Front line Landcare workers re-charge batteries

With so much of their work based around after-hours meetings and working with landholders on their properties, the prospect of getting 18 Landcare facilitators from across the Gippsland region in one room for two days to discuss their work is a pretty exciting one. 

A grant from the Victorian Government allowed the group to meet recently to discuss a range of topics from mental health to the summer’s bushfires and the ongoing challenges of maintaining enthusiasm and recruiting new members to Landcare. 

“Just getting to sit in a room with colleagues, hear what they do and how they do it and share some ideas is a really useful thing to be able to do,” said Latrobe Landcare Facilitator, Marnie Ellis. 

“So much of our work is done in isolation from colleagues, hearing how a Network from the other end of Gippsland has been working, meeting challenges, finding novel ways to overcome those challenges, helps us all to reset, plan and work with our communities with more enthusiasm and a sense that we have a team of colleagues who can offer us some support if we need it,” added Marnie. 

While discussion included updates on programs such as the restoration of sea-grasses in Corner Inlet, East Gippsland’s Wild Dog Fence project and urban Landcare, one of the key issues to arise was the recent bushfires and how the Landcare staff from west Gippsland can assist their colleague sin East Gippsland during the recovery process. 

“Obviously these fires have been devastating for individuals, communities and the environment,” said Marnie. 

“Moving forward there is a stronger sense that the two regions will work even more closely together in terms of support and practical assistance where possible. 

Landcare in East Gipspland will be a major tool for individuals to get back into their local environment which has been so affected by these fires, as well as re-connect with neighbours and community members” concluded Marnie. 

East Gippsland Landcare Facilitator, Erin Weir said the opportunity to meet with colleagues doing similar work in different environments was a major outcome from the workshop. 

“Getting together with all the Landcare facilitators was a great way to share ideas and learn from each other. There was incredible amount of diverse knowledge in the room and it was fantastic to learn and ask questions to other facilitators. 

Moving forward and with an eye to the effort that will be needed as part of the bushfire recovery in East Gippsland, Erin says the workshop has provided both inspiration and increased knowledge.  

I took away new project ideas and methods of which I may be able to use to deliver projects more efficiently. It was also fascinating to learn about the diverse range of project that are driven by our community across the two catchments.”  

Landcare is active in all parts of GippslandMembers of the community who are interested in finding out more about Landcare in their area can contact their local catchment management authority in Bairnsdale on 5152 0600 and Traralgon on 1300 094 262 .

Published Friday 13th March 2020

Landcare Facilitators gather in East Gippsland