group of older men in paddock

Landcare, the national movement begun in 1989 to encourage productive and sustainable land management, is losing its volunteer base as young people fail to replace its ageing personnel.

Of the $1 billion for Landcare out to 2023 first announced back in the 2017 Budget, $5 million was earmarked for community and volunteer groups in grants of up to $50,000. The lack of upcoming volunteers, however, means that boots on the ground may not be present to work on some future projects. 

It's not that volunteering in Australia is for older people, census data shows volunteering rates were high for people aged 15-17 years (42%), 35-44 years (39%) and 65-74 years (35%). 

Younger schoolchildren show a great interest in land and environment, but capturing the potential of high school students tends to be a challenge. 

Read more at Landcare legacy at risk as volunteers retire, young people not taking their place.