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Regional Landcare News | Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board

April 2022


Mark Koolmatrie won the Indigenous Land Management Award at the SA State Landcare Awards.Photo credit: Murray Valley Standad


Table of contents

General Jefferies Soil Health Award nominations close April 17
The Bob Hawke Landcare Award
Grassroots Grants now open!
A weedy problem and where to get help
Farm Forestry Field day at Monarto - April 27
School Holiday fun with Junior Landcare
The Very Fast Break - with Dale Grey
Beef Cattle Field Day at Middleton - April 19
Local Landcare Legends – Hindmarsh Island Landcare group
Southern Fleurieu Regenerative Agriculture group farm walk
First Nations News – Ngarrindjeri Cultural Awareness training
Green Adelaide funded Rural Land Management Course
Fleurieu Farming Field Day April 29 - Willow Creek
Upcoming events for your calendar​​​

Hills and Fleurieu Landcarers win State Landcare Awards!

Enthusiastic Ngarrindjeri story-teller and learner Mark Koolmatrie has won the Indigenous Land Management Award at the State Landcare Awards, held on 31 March at the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre at Warriparinga, Marion.

The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board would like to send a big congratulations to Mark, and to the other winners of State Landcare awards from the Hills and Fleurieu region, including :

• Liz Milner (Individual Landcarer Award)
• Victor Harbor Coastcare (Coastcare Award)
• Kanmantoo-Callington Landcare Group (Landcare Community Group)

Mark does amazing work in our region to share Aboriginal cultural values and land management principles to ensure that First Nations practices are incorporated in caring for Country.

You may have heard of the Aboriginal Knowledge and Values in Fleurieu Swamps project, which was implemented by Mark’s Kula-Tind-Jeri enterprise, to bring together the traditional and scientific values of the Fleurieu’s freshwater swamps. This project was carried out at the Yundi Nature Conservancy with the help of some Grassroots Grants funding from the board.

Read more about it here.

For more information about our other winners, Liz Milner, Victor Harbor Coastcare and Kanmantoo Callington Landcare Inc (KCLG), click here

All winners received a trophy and a $1,000 prize, and will go on to represent South Australia at the National Landcare Awards. Congratulations again to Mark, Liz, Victor Harbor Coastcare, and Kanmantoo-Callington Landcare Group, and all the best in the National Landcare Awards in Sydney on August 24.



Nominations for the award close on April 17. Photo credit: Landcare Australia

General Jefferies Soil Health Award nominations close April 17

On the subject of Landcare awards, The General Jeffery Soil Health Award is open for nominations until April 17. The Award honours the remarkable work done by Australia’s first National Soils Advocate, former Governor General, Major General the Hon. Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd) and perpetuates his legacy.

As Australia’s first National Soils Advocate, General Jeffery passionately advocated for improvements in the health of our agricultural landscape. By championing soil health from Parliament House to the paddock, he successfully changed attitudes towards soil sustainability and energised change on farms right across Australia.

He relentlessly pursued his focus on the importance of integrated management of soil, water, animals and plants to the benefit of all Australians and our environment. For more information about the award and how to nominate, click here.

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The Bob Hawke Landcare Award

And more Landcare award news! Nominations for the 2022 Bob Hawke Landcare Award opened on March 1, 2022 and the winner will be announced on August 24, 2022 at the 2022 National Landcare Awards.

The Bob Hawke Landcare Award is prestigious, national award that publicly recognises an individual involved in championing landcare and who inspires others to take action on their own property or as part of their involvement in a landcare group.

The Bob Hawke Landcare Award is open to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to natural resource management and sustainable agriculture through being a landcare champion, a remarkable leader and a sustainable farm practice innovator.

The Bob Hawke Landcare Award acknowledges the role that former Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Bob Hawke AC, played in elevating landcare from a grass-roots community initiative to a national movement with bi-partisan government support that endures today. For more information about this prestigious award, click here.

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The Biodiversity McLaren Vale group benefitted from a 2021 Grassroots Grant to deliver landscape restoration projects in degraded creek lines of the Willunga Basin. Photo credit: Biodiversity McLaren Vale

Grassroots Grants now open!

The next round of the Hills and Fleurieu Grassroots Grants for 2022 are now open. 

The Grassroots Grants program aims to support individual landholders, volunteers, schools, community organisations, First Nations and not-for-profit groups working locally for environmental and sustainable agriculture benefits.

