Aussie farmers up for Landcare gong

20th July 2021 | Eativity editors

A Moree landholder and a Longreach cattle producer are among the nominees for the 2020 Bob Hawke Landcare Award. This prestigious accolade recognises an individual who actively pursues, introduces and develops innovative farming systems to improve productivity, profitability, sustainability and the quality of our natural resources.

Sixteen years after buying their NSW property, nominee Justin Kirkby and his wife Lorroi of Amarula Dorpers have revitalised their land. The property once featured rundown cropping blocks with scarce groundcover and poor nutritional grasses. Now, the pair have decreased their farm’s carbon footprint via the revegetation of 20 percent of the property. Planting native trees and fodder shrubs has added to wildlife corridors and bio-link habitats. Insects and birds now work as one alongside the Kirkby’s innovative farming practices.

2020 Bob Hawke Landcare Award nominee Justin Kirkby
Justin and Lorroi Kirkby are developing the Dorper sheep as a sustainable meat breed for Australia.

Tackling the big issues

Nominee James Walker and his family operate Camden Park Station, a 20,000-acre organic, global animal partnership accredited cattle station in Longreach, Qld. The Walkers have focused on tackling land degradation, carbon emissions and climate change.

Actively researching ways of improving the environmental, financial and production performance of his property, Walker has addressed emissions through an off-grid solution for the power supply on his property. He also created the Agrihive Farmecco digital platform to help other farmers understand and implement sustainable Landcare goals. Further, Camden Park has completed extensive water developments. Walker has also initiated and executed a large-scale solar farm to help with viability during drought.

2020 Bob Hawke Landcare Award nominee James Walker
James Walker has also developed an innovative “floating lease” to reflect seasonal conditions.

Landcare champions

The Bob Hawke Landcare Award publicly recognises an individual involved in championing Landcare Australia. This community not-for-profit involves local groups of volunteers who work to repair the natural environment. It also inspires others to take action on their own property or through a Landcare group. The award acknowledges a person’s leadership and commitment to preserving the land, natural resources and sustainable agriculture.

Landcare Australia CEO Dr Shane Norrish says that this year, an overwhelming number of people were nominated for the award. “We received very strong nominations from across the country,” he says. “This demonstrates that there’s a strong interest to be recognised for this distinguished accolade.

The winner of the Bob Hawke Landcare Award will be announced at a virtual award ceremony on August 5. The award recipient will receive a prize package of $50,000 for further development of their knowledge and skills in sustainable land management.

For more about the Bob Hawke Landcare Award, click here. To find a Landcare group you can volunteer with, head to the Landcare website.

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