2019 has been a big year for VRAN. I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on some of our achievements, including:
- Hosting our third Leadership in Rabbit Control Course (a.k.a. the Rabbit Bootcamp) as well as several Learning Network meetings at French Island, The Briars, Werribee, Sunbury, Queenscliff, Point Cook
- Building Aboriginal cultural awareness with VRAN and partners at a workshop held at Neds Corner
- Supporting nine community groups through the VRAN Community Action Grants program, who engaged over 700 community members in local rabbit programs
- Building our VRAN Mentor Program with the recruitment of three new mentors, Peter Barnes, Geoff McFarlane and Tom Miller
- Providing mentoring to our networks, community groups, land managers and government agencies across Victoria to increase awareness of best-practice rabbit control, and support people and organisations to collaborate on rabbit action.
Together with Agriculture Victoria, VRAN received the United Nations Award for excellence in Public Service. Receiving a United Nations award is global recognition of our work and demonstrates the importance of genuine public participation in initiatives that impact the community.
The VRAN approach was also published in two journals:
- Public sector responses to complex socio-ecological issues—no silver bullets for rabbits, in Public Money & Management
- Political economics, collective action and wicked socio-ecological problems: A practice story from the field, in Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement.
Thank you to all the contributing authors for sharing the VRAN story.
I also wanted to acknowledge the volunteer time that has been put into all the VRAN programs and the countless rabbit management programs across Victoria. Your tireless efforts make our landscape look and function significantly better. Our achievements above would not be possible without your enthusiasm and commitment.
Bigger and better
2020 is shaping up to be an even bigger year, with the launch of our VRAN Rabbit Strategy, the hosting of our fourth leadership course, the VRAN model being presented at the 18th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference and much, much more.
On behalf of the VRAN committee and mentors we hope you have a safe and happy Christmas and we look forward to working with you in 2020.