Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

It’s all happening in October….

Posted on 30 September, 2015 by Connecting Country

Hi everyone.  As is often the case, our local area is full of activity over the coming month.  Rather than sending out a stream of blogs over the next few days, we’ve done our best to package some of the main ones into a single extended blog.  Hope you can make it through to some of them.  There are also some grant applications and other items of interest below.  Chris

Connecting Country Annual General Meeting – 27 Oct 2015
The Connecting Country AGM – with guest speaker – is to be held on the evening of Tuesday 27 October.  Soup and yummy dipping breads to be provided as a light meal.  It will be held at the Castlemaine Golf Course, on the Pyrenees Hwy (between Castlemaine and Newstead).  Further details to follow soon.

Local Lives, Global Matters Conference – 16-18 Oct 2015
This international conference is being held in Castlemaine from Friday October 16th to Sunday October 18th.  They have just introduced affordable day and session passes, to ensure that the conference is also accessible to locals.  You can now buy a day ticket for $80 (waged) or $50 (unwaged). Sessional passes are $15 (waged) and $10 (unwaged). Three day tickets have been reduced to $240/$150.  You can also join others at the ‘Low food miles’ dinner, with music, on Saturday night, prepared by Castlemaine’s own ‘Growing Abundance’ ($35/$30).

“Immerse yourself for a day or two or three. Join conversations around local economies, social and ecological justice, reclaiming democracy and revitalised spirituality. Listen to keynote speakers from around the world, and hear about innovations generated in our own central Victorian back yard via panels, workshops and site visits.”

Connecting Country are involved in a panel discussion as part of the conference on the Saturday afternoon.  Connecting Country staff member Krista, Welshman’s Reef landholder Brian and Cactus-buster Ian will be talking about community efforts to improve landscape health.  Check out their full program on the conference website to learn more and register (click here). And they also have a Facebook page (click here).

‘Listening to the Wild’ with Andrew Skeoch – 9 Oct 2015
The sounds of our natural environment are comprised of many voices; birdsong, frog choruses, seasonal insect choirs, mammal calls… How have all these varied animal repertoires evolved? And how can we appreciate and find meaning in listening to nature’s soundworld around us?   Join the audience with naturalist and bioacoustic researcher, Andrew Skeoch, as he presents beautiful and fascinating recordings from wild places around the world, and inspires you to hear the world afresh.

Andrew is the guest speaker for the October meeting of the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club.  The evening starts formally at 7.30pm on Friday 9th October, but you are welcome to arrive earlier for a cup of tea and a chat beforehand.  Members and visitors welcome – no entry fee.  It will be held in the Fellowship Room, behind the Uniting Church on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine (next door to the Art Gallery and Museum).

Powerful Owls of Central Victoria – 15 Oct 2015
On Thursday 15 October, Newstead-based scientist Emmi Scherlies will be giving a community presentation on the Powerful Owls of central Victoria. Everyone is welcome to come along. It starts at 8pm at the Newstead Community Centre. It is a gold coin donation with all contributions going to the Newstead Landcare Group. In correspondence to CC, Emmi said, “Please pass on this invitation to anyone that you think might like to learn a bit about Powerful Owls. Hope to see you there!”

Oral History Training – 14-15 Oct 2015
The Nuggetty Land Protection Group (NLPG) is researching and writing of a landscape history of the Nuggetty district, which is an area about 5 kilometres north of Maldon. As part of the project, NLPG is collecting spoken and visual material from people living in, or having a connection with, the area.  In order to collect stories about the Nuggetty district, environmental historian, Robyn Ballinger, will be conducting FREE training workshops in Maldon on how to undertake oral history interviews.  The training is open to anyone and is completed in one 3-hour session. After the training is completed, it is hoped that each participant will conduct an audio oral history interview for the project using a supplied digital recorder.  Training sessions will be held at the Maldon Neighbourhood Centre on Wed 14 October (6.30-9.30pm) and Thurs 15 October (2.30-5.30pm).  Bookings are essential.

For further details, see the attached flyer (CLICK HERE), or contact Jane ( 5475 2693) or Sue ( 0417 368 899).

The North Central Chat
The North Central CMA has just released the September 2015 issue of their ‘chat’ publication, which is filled with stories about Landcare and Watchwatch from the region (CLICK HERE).  It also contains information about new phone apps for weeds and for pest animals, and lists the successful applicants for the National Landcare Programme component of the 2015-16 Community Grants Program- North Central Victoria.  From the Mount Alexander Region, congratulations to Castlemaine Landcare, Golden Point Landcare and Malmsbury District Landcare.  The recipients of the state-based Landcare grants are yet-to-be announced.

FRRR Small Grants For Rural Communities – Round 28
Not-for-profit community based organisations can apply for grants up to $5,000 to support projects and activities that offer clear public benefit for communities in small rural, regional and remote locations in Australia, contributing to their social and community welfare, economic, environmental, health, education or cultural development. Applications from communities with a population of 10,000 or less will receive priority. Closing Date:  5pm Monday 5th October 2015.  For more information, either go to the FRR website (click here), freecall 1800 170 020 or email

Nominations open for the Victorian Rural Women’s Award
The government’s Rural Women’s Award honours the efforts of emerging leaders and creates opportunities for women to effect change in agricultural industries and rural communities. The Victorian finalists will be celebrated at a ceremony at Parliament House in March 2016, with the winner to receive a bursary of $10,000 to implement their project vision and participate in the RIRDC Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.  Staff at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources are available to help prospective nominees through the process (contact Jon Graftdyk on 03 5772 0225 or Applications for the award are open until 30 October 2015. For more information about the award and to obtain a nomination form, visit the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award website (click here).

Photographic exhibition  – 10-24 Oct 2015
And don’t forget that the Newstead Railway Arts Hub is running an exhibition of the photos of Newstead-based naturalist, Curly Hartup – click here for our earlier blog about this event.



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