An intrepid success

Environmentally-minded young people from across Gippsland congregated at Wilsons Prom last weekend as part of Victoria’s first Intrepid Landcare Retreat.

Kathleen Brack, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s Regional Landcare Project Officer, said the retreat brought together 20 young people to hike, work with the ‘Friends of the Prom’ and participate in activities to inspire and empower them to take further work in the Landcare space.

“We had a great group from all of Gippsland including Yarram, Sale, the Latrobe valley, Phillip Island, Inverloch, Mirboo North, Moe and Leongatha” said Kathleen.

“We even had several people come from outside Gippsland.

“There is a lot of talk that Landcare needs to connect with young people to ensure the movement continues for years to come, and to do this we need to make sure Landcare is relevant, accessible and appealing.

“This retreat brought incredibly bright and passionate people together and worked through tools to help them step up and lead on issues that are important to them and the local community.

“They learnt more about Landcare and how it can be a critical way of harnessing the community to get stuff done.”

Participants experienced a cultural hike lead by Parks Ranger Luke Johnson, environmental activities with the Friends of the Prom, and sunrise Oberon walk, combined with unique self-discovery and leadership training which will contribute to their growth as local leaders in the environment space.

Attendees were also supported by a range of mentors including Gippsland Unwrapped’s Tammy Logan, long-time Landcare legend Paul Speirs, South Gippsland Landcare Network’s Jill Vella and West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s Tanya Cowell.

Although the retreat was the first of its kind in Victoria, it is one of a series of Intrepid Retreats that have been run across the country in partnership with over 40 different groups and organisations.

“It is an awesome way to bring like-minded young people together around purpose,” explains co-founder of Intrepid Landcare Megan Rowlatt.

“We now have six other Intrepid Landcare networks across four states and territories driving change.”

“Intrepid Landcare projects provide an outlet for young people to have outdoor adventures and give something back to the local environment at the same time, and they get to create what this looks like.”

“Landcare is underrated as a volunteer opportunity, I can’t explain how rewarding the journey has been for our volunteers. There’s no better way to give back and meet new people if nature is your thing.”

Intrepid Landcare is a program that aims to connect people between the ages of 18 to 35 to Landcare by running events that appeal and inspire this age-group.

This Retreat was hosted by West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority with support from Victorian Landcare Program, Farms Trees and Landcare Association, Victorian Landcare Council, Bass Coast Landcare Network, South Gippsland Landcare Network, Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network and Yarram Yarram Landcare Network.