Tidy Towns - Sustainable Communities 2019 Awards Finalists

Active Schools Award

Kialla Children’s Centre, Kialla
Children’s Garden
Kialla Children’s Centre is the only not-for-profit community-based centre in Shepparton which is operated by a committee of management consisting of volunteer parents.

The centre is a 44-place long day care, 80 place four-year-old preschool (over three groups) and three-year-old fun group service which has up to 300 families accessing the centre each week.

The Centre worked with the local Council to acquire additional land at the back of the Centre to create a community garden that includes vegie patches, small world gardens, fire pit, chicken coop, fruit trees and bird feeders and houses. The project was supported by grants from Children’s Facilities Capital Program Minor Infrastructure, GV Community Fund, Junior Landcare and Growing Gardens. Additionally, it was supported by generous families and businesses for landscaping, soil and granite fill, trees, craft work.


St Joseph’s Primary School, Beechworth
St. Joseph’s Primary School: As seen through the eyes of two student leaders
St. Joseph’s Primary School As seen through the eyes of two student leaders is committed to sustainability throughout the school.

The school has a vibrant and enthusiastic group of students who have led an initiative to manage rubbish around the school.

Having noticed that their bins were getting out of hand, the school decided that it needed to have someone come in and discuss waste.

Martin Prebble from Marz Pet Foods was invited to talk to the students about greenhouse gasses and how the students could make a difference by separating waste from recyclables correctly, as well as using the compost from the school’s worm farm to fertilise the school vegetable gardens, which are used in the school’s Stephanie Alexander kitchen.

The waste in the bins is reviewed regularly by student leaders, and the results are shared with the rest of the school community.

Dartmoor Primary School, Dartmoor
It takes a community to build a splendid chicken coop!
As an addition to the school’s fruit and vegetable garden, the chicken coop project was formed to encourage positive, sustainable actions that highlight the importance of friendships, healthy lifestyle choices and the need to look after the local environment.

The project was driven by students in the first instance: on hearing about the project, another school and a local vineyard stepped in with extra tools, experience and expertise to help Dartmoor Primary School complete the project.

Over the last three years, the school has re-developed the school garden and are now growing produce to eat.

All students participate in the planning, planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, preparation and eating of fruit and vegetables grown at school. At other times students take home surplus vegetables to share with their family. Students are involved in saving seeds to replant the following year. Some students only experience growing fruit and vegetables at school.


Kalkee Road Kindergarten, Horsham
Bush Kinder

Kalkee Road Kindergarten believes Bush Kinder is a special part of a child’s total kinder experience, which is based on and meets the requirements of the Victorian Early Years Learning & Developmental Framework and National Quality Standards.

It recognises the place the bush has in Australian folklore and the significance of the land in Aboriginal culture.

It draws upon and extends the existing philosophy and pedagogy of the Kindergarten programs to offer a unique educational program. No toys, no tools and no art supplies. The children and adults benefit from using only what nature has provide.


St Joseph’s Primary School Sorrento, Sorrento
Creating an Indigenous Sensory, Edible and Medicinal Garden

St Joseph’s Primary School has vast areas of asphalt within its school grounds, and the students wanted to transform an area in front of the school that would encourage a greater biodiversity of flora and fauna and be more welcoming to parents, students and the wider community, a meeting place.

The garden is to be a sensory journey where different senses are stimulated by exploring texture of the foliage of plants, the leaves and tree bark can contribute to an array of experiences.

There will be an emphasis on how Indigenous groups nurtured their environment and how they managed the land sustainably, and how the landscape has changed since white settlement.


3/4 learning community, Crib Point
The Sea is my Best Friend Crib Point

St Joseph’s Crib Point has been working in partnership with the Westernport Seagrass association since 2011. They have also collaborated with their sister school in Lombok Indonesia linking learning around Mangroves in a project called The Sea is my best friend.

The 3/4 learning community participate in a fortnightly walk to Woolleys Beach where they learn about the area’s precious bay, building scientific skills and capabilities. Throughout 2019 students have explored EVCs in the area, identifying and learning botanical names of the local flora and fauna, exploring migratory birds with Birdlife Australia and RAMSAR with Parks Victoria Rangers. Additionally, students are nominated to become “Mangrove Warriors” and form a team that works throughout the year to grow Mangroves.


Tallygaroopna Primary School, Tallygaroopna
Resource Smart School

Tallygaroopna Primary School has an enrolment of 81 students, with school values being Honesty, Respect and Inclusion.

The school strives to be a Resource Smart School by the many and varied ways it attacks recycling.

As a small rural school, it manages sustainability and recycling in a variety of ways.

In every classroom, there is major focus on green waste, general waste and recycle waste. There are buckets placed inside the main door to collect daily waste including food scraps, recycling and rubbish.

The school recycles cartridges, pens, pencils, paper, soft plastic and batteries. Parents also collect oral care items for recycling.

Lunch is eaten indoors, which eliminates litter outdoors, which means that there is only one garbage bin in the school yard. The school has a Switch Off check list: all appliances are switched off when the school is closed during term holidays.


Violet Town Kindergarten, Violet Town
Sustainable living practices

At Violet Town Kindergarten the aim is to promote, involve, educate and connect children with sustainable living practices.

The kindergarten prides itself on strong connection with community and community involvement, as it sees this as an extremely valuable asset and skill for a positive, successful and happy future.

The children are involved in daily sustainable living practices of conserving energy and water, food production and processing, as well as waste management. Play based learning experiences as well as inquiry and intentional teaching support the children’s learning experiences in sustainable living practices.


Dimboola Memorial Secondary College, Dimboola
Mosaic Welcome Board

This project initially came about as an engagement strategy, as some students were struggling in some of their mainstream classes.

As local indigenous student, Yasmin Harradine, moved into the VCAL course, the project fit beautifully into the Personal Development Skills subject outcomes. The school was also able to expand on Yasmin’s artwork, by involving the whole class in planning the unveiling day ceremony and baking the lemon myrtle cupcakes, to be eaten by all guests.

For the official unveiling day, Yasmin and other members of the VCAL class made invitations and planned an agenda. All DMSC students, the families of the school’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, students from both local primary schools, and members of the local community were invited to attend. Yasmin invited guest speakers to talk about the Aboriginal history of the local area and arranged for a traditional smoking ceremony to take place before speaking herself.

Clean Beach/ Waterway Award

Indigo Shire and Beechworth Community, Beechworth
Lake Sambell – “Furthering Positive Usage”
Lake Sambell – “Furthering Positive Usage” Wondrous things have been happening at Beechworth’s Lake Sambell and Spring Creek in the past 12 months.

It is project to replace the pedestrian bridge on the entry to Lake Sambell recreating the historical character of the original timber structure using modern safety standards and contemporary materials to achieve a much longer design life with minimal ongoing maintenance following consultation with Indigo Shire Heritage advisory and community members.

