Local Leaders | Goulburn-Yass Landcare: What exactly are Landcare groups?

Welcome to a new column that will be focusing on Landcare around the region. To get started I thought it might be appropriate to start with an introduction.

Mary Bonet

Mary Bonet

What is Landcare? Landcare is a highly successful volunteer grassroots movement that harnesses individuals and groups to protect, restore and sustainably manage Australia’s natural environment and its productivity. It was established nearly 30 years ago when a group of farming neighbours in Victoria recognised that they could be more effective if they addressed common natural resource management concerns together.

Landcare quickly became a national movement with the historic  alliance of the National Farmers Federation (Nick Farley) and the Australian Conservation Foundation (Philip Toyne) and the then Prime Minister Bob Hawke championing the 80’s as the decade of Landcare, with a huge investment into a National Landcare Program. There are now thousands of Landcare groups that have formed around Australia and even spread internationally, all based on this simple idea: people organising to come together to discuss shared land management issues, and to design and implement practical solutions to address them. People see results and want to be part of it. Locally there are around 30 groups in the Goulburn/Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan and Yass Valley that include farming and grazing groups, Aboriginal groups, schools and universities, volunteers working on local reserves, bushcare,  rivercare, soilcare, feral fighters, and community nurseries. No two groups are the same, and there is Landcare group or activity for everyone.

This column will focus on Local Landcare issues, identities and events in our region.