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Community case studies

2015/16 Community Grants

Barham Landcare - Native plant identification workshop

Over 30 local community members gathered at Barham Federation Botanic Reserve on 28th April 2016 to learn about locally indigenous plants.

What did participants learn?

The workshop included:

  • Welcome to Country by Esther Kirby, Barapa Barapa and Wemba Wemba Aboriginal Elder Martin Driver and participants at a native plant identification workshop hosted by Barham Landcare
  • Guided walks with plant guru Martin Driver, ANPC
  • Learning how to identify native plants and about their traditional uses
  • Learning how seed is collected and comparing seed from different plants

The day was a 'growing' success...

"I am keen to explore new areas of my farm for more natives, and I saw some good options for our large garden" -Barham landholder.

What is Barham Federation Botanic Reserve?

The 10ha Barham Federation Botanic Reserve on East Barham Rd, Barham, was established in 1999 by Barham Landcare Group to preserve locally native species and provide valuable habitat for a range of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds.

The reserve, which is open to the public, has three walking tracks with interpretive signage on plants, animals, and traditional ecological knowledge of the local Barapa Barapa people.

Holbrook Landcare Network - Dung Beetle workshops

More than 30 farmers attended a series of dung beetle workshops hosted by Holbrook Landcare Network in April. The workshops were held across different locations in Holbrook to teach local farmers about the role of fund beetles in sustainable, productive agriculture.

What did participants learn?

Dung beetle experts Graeme Stevenson and Belinda Pearce kept participants entertained over the 2 days by: Dung beetle found at the workshop

  • explaining the importance of dung beetles on farms
  • teaching them how to identify different dung beetle species
  • linking them up with other interested landholders
  • giving them an opportunity to practice their new ID skills on a paddock walk.

Participants also received a dung beetle resource pack to continue their learning. One of the participants has already started planning to release more Geotrupes spiniger on his farm to combat the excess dung lying around!

Who's Who in the Poo!

“This is an obvious role for Landcare, as the beetles don’t stay on one farm, so we need to work together as a district to co-ordinate the release of new species.” - Local farmer.

Why are dung beetles so important?

Dung beetles are important in a number of different ways.

They contribute to the recycling of nutrients on farms at different times of the year by breaking down dung and mixing this through the soil.

By doing so, they speed up the dung decomposition process leaving the area available for stock to resume grazing.

Southern Growers Inc. - Women in Agriculture

Sixty-five women from farms, agribusiness and industry attended a ‘Women in Agriculture’ taster event hosted by Southern Growers Inc. in May. The event was held at Finley and provided participants with fantastic networking opportunities as well as valuable new skills to apply to their everyday business of agriculture and farm life.

What did participants learn?

Women from across the region came to hear from experts about: Participants at the Women in Agriculture taster event hosted by Southern Growers Inc.

  • Communicating effectively with business partners
  • How water allocations are calculated
  • First hand experiences with succession planning

Participants also contributed to a group session seeking their input on issues important to them. The full day event included the opportunity to network over a scrumptious lunch prepared from local produce.

Valuable networks were formed...

“Women are starved of opportunities to get together and learn about the real issues affecting farm businesses. This workshop provided a great opportunity to arm us with the necessary knowledge to provide positive and informed input into day to day agricultural decision making” – Local farmer.

What is Women in Agriculture?

Women in Agriculture is an inclusive network of like-minded rural women.

It focuses on empowering and inspiring women to get involved in farm decision-making at many levels by delivering targeted information and technical skills.

This event introduced the Women in Agriculture initiative to the Finley district.

Walla Walla Public School P&C Organisation - NRM workshop series

Over 230 students, parents and community members came along to a series of interactive workshops hosted by Walla Walla Public School P&C Organisation in May. The workshops were hosted at Gum Swamp Reserve and gave participants some great insights into how they can protect nature in their own backyards.

What did participants learn?

Students from Walla Walla, Holbrook and Culcairn, as well as parents and community members, gathered at the swamp with local experts to:Walla Walla students making wetland charms at an NRM workshop hosted by Walla Walla Public School

  • Identify the local plants and animals
  • Learn how to master a botanical drawing
  • Even try trapping bats!

Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a delicious supper while watching the sun set over the swamp and hearing it come alive with nocturnal creatures.

Students discovered the beauty of Gum Swamp...

“It was also absolutely fantastic to see the number of school children that dragged their parents back after school for a second session! To see them interacting so directly and excitedly with nature was a real buzz,” - Walla Walla resident.

What is Gum Swamp Reserve?

Gum Swamp Reserve in Walla Walla is a high conservation wetland that is home to many threatened species, including the white-bellied sea eagle, the fishing bat and the squirrel glider.

It is also an important cultural heritage site and community recreation area.

Thanks to the workshops, the Walla Walla community now have a greater connection to Gum Swamp and are inspired to preserve the swamp for future generations.