What is the Landcare Volunteer Recruitment Initiative?
In the 2007-08 budget the Victorian Government committed $2 million to the Landcare Volunteer Recruitment Initiative (VRI) between 2007 and 2011. The key objectives of the initiative are to:
- Increase the proportion of landholders in Victoria holding Landcare membership by 10% by 2011.
- Increase the number of (non-member) volunteers participating in Landcare across the state by 12% by 2011.
- Support the development of new Landcare groups and revival of inactive groups where there is a need.
- Support the development of new Landcare networks and revival of inactive networks where there is a need.
- Increase awareness and understanding of Landcare among the general community.
Years 1 and 2 of the initiative have focused on researching the drivers and barriers to volunteering in Landcare, formulating a strategy based on the research findings, developing start-up grants for new groups and networks, the production of small scale promotional products, involvement in the Victorian Landcare Gateway website re-development, and the development of resources to support Landcare volunteers in the areas of governance and starting a new group.
The key activities in years 3 and 4 will be:
- Employment of three facilitators to increase engagement with three key sectors identified within the community (Indigenous, urban and corporate).
- Implementing an action research project with two Landcare networks based on recruitment, achieving natural resource management outcomes, and engaging with the Indigenous, corporate and urban sectors of the community.
- Offering groups and networks across the state training in recruitment and retention of volunteers, coupled with a small recruitment grants program.
- Making it easier for volunteers to connect to Landcare volunteering opportunities through a web-based volunteer registration system based on the Victorian Landcare Gateway.
- Raising the awareness and understanding of Landcare among the general community through a statewide advertising campaign.
- Engaging young people (18-35) in Landcare through a pilot ‘young’ Landcare group.
- Continuing to support newly formed Landcare groups and networks through the continuation of the Start-up Grants.
What are the benefits of the Landcare Volunteer Recruitment Initiative?
The Landcare Volunteer Recruitment Initiative will work in partnership with existing Landcare networks and groups, new Landcare groups and volunteers, Catchment Management Authorities, farmers and other landholders, public land management authorities and industry to generate more community involvement in Landcare in Victoria, which in turn will generate multiple benefits for local communities, the environment and the economy.