2017 YAN Landcare Champions

The annual YAN Landcare Champions Awards were presented at a dinner at Trader & Co on Saturday 18th November.

For 20 years, Jane and David Vincent, have been the major driving force behind the ongoing success of the Sutton Landcare Group.  This long-term contribution to Landcare at both local and regional level had resulted in Jane and David being presented with this year’s John Betts award.

                         winners of the John Betts Memorial Award- David and Jane Vincent



The John Betts Shield is given annually by the Yass Area Network of Landcare Groups (YAN) to outstanding landcarers across the Yass Valley for exceptional leadership and service to Landcare over the years.  The award was presented by Nan Betts at last Saturday night’s Landcare Champions dinner held in Yass at Trader &Co.


David Vincent served as president of the Sutton Landcare Group for a decade and Jane has been an active committee member since the day the group first met in July 1997.  The Sutton group is never short of an interesting speaker thanks to David and Jane’s wide range of contacts.  Jane is currently a member of the YAN committee, and has been for nearly two decades, and has served on the committee of Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc.  She has co-hosted for some years the monthly broadcasts from Radio Landcare 2XX FM98.3.


Jane and David were the inspiration behind two highly successful YAN seminars in Yass in 2008 on carbon trading and 2009 on soils and more recently were involved in organising the African Lovegrass workshop held by YAN in 2015.  They have opened up their farm for field visits, including a series of Indigenous walks working with the Ginninderra Catchment Group.  In addition to the John Betts award, Jane Vincent was also presented with the 2017 Sutton Landcarer of the Year award, an award that David won last year.


                                       Jane Vincent- Sutton Landcarer of the Year

Several other Landcare group awards were presented on Saturday night.  The 2017 Yass Group Landcarers of the Year were Kate and Jeremy Wilson.  As both longstanding members and committee members and leaders of Yass Landcare, they joined in the late 1990s, they found that adoption of best landcare practices on their property have led to more sustainable farming outcomes.  Kate and Jeremy were involved in the initial War on Willows that led to the major willow-clearing project in the Yass River.  They were instrumental in the Gorgeous Gully Project and Rehabilitation of the Yass Gorge.


                               Kate and Jeremy Wilson- Yass Landcarers of the Year

Elizabeth Goodfellow was the recipient of the Bowning Bookham Landcarer of the Year award.  Elizabeth is a highly motivated landcarer recognised for promoting Landcare through practical on-ground and community awareness activities.  She was the main instigator of the proposal for the project “Habitat Hops from Burrinjuck to Bango”.


                              Elizabeth Goodfellow- Bookham/Bowning Landcarer of the Year

Smooth operation of the Murrumbateman plant nursery has been a major project for Gill Hall, the 2017 Murrumbateman Landcarer of the Year.  Gill is an expert in coordinating the many jobs from seed supply and planting to organising people to do the work.  Gill has been secretary of Murrumbateman Landcare for several years and has been a key figure in managing several major revegetation and restoration projects in the Murrumbateman district.


                      Gill Hall- Murrumbateman Landcarer of the Year


In addressing the awards dinner, Professor John Lovett, highlighted the importance of community groups such as Landcare maintaining careful vigilance in the surveillance of plant biosecurity threats to agriculture, forestry and the environment.  Professor Lovett, the former chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Plant Biosecurity, emphasised the vital importance of early recognition and rapid response to managing plant pests using Myrtle rust and Kapra beetles as examples.


The awards dinner was preceded by inspection tours of, Glenryan, where the property owner, Matt Doyle, explained his approach to his revegetation program (read more here), and the Yass Gorge, where Ross Webster described the rehabilitation work that has been undertaken there.  Ross was the recipient of the NSW Fish Habitat Partnership Award at the recent NSW Landcare Conference. (read more here)


The Landcare Champions event was made possible by funding from the National Landcare Program and the NSW Environmental Trust’s Yass Habitat Linkages project which is managed by YAN in partnership with Greening Australia.