Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

2023 Landcare Week August 7 – 13

Posted on 9 August, 2023 by Hadley Cole

This week marks 2023’s Landcare week from Monday 7 to Sunday 13 August. The theme for this year is:

Be inspired, be empowered, be a Landcarer

Landcare Week is a time for Landcarers to take a moment to reflect on the incredible work they achieve in protecting, enhancing, restoring and promoting local biodiversity. Without Landcare in our region much of the local natural landscapes would be left forgotten and degraded.

As a local resident of the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook region you may frequent Landcare sites on your regular adventures out into the natural world without even realising it. As you walk the dog along Campbells Creek, ride your bike around Harcourt, go for a run along Forest Creek, enjoy the peacefulness of the Loddon River in Newstead or Guildford, take the kids out adventuring around Maldon, chances are you will regularly come into contact with conservation works that have been lovingly carried out by the many and dedicated Landcare volunteers of our region.

This Landcare Week we encourage you to take a moment and reflect on the many hands that have cared for and continue to care for the lands across our beautiful region.

Being a Landcarer can be extremely hard work, but there are also many rewards. There is the satisfaction of contributing to a healthy landscape, creating habitat for native plants and animals. We also recognise there are benefits from connecting to the land, meeting people, making social connections and learning new skills. New research now shows Landcare can also improve personal wellbeing. To read more about the benefits of being a Landcarer – click here

To discover your local Landcare group head to the Connecting Country website – click here

Or get in touch with our Landcare Facilitator Hadley; hadley@connectingcountry.org.au

To learn more about Landcare in our region and to discover the benefits of working to nurture and protect the local environment please see the Landcare video below.

 

 

 

Newstead Landcare presents ‘Spiders: Leaning to love them’ with Lynne Kelly

Posted on 4 August, 2023 by Hadley Cole

Our friends at Newstead Landcare Group are hosting an interesting presentation – Spiders: Learning to Love Them. Guest speaker Lynne Kelly – researcher, educator, Castlemaine local, and author of ‘Spiders: Learning to love them’ will talk us through her journey from arachnophobia to an obsession for spiders and all the wonderful things she has learnt along the way. Anyone who has been lucky enough to talk spiders with Lynne will know her passion for sharing their secret lives and personalities.

Jumping Spider. Photo by Patrick Kavanagh.

Lynne has authored 19 books, and in the 2022 Australia Day Honours she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for “significant achievement in science education through writing and research”. Her book, ‘Spiders: Learning to love them’ was judged the “Best book in the category of Natural History” in the 2009 Whitley Awards and awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. To learn more about the book – click here

 

Join Newstead Landcare Group and friends for a wonderful evening of learning!

When: Tuesday 15 August 2023, at 7:30pm 

Where: Newstead Community Centre, 9 Lyons St, Newstead 

All are welcome, gold coin donations appreciated.

For more information, please email asharuth91@gmail.com or call 0418 428 721.

 

Australian Mammal of The Year: Vote for your favorite mammal in 2023!

Posted on 1 August, 2023 by Jess

Cosmos Magazine is hosting the annual Australian Mammal of the Year competition – where you can vote for your favorite mammal to become Australia’s mammal of the year 2023!

In the Mount Alexander area, our woodlands, forests, and even our farmlands are teaming with a number of special creatures. Cute short-beaked echidnas forage for ants, the small but mighty, Yellow-footed Antechinus forage for insects and birds. Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Swamp Wallabies hop about with joeys at foot. Above ground, Krefft’s Glider (formerly Sugar Gliders) glide between the trees.

To read an excellent short article on some of the mammals that occur in woodlands across Australia, written by none other than friend and supporter of Connecting Country, Prof. Andrew Bennett, click here.

A Brush-tailed Phascogale. Photo by Geoff Park

 

Here at Connecting Country, our flagship species for conservation is the Brush-tailed Phascogale. This cute little brushy-tailed carnivore is a threatened species. It has undergone a substantial range contraction and decline in numbers in recent years. Nonetheless, our forests are a ‘stronghold’ for this threatened species, and are important for its future conservation. We’re so proud of the hard work that our community has done to support and monitor this species through time, and we’re proud that our region supports this threatened species.

To vote for the Brush-tailed Phascogale (or, your favourite woodland mammals species) to be the Australian Mammal of the Year: click here!  You can vote as often as you like.

To read more about our current Phascogale project: click here

 

Reminder: ‘Revegetation Success in a Changing Climate’ event: Tuesday 1 August 2023 (8 tickets remaining)

Posted on 1 August, 2023 by Ivan

Connecting Country is excited to announce a special free upcoming event, ‘Revegetation Success in a Changing Climate’, on the evening of Tuesday 1 August 2023, at the Anglican Church Hall, Castlemaine VIC. The event will address how we plan revegetation in a changing climate and has been designed to support our community, land managers and Landcarers to have greater success in restoring our natural landscapes. We only have eight tickets left, so get in quick to avoid missing out!

The event will feature presentations from Sasha Jellinek (University of Melbourne), DJAARA and the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA), and a Q&A panel session to finish. 

Join us to learn about how we can plan successful revegetation and restoration projects, using a combination of climate predictions and sourcing seeds from a variety of climatic zones, to future-proof our landscapes.

This event is part of a larger project, called Future Proof our Forests, where Connecting Country has established Climate Future Plots to monitor the success (or otherwise) of revegetation sourced from a variety of climates.

  • Click here to book, tickets are limited, so get in quick.

Our very special guest speaker is Sasha Jellinek, an experienced ecologist with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Ecology from the University of Melbourne. Sasha has worked across many fields and was involved in the production of Greening Australia’s ‘Establishing Victorias Ecological Infrastructure; A Guide to creating Climate Future Plots‘. Sasha is currently a at the

We are also very lucky to have two further presentations from DJAARA and the NCCMA, who will both talk about how they are planning for climate change to ensure the greatest success in landscape management and restoration.

Everyone is welcome! 

For catering and logistical purposes, please register your attendance – click here

  • When: Tuesday 1 AUGUST 2023 6.30-8.30pm
  • Where: Anglican Church Hall (at the rear of the Church), 8 Mostyn St, Castlemaine VIC

We would like to thank the Ross Trust for their generous funding for this important project. The Ross Trust is a perpetual charitable trust with a vision to create positive social and environmental change so Victorians can thrive.

