What's New December 2023

BCLN E-news

Hello to all of our Landcare Members, Partners, Sponsors, and Friends throughout the Bass Coast Landcare Network, and welcome to the December edition of the BCLN Enews.

This month's Enews contains a range of events, articles on recent events, general news, grants and more. Grab a beverage, sit back, relax and enjoy! 

From the Board and Staff of BCLN, we thank you all for being a part of the local Landcare action in 2023. From putting record numbers of plants in the ground, to participating in the various social or knowledge sharing events, to growing plants at our Nursery and many more ways that you have all been involved, it all makes a difference. We hope you have a safe and happy Festive season with your friends and family and look forward to catching up with you in 2024. 


For all the latest updates, follow us on Facebook and Instagram... just click the links above!



Beach nesting birds information day- Friday 22nd December

BirdLife Australia are running a beach-nesting birds awareness raising event on Friday 22nd December at the mouth of the Powlett River from 10am onwards as part of the Powlett River Kugerungmome Partnerships project. Come along and learn all about the sweet little Hooded Plovers, their fascinating behavior, and how you can help protect threatened species of wildlife through simple actions. Free giveaways on the day too!

Photo by Michelle Sawyer from the Birdlife Australia Webpage. 

For further information click here.


Summer by the Sea 2024

Summer by the Sea 2024 is coming to a coastline near you.  The full program of activities is now live, and there is something for everyone. There are more than 70 events across the Victorian coastline to choose from. These free activities are a great way for people of all abilities to learn more about the marine and coastal environment near them. These events fill up quickly and bookings are essential.

Secure your place by clicking here. 



BCLN AGM and launch of the new Strategic Plan

The BCLN AGM was held at the Bass Hall on 18th of November. We had a good turnout from our Board and Group members with over 40 attendees. There was a lot of good questions asked from our members around the changes to the BCLN constitution which was overwhelmingly supported. It was great to have governance expert Belinda Brennan in attendance to help run the AGM and answer questions.  Belinda also helped BCLN in the development of our new Strategic Plan, which we launched at the AGM. Our Board executive going forward into the next 18 months is Chair: Linda Bowden, Vice Chair: Ken Connor, Treasurer: Roger Lee and Secretary: Bill Irving.

For all of our Network documents click here. 


Nature Network and Buloke & Northern Grampians Landcare Visit

BCLN recently hosted a delegation of 10 board members and staff from both the Nature Network (East Bendigo Landcare) and Buloke & Northern Grampians Landcare for a tour and deep dive into our operations of BCLN. This was a reciprocal tour as several of our Board members and staff recently toured the Nature Network up in Bendigo.  The tour was very successful, and everyone agreed that more joint learnings can be achieved, and more tours will be encouraged into the future.

For further information click here. 


River Garden Kids first program a great success!

Our first ever River Garden Little Kids program for 3-5 year olds finished the last of eight sessions on the 8th of December. BCLN Staff had a ball hosting this program with highlights for the children including seeing inside the worm farm, getting their hands dirty planting a butterfly garden, potato hunting, finding tadpoles and waterbugs in the dam, creating cute pots and sowing seed, searching for native animals, creating a bee hotel, and surprisingly, even the broad beans were a big hit! Feedback from parents and carers was overwhelmingly positive, noting the enjoyment and confidence that their children gained from participating, plus the many fun and engaging age-appropriate props, topics and activities. All participants wanted the program to continue into the future, a great testament to the success of the program. Each session hosted 15 children with their adults (not all the same children every time), and every session was fully booked with waiting lists of at least 10 more. Due to the popularity of this program, as well as being able to provide a much-needed opportunity for young families to engage with Landcare, we are exploring opportunities to host more sessions in 2024. If you would like to get your little one or your grandchildren involved in River Garden Kids, please watch out for our February Enews for future program announcements.

Click here for all things River Garden. 


The Very Fast Break- Seasonal Climate Update

Welcome to the last Very Fast Break seasonal climate update for December 2023. The team will take a rest over the Summer and be back in April 2024.  They would love your feedback. If you have comments, questions or feedback address them to Dale Grey at [email protected]

For further information and to access the video, click here.


White Bellied Sea Eagle monitoring

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action ​is partnering with Birdlife Australia to undertake the surveying of White-bellied Sea-Eagles in and around the Gippsland Lakes. While the project focuses on surveying in and around the Gippsland Lakes, surveying further along the coastline and inland waters of Gippsland will also occur during this period.  Surveying of White-bellied Sea-Eagles takes place in late spring and conclude mid-summer. Surveying during this period allows breeding pairs and nests currently being used to be identified, in addition to determining the number of young in the nest.

For further information click here.


 Australian Government Sustainable Agriculture Landcare Award

Nominations are open for the 20234/2024 State and Territory Landcare Awards.  The Australian Government Sustainable Agriculture Landcare Award acknowledges an individual, group, network or organisation that has demonstrated excellence and leadership in implementing sustainable and integrated land management practices on a farm property, or properties that protect soils, water, vegetation and biodiversity. The award also recognises practices that deliver improved natural resource management and farm productivity outcomes.  Nominations are open to farmers, First Nations organisations, Landcare groups/networks, farming systems groups, primary producers and/or farming enterprises.

For further information click here.​​



Partnerships Against Pests Grants

Funding worth $500,000 is available that will help community groups deliver workshops and resources including fact sheets and videos, showcasing best practice management tips.  This will support the newly launched Victorian Biosecurity Strategy.  Grants worth between $10,000 and $50,000 are available to a wide range of agricultural and environmental volunteering groups and organisations.  These grants are not for on-ground work but instead focus on capacity building, education, partnerships and collaboration. Applications close on 19th February 2024.

For more information click here.


