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Landcare Roadshow celebrates inclusivity and diversity at second forum

After a wonderful first Landcare Roadshow forum on Sustainable Farming in Watervale in October 2022, the Landcare Assoc. of SA (LASA) hosted their second forum on the 23rd of November. Held at the Henley Beach Surf Life Saving Club and with a theme of ‘Landcare for All’, the forum focused on celebrating the diversity of Landcare and highlighted ways that environmental volunteering can be more inclusive.

MC’d by LASA Executive Officer, Eleanor Pratt (below left) guests were welcomed to Kaurna Country by Uncle Mickey O’Brien (below centre) and then heard from Dr Susan Close MP, Deputy Premier and Minister of Climate, Environment and Water (below right), a strong supporter of the Landcare community.

We were honoured to also have Mr Matt Cowdrey OAM MP (Member for Colton and former Paralympian) (below left) say a few words about environmental projects in the local area and how they are working to make these experiences as inclusive as possible.

Dr Robyn Molsher (Team Leader in Community Partnerships, Green Adelaide) (below centre) then spoke to us about the volunteer support and inclusivity programs offered by Green Adelaide, sponsors of the Landcare Roadshow.

We also heard from Yvie Eglinton (Access for All Coordinator, Dept. for Environment and Water) (below right), who explained how the Department are improving access to National Parks for people with a disability and how Landcare groups can use these same principles to be more inclusive to potential new volunteers. For example, Yvie talked about how including a few photos of the area and providing information about accessibility can make people with a disability feel more comfortable to volunteer or visit.

We then heard from Quahli and Clem Newchurch (below left and centre respectively), who spoke about their connection to Kaurna Country and the importance of using Indigenous land management practices to care for Country. Through a passionate and thought-provoking speech, Quahli and Clem explained about using “the right fire”, a slow-moving, cool fire, burning like fingers across the landscape to control weeds, reawaken our sleeping native species and protect native wildlife.

Following this, we also heard from Marc O’Conaill (below right) from the Campbelltown Landcare Group about how they are supporting Kaurna people to reintroduce Indigenous land management practices back into the Adelaide area with the help of the Firesticks Alliance.

After the break, we heard a bit more about what is going on in Landcare locally, with Bernadette Cranwell from Henley Dune Care Group (below left) and Marina Walker from the Gums Landcare Group (below centre) presenting on their latest work and the issues that they still face, including threats of habitat degradation and removal through urbanisation.

Finally, Volunteerability Program Manager, Rachel Yorston gave guests a quick lesson in making volunteering as inclusive as possible, mentioning that simplifying sign-up forms and greeting new volunteers with a friendly smile and a guiding hand can go a long way.

Attendees stuck around after for some nibbles and networking, providing a great opportunity to meet other local Landcarers!

Displays and trade tables were from Green Adelaide, Port Environment Centre, Adelaide Sustainability Centre, Trees for Life, the Nature Conservation Society of SA and Henley Dune Care group.

Thank you to the Landcare Roadshow sponsors, Green Adelaide and the National Landcare Network. Thank you also to all of those that helped in the lead up to the event and on the day. Photography was by Sue McKay from Kick It to Me Photography.