The Natural Resource Management team at the Gunaikurnai Land & Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) began modestly in 2011. It was formed in recognition of the Gunaikurnai people’s “connection to and knowledge of Country which places it in a unique position in the natural resource management sector”.
Today it employs seven full time employees and offers paid work experience placements and school based work experience. It conducts weed control, tree planting, fox baiting, rabbit control, fire fighting with DELWP, seed collection, fencing, site preparation for tree planting, tree maintenance, nest box installation and the monitoring and maintenance of revegetation sites.
The GLaWAC N.R. M. team has made a significant contribution to improving community health and well-being, education, employment and economic outcomes for Aboriginal people in managing Country, water and the environment.
Anne Robson has been the driving force in the Bairnsdale Urban Landcare Group for the past eight years. Anne has championed the Group’s development of two flower plots along the north bank of the Mitchell River walking track, the associated revegetation and border planting along another two kilometres of the walking track and the major revegetation project at the high-profile Port of Bairnsdale.
Anne has also successfully introduced Landcare to a younger demographic through her involvement of the Bairnsdale Scout group in National tree day and with the Federation Training VCAL students. The VCAL students have adopted a plot on the north bank of the Mitchell River as their own.
Anne has held the positions of President, Secretary & Treasurer of the Bairnsdale Urban Landcare Group, has been a Group Representative to the East Gippsland Landcare Network and is a member of the East Gippsland Landcare Network Revegetation Sub Committee.
Phil Jones has been instrumental in the transformation of the Goose Gully urban drainage reserve by the Eastwood Landcare Group. A joint project between the East Gippsland Shire Council and Eastwood Landcare Group, it’s objective is to reduce nutrient and sediment loads from entering the Gippsland Lakes from the fast-growing Eastwood residential development in Bairnsdale.
Phil’s enthusiasm for the project has seen it extend for a further 300 metres along the Goose Gully creek bed and he is regularly attends the reserve outside of the Group’s working bee schedule.
The Eastwood Landcare Group is proud of its Goose Gully project and the significant part that Phil Jones has played in making it a success.
For over twenty-five years, Dawn Parker has shown outstanding commitment to Landcare in East Gippsland. Dawn has been the champion of innovative farming practices in East Gippsland and has been instrumental in bringing leading practitioners of regenerative farming to the area.
Dawn was the inaugural Secretary of the Far East Victoria Landcare Network when it was formed in 2007, has been a member of its Executive Committee for nine years and is the current Chairperson. Dawn helped establish the Snowy West Landcare Group and is one of the Group Representatives to Far East Victoria Landcare. Dawn has been the Far East Victoria Landcare representative on the Victorian Landcare Council, the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce, the Far East Community Blackberry Action Group, the East Gippsland Regional Landcare Facilitator Steering Committee and the East Gippsland Top Soils Steering Committee.
Peter Johannsen is described by his colleagues in the Raymond Island Landcare group as an enthusiastic communicator and a passionate and dedicated Landcarer. An octogenarian, Peter puts in around twenty-seven hours per month on maintenance work on the Group’s regeneration site. Peter’s accomplishments include ongoing management of his own revegetation project (known as Peter’s Patch), establishing the Raymond Island Landcare website and the Raymond Island Landcare Newsletter, helping to establish the popular Koala Trail and editing and production of the Koala Trail booklet (which has sold 8,00 copies and is its third edition).
Cindy & Mick Robinson are fourth generation farmers who have adopted innovative and environmentally sustainable farming practices. Over the last 14 years the Robinsons have planted 5,000 native trees and installed 5010 metres of shelterbelt and landclass fencing. They have moved from full tillage of soil to 100% direct drill seeding.
The Robinson’s recent of adoption of sustainable effluent management practices has resulted in water savings of 6,000 litres per day and fertiliser savings of $30,000 per annum. Their farm hosts field days for dairy and beef producers showcasing their leading practice in pasture management, pests and pest control, salinity management, effluent management and seasonal cropping techniques.
Ian and Barbara Perrin’s Black Snake Creek Walnut Grove is the first commercial walnut grove in Australia to be organically certified with the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture. The grove is surrounded by the Alpine National Park which provides a buffer of natural bush and is partially encircled by a bend of the pristine Wonnangatta River.
The Perrin’s are members of the East Gippsland Organic Association, are active members of the Dargo Landcare Group and participate in the Topsoils Project through East Gippsland Landcare Inc. The Perrin’s have vigorously maintained the certifying requirements of the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture and continue to strive for higher standards of quality and excellence.
The students from Federation Training’s VCAL program have demonstrated outstanding commitment to Landcare via their ongoing involvement with Bairnsdale Urban Landcare Group’s revegetation and maintenance projects along the Mitchell River walking track.
The VCAL students have assisted in the installation of 50 “silt worms” and the planting of over 650 seedlings and ground covers as part of an erosion control project on the steep and friable soils below the Federation Training campus at the Port of Bairnsdale.
The practical hands on experience gained by the students has enhanced their employment prospects. One former VCAL student is now working on the East Gippsland Shire’s parks & gardens crew and another has been engaged by a local NRM contractor.
For the past three years’ students from the School of Student Leadership, Snowy River Campus have assisted the Snowy West Landcare Group with planting at its Newmerella site.
The students have leaned vital work skills such as team work and have developed confidence and self-esteem through their community service.
For its part, the Snowy West Landcare Group has had the pleasure of engaging with a group of energetic and enthusiastic students who have been able to plant a site that would otherwise be beyond the physical capacity of its members.
The Eastwood Landcare Group was established in May 2013. In the past 18 months, the Group has completed on ground works at its two sites at Granite Rock along Tulaba’s Track, where a warm temperate rainforest is now emerging, and on Goose Gully where through the planting of native vegetation and the restoration of a high value wetland area, the Group is reducing sediments and nutrients entering the Gippsland Lakes.
In delivering these projects the Group has conducted 31 working bees comprising 745 volunteer hours and the planting of 6,900 native trees.
The success of these projects can be seen in the substantial growth of the plants, an increase in birdlife and increasing numbers of people frequenting and enjoying the reserves.
Tambo Bluff Landcare Coastcare Group was established in 1992 by a small number of local residents with a vision to protect the natural environment of the area, eradicate weeds and introduced pest animals, reduce erosion, re-plant native plant species and raise the profile of the significant fringing wetlands within Tambo Bluff.
In 1993 the Tambo Bluff Landcare Coastcare Revegetation Strategy identified Wallaby Creek and its habitat as an area of significance. The gullies are largely former warm temperate rainforest. The recently completed 1.7 km walking track rack incorporates a boardwalk and a series of steps providing links to a network of closed streets which now provide wonderful wildlife corridors, bird habitat and foliage. Nine interpretive signs and seven way-markers have been installed and 9,500 native trees and shrubs planted.
The area that is now the Wallaby Creek Walking Track has been transformed from a very neglected, degraded and failed residential subdivision, infested by weeds and feral pest animals, by the Group’s values of vision, passion, enthusiasm, determination and commitment.