Tidy Towns 2012

COMMUNITY ACTION <= 3000

WINNER:

WATCHEM LAKE RE-DEVELOPMENT

WATCHEM PROGRESS ASSOCIATION/WATCHEM LAKE & RECREATION RESERVE COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT

Two years ago Watchem’s local lake was empty like most others across Victoria due to drought. The idea of piping water into the town fast became a realistic solution. The community engaged an earthmover to clean up the beaches, remove driftwood from the boat launches, create fish holes and future drain holes. Thanks to the local community’s donated time, labour, machinery and enthusiasm Watchem had enough water for recreation, wildlife, fishing and yabbying when the drought ceased. Over 3,000 people have used the lake each summer since the redevelopment including a tinny regatta for over 300 people. A fishing club has been established and local business is on the increase. The lake now boasts a new playground facility, steel shedding, electric BBQs, seating and new camping facilities.

COMMUNITY ACTION> 3000
WINNER:
INVERLOCH BEACH FUN FESTIVAL
SOUTH COAST ACCESS ALLIANCE

The South Coast Access Alliance works to improve access to sport and recreation for people with a disability in the Bass Coast/South Gippsland region. In 2011 the South Coast Access Alliance organised the Inverloch Beach Fun Festival on the International Day of People with Disability. Activities included surfing, volleyball, rock pooling, fishing, kayaking, sand sculpting, kite flying and dinosaur dreaming. Over 170 people with a disability participated in the day and around 20 volunteers helped with registrations and extra support. Extra resources provided on the day included portable lifts, beach wheelchairs and temporary ramps which made it possible for wheelchair users to take part alongside others. The event drew participants from across Gippsland and preparations are underway for a similar event this year.

RECOVERY & WASTE MANAGEMENT

WINNER:

HORSHAM WOOL FACTORY E-WASTE PROGRAM

HORSHAM TIDY TOWNS COMMITTEE

Community Axis e-Waste program is an innovative recycling initiative that involves the dismantling of old computers and televisions collected from Horsham, Ararat and the Yarriambiack and Northern Grampians Shires. The dated technology would usually go to landfill but the raw materials, including steel, copper and gold, are instead sold to a range of buyers. The four councils involved in the project approached Community Axis, a provider of specialist employment services to people with a disability and disadvantaged jobseekers across the Grampians Region, to partner on the project. The e-Waste program now employs six disabled people who are responsible for dismantling approximately 45 tonnes of televisions and computers.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

WINNER:

CATALINA MUSEUM

LAKE BOGA LIONS CLUB

Lake Boga was an integral part of allied defence during World War II and was home to the No. 1 Flying Boat Repair and Service Depot – a facility that helped to keep Australia safe by providing the repair and servicing requirements of flying boats. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Lake Boga Lions Club, the Lake Boga Catalina Flying Boat Museum is now one of the premier attractions of the Swan Hill Region. The museum was officially opened in April 2012 and Lake Boga Lions Club worked tirelessly to restore the underground communications bunker to its original state and incorporated water saving measures for surrounding gardens and the Lake Boga Bowling Club. The entrance and car parking facility were improved, new signage was installed and a native garden around the museum was created.

PAM KEATING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

WINNER:

HEYFIELD A “SUSTAINABLE SMART TOWN”

HEYFIELD COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRE

The Heyfield Community Resource Centre has developed two key programs that empower local residents to incorporate sustainability practices into their lives and reduce their carbon footprint. The team conducted a comprehensive survey to identify the major hurdles to becoming more sustainable, some of which were cost and lack of information. In response, the centre developed the Flag Program and supporting website, Gippsland Green Centrepoint. Under the Flag Program, 380 of Heyfield’s 700 homes and business were assessed within nine months.

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

WINNER:

COMMUNITY GARDEN/WETLANDS/MANGROVE REGENERATION PROGRAM

ST JOSEPH’S PRIMARY SCHOOL

In 2009 St Joseph’s Primary School in Crib Point received a fitness grant from the Commonwealth Government. As part of this grant it built and developed a community kitchen garden to demonstrate to the students, teachers and parents the importance of building and maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment. The garden is a true testament to community collaboration. Its creation involved helpers from HMAS Cerberus, the Navy’s premier training establishment, who crushed rock for the garden base; parents who provided gardening advice via the gardening club and grandparents and businesses who helped where they could. St Joseph’s is now in the process of developing a wetlands, mangrove research building and an outdoor kitchen/classroom in an area of the school that is attached to the community garden.

COMMUNITY GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS

WINNER:

WYCHEPROOF COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRE

Wycheproof Community Resource Centre (WCRC) is a not-for-profit Neighbourhood House that provides a valuable link between community and the Buloke Shire Council. Through its key partnerships with government, small business and community, it provides a multitude of services to support the Wycheproof community including adult training programs, social events, health and fitness classes, computer classes and occupational skills training such as food handling and fork lift operation. It also offers an in-house secretarial service. A number of community organisations come under the WCRC banner including the Op Shop, Men’s Shed and the Art, Craft and Information shop.

