Words by Megan & Naomi
It’s March. How did that happen? You are probably thinking the same thing ploughing into a full on year of business, community work, study or maybe this is your gap year. Good for you! Wherever you are and whatever you’re up to we want to wish you all the best for what is already shaping up to be a rockin’ 2017. And with that we thought we’d rock your world with a little update, filled with happy news, because after all, today is International Day of Happiness!
Our December – January time off was well deserved, especially after a massive first year of being in operation. Kick-starting an organisation is by no means a walk in the park, it takes time, energy, commitment and ambition. But at Intrepid Landcare our ethos is whatever we do and wherever we are we have a damn fun time doing it. Because between our posts and projects we also hold down other jobs, study and make time for adventures outside Intrepid Landcare.
And more fun is on the cards for 2017. We’ve been fine-tuning our purpose and reviewing our programs to make them, well, better. The team behind every detail, word and selfie are incredibly passionate about Intrepid Landcare’s purpose, and we are extremely thankful to say we have incredible teams contributing their time locally and nationally. This is what inspires us and reminds us that what we are doing is making a difference. We are inspiring and empowering young people to do stuff that matters.
So, what’s happened, what’s in motion and what’s to come
NSW/ACT Future Planning Retreat | January 2017
Before we launched into another new year, our co-founder Megan Rowlatt and fellow board member Peter Pigott decided to work up an epic weekend retreat which aimed to support the many Intrepid Landcare tribes who have already hit the ground running with projects or just about to take that massive leap into action across NSW and the ACT. The weekend was hosted by our good friends Martin Royds at Tombarra in Braidwood and Rebecca Klomp from Upper Shoalhaven Landcare. Twenty four and a half (yes we had a little tiny guest with us!) legends came from as far as the Northern Rivers in NSW, the east coast, and parts of the ACT. We even snuck in some members of Berry Junior Landcare. It was nothing short of awesome.
Participants experienced local produce, took a guided tour of the town, met the locals, explored a regenerative farming site, discussed big issues in agriculture and sustainability, floated in pristine rivers, chilled with other like-minded young people, and got to planning what their 2017 looked like for themselves and for Intrepid Landcare.
Exploring farms in Braidwood, NSW
Here’s what they had to say about the weekend…
“A rad weekend learning about a farmer on the front line of sustainable land management: from feeding his cows seaweed, to rotational grazing and learning from leading agronomists, soil scientists and other progressive farmers, Martin is walking the talk, and what an amazing Landcare role model. I feel energised after our float down one of the prettiest streams I’ve ever seen, surrounded by gorgeous gums!; our late-night yoga attempts; sharing circles and planning to design projects for change, this retreat will help keep me in our Northern Rivers Intrepid Landcare launch!”
– Maddy, Northern Rivers Intrepid Landcare
“The weekend was an inspirational case study of passionate landcarers pioneering change in perspectives and practices of the agriculture industry within degraded environments. It also highlighted the diverse range of participants, people came from all walks of life with varying interests and contributions but all with the same motivation to drive positive change in the Australian landscape.”
– Chris, Illawarra Intrepid Landcare
“I really loved being there over the weekend, it was really eye opening and insightful hearing about everyone’s different lives and how everyone is where they are today. I found it so, so helpful on both a practical and a personal level and I’m really grateful.
I’m super keen and inspired to get even more involved in Intrepid Landcare at ANU this year and I’m so excited to start planning some of the projects that we began to firm up with Bec!”
– Kelly, ANU Intrepid Landcare
“I was blown away by the support and generosity of the Landcare crew, not only in accommodating our newest, tiny member but also in making my husband and I feel so supported on our first wild adventure with our new addition. As a new (knackered!) mum, I came away from the weekend feeling revitalised, energised and so grateful to be part of such an inclusive community. I hope that, through the projects that we planned at the weekend, we can pass on those good vibes to other future members – and future generations – of Landcarers.”
– Amy, Illawarra Intrepid Landcare
To stay up to date on what’s going on around the country, check out the events section of our website! Thankyou again to Martin and Bec for being such incredible hosts.
NSW & ACT Peeps in Braidwood
Intrepid Landcare Board Retreat | February 2017
To future-proof our organisation, we need regular check-ins too. And with Board members spanning across four states and territories, a face-to-face is a total must to look at how we are tracking against our vision, mission and values, how we are tracking financially, how we can move forward sustainably as an organisation, implement our own succession plan, and allow for some creative flow, fun and connection between the people behind the scenes of it all.
Good morning from Drawing Room Rocks!
Coming together again where it all began one year ago in Berry, NSW, we were once again hosted by the ever-amazing Bill and Leslie Pigott from Berry Landcare. Why is this so special?
Well not only did Berry Landcare invest significantly in our very first crowdfunding campaign over a year ago, they continue to support and believe in what we are up to! Berry is a wonderful place to gather our thoughts, recharge ourselves and the organisation, and connect with an older generation of local people doing great things for the environment.
