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2012 landcare conference

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Some notes and impressions from attending the conference

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2012 landcare conference

  1. 1. REPORT ON 2012 LANDCARE CONFERENCEBy Ross Smithrepresenting the Greater Mary Association Inc( sponsored by BMRG)MONDAYSocial Media for Landcare – Stewart DawesAn intense training session by an excellent presenter.He covered mainly the use of Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest but also dealt with Facebook and Youtubeetc.He gave an insight into how he and other people were using social media to improve their bottom line andsome ideas how not for profit organisations could also. 1/8
  2. 2. TUESDAYLandcare, be heard- Mia Freedman and Peter FitzSimonsA most entertaining, thought provoking and informative presentation delivered by two excellentcommunicators. With some reference to social media and marketing/advertising principles.Some quotes;“Don’t deal with the world the way you wish it to be but deal with it the way it is”“Facebook to younger generations replaces the communications at the church or the pub”“Organisations like landcare have to find a way to cross the “make me care” threshold with individuals.”“Marketing success depends on finding the correct “emotional entry point” for the target group”.“An example of marketing success – YouTube video on how to stack a dishwasher with giveaway ofdishwasher cleaning tablets “German Land care – Beate KrettingerA short presentation of the Landcare movement in Germany.Lots of similarities with Australia – seemed to evolve after Australia did but no mention of copying Aust.Some areas of Germany Active and some not active in landcare.More levels of government than in AustFarming closely linked with landcareFrog Dreaming – Sarah SchmudeA very impressive presentation on involving schoolchildren ina landcare oriented conference andstorytelling involving year 5/6 students with older students and developing action plans - in northern NSW(Uralla).Conducted at a very intense level and over a period of years so would have a lot to offer anyone who isinterested in this fieldSocial Media and the Social Movement - Tom CroftA presentation about the developments in Victorian Landcare (which QLD should watch) and theapplication of social media to the landcare movementGovernment provides a gateway to give small groups websites etcLandcarevic on Youtube gives a good explanation and worth looking at even if all the facilities are notavailable on QLD 2/8
  3. 3. “Beyond Reasonable Drought” Doug AveryAn NZ farmer lecturing Australians on how to handle drought ???This turned out to be very informative story of how a farmer in the north east of the South Island changedhis farming systems to combat the inherent dry climate.His main innovation seemed to be an introduction of Lucerne into the farm to make better use of moisturestored lower in the profile.Sustainablity – Environmental Financial SocialUse of legumes encouraged early rumen developmentProducing 2 kg per day wt gain on pastures all year round (wow)He also mentioned that he was using Plantain but did not elaborateMotivation for sustainable farm practices in Australian Agriculture - Dr Saan EckerThis presentation was of the results of a study to better understand what caused farmers to uptake certainpractices or innovations. The results of research by ABARESResults showed that motivations included a mix of financial, environmental and personal issues withsupport being an enabler not a driver of changeRegenerating Landscapes through innovative land management practice SimonGouldSoils for life an environmental NGOA presentation which I thought would be interesting to follow up as it left some gaps in my understandingof what was achieved and now there is a website which gives a lot of information soilsforlife.org.au20 case studies mostly grain cropping and some diary with 1 in NT and one in QLD – “Dukes Plains” atBrigalowhttp://www.soilsforlife.org.au/Farmer led research to improve soil health productivity and reduce carbonemissions - Cam NicholsonOne of the highlights of the conferenceScientifically based and farmer led research into the benefits of conventional and alternate fertilizers withsome very interesting results which did not back the claims of some alternate fertilizer proponents.A good web site with a lot of information and a downloadable report -http://www.woadyyaloak.com.au/index.html 3/8
  4. 4. SW VIC near BallaratQuotes: “microbial activity more influenced by management than by the products added”“no consistent links between soil biology and production”“start where people are at and when they are ready to go” (getting adoption of research results)Plenary SessionDr Carole HungerfordA GP with urban and rural practices and a passion for healthy food and the environment.Author of “Good Health in the 21st Century” 2006She spoke on the importance of gut bacteria and how the food we eat can influence these – GM food mayinfluence gut bacteria.Food value of produce is not changed by its attractive appearance or not – some deformed fruit are betterfor us for they have better plant hormone balance because they have dealt with a threatSelenium is very important anti-cancer agent (not taken up in acid soils)Tim FlanneryAuthor of “The Weathermakers” and other books www.theweathermakers.orgSome Quotes;“most politicians come from a law or business background so have little scientific knowledge and not goodability to enterperet the scientific data of climate change etc”“99.999% of all species that have been on our planet are extinct”Climate does change over millions of years but humans speed these changes up”“ the human advantage over other animals is foresight”“we are changing the physical and geological state of the planet”“ 50 billion tonnes of soil travel from Africa to USA every day”“Manage Humans – the only thing that can be managed”“we should be moving towards measuring wellness and happiness” “Ecuador is moving this way”“Japan has shown no growth for a period and there has not been a major disaster because of this”“Use the experience of the “elders”” 4/8
