A diverse and inspiring range of projects were showcased at the presentation ceremony for the Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence 2013 held at the Melbourne Museum on Wednesday 11 September 2013. Hosted by the Victorian Coastal Council, the awards are in their 14th year.
Over 250 individuals from volunteer groups, committees of management, government and non-government organisations attended the evening. To view photos from the ceremony, click on the gallery link.
Wurundjeri Elder, Colin Hunter provided the welcome to country and the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Ryan Smith presented the awards to this year’s winners. The Minister acknowledged the important role of volunteers in coastal management and confirmed the Government’s commitment to broadening community participation and engagement in coastal issues.
An encouraging response to the call for nominations this year resulted in 15 finalists across five award categories including building and design, education, community action and partnerships, natural environment and planning and management. Kathleen Hassell received the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award.
Great Ocean Road Coast Committee
Special Commendation - Split Point Lookout and Interpretation
The new Split Point Lookout overlooking the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary in Aireys Inlet, shows how facility design and heritage interpretation can be integrated to complement, conserve and celebrate the coastline, enhance visitor safety and enrich visitor experiences. The lookout has been designed to be barely visible from the shores it overlooks and its materials have been carefully selected to suit the form and natural colours and textures of its setting. Quick Reference codes have been used to enable visitors to access comprehensive information about the coastal and marine environment and convey important conservation messages without the need for large, intrusive signage. The design is very successful in keeping visitors contained and protecting the site, while satisfying the desire of visitors to stand on the cliff edge and experience the beauty of the coast.
Wellington Shire Council
Protection of the Environmentally Significant Ninety Mile Beach
The Ninety Mile Beach is the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach in the country. In the 1950s and 1960s, 11,800 residential lots were created and sold. Various planning and management controls were applied from the mid-1970s to prevent development of this iconic and environmentally sensitive coastline, with limited success. In 2010, the Ninety Mile Beach Plan was developed to ensure the transfer of private lots into public ownership.
Wellington Shire Council’s Planning Scheme Amendment C71 introduces permanent planning controls prohibiting development along the coast between Glomar Beach and Golden Beach. Extensive collaboration with the State Government culminated in approval of funding for a Voluntary Assistance Scheme in 2011 to encourage landowners to voluntarily transfer their land to Council for an assistance payment. Approximately 1600 of the 3700 lots in this section of the Ninety Mile Beach, are now owned by the Council demonstrating a strong commitment to a very long and difficult planning and management issue.
Dolphin Research Institute and Kingston City Council
“i sea, i care” (joint winner)
The “i sea, i care” Ambassador Program has been promoting the message that Victorian Marine Treasures are too Precious to Lose since 2001. The purpose of the program is to build a strong sense of pride and stewardship for the coastal and marine environment. The long term partnership with Melbourne Water has been a key factor in developing and maintaining the “i sea, i care” program which now extends to five bayside councils and over 100 schools. The City of Kingston’s “i sea, i care” Marine Ambassadors Initiative, has 20 schools with 112 ambassadors now promoting the marine environment to their fellow students and wider community. The partnerships developed by the Dolphin Research Institute have made a considerable contribution to the program’s success.
Disabled Surfers Association - Ocean Grove Branch
Putting Smiles on Dials (joint winner)
Established in 2008, the Ocean Grove branch of the Disabled Surfing Association caters for every type and degree of disability. The group has grown from 150 people to around 690 participants, assisted by over 600 volunteers. People who have never experienced the beach due to disability are given the opportunity to experience surfing and the freedom it offers in a safe environment. The program exposes participants to coastal and marine life and assists with breaking down social barriers. It's about communities becoming active from all over Victoria to ‘put smiles on dials’.
Barwon Coast Committee of Management
Kids @ the Coast
The Kids @ the Coast booklet is a joint initiative between the Barwon Coast and Bellarine Bayside Committees of Management. The free booklet, which is distributed through camping grounds across the Bellarine Peninsula and has reached 5,000 people in the first year, contains a variety of activities to educate visitors about coastal and marine environments. It combines fun activities for children with educational messages about litter impacts and prevention, dune erosion, personal safety, wildlife and habitat protection and ideas for the next edition are already in development. The generic messages within the activity booklet mean it could be adopted across the state.
Phillip Island Nature Parks
Saving Summerland – A Peninsula for the Penguins
Phillip Island’s Summerland Peninsula is home to the world’s most famous penguin colony at the Penguin Parade. In the 1980’s the penguins were faced with extinction due to the effects of a housing estate, including road kills, loss of habitat, fox and dog predation and weed invasion. The State Government ‘Penguin Protection Plan’ of 1985 set in motion research based management, fox and dog control, buy back of the Summerland Housing Estate and penguin habitat restoration. The project, managed by Phillip Island Nature Parks, was completed in 2013 and the unique initiative has been key in protecting the penguin population which has grown from 18,000 in 1985 to 34,000 in 2012.
A member of the Frankston Beach Association since 1983, including 12 years as Secretary, Kathleen Hassell has been described as “the backbone of the Association”.
She has made a significant contribution to the environmental value of the Frankston Beach dunes system using her skills to propagate and involve people in the planting of over 90,000 indigenous plants since 1995. She has involved many local school students and community volunteers in these activities and has applied for and secured State and Federal Government funding amounting to more than $140,000 to continue this important work.
In 2000 she was named Frankston City’s Citizen of the Year. In 2010 she was honoured by the Frankston City Council as an Environmental Pioneer and in 2011 she received the Dame Phyliss Frost Award at the Keep Australia Beautiful Awards for her dedication to protecting and enhancing Frankston City’s natural environment.
Camille White - University of Melbourne
There are increasing amounts of terrestrially-derived omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 PUFA) being released into the marine environment surrounding intensive aquaculture as waste from excess feed. Research indicates that wild animals associated with areas of aquaculture have elevated levels of n-6 PUFA in their body tissues, however, the ecological and behavioural impacts of these changes are largely unknown. Camille’s PhD will examine the ecological consequences of aquaculture-derived terrestrial fatty acids in the marine food web.
Page last updated: 12/06/19