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2015 State Community Landcare Conference

The 2015 State Community Landcare Conference – a great success!

The Landcare Association of SA and Riverland West Landcare welcomed registrants to the 2015 State Community Landcare Conference, held from September 14-16, Waikerie, South Australia.


The Conference addressed “Landcare – connecting people and healthy landscapes” and gave landcarers from all sectors of the community the opportunity to explore the 4 Themes of the Conference: Biodiversity – Management and Conservation, Indigenous Land Management, People and Volunteers, and Sustainable Farming.

The Conference included 6 Field Tours, a series of renowned Keynote speakers, a panel on “The future of the River Murray”, concurrent sessions and the 2015 State Landcare and Premier’s Natural Resources Management Award presentations.

Waikerie was a great venue and the response was a sold out event.

Watch Conference highlights on YouTube


The six Field Tours on the first day of the Conference were considered a great success with the exchange of ideas and discussion about issues and actions a highlight of the day.

  • Tour 1. Gerard Aboriginal Community: Our Country, Our Future
  • Tour 2. Managing the Murray: wetland ecology, in-river salinity and on-farm use
  • Tour 3. Going Mallee: dryland farming and biodiversity
  • Tour 4. Tag Team: an ongoing partnership between Waikerie Primary School, Riverland West Landcare and Banrock Station
  • Tour 5. Brookfield: managing grassland for our wombats
  • Tour 6. Grow with the Flow: innovative and alternative irrigation industries

Watch one of the Field Tours to the Gerard Aboriginal Community on YouTube

Watch ABC TV News report filmed at the Gerard Aboriginal Community


The Conference had a strong commitment to indigenous engagement and we were Welcomed to Country by Uncle Barney and his Smoking Ceremony which was handed down to him by his father.

The Welcome Reception was well attended and the hospitality accorded to the registrants and guests by the Waikerie Hotel, Taylors Wines and the Landcare Association of SA was well received.


About Uncle Barney:

Uncle Barney is a soft spoken, humble and content man with a deep connection to and respect for his Culture, Country and Community (Gerard).

Uncle Barney is a proud Ngarrindjeri/Maraura Elder, representative of The First Peoples of the River Murray and Mallee and lifetime resident of his beloved Gerard Community which situated on the banks of the Murray River 22kms from Berri in the Riverland.

Uncle Barney is a one of the longest surviving residents of Gerard Community and has spent the past 40 plus years to day working as an Aboriginal Support Worker and undertaking the local schools bus runs morning and afternoon for a number of Primary and Secondary Schools including Winkie, Berri, Riverland Special and Glossop High.

Uncle Barney’s significant contribution and service to the Aboriginal Community in the Riverland was recognised this year (2015) as he was nominated and was one of five people to be short-listed for the 2015 Premier’s NAIDOC award. Uncle Barney attended the awards and was duly recognised.

Watch Uncle Barney’s welcome on YouTube


The Conference registrants were welcomed by Conference Chairman Gerry Butler and commenced with Uncle Barney giving a Welcome to Country.

The Welcome was followed by a video address from the Australian Government Minister for the Environment Hon Greg Hunt MP. The Shadow Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Hon Michelle Lensink MLC, also extended a welcome to registrants which was followed by the Loxton Waikerie Council Mayor Leon Stasinowsky extending the best wishes of the local community to the conference participants.

Watch the “Welcome to Conference” speeches on YouTube


The Conference brought to Waikerie a talented and diverse range of speakers in a Keynote and Concurrent session capacity.

The role for Keynote Speakers is to challenge and get the conversation going and these were met well by our first 4 Keynote Speakers who lead the conversation on Tuesday 15 September:

Sue Middleton (Chair, National Landcare Advisory Committee)
Landcare – does it have a future role in creating Australia’s Agricultural Competitive Edge?
Watch Sue’s speech on YouTube
Download Sue’s full presentation (4MB PowerPoint)

Paul Ryan (Founding Director, Australian Resilience Centre)
Growing the Landcare Legacy
Watch a video of Paul’s speech on YouTube
Download Paul’s full presentation (8MB PowerPoint)

Kerry Colbung (CEO, Aboriginal Lands Trust)
Connection to country and managing and maintaining landscapes and culture
Watch Kerry’s speech on YouTube

Eric Sommerville (Presiding Member, Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board and Fifth Generation Farmer)
How to engage/connect farmers and NRM
Watch Eric’s speech on YouTube
Download Eric’s full presentation (8MB PowerPoint)


The Conference, whilst focused on Statewide issues acknowledged that our proximity to the River Murray, a major artery for life, farming, industry and tourism would be a feature forum.

We chose a dynamic panel:

  • Nationally recognised administrator and former politician, Mr Neil Andrew AO, who is not only the Chairman of the Murray Darling Basin Authority but agreed also to be the Conference Patron;
  • Sharon Starick, well known regional personality and Presiding Member of the SA MDB NRM Board;
  • Brendan Sidhu, CEO Jubilee Almonds, an industry identity with a significant involvement in irrigation industries; and
  • Rosie Cullen, a young environmentally focussed individual involved in many forums where she brings together youth and their future aspirations.

