Above Tom Croft tackles some Landcare work at home in March 2020.
It’s time for me to retire. I’ve seen many changes in my 25 years of Landcare in the North East. For the past 18 years I have been the Regional Landcare Coordinator with the North East CMA.
It has been a privilege to work with so many passionate and committed people in the natural resource management sector, particularly Landcarers who put so much volunteer time into their community and environment.
I have watched Landcare move from being a great idea in Victoria to a national program, a recognised environmental ethic and ultimately a global movement. Landcare has been a consistent educator, sharing knowledge broadly all this time.
What started as a way for farmers to protect soils, increase shade, shelter and productivity has expanded to include biodiversity, schools, lifestylers, coastal and urban communities, sustainability, equine groups, Intrepid Landcare, Friends groups and much more.
However, in many ways Landcare hasn’t changed. Groups have always been a collection of committed local people working together to address important issues. This remains the core basis and greatest strength of Landcare.
My only criticism of Landcare groups has been the tendency to not tell their story, or completely undersell their achievements. This is thankfully changing with increasing use of social media, but more is always needed.
I may be retiring from the CMA but doubt I will be retiring from Landcare activity. Thank you to everyone I have worked for and with. I have learnt so much and hope to be able to continue to share some of this. It has been a privilege and a pleasure.