In September 2003, a strategic planning forum was held for the 32 Bushcare, Coastcare, Dunecare, Landcare and Rivercare (hereinafter referred to as Landcare) "on ground" groups in the Wyong Shire.
This was the first time that representatives of all on ground Landcare groups in the Shire, Council, the Darkinjung, the Mirring Aboriginal Women's group, State Government and the Federal member had met.
Until this time the Landcare movement which had been operating for many years has been fragmented, uncoordinated and has had negligible support. This has now changed, with the unanimous decision of the forum to establish the Wyong Shire Landcare Network.
The Network provides the opportunity for the groups to have a collective voice in maintaining support for Landcare in the Shire. The Network meets quarterly to discuss issues of common interest and to share the benefits of the groups' experiences, discussing both the successes and the challenges. All recognised Landcare groups in the Wyong Shire are encouraged to send at least one member to attend these worthwhile meetings.
The network is managed by WyCare Inc and supported by Wyong Shire Council and the Department of Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources who with NHT funding provide the groups with a community support officer. This officer offers valuable technical advice and assistance to member care groups.
The contribution that the Landcare movement has made to the shire over the past ten years is amazing when you consider that these fragmented groups obtained funding in excess of $1,000,000 for their various projects and have contributed over $3,000,000 in volunteer labour. Imagine what will be achieved with a united voice!
It was great to see the recognition of this contribution to the community when the network received 2004 Wyong Shire Australia Day Environmental Service Award.