Governance & Safety

 

The Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network (MPLN) is committed to ensuring that all of its member Landcare groups and the Landcare community enjoy a healthy, safe and productive volunteering experience. To assist Landare groups with their day to day running, the MPLN has put together the following information including downloadable documents and editable forms.

Good Governance

Good governance is essential for the healthy running and decision-making of any community group including Landcare groups. This includes keeping good records, running meetings properly and respectfully and ensuring risks are considered.

A good way to assess the governance of your group is to use the Governance Health Checklist. Some of the essential elements to good governance are described below:

Code of Conduct: a Code of Conduct sets a strong basis for good governance. Each Landcare Victoria Inc. (LVI) Member Group needs to have a documented code of conduct which covers child safety, bullying, sexual harassment and respect. This is a condition of membership and insurance coverage.  LVI updated their Code of Conduct in 2020. This Code can be used as a base for member groups to develop and/or review their own codes.

Committee roles: If your group is going to work effectively and achieve what you want to do, you need a good committee to help make it happen. Members and office bearers need to understand what each committee position entails; this Landcare Note – Commitee Roles document will help define the roles and responsibilities.

Insurance: Every Landcare group needs insurance. It’s a fact of life that despite the best intentions of everyone involved, sometimes things happen that have unwanted consequences. Insurance for local groups can be obtained through Landcare Victoria Inc (LVI), however obtaining insurance through other organisations is also possible. To help with this decision check out this Landcare Note – Insurance.

Incorporation: Considering incorporating? You can refer to the Landcare note – Incorporation for Landcare Groups

AGM’s: If your group is incorporated, an Annual General Meeting is required to be held each year within five months of the end of the financial year. If your group is not incorporated, such a meeting is not essential, however it is good practice to hold one annually if possible. The AGM serves as a chance to inform members of the activities and direction of the group and is the forum where new committee members and office bearers are elected. To help you run your group’s AGM please see the below templates and guides below. Download the templates and add your own details.

Activity/ Event Planning:  To help you on your way here’s a range of downloadable and editable forms and checklists.

Project Management: Check out the range of project management and delivery notes.

OHS and Risk Management

Use the following tools to assist in understanding risk management, maintaining a safe work environment and reporting an incident.

Job Safety Analysis (JSA): The MPLN has also developed a set of JSAs for particular tasks commonly undertaken by Landcare volunteers, including:

    • Weeding using hand tools
    • Planting using hand tools
    • Staking and Guarding
    • Observational monitoring
    • Watering
    • Mulching
    • Litter collection
    • Herbicide application with a dabber bottle
    • Herbicide spraying (non-powered sprayer up to 15L)
    • Gas burning
    • Brush cutting (cord only)
    • Mowing (hand propelled)
    • Working near roadsides

These can be used as part of your overall risk assessment and planning process and are accessible here: Job Safety Analysis for MPLN volunteers

Working with Children: In planning events and activities, organisers should explicitly consider child safety. Events should be planned and delivered to ensure child safety at all times with child safety actively monitored during events and activities. Landcare Victoria have prepared the following Child Safety Policy and Child Safety Guidelines.

Landcare Victoria Inc. (LVI) and its member organisations strive to be Child Safe, with no tolerance for child abuse and a commitment to children’s best interests. All children who participate in our activities have a right to feel and to be safe. We encourage children to express their views and we listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. Physical or sexual abuse of a child is a crime and will be reported to police, including grooming or sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16 years. All adults who form a reasonable belief that such a sexual offence has occurred have an obligation to report it to police.

In order that these risks are managed effectively, all groups / networks need to consider child safety risks in their event / activity planning and actively work to mitigate any risks.

Covid-19: Running Covid-safe events and gatherings is an important consideration for all Landcare groups. MPLN have developed a ‘Covid Considerations’ guide to assist groups planning and running events which can be provided on request. The risk assessment form above includes Covid as a risk to be considered.

Please contact us if you need help accessing these resources or would prefer them emailed. If you’d like us to add additional resources here please let us know.