Wednesday, January 26, 2011

environment a key theme for lyster

It was wonderful to attend the Yarra Ranges Australia Day Awards held out at the historic homestead, Mont de Lancy, in Wandin.

This year three of my constituents (from the Lyster ward) received awards and I was honoured to be able to present the awards to them.

Pictured left to right: Cr Samantha Dunn, Betty Marsden, Robert Pergl and Carol Seeger, such dedicated volunteers, their passion and commitment to our region is inspiring.

It was terrific to award Robert Pergl with the Ken McIntosh Memorial Award for Young Environmental Achiever of the Year. Ken was a driving force in environmental and conservation isssues in Yarra Ranges. Robert has shown a keen interest in the environment from his very early years and is passionate about conserving the dimishing biodiversity of the Dandenong Ranges. He's currently involved with the Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery and is particularly interested in the rehabilitation of the Monbulk Creek corridor where he volunteers his time. His knowledge of our environment is impressive and Robert intends to obtain formal qualifications in relation to the flora and ecology of Victoria. It is wonderful to see such passion for our environment in a young person.

I then had the honour of awarding Carol Seeger with the Environmental Achiever of the Year Award. Carol dedicates her life towards the rehabilitation of wildlife at the shelter she and and her husband built in Kallista. Carol spends her days cleaning cages and paddocks, washing bedding and pouches, preparing formulas, fruit and meat for the animals, visits to the vet, dressing wounds and taking calls for new animals in need of rescue. Carol never says no to a rescue and her loungeroom is often filled with all manner of wild animals in need of rescue even when all the pens and cages outside are full. Carol has been running the Kallista Wildlife Shelter for over 20 years and does it without any external funding, such dedication to our native wildlife is inspiring.

Last, but by no means least, I had the great pleasure of awarding Betty Marsden OAM the Mayor's Lifetime Achievement Award. Betty has been a conservationist in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley for more than 30 years. She continues to be involved and proactive with a diverse amount of groups across the region. She was a former councillor with the Shire of Sherbrooke at which time she gained an enormous knowledge of town planning. She is a dedicated environmentalist who is always keen to offer advice to residents on conservation, planning and environment issues. Betty also received an Order of Australia Medal as part of the Australia Day Honours, what a fitting recognition of a wonderful woman. She is a living legend of the hills and I am in awe of her ongoing passion and commitment for our region.

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