Over 600 land managers and Landcare facilitators from coastal, peri-urban and rangeland environments gathered together for this year’s National Landcare Conference.
The conference held in Melbourne 17- 19 September celebrated 25 years – from humble beginnings of a few individuals to a nationwide networking event for those actively engaged in the conservation and management of Australia’s natural assets and its productive capacity.
Rangelands NRM Regional Landcare Facilitator Mary-Anne (Mez) Clunies-Ross and Operations Manager John Silver represented Rangelands NRM at the conference.
The first day of the conference was spent travelling through areas of the Northern Yarra that were affected by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires and 2014 bushfires specifically Kilmore, Christmas Hills, Kinglake and St Andrews.
Ms Clunies-Ross said meeting landholders and Landcare groups within these areas and hearing their stories of tragedy, resilience and management/recovery post fire was incredibly humbling.
“Seeing the regeneration of these areas after five years was remarkable and a testament to fire being an integral part of Australia’s natural landscape,” she said.
Days two and three of the conference were based in the Melbourne CBD and consisted of a range of key speakers with follow up Q&A sessions.
“It was so great to meet other Landcare facilitators and managers from across Australia, particularly those who work in rangeland environments,” Ms Clunies-Ross said.
“It is great sharing knowledge with other counterparts who work in a similar environments and understanding that we are tackling the same issues.”
“It also provides an opportunity to expand our rangeland network and to work more closely together.”
Image: Regeneration and community plantings at bushfire ravaged Strathewen (©M Clunies-Ross)