How biodiversity improves environmental & agricultural drought resilience

A Walk & Talk with Annemaree Docking of Plan it Rural – June 11 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Kyneton)
Waxlip Orchid Glossodia major – image © John Walter

The first half of the day will introduce the concept of agroecology and regenerative agriculture. It will explore how these holistic approaches can create integrated land management systems with positive soil health, carbon sequestration and biodiversity outcomes reducing climatic impact, erosion and water management. It will introduce a systems thinking approach to farm management.

After a quick break for lunch, the farm walk will consider the practical application of concepts discussed in the first half of the day by looking at a working farm that has integrated regenerative and agroecological methodologies into its day-to-day farm management systems, and how these approaches have positively influenced farm productivity and profitability, as well as contributed to greater biodiversity and climate resilience outcomes for the farm and broader catchment.

Annemaree Docking is an Agricultural Scientist, Permaculture Designer, Farmer and advocate for the natural environment.

She started her career in the private agricultural sector working in a range of enterprises including beef cattle, merino fine wool production, dairy, Thoroughbred breeding and viticulture. Annemaree then spent three years with the Department of Primary Industries (Biosecurity Victoria and the Meat and Wool Industry Development) before moving to local government on the peri-urban fringe of Melbourne, where she designed engagement programs and offered landholders environmental and agricultural support for the past over 10 years. 

Annemaree is now a Director Consultant with Plan-it Rural in partnership with Linda Martin-Chew, where they join their more than 40 years combined industry experience to work with landholders and policy makers to support innovative farming and food systems in the peri-urban space. She also farms nineteen hectares near Kilmore – Dalhousie Farm as a co-farm producing primarily eggs, beef and vegetables. Annemaree is completing her PhD researching regenerative agriculture systems with Deakin University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures.


Please email UCLN Landcare Facilitator at ​ or phone ​0432 491 789. The Kyneton address will be provided on registration.

This event is funded by the NRM Drought Resilience Program – Grants. The grants support projects that contribute to improved drought resilience of agricultural landscapes through experimentation in NRM practices, systems and approaches that go beyond current best practice.

This event forms part of the Upper Campaspe Landcare Network’s NRM Drought Resilience Grant project – Empowering an informed and engaged community to allow for the creation of connecting pollinator corridors through the Upper Campaspe Catchment to ensure environmental resilience and improved functionality of drought threatened agricultural landscapes.

Parks VICTORIA Volunteering Update

Working with Children Check

All organisations in Victoria that provide services or facilities for children are required to comply with Child Safe Standards.

To comply with these Standards, Parks Victoria now requires all volunteers that operate on the parks estate to hold a valid Working with Children Check (WWCC) by 30 June 2022.

Working with Children Checks are FREE for volunteers to obtain.

Parks Victoria is implementing the WWCC requirements  because:

  • Parks Victoria is required to act in accordance with the Victoria Child Safe Standards, and must act to prevent all forms of abuse and harm to children, including by ensuring that all employees and volunteers who operate in our Parks are suitable to work around children
  • Young people are increasingly being encouraged to visit and experience parks
  • Many young people are seeking volunteering opportunities
  • An increasing number of volunteer groups are actively engaging young people in their activities to promote knowledge transfer and successful succession planning
  • Volunteer activities are encouraging engagement of the broader family group including children
  • Volunteers working in parks have a public facing role that can result in contact with young people
  • Many parks have shared public facilities
  • Child safety incidents have occurred and continue to occur within our parks
  • There are volunteers who have failed their WWCC and are therefore unsuitable for volunteering at Parks Victoria
  • Parks Victoria is dedicated to providing  a child safe environment

Volunteers who do not hold a WWCC will no longer be able to volunteer on Parks estate after 30 June 2022.  A record of proof that a WWCC has been obtained must be uploaded onto Parks Victoria’s online volunteer portal ParkConnect.

For Volunteer Groups, Parks Victoria staff will not be able to approve volunteer activities with active volunteer members that have not obtained a valid WWCC.

Working with Children Checks are FREE for volunteers.  There is also a new process to apply through the Service Victoria app with no need to go to Australia Post.  All the information on how to complete the check using Service Victoria can be found here or if you want to complete online please see the ‘how to apply flowchart’ here.

We understand some volunteers and groups may be experiencing difficulties in either the process of attaining a WWCC or uploading the record on ParkConnect.   Over the next few months, Parks Victoria will be offering additional support to enable volunteers to obtain and record their WWCC. 

If you or your group requires assistance please fill in the request for support form below and detail how we can best assist you.

Request for support form

We look forward to continuing our valuable work together while keeping children safe and strengthening volunteering now and into the future. 

If you would like to get in touch please email or phone 13 19 63 or contact your local staff contact.

Thank you,
Parks Victoria

BushBank to regenerate habitats and drive jobs

The Andrews Labor Government is transforming parcels of private land – that combined cover an area five times the size of the City of Melbourne – into new habitats helping Victorian wildlife thrive and capturing carbon.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, has called for expressions of interest from suitable organisations to partner in the landmark BushBank program – aimed at restoring 20,000 hectares of private land and creating more than 100 jobs across Victoria.

The almost $31 million investment will revegetate and restore our precious biodiversity with millions of trees and shrubs, delivering unique habitats for Victorian wildlife and storing more than 4.5 million tonnes of carbon – integral to Victoria reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Program is designed to generate new opportunities for regional communities and income streams for landowners, driving investment from emerging carbon markets, supporting biodiversity and creating jobs.
BushBank will also include an initial $7 million in grants available to Traditional Owner Corporations to lead restoration on Country.

The program supports Aboriginal self-determination with opportunities for Traditional Owners to identify priority values and locations for restoration, pursue training and capacity building opportunities, investigate new emissions-reduction methodologies for cultural practices, and seek out natural-resource related economic opportunities.

These programs are part of the Government’s $77 million Nature restoration for carbon storage – BushBank program announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21, which works to restore public and private land across Victoria.

BushBank is supported by the $15.3 million Victorian Carbon Farming Program, helping landowners to plant agroforestry and shelterbelt trees, access existing carbon markets and drive on-farm benefits and new income streams.

The program will play a key role in helping meet the Government’s Biodiversity 2037 targets to permanently protect 200,000 hectares of private land and revegetate 200,000 hectares of land in priority areas. The Labor Government has invested nearly $500 million towards protecting biodiversity since 2014.


The Victorian Government is investing $30.9 million to revegetate and restore at least 20,000 hectares of native habitat across private land in Victoria through its BushBank program.

Expressions of interest are open for suitable organisations which can deliver this part of the program, bringing in co-investment and helping private landowners tap into financial incentives available through land restoration and carbon markets.

The successful delivery partner will recruit landowners to participate and also play a role in the delivery of works, involving the planting of millions of trees and shrubs to become habitat for native species.

This work is part of the Victorian Government’s $77 million BushBank program to revegetate and restore natural environments across Victoria.

How to apply

There are two stages for applicants:

Stage 1: Submit an expression of interest (EOI) to be a delivery partner.

Stage 2: Develop a Project Implementation Plan in consultation with DELWP and Trust for Nature.

Applicants must read the program guidelines BushBank private land restoration and protection – Open call to market to select a delivery partner that details eligibility requirements (refer to section 3.2), program specifications and the EOI process and rules.

Information sessions

Potential applicants should register to attend an MS Teams information session hosted by DELWP, where they can learn more about this offer and participate in a Question and Answer session.

For more information visit: