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Landcare community of practice gathering

What's possible when we work together to host our communities?

We were called to co-design and host a three day Community of Practice gathering for 25 Landcare practitioners, staff and volunteers from northern NSW in August 2018, to nurture collaboration, connection and to strengthen the Landcare community. 

Sara Schmude and her colleague Karen Zirkler of Southern New England Landcare had attended an earlier Art of Hosting training, and their vision was clear - to host a space for Landcare people to come together as a community and develop skills in collaboration and participatory leadership. 

For three days, 25 people gathered at Utungun on the North Coast, coming from across the New England and beyond. They had a chance to rest, learn, connect, listen and talk about the important work they do in caring for the land in their communities. Community care was at the heart of this group. 

We are grateful to Sara for hosting this impactful gathering on her family’s land, and were deeply saddened to learn that the family holiday home was destroyed by the Black Summer fires at the end of 2019.

In the words of ...


  • I walk away with gratitude and joy

  • I look forward to being a part of the continuing story of this group

  • There is a leader in all of us

  • There is a shift and lots of possibilities. I have a lot more to offer my team now

  • There are two choices in life: love and fear. I can choose love, always

  • I’m leaving with a plan and an open mind

  • Thank you. The power of collaboration to make a difference

  • An elevation of my hope

  • A deeper understanding

  • I’m not alone

  • Grateful for these processes

  • Gives a voice to the people

  • Not so afraid to step out of my comfort zone and now I feel part of the Landcare family

Thanks Campfire Co-op – the repercussions of our learnings with you guys are HUGE. The whole process was rather delightful and there was certainly a ‘magic’ that our group experienced as a result. We wish you every success with continuing your work with communities everywhere. Lord knows, the world needs it. Thank you.

Karen Zirkler, Southern New England Landcare Ltd

The experience of the past few days is to realise some sort of dream about how people can be. Quite hard to find adequate words really. For me, a very special experience which I feel privileged to be part of. Thank you so much, to all three, for your warmth, your expertise and your genuineness.

David Henderson, Southern New England Landcare Ltd

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