Media Releases | 22nd Oct, 2015

Local groups win 2015 Community Environment Awards

Last night Environment Victoria recognised the achievements of nine remarkable community groups and individuals from around the state for their outstanding contribution to our environment.

The 2015 Community Environment Recognition Award recipients are all leaders in their community, and have led gutsy and persistent grassroots campaigns to protect nature and stand up for the places they love, often with very limited resources.

Those recognised were:

Croydon Conservation Society for their service to our environment and their stewardship of local bushland since 1964. One of their more innovative projects involves the use of satellite imagery to map damage to local bushland, which they then use to lobby local government for stronger protections.

Phil Ingamells and the Victorian National Parks Association for their crucial, leading role in the successful campaign to ban cattle grazing for any purpose in the Alpine National Park.

Breakthrough, the National Centre for Climate Restoration for challenging the movement to consider the adoption of climate emergency campaigning to restore a safe climate.

John Pettigrew and Terry Court for their work in bringing national and international expert speakers to the Goulburn Valley region to increase awareness of climate change adaptation options, and ways to reduce the region’s environmental footprint.

Earthworker, whose goal is to create an Australia-wide network of not-for-profit worker-owned cooperatives in sustainability-focused industries, for walking the talk, and for bringing a tangible worker-focused solution to the climate crisis.

Stuart Fraser and the Bendigo and District Environment Council for their determined advocacy and representation of community concerns, as well as their extensive work with the City of Greater Bendigo on environmental policies and planning schemes.

Gayle Osborne and Wombat Forestcare Inc. for their years of thoughtful and dedicated advocacy for the flora and fauna of Wombat Forest, and for the recent mobilisation of community opposition to a proposed open-cut gold mine that would have seen parts of the forest bulldozed, and the potential pollution of local waterways.

Coal and CSG Free Mirboo North for their tireless efforts to ensure their community’s ‘coal and coal seam gas mining-free’ declaration is respected and upheld. Their persistent grassroots campaign has inspired a statewide movement against coal and coal seam gas mining in regional communities across Victoria.

Surf Coast Air Action (SCAA) for their successful community campaign to close Anglesea brown coal mine and power plant, proving that a powerful community can stand up for their health and our environment and win.

Environment Victoria CEO, Mark Wakeham said:

“These environmental champions are an inspiring example of the passion and dedication that exists to protect nature and prevent global warming in communities all over Victoria.

“Strong community voices have been fundamental to every major environmental outcome ever achieved in Victoria.

“Speaking up for our environment can be a challenging and relentless task, so it’s a pleasure to be able to recognise the amazing work of these groups and individuals.

“Environment Victoria thanks them, and the many other local groups and individuals across the state for the hard work they do in providing a voice for nature.”

Biographies, photos and contact details for the winners are available from Cameron Wheatley on 9341 8107.

For Comment:

Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Nick Roberts: 0429 945 429