Lake Sambell became the stage for a traditionally Aboriginal ceremony, Dallas Mugurra, a language assistant at Bright P12 College and Wooragee Primary School, delivered the

cultural experience – more than 40 people, many descendants of local indigenous group, travelled from Melbourne to attend the event.

An installation of Doggie Bag Stations and education program “Does your dog leave little messages

when you go for a walk?” has also been part of the project, as was planting of Scarlet Oaks and the installation of two seats as part of the Lions Memorial Walk dedicated to past and present Beechworth Lions Club members and their 60th year from the beach area to the entrance of the caravan park.


Dartmoor DELWP, Dartmoor
Retreat at the River

Fort O’Hare in the heart of Dartmoor on the banks of the Glenelg River is a most popular free campsite which attracts many travellers and locals.

The area is of historic significance as it is where Major Mitchell camped when exploring the area.

Dartmoor’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) crew do a wonderful job maintaining and improving this area that is enjoyed by so many.

DELWP’s dedication to the protection of the waterway and surrounds encourage respect for the beauty of the area. Ongoing maintenance is carried out to restore any wear or damage caused during flood periods, as well as improvements that are required.


Wimmera CMA, Horsham
Wimmera River Frontage Access Restoration Works

For a number of years, the Wimmera River Improvement Committee (WRIC), in conjunction with the Horsham Rural City Council (HRCC) and the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority (WCMA), has sought to protect and restore native vegetation along the Wimmera River frontage while providing public access for passive recreation activities.

Along a section of the river upstream of the Horsham City Centre to Riverside, some locations at access points had become highly degraded from inappropriate vehicle use particularly after wet weather, creating scour holes and erosion, and destroying native vegetation.

In response to WRIC’s insistence, action has been taken by the WCMA in partnership with the HRCC to address this undesirable activity and restore the damaged areas.

Importantly, the works have been designed and constructed in such a way to provide managed access to desirable sites on the river for fishing, walking, bike riding, and other passive recreation activities, while protecting the riverside.


Beechworth Rotary Club, Beechworth
Beechworth Rotary Pontoon – Lake Sambell
A Pontoon launched in December 2018 from Lake Sambell’s boat ramp for the Sandy Beach swimming area has provided countless hours of fun for people of all ages over the Christmas break and school holidays – for both locals and tourists.

The Beechworth Rotary Club project was funded by the club, Beechworth District and Community Bank – Bendigo Bank – and Indigo Shire Council with many volunteer hours invested by club members in the search and safe design of the pontoon.

It was a huge project for 15 club members who put in 350 volunteer hours. The club was also assisted by Beechworth’s Evan Taylor who transported the pontoon from the Sydney manufacturer.


Mt Eliza Plastic Free, Mount Eliza
Mount Eliza Beach Clean

Mount Eliza Beach Clean is an initiative of the Mt Eliza Plastic Free Group, which is an online community forum that aims to encourage and celebrate improved resource use, work toward zero waste, end the use of single-use plastics and promote a healthy and pollution free Mount Eliza.

The Mount Eliza Beach Clean is held monthly, with a different beach being tackled each time.

The beach cleans involve community members of all ages volunteering their time to collect and sort rubbish and recyclables, creating a better and safer beach environment for both people and wildlife.

The beach cleans foster community spirit, providing an opportunity for volunteers to socialise and make friends, whilst going for a walk in the fresh air. It also enables parents to share precious time with their children, whilst introducing a global issue and empowering them to be part of the solution.


Beach Patrol 3280-3284, Warrnambool
Pick Up Sticks

Beach Patrol 3280-3284 was formed in response to the discovery of excessive plastic pollution on local beaches, in particular cotton bud sticks.

Since September 2017, Beach Patrol 3280-3284 volunteers and other community members have volunteered 2167 hours of their time to collect over 18,250 cotton buds, 500,000 nurdles and significant quantities of other litter from local beaches.

They have volunteered a further 978 hours to sort the plastic and upload the data to the Australian Marine Data Initiative (ADMI) database of Tangaroa Blue.

Additionally, the group has generated public awareness through social media and community events including the video ‘Stop Flushing Cotton Buds’, which was created by a local filmmaker and widely shared on social media.


Dimboola Rowing Club, Dimboola
Making the Wimmera River accessible for all users

With years of drought, the Dimboola Rowing Club, established in 1882, was dying with no water to train on and unable to attract new rowers to the club.

After the water returned, the club was hit by the 2011 flood that again destroyed the rowing course.

With a small team of dedicated members, the club was able to bring back the infamous Dimboola Regatta by cleaning up the rowing course and the foreshores that attract hundreds of rowers and families back to Dimboola for the Regatta.

In recent years, the club has attracted a team of junior female and male rowers. With the purchase and donations of a new fleet of regulation boats the club has sent their junior crews to state-wide and interstate regattas. The

new launching pontoon has been installed with support of the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Hindmarsh

Shire Council, Volunteers and club members.

Community Action & Leadership Award (population 3000 and below)

Campbell’s Forest & District Community Action Planning Group Inc, Campbell’s Forest & Yarraberb
Campbell’s Forest, Yarraberb & District Community Plan 2018-2028
The Campbell’s Forest, Yarraberb & District Community Plan is vital to the rural community to ensure its long-term farming families a future. The vision is “Community working together to achieve positive change and to maintain our rural appeal.”

Campbell’s Forest, Yarraberb & District Community Plan was created by Campbell’s Forest & District Community Action Planning Group Inc, which was formed at a local meeting early in 2008 from a diverse group of voluntary members of the community to address issues in the district.

That same year, Campbell’s Forest & District Community Action Planning Group became incorporated and created the initial Campbell’s Forest, Yarraberb & District Community Plan 2008.

The district of Campbell’s Forest & Yarraberb is predominately a primary production/agriculture industry, rural community located on the boarder of Loddon Shire Council and Greater City of Bendigo, approximately 175 kilometres north of Melbourne


Seawinds Boomerang Bags, Capel Sound
Bags and Beds for all
Seawinds Boomerang bags are creating reusable shopping bags to help lessen the use of plastic. The money raised from creating strong reusable bags has been donated to provide backpack swags for the homeless in the local area, giving homeless people a warm bed to call home until they can get on their feet.

The group noticed that the fabric donated for the bags was unsuitable, so they turned it into boomer bears for the local CFA unit to give to children in a trauma situation.

After the recent fires, the group received a call out for their mittens for burnt koalas and got straight on to the job. Over 100 koalas have boomer mittens to cover their burns.

A cancer support group had also reached out for help to make bags for cancer victims to carry their medications. This project is ongoing.


Dartmoor & District Progress Association Inc, Dartmoor
The Pride Shows
Dartmoor is a Town that survives and prospers because of the enormous volunteer input.

The Progress Association endeavours to lead and drive the Town in an effort to present a high level of appeal and encourage not only visitors but new residents to the area.

The Progress Association owns its own machinery and accepts the responsibility to mow and beautify the inner town areas, as well as lead the implementation of new projects and ideas in the town.

