New Network Chairs Community of Practice

The newly formed Landcare Network Chairs Community of Practice further strengthens Landcare in the Central Tablelands.

New Network Chairs Community of Practice

The newly formed Landcare Network Chairs Community of Practice further strengthens Landcare in the Central Tablelands.

Collaborations -


The issue

The Central Tablelands Regional Landcare Network (CTRLN) is an un-incorporated group composed of both Network Committees and the Local Landcare Coordinators. Each of the five Networks host at least one part-time Landcare Coordinator. The Networks are:

  1. Watershed Landcare (Mudgee, Kandos, Rylstone area)
  2. Lithgow and Oberon Landcare Association (Lithgow, Oberon area)
  3. Central Tablelands Landcare (Bathurst, Orange, Blayney, Molong area)
  4. Mid Lachlan Landcare (Cowra, Canowindra area)
  5. Little River Landcare Group (Cumnock, Yeoval area)

Unlike Landcare Coordinators in the region who meet, network and build capacity together regularly, the Network committees do not have an established setting to meet due in part to the un-incorporated status of the CTRLN. This gap at the regional level was identified in 2020 and actions were put in place to form a Network Chairs Community of Practice.

The solution

Committee members from the RLC Steering Group invited their regional peers to join the Network Chairs COP. In the beginning Program partners were also invited to the regional Chairs meetings, however it was identified early on that whilst the group is new and forming those members of the group should be limited to Landcare Committee chairs (or their proxy), the Regional Landcare Coordinator and the Landcare Council regional representative. This allows for open and frank conversations in the early stages of the COP’s development.

As for most committee members, time and distance are two significant barriers to participating in meetings. Building the capacity of the Chairs to participate in on-line Zoom meetings has been the silver lining of Covid-19 for Landcare. The CTRLN Chairs COP meets every quarter in the early evening via zoom. Chairing the meeting is left up to the group to self-nominate and the RLC consults the group to develop the agenda and produces the meeting minutes.  Guests are invited into the meeting to present on particular topics, such as LLS strategic directions and the BCT conservation programs relevant to the region.

The impact

Forming a regional network level Community of Practice amongst Chairs, the NSW Landcare Council regional Representative and the Regional Landcare Coordinator is a positive step towards formalising and strengthening Landcare in the region. Despite only having met a few times, the COP meetings have helped Chairs to build relationships, understand each other’s operating environments, share wins, challenges and learnings. With growing understanding and capacity, the new Chairs COP has the potential to drive regional scale initiatives, including applying for and securing funding for regional scale projects. In fact the new BCT-LNSW partnership project in the region is one current example of regional scale delivery that is supported by a Project Steering Committee composed of motivated network Chairs. 

Key facts

  • Identifying the need to meet as a Community of Practice was the first step in forming the new CT Chairs COP.
  • Quarterly meetings will continue to help build capacity in the COP.