The Border region was on show this week when 350 people attended the Landcare – Local Land Services annual conference in Albury.
Across three days, delegates had the chance to hear and discuss key issues around land management as well as visit key regional success stories – Burrumbuttock’s Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre, Woomargama Station, Wonga Wetlands and Lake Hume.
“The national conference is about learning, sharing stories, talking to each other, looking at what Landcare does,” state Landcare coordinator Sonia Williams said.
“The local success stories, and the partnerships that those stories are showing, were terrific to see what’s working and why it’s working.”
The champions of Landcare in NSW were recognised as part of the conference dinner.
Some of the most competitive categories were; the Junior Landcare Team Award, with Armidale High School Black Creek BushCare group taking the top spot, the Austcover Young Landcare Leader Award has gone to Sophie Robertson of Hunter Intrepid Landcare and the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award has been awarded to David Marsh from Boorowa Community Landcare.
The categories of this year’s awards recognise work in a number of areas, including sustainable farming, Indigenous land management, Coastcare, innovation and protection of fish habitat.
Three champions are celebrated in each category with one being announced as the grand champion and NSW’s representative at the National Landcare Awards in 2018.
“The awards are an amazing opportunity for us to say thank you to the boys, girls, men and women, who from all walks of life give their time to protect our country and its people”, NSW Landcare program manager with Local Land Services Chris McCulloch said.
“Landcare is so diverse in NSW, it has strength in its flexibility, dedication and especially in its people power. These awards are a way for the whole community to celebrate its champions.”
Landcare NSW chair Rob Dulhunty said the awards showed how Landcarers across NSW were using their skill, ingenuity and commitment to protect the environment and fundamentally change the way we view and use the natural resources..
"The awards show Landcare’s unique strength in achieving innovation and collaboration. I warmly congratulate all winners and nominees,” he said.
The NSW Landcare Awards are supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, NSW Government, Landcare NSW and Landcare Australia.
The Awards this year featured nine national categories with the addition of a fish habitat protection category specific to NSW.
2017 Award Champions:
Junior Landcare Team Award
- Chifley Public School
- Bourke High School – Yarra Landcare
- Nominee to National Awards: Armidale High School Black Creek BushCare group
Austcover Young Landcare Leader Award
- Joshua Gilbert – Intrepid Landcare
- Jade Paton – Wetland Warriors
- Nominee to National Awards: Sophie Robertson – Hunter Intrepid Landcare
Fairfax Landcare Community Group Award
- Northside Enterprise Inc. – Bushlink
- The Habitat
- Nominee to National Awards: FROGS Landcare Inc
Rio Tinto Indigenous Land Management Award
- Bangerang Aboriginal Corporation
- Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Aboriginal Reference Group
- Nominee to National Awards: Garguaree Swampcare
Sure Gro Coastcare Award
- Far South Coast Landcare Association
- Fingal Head Coastcare Inc.
- Nominee to National Awards: Clean4Shore
Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture and Land Management Award
- Braidwood Garlic Growers Group
- Beechwood Biological Solutions
- Nominee to National Awards: Kadwell Potato Co.
Australian Government Excellence in Sustainable Farm Practices Award
- The Mulloon Institute
- Small Farms Network – Capital Region
- Nominee to National Awards: Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc.
Australian Government Partnerships for Landcare Award
- Western Landcare NSW
- Wallamore Road Landcare Group
- Nominee to National Awards: Gwydir Shire Council
Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award
- Lloyd Foster – Coffs Harbour Bushland Regeneration Group
- Mikla Lewis – Lachlandcare
- Nominee to National Awards: David Marsh - Boorowa Community Landcare
NSW Fish Habitat Partnership Organisation Award
- Runner Up: Little River Landcare
- Champion: Inland Waterways Volunteer Committee
NSW Fish Habitat Partnership Individual Award
- Runner Up: Alan Izzard - Bass Sydney
- Champion: Ross Webster - Yass River
NSW Fish Habitat Partnership Highly Commended for Collaboration
- Murray Local Land Services
NSW Fish Habitat Partnership Highly Commended for Innovation
- Shoalhaven Riverwatch