National Landcare Awards – Illawarra cleans up

National Landcare Awards 2012 – Illawarra takes two!

The National Landcare Conference (September 3-5), was held in conjunction with the National Landcare Awards on Tuesday the 4th of September during Landcare week, 2012.

The biennial Awards ceremony celebrates the work of the Landcare community across twelve diverse categories, including Coastcare, Urban, Indigenous and Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices. Fourteen awards in total were presented at the event, including the publicly voted, People’s Choice Award, and the inaugural Bob Hawke Landcare Award.

Emceed by Channel Nine personality and Landcare ambassador, Catriona Rowntree, the Landcare Week celebration was also attended by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon. Joe Ludwig, former Prime Minister, the Hon. Bob Hawke AC, and Landcare ambassador, Jack Thompson AM.

The awards dinner ran smoothly and successfully, with a good crowd of around 850 people.

Of course, Landcare wouldn’t be Landcare without Landcare Man! With Michael Miller and Megan Rowlatt

But the highlight of the evening was seeing our very own Landcare Community Support Officer, Megan Rowlatt named the Be Natural National Young Landcare Leader of the Year, against very tough competition.

Megan received this award for her voluntary efforts in engaging young people into Landcare activities in our region with her group Illawarra Youth Landcare.

You can read Megan’s Blog here.

But it gets better …

Lynne Strong, of Clover Hill Dairies, Jamberoo, was named the Inaugural Bob Hawke Landcare Award winner. Once again, against fierce competition.

Lynne’s award was presented to her by Bob Hawke in person.

You can read Lynne’s Blog here.

Lynne Strong and Megan Rowlatt proudly showing off their awards
Congratulations from former South East Landcare chair, the wonderful John Carter
Megan Rowlatt and her brother and most dedicated volunteer, Ryan Kellen
Lynne Strong and her husband Michael excited to be awarded!

Historically, Landcare began in Victoria in 1986 when Premier Joan Kirner kicked it off with a few farmers. Then in 1989, Bob Hawke, helped Rick Farley of the National Farmers’ Federation and Philip Toyne of the Australian Conservation Foundation join forces, and Landcare started nationally. Our model has, it was reported, spread to 20 other nations to date.

Other Awardees around the country were:

Australian Government Individual Landcarer – Chris Scott, NSW

Australian Government Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices – Running Creek Feed Test Station, QLD

Australian Government Coastcare – South West Rocks Dune Care, NSW

Australian Government Local Landcare Facilitator – Susie Chapman, QLD

Australian Government NRM – SEQ Catchments, QLD

Westpac Education – North Dandalup Primary, WA

Toshiba Community Group – Ellen Brockman Integrated Catchment Group, WA

Leighton Holdings Indigenous – Bunya Mountains Murri Ranger and Elders Council, QLD

Rural Press Primary Producer – Danny Flanery, NSW

Urban Landcare – Georges River Combined Councils’ Committee, NSW

Local Government and Landcare Partnership – Byron and Tweed Shire Councils, NSW

People’s Choice Award – Youngtown Primary School, TAS

Our warmest congratulations to Megan and Lynne and to the above.

NSW did well!

– Landcare Illawarra

Photos by Peter Pigott