Learn more about climate future plots

For more information on climate future plots, see:


 

National Tree Day Events Sunday 30 July 2023

Posted on 26 July, 2023 by Hadley Cole

Planet Ark’s National Tree Day is coming up on Sunday 30 July 2023.   National Tree Day is a call to action for all Australians to get their hands dirty and give back to the environment.

With the 2023 planting season well underway, now is a great time to get involved in your your local Landcare group!  To find your closest group – click here

Check in with your local group to see what planting activities they are hosting this season.   As well as celebrating National Tree Day, our local Landcare groups are active all year round.  Getting involved in Landcare is a great way to connect with your local environment and community, as well as providing amazing health and wellbeing benefits for you!

There are a few National Tree Day planting events coming up in July and August July 2023.  Please see details below:

Campaspe Valley Landcare Group

When: from 10:30am
Where: Agnes Mudford Reserve, Redesdale
What to bring: Sturdy footwear, warm clothes, wet weather gear, drink bottle and gardening gloves.  Morning tea provided.

For more information email: campaspelandcare@gmail.com

Post Office Hill Action Group
Post Office Hill Action Group are partnering with Connecting Country and Mount Alexander Shire Council for a National Tree Day community planting day event. Join the fun!

When: 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Where: Post Office Hill Reserve, Chewton
What to bring: Sturdy footwear, warm clothes, wet weather gear and a drink bottle.  A free lunch is provided.

For more information – click here

Friends of Campbells Creek

Join Friends of Campbells Creek in August for a planting along Booladj Kiarp Bolealong, the Dja Dja Wurrung name given to the area where Barkers and Forest creeks join to form Campbells Creek.

When: Sunday 6 August 2023, from 10.00 am
Where: Meet at the walking trail near Yandell St., Castlemaine
What to bring: Light gloves, sturdy clothing suited to the weather and footwear appropriate for wet ground; gumboots are strongly advised!

For more information email: info@focc.org.au

 

For planting tips please see this wonderful video below created by Friends of Kororoit Creek

 

 

Bird of the month: Painted Button-quail

Posted on 18 July, 2023 by Ivan

Welcome to Bird of the month, a partnership between Connecting Country and BirdLife Castlemaine District. Each month we’re taking a close look at one special local bird species. We’re excited to join forces to deliver you a different bird each month, seasonally adjusted, and welcome suggestions from the community. We are blessed to have the brilliant Jane Rusden and Damian Kelly from BirdLife Castlemaine District writing about our next bird of the month, accompanied by their stunning photos.

Painted Button-quail (Turnix varius)

 

It’s always exciting to find side plate-sized, circular patches of bare dirt in amongst leaf litter, because in the Castlemaine region it can only mean one thing … quiet, cryptic and difficult to see Painted Button-quail. Recently I found these bare patches in the bush by my front gate, hidden in leaf litter under shrubs. These “platelets” of cleared ground are formed whilst the bird is foraging, by standing on one foot and rotating in a tight circle as they scratch the ground with the other foot. In NSW and Qld Black-breasted Button-quail also make platelets, making both species of Button-quail rather unusual. So what are Painted Button-quails searching the ground for? Their delicious dinner of course, which comprises of insects and their larvae, seeds, small fruits, berries and vegetation. So their diet is pretty broad.

A “platelet” made by Painted Button-quail while foraging. Photo by Jane Rusden

 

Dry open forest with sparse shrubs, and a ground cover of native grasses and dense leaf litter, in Muckleford Forest for example, is perfect habitat for Painted Button-quail. Being such a camouflaged species which tends to walk from cover to cover, historically it’s been difficult to accurately assess their numbers and distribution. However, using newly developed technology such as sound recording, motion-detecting and thermal camera, cryptic species such as the Painted Button-quail have become easier to monitor. Interestingly they have been found in a diverse range of habitats from dry ridges in moister forest, in coastal sand dunes and even forest edges where it abuts farmland. Curiously, Painted Button-quails will move into a newly burnt area after fire, but once the forest returns, they leave. This has been observed in the Otway Ranges and in Tasmania.

The female Painted Button-quail lays her eggs in a saucer-shaped hollow on the ground beneath some cover such as a tuft of grass, small bush or dry debris. She is Polyandrous and after laying 3-4 eggs and she moves on, makes her booming call day or night, advertising for another male to mate with and lay more eggs. She can do this 3 or 4 times in a breeding season. Dad is the stay-at-home parent, he incubates and feeds the young chicks.

We don’t have sand dunes in central Victoria, but I have seen Painted Button-quail on dry ridges and on the edge of forest in Campbells Creek and in the wider area of Castlemaine, Newstead and Guildford. Last spring I stopped the car quickly, as a Dad escorted his 3 tiny golf ball size fuzzy chicks walking across Rowley Park Road, it was the cutest thing you ever saw.

Painted Button-quail doing what it does best, hiding and camouflaging into leaf litter. Photo by Damian Kelly

 

To listen to the call of the Painted Button-quail – click here

Jane Rusden
Damian Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2023 National Tree Day community planting – Sunday July 30

Posted on 14 July, 2023 by Hadley Cole

Planet Ark’s National Tree Day is coming up on Sunday 30 July 2023.   National Tree Day is a call to action for all Australians to get their hands dirty and give back to the environment.  To celebrate, Connecting Country is co-hosting a community planting day with Mount Alexander Shire Council and Post Office Hill Action Group with support from Birdlife Castlemaine District and Mount Alexander Youth Advisory Group.

The day offers an opportunity for the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook community to come together and take direct on ground conservation action to restore and enhance local biodiversity.

This event has been made possible due to the generous contribution from community members who supported our ‘Trees for the next generation’ GiveNow campaign through June and July 2023.  We know that our local community cares deeply about biodiversity conservation for future generations, but we were still blown away by the generous donations. A big THANK YOU to our generous members, supporters and the broader community who supported this event.

The day is answering a call from the younger generations of our community who, in a recent Council survey, asked for more opportunities to plant trees, make homes for wildlife and to undertake practical actions to address climate change. We’ve been working with our partners to shape a nature celebration event which caters for all ages including planting indigenous plants to restore habitat and interactive activities to learn about our local landscape.  Thanks particularly to Salina from Mount Alexander Youth Advisory Group (YAG) for putting together the great flyer and to other YAG members for their efforts in shaping this event.

Join us for a wonderful morning out in Post Office Hill Reserve in Chewton.

