2024 Tasmanian State Landcare Award Winners Announced

15th May 2024 |

Winners for the 23/24 Landcare Australia State & Territory Landcare Awards have been proudly announced at an awards ceremony hosted at Government House Tasmania on 14th May, recognising the outstanding contributions from locals to the environment and community.

Image: Award recipients at the Tasmanian Landcare Awards 2024, Government House.
Left to right: Peter Stronach CEO Landcare Tas, Dr. Tanya Scharaschkin Volunteer at Collinsvale Primary School, Barbara Marschall Kingston Beach Coastcare, Bill Harvey Chair of Landcare Tas Board, Vivienne Anne Briggs, Celia Leverton Regenerative Agriculture Network Tasmania (RANT), Iain and Kate Field Leap Farm, James Shaw, SETAC, Rene Raichert Kingborough Council, (missing from this photo is Julie Ayre Understorey Network)
Photo credit: Nick Hanson 

The Landcare Australia Awards honour the remarkable accomplishments of individuals, groups and organisations, young and old, dedicated to protecting Tasmania’s natural resources and building resilient landscapes for the future.

The award winners and their projects are diverse, including climate innovation, community partnerships, sustainable agriculture, youth, and collaboration with First Nations. 

Peter Stronach Landcare Tasmania CEO expressed his thanks to the Landcare Australia Award sponsors, dignitaries and special guests, while acknowledging the finalists and winners as incredible Landcare champions in our community.

“This year the awards ceremony falls on Landcare Tasmania’s 30th Birthday, giving us a chance to reflect on the remarkable achievements of our community’s Landcare champions. In honouring the finalists and winners, we celebrate their dedication – they are the backbone of our Landcare efforts, inspiring us all to work together to reduce biodiversity loss and protect our food, fibre, and natural areas”.

Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish, commended recipients of Tasmanian Landcare Awards on their outstanding accomplishments.

"The Tasmanian Landcare Award winners have shown an exceptional level of commitment to Landcare activities by restoring and protecting the natural environment where they live and work. Their achievements benefits not only our land and water assets, but is helping to create partnerships and build community resilience across Australia. As we come together to celebrate and acknowledge their efforts, we also find inspiration in their hard work, and a reminder to us all that Landcare is a collective effort."

Winners of the State & Territory Landcare Award categories will represent Tasmania at the 2024 National Landcare Awards to be held in late 2024.

Image: Bill Harvey, Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC, and Peter Stronach cut the Landcare Tasmania birthday cake. Photo credit: Nick Hanson

This year the awards ceremony falls just two weeks before Landcare Tasmania’s 30th Birthday, so we took the opportunity to celebrate 30 years of Landcare Tasmania (with cake), giving us a chance to reflect on the remarkable achievements of our community's Landcare champions.


The Awards

 

Australian Government Climate Innovation Award
Winner: Regenerative Agriculture Network Tasmania

Image: Celia Leverton, Regenerative Agriculture Network Tasmania (RANT) accepts the Australian Government Climate Innovation Award. Photo credit: Nick Hanson

The inception of the Regenerative Agriculture Network Tasmania in 2018 marked a pivotal step towards combating climate change, while producing food and fibre sustainably and profitably.

The work of RANT mostly, but not exclusively, covers the production areas of farms, the 80-90% that usually isn’t shelter belts, riparian zones or remnant bush conservation areas. They have a goal for the production areas (and the conservation areas) to be biologically diverse above and below the soil surface, have fully functioning water infiltration and nutrient cycling, and have 100% ground cover year-round. These indicators also signal soil carbon sequestration.

RANT has built communities of farmers around the state to support each other and encourage outcome-focused action. Their aim is to have a habitable planet, food and water security, profitable farm businesses and healthy farming families and communities.