The pride that has developed in the town since it first entered the Tidy Town Program in 1986 is amazing.

The unique Memorial Streetscape is a wonderful tourist attraction, as well as the free campsite at Fort O’Hare.

The Town has amazingly survived and continues to thrive since the closure of the timber mill 10 years ago.


Dookie & District Development Forum, Dookie
Dookie Military Vehicle Rally
The Annual Dookie Military Vehicle Rally is run in October each year and attracts 100s of motor enthusiasts to Dookie over the weekend.

The weekend programme includes jeep rides, cannon firing, vintage push bike riding displays, and vintage Land Rover displays, with onsite camping provided.

This rally attracts visitors to the district from all over Australia, and some even make it an annual pilgrimage from Darwin and Queensland.

The rally encourages tourists to discover and explore the region’s rich history, heritage, arts and culture and the family friendly attractions, including the Dookie walking tracks sand Tallis Wine.


St Macartans Parish Primary School, Mornington
Love Local Market

St Macartan’s Primary School has a strong track record of leadership in environmental sustainability both within the school, local community and across the state of Victoria. The school is always striving to strengthen their work and develop new initiatives, opportunities and experiences to benefit their students and the broader community.

At the end of 2018, the school hosted a Community Market Day – Love Local – which was a centrepiece event in the Mornington Peninsula calendar. The event was a contemporary and sustainable approach to a traditional school offering. Rather than hosting a fete dominated by junk food and plastic toys, the market focused exclusively on locally grown and sourced products with a strong focus on student engagement. The market featured Mornington Peninsula produce, local brands, and handmade and homegrown food and products.

Approximately 3000 visitors visited 95 stalls.


Southern Aurora Memorial Committee, Violet Town
50th Commemoration of Southern Aurora Disaster

A four-day commemoration in 2019 to give tribute to the people affected by the Southern Aurora train crash that occurred February1969. Those people included passengers, railway staff, emergency service personnel and volunteers, general public and the community of Violet Town.

The event started with a dawn vigil at the crash site, followed by community breakfast, an Art Exhibition and launch, Museum Exhibition and a free concert from the Choir of Hard Knocks.

The culmination on Sunday was the formal opening of the Memorial Gardens – a poignant and appropriate place for reflection and memory.


Dimboola Town Committee, Dimboola
Engaging the Community

Dimboola is a small country town of approximately 1600 residents and is the hub of a farming community. The Dimboola Town Committee, which is a section 86 of the Hindmarsh Shire, has strong leadership and prides itself in motivating volunteers to get things done to improve the town, which in turn encourages visitors and helps local businesses to survive.

Dimboola is a friendly little town which has a lot to offer. There is something for everyone – young and old – whether it is sport or just a game of cards and a chat over a coffee. You will be welcomed with a smile.

Community Action & Leadership Award (population above 3000)

Horsham Agricultural Society, Horsham
New Year’s Eve by the River

After many years of no events in Horsham for New Year’s Eve, the Council and local agricultural society formed a partnership to organise an environmentally responsible event overlooking the Wimmera River.

This event linked to the Council’s plan for Community and Cultural Development to Activate the Wimmera River Precinct for the community and visitors.

The free, family friendly event was supported by 2500 people. As a new event, the anticipated crowd reached 500.

The event featured an environmentally responsible projected light show on the river gums along the river.

Overall, the event was a significant economic benefit to the community in a variety of areas.


Horsham Motorcycle Club, Horsham
FIM 2018 Junior World Motocross Championships

Prior to 1999, Horsham Motorcycle Club (HMCC) had a caretaker committee for several years, when the club became active once more promoting responsible, organised and controlled motorcycle riding and competition.

Over the last 20 years, HMCC developed an internationally recognised Motocross circuit in the heart of the Wimmera and went to run 17 Australian Championships over five dirt disciplines.

As a very small club member base, with a strong, stable leadership group, HMCC always looked to the broader community for support and the opportunity to share in the growth and prestige of the venue.

The latest highlight for Club members and the community came with hosting the 2018 FIM Junior World Motocross Championships in August 2018 in Horsham. This was the very first time that the event was held in Australia and only the second time outside of Europe.


Rochester Community House, Rochester
Rochester Community House Supporting the Community

Rochester Community House’s mission is to acknowledge and respond to community needs by maximising community participation and wellbeing through access to personal development in a welcoming and supportive environment.

Rochester Community House is achieving their mission through: Managing social and enterprise events; recycling program, collection point for modems, Christmas lights, batteries and soft plastic; venue for community classes; establishing the Foodshare program, Community Kitchen and Food is Free Table.

The focus on feeding the community has an average of 75 people visiting to receive food from the Healthcote Foodshare program.

The Foodshare program has appositive impact on those in need as well as the environment, with reduction of food in landfill.

The fortnightly Community Kitchen complements the other food programs, by providing social connections to community members and opportunity to develop their cooking skills.


Dr Trudi Ryan, Beechworth
Festival of Change

Beechworth Festival of Change took place on 1-4 April 2019.

The Festival was a community-driven, not-for-profit event designed to empower regional communities to take responsibility for their own futures and drive positive change towards a fair, just and sustainable world.

The Festival had two key objectives: build change-making skills and build networks of change-makers.

By focusing on skills and networks, rather than individual issues, it generated an environment where people working across the social and environmental sectors could come together, learn new skills, make connections and generate ideas and initiatives to create positive change.


Beechworth Health Service and Community
Remembering the 2009 Victorian Bushfires

In 2009, Victorians lived through the worst heatwave and bushfires in our nation’s history. Tragically, 173 people lost their lives in the fires, and the heatwave saw deaths increase by 374 people.

Many more were injured, lost their homes or their livelihoods. Everyone’s journey through recovery is different, and for many, recovery remains an ongoing challenge. To mark the 10-year Anniversary, Beechworth Health Service together with local mental health services, Indigo Shire Council and local emergency services were able to put together a series of events to focus on mental health and well-being, the resilience of communities and fire preparedness.

Community Government Partnership Award

Beechworth Indigo Shire Council, Local Government and Community Groups, Beechworth
Battery Storage and Solar Project – Beechworth Library and Memorial Hall
Beechworth Indigo Shire Council Battery Storage and Solar Project – Beechworth Library and Memorial Hall, is a partnership between Local Government, community groups, and state government which was concluded in November 2018 with: Production of a battery basics booklet – Deliver Battery Storage Workshopsand the installation of a “pilot demonstration” battery storage system.

Additionally, at the public amenities outside the site four 5000 litre water tanks for capturing rain water to be used to flush toilets and for hand-washing, were installed as a trial.


Dartmoor & District Progress Association Inc, Dartmoor
Working Together
Dartmoor doesn’t have a permanent Shire presence in the Town but prides itself on the relationship it shares with the Local Government.

Over the years, the Progress Association has acted as an intermediary with the Shire, working closely to implement several major projects, as well as deal with any issues that occur.

