Welcome to the National Landcare Legends Honour Roll

Landcare can be best described as a movement of individuals, groups and organisations across Australia with a shared vision to restore, enhance and protect the natural environment in their local community through sustainable land management and conservation activities. Originating in Victoria in 1986, landcare has evolved to include thousands of volunteers, groups and supporters across Australia. 

As we celebrate 35 years of Landcare Australia and landcare as a national movement, we would like to recognise the many individuals or groups that have made a significant contribution to caring for our environment across Australia for generations to come. 

If you know someone or a group, whether they have been contributing for 10 years or over 40 years, that you would like to honour please send a photo and biography by clicking here.

John Feehan OAM has dedicated his entire life to improving the fertility and water retention of Australian soils through the introduction of dung beetles throughout Australia.

John has captivated Australians to embrace the benefits of dung beetles not only to help restore the balance in soil health and fertility throughout Australia but to the added benefits they provide to the community in reducing the bushfly problem and the grazing community by reducing the scourge of the Buffalo fly. 

John has been extraordinarily influential, not only in Australia but also overseas. He has exported dung beetles to five overseas countries with four species becoming established in the USA and one in Canada. In 1997 he was awarded an Order of Australia medal (OAM) for services to agriculture.

Pam Robinson AM, came from Ireland for a Gap Year in 1963. Growing up with ‘hands on’ in the Irish environment through family, school and Guiding activities she fell in love with the Australian countryside, later marrying an Aussie and running a fine wool operation at Warrenbayne.

She and her neighbour became concerned about areas in their paddocks in the 1970s when they noticed patches of land, denuded of vegetation, began showing up. Sheep would roll on the bare ground and then lick at the fleece. They had uncovered an emerging problem with dryland salinity.

Pam set out on a mission to find out what was happening to the landscape and, through contacts with the Soil Conservation Authority and with the support of other concerned area farmers, in 1983 helped to develop a local land management plan for the Warrenbayne-Boho Land Protection Group.

The management plan morphed into Landcare in the days when the organisation was still emerging in Victoria. Pam was an inaugural Member of the Goulburn-Broken Salinity Pilot Program Advisory Council and appointed to the first State and National Landcare Advisory Committees.

As a Councillor and Shire President of the former Shire of Violet Town, her connections for Local Government with Landcare were strong. Pam was on the first Environment Committee of the Municipal Association of Victoria, and in the mid 2000’s, as Manager Climate Change and Environment with the Cities of Darwin and Palmerston she worked closely with Landcare Groups and the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory. 

Pam was acknowledged in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours; appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to conservation and to the environment, and to the community.

For over 20 years, Winsome Lambkin OAM has been passionate about working on sites and educating others on natural flora and fauna, including fungi and pioneer species.   

Winsome is the guardian for three major Landcare sites: Floraville Ridge and Rainforest Reserve, - an enormous site in a steep sided gully that she has been actively involved with for over 20 years;, Fossil Wing Creek and Cold Tea Creek Landcare; and is an active member of the Lake Macquarie Landcare Volunteer Network. She is very passionate about the work she does and educating and passing on her knowledge to the next generation of landcarers.  

Winsome Lambkin recently received an Order of Australia Medal for her service to conservation and the environment. 

Formed in 1976, the Hunter Bird Observers Club (HBOC) is the largest club in the Hunter Region that caters specifically for those with an interest in bird life in its natural habitat. The Club has two objectives: 

  • To encourage and further the study and conservation of Australian birds and their habitat 

  • To encourage bird observing as a leisure-time activity 

With over 350 members, the club encompasses people of all ages and levels of experience. It is a highly active club with a full calendar of events, a bimonthly newsletter, focus on research (field studies) and conservation.  

Many HBOC members are active Landcarers and likewise, HBOC conducts bird surveys at several Landcare sites in the Hunter region to help assess how those areas are responding as regenerated bird habitat.

For over 30 years, the Hunter Bird Observation club has been collecting avian data through observations and methodical monthly surveys of endangered Shorebirds/Waders. This group serves as the 'knowledge keepers' of birding in the Hunter Region, conducting On-ground conservation work and continuous community engagement. The data they collect is utilised by organisations across Australia, including National Parks & Wildlife Services and Local Landcare Services, to inform and guide threatened species management. 

Susan Campbell OAM - As a Landscape Architect with the Victorian Ministry of Housing in the 1960’s, and later with the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation 1972-1990, Susan managed the planting of 50,000 trees and shrubs, set up their nursery and worked closely with others to establish several Landcare Groups in the North East Victoria area, thus extending the reach of the Commission’s work.