When: Sunday 30 July 2023, 10am to 12pm 

Where: Railway Street, Chewton (Post Office Hill, Chewton). For google maps location please – click here

What to bring: All ages are welcome, with a supervising adult. Bring water, suitable clothes for cold weather and the desire to regenerate our bushland. We will provide a light lunch following the planting day.

All plants purchased for the planting have been sourced be from local nurseries that specialise in indigenous plants to this region. This is vital to ensure plants are adapted to local conditions, support local wildlife whilst supporting local businesses. Experienced volunteers from Landcare will be supporting the planting, making this an effective and highly efficient project.

The ‘Trees for our next generation’ community planting day is a wonderful example of local organisations and community members coming together to take direct on ground conservation action to build resilient habitats across the region and promote local natural landscapes.

We look forward to seeing you there for the fun!

 

Photo by Leonia Van Eyk.

 

Walking Together – towards Makarrata NAIDOC Week

Posted on 11 July, 2023 by Ivan

We’re a little late to publish this informative article from Friends of Nalderun about NAIDOC Week (which ended on 9th July) but it’s definitely still worth a good read. The article was written by Floria Maschek, an ally and member of Friends of Nalderun (FoN). Nalderun is a Dja Dja Wurrung word meaning “all together”. 

NAIDOC Week – For Our Elders

The raven/crow or ‘Waa’ in Dja Dja Wurrung, is an important totem to the Kulin Nation which Djaara are part of. Its call aptly wakes me on the morning I complete this column. Country is telling me to get up. There is work to do! I’m a non-First Nations person but connected now to Djaara Country and with responsibilities to it. Elders past and present are foremost in my consciousness, and I acknowledge their care for community, which is integral to Country. 

NAIDOC Week is celebrated from 2 – 9 July this year. The National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week’s theme this year is – ‘For Our Elders’. 

NAIDOC Week is a time when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people celebrate, recognising their history, culture and achievements. Locally, many First Nations People do so without taking on the same level of burden educating non-First People’s as they do for the recent Reconciliation Week. However, on these unceded lands where safety, truth and culture have so often been denied, NAIDOC Week offers an opportunity for all people to learn about and celebrate the oldest continuous living cultures on earth. 

The substantial history behind NAIDOC Week dates back to the 1920’s and 30’s and should be in our national consciousness, including the determined activism of people like Yorta Yorta Elder William Cooper, and one of the first major civil rights gatherings in the world, the Day of Mourning on Jan 26th 1938. These are among  many historical efforts that led to this week of celebration. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders earn their status, not simply by getting older, but by the relationships nurtured over time. They are recognised by their communities for their wisdom, cultural knowledge, care and service. Being an Elder comes with much responsibility. In turn, Elders should be treated with a high level of respect. The amazing Elders in our community are very busy people and it’s important that we know who they are. 

Locally, many will be increasingly familiar not only with local Elders but also other dedicated and hard working First Nations educators and mentors. Protocols around Elder status are more complex than many are aware and I myself am doing my learning around this. 

We are increasingly aware of First People’s culture and the very considerable efforts of these local leaders that go into celebrating First Nations people, culture and community. Young and proud First Nations People are emerging as leaders, listening and learning from the wisdom of the Elders and mentors. 

This year the National NAIDOC Committee 2023 writes: ‘Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families. They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones.’ 

 

For more information about NAIDOC week including its history and events visit

www.naidoc.org.au

To learn about respectfully communicating with Elders visit

www.commonground.org.au/article/guide-for-respectfully-communicating-with-elders 

 

For further information on Djaara Country and the Dja Dja Wurrung people please visit Djaara

www.djadjawurrung.com.au

Floria Maschek is an ally and member of Friends of Nalderun (FoN). FoN members are guided by Nalderun Education Aboriginal Corporation and are diverse individuals and representatives of many local community networks, supporting Nalderuns visions and work. Nalderun Education Aboriginal Corporation supports the Aboriginal Community and is led by Aboriginal people while providing many learning and cultural opportunities to the broader community. Nalderun is a Dja Dja Wurrung word meaning “all together”. 

More information can be found at www.nalderun.net.au

 

Looking for landholders: Habitat trees for Phascogales

Posted on 10 July, 2023 by Ivan

Do you have large old trees on your grazing property? Are you in the Mount Alexander region? Do you want to protect your large old trees and increase habitat for local fauna? 

Connecting Country has been successful in securing funding to create habitat ‘stepping stones’ across the landscape with our project ‘habitat trees for Phascogales’. Working with private landholders we will improve habitat connectivity and resilience of local flora and fauna in times of climatic stress.

The Mount Alexander Shire is home to many threatened wildlife species that survive in the fragmented woodlands across our region. Large old trees and the hollows they provide are vital habitat for many of these species. One of the species that relies on large old trees is the Brush-tailed Phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa), also known as the Tuan. This a small, nocturnal, carnivorous marsupial, a little larger than a domestic rat and with a very distinctive bushy tail.

In Victoria, the Brush-tailed Phascogale was once widespread, but now has a fragmented distribution. The Brush-tailed Phascogale is a threatened species listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and considered Vulnerable in Victoria. One of its strongholds is around Central Victoria and the Mount Alexander region.

Phascogale in a Connecting Country nest box. Photo: Jess Lawton

The aim of the project is to protect large old trees across our region, with a particular focus on enhancing habitat for the Brush-tailed Phascogale. We’ll achieve this through practical on-ground actions including; revegetation, stock grazing exclusion around old trees, installation of nestboxes, and strategic weed and pest animal control. We will work with key landholders and focus on a plan for their property and the old trees it contains.

The Habitat Trees for Phascogales project is supported by the Victorian Government through the Nature Fund and the Ian and Shirley Norman Foundation.

A Phascogale in a large old tree. Photo by Geoff Park

Looking for local landholders

We are looking for landholders in the Mount Alexander Shire area who are interested in participating.

Appropriate candidates will have:

  • large old trees in grazing land that can be fenced off from stock grazing.
  • a willingness to retain fallen limbs, leaf litter and rocky outcrops in these fenced plots.
  • a commitment to ongoing low-level maintenance of plantings and of weed and pest animal control.

If your property is suitable for the project, we will:

  • Visit your property to identify large old trees and assess their potential for phascogale habitat.
  • Develop a written property management plan setting out on-ground actions to protect large old trees and enhance habitat connectivity on your property.
  • Provide contractor support and materials for fencing and planting ‘stepping stones’.
  • Provide contractor support for weed and rabbit control within the project area.
  • Provide suitable indigenous understory plants to help protect large old trees, increase habitat and food plants for fauna including the Brush-tailed Phascogale.