Most recently, the Shire was involved in addressing the excess rubbish problem that has caused issues. Consequently, they are trialling Compactor Bins to help alleviate this issue.

The Shire has also adopted a program to assist with the ongoing maintenance of the town’s tree carvings and have also been endeavouring to acquire a lease on the disused rail line to assist with the planned walking/bicycle track development.


Hindmarsh Shire and Dimboola Community, Dimboola
Development of Dimboola Projects
The well-established relationship between the Hindmarsh Shire Council, Dimboola Town Committee and the Dimboola community continues to grow due to a range of initiatives and projects that have been or will be implemented to improve the infrastructure and amenities of Dimboola.

These initiatives include the construction of 4 kilometres of walking track and new seating in the business community.

Along with the Hindmarsh Shire Youth Council, a commissioned mural is planned, to be painted by Travis Price and college students.

Plans are also under way to develop a visitor node that will become the start of the $1.2 million Wimmera Discovery Trail.

This year, the Council along with the Dimboola Football and Netball Club have installed new change room for the netballers.

Grampians Central West Waste & Resource Recovery Group, Horsham
Creating Can Do Communities
The Grampians Central West Waste & Resource Recovery Group’s ‘Can Do Communities’ program was created as an opportunity for all of our communities and community groups to develop activities that involved waste prevention, reducing waste to landfill and increasing viable recycling opportunities in a way that suited them

An opportunity was identified to build capacity within a community while making sure that all valued the resources on hand without wasting them.

In rural and regional communities, it is not always possible to provide the infrastructure and services that exist in larger towns and cities. This means seeking local solutions, that can be implemented in a resource efficient way, is often the best approach.

‘Can Do Communities’ is more than local communities or community groups taking action – it is also about educating and sharing those activities in communities and beyond.


Indigo Shire and Beechworth Presenters, Beechworth
40th Student Environment Day
Baarmutha Park in Beechworth hosted the 40th Student Environment Day for approximately 200 students from the Indigo Shire area.

This was the first time the event was held in Beechworth, and the participation rate was excellent.

Schools that took part included Beechworth PS, Beechworth Montessori School, St. Joseph’s PS (Beechworth), Wooragee PS, Springhurst PS and Kiewa Valley PS.

The Student Environment Day was run in conjunction with the Indigo Shire and coordinated by the North East Environment Education Directory (SEED), which is a uniquely North East Victorian initiative run through a partnership with North East Catchment Management Authority and North East Waste and Resource Recovery Group.


Horsham Rural City Council, Horsham
Sunnyside Park Landscape Plan
Sunnyside reserve in Horsham’s east consists of a Council reserve with playing field, tennis courts and playground area, and the adjoining member-owned Sunnyside Bowling Club.

Council is guided in the development of the reserve by an Advisory Committee comprising members of the bowling club, sports clubs which use the reserve and community members.

During 2018, Council and the Committee developed a landscape master plan to enhance the facilities at the reserve, open it up for a more diverse range of uses and enhance its appeal to, and connection with the local neighbourhood.

The Committee identified key principles regarding park amenity, current and future usage of the area and connections with the extended neighbourhood. The project epitomises the success of the community and groups working with Council and a number of state government businesses, to develop a plan which captures the attention of State Government for funding.


Rainbow Progress Association, Rainbow
The Oasis – Community Hub
The partnership between Regional Arts Victoria and the Rainbow community was an outstanding success. The historic Rainbow Primary School, closed since 2011, was reinvented, focussing on the cultural and artistic heritage of the unique part of north-west Victoria.

The two year (2017-18) ‘Oasis Project’ effectively refurbished the buildings, landscaped the skate park and initiated a desert garden in the school grounds.

There was great support from local organisations including the Hindmarsh Shire Council, Rainbow Landcare, Rainbow Lions Club, Rainbow P-12 ‘Hands on Learning’ students and many volunteer working bees.

Along the way, many well attended workshops, dance and music performances were held.

The classrooms now include a live music room, gymnasium, lending library, artists’ studio and public meeting rooms.

The Primary Hub committee is determined to expand the transformation of the Oasis in the spirit of the community cooperation in which the school was resurrected.


Tally Men’s Shed volunteers, Tallygaroopna
Tallygaroopna Men’s Shed
Tallygaroopna is a small township with a population of 270, with the same made up of surrounding landowners.

The Community Planning committee saw a need to have somewhere for men to meet and chat, and work on projects to keep their minds and bodies occupied.

The committee set about obtaining a grant to commence the project.

The new building was finished in August 2018, allowing the men to meet and build various useful items from recycled materials.

The men take great pride in the workmanship and look forward to attending.


Southern Aurora Memorial Committee, Violet Town
50th Commemoration of Southern Aurora Disaster
The Southern Aurora Gardens area was established as a reflective area in tribute to all affected and involved in the Aurora disaster and aftermath of February 1969.

The overall theme is ‘Helping Hands’ in acknowledgement of the many ways that people helped each other in difficult circumstances. In fact, hundreds of people helped hundreds of people on that day, and days following the train crash.

The project could only be achieved by cooperation between the community and every level of government.


Hepburn Shire Community, Hepburn Shire
Z-NET Hepburn Shire
Hepburn Shire ‘Zero Net Emissions Transition’ (Z-NET) is a collaborative project between community, sustainability groups, Hepburn Wind, Hepburn Shire Council, industry experts and various others.

The project has used real world, local data to develop a bottom up emissions baseline for the shire.

Community ideas for projects and actions to address these emissions have been developed and implemented, together with a comprehensive Community Transition Plan to reach zero net emissions from all sectors within the Shire by 2030.

This Plan is just another step in galvanising what has been a longstanding community led movement for sustainability within the Hepburn Shire.

Project implementation and expansion is being overseen by representatives from community, industry and council.

Cultural Heritage Award

Nanette Collins and James Collins, Beechworth
HM Gaol Beechworth Searchable Database

HM Gaol Beechworth is a searchable database of prisoners who served time in the Beechworth Gaol from 1860-1940.

The database has been put together from a variety of available records, primarily sourced from the Public Records Office of Victoria. This data was collated and uploaded to the website, which shows prisoners who were sentenced in the Beechworth Court House, surrounding courts and transferred from other gaols.




Beechworth Cemetery Trust, Beechworth
Our ANZAC Legacy
In 2017, the Beechworth Cemetery Trust became aware of the significance of the Centenary of the ANZAC landings, the ending of WWI and also the recognition projects for this being undertaken across Australia.

The Trust considered this an opportunity to recognise ANZAC’s at a local level.

Given that the Beechworth Public Cemetery is the final resting place of over 17000 souls, it was decided to first attempt to locate and identify as many WWI veterans within the facility as possible.

One of the difficulties with this task involved the overall Cemetery burial numbers. Over 10000 of these interments are in unmarked plots; with many of these particular graves containing multiple bodies.

The objective was to have as many Veterans with no acknowledgment for their war service to be formally recognised.


