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2017 Greater Sydney Regional Landcare Award Winners

Nine groups or individuals received a Regional Landcare Award across five categories at the recent Greater Sydney Local Land Services Regional Landcare Bushcare Forum in May 2017. Greater Sydney Local Land Services will nominate all regional category award winners to the NSW Landcare Awards to be held in Albury in October 2017.

Award Categories

Individual Volunteer 

Winner - Mark Fuller  Originally from England Mark has been working on environmental projects in western Sydney for the last 10 years. A passionate amateur ornithologist he has developed two brochures filled with his own beautiful photos: the Birds of western Sydney and Wetlands birds of the Sydney region. He has been instrumental in fighting to protect important conservation areas in his local area. He has even developed a short course in partnership with TAFE on the birds of western Sydney and features regularly on ABC’s 702 radio.  He is currently on the committee of the Cumberland Land Conservancy which aims acquire and conserve land for wildlife conservation in western Sydney.

Highly Commended - Susan Bottrill  Susan has been a mentor and steward for her local bushcare group for the past 12 years. She puts in upwards of 250 hours of volunteering every year, and has helped to take the site from a degraded creek bank to a suburban oasis of diverse and thriving native plants. Susan has been a champion for landcare by engaging private landholders adjacent to the site, fighting for protection of environmentally sensitive land in her local area and sharing her passion with everyone she meets.

Coastcare Award

Winner - Clean4Shore  Clean4Shore has been pulling rubbish out of our coastal waterways for the last six years. The group started out as a winter activity for junior surf life saving kids, using the surf life saving “rubber duckies” to ferry kids around local beaches to pick up rubbish. This then evolved into its own program including schools, scouts and other youth groups. In 2016, the group has pulled a staggering 182,800 individual litter items out of local waterways weighing in at 53 tonnes.

Highly Commended - Norah Head LIghthouse Coastcare Norah Head LIghthouse Coastcare volunteers have worked tirelessly for the last 20 years restoring native vegetation at an iconic site on the central coast. They have installed signs, engaged with the Green Army program, won grants for numerous on-ground weed control and revegetation projects, engaged the local community and helped to highlight and celebrate the aboriginal cultural heritage of the site.

Junior Landcare Team

Winner - Brisbane Water Secondary College Brisbane Water Secondary College has participated in 15 field trips removing litter from local waterways. Students also collect data on the litter collected and conduct surveys of local creeks.  Students have even spoken at local Rotary Clubs and other community groups talking about their work. They have removed almost 6 tonnes of rubbish from their local environment and have inspired other schools to take on similar programs.

Young Landcare Leader

Winner - Jade Paton Jade started out as a Green Army participant and then became a Green Army supervisor focusing on wetlands in the Hawkesbury area. She has been an inspiration not just to her Green Army team but also the Hawkesbury Environment Network who hosted the Green Army group. Jade has gone on the start her own youth focused landcare group called 'Wetlands Warriors' that continues the work she began as a Green Army participant.

Highly Commended - Frances O'Brien Frances has been running Wahroonga Waterways Landcare Group for the last three years. She has been instrumental in attracting new community members to the group, educating local residents, leading school groups and attracting funding. She has been part of the Greater Sydney Landcare Network's Young Landcare Leader program as well as being a member of a number of other groups such as the Youth Climate Council. She has also just graduated from law school.

Indigenous Land Management

Winner Garguree Swampcare Garguree Swampcare has adopted a highly degraded swamp system surrounded by urban housing in Katoomba NSW. The site was originally an aboriginal settlement which was displaced by a racetrack in 1957. The race track was abandoned a few years later and the site was left as public space. In 2002 the area was declared an Aboriginal Place and in 2012 our group began rehabilitating the site, not only to improve the environmental values but also for local aboriginal people to connect to country.

Community Group

Winner - The Habitat Network The Habitat Network not only runs a native plant nursery, they also have a community food garden, sell plants direct to the public, and create wildlife habitat corridors, especially for small birds. Always looking to engage the wider community this group have worked tirelessly to promote native plants and the importance of maintaining and creating habitat.