Practical Regenerative Agricultural Communities project

The Healthy Landscapes project

As part of the Healthy Landscapes: Practical Regenerative Agricultural Communities project a series of webinars and field days are scheduled so participants can hear the experiences first-hand of local farmers in our region:

  • Aaron Demeo – a third generation mixed farmer from Raywood
  • Paul Righetti – a fourth generation custodian of a farm in Yandoit
  • Darren Cater – a low input farmer from Monegeetta

The project has been developed to raise awareness in the community about sustainable land management practices that improve soil health, reduce exposure to climate risk, enhance biodiversity and increase on-farm productivity.  This program is being delivered as a partnership between Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Hepburn Shire Council, the City of Greater Bendigo, A Healthy Coliban Catchment project (North Central Catchment Management Authority and Coliban Water), Melbourne Water and the Upper Campaspe Landcare Network.

More information and links to book in for the webinars and register your attendance to the Field Days can be found below:


Field Days


Kind regards,


Sally Beer

Agribusiness Support Officer

PO Box 733, Bendigo, VIC 3552
03 5454 9549


The City of Greater Bendigo is on Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Country.




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Imagine Greater Bendigo Stage 3


Nine months ago, our Imagine Greater Bendigo project started by asking you all what you value most about living in Greater Bendigo now and what would make it better in 30 years from now. We also asked what you value most across seven key themes and invited a group of residents to come together for a weekend of brainstorming.

Well, with all your feedback we have developed the following plans and they’re ready for you to read:

  • Council Plan 2021 – 2025
  • Public Health and Wellbeing Plan
  • 10-year Financial Plan

Did we get it right? Did we hear you? Have your say via Let’s Talk Greater Bendigo  by Monday September 6.

Kind regards,

Imagine Greater Bendigo team

The City of Greater Bendigo is on Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Country.


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Become a “Friend of Stone Reserve”

As you may have heard, there are plans to develop a “Stone Reserve Heritage Walk” from Redesdale, through Stone Reserve and to a look out point over the Campaspe and the Redesdale Bridge. The area has been surveyed and by the end of July a site plan and a clean –up of the reserve will have been completed.

We are looking to invite interested people to register their interest in the project and become a “Friend of Stone Reserve” (FOSR). There is no fee involved in registering your interest and becoming a friend. If you become a friend, you may want to give your time or expertise to the project – or you may want to volunteer on planting or clean-up days. It would be a great way of getting to know your local neighbours.

If you would like more information about the project, please have a look at the Stone Reserve Strategic Plan under Stone Reserve on this website.

To register your interest, please email us at:        or ring or text to 0407 116 899


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Gilbruk Place – A Dementia Village Planned For Heathcote

A dementia village planned for Heathcote

Access to better health care has long been a regular ‘call-out’ in our Redesdale community engagement forums. I know from personal experience, as a I am sure many of you can relate, how frustrating, challenging and sometimes disappointing the search for appropriate and accessible services and local facilities are for our loved ones living with dementia.


  1. Dementia is currently the single greatest disability in older people (65+ years).
  2. It is now the 2nd leading cause of death: 5.4% of all males and 10.6% of all females.
  3. In 2020, around 450,000 Australians were living with dementia. It is estimated that 25,000 suffer from ‘younger onset’ dementia.

Dementia does not discriminate.

Recently we offered our community the opportunity to hear about a world first heath care initiative: a bush inspired dementia village in Heathcote. Sherrie Coote from Advance Heathcote Incorporated shared with us the story of “Gilbruk Place”:  which means ‘place of respect’ in the language of the land’s traditional owners, the Taungurung people.

Gilbruk Place’s vision is to build a 150 bed facility, addressing the needs of dementia sufferers with assisted living through to palliative care for people living within a 1.5 hour drive of Heathcote. No more long corridors of sterile patient rooms.  Gilbruk Place envisages its residents living in ‘small houses’ of 10 with communal living areas and access to open space that allows residents continue purposeful daily living. It is hoped that a clinical research and education hub will also be realised to ensure this facility contributes to and leverages best practice research to improve dementia care. Another difference will be the relationship of the village to the community:  the vision is that residents, their friends and family will venture out into the township and enjoy local amenities. Gilbruk Place will also include a small supermarket, hairdresser, a café and library, veggie gardens, recreation areas, a lake and a farm nursery.

