An investment in healthy people and healthy environments in Central Victoria

Born out of adversity 

More than a decade of drought, devastating floods and the global financial crisis have left a significant scar on farm businesses and the environment of Central Victoria. While many farmers have left the land, many others confront the challenge of economic survival in the face of climatic extremes. They continue to struggle to identify and adopt farming systems that hold the promise of sustainable agriculture.

The Concept

Project RENEW was first proposed by community members of the Northern United Forestry Group (NUFG). It is being developed in partnership with the City of Greater Bendigo, La Trobe University, the Northern United Forestry Group and the North Central Catchment Authority. RENEW is building on the strong credibility and support of this alliance.

The project aims to achieve landscape restoration in ways that help secure the health, resilience and general wellbeing of rural communities. It is similar to the ĎMenís Shed' concept.  RENEW will engage volunteers throughout the region and re-connect them with the land and each other. We will work productively to restore both private and public land. Landscape restoration will be achieved through the establishment of native vegetation integrated within a framework of sustainable agriculture. RENEW will use established methods proven and demonstrated by members of the Northern United Forestry Group.  

Our Strategic Plan for 2013 and 2014 

Read about the things we want to do and think about how we might work together through a collaborative approach. Talk to us if you wish to explore  ways of advancing community-based programs that secure the productive capacity and environmental values of the land in your area. Email us at and we will consider how RENEW can hep you.

E-mail us at if you want to chat

Read our RENEW Strategic Plan

Funding needed to make it happen

The Helen Macpherson Smith Trust has already allocated $100,000 per year for the next three years and RENEW is actively exploring opportunities to match this funding with contributions from the corporate sector and both State and Commonwealth natural resource initiative programs.

The forward program

The RENEW alliance is taking responsibility for establishing the project. In time, it is anticipated this partnership group will step aside and a Committee of Management will assume the responsibility for running the project.

When the full funding is secured a coordinator will be employed to implement the project. He/she will work with local community leaders in identifying opportunities for RENEW to support restorative land-based programs that inspire community participation and well-being.

Project benefits

An understanding of the social benefits of RENEW established through research conducted by
La Trobe University.

A significant knowledge-based contribution to the science of land management established through comprehensive monitoring and investigation programs 

A meaningful social and intellectual connectivity established between volunteer workers engaged in land protection and restoration  programs

An inter-generational cross-discipline exchange of knowledge and skills between participants e.g. silviculture and farm management

An opportunity for participants to join NUFG with additional benefits including insurance cover, information, training and mentoring etc.

Enduring social and knowledge-based networks

An adaptive learning environment that engages, informs and involves

Multiple outcomes for land managers including carbon credits, biodiversity offsets, firewood, saw logs, seed etc.

Environmental benefits including wildlife corridors, improved water quality, erosion and salinity control

Acquired knowledge disseminated across the broader community (landcare groups, schools, universities etc)

Our Latest Newsletter 

Renew Newsletter - December 2013

RENEW Newsletter - March 2013


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