Sustainable Communities - Tidy Towns
2020 Awards Winners

Sustainable Community – Tidy Town of the year 2020


Located approximately 75 kilometres south of Melbourne, Hastings started as a Western Port Bay fishing village and has a very busy and colourful foreshore and marina.

Hastings’ extensive waterfront foreshore offers many beautiful natural and historical features, as well as walking tracks and public spaces. It is also home to vibrant art, culture and local history.

A significant area of Western Port north of Hastings has been declared a Marine National Park, and the entire area is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The local mudflats support significant mangrove forests, being the most southerly species of mangrove in the world. The mangrove forests are natural fish hatcheries, important for the maintenance of good fish populations in the bay

Community Awards (joint) Winner

Mornington Peninsula Shire Municipal Emergency
Mallacoota Evacuation

Local agencies through the Incident Control Centre and Royal Australian Navy were looking at options on how to assist up to 4,000 people gathered on the beach at Mallacoota. Overall command was through the State Control Centre, the sea phase was coordinated by the Royal Australian Navy, the shore phase at Mallacoota was coordinated by VicPOL and supported by Red Cross. The shore phase in Westernport was through the Regional Controller with Mornington Peninsula Shire providing local coordination of agencies to facilitate the repatriation of evacuees to family.

Community engagement was undertaken through each of the agencies. Overall outcome of the project was the speedy repatriation of evacuees in a caring manner.

Tomorrow Today Education Foundation
Wanna Play but Can’t Pay – Sports Initiative

Being involved in sport and other recreational activities improves the health and wellbeing of young people. This positive connection to community also helps keep them engaged with school and learning. The cost of extracurricular activities, however, is beyond reach for many families in Benalla who struggle to afford basic needs.

Since 2016, Tomorrow Today, Benalla’s community foundation, has worked closely with local clubs and groups to connect kids to clubs. Benalla’s Sports Initiative is part of a sustained community effort to improve long-term educational results and combat entrenched disadvantage.

Boomerang Bags Mount Martha
‘Scrubs’ for COVID-19 Medical Staff

Echuca Neighbourhood House
Free Community Soup Deliveries

Education Awards Winner

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Crib Point
The Sea is our Best Friend

The Sea is our Best Friend program runs within the year 3/4 learning community. Extending on work in 2019, the project continues to connect community and learning through the lens of environment.

Working alongside an Indigenous specialist teacher, the students are engaged in learning more about the Boon Wurrung peoples’ perspectives through onsite visits. Working in partnership with local community groups and experts has proven to be an integral part of the learning experience as well as sharing the acquired knowledge with the rest of the community and other schools in the area.

Energy Awards Winner

Horsham Rural City Council
Energising Communities

Horsham Council owns and maintains a network of community halls across rural areas of the municipality. These halls are important focal points of the community for many local clubs and social events. Much of the maintenance of these halls is undertaken by local committees of management, and energy bills often being a large portion of the expenditure of these committees.

The installation of solar panels helps reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions and proved a great financial saving. The immediate success of this initiative meant that Council is planning for installation of further solar panels at each of its community halls in the 2020-21 financial year.

Environment Awards Winner

Dolphin Research Institute
i sea i care Marine Ambassadors

The innovative i sea i care Marine Ambassador program started in 2000 to generate a longer lasting impact in schools than just a one-day excursion.

The program is driven by a commitment to put sustainability at the top of a school’s priorities and to empower student voices as environmental leaders.

This is achieved through collaborative partnerships with organisations such as Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water and local councils, which support the program’s delivery and provide opportunities for community engagement.

The objective is to promote significant behaviour change, focusing on the key aims of Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle as a last resort. The program has grown from 25 schools in 2011 to almost 100 this year across the Melbourne Metropolitan area, with some that have participated for over 12 years

Heritage & Culture Awards Winner

Willaura Modern Incorporated
HE(ART)BEAT of Willaura

The Willaura Railway Station was the first building constructed in Willaura in 1870.

Over the years, the building fell into disrepair and vandals destroyed the interior. A committed group of volunteers worked with Victrack, Ararat Council, and the Willaura Historical Society to restore the building under the Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings Program.

It is now in full use as a gallery space, cultural precinct and activity hub, managed by Willaura Modern Incorporated, a voluntary organisation with the aim of bringing back to life the main street of the town.

The renovated building and landscaped surrounds offer the local community space and opportunity to display their art works, as well as attract visitors, photographers and artists to Willaura in order to boost the small local economy by supporting existing business.

Indigenous Awards Winner

Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-Operative
Goolum Goolum NAIDOC Art Exhibition 2019

Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-Operative (GGAC) NAIDOC 2019 Art project was initiated in response to community feedback regarding the lack of opportunities for local Aboriginals to learn, share teachings and celebrate local language and culture in an artistic way.

