Sustainable Communities - Tidy Towns
2021 Awards Winners

Sustainable Community – Tidy Town of the year 2021



Located on the banks of the Wimmera River, Horsham, the capital of the Wimmera, is the gateway to the Silo Art Trail and the North Western Side of the Grampians National Park. A lively city with a vibrant river and friendly locals, Horsham is also renowned for its dynamic arts and cultural communities.

Surrounding Horsham are vast wheat fields, pastoral land and colourful fields of wildflowers. To the south-east, along the Western Highway, are the Wimmera Lakes which form part of the Wimmera-Mallee irrigation system.



Community Awards Winner

Wimmera Cancer Centre, HORSHAM
Wimmera Cancer Centre, Horsham
Wimmera Cancer Centre, Horsham was founded by Wimmera/Southern Mallee communities with State and Federal Government funding. Approximately $1.6million (and counting) has been donated to the project.

After three years of fundraising, the centre was opened in January 2019.

Don Johns OAM, former Chair Horsham Tidy Towns Committee, was the key campaigner, and is responsible for coining the slogan ‘Give where you live’.

His passion and vision was a building to deliver cancer, dialysis and hospice care services.

The Community fundraising campaign ‘Rachael’s Wish’ was named after Rachael Littore, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2013. Rachael wrote to the Federal Member for Mallee for support for a new centre. Then Prime Minister, Tony Abbott visited Wimmera Health Care Group (WHCG) and committed $1million to the project.

Education Awards (Joint) Winner

Seawinds Community Hub, CAPEL SOUND
COVID Computer Campaign
When COVID-19 closed down the Mornington Peninsula, many children struggled to do their online home schooling on a parent’s mobile phone.

A call out to the community resulted in over 100 donated laptops, iPads and Chrome books. The Men’s Shed refurbished these and prepared them to be donated to local children.

Not only was old electronic equipment reused and recycled, it also supported teachers and enhanced the learning capabilities of the community.


Mornington Peninsula Foundation No Limits Program Mornington Peninsula Primary Schools and feeder kindergarten, CAPE SOUND, HASTINGS, TYABB, CRIB POINT, MORNINGTON PARK
No Limits Program
Consultation for the development of the ‘No Limits Education Program’ was undertaken by the Mornington Peninsula Foundation with Principals and staff from the Mornington Peninsula’s vulnerable kindergartens and primary schools.

The key issue effecting children’s learning was identified as low levels of oral language.

Three hundred children were tested at ten intervention sites and three comparison sites in Term 1 of 2019, with results showing that 92% of children required some form of oral language intervention, compared to 10% of the general population.

The ‘No Limits Education’ program employs over five Speech Therapists to assess, individualise and imbed a developmental program on the curriculum to support over 700 children during the next three years to increase their oral language and literacy development.

Energy Awards Winner

Horsham Rural City Council, HORSHAM
Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange (HRLE) Roofing
In 2020, Horsham Rural City Council implemented a project to roof the HRLE Saleyards.

This project provides significant energy and environmental benefits including solar energy panels, water conservation, animal welfare and environmental safety.



Environment Awards Winner

Willum Warrain Aboriginal Settlement, HASTINGS
Pun Pun Waterholes
Willum Warrain is an Aboriginal Gathering Place in Hastings. Its name means “home” or “place by the sea” in the local First Nation’s language, Boon Wurrung.

Over the last few years, Willum Warrain has created a series of ephemeral water holes called Pun Puns.

Water flows across an adjacent industrial precinct and a former landfill site to collect at the rear corner of the property which is leased from the Mornington Peninsula Shire.

The Indigenous community has managed these wetlands area over time by reducing introduced aquatic weeds and replacing them with local indigenous species.

Buloke and Northern Grampians Landcare Network, ST ARNAUD & DISTRICT
Connecting our Communities with the Environment

Heritage & Culture Awards Winner

Friends of Stanley Athenaeum, STANLEY
Hearts of Gold and Minds of Mettle
Stanley Athenaeum celebrated International Women’s Day with the book launch of Hearts of Gold and Minds of MettleNineteenth Century Women of Stanley, at the Soldiers Memorial Hall which drew a crowd of approximately 150 people.

Research uncovered that more than 100 women who were born in the 1800s and had spent most of their lives in the district, had never been written in local history. Researchers discovered recorded history but found that the women were effectively invisible as they were only acknowledged through their husband’s or father’s names.

The project encompassed many hours of research, with the book bridging gaps of missing information of the women, finally identifying the contribution and legacy to the community.

Indigenous Awards Winner

Dirrawarra Indigenous Network, WANGARATTA
Marmungun Rock Ceremony
The Marmungun Rock Ceremony and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community recognises the Wangaratta Citizen of the Year who has demonstrated the qualities of an Elder – community service, integrity and wisdom.

The Wangaratta Citizen of the Year recipient has their handprint carved into the Marmungun Rock which is situated in Apex Park, Wangaratta. These handprints are an enduring tribute to outstanding individuals in the community.

