Tidy Towns 2013

DAME PHYLLIS FROST AWARD

WINNER

JAMES DOUGLASS

James (Jim) Douglass has been active in preparing entries for the KABV Tidy Towns Awards for more than 10 years. During this time Jim has worked tirelessly to promote the work carried out by the communities of Greater Shepparton and the City of Mooroopna. Jim has always worked to help children and youth develop and grow through education and recreation.

In the course of his work with the Kiwanis service club Jim introduced the Early Learning is Fun program to the area to start families reading from an early age. He also works on committees to improve facilities for toddlers in kindergartens and children in primary schools. Jim helps learner drivers to log enough driving hours to go for a drivers licence test.

Jim’s passion has been to lead the community in support of youth at Mooroopna Secondary College where he has been a committee member since 1972. Jim has always believed that with education and guidance young people can be successful in adult life. The Mooroopna Secondary College Principal, Gary Fletcher, said Jim is passionate and utterly committed to the community and that his work at Mooroopna has been outstanding, “Jim’s total commitment has been to giving young people the best opportunities to succeed in life… most importantly he is passionate about Mooroopna; his love and devotion to this community is amazing.”

Community members take a lot of pride in Mooroopna, ‘‘The club is very proud of what we do in Mooroopna and the actions of our community… we like to promote Mooroopna as much as we can,” said Jim.

Jim’s community commitments include:

  • Charter member Apex – President 1970
  • Charter Member Mooroopna Kiwanis since 1978 and still an active board member
  • Kiwanis club president 1998 and 2010
  • Mooroopna Masonic Lodge Master 1991-1992, 1996-1997
  • Mooroopna Recreation Committee of Management from 1976 and still an active member, president for three years in the 1980s and still an active member
  • Secretary Mooroopna Post Primary Committee – secured the high school for Mooroopna 1968-1972
  • Committee Member of Mooroopna Secondary College from 1972 to present
  • Chairman Mooroopna Secondary College co-op since 1970s to present
  • Chairman of Fundraising Committee for new Scout Guide Gall in Mooroopna in 1980s
  • Member of Mooroopna Historical Society Fundraising Committee
  • Member of Mooroopna Steering Committee and involved in preparing the Community Plan
  • Member of Shepparton RSL National Service Committee member
  • Board member of Blue Light Disco from 2006 to present and arranged 10 discos per year
  • Worked at Ardmona Food products for 40 years
  • Berry Street L2P Driving Programme (drive with young people to build driving hours for licence)
  • Kiwanis Division 7 Eliminate (A global campaign to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus) – co-ordinator for eight groups
  • K-Kids Kiwanis Mooroopna Park Primary School – from 2010 to present.

WINNER

ACTIVE SCHOOLS

KANIVA COLLEGE

YOUR WASTE, SOMEONE’S TREASURE

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Kaniva College is a school committed to environmental sustainability. The students are active throughout the community and supported by West Wimmera Shire Council to collect discarded bikes, gardening equipment, sporting goods, computers, clothing, phones and books.

Bikes are repaired and some are sold to fund spare parts for restoration of other items. Shipping containers are used to send restored goods to Africa and East Timor – over 80 computers and 100 bikes have already been sent. Decommissioned books from Kaniva and Bordertown schools and libraries are collected and distributed to underprivileged schools – so far over 10 tonnes have been collected.

Materials for textiles and woodwork classes are sourced from recycled items and the school stores unwanted timber for future use by students and the community. Construction of a 2500m2 community-college vegetable garden has begun, watered by stored captured water, to supply the college and community volunteers with produce.

WINNER

CLEAN BEACH

HORSHAM TIDY TOWNS

LET THE CLEAN UP BEGIN

Ten kilometres south east of Horsham, Green Lake is enjoyed for recreation, water sports, fishing, swimming and tourism. Severely affected by drought, in 2001 the lake totally dried up. The lake was severely affected by drought in 2001 and totally dried up.

