Mornington Peninsula Intrepid Landcare - From the Ground Up
Learn how being involved with Mornington Peninsula Intrepid Landcare has enriched these young people’s lives: from opportunities to be out in nature to fostering a sense of community, and passing on a gift through the generations.
[Sounds of birdsong with gentle acoustic guitar music playing in the background. Scenes of natural landscapes and animals, with volunteers working the midst.]
[On-screen text: Steph Voulgaris, Participant]
Steph: People in this area are so lucky to experience nature in the way that it is. And so, I think having a group like Intrepid come along and just really make the most of that love that people have, and turn that into action to try and protect it, is awesome. And that’s exactly what we need more of.
[Landcare participants stand around a Landcare Facilitator, listening to instructions, before undertaking weeding work.]
[On-screen text: Chantal Morton, Landcare Facilitator at Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network]
Chantal: On the Peninsula we’ve got about 20-30% of remnant vegetation left, so it’s really important that Landcare does its bit. With Landcare, most of them are getting on in life and they’re in their 50s to 70s, and so it’s really important to get our young people engaged in nature and volunteering for nature. So getting this new Intrepid group started is really important.
[On-screen text: Amy Henson, President at Mornington Peninsula Intrepid Landcare]
Amy: We’re really lucky to live on Bunurong Country and there’s so much beautiful nature here. Chantal and I really wanted to create an experience for people to come and see what beautiful flora and fauna we have, as well as see what work is being done in this space.
[Groups of people stand under a tree at night, taking photos of a possum with their smartphones. The scene cuts back to close-ups of Amy and natural vegetation.]
Amy: We spend so much time inside and we spend so much time on our phones, and when you’re actually out here and you’re pulling out weeds – and you pull out weeds and then you see all this amazing biodiversity that’s under your feet, and of course, naturally, you’re just going to want to keep protecting it and keep getting involved.
[Groups of Landcare participants socialise while walking and pulling out weeds.]
Amy: This weekend is about building a community and building momentum to continue the group into the future.
[On-screen text: Alex Kuhrt, Participant. Close-up of Alex.]
Alex: I’d previously looked up other generic Landcare groups, because I know my parents had been involved with some through the Otways and other areas. But they’re definitely older generation-focused and seeing something younger and fresher is really great. In a way, part of it is just being out in nature and just doing something, and just being involved in large community efforts. Meeting other people, especially in the area, is definitely a bonus.
[Close-up of Steph, interspersed with scenes of Landcare participants working in a natural environment.]
Steph: Probably one of the most moving moments was the Welcome to Country by one of the Bunurong Elders, and he’s speaking with so much passion and love for the land. And it’s kind of infectious when you witness that, and something that I’ve been thinking about during the day is whose Country we’re on, what does it represent, and how can we restore it back to what it was.
It’s nice to work up a sweat, pull some weeds out of the ground and know that you’re doing some good. And I think doing it with people, as well, is way more gratifying. It’s nice to come around people who are so into the same stuff and having more young people in the space will encourage others to come along, and programs like this are incredible for that because it just gets people feeling comfortable to get involved.
[A group of Landcare participants sit around a wooden pergola and socialise while drinking cups of tea.]
[On-screen text: Siyao Zhang, Participant. Close-up of Siyao.]
Siyao: I just feel quite grateful for this opportunity to connect with people who care about similar things. And for me to be able to identify plants is a big way of feeling that I belong. Because where I grew up in the north of China I can walk on the street and say, this is what tree it is, and I’ve been dying for an opportunity to learn it. So I think Landcare is a good platform for that. For me, it’s the first time joining a group activity like this in Australia, so it’s all part of my ‘knowing more about Australian people’ story. [Siyao laughs]
[Scenes of butterflies, possums, aerial views of bush landscapes, birds in nests.]
Greg Holland: The Peninsula has an enormous degree of biodiversity. Yes, it’s had people come in and cut down trees and there’s all sorts of damage being done. But there are big areas of bush scattered around.
[On-screen text: Greg Holland, Project Coordinator at Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network. Close-up of Greg.]
Greg: What Landcare has been working on for about the last decade is actually building animal and plant highways between them, and we’re well on the way with it. But the importance of having young people come in is they’re the ones who’re going to come up and pick it up and keep on going. They will not only pick up the revegetation, they’ll pick up the maintenance of what’s there. If I put in a big patch of gum trees now, it’s going to be about 100-150 years before it reaches maturity. They’re going to have grown old and died before they get to that point. So basically, this is a gift from us oldies down to the younger generation, and they now have the responsibility of keeping it going and giving it as a gift down to the next generation.
[Scenes of young Landcare participants, cutting to a close-up of Amy.]
Amy: To see such a good diverse group of people who are all there with the same passion, and want to continue doing this work, is really great and it’ll be really beneficial for the group. We just feel very fortunate and excited for the future.
[On-screen visual: Melbourne Water logo, melbournewater.com.au; Victorian State Government logo, Victorian Landcare Program logo.]
[End of transcript]