Landholder expressions of interest

If you meet the criteria above and are keen to protect and restore old trees on your land, please complete our expression of interest form – EOI Click Here

Please return your expression of interest form to Connecting Country via email (info@connectingcountry.org.au). Expressions of interest close on 13 August 2023.

To learn more about the Brush-tailed Phascogale, click here

Large old trees, such as this one, often do not have regeneration to succeed them. Photo: Connecting Country

 

 

Habitat Trees for Phascogales: a new Connecting Country project

Posted on 10 July, 2023 by Ivan

Our ‘Habitat trees for Phascogales’ project aims to protect existing large old trees on grazing land for the Brush-tailed Phascogale and other native fauna by protecting and enhancing these habitat stepping-stones in the landscape.

We know that much of central Victoria’s native woodland has been heavily disturbed by a long history of mining, clearing, woodcutting, grazing, and changes in fire and water regimes. The local Box-Ironbark landscape provides habitat for many threatened species, including the Brush-tailed Phascogale, but much of the remaining woodland lacks complexity and is missing hollow-bearing trees that are important for foraging and nesting sites and protection from predators.

Tuan in a nestbox at Welshmans Reef. Photo Jess Lawton

Scientific studies demonstrate an alarming acceleration in the decline of most species within this community over recent years, including the Brush-tailed Phascogale which has undergone a substantial range contraction, decline in numbers and experienced localised extinctions in some regions.

The Mount Alexander region is a likely stronghold for the Brush-tailed Phascogale and is important for the species’ future survival (Lawton et al. 2021, Austral Ecology). However, our region’s woodlands are heavily degraded and large old trees with hollows are now scarce and not being replaced.

Our project aims to protect large old trees from early senescence and facilitate natural regeneration. Over time, other key elements of phascogale habitat, such as fallen logs and leaf litter, will return to these areas.

The iconic Phascogale, is rarely seen but rarely forgotten. Photo by Geoff Park

What will this project achieve? 

Connecting Country will be implementing a range of actions and education activities aimed at addressing this habitat loss and increasing the range for this iconic species.

Short-term actions (within 3 years):

  • Engage landholders in protecting and restoring phascogale habitat on their properties.
  • Fence strategically selected large old trees to protect them from stock grazing, and promote their health and regeneration.
  • Plant understorey tube stock plants, and undertake weed and rabbit control within these areas.
  • Provide nest boxes as potential nesting sites where necessary.
  • Collect scientifically-rigorous data on Brush-tailed Phascogale distribution, that can be used by land managers to inform decision-making.
  • Educate our community to raise awareness of the Brush-tailed Phascogale and their habitat needs.

 

Stay tuned for upcoming events and on-ground actions

For information on how to be involved in the project click here

 

The Habitat Trees for Phascogales project is supported by the Victorian Government through the Nature Fund as well as the Ian and Shirley Norman Foundation.

 

We need you! Community planting event: National Tree Day 30 July 2023

Posted on 3 July, 2023 by Ivan

We did it! We raised enough funds for our Community Planting Event to go ahead! We are now inviting our community to a Family Planting Celebration on  National Tree Day on Sunday 30th July 10am – 12noon.

We are partnering with Mount Alexander Shire Council, Post Office Hill Action Group, Mount Alexander Youth Group and Birdlife Castlemaine to deliver the National Tree Day event.   The day is open to all ages and will include planting indigenous plants for habitat and interactive activities to learn about our local landscape including bird spotting, scavenger hunts and kids craft.

The tree planting event is answering a call from the younger generations of our community who, in a recent Council survey, asked for more opportunities to plant trees, make homes for wildlife and to undertake practical actions to address climate change.

A big THANK YOU to our generous members, supporters and the broader community who supported our ‘Trees for the next generation’ campaign to make this happen.

Photo by John Ellis

We need you! 

Now that we have the local indigenous plants ordered and on their way, along with tree guards, we need your help to plant them into the degraded bushland in Chewton VIC. The planting event is open to all ages, and is a chance to take action to address climate change and restore habitat for our wildlife.

Let’s work together to protect and restore our local biodiversity and nurture the land for our future generations!

When: Sunday 30 July, 10am to 12pm 

Where: Railway Street, Chewton VIC (Post Office Hill, Chewton)

What to bring: All ages are welcome, with a supervising adult. Bring water, suitable clothes for cold weather and the desire to regenerate our bushland. We will provide a light lunch following the planting day.

 

Photo credit: John Ellis

All plants purchased using from our fundraiser have been sourced be from local nurseries that specialise in indigenous plants to this region. This is vital to ensure plants are adapted to local conditions, support local wildlife whilst supporting local businesses. Experienced volunteers from Landcare will be supporting the planting, making this an effective and highly efficient project.

Image

Photo Credit: Leonie van Eyk

 

The background story: Degraded bushland

The Mount Alexander region of central Victoria has a long history of removing native vegetation for gold mining, agriculture, and timber and firewood harvesting, leading to many areas of degraded bushland, with little understory, or suitable habitat. In Australia, it can take hundreds of years for trees to form natural hollows. Due to the profound environmental change caused by European colonisation and the gold rush, many trees in our region are still young and have little understory or ground cover. Connecting Country has nearly two decades of experience in restoring these landscapes, and will oversee the event, to ensure the maximum benefit for our local wildlife and community.

Much of our bushland has been turned over and lacks understorey species. Photo: Asha Bannon

 

 

‘Revegetation Success in a Changing Climate’ event: Tuesday 1 August 2023

Posted on 27 June, 2023 by Ivan

Connecting Country is excited to announce a special free upcoming event, ‘Revegetation Success in a Changing Climate’, on the evening of Tuesday 1 August 2023, at the Anglican Church Hall, Castlemaine VIC. The event will address how we plan revegetation in a changing climate and has been designed to support our community, land managers and Landcarers to have greater success in restoring our natural landscapes. 

The event will feature presentations from Sasha Jellinek (University of Melbourne), DJAARA and the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA), and a Q&A panel session to finish. 

Join us to learn about how we can plan successful revegetation and restoration projects, using a combination of climate predictions and sourcing seeds from a variety of climatic zones, to future-proof our landscapes.

