Josie Jones: Tidy Towns 2016 Dame Phyllis Frost Award Winner
11 June, 2017 Cat
Article by Sophie Spence

Josie Jones is passionate about her environment, in particular, Port Phillip Bay. Also known as the One Tonne Mermaid, Josie is passionate and enthusiastic about her work fostering a culture of litter prevention, emphasizing, “one choice can change an entire world”. Josie described that she is “extremely passionate about zero waste and managing waste”.

In 2016, Josie won the KVB Tidy Towns: Dame Phyllis Frost Award for her outstanding commitment to her work in sustainability. In particular her endeavors, raise awareness and encourage others to pick up litter when they see it. Josie describes, “The fact that I won the Dame Phyllis Frost (award) has become a fantastic catalyst for people to make change”.

Josie described her excitement at the reaction of her local community after winning the Dame Phyllis Frost Award, “the community went nuts. Once people actually saw that all the efforts that I made were recognized, people thought it was awesome.”, “I was so happy to see so many people cared”.

This journey began during her time in Tahiti in 2003 where Josie noticed the way people disposed of rubbish, often just burying it in the sand. “If you accept there is rubbish in the street, that makes people think it’s okay to drop it,” Josie said. These experiences have shaped her career over a decade later, where she designs and distributes posters to raise awareness of litter prevention practice in Port Phillip Bay.

Josie in the past two years has completed the ‘I’m A Mermaid’ campaign, the One Tonne Challenge and has big plans in the making. In discussing her passion for picking up rubbish, Josie describes that “rubbish does come from the street, every child deserves to experience the environment untouched – if we’re careless we don’t give the next generation the opportunity to experience”.

“We can’t be dogmatic, we can only try and guide and educate people”. In discussing what it means “to be a conscious Australian”, Josie urges “we have a responsibility to be custodians for these beautiful creatures”.

“I would like to educate and empower – aligning the bin system, working with the council to demonstrate that we can reduce litter… We all have to chip in and keep a standard”, Josie said.

Find out more about Josie and One Tonne Mermaid at here.

The Tidy Towns awards provide a fantastic opportunity to support and encourage passionate people like Josie, in their endeavors to improve and protect our local environments. Click here to enter the 2017 awards, for more specific details please contact sspence@kvb.org.au