Landcare celebrates 30 years at SA event

The Landcare Association of South Australia (LASA) celebrated twice over at the 2019 State Community Landcare Conference and Awards held last week in Bordertown.

Winner of the Australian Government Partnerships for Landcare Award was the McLaren Vale Biodiversity Project (MVBP)*

This year marks 30 years since the Landcare movement officially began, when the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Conservation Foundation joined forces to successfully lobby the Australian Government to commit itself to the emerging movement. And it also marks the 20th year since LASA was established as the peak community Landcare organisation in SA.

DEW and the South East, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, SA Murray Darling Basin, Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management (NRM) boards worked with LASA, PIRSA and community groups to help organise and support the conference alongside other sponsors.

DEW and the NRM boards were a major sponsor of the event, which included supporting individuals from remote communities to attend.

The biennial conference focused on the theme of ‘Landcare unearthed – Celebrating Diversity, Managing Landscapes’, with Broken Hill pastoralist Anika Molesworth keeping delegates enthralled as a keynote speaker.

As a Farmers for Climate Action Director, Anika is a passionate advocate for sustainable farming, environmental conservation and climate change action.

She spoke about the group’s work in putting farmers on the front line of climate change, and the action they have taken in sharing the story of agriculture, through organisations such as TEDx, speaking with the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry, meeting Former United States Secretary of State John Kerry as well as recent meetings with Australian Government Ministers and MPs.

As part of the awards, nine groups and individuals received recognition for their efforts in Landcare, with DEW and NRM Boards working with and supporting a number of the 2019 award winners and nominees.

Major category winners included:

  • Indigenous Land Management Award – Maralinga Tjarutja Lands, Oak Valley Community
  • Australian Government Partnerships for Landcare Award – McLaren Vale Biodiversity Project
  • Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management Award – SA No-Till Farmers Association
  • Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award – Barmera Primary School Young Environment Leaders
  • Virgin Coastcare Award – Taperoo Dunes Group
  • Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award – Youth And Community in Conservation Action
  • Australian Government Landcare Farming Award – Barossa Grape and Wine Association
  • Australian Community Media Landcare Community Group Award – Kersbrook Landcare Group
  • Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award – Trevor Waldhuter, The Barossa Bushgardens 

Winners of the National Award categories will go on to represent SA at the 2020 National Landcare Awards in Sydney.

Altogether about 200 delegates attended the event and the awards dinner, with many DEW staff, NRM board members and regional staff from across the state attending the conference as participants, speakers, facilitators and organisers.

There was also excellent representation from Aboriginal communities, who made up a third of delegates, as well as community members, non-government organisations and DEW’s partner organisations.

The local Tatiara-Bordertown community were also strongly involved in the event, providing all of the catering, as well as participating in exhibitions at the local Art Gallery, an outside digital art installation and a Landcare Youth Art competition – which local preschool to high school students entered. 

Members of the Unearthing Change panel session, Enabling Change’s Les Robinson, Yaran Business Services Director Rick Callaghan, Alexandra & Associates Managing Director Jason Alexandra, Youth Environmental Leader Lu-Wei Spinks, Tatiara Region Community Development’s Tracey Grosser, South East NRM Board’s Fiona Rasheed, Farmers for Climate Action Director Anika Molesworth and facilitator Becky Hirst Consulting’s Becky Hirst
Farmers for Climate Action Director Anika Molesworth addresses delegates

A local Aboriginal family performed the smoking ceremony, pictured at front is Doug Nicholls

*MVBP Joint Founder and Property & Advisory Pty Ltd Managing Director Geoff Hayter, Natural Resources AMLR McLaren Vale District Officer and MVBP Advisory Support Dana Miles, MVBP steering committee member and Paxton Wines Operations Manager Ben Paxton, MVBP Joint Founder and Treasurer and Chalk Hill Winemaker and Viticulture Manager Jock Harvey and Natural Resources AMLR Fleurieu Peninsula Sustainable Agriculture Officer Jeff Edwards. Photo provided courtesy of Paul Heck