Central West Region Community of Practice Meeting

On the 15-16 February 2023, Local Landcare Coordinator, Melanie Cooper and vice-chair of the Weddin Landcare Steering Committee, Clemence Matchett, attended the Central West Region Landcare community of practice event at Dubbo. The two-day event allowed them to meet and catch up with Landcare Coordinators and Committee members from around the region along with key representatives from Landcare NSW and other NRM organisations operating in the Central West.

As part of the event Melanie and Clemence participated in training on some of the latest social media and marketing tools, including plugins of Canva and Chat GPT – artificial intelligence freeware programs that are quite frankly a little scary! They also took part in several facilitated workshop sessions to look at some of the priorities of Landcare in our region.

Melanie Cooper and Clemence Matchett, attended the Central West Regional Landcare gathering at Dubbo during February. Photo: Courtesy Marg Applebee.

On the first day of the gathering, the group had a visit from the Hon. Dugald Saunders, Minister for Agriculture and a presentation on the Landcare NSW Program. Minister Saunders spoke to many of the local Coordinators and committee members, which was valuable in helping Landcare NSW to gain support for their plight to gain an election commitment for the 2023-2027 Landcare NSW Program. Since the meeting, Minister Saunders has verbally agreed to funding the next program during a live debate in Sydney, however, the exact capacity of the program remains unknown.

Local Landcare Coordinators Marg Applebee (Central West Lachlan Landcare), Fiona Luckhurst (Dunedoo-Coolah Landcare) and Melanie caught up with the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Dugald Saunders at the Central West Region Landcare gathering. Photo: Courtesy Marg Applebee.

Clemence also attended the first meeting of the newly formed Central West Region Landcare and took up the position of Public Officer. Thank you to Clemence for nominating on behalf of Weddin Landcare to participate in this additional committee. It is really important for us to have a voice at the regional level to help secure funding and partnerships and to provide input on decisions that may affect Weddin Landcare in the future.
The event finished with an inspiring address from the 2022 Bob Hawke Landcare Award, Bruce Maynard. Bruce spoke about his own work on his property, how he has maximised the biodiversity and profitability on his property by layering upwards instead of outwards, reduced input costs by eliminating the use of chemicals via No Kill Cropping and improved the health of his stock through techniques such as Self Herding. Bruce also spoke of the challenges he is currently facing with external spray drift, which has affected large percentages of the trees (both planted and remnant) on his property.

Bruce Maynard gave a short presentation at the Central West Region community oif practice event. Photo: Courtesy Marg Applebee.