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Landcare Australia

Celebrating 30 Years of Landcare: Bob Hawke's granddaughter Sophie Taylor-Price calls on young Australians to continue late Prime Minister's Landcare legacy

On July 20 1989, the late former Prime Minister Bob Hawke delivered his speech to launch the national formation of the Landcare movement.

His iconic address marked
an unprecedented union between farmers and conservationists coming together to form a national Landcare model to help protect the Australian landscape for future generations.

‘The degradation of our environment is not simply a local problem, nor a problem for one state or another, nor for the Commonwealth alone. Rather, the damage being done to our environment is a problem for us all – and not just government- but for all of us individually and together.’

Marking the thirty-year anniversary in Melbourne today, Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Agriculture launched the national Landcare 30-year anniversary.

‘Australian farmers have an international reputation as sustainable land managers and Landcare has played a significant role in the future adoption of innovative agricultural practices,” Minister McKenzie said.

“By making a difference and helping to create healthy soils, vegetation and supporting biodiversity, Landcarers and farmers are playing a part in growing a sustainable Australian agriculture industry.”

“It thrives through a spirit of cooperation, bringing farmers and the wider community together for a common and noble goal.”

Newly appointed Landcare 30-year anniversary ambassador, Sophie Taylor-Price, paid tribute to her grandfather’s vision for the future by calling on all Australians to work together to enhance environmental conservation.

‘On this day, 30 years ago, my grandfather asked the community to join together in tackling environmental challenges,’ said Ms Taylor-Price, a consultant with EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability team.

‘30 years on and look what Landcare has achieved. Landcare has evolved and grown into
a movement of over 6,000 groups and hundreds of thousands of volunteers across rural and urban Australia. Pop was so proud to be a part of Landcare – he called it a great Australian success story.’

Sophie added: ‘Look to the agricultural and environmental challenges we face; we need grassroots movements like Landcare now more than ever. We need it as a bridge between conservationists, farmers and other land managers. And we need it to engage with young Landcarers empowered to know they have a voice as environmental leaders for today, not just for the future.’

Sophie was joined by Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish who explained active engagement with younger generations will ensure the ‘enduring legacy of Landcare in the future.’

Dr Norrish said: ‘Young people are more connected than ever with environmental issues. And
Landcare is one of the only conservation not-for-profits where individuals, young and old, can get involved in protecting the environment in their local area.

‘It only takes a small number of people to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty but their work captures and motivates others to be a part of that process. It’s seeing that you individually, at any age, can make a real difference, rather than sitting back and wondering when someone is going to do something about it.’

For more information, please contact

Debbie McInnes, DMCPRMEDIA  T: 02 9550 9207 M: 0412 818 071 E:
Stephen Milton, PR Landcare Australia M: 0423 584423 E: 


Origins of Landcare:

The name ‘Landcare’ evolved in Victoria through an initiative of Joan Kirner, (then Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands) and Heather Mitchell, (then President of the Victorian Farmers Federation). In 1989 the national Landcare movement officially began with Rick Farley of the National Farmers Federation and Phillip Toyne of the Australian Conservation Foundation, successfully encouraging the Hawke Government to commit to the emerging movement. Landcare grew into a national programme in July 1989 when the Australian Government, with bipartisan support, announced that 1990 would be the Year of Landcare, and the 1990s the Decade of Landcare. 1989 was also the year that the not-for-profit organisation Landcare Australia was formed.


About Landcare:
Landcare is a grassroots movement of individuals and groups with a shared vision to restore and protect the environment in their local community through sustainable land management and conservation activities. Over the past 30 years, Landcare has evolved into a powerful movement of volunteers and facilitators who give their time, skill and expertise for the benefit of the environment and the communities that seek to protect it. Landcare plays a leading role in advocating a balance between sustainable land management practices and environmental conservation. From the coast to the country, and from cities to the outback, Landcare’s greatest asset is its people. With over 6,000 groups and 100,000+ volunteers, the landcare movement is diverse and encompasses sustainable farmers, landcare groups and networks, Indigenous landcare, Bushcare and ‘Friends of’ groups, Coastcare, Dunecare and Rivercare groups, Junior Landcare (including early learning childhood centres, schools, Scouts, Girl Guides and youth groups) and other community groups involved in restoring and protecting their local environment. What makes landcare unique to any other community movement is the partnerships created between business, researchers, natural resource management agencies, government and community. These partnerships build local community ownership of issues, unlock volunteer knowledge, capability and capacity to create better outcomes for the environment and those that seek to protect and enhance it.


About Landcare Australia:
Landcare Australia is the national not-for profit that works in partnership with multiple stakeholders to support the landcare community with funding and capacity building opportunities. Landcare Australia develops campaigns to raise awareness of landcare to increase participation and to attract corporate and philanthropic support. Custodian of the ‘caring hands’ logo, Landcare Australia is a multi-partisan organisation that manages the Landcare, Coastcare and Junior Landcare brands on behalf of the Landcare movement. Landcare Australia is also a service provider and delivers major projects including the Federal Government’s 20 Million Trees program. For 30 years, Landcare Australia has worked collaboratively with federal, state and local governments, corporate partners, sponsors, other environmental agencies, community groups and individuals to support the landcare community. The funding supports the landcare community to achieve a diverse range of positive outcomes. These include a sustainable approach to integrated land management, natural habitat restoration, enhancing biodiversity, building resilience in Australia’s food and farming systems, and creating social cohesion and wellbeing in communities. 


The National Landcare Network, Landcare Australia, the Landcare State & Territory Organisation:
Over the last 30 years these organisations have worked together to represent and support the thousands of landcare groups, facilitators and volunteers across Australia who protect the environment in their local communities through sustainable land management and conservation activities.