The Gully is an inspiring bushland reserve bringing together the local mountains community, Indigenous Elders and traditional owners, professional bush regenerators, seasoned volunteers and enthusiastic first-timers. On Sunday, December the 2nd, 2018 GSLN was lucky enough to visit their annual end-of-year get together, and witness the amazing, transformative change that occurs when a diverse community of volunteers gets together for Bushcare.
Lake Macquarie is spectacular. The water is clear, pale blue, and perfectly flat and is bordered by a narrow band of grey gravely sand, speckled with bone-white clam shells and driftwood. Green bushland curves around the lake, tapering into a hazy horizon. Our lodge for the weekend at Point Wolstoncroft Sports and Recreation Centre overlooked the lake and was the gathering site for 15 young people for our Intrepid Landcare Leadership Retreat on the Central Coast.
The weekend of the 7th-9th December marked the fourth Landcare Leadership Retreat run in Greater Sydney over the past year and a half. GSLN has been working with a national network called Intrepid Landcare to support young people who want to take leadership on environmental issues and get involved with the Landcare movement. The retreats offer a packed weekend for these young people to experience Landcare, connect with likeminded peers and local leaders, and learn leadership and project planning skills.
On Saturday, Intrepid facilitators Megan Rowlatt and Adam Wood took the participants through their journeys into caring for the environment and the history of Landcare. After that we headed to the bush with Nicola Booth from NPWS to do some hands-on Landcare pulling out lantana and bitou bush. Uncle Stu from Ngurra guril Landcare lead a cultural walk in the afternoon and explained the importance and uses for the different plants we came across. The walk led us to the tip of Gwandalan peninsula where there’s an Aboriginal midden. There we reflected on Australia’s expansive history and the importance of connection to country.
Sunday saw a deeper dive into personal discovery, including considering our passions and values. The participants took part in team building exercises and the day was capped off with an in-depth project planning session, where participants pitched ideas for starting a Central Coast Intrepid Landcare group and going for botanical bushwalks.
Huge thank yous to all the participants, Intrepid Landcare, Greater Sydney LLS, Happy Heads, NPWS, and Uncle Stu. It was a fantastic weekend! And welcome Central Coast Intrepid!
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