Bygone Days and Landcare Ways

Landcare is for everyone (L.I.F.E), and our next generation is an important part of it.

This was more than evident in Carnamah recently, when Carnamah Landcare, in collaboration with the Carnamah Historical Society and Carnamah Lions Club (with additional support from the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council and Yarra Yarra Catchment Management Group) put together a memorable evening for more than 80 participants – including 40 enthusiastic children from Carnamah and surrounding districts.

The purpose of the event was to give local children an opportunity to explore the link between Landcare, local history and bygone days, to better understand our natural history, environment, and their role in preserving it for future generations.

Paulina and Peter Wittwer of Carnamah Landcare, the driving force behind the event said they were extremely happy to see so many children and community members so actively participating at the event.

“The catchy title of our event Bygone Day and Landcare Way got a lot of people thinking,” said Paulina.

“The craft group was there promoting the message of ‘make-do and mend’ – with some old calico bags on-hand for us to morph into bags – which also endorsed our ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ message,” she said.

Paulina said the principles of the past were still very much relevant today, and in practice in local landcare.

“Olden day times worked with the same principle,” she said.

“The school was glad to be involved in such a ‘hands-on’ activity, as not much of that goes on these days –and Lions Carnamah always pitches-in where they can. Itwas a good example of Collaboration with a capital C.”

Games and Activities

The children (and the adults), were captivated and eager participants in a variety of games and activities organised as part of the event, including:

  • Games played by pioneers – Jodie Smith led the children through a few ‘olden-days’ games such as Quoits, Skip rope, Hobby horses, and Knucklebones.
  • Lorraine Usher and Elizabeth Blyth shared their craft experience from long ago, helping the children to make Quandong beads, fabric dyeing, paper necklaces, and ‘Banksia Men’. The children also made the scariest creatures possible – using banksia nuts and leaves.
  • Peter Wittwer taught the children how to carve Talc stone collected from a local minesite.
  • Ken Watson led the children in races from the ‘good old days’ – including an egg and spoon race, horse and cart, three-legged, sack race, and stump jump.
  • Paulina Wittwer and Lydia Haeusler also talked to the children about Landcare, and Brendon Haeusler showed them how to set-up rabbit traps.
  • Another fun attraction of the day was Trevor Haeusler’s Vintage Car – whichprovided rides for children from the MacPherson homestead to the Carnamah townsite.

Shane Love MLA Member for Moore, presented prizes (Landcare bags and posters) for the best art-work..

NACC Regional Landcare Facilitator Stanley Yokwe who attended the event said: “The sustainability of our region’s agricultural future is dependent on the support and involvement of our rural children – our next generation.”

“It is rewarding to see our local Landcare groups – such as Carnamah Landcare and the Yarra Yarra Catchment Management Group – working together to connect children to their region, and help inspire our future Landcare leaders.”

“Activities for children, like the ones delivered at this event, help increase the scope of NACC’s and partner group’s Landcare programs’ efforts to maintain the landcare momentum into the future by including more kids and more schools, and embedding the Landcare ethics from an early age,” Mr Yokwe said.

This event was delivered by Carnamah Landcare, and supported by NACC with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme as part of the Regional Landcare Facilitator project. Other groups that contributed to the event included the Carnamah Historical Society, the Carnamah Lions Club, and the Yarra Yarra Catchment Management Group.

For more information about the event, please contact Paulina Wittwer at

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