Dartmoor & District Progress Association Inc, Dartmoor
Making sure our past lasts
The memory of local Servicemen and Women is honoured by the Memorial Streetscape Carvings in the centre of Town, which were carved from the standing stumps of the WWI Memorial Trees.

These are an enormous Tourist Attraction to the Town and wider area. As a result, the Progress Association have worked hard to ensure that their condition is maintained.

The Memorial Gate plaques at the School Entrance commemorate World War Servicemen & Women.


Stuart Harradine, Dimboola
Ranch and Billabong
The Ranch/Billabong is one of few remaining places that connect with how our mob lived before and after settlement.

We were told stories of the area and how families lived and survived. As kids you don’t really notice much around you, you’re more or less enjoying the moment, but as you get older, you realise what the old people meant by their stories.

I will always treasure the times our families spent at the Ranch/Billabong. I would love for future generations to experience that culture and history.

The place is in poor shape and needs to be restored, including a general clean up, revegetation of native plants and re-directing water back into the Billabong. — Dylan Clarke, Chair, Barengi Gadjin Land Council.


The Upper Region Cemetery, Dimboola
The Upper Region Cemetery Restoration
The Upper Region Cemetery was established in 1877 approximately 7.8 kilometres south east of Dimboola in the broad acre cropping country of the Dimboola East/Wail area.

The site is also known by some locals as the ‘Kornheim Cemetery’ and the ‘Wail Cemetery’ (Wail being a small hamlet located nearby, adjacent to the Western Highway).

It is a small and very old cemetery that was left to decline as relatives moved away from the area.

In 2012, a concerned local who lived near the cemetery made enquiries about the state of the site and began the task of cleaning up years of neglect.

It is a credit to John Porter and his small band of supporters for the work that has been done in respect for those who rest there.


Horsham Rural City Council, Horsham
2018 Remembrance Day Sunset Service
Horsham recently opened its ANZAC Centenary Pedestrian Bridge. To pick up the often-quoted phrase, “At the going down of the sun, we will remember them”, a Sunset Service, to commemorate the Armistice of 1918, was held on the Bridge late in the day of 11 November 2018.

The Bridge was decorated with handmade poppies. A lone piper played as people arrived, from the ‘north’ and the ‘south’, to gather on the Bridge.

Residents of all ages attended, with an estimated 300 people standing on the Bridge in the gaze of a setting sun.

The ceremony concluded with the piper playing the Australian National Anthem.


Hall Committee, Tallygaroopna
Soldiers Memorial Hall
The Tallygaroopna Soldiers Memorial Hall was erected to commemorate those from the district who served in World War I. It was officially opened in June 1924.

Many honour rolls are erected in the Hall covering subsequent conflicts. Memorabilia adorns the hall walls including notable returned servicemen and women and those who were killed in action.

This hall is a historic tribute to all who served their country. Today it is well used by the community for various functions.


Landcare/VicTrack, Tallygaroopna
Rail Precinct
Landcare obtained a grant to use on the old Railway Station precinct and used the money to erect an interpretive sign, plant over 200 indigenous trees and landscape the area.

Signage was also erected at the entrance to the precinct.

The interpretive sign depicts the story of wheat storage at the silos and the changing farming practices on one side. The other has a picture of a K150 steam engine coming into the station.



Beechworth Organ Society, Beechworth
Beechworth Historic Town Hall Organ Project
In July 2018, the Beechworth Organ Society bought the Historic Town Hall Pipe Organ at an auction in North Melbourne and restored it to its original position following an absence of 112 years.

The project was an amazing culmination of a search that began ten years ago, and that was sparked by the discovery of an old photograph of the Beechworth Choral Society c.1900 in the Town Hall with a pipe organ on the stage.

The photo was discovered by Mark Stephens, President of the Beechworth Organ Society and John Maidment OAM Chair of the Historic Organ Trust of Australia.


Beechworth Burke Museum and Precinct, Beechworth
Burke Museum – ‘Important Milestones’
The Burke Museum has come to an important milestone in its ongoing projects.

This collection of Aboriginal objects from across South-Eastern Australia has been housed at the Burke for more than a century, and the team undertook a major conservation project in September 2018 to combat the threat of insect pests. Insects can damage or destroy museum objects, over time leading to loss of heritage collections.

The Burke Museum also became compliant for disability access with the installation of an access ramp and disability entrance door, and finally the Ned Kelly Vault and Burke Museum have secured an important long-term loan: The cash box from Ann Jones’ Inn in Glenrowan, which survived the final siege that led to the deaths of the Kelly Gang and to Ned’s capture.


Dookie & District Development Forum, Dookie
Dookie Walking Track Signage
Dookie has been developing walking trails around the agricultural area surrounding the town for a number of years.

The Dookie Rail Trail number 1 offers scenic views of rolling hills, seasonal crops, wildlife and a town with spirit. This bitumen trail is suitable for all ages, with gentle hill climbs and great views of the Dookie and Yabba Districts.

The Rail Trail number 2 is in progress with VicTrack and Council, and has a substantial grant for development in 2019 on the western side of the Dookie township.

Dookie Township interpretive signs have now been installed with the walking track.

Located behind the Tallis Wine cellar door is the property’s Rock Correa walking track. Interspersed with 11 interpretive signs, this trail offers a chance to spot local wildlife, learn about the Indigenous history and early settlement with signage, before taking in the panoramic views at the summit.


Violet Town and District Gallery Museum Inc, Violet Town
Revitalising History
Four years ago, when entering Violet Town, you were greeted by an old derelict building in a prominent position on the main street.

People power, a community benefactor and lots of passion, however, have turned the old Op Shop – previously Peacocks – into a wonderful asset to be used by the community.

Featuring a Community Museum sharing local stories (Southern Aurora Train Crash, Spanish Flu epidemic, Main street changes, currently working on a Toxic Dump story and celebrating other town achievements), a community run Cafe and an Art Gallery which has this year alone attracted two solo shows and a group show including 25 local artists.

Managed by a community committee and three working groups, the organisation has bought much needed life and vibrancy to the town’s main street.


Southern Aurora Memorial Committee, Violet Town
Carriage, Gardens, Interpretive Boards and Exhibition
A disused area beside the Violet Town Railway was transformed into a wonderful memorial garden, as an area of reflection and a reminder to all of the Southern Aurora train crash on 7 February 1969.

Intertwined with pathways named to recognise the positive human attributes on display at the time of the tragedy, an original Southern Aurora carriage takes pride of place on the site and interpretive boards tell the story.

An exhibition of memorabilia and photographs taken at the time has grown into an ongoing attraction in the town.

Environmental Sustainability Award

Total Renewable Beechworth, Beechworth
Total Renewable Beechworth
Totally Renewable Beechworth (TRB) is a community energy initiative, with the goal for Beechworth and the 3747 postcode area to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Coming together in late 2017, a group of Beechworth residents, supported by Indigo Shire Council, initiated a community conversation that revealed both an appetite for a 100%renewable energy target, and for more information, support and coordination.

