The Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group blog is a collaborative effort. We’re happy to publish your contributions as part of this Landcare Network discussion. See the collaborate-contribute page for a range of topic suggestions or get in touch to discuss your idea.
The following is a new post from a regular contributor to our discussion, known and loved by all for his participation which is provided under the carefully-crafted nom de plume of Robbo. A founding FCNNL member and general sustainability enthusiast with an interest in community education, soils, and grassroots energy generation (among many other things), scourge of the unthinking and expert diviner of the hidden-agenda, Robbo contributes widely throughout our local community. We are delighted to present his thoughtful contribution on Landcare and its local potential.
Landcare, the Institution.
“So what can I do? The answer I’ve arrived at myself is to think national, sure, but act local. I’m not going to depend on a grand master plan devised by someone else and put in place by someone else.” —Landcare Founder, Rick Farley, 1952-2006 (1)
Localism is gathering steam as a ‘guiding ethos’ for achieving sustainability in general. Food-Miles continues to highlight waste, efficiency, quality, equity and fairness under one heading. Localism is fundamental to caring for both the environment and all that inhabit the landscape.
Local initiatives are more likely to create the environment you would actually want to live in.
Given the introduction of Local Land Services in NSW it might be an appropriate time to reflect on the continuing role of Landcare as an institution.
Landcare could broaden its charter/mission from just ‘caring for the land’ to include championing the quality of rural life in general; particularly local self reliance and continuing opportunity for individual development, no matter the distance, and including Indigenous interests–see Rick Farley’s Ag Dreaming.
Local councils are no longer local, being increasingly located in regional centers if not provincial cities. Regionalism is more likely to suck the life out of small communities than provide for them.
Councils struggle to meet ‘traditional expectations’ of small rural towns let alone provide the depth of nuanced leadership necessary to capture particular opportunities ‘pertaining to place’.
Demographic change brings challenges like aging population but along with it, broader knowledge and experience.
What’s missing is a ‘development’ conduit that, first and foremost, reflects empathy with the landscape, is also cooperative in structure, and is not minority-issue based. An organization that builds in opportunity for personal development, beyond only inner operatives, and welcomes ‘minority reports’ in a manner promoting diversity!
Consensus is discovered not negotiated.
(1) Rick Farley quote from his address at the 2005 ‘Communities in Control’ conference, convened by Our Community and Centacare Catholic Family Services.
(2) Nicholas Brown and Susan Boden 2012, A Way Through: the life of Rick Farley, NewSouth Books.