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Landcare passion wins Kathleen a state award

A VENUS Bay woman is changing the way the Landcare story is being told.
Kathleen Brack, the regional Landcare program officer for the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority for just three years, has created new messages and found innovative ways of engaging with her community.
Her efforts resulting is Ms Brack receiving the Austcover Young Landcare Leader Award at the Victorian Landcare Awards recently.
“Working in Landcare is really the perfect fit for me as it has a focus on healthy environments as well as healthy communities,” Ms Brack said.
Keen to attract more young people to Landcare, Ms Brack ran an Intrepid Landcare Retreat at Wilsons Promontory for 20 people aged from 18 to 35.
Participants learnt about Landcare, talked, hiked and worked with the local friends group, and graduates have gone on to form the Gippsland Intrepid Landcare Group.
Ms Brack has demonstrated how social media can benefit Landcare. In just a year as administrator of the Landcare in Victoria Facebook page, she has increased its fans by 35 percent.
A podcast she produces telling the stories of Landcare in West Gippsland was selected as a new and noteworthy podcast by iTunes Australia.
With the aim of explaining the social and community benefits of Landcare, Ms Brack recently conducted a social return on investment study on a Merriman Creek Landcare Group project.
This study found that for every dollar spent on a Landcare project, there is at least a $3.41 return in social value.
Ms Brack has also driven the implementation of a new iPad mapping system for the five Landcare networks in Gippsland, and has organised many workshops, a training course and field days.
In her previous position as a project officer for the South Gippsland Landcare Network,s Ms Brack was a driving force in the creation of the South Gippsland Equine Landcare Group.
She consulted with the community on the type of support horse owners needed and supported the people who came forward to form the group. The group has more than 500 followers on its Facebook page, and is an important contact point and information source for horse owners in Gippsland.
Her work in South Gippsland included developing the South Gippsland Landcare Network Koala Habitat Preservation Enhancement and Restoration Plan 2012–2015.
Ms Brack was involved in biolink planning and community engagement as part of the plan.
She developed a schools program about koalas in the Strzelecki Ranges and delivered it to primary schools in Poowong, Toora, Foster, Fish Creek and Tarwin Valley, as well as to two Leongatha kindergartens.
Ms Brack also designed a citizen science website, where people from across Gippsland could record their koala sightings. More than 150 sightings were logged over a four year period.
After growing up in rural New South Wales, she studied environmental and social science at RMIT.
“I was very fortunate to get my first break after university working in Landcare in Gippsland. I love it. It’s awesome to see great projects underway and to work alongside such an inspiring and passionate group of community volunteers. It’s been a privilege to be able to tell their stories,” Ms Brack said.
She believed Landcare would change in the future and it was up to the next generation to create the right space for that to happen.
“There are many opportunities to get involved. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit for people,” Ms Brack said.

Making it happen: Kathleen Brack, recipient of the Austcover Young Landcare Leader Award at the Victorian Landcare Awards.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=22584

Posted by on Sep 12 2017. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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