This led to the formation of the Totally Renewable Beechworth initiative. This response to climate change builds on and strengthens community resilience and sustainability. It is about working together and building partnerships to share knowledge, skills and resources to benefit all.


Southern Aurora Memorial Committee, Violet Town
Solar BBQ and lights in the garden
The committee was determined to build a sustainable garden, making every effort to schedule this around the weather conditions to limit losses.

It has been worth waiting for, not wanting plants to die in the extreme drought conditions. There was a need to install a BBQ, so time was spent sourcing the most sustainable option that was durable, required less power to operate and less need for cleaning. At the same time, appropriate lighting was researched. Consequently, a stainless-steel solar BBQ was installed along with solar lighting.


The Salvation Army, Horsham
The Patch
The Patch at the Salvos was formed through the collaborative efforts of the Salvation Army Horsham, Horsham Rural City Council and Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.

The concept for this large area of unused urban land to become a community garden began in 2015.

Horsham Urban Landcare, WDEA, local pre-schools and schools, gardening clubs and charity organisations have since partnered in the Patch, with the official opening attended by around 100 locals in November 2018.

The Patch’s mission is growing organic food and a togetherness garden, with the vision to create ahealthy organic and sustainable urban community garden.

The Salvation Army provided the perfect location for this community food hub that encourages urban people to live a more sustainable lifestyle. An exciting outcome of The Patch has been the social inclusion of so many people from all walks of life from kinder kids to retired members of the community.


Violet Town Community House, Violet Town
A Garden called Mary
A Garden called Mary was created out of a desire to share the benefit of fresh and healthy food with the community.

The garden is run by a strong volunteer base. It has achieved the goal of engaging isolated and financially stressed community members, as well as creating a safe, happy and social environment. It is a place of learning as well as an art and garden space and has transformed two disused tennis courts into a recreational area.

The garden has been functioning for approximately 18months and grows stronger every day.


Booth Transport, Strathmerton
Booth Transport
In 2018, Booth Transport commenced an incredibly ambitious environmental protection project: The Strathmerton Water Treatment Plant.

The Strathmerton plant is the company’s milk logistics and distribution hub. Previously wastewater generated from washing the milk tanks and storage silos was transported off site for disposal. Since this upgrade, the Strathmerton plant is now home to a state-of-the-art water treatment plant that combines a worm farm (through which the water will be filtered for dairy proteins to be ingested by worms) and capacitive deionisation (desalination).

The worm farm is currently in operation, running through 200 kilolitres of wastewater every day. This operation means that Booth will see a reduction of 3000 tonnes of carbon emission per year and will add 121,000 kilolitres of recycled water into the irrigation system each year.

 Litter Prevention Award

Plasticwise Beechworth, Beechworth
Envision Helping Hand
Plasticwise Beechworth are proud supporters of Envision alongside the Rotary E-Club of D 9790 and their local community.

Plasticwise Beechworth have engaged school children to collect the types 2 and 4 bottle tops, learn about recycling and how to be part of the solution.

With this project, they aim to help collect 1,000,000 bottle tops to recycle them into prosthetic hands, disability aids, STEM training tools, and Aged Care gadgets.


Glenelg Shire Council, Dartmoor
Smart Bins at Dartmoor
Glenelg Shire Council has addressed the overflow in street bins, which resulted from increased visitation to the Town, especially at the Free Campsite – Fort O’Hare.

In a trial being conducted by the Local Government, new smart bins have been installed in the main street. They contain a solar powered compactor inside that allows more waste and recyclable material to be disposed of before the need for emptying.

The sensor in the bins transmits an alert via email or phone using the 3G network. They are the only second Shire to be supplied with bins that have Mandarin on the wrap to help non-English speaking users.

Since the installation of the bins, the Council has not received a complaint of overflowing issues. The trial has also had an education component to it for visitors to the Shire.


St Peters Lutheran School, Dimboola
Christian Studies focus on community service
St Peters Lutheran School is a small P-6 school with 27 students.

The students are involved in community services as part of the Christian Studies that teaches them core values.

The program encourages the students go out into the community and clean up roadsides and gardens, teaching them about giving back to their communities and understanding issues around roadside litter.

The school also supports the Dimboola Town Committee with Clean Up Australia Day, filling several bags of litter.

The program helps the students understand love, justice, compassion, forgiveness, service, humility, courage, hope, quality and appreciation.

The students also visit the Kindergarten and Allambi Elderly Peoples home.


Dookie & District Development Forum, Dookie
Dookie DrumMuster
Over the last several years, Dookie Lions Club provided a collection service of used agricultural chemical drums for recycling.

The program operates for six months of the year on a monthly basis, commencing after cropping and finishing after harvest. To date, Dookie Lions Club has collected more than 50000 empty, clean drums. The money received from the ‘Drum Muster’ is put back into the community.

AgSafe & DrumMuster have acknowledged the work done by the Dookie Lions Club to promote the concept in the local district. In 2017, Dookie was honoured to have been asked to host the AgSafe/DrumMuster celebration of the acceptance of the 30 millionth drum for recycling collected Australia wide.


Wimmera CMA, Horsham
Horsham Fishing Comp Participant Online Portal
The Wimmera Catchment Management Authority (CMA) partnered with the Horsham Fishing Comp volunteer committee to convert the traditional paper-based map for event participants into an enhanced mobile-friendly online tool with greater information and accessibility.

The aim was to promote a more sustainable use of the river for recreation and increase awareness of specific local environmental values.

By having the map electronically, there was then no need for paper-based copies, reducing the amount of litter.

The mapping tool highlights competition zones along the river and outlines fishing rules and activities permitted or not permitted within each zone, as well as listing locations of emergency services in Horsham for visiting event participants unfamiliar with the area.

*Image courtesy The Weekly Advertiser


The Peninsula’s Last Straw, Rye
The Peninsula’s Last Straw
The Peninsula’s Last Straw is a community initiative inspired by The Last Straw and supported by Tangaroa Blue and the Keep Victoria Beautiful Gift Fund.

Volunteers have been working with local retailers to switch to paper straws. Retailers are provided with a trial of a range of paper straws, wall posters and counter artwork.

Since the launch of the campaign at the start of 2018 in Dromana, 16 retailers have ditched plastic straws and collectively stopped at least 40000 straws entering the environment.

The campaign has since expanded into Rye and Mount Martha, and soon will be implemented in Mornington.


St Joseph’s Primary School, Crib Point
Waste Management
Student led Sustainability Team wanted to make changes to the school’s waste management system.

They implemented soft plastic recycling, texta recycling and bread tag recycling, as well as improved the school’s commingled recycling and composting.

They students implemented St Joseph’s keep-me-cups at the local café and will be implementing nude food in Term 3.

They have also set up coffee pod recycling and used battery recycling.


Beach Patrol 3280-3284, Warrnambool
Pick Up Sticks
Beach Patrol 3280-3284 was formed in response to the discovery of excessive plastic pollution on local beaches. In particular, cotton bud sticks.