The Green Lake Action Group organised several working bees with local and passionate lake users to clean up the foreshore and banks. Meetings were held with Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and GWMWater to discuss environmental and safety issues.
Up to 70 people arrived at the final working bee: young and old armed with rakes, chainsaws, mowers, wheelbarrows and utes. The fire brigade assisted, children gathered sticks and pinecones, and the community provided cakes and cold drinks. The sandy natural beach was cleared and hand-raked.

The excitement of the lake filling inspired the community to continue improving the facilities and council installed new picnic settings. Now, locals and tourists can again enjoy Green Lake.

WINNER

COMMUNITY ACTION LEADERSHIP (POPULATION 3,000 AND BELOW)

HASTINGS COMMUNITY HOUSE

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD – HASTINGS COMMUNITY HOUSE

In 2013 a curious and cross-generational community creature was born in the Western Port region.

This project, culminating in a Guinness World Record breaking 1,768.8m long toy snake, brought together 16 Western Port schools, home-bound elderly residents, nursing home residents, and numerous enthusiastic individuals in an unprecedented way.

Volunteers of all ages knitted or sewed 1m x 22cm segments that were then joined together and stuffed to form the snake. For home-bound residents, materials were dropped in and finished work was collected. Residents in nursing homes who struggled to join regular volunteer activities worked together to produce their sections. Materials, information and encouragement were passed from one group to another through the process and are now embodied in the world’s longest toy.

But the snake’s community spirit lives on… the next step is a deconstructive one: to break the snake down to produce comfort toys for children and draft stoppers for local residents.

WINNER

COMMUNITY ACTION LEADERSHIP (POPULATION ABOVE 3,000)

BASS COAST SHIRE COUNCIL

THE SHEARWATER FESTIVAL

Each year up to one million Shearwater (Biyadin) fly 15,000 km from Alaska to return to Phillip Island to breed. These birds and eggs were once a food source to local Indigenous people and are part of Indigenous culture. In recent times this avian migration has sparked cultural exchange between schools on Phillip Island and in Alaska.

The Shearwater Festival, auspiced by the Aboriginal Corporation of Languages and supported by Bass Coast Shire Council, was devised to educate and instigate a local reconciliation plan between Indigenous and other Australians.

The festival included ranger-led walks to observe the birds returning to their nests in the evening and then back out to sea at dawn. It also included displays of art, photography, textiles and sculpture as well as music, poetry and dance performances at the Nobbies Centre (showcasing Australian fur seals and overlooking Bass Strait). Indigenous dancers prepared a Shearwater inspired dance and songs were written and performed in the local Boonwurrung Indigenous language with translations provided by local elders.

WINNER

CULTURAL HERITAGE

VIETNAM VETERANS ASSOCIATION AND SEYMOUR HISTORICAL SOCIETY

STAGE 2 OF THE VIETNAM VETERANS WALK / MILITARY HERITAGE WEEKEND

The Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk (VVCW) in Seymour allows visitors to walk through a soldier’s journey from enlistment to the harsh battlefields of Vietnam.

The installation features digi-glass panels to honour the 62,100 Australian service men and women who served in the Vietnam war. With meandering pathways the landscaped area is reminiscent of Vietnam. A replica of the Luscombe Bowl (the famous concert space in Vietnam) and a memorial cairn and lighting systems come together to honour the service and sacrifice of Vietnam veterans.

The VVCW was officially opened in March 2013 in front of visitors and dignitaries from across Australia. It was launched as the centrepiece of the community-driven Seymour Military Heritage Weekend that attracted 7000 people. The VVCW adds to Seymour’s rich military heritage and visitors can learn about this important part of Australian history.

WINNER

GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS

PENTLAND HILLS LANDCARE GROUP

MYRNIONG AND KORKUPERRIMUL CREEKS BIOLINK

The Myrniong and Korkuperrimul Creeks Biolink Project is a community led project linking Werribee Gorge to Lerderderg-Wombat Forest. The biolink will follow 33km of creek line from the slopes of Mount Blackwood in the north to the Werribee River and Werribee Gorge Park in the south.

