In May last year (2017), we were fortunate to meet the legendary Kelsey Tong and the local tribe of Gippsland Intrepid Landcare when we co-hosted an Intrepid Landcare Leadership Retreat with West Gippsland CMA. The retreat was also widely and enthusiastically supported by the Victorian Landcare Program, South Gippsland Landcare Network, Yarram Yarram Landcare Network, Bass Coast Landcare Network, Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network, Farm Trees and Landcare Association and Victorian Landcare Council! With so many Landcare networks coming together, something special was definitely going to happen.
Over the weekend retreat we were able to connect 19 strangers from across the region to become a close-knit tribe to do stuff that matters. They co-designed and since then have co-lead numerous intrepid experiences to spread the Landcare love across the rugged landscape of Gippsland that evokes inspiration and connection. Check out another post for more background info – “adventures-south-new-beginning”
Their latest adventure – Come Plant & Dance – co-hosted with local farmers Karl and Rachael Russo, funded by West Gippsland CMA and supported by Bass Coast Landcare saw over 60 young people turn up to plant 8,000 local indigenous plants last weekend! And they celebrated into the night with camping, baked spuds for dinner and tunes from local musos. With a bit of funding from West Gippsland CMA, the tribe under the leadership of Kelsey Tong, were able to create an immediate sensation across the socials.
People from across Australia started to comment … “Unbelievable”, “8000 trees – holy s#$%t!!!”, “Wow, 8,000. That is epic”, “It’s beyond impressive!”
It is impressive and possible. So, how did this epic adventure become possible because as we know so many awesome ideas don’t get off the ground (or in this case, on the ground).
Kelsey Tong, the leader for this adventure is a super Gippy Intrepid committee member, uni student, environmentalist and all round good chick who put in hours and hours of work to bring together the site prep, the bands, promotion, liaising with the network and landholder and even cleaning out the shed. What a super star. Although, we would say her endless passion and energy was what helped this adventure get past the ‘here’s an idea’ stage 🙌👏🙌🙌👏👏
We caught with Kelsey just as the rust was settling on Sunday to give us a bit more insight about how it all came together.
“I had come up with the idea around 8 months ago but I really didn’t start fully organising the event until around 3 months ago. There were definitely challenges, probably just finding the money for the event and I think the stress/nerves from doing this event because I’ve never done something like this before so I didn’t know what to expect It was awesome though to have the support the Gippy Intrepid committee and my parents! I couldn’t have done it without them.
And the vibes were awesome and everyone who came said they really enjoyed the event and I can’t believe how many people turned up! They are all lovely people and I couldn’t have asked for a better crowd of youngsters. I think the event was a huge success and I was so happy to see that everyone else was happy too! ”
So, do you have passion and energy like Kelsey? Are you interested in joining or kickstarting your own Intrepid tribe? Do it! Just like Gippy Intrepid, the tribes popping up around Australia are always welcoming new people. Gippy Intepid reckon they sink about an hour or so once a month… and most tribes meet via teleconference (mostly in our pjs) to plan and organise events etc.
What else did Kelsey say… “I’ve love every minute of being a part of this Landcare group! It is the most rewarding experience and the people you meet and work with are absolutely amazing! 🌿💕 Can’t wait for the next event!!”
Let’s put our hands together for Kelsey! 🙌👏🙌🙌👏👏
And what advice do Gippy Intrepid suggest… Do it! Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook / Insta / Twitter to see how you can do stuff that matters like Kelsey!