WATER EFFICIENCY

WINNER:

STAWELL STORMWATER ALTERNATIVE NATURAL SOLUTIONS (SWANS) PROJECT

NORTHERN GRAMPIANS SHIRE COUNCIL

After experiencing the devastating effects of drought, the North Grampians Shire Council worked with the Stawell community to demonstrate how stormwater can drought-proof community assets such as sports fields and streetscapes. Funded primarily through the Stormwater and Urban Water Conservation Fund, the Stawell Stormwater Alternative Natural Solutions (SWANS) project involved the construction of a series of water quality treatment ponds, storage dams and transfer infrastructure across the township. The project captures 130 megalitres of urban stormwater for re-use and environmental flows every year and has also helped address local flooding issues. The collected stormwater is in excess of 74 megalitres per year.

EFFICIENT ENERGY

WINNER:

EFFICIENT ENERGY SCIENCE AND LANGUAGE CENTRE

DIMBOOLA MEMORIAL SECONDARY COLLEGE

Officially opened in May 2012, the Science and Language Centre at the Dimboola Memorial Secondary College is a six star energy rating, state-of-the art building. Only one of 70 in Victoria and 380 nationwide, it boasts direct access video conferencing to six science centres across the state, including the Monash University synchrotron. The centre features passive air conditioning via electronically controlled louvered windows, a 10-kilowatt solar system and energy saving lighting with auto shut off. Students can access real-time readings of energy and water usage. The building showcases contemporary efficient design and ensures optimal use of space, time and resources.

ACTIVE SCHOOLS

WINNER:

100 YEARS OF SECONDARY EDUCATION

In April 2012 Orbost Secondary College celebrated 100 years of secondary education, encompassing Orbost Higher Elementary School, Orbost High School and Orbost Secondary College. All past and present school students and staff were invited to attend the celebrations and share in the pride of the school’s successful 100 years. Students and teachers worked together to plan the celebrations which included events such as the opening of the Centenary Garden, the planting of a time capsule and tours of the current school buildings and grounds. Orbost Secondary College takes pride in its facilities and offers a great range of programs to engage all students including team teaching, practical lessons, professional speaking and excursions, along with a thriving veggie patch, chooks and an orchard.

YOUNG LEADERS

WINNER:

AMANDA ROBERTS

WANGARATTA COMMUNITY PRIDE COMMITTEE

Over the past three years 17 year old Amanda Roberts has emerged as a young leader and role model for the local Wangaratta community. She has given up her time to volunteer at many different community events such as Blue Light Discos and other alcohol and drug free events, Senior’s Week celebrations and tree planting. She has acted as a Wangaratta Youth Councillor and in 2010 was elected Youth Mayor of Wangaratta, Youth Council. Amanda has not only shown great leadership in the community but also at her school where she is year level captain and peer mentor, an active member of the steering committee for the development of the Youth Health Service and a member of the School Wide Positive Behaviour team.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

WINNER:

BAIRNSDALE RECYCLING ENTERPRISE INC

The Tipshop partners with five local agencies including Mission Australia, Workways, Gippsland East Local Learning and Employment Network (GELLEN), Gippsland Lakes Community Health and Community College East Gippsland. The Tipshop works with the local op-shop network and other not-for-profits to make the best use of second-hand resources that would otherwise go to landfill. Community volunteers take on various roles to facilitate the management and ongoing operations of the enterprise, empowering staff to take ownership of the business. This innovative project relies on community enterprise and leadership and is now a viable, stand alone business, employing five full-time staff.

Dame Phyllis Frost Award

Margaret Pullen, Chairperson of the Wangaratta Community Pride Committee, has been involved in Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria’s (KABV) activities for many years. A driving force behind Wangaratta’s entries into the Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards and involved in Wangaratta North Rural Pride’s Adopt a Roadside group, Marg is a well-known WangarBoasting the equal highest level of adult volunteering in Victoria, the people of Wycheproof actively seek out opportunities to improve town facilities and promote their way of life. Programs such as the Water Re-use Plan, $1 Rent-a-Farmhouse, Wycheproof Ram Tram and the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour highlight the range of activities undertaken in a town of around 700 people. Wycheproof encourages knowledge and idea sharing with other communities and believes in collaboration for the betterment of the region. The folk who call Wycheproof home adore their town, its safe streets, neighbourly gestures, innovative and spirited community groups and the opportunities extended to young people. It is these people who have made Wycheproof what it is today – connected, innovative, passionate and proudatta local. She has initiated strong ties with a number of community and volunteer groups, individuals and schools and was instrumental in convincing Wangaratta Rural City Council to re-join as KABV members in 2011/2012. A community member who likes to ‘get things done’, Marg has put in tireless volunteer hours to ensure Wangaratta is clean, tidy and liveable. Marg is a wonderful advocate for Wangaratta and the surrounding regions. She is always full of enthusiasm and passion with an endless commitment and drive to improve the town, provide opportunities, recognise volunteers and to welcome new visitors to the town.

TIDY TOWN OF THE YEAR

WINNER:

WYCHEPROOF

Boasting the equal highest level of adult volunteering in Victoria, the people of Wycheproof actively seek out opportunities to improve town facilities and promote their way of life. Programs such as the Water Reuse Plan, $1 Rent-a-Farmhouse, Wycheproof Ram Tram and the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour highlight the range of activities undertaken in a town of around 700 people. Wycheproof encourages knowledge and idea sharing with other communities and believes in collaboration for the betterment of the region. The folk who call Wycheproof home adore their town, its safe streets, neighbourly gestures, innovative and spirited community groups and the opportunities extended to young people.

It is these people who have made Wycheproof what it is today – connected, innovative, passionate and proud.