Community Learning for Environmental Action
Landcare Victoria Inc's peer-to-peer learning project
Geelong Landcare Network
There's a peri-urban contact zone 60-120 minutes drive from Melbourne, and 30-60 minutes around the regional centres that ring Melbourne. In the contact zone, broadacre farming of the past is giving way to a new mix of more intensive and small lot farming, lifestylers and expanding towns. New people are interacting with those that have lived there 40 years, or 4 generations. The sense of what is important is contested.
With rapid change, what the environment needs and should be allowed, in the midst of competing needs, is up for grabs.
A Landcare Network like Geelong Landcare Network is tuned into these development pressures. Its members see the impact of urban growth on a landscape they have known a long time. When GLN's Committee of Management questioned where the Network needed to break new ground, they spoke from deep inside the contact zone:
How do we seed new forms of organising,
communicating and leading community action?
They want new ways of engaging people and leading them. And they know they only have the resources to nurture the seeds that are already appearing. That's good strategic thinking.
GLN's situation will sound familiar to just about every Landcare group and Network in the peri-urban contact zone (and beyond). How do we talk to the rest of our local community? How do we create opportunities for people to be involved that work for them, the way they work now - time-poor, families to look after, or running a property with just a couple of people? How do we marshal the effort and the smarts in our Landcare group to initiate new communication and organise events that suit people, when there's just a few of us?
As Geelong grows into its surrounding rural areas, many new residents don’t have time for committee work. Younger people don't want to be on a committee. But they do want to make a difference. It's a quandry, a conundrum.
They're chipping away at it in the Geelong Landcare Network. They have 4 questions inside that big one above to work on, so they have a lot on their plate:
Which new residents should we target?
How do we rebrand Landcare?
On what issues do we most want to make a difference?
What’s the Network’s role?
Read why these questions are important for Geelong Landcare Network in the doc at right, the write up of their first session with CLEA).
No report on progress yet, just that there's been a lot on, and changes in the CoM, but they're committed to getting back to it in 2019.