• Applications opened for submission from 10am Tuesday 22 March 2022.
• Applications close and must be submitted by midday Tuesday 3 May 2022.

For more details, click here.

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Cape Tulip can be toxic for livestock. Photo credit: Ag WA

A weedy problem and where to get help

There’s a good reason for the saying ‘growing like weeds’. Weeds have the ability to spread and grow with seemingly little attendance and can be extremely hardy - sprouting up and thriving almost anywhere.

They threaten the country’s unique biodiversity, fuel fires and cost Australian agriculture an estimated $4 billion annually.

Weed control is everyone’s responsibility. As a land manager – that is a home or property owner, farmer, or business owner – it pays to know your responsibilities when it comes to weeds. Your local landscape board can provide support through weed identification and recommendations for control. There may even be grants available to support large scale control efforts. For more information on beating pest plants, click here.

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Farm forestry can provide many benefits for landholders. Photo credit: Landcare Australia

Farm Forestry Field day at Monarto - April 27

The Farm forestry Landcare network is presenting a field day at Monarto on the April 27. The day is funded through an Ag Knowledge grant via the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board. It will include a series of speakers followed by a tour of the property at Monarto, looking at a range of agro forestry species.  The event is free and lunch is provided, with RSVPs due by April 22. To register, contact Zoe Starkey zoe.starkey@sa.gov.au

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Junior Landcare has a range of fun activities.

School Holiday fun with Junior Landcare

During the school holidays there are 60 fun activities children can do to keep busy. With 17 Just for Kids activity sheets, children will learn about food production, biodiversity, waste management and First Nations perspectives.

The activity sheets are based on the learning activities from the Junior Landcare Learning Centre and have been developed by educators. Children can have fun designing a poster, doing the worm crossword, playing the Who am I? insect game, Spot the Animal crossword and the soil word challenge. Make up your own Just for Kids activity sheet and send your idea to us!

Download the activity sheets here. Explore the Learning Centre here.

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The Very Fast Break - with Dale Grey

Dale Grey, from Agiculture Victoria, presents an update on seasonal climate drivers and outlooks for autumn in his usual quirky style. To watch the South Australian version of The Very Fast Break, click here.

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An Angus bull. Photo credit: Weeran Angus

Beef Cattle Field Day at Middleton - April 19

A beef cattle field day is being held on Tuesday April 19. Visit the Higgins family’s grass-fed beef Focus Farm, ‘Burnt Oak’, and learn how #AgTech is being used to increase productivity and profitability, including: 

• 🐂  pasture monitoring
• 🐂  weighing and data collection options
• 🐂  genetic selection and AI technology for commercial herds 
• 🐂  Optiweigh - use and value in beef production

 Tuesday 19 April, 9:30 am – 2:00 pm
‘Burnt Oak’, 228 Burgar Rd, Middleton SA

To register, click here.

This Red Meat and Wool Growth Program Focus Farm Field Day is presented by PIRSA. For more information use the link below.


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The group has their own community nursery. Photo credit: Hindmarsh Island Landcare group

Local Landcare Legends – Hindmarsh Island Landcare group

The April 2022 Local Landcare Legends are the Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group who are working on Ngarrindjeri/Ramindjeri country. The aim of Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group is the preservation of existing remnant vegetation on Hindmarsh Island and the restoration and expansion of habitat through revegetation projects, using local indigenous species.

Since their establishment, the group has had a major impact on the restoration of the Hindmarsh Island environment. This work was recognised when the group won the 2018 National Coastcare Award for their work on saltmarsh restoration.

The Hindmarsh Island Landcare group focuses on ground works on Hindmarsh Island and runs its own community nursery. The group’s environmental services include nursery activities (pricking out, potting up, weeding etc), seed collecting, general maintenance, plant propagation and revegetation. Their meetings are held monthly as required. Working bees are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, from 9.30 am – 12 noon. To get involved, contact the group at hilandcare@gmail.com.

