2019 Landcare Award Winners

The recent 2019 Victorian Landcare Awards attracted 73 nominations over 15 award categories, highlighting the amazing work of Landcare’s environmental volunteers.

These awards celebrate their efforts to protect Victoria’s land, water and biodiversity

In 2018-19 alone,  Landcare and other environmental volunteers contributed nearly  670,000 hours to improve Victoria’s environment,  which is  valued at almost $20 million dollars.   

The nine Victorian winners of the National Award categories will go on to represent Victoria at the Australian Landcare Awards in 2020.

The winners included:

Victorian categories:

Joan Kirner Landcare Award

Winner: Lanie Pearce, Goulburn Murray Landcare Network

Lanie Pearce, who has been involved in Landcare for around 20 years, is the Community Education Coordinator for the Goulburn Murray Landcare Network (GMLN).  She received the award for delivering quality environmental education to both children and adults across the region.

Landcare Network Award

Winner: Bass Coast Landcare Network

The Bass Coast Landcare Network (BCLN) is affiliated with 10 Landcare groups in South Gippsland.

This network has involved more than 80 per cent of local landholders in Landcare activities. Over the past 10 years BCLN groups have planted more than 2 million indigenous plants.

The network holds sustainable agriculture field days each year, runs training workshops and courses, and supports farmer discussion groups.

VFF/Landcare Victoria Inc. Heather Mitchell Memorial Fellowship Award

Winner: Belinda Brennan

Belinda Brennan has been involved in Landcare at the local, state, national and international levels for the past 30 years, working in both Western Australia and Victoria.

Currently the Partnerships and Engagement Team Leader at West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Belinda has been awarded for her work establishing the first Landcare Network Fund that can accept tax-deductible donations. She is also supporting other Landcare Networks to do the same.

Dr. Sidney Plowman Travel and Study Award

Winner: Tony Gardner

Tony Gardner is currently the Partnerships and Engagement Programs Coordinator for the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and is committed to sustainable agriculture.

Through the South Gippsland Landcare Network, he has helped farmers fence and revegetate eroded gullies and landslips in the Strzelecki Hills. He has also worked to address soil acidification.

Tony’s leadership has left a positive legacy that will benefit agricultural production and natural resources in West Gippsland for years to come.

Urban Landcare Award

Winner: Wodonga Urban Landcare Network Inc

The Wodonga Urban Landcare Network (WULN) links stewardship groups together to achieve a bio-diverse, connected and sustainable landscape.

WULN supports Landcare projects like the local rail trail, Bhutanese community farm, native nursery and turtle protection. Its Friends of the Nest Box Network is helping to protect the threatened squirrel glider, with more than 600 nest boxes registered with WULN. It’s a great example of citizen science at work.

Environmental Volunteer Award

Winner: Jallukar Landcare Group

The Jallukar Landcare Group (JLG) has made revegetation a priority, planting corridors of trees that link the Grampians to the Pyrenees. The group has also tackled rabbit baiting, weed control and advocates for its local landscape.

The group’s Jallukar Native Grasslands Project aims to save native grasslands. The members grow indigenous seed in their nursery and use the seedlings to restore the grasslands. They’ve done a great job of building community capacity for the benefit of local flora and fauna.

National categories

Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award

Winner: John Pye

John Pye has supported Landcare and the wider rural community for over 36 years.

He’s played an important role in the Project Platypus Landcare Network, which supports 11 Landcare groups in the Upper Wimmera catchment area. Since 1994, the network has planted 1.1 million trees, treated 20,000 hectares for invasive flora and fauna and protected 1,200 hectares of remnant vegetation.

He has also secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding for Project Platypus.

Australian Government Partnerships for Landcare Award

Winner: Australian Landcare International

For over a decade, Australian Landcare International (ALI) has promoted Landcare’s philosophy overseas with great results.

ALI was launched in 2008 to promote and support Landcare projects and networks that now operate in around 25 nations. The success is down to government initiative, global NGO support and ALI working with existing community workers.

Australian Government Landcare Farming Award

Winner: Fraser Pogue

Irrigated cropper Fraser Pogue uses sustainable farm practices on his Ardmona farm.

His current farming system involves growing irrigated corn, wheat and legume-cereal mixes in rotation with multi-species cover crops and zero-tillage to maintain ground cover all year. This increases the diversity of plants and soil biology on his paddocks.

Always trying something new, he has recently re-introduced cattle onto his property to help manage high stubble loads.

Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture Land Management Award

Winner: Cundare Duverney Landcare Group

Cundare Duverney Landcare Group celebrates 25 years of Landcare this year. Over that time, the group has participated in revegetation, weed control and waterway protection.

It has 180 members who farm over 200,000 hectares. To improve soil health in the area, the group trialled the practice of stubble incorporation, with added nutrients, in 2017, improving the soil’s condition and mitigating greenhouse gases.

Since then, 14 more landowners in the area have trialled the practice, with several others implementing it on a paddock level. The group has also had a recent spike in young membership.

Virgin Coastcare Award

Winners: Victorian Wader Study Group

For decades, the Victorian Wader Study Group’s (VWSG) volunteers have collected vital data that contributes to conserve migratory waders internationally. They’ve used the very demanding cannon-netting technique to capture the migrant and resident waders for more than 20 years, consistently meeting their annual field work targets.

The group’s research has revealed a severe decline in migratory bird populations travelling to South Korea due to habitat loss. This information helps to build a case for protecting wader habitat here and internationally.

Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award

Winner: Gippsland Intrepid Landcare

Gippsland Intrepid Landcare is inspiring the next generation of Landcare leaders, attracting over 300 young volunteers.

Nearly all its members had no experience with Landcare prior to joining the group. But in two years, they have planted more than 10,000 trees and removed 34 kilograms of marine debris at Phillip Island.

Gippsland Intrepid Landcare’s activities have included a ‘plant and dance’ event and an environmental film night. It has 1,400 Facebook and Instagram followers and is succeeding in attracting the next generation of Landcarers.

Australian Community Media Landcare Community Group Award

Winner: Malmsbury District Landcare Group

Since 2009, the Malmsbury District Landcare Group (MDLG) has planted over 26,000 indigenous trees and shrubs and secured $200,000 in grant funding.

It always has projects on the go that are open to the community, keeping Landcare principles alive in the public eye.

Their work has been covered by TV and local papers. A social media campaign is being developed, starring the wildlife of Malmsbury, photographed during its project survey work.

Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award

Winner: Newham Primary School

With just 140 students and eight staff, Newham Primary School is achieving great results with its environmental and sustainability programs.

Students have planted indigenous vegetation along a tributary of Deep Creek that abuts the school, creating a nature corridor for local wildlife that connects with the Cobaw Biolink. They’ve also designed and built a wetland to provide an alternative breeding ground for frogs which 10 southern brown tree frogs now call home.

Indigenous Land Management Award

Winners: Woka Walla Land Management Crew

Woka Walla Land Management Crew is an Indigenous business owned by the Yorta Yorta Nation. Its five Indigenous members have an unbroken link to the land. Working on both private and public land, they advocate for Indigenous people working ‘on Country’ to protect and maintain Country.

One of the crew’s most significant projects has been its involvement in Building the Resilience of the Barmah Forest Ramsar Site, tackling pest plant and animal control, ecological surveying and leaf litter assessments.

Woka Walla has inspired young people to pursue careers in natural resource management.

Page last updated: 27/07/20