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Posted on 04 January, 2017 in Events

Landcare NT celebrates its first birthday

Landcare NT celebrates its first birthday

Landcare NT celebrates its first birthday

Landcare NT celebrated its first birthday at its 2nd Annual General Meeting on November 23 2016.  The event coincided with the Territory Natural Resource Management Conference being held in Darwin.

It was a great opportunity for members to meet and catch up on a busy year for landcare.  

Pictured above at the 2016 Annual General Meeting are: (L-R): Liz Bird (CLMA), Camilla Osborn (Treasurer), Andy Vinter (Alice Springs Landcare), Anne Alison (Barkly Landcare), Heather Boulden (Fo Fogg Dam), Estelle Taylor (VRD Conservation Assoc), Jeremy Hemphill (Fo Fogg Dam), Clair O'Brien (Roper River Landcare, Roper rep), Sue McKinnon (Chair), Brent Stevenson (VRD Conservation Assoc), Plaxy Purich (Holtze Landcare, Top End rep) and Anna Boustead (EO).

Members were provided with a copy of the 2015-16 Annual Report, available here .

 At the meeting, the Coordinator of Landcare NT, Anna Boustead said:

"2015-2016 was an exciting time for Landcare NT, with its first year of operation after incorporating in 2015. Since its launch last November the network has grown to 12 members representing 16 Landcare groups working across different landscapes in the Northern Territory.

It was a critical year for setting up the organization so that it would be able to assist landcare groups across the Territory for many years to come, and we are grateful for the ongoing support of the Australian Government which will allow this important work to continue.

I wish to thank the seven members of the voluntary Management Committee, who have all put in a great deal of time and energy during this set-up period to ensure Landcare NT will provide support to its members where it is needed most.

Landcare NT has also contributed to the incorporation of the National Landcare Network, which includes representatives from each of the state and territories.

Landcare NT has been well represented by our committed Chair Sue McKinnon, who is now one of the eight Directors of the National Landcare Network.

The National Landcare Network strongly supports a grassroots approach to representing landcare groups across Australia, and for this reason it has appointed a Members Council consisting of several representatives from each state and territory to provide in-depth advice and support.

Our Treasurer, Camilla Osborn and myself are both privileged to be a part of this Members Council, and it has been very useful learning from the experience of landcarers in other states and territories.

It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know the different landcare groups since I started in this position back in May.

During September, Landcare Week provided a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the great work groups across the Territory were doing.

Landcare NT took to the road to attend the Barkly Landcare and Conservation Association’s Field Day at Newcastle Waters Station and meet the Roper River Landcare Group and Mangarrayi Rangers at Mataranka. Later that week, it supported the Bushcare Major Day Out hosted by McMinns Lagoon Reserve Association which was a fantastic family event bringing together many individuals and organizations who care about protecting local wildlife and their habitat. During the bird walk and talk I counted over 2000 birds at the lagoon, which has been rehabilitated for the past 50 years after being completely cleared.

Landcare Week demonstrated the great diversity and range of different landcare groups across the NT, whether they be working in a park or reserve, or in an urban, rural or remote setting. Each group is facing their own set of challenges and opportunities in getting together to look after their local environment; but it is clear that Landcare itself has significantly evolved from its days of planting trees on farms in Victoria to reduce saline soils. It has become a diverse movement of people seeking to improve the natural environment in complex and strategic ways at a time when pressures on biodiversity, soil health and the climate often seem immense.

An example is the Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare Group, who have been busy rehabilitating an area of the reserve to attract the return of the Atlas Moth, once common in the area. The group have found that despite battling the constant pressure from weeds and unseasonal fires, their hard work has resulted in a number of unexpected benefits. The once hot and barren site is now cool and shady; many birds now inhabit the area and wallabies have returned to graze on the new grasses now that the once chest high weeds were removed.

Landcare is something we can all do and all take part in, to have a real impact in improving the health of the environment and the Territory’s working landscapes for future generations."

Chair Sue McKinnon reflected that: 

"This year we have continued to focus on finalizing the establishment of Landcare NT as a fully operational community organization representing landcare groups across the Territory.

Landcare NT has continued to support the formal incorporation of the National Landcare Network (NLN), which consists of representatives from each of the state and territory landcare networks including Landcare NT. I am proud to represent the NT in my capacity as a Director of NLN and to learn from the experiences of well-established landcare networks such as those in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

On 26 September the NLN Chair Terry Hubbard and CEO Jim Adams, met with the new Federal Environment and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, to confirm funding to the NLN which was previously committed by former Environment Minister Greg Hunt prior to the Federal election.

Landcare NT is pleased to have recently finalised an agreement with NLN to provide funding to June 2018, which will provide groups with some certainty going forward. Under the agreement Landcare NT will receive $190,000 funding from the Australian Government over a two year period through the National Landcare Network. These funds will provide for Landcare NT’s basic operations at 3 days a week as well as some support for landcare open days, advocacy, consultation and contributing to decision-making at the national level through the NLN.

Landcare NT is partnering with other organisations, such as Territory NRM, Greening Australia, Environment Centre NT, Parks and Wildlife NT and Conservation Volunteers to engage more people in caring for their local environment. To this end, Landcare NT is proud to support the TNRM 2015 and 2016 Conferences, which are an important forum for landcarers and other natural resource managers across the Territory to share their diverse skills and knowledge.

With input from its members, Landcare NT produced a Policy Position Paper prior to the NT elections held in August 2016. Landcare NT will continue to advocate on behalf of its members to improve avenues of support and resources for landcare groups, along with better support for natural resource management and conservation in general." 

Landcare NT has established a working Policies and Procedures Manual and is now managing its finances independently of the National Landcare Network with the assistance of its Finance Officer, Brian Board. We thank Brian for assisting us in this process.

I commend our Executive Officer, Anna Boustead, for her commitment to establishing and strengthening Landcare NT’s role as the peak Landcare network in the Northern Territory.

Thank you to my fellow Committee Members for your patience, input and going above and beyond in your continuing commitment to Landcare NT."

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