Since September 2017, Beach Patrol 3280-3284 volunteers and other community members have volunteered 2167 hours of their time to collect over 18250 cotton buds, 500000 nurdles and significant quantities of other litter from local beaches.

They have volunteered a further 978 hours to sort the plastic and upload the data to the Australian Marine Data Initiative (ADMI) database of Tangaroa Blue.

In addition, they have generated public awareness through social media and community events including the video ‘Stop Flushing Cotton Buds’, which was created by a local filmmaker and widely shared on social media.


Tally Men’s Shed volunteers, Tallygaroopna
Cans for Cash
Men’s Shed volunteers and others collected cans from the Football Club, Cricket Club, Bowling Club and the Recreation reserve where they had installed receptacles for collection.

A large crate is also situated next to the Men’s Shed where residents can deposit their cans. Collection bins are placed at strategic locations around the town also.

Yearly can collection reaps four tonnes of cans, as well as three tonnes of used batteries are also collected. The money goes back into the Men’s Shed funds for further betterment of the town and surrounds.

 Protection of the Environment Award

Beechworth Correctional Centre, Beechworth
The Raptors (Animal Rehabilitation Program)
The Raptors Program continued at Beechworth Correctional Centre and was operational since 15 January 2006, originally as a Rehabilitation Program for injured birds of prey.

The Program has evolved over the years with the help of enthusiastic and passionate prisoners, custodial officers, programs staff and prison management.

The grounds today have been transformed with beautiful gardens filled with Australian native plants, lovely pathways and greenery. The facilities have recently been rebuilt and offer some of the best rehabilitative and comfortable environments for the best hope of recovery and release.

The program is also now home to a range of different animals, no longer limited to “feathered friends”. The main goal is to rehabilitate the native animals so they can be released back into the wild and continue to care for those who can’t.

The Correctional Centre works with dedicated staff that is linked into the WIRES.


Snape Reserve Trust for Nature Committee of Management, Dimboola
2018-2019 Improvement and Management of Reserve
Snape reserve Dimboola is owned by Trust of Nature and was created by the Victorian Government in 1972. It is situated approximately 6 kilometres west of town.

The Reserve was purchased in June 2002, with a committee being formed in 2003 to manage the 846-hectare property.

Volunteers have worked 1937 hours on building, fencing, weeding and pest control. A total of 22 kilometres of tracks are mowed for firebreaks each year. Habitats have been made for the many birdwatching groups that visit and stay for weekends, as well as bird nesting boxes.


Wimmera CMA, Horsham
Wimmera River/ Burnt Creek Bank Stabilisation Works
Near the ANZAC Centenary Bridge on the Wimmera River, car and truck tyres had been previously placed on and buried in the riverbank as a means of stabilising bank erosion. Following construction of the bridge, there was an opportunity to undertake a project to remove the tyres and rid the river of a potential pollution threat, ensure stability of the bank into the future, and provide protection to the abutments of the Bridge.

Approximately 1200 car and truck tyres were removed from the edge of the river and carted away.

On Burnt Creek, growth of tress in the waterway was causing a build-up of debris resulting in diversion of the flow and erosion of the stream bank, so these were also removed.

Works on these two projects were carried out under the management of the WCMA with funding provided by the State Governments “Our Catchments, Our Communities Initiative”.

Honeysuckle Recreation Environment Project, Violet Town
Linking the Recreation and Shadforth Reserves
The revegetation of the Violet Town Recreation Reserve Honeysuckle Creek area has been the focus of the Honeysuckle Recreation Environment Project (HREP) for the past 15 years.

HREP’s long-term aim is to restore as much native habitat as possible in order to help the native animals, particularly the endangered phascogales, squirrel gliders and Grey Crowned Babblers, to survive and thrive.

Over the past two years, HREP has extended its project to include the development of wildlife corridors through the two residential blocks that separate the Recreation Reserve from the large Shadforth Reserve to the town’s north.

The group has embarked on a series of Gardens for Wildlife community sessions to encourage and guide the residents of that area, and all Violet Town residents, with information to help them redevelop their gardens into wildlife friendly environments.

Comprehensive bird surveys over many years are providing evidence of the project’s success.


Beechworth Urban Landcare & Sustainability, Beechworth
Beechworth Cemetery – Threatened Species Project
Beechworth General Cemetery was founded in 1857. The site is flat, has sandy soil and few rocks.

Rabbits arrived in the area around 1873 and have been a pest since.

Over the years, various kinds of fencing was erected but there was never a continuous rabbit exclusion netting fence around the perimeter.

Since the Cemetery contained wonderful examples of native vegetation (including threatened species), BULS applied for a Community Volunteer Action Grant from the Victorian Government agency DELWP. The funding enabled the undertaking of the largest and most complex BULS project.

From the outset, the project brief aimed for the most environmental improvement for native threatened plant species to provide the most benefit for the Beechworth community. It involved a large number of cooperative partnerships, including historical preservation, community engagement, and education through signage, public events and awareness of ‘Beechworthian’ Dame Jean McNamara.

 Resource Recovery & Waste Management Award

Quercus Beechworth, Beechworth
Beechworth Repair Café
The idea for a Repair Café was initially raised on the Beechworth Community Facebook page, with a suggestion that Quercus maybe interested in developing it.

Quercus discussed the idea with the Men’s Shed with view to a sharing of skills and expertise.

A student from Go TAFE on placement at Quercus, undertook research on the operations of a Repair Café. Her findings and proposal were presented to the Quercus Board and were approved, with a commitment to engaging the support of the local community.

The idea of a Repair Café and the concept of upcycling broken household items fits well with other initiatives that are taking place in Beechworth and surrounds, including Boomerang Bags, Plasticwise, food security activities, two successful Op Shops and a second-hand bookshop, all of which encourage to recycle/upcycle as a way of contributing to the community.


Beechworth Bakery, Beechworth
Bread Beer a “Rescue” Success
According to Beechworth Bakery Marty Matassoni, the Bread Beer produced by Bridge Road Brewers is recycling, or food rescue, at its best.

The end of the day bread is delivered to brewer Ben Kraus and is produced into a German wheat style beer that showcases the input of the bread. Once a month the bread, which is turned into crumbs by bakers, is wheeled around the corner, and brewed. The spent grain that is left is used by two local farmers as cattle fodder.




Dartmoor & District Progress Association Inc, Dartmoor
Recycling Education
Dartmoor has many avenues of recycling that not only collect the recyclable material but utilise it for projects and fundraisers.

Therecently installed Compacting Bins have created a lot of interest and are proving very successful. The Shire Officer involved is keen to interact with the school and community in any endeavour to increase awareness of Waste Management.

The Dartmoor Lions Club have a Metal Waste Container at their Clubrooms, which is available for residents to use. They also collect used batteries. These items are sold to assist the Lions Club with their fundraising efforts.

