Shared learning pays off

02 September, 2019
/ in Banner
/ By Lauren

Members of the learning network visited several rabbit control sites west of Melbourne (image: Sean Mathews).

VRAN’s third rabbit learning network came together in August in the west of Melbourne, in their first field visit since the group’s initial training.

VRAN has now established three learning networks, providing members with ongoing access to mentors (rabbit control experts) and the support of their peers, following their participation in VRAN’s Leadership in Rabbit Control training course (the ‘rabbit bootcamp’).

A ‘learning network’ is a way of describing a group of people who meet and connect on a common topic to share their experiences and their learning.

Known as the ‘Neds Corner group’, the network’s first meeting was held at Werribee. Members discussed progress with their rabbit program and visited a number of rabbit control sites at Sydenham Park, McNabbs Weir in Keilor, and Melbourne Water Treatment Plant and MPH Agriculture farm at Werribee.

VRAN Executive Officer, Heidi Kleinert, facilitated the meeting. “It was great to hear everyone’s progress since the rabbit bootcamp,” Heidi said. “Network members are sharing their  knowledge with others in their communities and workplaces, changing their practices to integrated rabbit control rather than solely relying on baiting programs, and collaborating more with community members and stakeholders.”

Steep, rocky terrain was a feature of many of the rabbit control sites (image: Sean Mathews).

According to Heidi, the sites visited during the trip were a good demonstration of the complexity of rabbit control work.

“All the sites had their own challenges: steep terrain, weeds providing harbor, and multiple stakeholders involved. Despite this, there was commitment and motivation to see ecological improvements, work with others and reduce weeds and rabbits.”

VRAN’s second learning network, the Euroa group, will be meeting on the 9 September 2019.

The VRAN bootcamps and learning networks bring together volunteers and agency staff from across Victoria to learn how to tackle some of the big challenges in rabbit control, including working in culturally and environmentally sensitive environments, and managing effective partnerships across community and agencies. For more information on the program contact VRAN.

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