A 17-acre parcel of land adjacent to Heathcote Health has been earmarked for the project. There’s a long way to go yet, but Heathcote Dementia Alliance is working on plans for a dementia friendly display home to showcase innovations to support people with dementia remaining in their own homes. Advance Heathcote Inc Working Group are in discussion with a short list of aged care providers and financial backers to make Gilbruk Place become a reality.

Those Redesdalians that did attend were treated to floor plans, site maps and the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts for how to improve this plan and discuss the potential additional growth it will bring to our region.

A big “thank you” to Sherrie for giving up her Tuesday afternoon – we all came away impressed and excited about the possibilities. Thanks also to RRRC for, on short notice, allowing us to use the newly available Pavilion.

If you want to know more about this project:


Check this Video Presentation

Heathcote Dementia Alliance:


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Redesdale Art Festival 2021

We are very pleased and excited to announce the Redesdale Art Festival is back for 2021!

With the support of the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal, and a donation from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, RaDA will be busy preparing an art exhibition to showcase a diverse range of artworks.

Keep an eye out for more details in future Bridge Connection issues and on this website.


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Media Coverage and Internet Access Advocacy Opportunity

Please each consider completing the following Connecting Victoria Engagement drop pin survey where you have the opportunity to flag where you’re experiencing coverage / access issues. A City colleague has already completed the survey and said it was very user friendly.


Please also encourage people in your networks to complete the survey.


Kind regards,

Deb Simpson

Coordinator Strong Communities  |  City of Greater Bendigo

PO Box 733, Bendigo, VIC 3552

T +61 3 5434 6261     |  M +61 432 594 142

National Relay Service 133677 then quote +61 3 5434 6261  |  W

The City of Greater Bendigo is on Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Country.


Posted by Megan in News
Women’s Leadership Scholarships

Women’s Leadership Scholarships

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is currently offering professional development scholarships for emerging and experienced women leaders.

This great opportunity supports women across all sectors and industries through world-class leadership development programs, which are designed to maximise learning outcomes and provide skills and strategies to address real-world challenges. The WLA Scholarships provide real-world opportunities through applied leadership development programs.

Partial scholarships of between $1000 and $5000 are available to support women to undertake one of three leadership development courses. Funding entitlements depend on the programs, which include:

  • Leading Edge (for aspiring and emerging leaders): scholarship of $1,000
  • Executive Ready (for mid-level leaders): scholarship of $3,000
  • Advanced Leadership Program (for senior and executive women): scholarship of $5,000

Emerging and aspiring, mid-level and senior women leaders across Australia and in all sectors are eligible to apply. If unsure about the right program, Women & Leadership Australia can help you identify which program best suits your experience and needs.

Take a step towards a great future with WLA Scholarships! Expressions of interest are being accepted until 18 June 2021 (unless allocated prior). For more information, visit  Women & Leadership Australia’s website.

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Grants available to manage gorse on your land

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) is calling for project submissions for their 2021/22 community small grants program.

Property managers, their neighbours or local Landcare groups can attract up to $5,000 in grants to help combat gorse in your local area.

The VGT will support groups, starting from just two landholders, who are genuinely willing to control gorse and keep it under control.

VGT Chair Ron Cosgrave said if infestations of gorse are not controlled, they will continue to get worse. The time to start control is now.

“The VGT grant funding is about helping those who haven’t received past incentives, have old stands of gorse and need more support,” Mr Cosgrave said.

“In a way it’s like seed funding, a way to help landholders get the ball rolling in managing gorse.”

The longevity of gorse seeds can be decades, meaning one year of seeding generates decades of weeding or a lifetime of hard work.

Mr Cosgrave said gorse will also harbour invasive animals such as foxes, cats and rabbits costing you money and impacting on native species.

“Gorse infestations can also reduce land value dramatically and can promote a significant fire risk to your property.”

Interested landholders not part of a Landcare group can come together to deliver a project on their own.

All landholders who receive VGT grant funding must sign up to a three-year voluntary agreement to maintain their control.

The VGT 2021/22 community small grants program will close on 28 May 2021. For more information on how to apply visit



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