Hastings scoops the prestigious Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Towns 2020 Award
Keep Victoria Beautiful has announced Hastings as the winner of the 2020 Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards, at an online event held on 10 October 2020.
Traditionally, the 2019 overall winner, Beechworth, would have hosted this year’s awards event. Due to the unprecedented circumstances brought on by COVID-19 pandemic, however, the 2020 Awards Ceremony was held online on the KVB Tidy Towns YouTube channel.
The Shire of Mornington Peninsula also managed to walk away with a swathe of awards securing an impressive seven award wins as well as high commendations for four projects:
• Local conservationist, Dr Jacqueline Salter, was awarded the prestigious Phyllis Frost Award for her considerable contribution to land care and the environment over the past decade. Dr Salter has been the driving force behind positive changes and alliances across the Mornington Peninsula, including a project that has seen landholders link up their bushland across four catchments. She has also inspired and educated children through her puppet shows, improved communication between authorities and community groups and provided support to women working in conservation.
• The Environment Award went to Hastings-based Dolphin Research Institute for its i sea i care Marine Ambassadors behaviour change program which is being systemically rolled out at primary schools across Metropolitan Melbourne. This innovative program is designed to empower students to become environmental leaders and to put on strong emphasis on reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling. The program has grown from 25 schools in 2011 to almost 100.
• Mornington Peninsula Shire Municipal Emergency landed the Community Award for the effective coordination of local agencies in Westernport during the Mallacoota Evacuation. While overall command was handled by the State Control Centre and the sea phase coordinated by the Royal Australian Navy, the shore phase was coordinated by VicPOL and supported by Red Cross, with local coordination of agencies managed by the Shire. The overall outcome of the project was the speedy repatriation of 4,000 evacuees in a caring manner.
• The marine environmental education program, The Sea is our Best Friend, earned St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Crib Point the Education Award. The program provides Year 3 and 4 students with greater appreciation of the marine environment and it connection with community. The program has also helped embed student’s knowledge of the local area and the Boon Wurrung peoples. This was done by working alongside a specialist Indigenous teacher.
• The Litter Award went to Rye-based Josephine Jones for the creation of a 2 by 2.3 metre sculpture of the Map of Australia made entirely from litter. The work which was a collaboration with Melbourne Zoo, went on display at the Plastic or Planet Exhibition. Over 200kg of litter was sifted through to create the sculpture which consisted of 16kg of waste including 5.5 thousand cigarette butts. The map has helped educate tens of thousands of people about the importance of not littering.
• Sixteen-year-old Harrison Hansen from Hastings landed the Young Legend Award for his consistent contribution to school and community activities during his four years at Western Port Secondary College. This included mentoring Year 3 and 4 students, running the Year 7 camp, helping with RUOK Day, etc. Despite missing much class time due to his responsibilities, he remained one of the school’s top students, making up for what he missed in his own time.
• The Gift Fund (which includes a $1,000 grant) went to the Mount Martha Farmer’s Market for its Washed Up. Not Wasted initiative which was developed out of a desire to eliminate single-use plastic and landfill waste and demonstrate best-practice for tackling waste at public events. Reusable cups, cutlery and crockery – which are cleaned and sanitised at the end of each event – are now used by all food stalls and market attendees, removing the need for landfill bins on site. The market is looking to introduce this initiative at other events in the region.