Nominees:

Tasmanian Climate Collective
The Tasmanian Climate Collective is a dynamic network uniting organizations and individuals in lutruwita/Tasmania to drive urgent climate action. Established in response to political climates, they've made impactful strides through advocacy campaigns, informative scorecards, and strategic submissions, amplifying the community's voice in climate policy. Through inclusive initiatives like the Tasmanian Youth Climate Leaders program and engaging projects like Climate Flags, they inspire positive change and empower diverse communities to combat climate change.

Dr Scott Bell
A retired medical professional and grandfather, through initiatives like the Saltwood Trees for Life project, he's planted 1800 trees and engages in Extinction Rebellion activism, pushing for climate action and raising awareness on carbon emissions and conservation efforts. His commitment, despite personal challenges and expenses, exemplifies his deep-rooted passion for environmental stewardship and sustainable practices.

Matthew Tom Harrison
Associate Professor Matthew Harrison has made exceptional contributions to climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation, earning accolades like the prestigious Premier’s Tasmanian STEM Researcher award. As Director of the Carbon Storage Partnership, he leads a transdisciplinary team focused on improving environmental stewardship, food security, and climate resilience, showcasing his commitment to sustainable practices and community engagement.


Australian Government Sustainable Agriculture Landcare Award
Winner: Leap Farm

Image: Kate and Iain Field, Leap Farm accepts the Australian Government Sustainable Agriculture Landcare Award.

Photo credit: Nick Hanson

Leap Farm, run by Iain and Kate Field in Tasmania, is a model of sustainable farming that combines ecological principles with innovative practices to enhance soil health, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration. Producing award-winning goat cheese and meats, the Fields share their knowledge widely to promote environmentally friendly and economically viable agriculture. They operate a sustainable, biodiverse and ethical agribusiness, sharing their knowledge widely and effectively with their community and beyond.

Nominees:

Midlands Conservation Partnership Landholders 
The Midlands Conservation Partnership (MCP) comprises 14 landholders and families in Tasmania's Midlands, focusing on conserving critically endangered native grasslands and other vegetation. Through strategic land management practices and conservation agreements, MCP protects 7,360 hectares, safeguarding 62 threatened species and demonstrating successful ecosystem restoration and maintenance in a region threatened by agricultural intensification and invasive species like gorse.

West Pine Ag
West Pine is a leader in sustainable farming by integrating a triple bottom line approach, engaging local schools and volunteers in environmental efforts, and showcasing innovative farming techniques.


Australian Government Community Partnerships Landcare Award
Winner: The Understorey Network Inc

Image: Julie Ayre, The Understorey Network accepts the Australian Government Community Partnerships Award. Photo credit: Nick Hanson

The Understorey Network (USN) focuses on propagating, preserving and promoting the value of Tasmanian native plants. Through the hard work of many volunteers the nursery now grows 20,000 tubestock a year, and has a seedbank and a tearoom. And, in the last two years, volunteer hours at the nursery have increased by 45%.  The reinvigoration of the Understorey Network in the last few years, with a dedicated committee, expanding seedbank, nursery volunteers and growing membership of over 100 people, is an important asset for the community.

Nominees:

Mount Roland Land Care
Mount Roland Land Care Incorporated (MRLC), celebrating its 25th year, is a vibrant volunteer-run organization dedicated to proactive natural resource management. With impressive community engagement, strategic partnerships, and diverse Landcare activities, MRLC continues to make a lasting impact on conservation, education, and community resilience in the Kentish area and beyond.


Greyhound Coastcare Award
Winner: Kingston Beach Coastcare

Image: Doug Humann (Landcare Australia Chair) with Barbara Marshall, Kingston Beach Coastcare accepts the Greyhound Coastcare Award. Photo credit: Nick Hanson

Kingston Beach Coastcare (KBC) has achieved incredible impact over 25 years. Its healthy membership base is clearly dedicated to supporting this rich and highly significant coastal ecosystem.  

The core members of KBC have a very real commitment to actively healing the land and water of their coastal ecosystems, encouraging healthy habitat for native flora and fauna in this high conservation value area. The contribution and dedication of KBC’s members over many years has been truly significant. The improvements evident today are testament to the great effort that our volunteers have exerted.

