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‘Small Blocks Big Dreams’ E-News

Two Workshop Series’ down, one to go! Round one is coming along nicely as site assessments begin for one group of participants while planning and some thinking time continues for the others. Take a look below!

Horse and Other Livestock Owners

The date for the Horse and Other Livestock Owners Introductory session has officially been locked in! The event will take place on 15 November, Tuesday 6:30pm at RGR Arena. Register for the event here.

Upper Barwon Landcare Network will host the evening with inspiring guest speaker Kathy Gabriel, a regenerative farmer in High Country, Victoria. Managing a Hereford beef property, Kathy combines her love of horses with her passion for agriculture. Having grown up in central Victoria, Kathy’s involvement with horses has accompanied her throughout her life from childhood ponies to boarding school, then onto mustering cattle in northern Australia. Horses became Kathy’s main work companion and lead her to her biggest life accomplishment, competing not once but twice in the Mongol Derby. The world’s longest and toughest horse race, racing 1000km across Mongolia on semi wild horses. Kathy raced, raising money for charity, raising awareness on mental health and racing in her mother’s memory.

Lifestyle/Bush Blocks

It is property assessment time for the Lifestyle/Bush Block participants as they look to get their action plans ready for review. Jackson Cass from Moorabool Catchment Landcare Group has been driving everywhere from Maude to Lara to take a look at the participant’s properties, discussing their action plans and providing helpful insight.
“Everyone has completed their first draft property plan which we were able to discuss. It was also good to talk about what on-ground works landholders were looking at to receive funding for and provide ideas and feedback for them.” – Jackson Cass

Participants have also received their Landholder Incentive Fact Sheet & Application. This document outlines the basics of the Small Blocks Big Dreams project and provides a detailed questionnaire on the works each landholder plans to undergo on their property. Once they’ve checked the necessary boxes on the provided checklist, the associated Landcare group/network and the Corangamite CMA review the application and go from there.
Common works some of the participants are planning on doing include revegetation to mitigate gully erosion, weed control and rabbit management.
Naturally, spring has also shown why it’s always the best time of year to do property assessments. This Wax Lip Orchid was found by Jackson near Maude. Despite the wet start to spring there’s plenty happening at your feet!

Small Producers

Workshops for the Small Producers Workshop Series are now complete with the final sessions taking place on 17 and 18 August.
The first of the two was held at Yan Yan Gurt West with Kristy Stewart, she spoke to the history and management of the Stewart family’s incredible Landcare award-winning property. She also guided the group through a walk-and-talk of the property’s different areas and uses giving fascinating insight into how the family have incorporated different agricultural and ecological practices.

After the exciting morning, it was back to the warm barn for the group as everyone continued to develop their property plans with the help of Agroecologist David Hardwick and Central Otway Landcare Network Facilitator, Andy Gray. The afternoon focused on different landscape stressors and how individuals can plan, manage and/or mitigate these influences on their property.

Thank you to Kristy and the Stewart family for their generosity in allowing the fourth session to be held on their property.
A site visit to Peter’s property at the top of the Otways at the end of the fourth workshop provided an excellent opportunity for everyone to apply some of the rural landscape planning knowledge they’d learned to an already well-managed landscape.
On the final day participants learned about the NRM MyProperty tool on the Corangamite CMA website. The platform provides landholders with an easily accessible tool that allows them to digitally draw and mark areas of their property to detail potential actions on site.
To wrap it all up, each participant shared their vision and management objectives for their property and then discussed some of the major things they’d learned from the sessions.
Site visits are set to take place in a few weeks time.
A big thanks goes out to Central Otway Landcare Network for leading the first Small Producers Workshops Series! Plus, thanks to David Hardwick for taking the time to travel across the state to be a part of the sessions, and to the participants for sharing their knowledge and being part of the project.

Who can I talk to about the project? 

Contact the Landcare coordinators below to learn more about their individual workshops. 

Lifestyle/Bush Block Owners  

Moorabool Catchment Landcare Group – Jackson Cass 

0497 770 075 

Artisan/Small Producers  

Central Otway Landcare Group – Andy Gray 

0414 560 296 

Horse and Other Livestock Owners 

Upper Barwon Landcare Network- Andrea Montgomery 

0407 552 663 


For general information about the project contact Corangamite CMA project managers: 

Karen O’Keefe – karen.o’ 

Chelsey Agg – 


For more information on the ‘Small Blocks Big Dreams’ project head to the Corangamite CMA website here

The Small Blocks Big Dreams project is one of 11 Our Catchments, Our Communities regional on ground projects, funded by the Victorian Government to support catchment stewardship, health, and resilience. 
Corangamite CMA
Small Blocks Big Dreams website
Corangamite CMA
Copyright © 2022 Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, All rights reserved.

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