Engaging Victoria’s Youth To Manage Invasive Species

More young people will be at the forefront of efforts to manage invasive species, thanks to new grants from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced 12 recipients across Victoria will share in a total of more than $130,000 towards engaging young people in managing invasive species.

The grants will fund a range of projects, including a wetlands rejuvenation project in Ararat, training in farm weed management around Mansfield, a land management training program for indigenous youth in Dandenong, and outdoor activities to identify invasive species near Wangaratta and Avoca.

The grants aim to:

  • upskill school, VCAL, TAFE and university students
  • connect young people to existing community groups and initiatives
  • encourage youth-led initiatives and fresh ideas for managing invasive species
  • support school leavers in natural resource management projects and work readiness
  • improve youth awareness of pests and weeds in their local environments
  • encourage youth input into pest and weed management strategies.

Funded by the Commonwealth Government and delivered by Agriculture Victoria, the grants program was co-designed with community representatives to ensure the funding was relevant and targeted to the communities affected by invasive species.

The Labor Government’s collaboration with community on pest management was celebrated earlier this year, when the Victorian Rabbit Action Network (VRAN) received a United Nations Public Service Award.

The grants program will build on the government’s ongoing partnerships with VRAN and Victoria’s three state-wide community weed management groups, by engaging future generations.

For more information about the grants recipients or invasive species management, visit weedsandrabbits.com/youth-engagement-projects/.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“Invasive species are one of our most significant land management challenges – handling them is crucial to enhance our agricultural production and natural landscapes.”

 “We know that young people are under-represented across Victoria in these areas – we’re working to change that, which will in turn strengthen community led approaches.”

“We want to make sure young people are included in the conversation about how to address these issues to provide fresh ideas and ensure good land management continues into the future.”