Nominees:

Impression Bay Coastcare Group
Impression Bay Coastcare Group, located in Premaydena on the Tasman Peninsula, has been revitalized since 2018 to tackle environmental weeds and restore the bay's natural beauty and biodiversity. The group's dedicated volunteers focus on weed removal, revegetation with native species, and improving bird and animal habitats, all while engaging the community and fostering a deeper appreciation for local ecology and conservation efforts.


First Nations Landcare Collaboration Award
Winner: South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (SETAC) and Kingborough Council 

Image: Doug Humann (Landcare Australia Chair), with Rene Raichert, Kingborough Council, and James Shaw, SETAC, accept the First Nations Landcare Collaboration Award, and Lyndon O'Neil (Landcare Tasmania - Members Council). Photo credit: Nick Hanson

In June 2018, a partnership between Kingborough Council, SETAC, NRM South and Bruny Farming was established. It piloted an Aboriginal, school-based apprenticeship program in Conservation and Ecosystem Management from TAFE Tasmania.  Funded by the Australian Government (via NRM South), the ‘Priority Actions for Eastern Quolls on North Bruny Island’ project funded a three-year, Trainee Aboriginal Land Management Officer (TALMO) position.

The Trainee Aboriginal Land Management Officer (TALMO) and the wider partnership has contributed to the environmental conservation of Bruny Island, including the broader Kingborough Municipality, through undertaking cat management and natural resource management activities and through the exchange of cultural knowledge and land management practices.

The partnership between SETAC and Kingborough Council which has provided not only a traineeship, but a way for partners to connect, share knowledge, develop best practice, heal Country and community.

 


Women in Landcare Award
Winner: Vivienne Briggs

Images: Vivienne Anne Briggs was awarded both the Women in Landcare and the Australian Government Individual Landcare Awards. Photo credit: Nick Hanson

Vivienne has been working with Australian wildlife for the past 25 years. Her conservation work has focused on the platypus, penguins and other birds (Silver Gull) in the port city of Burnie. For the past 20 years she has been instrumental in the conservation of the platypus in Tasmania, in a professional and voluntary capacity.

She is the founder and coordinator of Friends of Fernglade, a group she had led since 2014. Fernglade is recognised as one of the most easily accessible, and reliable, places to see wild platypuses in Australia. Vivienne is the founder, and the convenor of the Tasmanian Platypus Conservation Group (2021) and was elected in that same year to the Landcare Tasmania members council in 2023.  

Vivienne participates with several interstate conservation groups, wildlife consultants and scientists and has attended and spoken at numerous interstate think tanks on the conservation of Australian wildlife.

Nominees:

Robyn Lewis
Robyn, an economist and ecologist, has dedicated her life to conservation and restoration efforts, managing the historic Milford Forest since 2000. Her work not only protects endemic species like orchids and owls but also serves as an educational beacon, inspiring community action and receiving accolades like the Tasmanian Community Biosecurity Award and Business East’s Environmental Sustainability Award.

Susan Quinnell
Susan, an ecologist and enthusiastic volunteer, has dedicated hundreds of hours to her wildlife monitoring project in the Nierinna Creek valley, engaging local residents and fostering partnerships with Tramway Hill Landcare Group, Landcare Tasmania, and Tasmanian Land Conservancy. Through her efforts, Susan aims to protect and promote the Nierinna Creek Valley as a significant wildlife corridor, actively involving residents in fauna monitoring, citizen science projects, and habitat development to support local wildlife.