This event is part of a larger project, called Future Proof our Forests, where Connecting Country has established Climate Future Plots to monitor the success (or otherwise) of revegetation sourced from a variety of climates.

  • Click here to book, tickets are limited, so get in quick.

Our very special guest speaker is Sasha Jellinek, an experienced ecologist with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Ecology from the University of Melbourne. Sasha has worked across many fields and was involved in the production of Greening Australia’s ‘Establishing Victorias Ecological Infrastructure; A Guide to creating Climate Future Plots‘. Sasha is currently a at the

We are also very lucky to have two further presentations from DJAARA and the NCCMA, who will both talk about how they are planning for climate change to ensure the greatest success in landscape management and restoration.

Everyone is welcome! 

For catering and logistical purposes, please register your attendance – click here

  • When: Tuesday 1 AUGUST 2023 6.30-8.30pm
  • Where: Anglican Church Hall (at the rear of the Church), 8 Mostyn St, Castlemaine VIC

We would like to thank the Ross Trust for their generous funding for this important project. The Ross Trust is a perpetual charitable trust with a vision to create positive social and environmental change so Victorians can thrive.

Learn more about climate future plots

For more information on climate future plots, see:


 

Bird of the month: Diamond Firetail

Posted on 26 June, 2023 by Ivan

Welcome to Bird of the Month, a partnership between Connecting Country and BirdLife Castlemaine District. Each month we’re taking a close look at one special local bird species. We’re excited to join forces to deliver you a different bird each month, seasonally adjusted, and welcome suggestions from the community. We are blessed to have the brilliant Jane Rusden and Damian Kelly from BirdLife Castlemaine District writing about our next bird of the month, accompanied by Damian’s stunning photos.

Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata)

Connecting Country’s Feathered Five includes the small but striking Diamond Firetail. It is a tricky bird to find, but not impossible.  Their conservation status was unfortunately recently upgraded to Vulnerable under the EPBC Act. It means that over the last 10 years, the population has an estimated decline in the region of 30-50%, with a high probability of declining further in the future. No wonder they are such a hard bird to see.

It’s all in the bright red bill … the shape indicates it’s a finch, and finches eat the seeds of native grasses. The decline of the Diamond Firetail is one result of native vegetation clearance and habitat degradation. Where perennial native grasses manage to persist (despite invasive annual exotic grasses taking over in many places), they struggle to produce the seed the Diamond Firetail needs at critical times of the year, largely because of overgrazing and invasive herbivores such as rabbits. Grazing animals also take out shrubby habitat which these little birds need for protection.  This means our gorgeous Diamond Firetails may go hungry in late autumn and winter and are more vulnerable to predators, such as foxes and cats.

Flock of Diamond Firetails enjoying a lovely bath in a puddle. Photo by Damian Kelly.

The healthy diet for the Dimond Firetail isn’t just native grass seed, they also require some insects, especially for the baby birds still in the nest who are growing rapidly.

Clutch size ranges quite widely, from 3-7 eggs. If conditions allow and food sources are plentiful, a pair of Diamond Firetails may have more than one clutch in a season. The nest is a beautifully constructed bottle shape with a tunnel entrance, or a ball shape with a small hole for an entrance, made from grass and twigs and lined with feathers. They are good little recyclers, because sometimes rubbish such as fishing line, frayed plastic and drinking straws are incorporated into nests. Both parents build the nest, sit on eggs to incubate the chicks, and then feed chicks when they hatch.

Damian recently took this beautiful photo of a Diamond Firetail at Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve. Photo by Damian Kelly.

A bit more on nests – the Diamond Firetail can make some interesting choices in nesting sites. They are a flock bird, getting around in small mobs of 5-30 birds. This extends to nesting, where they often nest in small groups, or colonies, with a number of nests in the same place. That place may be in the base of other much larger birds stick nests, such as White-faced Heron, Square-tailed Kite, Whistling Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Falcon and Kestrel nests. You’ll notice most of those birds are raptors, you’d think it a scary prospect, but White-browed Babblers think it’s a great idea too, and have been known to take over Diamond Firetail nests. Maybe it’s a deterrent to other predators?

Another way it’s thought Diamond Firetails avoid predators is the mechanics of how they drink. Like pigeons, they suck up water instead of dip and sip, then tilt the head back. The theory is it’s much quicker to slurp your water down in big gulps!

To listen to the call of the Diamond Firetail – click here

Jane Rusden
Damian Kelly

 

Friends, Supporters and Community: Donate a tree for our youth

Posted on 26 June, 2023 by Ivan

With the end of the financial year looming, we are asking our friends, supporters and community to donate a tree for our youth to plant at National Tree Day in July 2023.

We are partnering with local Landcare groups and Mount Alexander Shire Council to deliver a National Tree Day event on Sunday 30 July 2023. The day will be open to everyone to participate and will include planting indigenous plants for habitat and learning more about our local landscape.

The tree planting event is answering a call from the younger generations of our community who, in a recent Council survey, asked for more opportunities to plant trees, make homes for wildlife and to undertake practical actions to address climate change.

We are raising funds to purchase local native plants and host a Community Planting Day to support the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook community – young and wise – to help heal the land.

Photo by John Ellis

How you can help: sponsor a community planting day! 

You can sponsor the day by donating funds to go towards the purchase of the plants, stakes and guards.

If you wish, you can attend the community planting day, get your hands dirty and plant the plants you have sponsored. However, if you can’t attend the event, your contribution will be guaranteed and the community will plant for you!

Let’s work together to protect and restore our local biodiversity and nurture the land for our future generations!

Donate today via our Give Now page – click here

Photo credit: John Ellis

Donating to our ‘Trees for our next generation’ campaign provides excellent value for your investment: 

  • All plants purchased using the funds raised during this campaign will be from local nurseries that specialise in indigenous plants to this region. This is vital to ensure plants are adapted to local conditions, support local wildlife whilst supporting local businesses.
  • Experienced volunteers from Landcare will be supporting the planting, making this an effective and highly efficient project.
  • Our 15-year track record of landscape restoration and monitoring demonstrates the importance and relevance of this project and the excellent outcomes for local wildlife and community education.
  • Restoring degraded bushland, which was turned upside-down during the gold rush, is an important community engagement activity and allows people who deeply care about our landscape to take direct action.
  • The project will allow donors who wish to be involved on the day to plant a local native plant on National Tree Day, as well as passionate volunteers and younger generations.
  • This project will support young people to undertake practical actions to address climate change and biodiversity loss – a key issue that young people are acutely aware will profoundly affect their generation.

