Become one of Geelong's first Nature Stewards

Friday, 28 February 2020

Residents with an interest in the local environment and great outdoors are encouraged to apply for Greater Geelong’s inaugural Nature Stewards program.

Nature Stewards will teach 20 participants about our natural environment, through topics such as geology, soils, climate, fungi, plants, water, animals and conservation land management.

Funded by the City and run by Outdoors Victoria, the program will educate people with an interest in the environment and encourage them to become volunteers and advocates.

The 10-week course begins on 2 May and runs until 11 July, with weekly three-hour classes to be held at Leopold Community Hub.

Several field trips to significant properties and locations are also on the itinerary.

Expert local facilitator Rustem Upton will lead the program, with support from specialist guest presenters and volunteer group showcases.

Applications are now being taken at

The program is open to anyone over the age of 18, however preference will be given to those who live in Greater Geelong.

It is best suited to people with little or no formal environmental education, who are either involved with local groups or want to explore environmental volunteering opportunities.

Taking inspiration from well-established Master Naturalist programs in the United States of America, Nature Stewards began last year in the City of Melbourne and City of Melton.

The first cohort of graduates have gone on to join or start local volunteer groups, begin environmental business ventures or pursue further study.

Greater Geelong will be the first Victorian regional municipality to offer the program.

The City will also provide an outline of environmental volunteering opportunities at the Geelong Nature Forum.

The forum is being held at the National Wool Museum on Saturday 28 March.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher

Nature Stewards is a great way to give residents the confidence to join and lead environmental protection efforts in our local community. There are huge environmental and social benefits in encouraging more people to get outdoors and to contribute to conservation activities – either in public reserves or on private property.

Cr Eddy Kontelj, Chair, Environment portfolio

I encourage residents with an interest in the environment to consider joining Geelong’s first Nature Stewards program. You will learn more about local ecosystems and natural places, meet like-minded people and learn about how you can get involved with local groups doing great work on the ground.

Page last updated: Friday, 28 February 2020