The Marmungun Rock concept was conceived by respected Elder Wally Cooper whose pride in his Indigenous heritage and message of hope for the future inspired many. His ability to connect with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people has helped to build respect, understanding and reconciliation.

Litter Awards Winner

Beach Patrol 3280-3284, WARRNAMBOOL
Better Buds campaign
Colleen instigated the volunteer beach clean-up program on Shelly Beach after she made the disgusting discovery of ‘plastic sticks’ littering the beach.

Cotton buds are sewage-related debris, and the sticks were escaping from the local sewage ocean outfall after being inappropriately flushed down the toilet.

Local campaigners teamed up with Warrnambool East Primary School and Warrnambool City Council to develop and implement a local and national campaign to stop plastic cotton bud litter. They gained public support by encouraging locals to make the #BetterBudsPledge (promising to not buy or flush plastic stemmed cotton buds). They reached out to retailers that sell, and industries that use, cotton buds, calling on them to move to sustainable alternatives. They also lobbied Government to include plastic-stemmed cotton buds as a single-use plastic item to ban in their single use plastics policies.

 Social Well-Being Awards (Joint) Winner

Nans Baby Bundles
Nan’s Baby Bundles was started by Judy to give needy mothers on the Mornington Peninsula a helping hand. They are distributed by care organisations that deal directly with those needing help and support.

Relying on generous donations from local supporters within the community allows the bundles to keep coming.

Judy faced difficulties during COVID with distribution but are now back on track.


Western Port Secondary College, HASTINGS
Connecting Schools and Community
Western Port Secondary College’s response to COVID-19 lockdown was aimed at maintaining connectedness of students to the school, peers and the broader community.

This involved a major change to the school’s way of delivering education that prioritised activities to enhance health and wellbeing, as well as resilience within the Hastings community, families and staff.

A large variety of activities and programs were implemented across the Term 2 & 3 lockdown for students and staff. As restrictions eased, and to support students as they returned to onsite learning, the school also introduced a number of initiatives which included COVID-safe lunch.

Kyabram Blue Light, KYABRAM
KyFit program (Gym based mentoring program)

 Waste Awards Winner

Mildura Rural City Council, MILDURA
Sending food and garden waste to a better place
On 6 July 2020, Mildura Rural City Council launched its Three-Bin Kerbside System, which included a Weekly Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) service in conjunction with a fortnightly garbage bin pickup and the existing fortnightly kerbside recycling collection.

This has been a significant change in the way the community is managing its waste and represents a commitment towards reducing the impact on the environment by reducing waste to landfill and recovering organic waste for beneficial use in our farming areas.

The diversion of kerbside waste from landfill has risen from 24% in the previous 12 months prior to the introduction of the FOGO bins to a staggering 73% in the first nine months of the service.

Horsham Tidy Towns Committee, HORSHAM
Polyrok Soft Plastic Reuse- Coles Carpark Horsham

 Young Legend Awards Winner

Bart Turgoose, HORSHAM
Bart is a sixteen-year-old Horsham College student and is a school-based trainee studying Certificate III in Business.

Bart is very involved in many community-based activities and is held in high regard within many associations in Horsham. In addition, Bart has founded his own businesses “Worm King” selling worms and “Barts Clay Target Adventures”, which encourages young people to join in clay target shooting.

Bart has an interest in social media and photography. He reported the competition activities for the Horsham Show on their Facebook page over show week. He is employed as a casual at Business Horsham and also works as a retail assistant at Horsham Electronics.

 Dame Phyllis Frost 2021 Award Winner

Mandy Robertson
Mandy has worked for a decade as the passionate and cheery Education Director at Dolphin Research Institute (DRI), delivering environmental and leadership programs.

Member of Beach Patrol for three years, Mandy attends regular beach and ocean clean-up events, including the Rye Seaside Scavenge. She’s been a driving force in the current ‘Save Our Spider Crabs’ campaign tosecure a ‘no-take’ season during aggregation.

Mandy has been a volunteer water sampler for the three-year Port PhillipEcoCentre/RMIT Sunscreen project, testing for chemicals harmful to coral reefs. Mandy contributes regular litter surveys to the Tangaroa Blue National Marine Debris Database through partnership with EcoCentre. She’s coordinated with numerous stakeholders to restore coastal habitats through the DRI Ambassador Program.

Mandy has exhibited strong leadership skills, volunteering to be a mentor for the inaugural Women in Conservation Mentoring Program 2019-2020. She has been invited by Monash University to mentor new graduate teachers establishing sustainability in their classrooms.

In 2020, Mandy became a certified Climate Reality Leader through Al Gore’s Climate Reality Training and was recognised as ‘Environment Education Victoria’s Community Educator of the Year’.


Lifestyle Communities, SHEPPARTON
Green Team

Lions Club of Corio Norlane Inc, CORIO
Corio Lions Bicycle Maintenance Program

Dartmoor & District Progress Association Inc, DARTMOOR
Quench the Thirst