Any funds raised above our target will go directly towards purchasing plants for other Landcare groups in our region.

Donate today via our Give Now page – click here

Image

Photo Credit: Leonie van Eyk

We have a secure payment system and all donations (>$2) to Connecting Country are tax deductible.

Can’t donate? Here are some other ways you can help

  • Attend the community tree planting event, and volunteer to revegetate the sponsored plants
  • Share our campaign with your friends and networks.
  • Retain leaf litter, logs, and trees (especially mature trees) on your property, as these provide foraging and den resources for wildlife
  • Consider doing revegetation or installing nestboxes on your property
  • Contribute to restoring healthy forests by joining your local Landcare or Friends group. To find a group near you – click here

The background story: Degraded bushland

The Mount Alexander region of central Victoria has a long history of removing native vegetation for gold mining, agriculture, and timber and firewood harvesting, leading to many areas of degraded bushland, with little understory, or suitable habitat. In Australia, it can take hundreds of years for trees to form natural hollows. Due to the profound environmental change caused by European colonisation and the gold rush, many trees in our region are still young and have little understory or ground cover. Connecting Country has nearly two decades of experience in restoring these landscapes, and will oversee the event, to ensure the maximum benefit for our local wildlife and community.

Much of our bushland has been turned over and lacks understorey species. Photo: Asha Bannon

 

 

A wintry 2023 Landcare Link-up in Taradale

Posted on 23 June, 2023 by Hadley Cole

Barkly Park Taradale VIC. Photo by Antoinette Birkenbeil.

 

On Saturday 17 June 2023 we hosted the annual Landcare Link-up in Taradale, Dja Dja Wurrung Country. It was a cold, windy, yet sunny day as we took a walking tour of Taradale Landcare groups project site Barkly Park. Brian Bainbridge from Taradale Landcare walked us through key areas in the park, outlining its interesting history and different vegetation types present across the park. Barkly Park is represented largely by Red Gum Grassy Woodland, and perhaps due to its reservation as public land, many of the red gums have been able to grow into majestic trees, containing many beautiful hollows for local wild life. The Landcare group have recorded Brush Tailed Phascogales using the site,  scurrying along the branches of fallen timber out of the reach of predators.  The group have also enjoyed bird walks and plan to collect data on the bird life at the site over time.  A cool burn is planned for later this year which will focus on restoring an area with existing Kanagaroo Grass and Chocolate Lilies.

Participants reported that they thoroughly enjoyed the tour. We are very grateful to Brian and Colleen and all Taradale Landcare members for taking the time to showcase their work at Barkly Park.  We will watch with interest as they continue to restore and enhance the local biodiversity.

 

Participants hearing about a hybrid eucalypt at the Barkly Park site. Photo by Hadley Cole.

Following the tour, we found warmth in the charming Taradale Hall where we enjoyed further presentations from Landcare groups of the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook region and enjoyed afternoon tea provided by the Murnong Mamas.

We heard three presentations from local Landcare groups in the region, which varied from an urban group, to a group working on private land and another who works on public land.

Christine Kilmartin from Castlemaine Landcare presented some of the issues urban Landcare groups come up against, including the many and various weeds that infiltrate restoration areas, particularly following floods. Castlemaine Landcare have been working to protect and restore numerous sites along Forest Creek.

Beth Mellick from Muckleford Catchment Landcare spoke of their groups’ Habitat Corridor project which aims to build connectivity across the Muckleford landscape, linking private property with a local bushland reserves.  Much of the land in Muckleford Catchment Landcare groups project sites are largely on private land and the group work with land holders to increase connectivity across the landscape and build habitat resilience. The group have put together a short film showcasing their work. To watch the film – click here.

Marie Jones from Golden Point Landcare shared a positive story of taking the time out to walk through older project sites and notice the differences in restoration that have occurred over time. The work of Landcare groups can be tough; digging holes, planting and seeing only some plants survive, getting out and watering in the hotter months, worrying about the destruction caused by fires, floods or storms. It can be difficult to step back and focus on the achievements and progress made over time and appreciate the positive changes in the landscape groups have accomplished. This was a lovely positive presentation from Marie to finish up the afternoon.

Landcare member Link-up participants. Photo by Lori Arthur.

Thank you to all of the presenters who took the time to share their stories with us. We really enjoy hearing the varied Landcare stories from the region.

Thank you to the North Central Catchment Management Authority for supporting this event.

 

                   

 

Last chance to book for the 2023 Landcare Link-up!

Posted on 15 June, 2023 by Hadley Cole

The 2023 Landcare Link-up is on THIS WEEKEND –  Saturday 17 June 2023 from 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm in Taradale. Everyone is welcome! Get in quick to book your place! – click here

As part of Connecting Country’s ongoing support for Landcare groups in the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook region, we coordinate an annual Landcare Link-up to provide groups with an opportunity to get together, learn, share and connect.  It’s also a great opportunity for anyone not yet engaged in Landcare to learn more about what’s involved.

The theme for this years Link-up event is ‘Sharing Stories’ and will be held in Taradale, starting with a gentle walk through Barkly Park followed by afternoon tea at the Taradale Hall.

Taradale Landcare Group are kindly co-hosting the event and will walk us through their Rediscover Barkly Park project.  Barkly Park is public land with hidden conservation values and offers a wonderful space for Landcare activities and for the wider community to connect with nature.

The group has been working hard to promote Barkly Park through educational and engaging walks throughout 2022/23 and a mini celebration festival earlier this year.   They have plans to care for and restore the site for both community and animals to enjoy for years to come.  We will hear from group member, Brian Bainbridge, who will present the plans and processes behind the Rediscover Barkly Park project.   Brian has decades of experience in restoring landscapes and connecting people with nature through various volunteer and paid roles.  It’s sure to be an interesting and engaging event.

Barkly Park, Taradale VIC. Photo by Taradale Landcare.

 

Following the visit to Barkly Park, we will head over to the Taradale Hall to hear more interesting stories from Landcarers in the region and enjoy a lovely afternoon tea together.

Bookings are essential for catering purposes. To book your place, please -click here

For any inquiries please email: hadley@connectingcountry.org.au or call the Connecting Country office on: 0493 362 394

We thank the North Central Catchment Management Authority for their support of this event.