Click here to view a video of the following ‘The future of the River Murray’ Keynote Speakers forum on YouTube

Neil Andrew (Chair, National Landcare Advisory Committee)
Basin wide view of River Murray Management
Download Neil’s presentation (3.2MB PowerPoint)

Sharon Starick (Presiding Member, SA MDB NRM Board)
Regional approach to River Murray Management
Download Sharon’s presentation (1.8MB PowerPoint)

Brendan Sidhu (CEO, Jubilee Almonds)
Local Irrigator perspective of River Murray management
Download Brendan’s presentation (750KB PowerPoint)

Rosie Cullen (Student)
Youth perspective of River Murray management
Watch Rosie’s live presentation on YouTube


The Conference Programme Committee selected regionally focussed papers that showed engagement with the Community and an acknowledgement of one or multiple of the Conference Themes.

The Speakers were invited to submit their Presentations and deliver an engaging and concise talk to the Conference participants.

1. Biodiversity Management and Conservation

Amelia Hurren (Trees for Life)
20 Years of Bush for Life: Creating a Nature Connection
Download Amelia’s presentation (17MB PDF)

David Lloyd (Member, Transition Adelaide Hills) and Jenny Deans (Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group)
Building on the Buzz – A case study. Native Bee Awareness
Download David and Jenny’s presentation (2.6MB PowerPoint)

Phil Strachan (Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin)
Living with Wildlife
Download Phil’s presentation (4MB PowerPoint)

2. Indigenous Land Management

Nick Hunt (Farmer)
Kalangadoo my home among the redgums
Download Nick’s presentation (10.4MB PowerPoint)

Melissa Nursey-Bray (University of Adelaide)
The Arabana and water governance: Landcare and caring for country
Download Melissa’s presentation (10.7MB PowerPoint)

Walter Tjami and Bruce MacPherson (Natural Resources Alinytjara Wilurara)
Developing trust and working on other people’s country
Download Walter and Bruce’s presentation (2MB PowerPoint)

3. People and Volunteers

Lisa Stevens (Natural Resources SA Arid Lands)
SA Arid Lands Women’s Retreat
Download Lisa’s presentation (1.7MB PowerPoint)

Tony Sharley (General Manager, Destination Riverland)
A healthy river and healthy landscape means healthy tourism
Download Tony’s presentation (2.5MB PowerPoint)

4. Sustainable Land Management

Georgie Keynes (BIGG Technical Facilitator/Coordinator)
From Landcare Beginnings to a ‘BIGG’ Growing Group
Download Georgie’s presentation (1.7MB PowerPoint)

Mary Crawford (Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula)
Future Farm Landscapes Story
Download Mary’s presentation (6.4MB PowerPoint)

David Davenport (PIRSA)
Creating New Horizons in Old South Australian Soils
Download David’s presentation (2.8MB PowerPoint)


The Conference brought together a panel of “Leaders in Landcare”, registrants who had been nominated for the State Landcare Awards and the Premiers NRM Awards which were to be announced at the Conference Awards Dinner on Tuesday night in the Waikerie Hotel.


The 2015 State Landcare and Premier’s NRM Awards were presented at the Awards Dinner and Presentations Ceremony at the Waikerie Hotel on Tuesday 15 September to celebrate the achievements of landcarers, groups and programmes.


Congratulations to the 2015 State Landcare and Premier’s NRM Award Winners: Wednesday 16 September 2015

2015 Premier’s NRM Awards.

The winners are:

  • Aboriginal Leadership (Female) – Regina McKenzie
  • Aboriginal Leadership (Male) – Peter Clarke
  • Big Picture – The Samphire Coast Icon Project
  • Community Engagement – Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group
  • NRM Research & Innovation – Friends of Shorebirds SE
  • Partnership Project – SE Aboriginal Focus Group
  • Service to NRM – The Keynes Family
  • Rising Star – Bradley Martin


2015 SA Landcare Awards.

The winners are:

  • Aust Govt Individual Landcarer – Lewis Westbrook
  • Aust Govt Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator – Jill Woodlands
  • Aust Govt Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices – Tom Bradman
  • Aust Govt Partnerships with Landcare – South Australian Regent Parrot Recovery Team
  • Coastcare Award – Tennyson Dunes Group
  • Indigenous Land Corp Land Management – Claudia Smith
  • Fairfax Media Landcare Community Group – Port MacDonnell Landcare Group
  • Junior Landcare Team – Barmera Primary School
  • Manpower Young Landcare Leader – Saskia Gerhardy

Press releases:

View the Media Release 17 September 2015: Conservation SA congratulates Premier’s NRM & Landcare Award winners

View the Media Release 15 September 2015 by Minister Ian Hunter: State natural resource management and Landcare volunteers recognised

The Conference Awards Dinner and Presentations Ceremony photos were taken by Paul White Photos, Waikerie (courtesy of DEWNR)


Plenary – The changing operating environment of Landcare (Keynote speakers):

The Conference sought Keynote Speakers who could inform the registrants on the changing operating environment of Landcare and selected researchers and practitioners who are supporting Community to be at the centre of natural resources management.

