Tidy Towns - Sustainable Communities 2019 Awards Winners

Tidy Town of the year 2019


Located in Victoria’s north-east, the town of Beechworth is surrounded by trees, parklands and historical buildings making it a popular tourist destination.

Its Tidy Town Committee’s hard work and commitment is exemplary. Beechworth is dedicated to growing sustainable practices that protect and enhance Beechworth and the community, and should be extremely proud of their achievements.

Beechworth has undertaken some exceptional projects including waste and recycling in schools; rehabilitation of raptors and other wildlife; Total Renewable Beechworth; social enterprise initiative to assist Syrian refugees; installation of a pontoon and the beautification of Lake Sambell; protection of vegetation in the cemetery; Festival of Change; Student Environment Day; reclamation of Town Hall pipe organ; events to promote wellbeing and inclusiveness.

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.

Dimboola Memorial Secondary College, Mosaic Welcome Board

Clean Beach/ Waterways

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.

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

Community Action & Leadership Award (population 3000 and below)

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)

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.

Community Government Partnership Award

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.

Indigo Shire and Beechworth Presenters, Beechworth, 40th Student Environment Day
Rainbow Progress Association, Rainbow, The Oasis – Community Hub
Tally Men’s Shed volunteers, Tallygaroopna, Tallygaroopna Men’s Shed
Horsham Rural City Council, Horsham, Sunnyside Park Landscape Plan
Southern Aurora Memorial Committee, Violet Town, 50th Commemoration of Southern Aurora Disaster

Cultural Heritage Award

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.

Violet Town and District Gallery Museum Inc, Violet Town, Revitalising History
Dookie & District Development Forum, Dookie, Dookie Walking Track Signage
Beechworth Burke Museum and Precinct, Beechworth, Burke Museum – ‘Important Milestones’
Beechworth Organ Society, Beechworth, Beechworth Historic Town Hall Organ Project

Environmental Sustainability Award

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.

The Salvation Army, Horsham, The Patch
Violet Town Community House, Violet Town, 
A Garden called Mary

 Litter Prevention Award

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.

 Protection of the Environment Award

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

 Resource Recovery & Waste Management Award

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)

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.

Cooper Roscouet, Beechworth, Creative Thinking for Social Causes
Rebecca Albrecht, Dimboola

 Dame Phyllis Frost 2019 Award Winner

Gary Aitken has been a dedicated member of the Wimmera River Improvement Committee for over twenty years.

Every Wednesday he leads a band of willing volunteers who undertake works along the river frontage and adjoining areas. He is instrumental in lobbying Council and other agencies for works to improve the river environment and seeking funding to enable these works to occur.

Gary Aitken is a most involved and committed volunteer environmentalist in Horsham and a current energetic, committed and valued member of the Horsham Tidy Towns Committee.

Gary has been and continues to be involved in many Horsham Community Committees in a voluntary capacity.

In 2010 Gary was awarded the Horsham Rural City Council “Citizen of the Year” for his community involvement, and in 2011 received the Victorian Government Certificate of Appreciation as part of the International Year of the Volunteer.