What is the Network?
The Western Landcare Youth Network was a program aimed at providing young people with a platform to explore a future in agriculture and the environment with access to skills training in these fields. The Network allowed Far West youth to connect with each other and make a difference to their communities under the guidance and assistance of mentors. Students also made a difference to their communities by developing local environmental projects that they carry out. These three areas of activity formed the core of the network; learn, develop, contribute.
Why was it created?
The formation of this Network was a response to a need identified by Western Landcare NSW and local land managers in the region for younger people to gain an interest in land management and natural resource management and to have access to real opportunities in those fields as well as to support youth in this region to gain skills training that is otherwise unavailable in the area.
Who was involved?
Anyone between the ages of 14 – 20 was welcome to register in the program.
What was the program?
The Youth Network ran from February – November with a monthly workshop for the participants. These workshops were ran by the program’s mentors and covered communication and brain training, native plant identification and propagation, drones, fencing, quad bike and farm safety, pest animal and weed management, climate change and grazing management among others.
The monthly workshops also provided a space for the participants to build friendships, network with industry professionals and receive guidance and support for their environmental projects.
In addition to the workshops the Western Landcare Youth Network hosted two intensive training blocks, one in each half of the year. Participation in these training blocks was limited to 12 participants ages 16 and over. Participants for the training blocks were selected from within the Youth Network participants and had demonstrated a genuine interest for work on the land and a commitment to the program through attendance at all workshops.