  5. 5. Gala Awards DinnerSomething to experience – 900 people? In one room being served and waited on very well with impressivespeakers and cuisine. Notables included Bob Hawke, Fed Minister Ludwig, Jack Thompson etc A list ofaward winners appears at the end of the documentWEDNESDAYDavid SuzukiAs would be expected a moving and thought provoking address on the world outlook. The address was tobe available on the Landcare website in 2 weeks but I have not been able to find it yetPlenary SessionRon ArcherVery eloquent speaker connected “mother earth” and “mother Nature” gave some insights into how toinfluence the younger generation and acknowledged that white people can also have a connection to theland!Ian Lowe ? ACFGave and interesting point of view: commonly used business accounting practices do not allow for thereal cost of environmental damage in the long term.“managing our natural resources is like coaching a football team if you only know three players – we needso much more knowledge”Directed us to read the “State of the Enviroment 2011” published by Fed Govt however this report is116mb to download – the summary is 18 pages and both are available athttp://www.environment.gov.au/soe/index.html“The 2011 State of the Environment (SoE) report aims to give Australians the best possible and clearestanswers to three basic questions:• What is the current condition of the Australian environment?• What are the risks the Australian environment faces and are we doing enough to protect it?• Where is the Australian environment headed?”PresentationsVictorian Landcare Programme – strategic plan - Ingrid DuncanIt seems Victorian Landcare has a very supportive government which has aided with the gateway asdemonstrated on their website : http://www.landcarevic.net.au/A National Approach to Building Resilient Rangelands - Kate ForrestA national approach to managing rangelands with 14 NRM regions in Australia covering 85% of thecontinent. 5/8
  6. 6. The Australian Rangeland Initiative ---Aim:  To demonstrate that the decline of rangeland health is an issue of national importance  To stimulate investment in Rangelands at a national levelContact the Alliance through any of its member organisations or Through the coordinator Kate Forrest atthe SA Arid Lands Board. Email: Kate.forrest@sa.gov.au Office: 08 82049131There doesn’t appear to be a QLD memberCarbon Farming Initiative and Land Sector Package Lee NelsonWide ranging presentation mentioning Carbon Farming Futures, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and link dates forEuropean Carbon trading marketSome information about the Carbon Farming Initiative is available athttp://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/clean-energy-future/land-use/Caring For Our Country – Ian ThompsonOne speaker that was a little hard to understand but he gave an outline of the governments analysis andthinking that has given rise to the changes in Caring For Our Country grants most of which is delivered inthe “Outline for the Future” to be found at:http://www.nrm.gov.au/about/caring/review/pubs/c4oc-outline-future.pdfGeneral ImpressionsQuite an eye-opening experience to see so many people gathered together with the same broad goals inmind.The strong emphasis on farming as an integral part of Landcare – many presentations pitched towardsfarmers not pure enviromentalistNo mention of controversial issues such as Coal Seam Gas and Mining in general.Very well organised and smoothly run conference though I hoped that more of the conference proceedingswould have been available by now – even attendees can’t be at every sessions.There were many impressive speakers and displays some of the memorable ones wereSpeakers:David Suzuki, Tim Flannery, Peter FitsimonsPresentationsSocial Media for Landcare – Stewart Dawes, Farmer led research to improve soil health productivity andreduce carbon emissions - Cam Nicholson 6/8
  7. 7. DisplaysWeeds of National Significance, Regenag, dung beetle researchNOTEThe Link:https://picasaweb.google.com/rpsmith45/LANDCARECONFERENCE2012?authkey=Gv1sRgCM3LwNP224CGYA#will show of some photos I took at the conference of presenters, the dinner and the static displays. Thestatic display photos are not always clear but more information can be obtained by zooming in on ones thatare of interest. Unfortunately the resolution in this web album is too low to be able to do this so if anyonewishes to explore a poster more contact me by email and I will send you the higher resolution originalRoss SmithGreater Mary Association Inc. PO box 1381 Maryborough 4650rpsmith45@yahoo.com.auAn extract from the Landcare NewsletterThe 2012 National Landcare Conference was an outstanding success. The speakers in the plenary andconcurrent sessions were inspiring and informative. The presentations from the key note speakers in theplenary sessions (such as David Suzuki) were filmed and these should be up on conference web site(www.daff.gov.au/landcareconference.) by early October and are highly recommended. The powerpointpresentations or papers from most of the concurrent sessions will also be available. The conference wasvery well attended by people involved with the Landcare movement across the country and internationally.Representatives from eight other countries attended the conference which was opened by the Secretary ofDAFF, Dr Conall O’Connell and you can read his presentation atwww.daff.gov.au/about/contactus/secretary/landcare.The National Landcare Awards were also a highlight and the night included well known Aussie star JackThompson (who has been a supporter of Landcare for a number of years), Minister Joe Ludwig and formerPrime Minister Bob Hawke who was presenting the inaugural Bob Hawke Landcare Award. This award waswon by dairy farmer and passionate Landcarer, Lynne Strong from NSW.Media commentators Mia Freedman and Peter FitzSimons gave a fascinating insight into the chaotic andevolving world of social media and the need for Landcare to get its message out. Later in the conference,Tom Croft from Victoria gave a presentation on how Landcare groups are using social media and he hasuploaded his own presentation to Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8A_kAu3YNQ.(Landcare Patron Jack Thompson, David Suzuki, Minister Joe Ludwig, Bob Hawke Landcare Award winnerLynne Strong, Social media session with Mia Freedman & Peter FitzSimons, Individual Landcarer winnerChris Scott, Lunch Time, Landcare Elders Session with Alice Knight/Horrie Poussard, Ron Archer, ProfessorIan Lowe, Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.) 3 7/8
  8. 8. 2012 National Landcare Award WinnersAustralian Government Individual Landcarer – Chris Scott, NSWAustralian Government Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices – Running Creek Feed Test Station, QLDAustralian Government Coastcare – South West Rocks Dune Care, NSW Australian Government LocalLandcare Facilitator – Susie Chapman, QLD Australian Government NRM - SEQ Catchments, QLD WestpacEducation - North Dandalup Primary, WA Be Natural Young Landcare Leader - Megan Rowlatt, NSW ToshibaCommunity 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 andLandcare Partnership – Byron and Tweed Shire Councils, NSW People’s Choice Award – Youngtown PrimarySchool, TAS 8/8