The Pentland Hills Landcare Group (PHLC) is managing the $1.7million project in partnership with Melbourne Water, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Vision for Werribee Plains and Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority’s Grow West initiative.

PHLC have engaged the community in all aspects of governance and leadership. In the first year 20 landholders joined the project and revegetated 15km of water ways. The project assessed levels of rabbi

WINNER

LITTER PREVENTION

WESTERN PORT SECONDARY COLLEGE, HASTINGS

LITTER REDUCTION IN OUR COLLEGE AND COMMUNITY

Students from Western Port Secondary College (WPSC) environment group wanted to tackle school and community litter.

Students formed a group and conducted a litter and bin audit along High Street, Hastings, weighing and categorising what they found. The group agreed that to decrease litter, bins should be placed where most litter was found. Consultation with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council led to bin relocation and a visible reduction in litter.

On the college grounds litter was a problem, as was waste removed from bins by crows and ibis. The environment group consulted other college students and found the problem was the style of bins – students disliked pushing rubbish through rubber circular tops and were reluctant to touch bins they considered dirty. The group researched various bins and recommended the purchase of pedal operated wheelie bins. The pedal bins proved a success and school administration is now working to introduce them throughout the grounds.
t threat and baseline survey measurements of stream water health, plants and mammals, birds and macro invertebrates.

This project is one of many initiated and led by PHLC demonstrating the capacity of the group to undertake large, practical environmental projects.

WINNER

PAM KEATING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

WANNON WATER

WARRNAMBOOL ROOF WATER HARVESTING DEMONSTRATION

The Warrnambool Roof Water Harvesting (RWH) Demonstration Project is one of the first of its kind in Australia and provides a working demonstration of a sustainable approach to integrated water management.

The project was launched in 2011 by the Minister for Water the Hon Peter Walsh. The project collects rainwater from rooftops in new residential subdivisions and transports it through a pipe network to existing raw water storage. The roof water and raw water is then treated at the Wannon Water treatment plant. When connected to 3000 homes in Warrnambool’s north east corridor, the project will contribute 450 mega litres of water to Warrnambool’s water supply and save an estimated 585 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

This newly created urban water catchment is an environmentally sustainable and financially viable alternative to individual rainwater tanks and other augmentation options. The project has earned national acclaim for its social, environmental and economic sustainability outcomes.

WINNER

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

GUNBOWER LANDCARE GROUP

INCREASING COMMUNITY AWARENESS OF HOLLOW LOGS AND HABITAT TREES

The Gunbower Landcare Committee and the Gunbower and District Development Committee Inc are working together to raise awareness of the importance of hollow logs and habitat trees for bird breeding and bushland creatures. The groups have been delivering presentations to highlight the unique qualities of the woodlands and waterways to local community, schools, authorities and surrounding districts.

The groups also support a range of programs being delivered by the North Central Catchment Management Authority including woody weed removal along the waterways (willows) and protection of remnant woodlands through fencing.

The group’s work with landholders to encourage the fencing of roadsides for grazing cattle and several kilometres of fencing has been erected through this partnership. Another project underway is the protection of Gum Lagoon’s riparian zone (the interface between land and water). This project includes fox baiting, turtle nest protection to ensure stability of the turtle population and planting of Indigenous species to improve water quality and biodiversity.

WINNER

RESOURCE RECOVERY AND WASTE MANAGEMENT

HORSHAM TIDY TOWNS

BLUE FROG

Wimmera Health Care Group employs over 900 staff and is Horsham’s largest organisation. The organisation’s Environmental Management Working Party developed a plan to reduce their environmental impact.
At the centre of the plan is the “Blue Frog’ – an ambassador for making the right environmental decisions. The first environmental target was recycling of printer cartridges with the Blue Frog symbol, along with messages about recycling and correct waste disposal placed throughout the hospital.