Jesse exercising power over Ryan & Megan, Mwoohahaha. Nah. We don’t do the power thing. This was all laughs 😉
Between strategic thinking and resource mapping we enjoyed a sunrise hike up to Drawing Room Rocks, ocean swims, and we tried a little theatre for social change (pictured above) looking at power and culture in organisations. We shared stories about our own summer and upcoming travels, our own goals for the year and how Intrepid Landcare can be a contribution to us as much as we are a contribution to Intrepid. A massive thank you to our Board, your unique and diverse skill sets, and your passion, commitment, and sense of humour is beyond what we could have ever imagined for Intrepid Landcare. Total legends.
A break at the beach after a long day of strategic planning never hurt noone! Jesse, Chris, Josh, Peter, Ryan, Megan & Naomi at Seven Mile Beach, NSW.
More Retreat action!
We have two Intrepid Landcare Leadership Retreats coming up in the next few months. The Leadership Retreats planned for Western Sydney NSW and West Gippsland in VIC aim to kick-start core groups of Intrepid leaders to take on environmental initiatives.
A collaboration between Natural Resource Management organisations, local community groups, and Intrepid Landcare, our retreats bring an integrated program showcasing local Landcare and environment projects, cultural awareness, offer networking opportunities and connection to inspiring people over a full weekend in communities around Australia. Young people who apply to participate in each Leadership Retreat go through a jam-packed program covering self-discovery, leadership development and co-designing principles which empowers and supports them to move forward and create the change they want to see in their community.
If you are interested in hosting a Leadership Retreat to connect, inspire and empower local young people definitely get in touch with us. We are now taking bookings for June – December 2017.
Intrepid Way Workshops and some tips and tricks from us | March & April 2017
Behind the scenes with support from NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, we have been developing and fine-tuning a 32-page ‘Tips and ideas to support young people to create change’ workbook and workshop series which we are launching and taking on the road across NSW later this month (next week). Rolled out in four locations across the state, this workbook and workshop series aim to inspire local Landcare and youth facilitators and leaders on how to work with young people to create the future they want to see for their community and environment.
The workbook will be free to download from our website in early April and we look forward to seeing the exciting ideas and actions communities take as a result of this project.
We would like to acknowledge and thank NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for their support and the many people who have contributed to the design of this workbook and workshop series. It has truly been a community collaboration.
A new epic program and partnership – Young Sustainability Ambassadors
With funding from NSW Department Family and Community Services, Intrepid Landcare has partnered with Picture You in Agriculture to deliver a ground-breaking pilot with Landcare Illawarra in the Illawarra region of NSW.
Linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Young Sustainability Ambassadors and Kreative Koalas programs combine to provide a new innovative intergenerational schools and communications training program which puts the Landcare story in the spotlight as well as a number of sustainability issues we are facing and acting on globally and locally.
The programs have been inspired by the success of the Young Farming Champions and Archibull Prize and we are super pumped to be co-designing this program which will work with young people passionate about sustainability, a generation of people in the community who have been in action for many years, and a younger generation of school students.
Expressions of interest are open right now for Young Sustainability Ambassadors and legends who have been on the ground driving local projects in the Illawarra and northern Shoalhaven. Applications close on the 31st of March. Thanks to funding from the state government, the program is free to participate in, and it is an excellent personal and professional development opportunity for people who are or want to be a voice for the future of our planet.
Expressions of Interest will open shortly for local schools to apply to participate.
For full details about the programs check out the websites:
A little place called Bhutan
Now you’re probably wondering what does Bhutan have to do with Intrepid Landcare? Well on this Day of International Happiness, it seems only fitting that we share this story with you…
Late last year our co-founder Megan Rowlatt was selected as one of twenty young global leaders working in social or environmental entrepreneurship to participate in a program called The Slow Change Experience, and travel to the only country on earth that is carbon negative, Bhutan.
Sandwiched between India and China in the Himalayas, Bhutan is a little nation with big ambitions. Using Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a measurement index on how the country is tracking, rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Bhutan’s leaders are serious about prioritising the health and wellbeing of its people, culture and the environment. Bhutan is a leader and a pioneer in the face of global development, and with sustainability at the forefront, this nation has a lot to offer the globe.
Megan joined an impressive team of Australian and international leaders on an immersive journey through GNH in action. From meeting the princess of Bhutan and President of the GNH Centre Her Royal Highness Princess Kezang Choden Wangchuck, and under the guidance of Executive Director Dr. Saamdu Chetri, she was able to strengthen her understanding of social, cultural, spiritual and environmental well-being, hone in on her short-film and storytelling skills with Digital Storytellers, and has now extended Intrepid Landcare’s network to a global audience and made some epic new friends along the way!
Megan at Taktsang Palphug Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), Paro, Bhutan
Now an Australian Ambassador for GNH, Megan will be working with the GNH Centre in Bhutan and our new-found network of epic change-makers to explore what is possible for Australia and internationally, and Intrepid Landcare will be sure to be part of the action. Watch this space!
Thank you to everyone who has supported Intrepid Landcare to date and we look forward to connecting with you throughout the year.
If you would like to connect with us, don’t be shy, we love working with new people and communities to create change.
All the best for 2017!
From the Intrepid Landcare team.