THE infectious energy and enthusiasm of local Landcarer Kathleen Brack was recognised with a national award last week.
Kathleen, who’s based in Inverloch and has for the past three years worked as the regional Landcare program officer for the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, beat out six other nominees to win the Young Landcare Leader Award at the 2018 National Landcare Awards ceremony in Brisbane last Thursday.
The 30-year-old has been involved in a huge range of Landcare projects, workshops, training courses, field days and education campaigns across Gippsland in the past eight years and has been credited with changing the way the Landcare story is being told in the region; creating new messages and finding innovative ways to engage with her community and attract more young people to Landcare.
Her dizzying list of achievements includes developing the 2012-2015 South Gippsland Landcare Network Koala Habitat Preservation Enhancement and Restoration Plan; increasing the following of the Landcare in Victoria Facebook page by 35 per cent in one year; producing a Landcare podcast that was selected as “new and noteworthy” by iTunes Australia; conducting a social return on investment study that found that for every dollar spent on a Landcare project, there is at least a $3.41 return in social value; organising two Landcare Green Carpet events celebrating and showcasing Landcare in Gippsland; driving the implementation of a new iPad mapping system for the five Landcare networks in Gippsland; and running a leadership retreat at Wilsons Promontory for people aged 18 to 35, which resulted in the establishment of the Gippsland Intrepid Landcare Group.
As part of her role as a project officer for the South Gippsland Landcare Network, from 2010 to 2013, Kathleen has been at the cutting edge of managing and inspiring Landcare groups and was a driving force in the creation of the South Gippsland Equine Landcare Group, which captured a segment of landholders traditionally not represented in Landcare groups.
In the past three years, she’s delivered $546,000 worth of on-ground works across the West Gippsland region (which spans from San Remo to Loch Sport) as part of the Victoria Landcare Grants, including stock-proof fencing for remnant and revegetation works, planting of indigenous plants and seeds, and invasive plant and animal control.
Speaking to the Sentinel-Times following the win last week, Kathleen said she was thrilled to accept the award on behalf of all Landcarers in Gippsland.
“They do all the work; I’m just there to help them out,” she said.