 

Donate a tree this EOFY: Seeking your help for National Tree Day

Posted on 13 June, 2023 by Ivan

With the end of the financial year looming, we are asking our friends, supporters and community to donate a tree for our youth to plant at National Tree Day in July 2023.

We are partnering with local Landcare groups and Mount Alexander Shire Council to deliver a National Tree Day event on Sunday 30 July 2023. The day will be open to everyone to participate and will include planting indigenous plants for habitat and learning more about our local landscape.

The tree planting event is answering a call from the younger generations of our community who, in a recent Council survey, asked for more opportunities to plant trees, make homes for wildlife and to undertake practical actions to address climate change.

We are raising funds to purchase local native plants and host a Community Planting Day to support the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook community – young and wise – to help heal the land.

Photo by John Ellis

How you can help: sponsor a community planting day! 

You can sponsor the day by donating funds to go towards the purchase of the plants, stakes and guards.

If you wish, you can attend the community planting day, get your hands dirty and plant the plants you have sponsored. However, if you can’t attend the event, your contribution will be guaranteed and the community will plant for you!

Let’s work together to protect and restore our local biodiversity and nurture the land for our future generations!

Donate today via our Give Now page – click here

Photo credit: John Ellis

Donating to our ‘Trees for our next generation’ campaign provides excellent value for your investment: 

  • All plants purchased using the funds raised during this campaign will be from local nurseries that specialise in indigenous plants to this region. This is vital to ensure plants are adapted to local conditions, support local wildlife whilst supporting local businesses.
  • Experienced volunteers from Landcare will be supporting the planting, making this an effective and highly efficient project.
  • Our 15-year track record of landscape restoration and monitoring demonstrates the importance and relevance of this project and the excellent outcomes for local wildlife and community education.
  • Restoring degraded bushland, which was turned upside-down during the gold rush, is an important community engagement activity and allows people who deeply care about our landscape to take direct action.
  • The project will allow donors who wish to be involved on the day to plant a local native plant on National Tree Day, as well as passionate volunteers and younger generations.
  • This project will support young people to undertake practical actions to address climate change and biodiversity loss – a key issue that young people are acutely aware will profoundly affect their generation.

Any funds raised above our target will go directly towards purchasing plants for other Landcare groups in our region.

Donate today via our Give Now page – click here

Image

Photo Credit: Leonie van Eyk

We have a secure payment system and all donations (>$2) to Connecting Country are tax deductible.

Can’t donate? Here are some other ways you can help

  • Attend the community tree planting event, and volunteer to revegetate the sponsored plants
  • Share our campaign with your friends and networks.
  • Retain leaf litter, logs, and trees (especially mature trees) on your property, as these provide foraging and den resources for wildlife
  • Consider doing revegetation or installing nestboxes on your property
  • Contribute to restoring healthy forests by joining your local Landcare or Friends group. To find a group near you – click here

The background story: Degraded bushland

The Mount Alexander region of central Victoria has a long history of removing native vegetation for gold mining, agriculture, and timber and firewood harvesting, leading to many areas of degraded bushland, with little understory, or suitable habitat. In Australia, it can take hundreds of years for trees to form natural hollows. Due to the profound environmental change caused by European colonisation and the gold rush, many trees in our region are still young and have little understory or ground cover. Connecting Country has nearly two decades of experience in restoring these landscapes, and will oversee the event, to ensure the maximum benefit for our local wildlife and community.

Much of our bushland has been turned over and lacks understorey species. Photo: Asha Bannon

 

 

Sponsor a community planting day: Seeking YOUR help for 2023 National Tree Day

Posted on 31 May, 2023 by Ivan

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now, and we need your help!

We are partnering with local Landcare groups and Mount Alexander Shire Council to deliver a National Tree Day event on Sunday 30 July 2023. The day will be open to everyone to participate and will include planting indigenous plants for habitat and learning more about our local landscape.

The tree planting event aims to empower the younger generations of our community to take direct action in healing the land and tackling climate change. This is what they have asked for. Mount Alexander Shire Council recently surveyed young people in our local area. Our young people reported they want opportunities to plant trees, make homes for wildlife and to undertake practical actions to address climate change.

Photo by John Ellis

 

How you can help: sponsor a community planting day! 

We are raising funds to purchase local native plants and host a Community Planting Day on National Tree Day 2023, to support the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook community – young and wise – to help heal the land. Through this project, we aim to connect people of all ages with nature and restore degraded bushland.

The sponsored plants will be provided by local indigenous nurseries. You can sponsor the day by donating funds to go towards the purchase of the plants, stakes and guards. If you wish, you can attend the community planting day, get your hands dirty and plants the plants you have sponsored. However, if you can’t attend the event, your contribution will be guaranteed and the community will plant for you! Let’s work together to protect and restore our local biodiversity and nurture the land for our future generations! Donate today – click here

Photo credit: John Ellis

 

Degraded bushland

The Mount Alexander region of central Victoria has a long history of removing native vegetation for gold mining, agriculture, and timber and firewood harvesting, leading to many areas of degraded bushland, with little understory, or suitable habitat. In Australia, it can take hundreds of years for trees to form natural hollows. Due to the profound environmental change caused by European colonisation and the gold rush, many trees in our region are still young and have little understory or ground cover. Connecting Country has nearly two decades of experience in restoring these landscapes, and will oversee the event, to ensure the maximum benefit for our local wildlife and community.

Much of our bushland has been turned over and lacks understorey species. Photo: Asha Bannon

 

Donate today via our Give Now page – click here

We are reaching out to our community for support to purchase a selection of local native trees, shrubs and groundcovers, to allow us to restore bushland and support our younger generations and local community. Donating to our ‘Trees for our next generation’ campaign provides excellent value for your investment: 

  • All plants purchased using the funds raised during this campaign will be from local nurseries that specialise in indigenous plants to this region. This is vital to ensure plants are adapted to local conditions, support local wildlife whilst supporting local businesses.
  • Experienced volunteers from Landcare will be supporting the planting, making this an effective and highly efficient project.
  • Our 15-year track record of landscape restoration and monitoring demonstrates the importance and relevance of this project and the excellent outcomes for local wildlife and community education.
  • Restoring degraded bushland, which was turned upside-down during the gold rush, is an important community engagement activity and allows people who deeply care about our landscape to take direct action.
  • The project will allow donors who wish to be involved on the day to plant a local native plant on National Tree Day, as well as passionate volunteers and younger generations.
  • This project will support young people to undertake practical actions to address climate change and biodiversity loss – a key issue that young people are acutely aware will profoundly affect their generation.