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Host Stephen Schmitz presents to the group. Photo credit: Angelina Russo

Southern Fleurieu Regenerative Agriculture group farm walk

A second successful farm walk for the Southern Fleurieu Regenerative Agriculture group was held on Saturday April 9 at Hindmarsh Valley. Host Stephen Schmitz gave a short presentation and property tour, showing how he has applied permaculture principles on his property to improve soil structure, with participants sampling flavoursome tomatoes grown in his igloo. The group hopes to meet bi monthly for farm tours and to share ideas. If you are interested in joining the group, contact jim.mead@sa.gov.au

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Owen Loves speaks to staff at the Ngarrindjeri Cultural Awareness training day. Photo credit: Jim Mead

First Nations News – Ngarrindjeri Cultural Awareness training

A Ngarrindjeri Cultural awareness training session for Hills and Fleurieu field staff was held at an Inman Valley property on Ramindjeri country on Wednesday April . The session had been postponed from its original date in December due to Covid.

The day opened with a welcome to country smoking ceremony delivered by Ngarrindjeri/Ramindjeri elder Mark Koolmatrie, who also took the group through a presentation that included a recent history of the Ngarindjeri people. This included the impacts of colonisation and the damage successive government policies have had on Ngarrindjeri and Ramindjeri language and culture. The symbols on the Ngarrindjeri flag were discussed, with 18 circles representing 18 clans of the Ngarrindjeri. Mark also spoke with hope for the future and encouraged us to work closely with Ngarrindjeri people on country. 

Mark, Daniel Lloyd from Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation and Ngarrindjeri man Owen Love and his partner Kylie then led the group on a farm tour of the 640 acre property, showing where waterways had been fenced from stock, with great natural regeneration of native species as a result. They have been creating wildlife corridors for animals such as echidna. 

Owen Love also showed participants a scar tree on the property and spoke about how some trees have been used as markers of cultural boundaries for centuries, and how to spot these markers. Kylie showed us an old saw miller’s pit where logs were cut for the Granite Island causeway. The training was a great insight into Ngarrindjeri culture, delivered in a spirit of reconciliation, hope and forging a future by working together on country. For more information about the Aboriginal nations of SA, click here.

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The course is aimed at city based landholders with properties in the Hills and Fleurieu region. Photo credit: Jim Mead

Green Adelaide funded Rural Land Management Course

Are you a city based landholder who has a property located in the Hills and Fleurieu region who wants to learn more about land management? If so, you may be interested in registering for the Green Adelaide-funded Rural Land Management Course. The course will run for 8 weeks on Thursday nights from 7:30 – 9:30 pm at Mitcham Memorial Library starting on May 5. Topics will include stock and pasture management, water resource management and soil science, to name a few.  Participants will develop a whole farm plan as a result. There are only a few course placements left. For more information, e-mail jim.mead@sa.gov.au

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The field day will be held on April 29. Photo credit: Fleurieu Farming Systems

Fleurieu Farming Field Day April 29 - Willow Creek

A Fleurieu Farming Field Day will be held on Friday April 29 at Willow Creek. If you are interested in attending, book your ticket by clicking here.

The organisers have provided the following details for attendees:

• Please arrive before 10am so we can start promptly. It will take a few minutes to get to the site and park.

• Drive in to Koolah (2581 Range Road, Willow Creek – sign board on road: ‘Willow Creek Adventure Camp’) and follow the signs up the hill to the tillage site

• Food and drinks will not be provided or for sale, so please bring your own

• Toilet facilities will be limited. The nearest public toilet is at Parawa Hall 7km away

The second event with Kelly equipment will be at Nanto. The start time will depend on our finishing time at Koolah. The trial will be in paddocks about 500m south of 1703 Waitpinga Road Waitpinga. Follow the signs. Some parking is available in the paddocks and some at the old dairy.

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Hay bales on the Fleurieu. Photo credit: Jim Mead

Upcoming events for your calendar​​​

Beef Cattle Field Day
Tuesday April 19 2022

Farm Forestry Field Day
Wednesday April 27 2022

Fleurieu Farming Field Day
Friday April 29 2022
Willow Creek

National Carbon Farmers Conference and Expo
Thursday 23 - 26 May 2022
Albury Entertainment Centre or online

Regenerative Agriculture Field Day with Dr Christine Jones
Wednesday June 1 2022

Climate Smart Farming forum – guest speaker Dr Christine Jones
Friday June 3 2022
Adelaide Hills

National Landcare Conference
23 – 25 August 2022
Darling Harbour Sydney or online

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If you have a story or event to promote, please email the Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator for the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, Jim Mead, at jim.mead@sa.gov.au.

The Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Program is funded by the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.

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