In a time where the focus is shifting to the strength of the community, it is more heartening than ever to see the power a grass roots movement can have.
Landcare's history of social mobilisation has never been more pointed than in response to the events of the past 12 months.
In a time where it wasn't easy to see past the natural disasters that hit our communities hard - compounded by the disruption of COVID-19 - we did.
Because our community knew, from 30 years of experience, that human health, the environment, society and the economy are interwoven, and engaging in one common cause can bring multiple benefits to the others.
Despite the restriction of movement, the entire Landcare community evolved and adapted to adhere to societal constraints.
Against all odds we are still achieving high-quality outcomes for the environment and our communities.
We are leading the way in sustainability and environmental protection, and supporting meaningful connections despite the tyranny of distance.
Landcare is a collective movement, and the National Landcare Network is the representative voice of Landcarers at the national level.
The voices and needs of our states and territories need to be heard, as they should in any representative process.
We recently celebrated the launch of the Federal Parliamentary Friends of Landcare in Canberra, a positive step forward as we position Landcare as a key stakeholder in our sustainable future.
The voice of community Landcare is being recognised and heard at a national level.
Parliamentarians are being informed and engaged on the achievements that our community undertakes. Our non-partisan approach has helped us achieve this.
By working with the members of the Parliamentary Friends of Landcare or through formal partnership arrangements, we are ensuring we are working together to protect our lands and water and that these principles are at the heart of government and corporate policies, activities and projects.
By mobilising as a movement, by focusing on achieving environmental outcomes through connectivity, we can support a path to recovery - for our environment and our economy.
Working with Landcare offers a huge opportunity to employ an under-utilised workforce in improving the sustainability of our community and agricultural sector, and the environment on which it depends.
Our challenges will not become any less. Climate modelling suggest that extreme weather events will only increase.
The past year has reminded us that only by working together can we take powerful action to protect our communities and our future while safeguarding our economic well-being and the future of our planet.
Dr Patrick O'Connor is chairman of the National Landcare Network.