The 2016 National Landcare Award winners were announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne last night (22nd September 2016).
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, congratulated winners drawn from 69 finalists in every state and territory, with major awards announced in ten categories on the night.
"This year's finalists—from every corner of the nation—showcase the true depth, dedication and knowledge of the Landcare movement," Minister Hartsuyker said.
"These are the people who are defining the future of effective natural resource management across Australia's natural environment, our farms and our communities.
"Their achievements are driving a more sustainable and productive future for the nation, something that every Australian should be proud of.
"Winner of the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award, Rhonda Williams, sees Landcare and sustainable agriculture as being key to long term profitability. She has volunteered over 8,100 hours since joining Landcare in 2002, and is widely recognised for her strength in planning, strategic direction, governance, and transparency.
"Australian Government Landcare Facilitator of the year, Jill Richardson, is passionate about community-driven Landcare, having spent 25 years dedicated to furthering Landcare in Western Australia. As a volunteer, Jill drove the formation of the WA Landcare Network and is now serving as the inaugural Chairperson.
"The Australian Government Partnerships with Landcare Award was taken home by Lake Macquarie Landcare, a community-based organisation built on the successful working partnership between passionate, dedicated and hardworking local volunteers and the Lake Macquarie City Council.
"And winner of the Australian Government Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices Award was Southampton Homestead, based in Balingup, WA. They raise grass-fed poultry using holistic management – a practice based on managed grazing to mimic the behaviour of wild herbivores in grassland ecosystems.
"Their farm so inspired the public they also won this year's people's choice award—that's what Landcare is all about." The awards were presented during the 2016 National Landcare Conference. Based around the theme 'Collaborative Communities – Landcare in Action', the conference offers insights from community leaders and innovators on the latest trends and technologies in natural resource management.
The National Landcare Awards are supported by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
For more information and full list of National Landcare Award winners, visit nationallandcareconference.org.au.
[MEDIA RELEASE: originally from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Landcare in action at national awards dinner]