Bass Coast Adult Learning-Certificate III in Horticulture

Whether you want to maintain beautiful gardens, work outdoors or in a nursery helping customers choose plants, this 3 days per week course is for you. You’ll learn the fundamentals of plant recognition and nutrition, pest, disease and weed control. Receive hands-on training in the BCAL training garden as well as develop industry contacts in work placements and training at venues throughout the Bass Coast.  Units include plant nutrition, plant establishment, landscape maintenance, grassed area maintenance and much more.

​For further information click here. 


Want to travel overseas to pursue a passion of yours?

A Churchill Fellowship offers Australian citizens and permanent residents a life-changing opportunity to travel overseas for four to eight weeks to learn more about a topic or issue that they are passionate about.  2024 Churchill Fellowship applications are open 1 March 9:00am – 1 May 2024 5:00pm AEST.

For further information click here. 


Farmers and Landcare growing together - Training Opportunity

Landcare Victoria Inc, Agriculture Victoria and Rural Biz training are offering an incredible opportunity for agricultural workers and Landcare professionals to enhance skills and contribute more effectively to the well-being of our communities. RuralBiz Training is offering a skillset specifically designed for Landcare facilitators, to develop community coordination and facilitation skills, and a skillset for farmers, to improve farm production and management skills. The cost to participants is $480 per skillset. Places are strictly limited and subject to availability. This training is subsidised by the Victorian Agriculture TAFE Training Fund and supported by Landcare Victoria Inc.

For more information, visit the Rural Biz website. 


New Natural Capital Handbook available for download

New CSIRO handbook to guide Australian businesses towards nature positive future.  The Natural Capital Handbook delivers practical step-by-step guidelines on how to measure and incorporate natural assets such as clean air, water, soil and living things into operations.

For further information and to download the booklet click here.


New online learning supports landowners to protect biodiversity

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) has launched a series of online learning modules to guide landholders in how they can protect native habitat.  The e-learning modules are free and are designed to empower and build confidence in conservation management on private land.  The online-only course is delivered through Tocal College, a registered training organisation for land management, with content developed for landholders by BCT ecologists.  

Anyone interested in the course can visit bct.nsw.gov.au/elearning to learn more and register. 


Landcare Webinar Recordings

Landcare Australia have had another busy year hosting webinars and making available the recordings.  If you missed any of these webinars you can catch up and view them by clicking here. 



Bass Coast Secondary Schools Stepping onto Farms project

We have recently started rolling out our secondary school farm visits as part of the 'Bass Coast Secondary Schools Stepping Onto Farms' project.  The project is working with up to 15 Landcare farmers across Bass Coast who represent a variety of farm enterprises to host up to 40 tours for secondary school students. Students will see first-hand what life is like working in agricultural roles and learn about the pathways to finding future employment in similar roles.  Thanks so much to all of our farmers who have recently hosted a school tour to their farm.  

For further information on Bass Coast Landcare Network Education programs, click here. 


River Garden Update

Thanks to funding from Vic health, we were able to expand our school programs this year at the River garden and it has been such a great way to involve the next generation in sustainable gardening and appreciating their natural environments. This month we have finished up with our Year 9's from Bass Coast College and also had a few sessions with some year 7 groups. With this support we were able to get on top of most of our weeding, plant the rest of our spring/summer veggies, and start our frames for our fruit trees, albeit a little late for this year, but can now look forward to future years of being able to harvest our fruit before the birds. We also finished up our first ever River Garden Little kids program, see our wrap up of this very popular program in the story above in this enews. 2024 is already shaping up to be a year of action at the River Garden, with Community Corrections Crews returning to assist with maintenance, which will then allow us also to develop more of this great community space. We look forward to seeing you next year down at the River Garden. 

For more information on the River Garden and to sign up as a volunteer to get notifications of upcoming events and happenings, click here. 


Capturing Carbon for a Biodiverse Bass Coast - In local planting projects!

If you feel passionate about the environment and want to contribute to action on climate change by reducing the impact of your car on our planet, why not consider becoming a part of our ‘Capturing Carbon for a biodiverse Bass Coast’ program? Head to our web page at the link below and simply click on your car's size to make a tax-deductible donation, so we can plant indigenous plants in biodiverse plantings across Bass coast on your behalf. These plantings will increase habitat and important wildlife corridor connections while capturing carbon from the atmosphere. All your friends and family will also see your complimentary car sticker showing your commitment to the Bass Coast environment and climate action.

donate today

Landcare Public Fund making projects a reality – Donate today to make a difference!

The Bass Coast Landcare Public Fund is a regional non-profit organisation focusing on conserving biodiversity throughout Bass Coast.​ We do this by supporting community groups to work in their local area to add value to their conservation efforts, encourage broader community ownership and participation and by working in partnership with other land managers. We work to help protect native plants and animals in Bass Coast’s most ecologically important landscapes. Your tax-deductible contribution, no matter how small, or by leaving a bequest in your will, helps to protect native plants and animals in Bass Coast’s most ecologically important landscapes. ​

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What's your story?

We would love to hear from you and your Landcare group with stories and photos of what's been happening in your area and any suggestions of things that you would like to see in your E-news.

We look forward to meeting and catching up with you at upcoming events and activities around Bass Coast.

Until next edition, 

Happy reading, from the Bass Coast Landcare Network.

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We want to hear from you for the next E-news!

Please send us any of your stories, events or other information for the next edition of the E-news by the end of the first week of the month.

All we need is a photo and a couple of paragraphs to be sent to:  [email protected]

Let's be buddies

The Bass Coast Landcare Network would like to acknowledge and pay our respects to the Traditional Land Owners within the Network area, The Bunurong and Boon Wurrung people. We also recognise the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations in Land and Natural Resource Management.