Blue Frog stickers are above light switches and on computers reminding staff to switch off and save power. As part of the Blue Frog Environmental Management Plan, colour-coded waste bins were introduced for general, secured and recyclables as well as a large recycling cage. Waste removal from the site has reduced by 20% and further sustainability improvements will be targeted and reported to staff and the community.

WINNER

YOUNG LEADERS

MOOROOPNA SECONDARY COLLEGE

YOUTH LEADERSHIP ACHIEVEMENTS

Mooroopna Secondary College (MSC) has 500 students among these are many high achievers. In March 2013 the Lions Club of Victoria named Nathan Booth the District Youth of the Year in Public Speaking. Student Reece Rowe was named the 2013 Mooroopna Community Young Australian of the Year.

The college’s programs encourage Indigenous cultural learning including the Warnick Program that saw students participate in dreamtime at the MCG. The college’s Koori boys dance group, Batja Malnigan, worked with multi-talented performer Boori Monty Pryor to explore heritage and cultural history.

The college has an outstanding record of promoting and developing student leadership and student leaders undertake a rigorous interview process before they are appointed. The student leaders sit on College Council with full voting rights and input into college strategic planning. The Student Representative Council plays an active role in leading the school’s internal fundraising events and being the student voice.

Year 11 MSC students also assisted in part of the planting for the Crouching Emu Revegetation project, managed and coordinated by Tatura Landcare.

KEEP AUSTRALIA BEAUTIFUL VICTORIA TIDY TOWNS GIFT FUND PRIZES 2013

BEECHWORTH – LAKE SAMBELL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Beechworth’s Lake Sambell Management Committee (LSMC) was formed in 1990 with members representing residents and community. In 2000, Emma’s Garden was created to honour Beechworth Olympian Pole Vaulter Emma George with funding from the Sydney 2000 Olympics as part of ‘Olympics Greening Australia’.

The garden project involved planting native trees, shrubs and groundcover plants to create a small bird habitat and a bird hide so people could view the water and woodland birds. Lake Sambell has up to 80 resident bird species including water birds and many migratory bird species.

Due to nine years of drought many of the garden’s plants were lost over the years. In August 2013, with funds raised by the LSMC and matched by Indigo Shire Council, the committee, community, clubs and the Beechworth Correctional Centre commenced the revegetation works to Emma’s Garden.

The Gift Fund Prize will fund an identification and conservation storyboard for the garden that will help visitors identify birds and learn about their conservation status and food source.

WYCHEPROOF VISION – RAILWAY PLACE

Wycheproof VISION is Wycheproof’s progress association – an active group that has undertaken successful short and long-term initiatives to benefit the town of Wycheproof.

It has been a long anticipated goal of many groups and individuals in Wycheproof to create sustainable and beautiful use of the Railway Precinct. Wycheproof VISION is currently leading a project that aims to enhance community use of the town’s Railway Place area by building on existing infrastructure in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The Gift Fund Prize will assist with funding for the design and the building of a sustainable garden that includes native plants, a commemorative area to recognise the heritage of railway workers and a designated area for picnics.

ST JOSEPH’S, CRIB POINT – MANGROVE REGENERATION

The Mangrove Regeneration project was initiated in 2011 by St Joseph’s Crib Point as the school was keen to get involved in local action that would benefit students and the community of Western Port Bay. The school became involved in harvesting, propagating and replanting white mangroves into various regions at the north of Western Port Bay.

Through the commitment of students and the community the Mangrove Regeneration project has gone from strength to strength. There are now three schools assisting – St Mary’s in Williamstown, St Macartans in Mornington and Dromana Secondary School – and there are plans for future growth.

The Gift Fund Prize will support St Joseph’s to continue delivery of the project with the support of Dr Tim Ealey from the Western Port Seagrass Partnership. St Joseph’s will provide the energy and workforce for the project via students and the broader community. Dr Ealey will provide his expert scientific knowledge on mangroves and their effect on reducing erosion throughout Westernport Bay.