24 Mar
  • By Sylwia
  • Cause in

Are you doing your bit to strengthen and improve your community?

Has your initiative helped to inspire or empower your community? Are you contributing to managing litter or reducing waste in your neighbourhood or town? Have you embarked on a project that is preventing damage to or restoring the natural environment? Is what you are doing engaging young people in your community or playing a vital role in combatting loneliness or isolation?

If your answer is YES to any of these questions, we would love to hear from you.

The Sustainable Communities – Tidy Town Awards for 2020 are now open. We are seeking entries from community groups, educational institutions, businesses and councils across rural and regional Victoria. We want to reward those who have made a major contribution to building the wellbeing and resilience of their communities.

Sustainable communities are socially strong, constantly take action, help and support each other and are always planning ahead.

A Keep Victoria Beautiful initiative, the awards have been going since 1983. They recognise individuals, groups and organisations that have gone above and beyond in making a difference to their communities.

Over the years the awards have gradually moved beyond simply rewarding towns for their tidiness. Instead they are now focussed on recognising and celebrating grassroots initiatives and positive actions taken by communities and individuals.

Winning entries from previous years have ranged from the creation of a pre-school children’s garden (complete with veggie patch, fire pit, chicken coop, fruit trees and bird feeders), the repair and alteration of donated school uniforms which have helped hundreds of families clothe their children, to the successful treatment of waste-water from milk tanks and storage silos.

They have included creating a venue for the homeless to shower and wash their clothes and bedding; an historic storyboard trail which follows the journey of the Bangarang people; and a community-led campaign designed to achieve zero net emissions by 2030 to name but a few.

According to Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Town, spokesperson, Dick Gross (who is also councillor for Port Phillip Council) it is these initiatives and actions that foster a strong sense of community and help safeguard the environment.

“Ultimately strong communities are the lifeblood of our rural and regional towns and critical to their long-term sustainability.”

The categories for this year’s Sustainable Communities – Tidy Town Awards include: Education, Energy, Litter, Waste, Environment, Indigenous Culture, Heritage and Culture, Community, Social Wellbeing and Young Legends.

There is also the opportunity for towns to win the overall Sustainable Community of the Year award and for individuals to win the Dame Phyllis Frost award which does to those who have made a particularly outstanding contribution to their communities.

In addition, a $1,000 grant will go to a promising new project which is regarded worthy of supporting and getting off the ground.

To enter this year’s Sustainable Communities – Tidy Town Awards, click here.

Entries close on 1 May.

The winners of the awards will be announced at a gala event which takes place in Beechworth on 6 September.