Environmental heroes honoured at 2015 Western Australian Landcare Awards
Nine of the state's most impressive environmental achievements have been recognised at the 2015 Western Australian Landcare Awards, with the winners representing the diverse work of the landcare movement with activities ranging from sustainable farming practices to rehabilitation of coastal sites.
The biennial awards ceremony, held last night at the Mandurah Convention Centre, in conjunction with the State Natural Resource Management Conference, celebrated individual and community volunteer projects that have made significant contributions to the environment in local communities around Western Australia.
Mr Malcolm McCusker, AO CVO QC, Patron of Landcare Australia in WA, announced the winners and congratulated them for their outstanding efforts which have created positive outcomes for environmental sustainability.
"All of the nominees and winners should be incredibly proud of the impact they have made in protecting the natural resources in their communities," he said.
Mr McCusker added that "volunteers play a vital role in restoring and maintaining our environment at a local level, and the Landcare Awards is a terrific opportunity to acknowledge their efforts and celebrate their achievements."
All the winners of the nine categories will go through as nominees from Western Australia for their respective categories at the 2016 National Landcare Awards to be held next year.
The State and Territory Landcare Awards are run in WA by the Department of Agriculture and Food (WA), supported by Landcare Australia through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme.
Winners of the 2015 Western Australian Landcare Awards are:
Australian Government Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator Award
Jill Richardson, Katanning
Jill has spent 25 years dedicated to furthering landcare in Western Australia, as a long time employee of the Katanning Land Conservation District Committee, a farmer with her husband Adrian putting landcare into practice, and as a volunteer, most notably at present as inaugural Chair of the WA Landcare Network.
Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award
Rhonda Williams, Bremer Bay
Rhonda, with her husband Ross, manages a sustainable and profitable sustainable farming enterprise in the south coast region and has ensured landcare was part of their system from the beginning. They have hosted 20 field days and 30 on farm trials and Rhonda's influence has extended across regional and local government levels, and included over 8,100 volunteer hours.
Australian Government Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices Award
Southampton Homestead, Balingup
The philosophy of Southampton Homestead is that all is connected and interdependent and owners Jeff Pow and Michelle McManus have put this into practice by using Holistic Management to grow and process all food on their farm and bring the produce directly to their customers, enhancing .animal welfare outcomes and regenerating their soil.
Australian Government Partnerships with Landcare Award
South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare,
From its origins of five community groups in Perth's southern suburbs, SERCUL provides a regional hub for landcare groups to pool resources, share services, and build capacity and partnerships to care for the natural and cultural assets of their region. It has evolved into one of the largest not for profit, community driven landcare groups in Australia.
West Coastcare (inc), Karrinyup, Perth
West Coastcare (Inc) evolved from a group of seven individuals in 2007 to being responsible for the management, educational and sustainability activities of Mettams Pool, North Beach, in partnership with local government, City of Stirling, Marmion Primary School and the local community.
Manpower Young Landcare Leader Award
Ella Maesepp, Katanning
Ella had a key involvement in bringing millions of dollars of funds into the Upper Blackwood area leading to the establishment of more than 800,000 trees, 400km of fences and over 700 ha of perennial pastures. Ella has also been a member of the Australian Landcare Council and lead author of Engaging the 20-somethings in Landcare, helping groups better understand their connection with Gen Y.
Junior Landcare Team Award
Esperance Senior High School Bush Rangers Cadets,
The Esperance Senior High School Bush Rangers Cadets are a group of 14-16 year old students who learn about landcare principles and values and apply them to their own circumstances, educating others on the way. The Bush Rangers have undertaken dune rehabilitation at a popular Esperance beach, removing weeds and re-introducing native plants to the dune system.
Indigenous Land Corporation Indigenous Land Management Award
Woolkabunning Kiaka INC, Roelands
Wookabunning Kiaka (INC), working from Roelands Village in the South West of WA, has delivered programs such as the youth focused RESPECT program, signed and carried out a volunteer MoU with South West TAFE, established WKI Works Crew and run Roelands Village Community Volunteer Action Days.
Fairfax Landcare Community Group Award
Blackwood Basin Group, Boyup Brook
The Blackwood Basin Group has been coordinating community managed landcare projects across the Blackwood Catchment for over two decades, working with 54 catchment groups, assisting over 500 farming families and delivering more than $16million of landcare activities in this time. The strength of their work comes from the partnerships they established with industry, government and the local community.
The Landcare movement is made up of approximately 4,000 Landcare and 2,000 Coastcare volunteer groups across Australia that work on environmental projects in their local communities. The groups that fall under the Landcare umbrella are varied in nature and don't necessarily include Landcare in their names, including productive farming groups, 'Friends of', Bushcare, Coastcare, Rivercare, and Dunecare. Landcare also includes farmers embracing sustainable farm management and any community group that partakes in volunteer environmental activities