Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Harvest native seed – free workshop

Posted on 22 November, 2018 by Frances

If you want to learn more about local native plants and how to collect seed, Mount Alexander Shire Council is running a free workshop as part of their Sustainable Living Workshop Series.

Presented by Ian Higgins from Friends of Campbells Creek, you’ll learn how to identify local plants, work out which are ready to harvest and collect seeds for Landcare projects.

The two hour workshop is suitable for people of all ages. Make sure you bring along a hat, gloves, drink bottle, sturdy shoes and secateurs.  Long sleeves are recommended, as some plants will be prickly!

When:   Saturday 24 November 2018 from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm
Where: Meet at Honeycomb Reserve, Honeycomb Rd, Campbells Creek VIC
RSVP:   Secure your place by contacting Council’s Gabe Macauly
              at or 5471 1834.

Paddock with dried native grasses.


A most exciting pergola nester!

Posted on 22 November, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Landholders Steve and Sue Harrisson of Joyces Creek in Central Victoria are delighted to report that Diamond Firetails are nesting in the climbing rose on their pergola!

The Harrisson’s property is a mix of open paddocks, large old remnant trees, and dense wattles and other shrubs from direct seeding. The property has a long-term Connecting Country bird monitoring survey site, and Diamond Firetails have been observed on occasion. One year they bred down near a small dam.

Diamond Firetails often nest in dense or prickly native shrubs such as Hedge Wattle. But this year, at the Harrissons, the enterprising little finches have decided that a rose vine draped across a pergola provides the same function as a prickly shrub.

A view of the nest from below

Steve says ‘Judging by the amount of noise coming from the nest when the adults arrive with food, there must be more than one nestling. Very exciting!’

Such excellent cover – the adult Diamond Firetail is very safe as it visits the nest.

Diamond Firetails are declining throughout their range. These finches need access to fresh water and plenty of mature grasses for seeds and for nesting, so drought is especially hard on them. Steve and Sue are very pleased that their home is providing habitat for this very attractive threatened species.

The nest is a roughly spherical shape, finely woven with delicate grasses, flowers and slender branches.


‘Talking fire’: reviving indigenous burning practices – two events in Newstead

Posted on 22 November, 2018 by Tanya Loos

How we manage fire is an important conversation for rural and bush communities. What can we learn from how Aboriginal people used fire? Are those techniques applicable today in local landscapes that have changed a lot over the last 200 years?

Join the Newstead community for two events this November:

Scott Falconer is responsible for fire management and state forests on public land across the Loddon Mallee Region — an area taking in over a quarter of Victoria

Returning cultural burning – Djandak Wi – to Country
Thursday 29 November 7.30 pm.
Newstead Community Centre (9 Lyons St, Newstead VIC).

All welcome, no booking required.

Come and hear Scott Falconer (Assistant Chief Fire Officer with Forest Fire Management Victoria) share his experience in the United States and Canada where he explored the involvement of Indigenous people in land and fire management. Scott’s research was supported through The Lord Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal Churchill Fellowship. He was accompanied by Trent Nelson (Dja Dja Wurrung man and Parks Victoria Ranger Team Leader) for part of the research trip.

Reviving Indigenous Burning Practices in a Changed Landscape: Community Search Conference
Friday 30 November 9.00 am-5.00 pm.
Newstead Community Centre (9 Lyons St, Newstead VIC).

Free event but please book your place by Monday 26 November via Eventbrite.

Join expert panelists and local community members to explore how we might combine Western and Indigenous fire practice and knowledge in our local landscapes. At this one-day event we will discuss how we can connect Indigenous fire traditions with current approaches to fuel reduction and planned burns to shape new ways to protect our landscape and communities. This event is for everyone with an interest in this topic: community, government, academics, researchers.

Full details can be found on the Talking Fire website.

Talking Fire is a community initiative designed to create different kinds of community conversations about fire. It’s supported by the Mount Alexander Shire Council Community Grants Program.