 

Woolworths Junior Landcare Award
Winner: Collinsvale Primary School

Image: Dr. Tanya Scharaschkin Volunteer at Collinsvale Primary School, accepts the Woolworths Junior Landcare Award with Stuart Sharp (Woolworths). Photo credit: Nick Hanson

Collinsvale Primary School (CPS) is a small school with a total of 60 students. Students are in Junior, middle and senior primary classes. Students expressed concern about the waste generated by people, wanting to know what lives or grows in the local area and how to protect it, and an interest in growing their own vegetables, leading to the development of several school-wide environmental initiatives. CPS students are very aware of the natural environment and have a diverse range of interests and approaches to caring for the environment. The whole school is able to participate in these activities. "Zero Waste", “Understanding and Preserving Natural Habitats” and “Garden Club” are three examples of such programs. 

If the future care of the local natural areas around Collinsvale is in the hands of the students at Collinsvale Primary School, the future looks bright!

Nominees:

Clarendon Vale Primary School
Clarendon Vale Primary School involves its students in weekly kitchen garden and environmental projects, teaching them about biodiversity, sustainability, and local food systems. Through collaborations with local Landcare groups, students engage in community initiatives like tree planting and food relief, fostering environmental stewardship and community resilience.
They demonstrate exemplary initiative and leadership to ensure the shared community space maximises biodiversity, sustainability and productivity, while building community resilience and inclusion.


Howrah Primary School
Howrah Primary School integrates environmental education into its curriculum through hands-on projects like revegetation and wildlife corridor creation. Partnering with local Landcare groups, the school empowers students to actively participate in local conservation efforts, promoting ecological awareness and community involvement. Demonstrating inspiring Landcare leadership in their local area; they empower their students to meaningfully contribute to their local environment and community.

 

Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award
Winner: Vivienne Briggs

Images: Vivienne Anne Briggs was awarded both the Women in Landcare and the Australian Government Individual Landcare Awards. Photo credit: Nick Hanson

Vivienne has dedicated 25 years to Australian wildlife conservation, focusing on platypus and penguins in Burnie. Her leadership at Friends of Fernglade and the Tasmanian Platypus Conservation Group, alongside strategic engagements with councils and stakeholders, underscores her commitment to sustainable development and species protection. Vivienne's tireless efforts, from education to policy advocacy, have not only preserved habitats but also inspired a new generation of conservationists.

Highly Commended: 

Peter Voller
With over 45 years of Landcare experience in Queensland and Tasmania, is the dedicated chairman of West Tamar Landcare Group, contributing immensely to environmental sustainability and community engagement. Through his strategic leadership, Peter has spearheaded numerous projects, secured funding, and fostered collaborations, resulting in significant achievements and positive impacts on local ecosystems and community well-being.

Nominees: 

Julie Ayre
Julie’s immense dedication and leadership within the Understorey Network (USN) have been pivotal in revitalizing the organization. She played a crucial role in transitioning the USN from a volunteer-run nursery to a fully operational entity, demonstrating exceptional commitment in managing the USN's website overhaul, securing funding, and mobilizing volunteers. Julie's multifaceted contributions, from nurturing the membership base to engaging with the public through social media and networking, have significantly elevated the USN's profile and impact, making her an invaluable asset to the preservation and promotion of Tasmania's natural environment.
Dr Scott Bell
A retired medical professional and grandfather, has dedicated himself to environmental protection and climate advocacy for over two decades. With a deep-seated drive to reduce environmental degradation, improve catchment water quality, and in futureproofing, maximizing the future potential of the landscape to adapt to climate change
Through initiatives like the Saltwood Trees for Life project, he's planted 1800 trees and engages in Extinction Rebellion activism, pushing for climate action and raising awareness on carbon emissions and conservation efforts. His commitment, despite personal challenges and expenses, exemplifies his deep-rooted passion for environmental stewardship and sustainable practices.

James Godfrey
James started the Tasmanian Foxglove Facebook page, advocating for the Tasmanian government and biosecurity to classify foxglove as a recognized weed species, a milestone achieved after three years of dedicated effort. He actively collects GPS coordinates from submission to compile a comprehensive map of foxglove sightings across Tasmania, contributing to the management of this invasive plant species.


 

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Photo credits: Nick Hanson, Nick H. Visuals

 

 


 

 

 

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