VLC objectives are to:
1 Encourage governments, other organisations and the public to recognise and resource Landcare as an organisation that promotes community learning and action on natural resource management
2. Participate in developing government policy on natural resource management, and build a stronger relationship between landcarers and policy makers
3 Facilitate collaboration between Landcare, Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs), local government, and State and Federal governments to plan and take action on natural resource management issues
4 Provide and promote ongoing training for Landcare volunteers and staff.
VLC and community Landcare
The VLC is governed by its members — landcare groups.
Just like local landcare, we’re committed to making landcare
a secure, valued part of community life. Community landcare
means the grassroots individuals and groups that embrace the
ethic of caring for their local environment. It includes all ‘Care’
groups: Landcare, Coastcare, Bushcare, ‘Friends of’ groups and
farmers’ groups focused on sustainable production.
These groups speak out on local issues. The VLC speaks out at
State level, and through the National Landcare Network we put
a strong community view on landcare issues nationally.
Influencing government policy
The VLC has consistently put a landcare point of view to
policy makers. We have made submissions to the Victorian
Bushfires Royal Commission, the National Landcare Framework
and its subsequent Action Plan for Landcare, the Caring for Our
Country Business Plan Review, Sustainability Victoria’s Strategic
Review, the Draft Invasive Species Management Bill, the
Victorian Landcare Program Strategic Plan and a review of
Victoria’s Native Vegetation Permitted Clearing Regulations.
The VLC represents Landcare interests on the Blackberry
Taskforce, the Riparian Advisory Group and the Community
Reference Group of the Environmental Protection Authority.
With government funding, we've run an Induction Workshop
for the new facilitators, connecting them quickly to Landcare
knowledge across the State.
We co-host the State Landcare Forum, most recently in Geelong,
to celebrate and share experience of what works in Landcare.
We continue to advocate for adequate training and career paths
for Landcare staff.
How the VLC is structured
The VLC is a bottom-up organisation. Delegates are at the core
of how the VLC achieves its outcomes. Up to 60 delegates make
up the Council, with the 10 regions across Victoria selecting six
Delegates meet three times a year as full Council to set direction
and elect the Committee of Management, which handles the
VLC’s day-to-day activities.
Two delegates represent Victoria on the National Landcare
Network. Steering groups plan VLC action on issues such as
advocacy, partnerships, membership and governance.
However, it is Delegates who think about what landcare is doing
to become a stronger force in natural resource management,
and what needs to be done next through advocacy and training.
The VLC has backed the Statement of Common Purpose from
the National Landcare Network and National Catchment
Management Authority Chairs, which affirms how Landcare and
CMAs should work together in natural resource management.
We will continue to press the case federally that Landcare is
an effective NRM service provider, a key planner of targeted
programs for landscapes, and a platform for community
recovery from fires and floods.
Closer to home, we have merged with the body representing
Landcare staff in Victoria and are seeking a merger with the
Farm Tree and Landcare Association (FTLA) to develop a single
advocacy group for Victorian Landcare.
We have secured greater access for community Landcare
members to events like the annual State Landcare Forum,
so that staff and members understand one another better.
In 2008, thirty Landcare volunteers met in Ballarat and committed
to creating ‘an independent voice for Landcare volunteers, not
controlled or monitored or moderated by any other agency or
organisation, connected to grassroots members.
Since its inception the VLC has been winning recognition and
resourcing for community Landcare.
We make the case for Landcare as a facilitator of community
learning and action and as an effective provider of services to
government natural resource management programs. Our
Patron is Professor Andrew Campbell who has been pivotal in the expansion of landcare across Australia.
We successfully lobbied the Victorian Liberal/National Coalition to
fund 68 new Landcare Facilitator positions for its four-year term.
These facilitators are making a huge difference to communities.
We put the benefits of Landcare to the Victorian Landcare
Program, to State level advisory groups and to Ministers. Through
the National Landcare Network, we join with other community
landcare advocates to influence national policy.
We are now making the case for continuing funding for Landcare
facilitators beyond the current four-year term.
Landcare needs an advocate. The Victorian Landcare Council
is here to speak with senior managers and politicians, in the
government of the day and in opposition, so they understand
what Landcare contributes, and commit the funding that
supports Landcare activities.
Our challenge is to make sure they don't forget Victorian
Landcare's 800 groups, 70 networks and 40,000 members.
We're here to make the case that Landcare is essential to
communities, and to government.
We're all volunteers, committed to making landcare a secure,
valued part of community life and natural resource management.