Knitting wool is collected and items such as rugs, Care Bears, premature baby caps and soft toys for use in am Adelaide hospital are made from it.


Hindmarsh Shire / Lions Club, Dimboola
Dimboola Transfer Station / Lions depot
Owned and operated by Hindmarsh Shire Council, the Dimboola Transfer Station is a facility that aims to provide maximum recovery of resources for waste materials collected locally on a weekly/ fortnightly basis.

Working in conjunction with the local Lions Club in Dimboola, the Hindmarsh Shire contract the delivery of waste cardboard and paper from local towns in the Shire to the Lions depot where the paper is stored and the cardboard is pressed into bundles until there is enough to be transported to its destination.


St Brigid’s College, Horsham
The Little Mermaid
Horsham’s St Brigid’s College annual school production is a chance for students to explore their musical theatre passions. The College also uses the opportunity to teach students and the audiences about environmental sustainability.

Environmental sustainability was a significant theme in the school’s 2018 production of The Little Mermaid, particularly within the sets and costumes.

The sets, props and some of the elaborate costumes were created from recycled and reused materials. The throne, skull and chef tables were all created by repurposing recycled materials from school and building waste. King Triton and Ursula’s costumes were made from a large number of recycled items and repurposed materials from donations and treasures found in op shops like St Vinnies.

The Little Mermaidreceived great interest from community groups to reuse the sets for new purposes which continued the chain of sustainability

*Image source The Weekly Advertiser


Horsham Boomerang Bags, Horsham
Wildlife Pouches
Rae Talbot and her husband Joe have been developing a wildlife shelter at their home in Minyip.

The couple have welcomed native animals from wallabies to possums and even reptiles, to stay at their wildlife shelter until they are ready to leave the bush sanctuary and re-join the bush land they came from.

When a local kindergarten in Horsham was re-branded, there were many jumpers that were no longer able to be worn by the students.

The Boomerang Bags committee reached out to the kindergarten and collected all the jumpers. Volunteers from the committee turned them into much needed animal pouches for baby wallabies and kangaroos to keep warm.


Southern Aurora Memorial Committee, Violet Town
Restoration of an original Southern Aurora Carriage
Restoring, resurrecting and cleaning of an original Southern Aurora railway carriage. Doomed to be transported to be demolished after sitting in the Newport site for years, and a victim of vandalism, the original Southern Aurora railway carriage was gifted to the Violet Town community to stand as a symbol for the men and women who died, were injured and those who came to their aid.

The main feature in the gardens is the stainless-steel carriage. Following the sustainability practices that Violet Town is renowned for, however, the bulk of the materials used in the creation of the gardens area is reused, recycled or reconstituted.


Seawinds Boomerang Bags, Capel Sound
Uniforms 4U
Seawinds Boomerang Bags have partnere with Uniforms 4 all, helping to repair or alter donated school uniforms to families in need around the peninsula.

During the last year, the group have helped hundreds of families to clothe their children. They repaired hems and zips; had washed donated clothing and raised money from the sale of bags to buy school shoes.

The group strongly feels that every child deserves a school uniform that fits and is like new; good, strong shoes and a warm coat in winter.

The group holds uniform swaps every school holidays or are available mid-term when needed.

 Young Leaders Award (A group or individual aged 25 years or under)

Indigo Shire’s Youth LGBTIQ+ Support group, Beechworth
Rainbow Ball
A ground-breaking Indigo Shire’s youth LGBTIQ+ support group led event for young people in North East Victoria.

The event encapsulated a sense of pride and celebration, in a space where young people felt safe, free from judgement and discrimination. It broke down many barriers that many young LGBTIQA+ people in regional Victoria face – especially a sense of isolation – and built relationships with other LGBTIQA+ young people, built their resilience and instilled a sense of community.

The success was due to the fact that it wasn’t an idea that came from an adult but young people. It was the creativity and the passion of the young people that inspired it, mentored and supported by passionate skilled youth workers.

The free buses were another big part of success as transport is always a key issue for young people in the country. Free transport!! Free food!! Free entry!!


Lachlan Schultz, Dimboola
Leads by example
Lachlan Schultz aged 20, is a natural leader among his peers who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and do the work required to see a project through to its end.

While Lachlan showed leadership from a young age, his leadership in the sport of water skiing best describes this remarkable young man.

After placing in the top 10 nationally in 2016, 2017 and 2018 along with state level podium placings Lachlan became the Victorian State Champion and the National Master in 2019.

Vice president of the Dimboola Boat and Water Ski Club, he played a key role in the Peter Taylor Memorial Ski Event that attracted world class competitors to Dimboola as well as playing a key role in the management of the ski course with their award winning four-point management plan.


Cooper Roscouet, Beechworth
Creative Thinking for Social Causes
Cooper is currently in Year 7 at the Montessori Adolescent Program at Beechworth Secondary College.

When in Year 4, Cooper learned about the plight of Syrian refugees when his class watched a segment on Behind the News, the ABC educational program. He decided he had to do something to help.

Along with a couple of other students, Cooper organised a slushie stand at an event at the skate park in Beechworth, raising just over $230. He sent the proceeds to the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC)for Syrian refugees.

In Year 5, Cooper set up a coffee machine in the foyer of Beechworth Montessori School and served coffee and hot drinks for parents and staff before school every Friday. He expanded this service, as part of a Social Enterprise project in Year 6, working with a fellow student who baked cakes.

Cooper continued to donate the proceeds to the cause for Syrian refugees. Cooper received a certificate and handwritten letter from UNHRC thanking him for his work. The letter explained that the money he had raised was being put towards installing better lighting in refugee camps to make them safer.


Rebecca Albrecht, Dimboola
Rebekah Albrecht is a shining example of a young person who always strives to give their best and to make a difference in the lives of others.

Rebekah is a member of the Hindmarsh Shire Youth Council, she was a winner of Premier’s Spirit of ANZAC Prize; in 2018 she received the Order of Australia Association Hindmarsh Branch Student Citizenship Award; won Dimboola Youth Citizen of the year 2019; and was elected as Dimboola Memorial Secondary College School Captain for 2019.

Rebekah also participated in the Bayerische Jugendring (BJR) German exchange program in 2017/2018. Rebekah plays hockey for the Dimboola Hockey Club during winter and has assisted with umpiring the Minkey hockey games for young primary students. She has also volunteered to umpire junior matches on Saturdays and represented the Wimmera Hockey Association.


Tom Dunn, Horsham
Tom Dunn is a young Australian Adventurer/Advocate.

At just 23 years, Tom is already a record setting, ultra-endurance athlete who has raised over $100,000 for charity through his trips.

By pushing himself to surpass his own and others’ expectations, Tom has created and promotes the message that “Anyone can do anything, if given the opportunity”.

Tom has also created a brand of “Advocacy through Adventure” and promotes and encourages others within the community who take on similar philanthropic efforts.

 Tidy Town 2019 Finalists

  • Beechworth
  • Violet Town
  • Dartmoor
  • Dimboola
  • Horsham