2022 Bob Hawke Landcare Award Finalists

2022 Bob Hawke Award Winner – Bruce Maynard, New South Wales

Mr Maynard is the inventor of the No Kill Cropping System, a unique, revolutionary technique that relies on the retention of full grassland functions and consumption of almost no external inputs. He also initiated the Constructive Farming Cooperative- a group of farmers and researchers committed to extending the application of regenerative agricultural techniques, developed the Stress Free Stockmanship competencies, and pioneered a new field of animal behavioural science called Self Herding alongside Dr Dean Revell.

Mr Maynard’s sustainable methods came about in an attempt to remove the choice between productive farming and conserving plants and native wildlife by showing farmers that both can be achieved together. Putting his theories in to practice on his own property, Willydah, Mr Maynard and his family have planted over 200,000 trees and tens of thousands of saltbushes to regenerate the farm.

Not only is Willydah regularly visited by farmers and representatives of industries to learn his farming systems, but for decades Mr Maynard’s fantastic work has seen him travel across Australia, speaking at events and conducting seminars and workshops to teach farmers keen to adopt his systems. His extensive experience and passion for sustainable agriculture and landcare has also led him to share his knowledge and skills with farmers and landcarers across Australia and form the Constructive Farming Cooperative, a group of farmers and researchers committed to extending the application of regenerative agricultural techniques.

“The biggest challenge facing Australian farmers today is to integrate sustainable environmental practices with a practical, profitable production system. No Kill Cropping is a game changer for sustainable farming because it lets farmers change easily and quickly between a grazing enterprise and cropping enterprise in the one paddock,” says Mr Maynard.

“I really believe that farmers have the opportunity to work together to address some of the greatest pressures facing us globally such as climate change and species decline. I hope that my work will inspire others to begin their own sustainable farming journey and contribute to a greener future for Australian farming.”

2022 Bob Hawke Award Finalist – Dr Mary Retallack, South Australia

Dr Mary Retallack has dedicated her life to the pursuit of environmental stewardship by sharing the practical skills needed to employ ecological restoration in vineyards throughout Australia. As an experienced agroecologist, scientist, and third-generation viticulturist, Dr Retallack has pioneered the use of native insectary plants in and around production systems and currently runs the National Landcare Smart Farms Small Grants funded EcoVineyards program, in collaboration with the Wine Grape Council of SA and more than 60 partnering organisations. Launched in SA, the highly successful program has recently received funding from Wine Australia to roll out a National EcoVineyards Program and is actively influencing the wine growing practices of more than 6,000 grape growers that collectively manage more than 146,000 hectares of wine grapes throughout Australia.

2022 Bob Hawke Award Finalist – Geoff Bassett, New South Wales

Geoff Bassett is a nationally recognised specialist in regenerative agriculture and soil health and the founder of Farm Mojo, where he supports broad acre farmers across Australia to transition from contemporary chemical usage to working with natural systems. A professional farmer for over 40 years, Mr Bassett champions enhancing on-farm soil fertility through mineral balancing, microbiology, carbon sequestration and promoting biodiversity to increase net profitability and ensure long term environmental resilience to climate change. Passionate about providing achievable solutions to complex problems and improving economic and environmental outcomes in rural communities, Mr Bassett has worked extensively with Landcare groups across Australia for the last 35 years and is a project leader and research collaborator with The Carbon Farm and Southern Cross University.