Landcare Conference and Awards being held online

PRESENTER: ABC TV's celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis will host the 2021 National Landcare Conference and Awards on August 5 and 6.
PRESENTER: ABC TV's celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis will host the 2021 National Landcare Conference and Awards on August 5 and 6.

Landcarers from across the country will gather next week to share knowledge, ideas and plan for the future as part of the 2021 National Landcare Conference and Awards. And everyone is invited.

With increasing stay-at-home restrictions and lockdown measures across states and territories around the nation, organisers of the largest knowledge sharing event for Landcarers made the safe decision to transfer the conference and awards, supported by Australian Community Media, entirely online for free.

The plus side is now anyone can attend from anywhere in Australia.

Register free at nationallandcareconference.org.au and be entertained by Logie Award-winning Landcare champion Costa Georgiadis, the esteemed master of ceremonies.

Over two days, the beloved ABC TV presenter will host more than 60 speakers from the Landcare community, government representatives and academics in 40 sessions across the four conference streams: Sustainable Agriculture; Environment and Climate Change; Community Partnerships in Action; and Landcare Impact.

Read about the finalists

A hugely diverse range of topics will be presented including sessions on empowering rural women, the value of on-farm biodiversity, meeting the challenges of climate change, connecting through online communities, Landcare and Aboriginal cultural heritage and much more.

Special guest speakers taking part include former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson delivering the keynote address; Indigenous activist and climate action campaigner Dhani Gilbert; ANU scientist and academic Professor David Lindenmayer and Stacey Vogel from the Cotton Research Development Corporation.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to attend panel discussions on a variety of topics sure to be of interest to so many involved in Landcare.

Pip Job from the NSW Department of Primary Industries and former chief executive for Little River Landcare will facilitate a panel on Landcare's role in Wellbeing and Mental Health while Peter Pigott from Resilience NSW will facilitate a panel Landcare's involvement in Bushfire Recovery and Resilience. And former chairwoman of Farmers for Climate Action's Lucinda Corrigan will participate in a panel on Landcare Farming.

Author, filmmaker and Indigenous fire practitioner Victor Steffensen will also lead a panel on the advantages and benefits embracing cultural burn methods can bring for the Landcare community in tackling climate change on the Cultural Land Management panel.

Other speakers include Barry Hunter, and Joe Morrison from Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.

The panel will include a conversation on how farmers and landowners can get started and have conversations with Traditional Owners.

The Cultural Land Management panel has been scheduled at the special time of Friday afternoon to close the conference along with young Landcare leader and Kalari Wiradjjuri woman Dhani Gilbert.

A highlight of the conference program is the 2021 National Landcare Awards to celebrate the 69 finalists from the 2019 State and Territory Landcare Awards, where champions of the nine National Landcare Awards categories will be announced including the winner of the Australian Community Media Landcare Community Group Award.

Nominees from across Australia include:

  • Victoria: Malmsbury District Landcare Group (MDLG)
  • Northern Territory: Lakeside Drive Community Garden
  • Western Australia: Friends of Upper Lesmurdie Falls
  • Tasmania: King Island Natural Resource Management Group
  • NSW: Martindale Creek Catchment Landcare Inc
  • South Australia: Kersbrook Landcare Group (KLG)
  • Queensland: Hinterland Bush Links
  • The ACT: Red Hill Bush Regenerators

The winners of the coveted Bob Hawke Landcare Award will also be announced on the night.

Representing Victoria, Andrew Stewart, a Corangamite landholder has developed a whole farm plan and mission statement for Yan Yan Gurt West Farm, a 230-hectare regenerative grazing and agroforestry property.

It included the establishment of 50,000 trees and shrubs which has since seen the increase of woody vegetation across the farm from 3 per cent to 18 per cent.

Representing NSW, Justin Kirkby has revitalised his Gravesend property on the North West Slopes, 50km outside Moree, which once boasted rundown cropping blocks with scarce groundcover and poor nutritional grasses.

And flying the flag for Queensland, James Walker of Camden Park, a 8093-hectare organic, global animal partnership (GAP) accredited cattle station outside Longreach, has focused on tackling land degradation, carbon emissions and climate change through unique industry approaches.

Meanwhile, the inaugural winner of the General Jeffery Soil Health Award will be revealed on the night. Dedicated to Australia's first National Soils Advocate, Major General Michael Jeffery, the award recognises an individual's work to champion, improve and/or educate others in soil health and is named in his honour.

Competing for the title are Lynette Abbott from Western Australia, Emeritus Professor at University of Western Australia who established the innovative 'Know your Soil Biology' workshops for farmers, providing hands-on activities on the benefits of soil biota for soil health/quality.

From South Australia, Primary Industries and Regions SA-Rural Solutions SA principal consultant Brian Hughes has worked as a soil conservation officer, soils officer, soils and land management consultant since 1982. He has an extensive knowledge of South Australian soils, their distribution, properties and management in agriculture.

And from NSW, Robert Quirk, a sustainable agriculture educator, researcher and advocate, who has collaborated with three universities of the past 20 years and developed world's best practice for growing sugar cane in acid sulphate soils.

Catch all the action at the 2021 National Landcare Conference and Awards running Thursday, August 5, and Friday, August 6.

Registration to attend is free and included in your online conference registration is access to watch the 2021 National Landcare Awards live from the comfort of your own home.

The 2021 National Landcare Conference and 2021 National Landcare Awards program is proudly supported by the National Landcare Program, with support from Australian Community Media, Austcover, Gallagher, KPMG Australia, Saving our Species, Woolworths, the National Landcare Network and Landcare Australia.