Ruth Sommerville (Principal Consultant at Rufous and Co)
Engaging the community in sustainable farming and the farmers in conservation – how do we keep our Landcare groups relevant, vibrant and united?
Watch Ruth’s speech on YouTube
Download Ruth’s presentation (10.4MB PowerPoint)

Matthew Ebden (Lecturer in the School of Health and Development at Deakin University)
Landcare: connecting people with nature for ecosystem and human health and Wellbeing
Watch Matthew’s speech on YouTube
Download Matthew’s presentation (6.6MB PowerPoint)

Kym Good (Regional Manager, Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges)
Collaboration for environmental stewardship and landscape sustainability
Watch Kym’s speech on YouTube
Download Kym’s presentation (6.6MB PowerPoint)


The Conference Committee invited a number of schools to present at the Conference in the Education Stream.

These local Riverland Primary Schools are leaders in the environmental education programmes and participate in the “Kids Teaching Kids” programme as part of the Barmera Primary School’s Environmental Expo being held later in the week.

These schools have been preparing for the Expo for many months and giving them an opportunity to present to the State Community Landcare Conference was well received and acknowledged the place of our young people in learning and influencing the rest of the community.

1. Education and Student presentations

Young Environment Leaders (Barmera Primary School)
Turtles: What is happening?

Young Environment Leaders (Barmera Primary School)
Murray, the hardyhead – A little fish with big problems!
Turtles: What is happening?

Young Environment Leaders (Kingston-on-Murray Primary School)
Don’t Be a Drip – sustainable water use

2. Indigenous Land Management

Roger Rigney and Chris Rains (Aboriginal Lands Trust)
Aboriginal Land Management: A New Approach
Download Roger and Chris’s presentation (1.4MB PowerPoint)

Leon Dodd (Scornzy), David Wilson and Michael Holland (Conservation Officers and ALoC Team members, Zoos SA)
Aboriginal Learning on Country at Zoos South Australia
Download Leon and team’s presentation (3.7MB PDF)

3. Biodiversity Management and Conservation

Native Vegetation Unit (DEWNR)
Challenging the status quo: Changing, reforming and innovating native vegetation management in SA
Download the Native Vegetation Unit’s presentation (385KB PowerPoint)

Danny Doyle (Natural Resources Northern and Yorke), Anne Brown (Greening Australia) and Andrea Tschirner (Acacia Park Consulting)
Living Flinders from Peaks to Plains
Download Danny, Anne and Andrea’s presentation (385KB PowerPoint)

4. Education and Student presentations

Young Environment Leaders (Kingston-on-Murray Primary School)
Don’t Be a Drip – sustainable water use (Repeated)

Youth Environment Team (Waikerie Primary School)
Reggie the Regent Parrot in ‘The Case of Mistaken Identity’

Jodie Sommerville and Harry Beauchamp (NRM Education, Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin)
ABCs of Landcare Education

5. People and Volunteers

Marc O’Conaill (Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin)
Tarcowie Landcare Group – the story of an enduring country city partnership
Download Marc’s presentation (8.2MB PowerPoint)

Dr Sylvia Clarke (President of the Campbelltown Landcare Group) and Dr Kiran Liversage (Natural Resources South East)
Citizen science – the future is here
Download Sylvia and Kiran’s presentation (7.8MB PowerPoint)

Tony Fox (Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges)
Community Recovery after the Sampson Flat Bushfire
Download Tony’s presentation (3.7MB PowerPoint)

6. Sustainable Land Management

Linden Masters (Linden Masters Consulting)
Delivering multiple benefit messages – a partnership with NRM
Download Linden’s presentation (2MB PowerPoint)

Dave Setchell (Mallee Eco Services) and Rebecca O’Leary (Natural Resources Northern and Yorke)
Rangelands goat and rabbit control
Download David and Rebecca’s presentation (5.6MB PowerPoint)

Mary-Anne Young (PIRSA)
Celebrating 75 years of soil-care in South Australia
Download Mary-Anne’s presentation (2MB PowerPoint)


A key part of the conference was the link between Landcare and Premium Food and Wine from a Clean Environment.

This link was brought to the Conference by PIRSA Ambassador Callum Hann (Sprout Cooking School), originally from the Riverland, who prepared a wonderful meal from local produce supplied by Illalangi, the Conference caterers and had lots of audience participation along the way.


A key feature of the Conference was the importance of the River Murray to the State.

The River Murray Youth Council were asked to bring it all together with the Conference theme: Landcare – connecting people and healthy landscapes.


Uncle Barney gave a Farewell to Country and assisted the Conference Chairman Gerry Butler to thank the hard working Committee who were largely responsible for the success of the Conference.


Click here to download the 2015 Conference acknowledgements (1.4MB PDF)

For further information, please contact: Gerry Butler, Chairman, gbutler@landcaresa.asn.au
Or, Glenn Gale, Executive Officer, execofficer@landcaresa.asn.au