The Regional Landcare Facilitator (RLF) Programme is an initiative of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. RLFs are based with the 56 NRM regions throughout Australia, with some contracted to community groups, and are a considered a key delivery mechanism for the Government and the Regions, working closely with local Landcare groups and individual land managers.
A key task of the RLFs is to support the building of capacity, skills, knowledge and confidence within their local communities, to raise awareness and ultimately adoption of new and innovative sustainable agricultural practices.
SWCC has been an advocate of the RLF initiative since its inception and ensures the South West community continues to be supported through the RLF Programme.
Over the course of 2015/16 the South West Regional Landcare Facilitator Programme facilitated 14 events, attended by more than 600 participants. The events ranged from those with an agroforestry focus, to the dairy industry, Regrarian Open Consultancy, a Food Theatre, catchment tours and three events tailored specifically for women.
The events included a workshop with Maarten Stapper, Western Dairy Spring Field Day, Lower Blackwood Dairy Tour, Agroforestry Field Day, Dumbleyung Landcare Farm Tour, Growing Sandalwood and Carbon Field Day, Rylington Park ‘Storm in a Teacup’, Women in Farming Enterprises (WIFE) Information Day, Landcare/NRM Officer Muster, 2016 Wagin Woolorama and 2016 Balingup Small Farm Field Day.
In addition, 15 landholders and community members were supported to attend training courses and workshops to build their skills and knowledge. This included a Soil Restoration Farming field day, ‘Hedges in the Landscape’ workshop, Dr Elaine Ingham’s on-line Soil Food Web course, ‘Hemp Health & Innovation’ event, and a grant writing workshop.
The standout success of this yearwas the formation of a WIFE (Women in Farming Enterprises) branch in the South WestRegion that can be directly attributed to the support of the South West RLF Programme. Through this support, the South West RLF Programme engaged more than 170 women.
The project also achieved:
- Produced and distributed 2 SW RLF e-newsletters.
- Posted 20 Facebook posts reaching 6,920 people;
- Provided support to many Regional partner groups.
- Produced a video of SW RLF achievements (https://youtu.be/iJXVrVOfJyw).
“The support from SWCC in bringing Darren Doherty to Western Australia was critical. It helped to take our farm planning to the next level, to thinking about everything from our personal goals to future grazing needs, to ‘decarbonising’ our power supplies.”
Jeff Pow, Southampton Homestead.
The South West RLF project will continue to support and build the capacity of community Landcare groups, landholders and other groups to increase their skills and knowledge in sustainable agriculture, through a range of activities and engagement approaches.
This includes the 2016 South West FoodBowl Festival, Holistic Management Course (in partnership with South Coast NRM), Festival of Fibre, 2017 Storm in a Teacup women’s day, direct seeding workshop, agroforestry events, Women in Farming Enterprises, and much more.12.
The South West is full to the brim with innovative and inspirational farmers and community Landcare groups, doing great things in sustainable agriculture!
- Blackwood Basin Group
- Western Dairy
- City of Busselton
- South West Agroforestry Network
- Dumbleyung Landcare
- Lower Blackwood LCDC
- Rylington Park
- iHemp WA
- Taste of the Blackwood Producers Group
- Southampton Homestead
- 15 individual landholders and community members
3 activities facilitated
14 activities facilitated
Monica Durcan and Peter Clifton