She is particularly known for her keen involvement with the early establishment of the Springhurst Byawatha Hills Landcare Group, one amongst the firsts in Victoria.

As a Member of the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Susan was President for three of her 20 years on the Board.

Other leadership roles undertaken have been as a Member of the Landcare Victoria Board, on the North East Regional Catchment Land Protection Board, the Warby Range National Park Advisory Committee, Winton Wetlands Environmental Committee and as Chair of the VFF “Oral History” project relating to voices from those involved across Victoria who were in early Tree Groups and Landcare Groups.

Recognition of her extensive input, particularly with Landcare and Primary Production, has seen Susan receive Awards over several years; those including the North East Regional Landcare Service Award for 25 years’ service and acknowledgement in the Landcare Hero Honour Roll 2014. 

Susan was awarded an OAM, for Conservation and Environment in 2015

Claire Taylor is one of Eagleby’s Legends who is working tirelessly to save the Eagleby wetland from being destroyed by the construction of an alternate route freeway – the Coomera Connector project - that is planned to come through Eaglesby sometime over the next 10 years. As the engagement officer for the Eagleby Community and Wetlands Group, Claire, among others have over the last 5 years campaigned to keep the Coomera Connector project from destroying the surrounding wetlands. Attending numerous meetings with a variety of politicians, environmental groups and have held events to bring awareness to the situation.
“I believe people power will win this Environmental battle” – Claire Taylor.

Rob Youl OAM, a forester, worked from 1981-2009 in farm forestry, revegetation, urban ecology and community action with Victorian government departments, Greening Australia Limited and Conservation Volunteers Australia.

For 13 years, Rob was also Victorian projects officer for Landcare Australia Limited, helping develop networks and projects and source corporate and philanthropic funds, at home and interstate. He introduced several new ideas for projects that have since become part of the Landcare fabric and over the years he has written, edited or published numerous articles, pamphlets and books on Landcare and revegetation.

Whilst living in Melbourne, Rob has three properties in the St Arnaud district that he and his family manage for conservation and environmental rehabilitation gains and wildlife habitat, along with opportunities for community and cultural education.

Rob was founding chair of Australian Landcare International and is currently on the Board of Global Landcare. He has been a wonderful mentor to students across the globe and introduced many to farm forestry and Landcare, working alongside groups overseas with ventures in Africa, the Caribbean and more recently Japan.

With keen commitment, Rob has attended all of the 25 plus planting weekends associated with the Hindmarsh Biolinks program and organises monthly bird surveys around his home municipality of Port Phillip, in the city of Melbourne.

Rob was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2012 for service to Landcare and the environment.

Jen Quealy, a social geographer has been a landcare advocate, for over three decades, as it evolved from a few, into thousands of active local networks of Landcare influencers and practitioners, across Australia and globally.

 

Jen, one of the original 8-person national team of Australia’s Decade of Landcare Coordinators from 1990, roles created after direct advocacy by farmers and environmentalists, to help plan, promote, and attract co-funding for landcare.

 

Her efforts helped landcare evolve from an early ‘start-up’ model of rural-regional community-led projects, motivating and supporting local farmers and communities, and to appeal to government, industry, business, and media, for help to promote and co-fund landcare outcomes.

 

Through short-term roles and volunteering, Jen helped co-create many visionary, creative, and pragmatic projects, and to attract and deliver funding to landcare networks, organisations, and community enterprises.

If mapped, these projects would show a dense and deep landcare ‘impact map’ of partnerships and achievements, failures and ‘experiments’.

 

Jen is motivated by the welcoming, curious, and risk-taking leadership of grassroots landcare farmers and First Nations leaders, environment, research, and agency advocates, educators and students, and the renewing energy of bright, young, coordinators and facilitators, added to their smart guiding older ‘hands and minds’. Jen credits local innovators as the real legends, who entice collaboration and inquiry, within supportive communities – one paddock, one neighbour, one partner, one threatened species, one production challenge at a time: and in reality, often all together.

 

Highlights: Bringing Landcare into disaster recovery, Far North QLD cyclones, flood recovery and Blitz’s, co-creating RabbitScan and FeralScan, International Landcare Conference, ACIAR Journal, Olympic Landcare (Lithgow’s Community of the Year (2000) Award), personally Awarded a National Emergency Medal in 2023.