Saturday, January 26, 2013

our environmental achievers recognised

Erin Burton - Young Environmental Achiever of the Year,
Cr Samantha Dunn and Vicki Boyle - Environmental
Achiever of the Year.
I was very proud to be able to present Yarra Ranges two Australia Day environment awards to locals from the Lyster Ward (Southern Dandenong Ranges) at today’s Australia Day Awards.

Erin Burton, a Year 9 student (in 2012) from the Belgrave Heights Christian School, took out the Ken McIntosh Memorial Award for Young Environmental Achiever of the Year, whilst Vicki Boyle, who wears many hats including Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group, took out the Yarra Ranges Environmental Achiever of the Year.

The Ken McIntosh Memorial Award for Young Environmental Achiever of the year honours the contribution of Ken McIntosh who was a driving force in environmental and conservation issues in the Yarra Ranges. For a young woman, Erin’s list of achievements is impressive. During her year 9 year, not only completing her school work, Erin was involved with Water Watch, volunteered for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition Conference, organised the Youth Decide Voting Event for renewable energy at her school and assisted the school’s Prep class with environmental education.

I was delighted to be joined by Mrs Beryl McIntosh,
representing Ken to present Erin Burton with the
Ken McIntosh Memorial Award for Young Environmental
Achiever of the Year.

Erin has worked with her peers constructing productive gardens throughout the school grounds and is a volunteer for the school’s Keen on Green community service project. She’s also been involved in tree planting along the Monbulk Creek, Clean Up Australia Day, marine studies at Queenscliffe, soil testing and a myriad of other environmental activities.

Erin’s contribution is heartening, it’s wonderful to see such passion and dedication for the environment. It is Erin’s generation that is going to have to confront climate change in a way that no other generation has and it gives me great confidence for the future knowing there are young people like Erin so committed to improving the environment and taking action on climate change.

Congratulations Erin, I’m very proud to be able to present you with your award on Australia Day.

It was a great privilege to be able to award
environmental dynamo, Vicki Boyle, with the
Yarra Ranges Environmental Achiever of
the Year Award.
Vicki Boyle is what I’d describe as a human dynamo, passionate and committed to the environment and seeing the Dandenongs return to a far healthier ecosystem. If there is any environmental activity in the Southern Dandenong Ranges you’re bound to find Vicki Boyle’s hand in there somewhere.

For the past 15 years Vicki has been weeding the land near the Trestle Bridge, originally starting alone, she soon attracted interest from others so started a Friends Group which has now become the Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group.

Vicki has worked around the Monbulk Creek region, throughout the Dandenong Ranges and in fire affected regions, assisting with revegetation work. Her positive attitude and gusto for the environment has seen others encouraged to start Friends of Groups along the Monbulk Creek.

In 2010 Vicki, nominated by her peers, was awarded the Individual Caring for Public Land award at the 2010 Port Phillip and Westernport Landcare Awards. She is also a member of the Friends of Monbulk Creek – Trestle Bridge, Friends of Monbulk Creek – Birdsland and Friends of Monbulk Creek – Belgrave Lake Park.

Vicki’s list of achievements is long and includes holding regular market stalls promoting Landcare, participating in the myriad of meetings to progress the fight on weeds, delivering a range of environmental courses and assisting residents to gain knowledge about weeds, indigenous plants and a healthier environment. She’s also been an instrumental part of Awesome Ornithorynkids Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the local platypus population and the Mini Beast Festival at Birdsland which focuses on our waterways and the importance of habitat for our wildlife.
I was absolutely delighted to award Vicki Yarra Ranges Environmental Achiever of the Year, she is a much deserved winner, congratulations Vicki, our environment is a far better place for your efforts.

Congratulations to all our other Australia Day Award winners:

Citizen of the Year – Denise Garratt, President and Coordinator of Help for Wildlife
Young Citizen of the Year – Breanna Andersen
Community Group of the Year – Melba Support Services
Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr William Hardy
Ian de la Rue Achievement Award for Community Leadership – Rodney Woods

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