Josh Keating

Josh Keating

Josh Keating is the Regional Landcare Coordinator (RLC) for the NSW North Coast.

The RLC is central to supporting communication and regional collaboration across the extensive Landcare networks of the North Coast. Implementing the NSW Landcare Program and building relationships within the region as well as across the state-wide network of RLCs and LandcareNSW is an important role that ensures we are working towards common goals and the unifying principles of Landcare.

The North Coast is fortunate to have some of the most dedicated, passionate and creative Landcarers in Australia. Our professional community of eleven local coordinators brings a range of experience, skills, and knowledge that ensures our Landcare activities are delivered to the best possible standard. They are the go-to people when the community needs advice, support or information on all things environmental, NRM and sustainable farming.

In NSW, Landcare began with the pilot DuneCare program in 1998 on the North Coast of NSW.  It has developed now to a community that is comprised of 305 member groups and over 5,000 individual members within the eleven local networks. We partner with over 100 different organisations to deliver local and regional projects for local and regional priorities.

OUR REGION

The North Coast region covers a long narrow coastal strip of around 50,000 square km of north-east NSW extending from just south of Port Macquarie, north to the Queensland border and inland to the escarpment and ranges.

Large, diverse and connected forests contain internationally significant ecosystems and wildlife while mighty rivers such as the Clarence, Richmond and Macleay wind hundreds of kilometres from the ranges to the coast. Productive agricultural lands provide opportunities for forestry and grazing while the diversity of horticultural industries continues to grow. Aboriginal-owned country contains significant natural and cultural values that are being carefully managed by dedicated and knowledgeable Indigenous land managers. Tourism is a major industry due to the exceptional natural beauty and recreation opportunities throughout the region. People live here largely because of the environment, the climate and the lifestyle.

The region covers 12 local government areas including Tweed, Ballina, Byron, Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Nambucca, Kempsey, and Port Macquarie-Hastings. Landcare has 11 local networks across these districts and in many areas there is strong community connection and participation in Landcare events, programs and activities.

Volunteers aren’t just involved in weeding, planting and other on-ground projects but are active in all aspects of management, coordination, funding bids and project development. Local projects for local priorities driven by local people. At a regional level, Landcare has always been closely connected and the establishment of the North Coast Regional Landcare Network in 2009 cemented this spirit of collaboration, knowledge sharing and working across boundaries and jurisdictions.

OUR CHALLENGES

There’s lots of challenges for the Landcare community focussed on biodiversity protection, coastal management, healthy waterways, land management and farm management that is both productive and sustainable. The region has to adapt and rise to the challenge of protecting these values and managing these issues in a changed climate. Preparation for future resilience to drought, fire and climate variability/extremes is at the forefront of our work. We work at all scales from individual Landcare worksites, delivering catchment-wide projects and collaborating on regional initiatives.

ABOUT

Josh Keating is based in Coffs Harbour and was appointed in September 2019 to work in the Regional Landcare Coordinator role. A Landcare volunteer for 18 years, Josh only joined the North Coast Regional Landcare Network in late 2019 so is a fairly new player to the inner workings of the Landcare world. Josh has previously worked for several government agencies in environmental programs but has spent the past 10 years in non-government organisations including WetlandCare Australia and Nature Conservation Council.

A map and contact details for the Regional Landcare Coordinator and the eleven Local Landcare Coordinators are available at North Coast Regional Landcare so please get in touch for advice, to get involved or to learn more about what Landcare has to offer.