Any funds raised above our target will go directly towards purchasing plants for other Landcare groups in our region.

Image

Photo Credit: Leonie van Eyk

Donate today via our Give Now page – click here

We have a secure payment system and all donations (>$2) to Connecting Country are tax deductible.

Can’t donate? Here are some other ways you can help

  • Attend the community tree planting event, and volunteer to revegetate the sponsored plants
  • Share our campaign with your friends and networks.
  • Retain leaf litter, logs, and trees (especially mature trees) on your property, as these provide foraging and den resources for wildlife
  • Consider doing revegetation or installing nestboxes on your property
  • Contribute to restoring healthy forests by joining your local Landcare or Friends group. To find a group near you – click here

 

Walking Together – towards Makarrata

Posted on 29 May, 2023 by Ivan

Our friends and project partners at Nalderun have sent through a timely article, highlighting the history of native title, land rights and acknowledging country. The article was written Floria Maschek, an ally and member of Friends of Nalderun (FoN). Nalderun is a Dja Dja Wurrung word meaning “all together”. Please see the article below, provided kindly by Nalderun.

 

WALKING TOGETHER – towards Makarrata

Makarrata = ‘coming together after a struggle, facing the facts of wrongs and living again in peace.’

Mabo, native title, land rights and acknowledging Country

Pardalotes are busy under the newly replaced eaves outside my window. The beautiful birds may be looking to build a nest there. I consider my family’s journey to this place, struggles and privileges that brought us to Djaara Country and our impacts on land and life. Connections of ‘Country’ are inseparable from First People’s culture and lore. I think about how this relates to autonomy, community, resilience and well-being. With respect to the elders past and present, their sovereignty never ceded, I acknowledge Country.

In my second contribution to Walking Together, I revisit the topic of native title and land rights. Mabo Day on June the 3rd during Reconciliation Week, is the anniversary of a momentous turning point in the land rights movement, acknowledging First People’s ongoing connections to their lands and culture. 

The far reaching Frontier Wars that occurred after 1788 resulted in vast displacement of First Nations people. Much truth telling is needed, but awareness is building. We know First Peoples have defended their rights to their lands, waters and self determination since the beginning of colonisation. 

During the 19th and 20th centuries many were forced onto missions, stations and reserves, working under horrendous conditions. There were many deaths and family separations. Culture and language were usually disallowed. This occurred under government ‘protection’ boards. Forced into these areas, some eventually obtained land leases as happened locally in the 1840s in Franklinford. However almost all that lived here were then moved onto Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve.

In 1966 hundreds of Gurindji Peoples walked off Wave Hill Station in the Northern Territory in protest. In 1975 the commonwealth government transferred land to them in a historic first. The Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Rights Act was established, leading to further hand backs. Some states followed, introducing land rights legislations, though greatly limiting lands that could be claimed. 

In 1992 The Mabo Case, mounted by five Torres Strait Islander Meriam People including Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo, was successful in overturning the myth of ‘Terra Nullius’ (Land belonging to no one). The High Court recognised they had lived on their lands for thousands of years according to their own laws and customs. In 1993 the Native Title Act was passed with a promise to ‘rectify past injustices’. 

In the years that followed, a series of High Court decisions tested the implementation of Native Title legislation. Claims proved to be very difficult. Those that had been removed off their lands now had to demonstrate their People’s continuous practice of lore and customs there since pre-colonisation.

In 1996 in response to the Wik Peoples of Cape York Peninsula, the High Court Wik Decision ruled pastoral leases of crown land could co-exist with Native Title. These leases could now be more easily preserved over the rights of First Peoples. The extinguishment regime was furthered in the Native Title Amendment Act of 1998 and the 10 point plan. 

The Timber Creek decision of 2019 was the first time the High Court considered and confirmed how compensations should be assessed for cultural and economic losses from violation of native title rights. 

The South West Native Title Settlement was approved by the Noongar Nation in Western Australia. It was described by some as ‘Australia’s first treaty’, being the most comprehensive and largest native title settlement yet, commencing in 2021. Here is a mere glimpse into a very complex history. The ideals of Mabo are yet to be fully recognised. I centre my acknowledgements, hopes and efforts in the truth of Mabo. 

I am always moved by the strength of First Peoples and the love poured into self determination and community. Here locally, Nalderun, with the support of Friends of Nalderun and the broader community, are an inspiration as they strengthen connections throughout many areas of community, culture, grow proud generations, connect to the land and waters and nurture Country. I look forward to sharing more as I learn. 

Mabo day is on the last day of Reconciliation Week running from 27th May – 3rd June. Sorry Day – May 26th. Look out for the guide offering many locally run Nalderun events. The Reconciliation Week stall and exhibition will be on again this year at the Castlemaine Market Building.  

 

Floria Maschek is an ally and member of Friends of Nalderun (FoN). FoN members are guided by Nalderun Education Aboriginal Corporation and are diverse individuals and representatives of many local community networks, supporting Nalderuns visions and work. Nalderun Education Aboriginal Corporation supports the Aboriginal Community and is led by Aboriginal people while providing many learning and cultural opportunities to the broader community. Nalderun is a Dja Dja Wurrung word meaning “all together”. 

More information can be found at www.nalderun.net.au

 

Check out this cute as a button Phascogale (and thank you Arborcam!)

Posted on 29 May, 2023 by Jess

Here at Connecting Country, we are very grateful to all who donate their time or hard-earned cash to Connecting Country. It really takes a village to get things done!

We use remote cameras to supplement our volunteer nestbox monitoring program and to check any nest boxes that we can’t quite reach with a ladder.

We recently took our monitoring cameras to the manufacturer, Arborcam, for repairs and were delighted that Blair kindly donated us the newest model! You can see some of the fantastic, clear (and adorable) footage of our favourite dasyurid marsupial, the Brush-tailed Phascogale (or Tuan) that Blair provided using the Arborcam  Mk 3 (our cameras are pre-mk 1).

 

Thank you for your generous donation Arborcam!  We can’t wait to put them into action.

We loan our cameras out to Connecting Country and Landcare members in our local area for nest box monitoring. Or, they can be purchased from Arbocam: Click Here

For more about our monitoring program,  how to get involved or to donate to the program, please Click Here