An update on the LPLN response to COVID-19.
I trust everyone is aware of the severity and affect this virus has had to date, and unfortunately it is likely it will continue to have an impact for a number of weeks and months to come.
Before any operational matters, I would like to take the time to ask everyone to please take all necessary steps to keep yourselves, your families and your communities safe for the months ahead. Nothing is more important at this time than the health and strength of the people and communities we choose to have around us.
On operational matters, as of today, Tuesday 24th, I will be working from home. The Inglewood Town Hall Hub, where the LPLN office is housed will be closed from COB Thursday 26th until further notice and advice is received regarding the operation of public spaces and facilities.
I personally have taken the step to isolate myself for the next 2 weeks to help in curbing the spread of this virus. Until May 4th, and more than perhaps extending beyond this date, any on-ground works or individual activities I undertake in the community will be run through a rigid decision making process to determine whether they are absolutely necessary before acting upon them.
Together with the LPLN Committee of Management executive, the Network has also decided to cease all face-to-face meetings regarding LPLN matters until a time deemed safe to resume.
I will still be available to all LPLN groups and members for any matters regarding operations, activities etc.
Together with the LPLN CoM, we have made the decision to move to online platforms for video conferencing and other communication to compliment usual access over phone and email.
If anyone would like to arrange a time to catch up on any Landcare matters, please get in touch and we can decide on an appropriate method of communication.
For those connected to social media, Facebook Messenger is the most readily available tool, I will be available through the video chat utility via the Facilitator Loddon Plains profile, you can find it here,
Also, keep abreast of news, events and information on the LPLN Facebook page, found here,
Keep an eye out for a few things happening over the coming weeks.
Addressing Landcare activities, DELWP have provided advice regarding all Landcare activities and events.
In response to the latest updates and the action of the State Government last Sunday, I am advising all groups to look closely at their activities and where applicable seriously consider postponing all face-to-face social meetings, working bees and other events until April 14th before revising advice from relevant State and Federal government agencies. This period may need to be extended depending on the severity and spread of COVID-19.
If groups would like to continue meeting for social and operational reasons, a number of platforms are available to do this online. The Network has investigated a number of platforms and I would recommend Facebook Messenger as an effective option – it will allow up to 6 people to video chat and a total of 50 people in a voice chat simultaneously.
Another option available is Zoom.us, this platform will allow 1-to-1 meetings and up to 100 participants in a webinar type format – good for workshops or similar.
Lastly, the strength of Landcare and the LPLN is the community bonds and compassion we have for each other. There is no doubt Landcare will continue beyond COVID-19 and I for one am truly excited about what the Landcare movement can do to adapt its activities, events and operations in the face of this sort of social and community adversity.
At this time, please ensure you all keep yourselves, families and others in your communities safe, this is an extremely tricky time for everyone and it will be very difficult for some. Be kind, have patience, support each other. If you require anything, or just need to chat through something, don’t hesitate to make contact.
Look after each other, and I’ll see you soon
Advice for Landcare activities from DELWP Victorian Landcare Program Team;
Dear Landcare staff and primary community Landcare contacts for the Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program across Victoria
The State Government has declared a State of Emergency to combat the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus is being updated continually with the advice on Coronavirus COVID-19, including the latest information and fact sheets.
Landcare and environmental volunteer groups/networks need to stay up-to-date with the DHHS’s advice before making decisions about whether to proceed with events or meetings.
Landcare Facilitators who are funded through the Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program may need to modify planned activities as a result of the impact of the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, including the postponement of events or activities that are detailed in their Program Delivery Plans.
You can sign up to DHHS’s ‘Coronavirus COVID-19 daily update’ for current advice, go to https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-daily-update
Please forward to your groups and networks.
Please stay safe at this difficult time.DELWP Victorian Landcare Program staff