Trees

Achievements celebrated through Regional Community Environment Awards

Thursday 16 August, 2012
Members of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Community recently celebrated the Goulburn Broken Regional Community Natural Resource Management (NRM) Awards.The awards, which were coordinated by the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network, were held at the Rafferty's Reception Centre in Benalla on Friday 3 August 2012.

Members of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Community recently celebrated the Goulburn Broken Regional Community Natural Resource Management (NRM) Awards.The awards, which were coordinated by the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network, were held at the Rafferty's Reception Centre in Benalla on Friday 3 August 2012.

"This event showcased the best of community involvement in NRM in the Goulburn Broken Catchment," explains Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority CEO Mr. Chris Norman.

"We are immensely proud of community members, groups and networks who contribute so much time and energy to protecting, enhancing and regenerating the environment in our region and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate these community achievements," explains Mr. Norman

"We were delighted to have visiting dignitaries' present awards at the ceremony, including Member for Benalla, Dr. Bill Sykes, Mayor of Strathbogie Shire, Mr. Graham (Mick) Willams and Community Engagement & Landcare Manager, from the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Ms. Allison Long."

There were four main categories for the awards; the Education award, the Community Group award and Network award as well as the Hubert Miller perpetual trophy for services to waterway health.

The Education award is awarded for raising awareness and understanding of the Landcare ethic amongst students and/or the community, and for implementing Landcare. The winner of the Education award for 2012 was the Goulburn Murray Landcare Network (GMLN). The GMLN Education program for schools has been in operation for over 10 years. Each year Network volunteers deliver over 20 environmental days to schools, last year engaging over 2000 students.

The Community Group award is awarded to an outstanding community group that is working towards enhancing or protecting an area on behalf of the community. The 2012 winner of the Community Group Award was the Strathallan Family Landcare Group. In just two years this group has undertaken projects such as: replanting indigenous grasses, involvement with the Superb Parrot Project, revegetation of roadsides and the Campaspe River, water monitoring, aquatic bug counts, a platypus watch and an annual Earth Hour event.

The Network Award is awarded to one of the region's many Landcare or Conservation Management Networks that has, and continues to engage their local community and achieve significant landscape change. The winner of the Network Award was the Whroo Goldfields Conservation Management Network (CMN). Whroo Goldfields CMN engages the community and landholders through education events and programs with landholders to protect remnant vegetation. They have also produced a Reptiles and Frogs Guide and an annual Calendar.

Also awarded on the night, was the Hubert Miller Perpetual Trophy for service to waterway health in the catchment. Hubert Miller OAM (Order of Australia Medal) is a living legend in waterway and catchment management. Hubert joined the Seymour River Improvement Trust when it formed back in the early 60's and was an ongoing active contributor to waterway and catchment management. He was progressive, a leader in his field and widely acknowledged. The 2012 winner of the Hubert Miller Perpetual Trophy was Shirley Saywell

Shirley has worked passionately to protect the environment she loves around Euroa for the past 20 years. Shirley is president of the Euroa Arboretum, and is an active member of the Friends of the Grey-crowned Babbler project, Euroa Environmental Group, Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network and the Strathbogie Shire Environmental and Sustainability Advisory Committee.

"It is great to receive this award, however I am just one helper in a large group of committed 'green volunteers' in our community who love and care for the natural environment" explains Ms Saywell.

"These 'doers' are my support and inspiration and together we have achieved some great outcomes in this region, including the establishment of the Arboretum, and the on-going success of the Babbler Project."

"I think our region is incredibly lucky to have so many committed and talented environmental leaders – habitat protection works on both public and private land have benefitted enormously from their generosity and knowledge."

To find out more about the Goulburn Broken CMA and its programs please visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au or phone 03 5820 1100.