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.

2020 Bob Hawke Landcare Award Finalists

2020 Bob Hawke Award Winner – Andrew Stewart, Victoria

Thirty years ago, Corangamite landholder Andrew Stewart developed a whole farm plan and mission statement for Yan Yan Gurt West Farm, a 230-hectare regenerative grazing and agroforestry property. It included the establishment of 50,000 trees and shrubs which has since seen the increase of woody vegetation across the farm from 3 per cent to 18 per cent.

These plantings have been connected to form a web of trees meandering across the farming landscape providing, soil, pasture and livestock protection, nutrient cycling, waterway protection, wild life corridors, improved aesthetics and wellbeing for people who live, work and visit the farm. There is now a 23km interface of trees and shrubs to pasture and 113 bird species recorded.

2020 Bob Hawke Award Finalist – Justin Kirkby, New South Wales

Sixteen years after buying his Gravesend property on the North West Slopes, 50kms outside Moree, Justin Kirkby has revitalised hid land which once boasted rundown cropping blocks with scarce groundcover and poor nutritional grasses. Now, thanks to measures taken, the landholder has decreased farms carbon footprint with the revegetation of up to twenty per cent of the property, with native tree species specific to the region. Planting trees and fodder shrubs has added to wildlife corridors and bio-link habitats for insects and birds to work as one in the ecosystem with Justin’s innovative farming practices.

2020 Bob Hawke Award Finalist – James Walker, Queensland

Operating Camden Park, a 20,000-acre organic, global animal partnership (GAP) accredited cattle station outside Longreach, James Walker has focused on tackling land degradation, carbon emissions and climate change through unique industry approaches. In actively researching executing ways of improving the environmental, financial and production performance of his property, James has created the Agrihive Farmecco digital platform to help other farmers understand and implement sustainable Landcare goals; developed an innovative ‘Floating Lease’ to reflect seasonal conditions that is being prototyped commercially and addressed emissions through an off-grid solution for the power supply on his property

Camden Park has also completed extensive water developments and utilised ag technologies for water monitoring to save their fuel and pumping costs whilst doing a comprehensive QFF energy audit whereby they have a trial solar / battery array fueling the farms energy requirements.

2018 Bob Hawke Landcare Award Finalists

2018 Bob Hawke Award Winner – Charlie Arnott, New South Wales

Charlie is a biodynamic farmer and grazier, who practices; regenerative farming, organic, biodynamic and holistic grazing principles on his 5000 acre mixed farming property, Hanaminno, at Boorowa, NSW. Charlie has won several agricultural industry awards for leadership, resource management and conservation. He has been an active Landcarer since the inception of the Landcare movement in 1989, with previous roles in all levels of Landcare, from district groups to the Sustainable Farming ambassador for Landcare Australia. He is passionate about growing clean healthy meat, which he sells direct to customers and butchers under his brand Charlie Arnott Natural Grass Fed Meat.

2018 Bob Hawke Landcare Award Finalist – Simon Falkiner, Victoria

Simon’s 600-acre mixed-enterprise family farm at Freshwater Creek produces meat merinos, cereals and oilseed crops, while prioritising farming techniques that preserve the land’s biodiversity.

Simon’s focus on maintaining soil health and his integrated pest and grazing management has made him a leading advocate for best-practice Landcare. His farm has hosted long-term trials, testing everything from soil acidification and biology, to pasture cover and cropping. He’s also undertaken extensive riparian restoration along Thompsons Creek to protect remnant vegetation, and assisted in monitoring the threatened Yarra pygmy perch and growling grass frog.

2018 Bob Hawke Landcare Award Finalist – Dr Graeme Stevenson, Tasmania

Dr Graeme Stevenson, from Somerset Tasmania has 55 years of agricultural experience running his family farm as a farm labourer and manager, through his tertiary agricultural education, dairy extension and research, as an agricultural consultant and rural journalist. He has worked with Tasmanian dung beetles and agricultural earthworms in soil management since 1988. Graeme is a volunteer with the Elliott and Wynyard Landcare groups since 1993, as well as Somerset and Camdale Coastcare, Burnie Farmers Market and Tasmanian Organic groups. He has initiated and managed 27 Landcare/organic farming projects attracting $1.4m in grants majoring in on-ground works. Under the pseudonym of Dr Spluttergrunt, Graeme has acted out his ‘soil care’ presentation to over 60 schools. He has  20 years of applied research into organic and biological agriculture as sustainable farming.

2016 Bob Hawke Landcare Award Finalists

2016 Bob Hawke Award Winner – Stephen Burgess, Queensland

Esteemed Queensland conservationist and farmer, Stephen Burgess, won the coveted Bob Hawke Landcare Award at the 2016 National Landcare Awards in Melbourne on 22 September. Stephen Burgess was awarded $50,000 to further develop his knowledge and skills in Landcare and sustainable land management practices.

Stephen has run Wurraglen Nature Refuge in Dagun, Queensland for nearly 20 years, developing the property which combines sustainable market farming and light grazing. His love of bushwalking around the country instilled a strong commitment to caring for the land and encourages others to share these values. Stephen is a long-time member of Gympie and District Landcare and a former high school teacher, where he ran a weekly Landcare awareness project with his students. Currently a part-time project officer at the Mary River Catchment Resource Centre and coordinator of the community Waterwatch program, Stephen has previously worked in Western Australia with the Department of Agriculture, where he developed a program called “NPDecide” which was widely adopted throughout the WA Wheatbelt. The program improves the efficiency of fertiliser use, reduces leaching losses, and introduces explicit consideration of soil organic nitrogen pools into fertilizer decisions.

2016 Bob Hawke Award Finalist – Glenn Morris, New South Wales
Glenn Morris is General Manager of Figtrees Organic Farms, producers and marketers of award-winning organic beef from the properties ‘Wilton Park’ at Grafton and ‘Billabong’ at Inverell, in New South Wales. Glenn demonstrates every aspect of the Landcare ethic through his work on farm and in the community. Glenn has spent over two decades observing, studying, and thoughtfully managing the diverse ecosystems in his care, and has regenerated two degraded properties using sustainable land management practices. These properties are now prime examples of responsibly managed enterprises, generating high quality produce with improved natural resource bases. Glenn has shared his knowledge and encouraged others to adopt sustainable land management practices. He has hosted many local primary and high school groups and field days where hundreds of property owners and workers have seen firsthand the results of adopting farm practices that enhance the natural ecosystems. In Glenn’s work he feels he is representing the majority of farmers who are working diligently on their farms to improve them for future generations.
2016 Bob Hawke Award Finalist – Gwendolyn Adams, Tasmania
For over 40 years Gwendolyn has run her family farm ‘Leighlands’, a 160-hectare property in Perth, Tasmania. She took Leighlands over at a period when the farm was degraded and uneconomic. She sought advice from all available sources and successfully rebuilt the business on her property using strong environmental principles. The farm is a now a successful cattle and sheep farm. Her family uses rotational grazing to ensure their paddocks are not over-grazed; in addition, they aim to plant 1,000 trees every year. Gwendolyn is a champion in her community and thought of as a mentor and role model for women in agriculture. She is closely associated with schools and children, encouraging them to be involved practically, with hands-on participation in Landcaring, learning, and projects. She also hosts Field Days to demonstrate the environmental work that has been done on her property, which has contributed to the overall turnaround.