include biochar trials being undertaken by the Tarragal Landcare Group. Biochar is showing promise as a soil conditioner.
The Upper Hopkins Land Management Group has been promoting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) trials in the Willaura area. IPM uses biological trials to control pests in pasture and crops, which reduces the use of chemicals.
The Beyond Bolac Catchment Action Groups have successfully applied for a grant to survey landholders in their area to inform their strategic plan.
For more information: visit www.ghcma.vic.gov.au/get-involved/landcare-and-grants/ or contact Tony Lithgow on 5571 2526.
The first half of 2018 has been very busy with some great sustainable farming events held. More than 40 landholders attended a workshop on farm water requirements and the use of technology to make delivery systems more efficient.
With thanks to the groups and networks of the region we have managed to generate another impressive Community NRM Report Card that demonstrates the great work being done in the region. Go to www.gbcma.vic.gov.au and search under report card. The report shows that for every $1 invested our groups and networks are returning $2.19 in on-ground works, in-kind contributions and cash.
The CMA recently partnered with Justice Connect to deliver organisational governance health checks for volunteers. It was great to see groups from the North Central and North East CMA regions attending, as well as locals.
Implementation of the 2017/18 Victorian Landcare Grants is in full swing with many great initiatives including Kids Teaching Kids, Brush’em off Blackberries, Bush Kinder and Living the Good Life community projects.
For further information: visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au/community_natural_resource_management or contact Tony Kubeil on 5761 1619.
Interest in Landcare is growing once again in the Sunraysia region with a number of communities enquiring about forming new groups.
Local waterways and the impacts of invasive species such as feral cats and foxes have been hot topics. Many people are concerned with the high levels of destruction of fresh water turtle nests and the numbers of cats and foxes seen in the region.
Revegetation projects in the dryland regions had to be monitored closely over summer for moisture stress as sub soil moisture levels were low. A wet winter will take the pressure off and help set us up for what we hope will be a good spring.
Kevin Chaplin has sadly left the role of Regional Landcare Coordinator for the Mallee. Please see the story on page 24.
For further information: visit www.malleecma.vic.gov.au/about-us/programs/community/landcare.html or contact Marissa Shean on 0409 615 846.
The 2018 Future Farming Expo kicked off our regional Landcare events for the year. Held in partnership with the Wimmera CMA, the event attracted more than 120 participants – a mix of farmers, agricultural industry support staff and Landcare volunteers. The expo focused on future proofing farm businesses, weather and climate outlooks, and chemical and pest resistance in cropping systems. We look forward to progressing ideas generated from the expo.
Updating the regional Landcare Support Plan will be a priority in the coming months, along with chemical users training and social media workshops for Landcare members.
Grant writing and applications for biodiversity projects are also underway. Congratulations to Kyneton resident Melissa Connors on winning the prestigious 2018 Victorian AgriFuturesTM Rural Women’s Award.
For more information visit www.nccma.vic.gov.au/landcare or contact Tess Grieves on 5440 1890.
The region’s Landcare and community groups have been busy submitting project applications for the 2018/19 Victorian Landcare Grants. Many groups are preparing for major activities in spring and summer to implement their 2017/18 Victorian Landcare Grants projects.
The Mitta 2 Murray Blackberry Action Group recently achieved a great result with their partnership program in biological controls for blackberry.
The Group has been working with Dr Raelene Kwong, Senior Research Scientist with DEDJTR, to try to source more biocontrol agents, with additional support gained from the CSIRO to enable Dr Kwong to travel to France for further research on priority agents.
Over 80 people from across the region attended the 2018 North East Victoria Water Forum in Wodonga in March. The forum covered the future of water in a changing climate, with a broad range of speakers providing localised information. See YouTube below.
For more information: visit www.necma.vic.gov.au/solutions/landcare-community-groups or contact Tom Croft on 02 6043 7648.
Port Phillip and Western Port
Landcare network leaders and Landcare facilitators came together recently in respective regional forums where they were provided with updates on the Victorian Landcare Program, Landcare Victoria Incorporated, Melbourne Water’s Healthy Waterways Strategy and the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning (BRP) process.
The CMA then called for and collated the BRP biodiversity priorities as provided by Landcare networks across the region. These were fed into the working group for the Port Phillip – Western Port BRP Area. Bruce Boddington from NatureWest and Dave Bateman from the Bass Coast Landcare Network added Landcare network voices to the working group. As a result, several networks have been involved in the preparation of biodiversity projects to help implement Biodiversity 2037, the biodiversity plan for Victoria.
Many Landcare groups and networks were also involved in developing funding proposals for the Australian Government’s Smart Farming Partnerships and National Landcare Program Phase 2.
For more information: visit www.ppwcma.vic.gov.au/landcare/ or contact Doug Evans on 8781 7920.
Autumn has seen a flurry of Landcare activity and events in the region. A new Landcare group has formed around Delburn and the Glengarry Landcare Group has been reactivated.
Maffra and District Landcare Network hosted a pasture to pocket workshop where attendees learnt how to plan, develop and manage their property for maximum efficiency and returns. Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network ran an introduction to soil health workshop in Glengarry.
The Yarram Yarram Landcare Network hosted a workshop looking at drones and how they can be used for monitoring Landcare projects. The Bass Coast Landcare Network coordinated bird monitoring with Dallas Wyatt and the Anderson Inlet, Korumburra, Wonthaggi Urban, Bass Valley and 3 Creeks Landcare groups.
The South Gippsland Landcare Network welcomes Kate McKenzie back from maternity leave. Jill Vella will remain in a Project Officer role.
For more information: visit www.wgcma.vic.gov.au/getting-involved/landcare or contact Kathleen Brack on 1300 094 262.
Landcarers gathered at Horsham Town Hall in March for the second annual Celebrating Landcare and National Harmony Day. This year featured the award-winning nature writer Tim Low as well as nature sound recordist Andrew Skeoch, and wildlife art by the late Sue McInnes.
Harmony Day is quickly establishing itself as a showcase event on the Wimmera Landcare calendar.
Hindmarsh Landcare Network has released a short film celebrating 20 years of Project Hindmarsh community tree planting events. This year’s event will take place from 6–8 July at Kaniva. Go to the Wimmera CMA’s website to view the film and find out about the next planting event.
A short film has also been produced recently celebrating community connections to Lake Albacutya. The Friends of Lake Albacutya hosted a screening of the film on the edge of the lake. Thanks to everyone who was involved in making the film, as well as the broader Rainbow community for its ongoing efforts in protecting this important lake.
For further information: visit www.wcma.vic.gov.au/get-involved/landcare or contact Joel Boyd on 5382 9919.