Landcare is for everyone, and September was a great way to showcase it.
With Landcare events popping up across the country by many grass roots organisations, last month was also a time to celebrate Landcare and its successes.
In Western Australia, the Landcare highlight in September was the State NRM Conference held in Mandurah – featuring high-profile speakers such as Dr Carmen Lawrence, Dr Denis Saunders and Ms Dawn Hawthorn-Jackson who individually gave presentations that inspired many.
The conference was convened and conducted by the WA State NRM Office (Department of Agriculture and Food), and NRMWA (WA’s seven NRM regional organisations).
The event attracted more than 200 delegates from grass-roots community groups, agribusiness, research institutions and government agencies, as well as a strong contingent from NACC including Board Chair Dr Jill Wilson, Deputy Chair Kent Broad, and NACC CEO Richard McLellan and a number of staff members who individually contributed to the conference program by sharing the fantastic innovative work NACC is doing in the region.
As part of the conference, more than 100 delegates also attended the 2015 WA Land Awards which were presented by the former Governor of Western Australia and Patron of Landcare Western Australia, Malcolm McCusker AC, at a gala dinner in Mandurah Convention and Exhibition Centre.
This biennial event saw nine winners chosen – who will go on to represent Western Australia at the 2016 National Landcare Awards.
NACC supported three representative community members from the NAR to attend the conference by providing financial support to cover the cost of the conference. The support was well received by the participating community members who said:
“It was great to see and meet lots of people from around the State who have a passion for looking after the natural environment especially in this time of decreased financial investment from the Government. Thanks to NACC for providing financial assistance for attending the State NRM Conference.” Rachel Walmsley Moore Catchment Council.
“I would like to thank NACC for the subsidy for the NRM conference in Mandurah. It was a great turn out of similar minded and passionate people working towards environmental conservation. While it would be easy to be pessimistic about the future of NRM due to the numerous challenges it is facing, it was fantastic to witness the positive mindset of all participants. I was very impressed by the quality and diversity of speakers: from government agencies, consultancy firms, private businesses, or community groups. This demonstrates that NRM affects everyone (directly or indirectly) and that to be successful, it needs to involve all stakeholders,” Helene Metzinger Mingenew Irwin Group.