This project concluded in 2019 NAIDOC week, with an amazing Art Exhibition, showcasing all works that had been completed throughout the project timelines. This exhibition was an overwhelming success, gaining immense positive feedback, huge attendance and high standard of pieces submitted.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Youth Services

Litter Awards Winner

Josephine Jones
Map of Australia

The Map of Australia was created for the ‘Sculpture for Plastic or Planet’ exhibition hosted by Melbourne Zoo and National Geographic.

To create the final map, 200 kilograms of litter collected from Rye was sorted through, to obtain 16 kilograms that was used in the final sculpture. Of this, 5.5 thousand cigarette butts were recovered and registered with Tangaroa Blue Tangaroa Blue Foundation – an Australia-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris.

The map also served as an educational tool via signage that was part of the installation.

A Team

 Social Well-Being Awards Winner

Tomorrow Today Education Foundation
Connect9 mentoring program

Connect9 is a ten-week community-based mentoring program designed specifically for Benalla’s young people by Tomorrow Today.

The program is part of a sustained community effort to improve long-term educational results and combat entrenched disadvantage. Young people participate in weekly after-school activities that expand their horizons – connecting them to new hobbies, people, experiences and different sports, as well as setting life and career goals.

Every Connect9 student is matched with a community mentor, who will be their ‘buddy’ throughout the program. Community Mentors are local people who volunteer their time to make a positive difference in the lives of Benalla’s young people.

The past four recipients of the Benalla Rural City Council Young Achiever of the Year have been Connect9 mentees.

Cherished Pets Foundation
Community Pet Care Project

Wimmera Hospice Care Auxiliary
Wimmera Hospice Care Auxiliary

 Waste Awards Winner

Campaspe Shire Council
Give a Scrap

Campaspe Shire Council began planning in 2018 for the combined food and garden waste kerbside service that began on1 July 2019.

This service was an expansion of the existing opt-in garden organics service and was coordinated by the Environmental Projects Officer – Organics. The planning phase included research conducted on food and garden waste services around Australia and developing program documents for implementation, communication and education, community engagement, risk management and evaluation.

With the assistance of community surveys and focus groups, the ‘Give a Scrap’ program was finalised and communication/education activities commenced in early 2019.

The ‘Give a Scrap’ program has been instrumental in keeping the contamination rate very low (0.26%) and currently 67% of residents have opted into the service – an 11% increase from the start of the program.

Rye Community House
Zero Waste Festival

 Young Legend Awards (joint) Winner

Zack Currie
Horsham Agricultural Society

Zack came to the Horsham district from Bonnie Doon aged 18, as a wool buyer. He quickly became involved in volunteering for the Ag Society.

In 2016, Zack won the Junior Show Ambassador Award for the Wimmera Area. He has also been elected to the position of Show Committee President (2019) (Youngest ever), was voted Young Citizen of the year for Horsham in 2019 and has been an active member of the Horsham Catholic Church.

Under his leadership, the AG Society has moved in a different direction. He is regularly asked to be a guest speaker to inspire people.

Zack is truly a leader and people person.

Harrison Hansen
Westernport Secondary College

In his four years at Westernport Secondary College, Harrison has consistently supported the school and local community.

He has been involved in mentoring programs, community initiatives, school tours, school camps, sport activities and community days.

Despite missing large amounts of class time due to his responsibilities and extra-curricular activities, Harrison values his education and is one of the school’s best students.

Harrison is an exceptional young man who embodies all school values with every interaction, presenting an intelligent, youthful and extremely positive image.

Mia Rovere
Sexy and Safe Youth Consultations


 Dame Phyllis Frost 2020 Award Winner

Jacqueline Salter

Often when working in the natural environment it is easy to become despondent particularly when faced with Climate Change and its impacts which affect wildlife, nature and people. Jacqueline, however, always manages to inspire and enthuse, and find creative solutions. Her attitude has been a driving force behind many of the positive changes and alliances that have taken place throughout the Mornington Peninsula over the past decade.

The Landcare Biolink Project has become a community of landholders linking up their bushland with their neighbours across four catchments. This has had a huge impact on strengthening community morale and information exchange and improving biodiversity at a landscape scale.

Jacqui has also put a lot of her energy into inspiring and educating children as well as providing support for women living with or working in the natural systems, including linking up with ‘Woman on Farms‘ and recently initiating a ‘Women in Conservation’ mentoring program to help empower women working within the natural systems industry.


Dederang Primary School
Fights War on School Waste 

Turtle Bend Event Committee
Turtle Bend Facilities Upgrade

DC Green Team
DC Carbon Sink

Sustainable Table
Washed Up. Not Wasted

Willaura Modern Incorporated
He(ART)BEAT of our Town: Courthouse Studio