Hosted by the Victorian Coastal Council the awards presentation followed receipt of an impressive line up of nominations, resulting in the selection of 16 finalists across 5 different categories including, education. community action and partnerships and the natural environment.
The Awards night began with a welcome to country by Wurundjeri elder, Auntie Diane Kerr. The Minister for Environment and Climate Change spoke of the importance of the coast to all Victorians and praised the efforts of people in protecting and maintaining their local environments before presenting the awards to this year’s winners.
Sustainability and community action were in sharp focus with community groups, schools, Landcare groups, local councils and catchment authorities featuring in the awards.
Victorian Coastal Council Chair Libby Mears congratulated winners and finalists of the awards which recognise outstanding contributions to protect and enhance our coasts. “We had a great night, and it’s fantastic to acknowledge the winners, but also all the nominees - together they really contribute to the Victorian coast. The awards are about celebrating that contribution.”
Williamstown High School
The Williamstown High School Wetland project provides an innovative answer to reducing damaging stormwater inputs into a marine protected area while providing water to irrigate a community sporting oval.
The reduction in stormwater pollutants to the adjacent Jawbone Marine Sanctuary assists protection of the mangroves, intertidal saltmarsh, mudflats and seagrass beds which provide important habitat for many species including migratory and local shorebirds.
The wetland has transformed the area into a community use public space and will feature interactive trails providing an education experience for the public as well as formal programs for visiting schools and community groups.
This has been achieved by a partnership between the school, Melbourne Water, Hobsons Bay City Council and Parks Victoria and shows how schools can contribute to water conservation and the protection of the local marine and coastal environment.
Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and Southern Otway Landcare Network
Protecting the estuaries of the Southern Otways is a collaboration between the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and the Southern Otways Landcare Network.
It harnesses the significant community momentum and enthusiasm of the region to protect and restore the health of key estuaries.
Strong partnerships forged with the Apollo Bay Landcare Group, Committees of management, Barwon Water, Framlingham Aboriginal Trust and local and State Govt departments will result in:
- improved catchment, river and estuarine condition
- improved community awareness and understanding of estuary management; and
- active involvement of local communities and stakeholders in estuary management.
Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment (SANE)
Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment is a dedicated group of surfers working to protect the natural values of the Bells Beach Surfing Reserve.
Through partnerships with Surf Coast Shire, local surfing company Rip Curl and various local community groups and networks they have enabled the highly successful management of this iconic site for both conservation and recreation.
The Group has raised awareness of local indigenous culture through partnerships with the Wathaurong Cooperative and has contributed to social outcomes through teaching the surfing community about safe and respectful surfing habits and appreciation of the land, water and traditional cultures.
Reef Life Survey
Reef Life Survey is a volunteer-based marine science and conservation program. It provides an avenue for committed members of the recreational SCUBA diving community to actively work towards marine conservation goals, while expanding their knowledge and awareness of marine systems and environmental issues.
The program contributes to biodiversity conservation and the sustainable management of marine resources through partnerships with marine management agencies and marine scientists.
Project Title: Assessing the costs and benefits of polyandry in a native squid.
Greening Australia, through the Moolapio Land Management Plan has applied ecologically rigorous planning to a key coastal environment on the western shore of Port Phillip Bay.
This has resulted in a significant corporate and government funded program of science-based restoration practice and evaluation.
The plan is a blueprint for the long term management and improvement of a large site with significant ecological, conservation, education, research and recreational value in close proximity to the major population centre of Geelong.
Community engagement at various levels was a core component of the project as was collaboration with Alcoa of Australia, local businesses and the City of Greater Geelong.
City of Greater Geelong
Limeburners Point District Boat ramp is an excellent example of an ecologically sustainable design applied to a district boating facility. Elements of the design include:
- A wind generator which powers all the boating facility’s energy requirements and feeds excess energy back into the grid
- waste water and drainage treatment systems
- innovative technology in the safe harbour island design to minimise disturbance to coastal processes
- Site revegetation with 15,000 indigenous grasses, groundcovers and shrubs.
The high profile location and interpretive signage assists with raising awareness of energy efficiency in the community.
Phillip Island Nature Parks
The Coastal Ambassadors Program is a five day camp run by Phillip Island Nature Parks, which encourages students to become ambassadors for protecting the coast and the environment in their local communities.
On return to their schools, ambassadors are expected to implement an action plan to assist in the conservation of the natural environment of their school and local area. This activity in turn builds linkages to community, commerce, industry and other government and non government institutions.
The primary target group is Year 9 students, but the program’s reach extends much further to:
- the students’ family and school
- other schools; and
- the broader community.
Lynn Murrell has made, and continues to make, substantial and outstanding contributions to the coast.
In 2007 he received the Order of Australia Medal for service to conservation and the environment through organisations involved with natural resource management and protection and to Local Government.
In 2005 Lynn very publicly drew attention to the coast by walking the entire length of the Victorian coastline. Referred to as “Walk the Talk” this achievement attracted significant public interest in the values of, and threats to the coast.
Lynn has been a coastal advocate for many years, seeking better outcomes for people and the environment through representation on a wide range of organisations including the Western Coastal Board, Victorian Coastal Council, Land Conservation Council, Glenelg Hopkins Catchment and Land Protection Board to name a few.
Lynn is well known for his easy manner and straightforward approach to people and his passion for the environment.
Page last updated: 12/06/19