SOME of WA¹s most inspiring community groups and individuals gathered in Perth last week to be given

15 Nov, 2006 08:45 PM
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All winners received a $2000 account from the Commonwealth Bank and a handcrafted trophy.

Even from the distribution of the certificates of achievement it was clear that it would not have been an easy task for the judging panel, which included Farm Weekly sales manager Wendy Gould.

However, tough as it may have been, they obviously did reach a decision and the awards kicked off with Bannister Downs Dairy Company being named as the Business Enterprise Award winner.

The business is best known for its sustainable packaging concept, which it introduced to Australia from Sweden.

Bannister Downs works closely with other local businesses and managing director Sue Daubney said none of the company¹s success would have been possible without the business¹ fantastic team.

A similar tune was sung by the winner of the Events and Tourism Award, the Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster ‹ an event organised by the local community to celebrate the uniqueness of the East Kimberley.

Ord Valley Muster manager Bree Muir said this year the festival attracted more than 3000 tourists to the region.

She said one of the big drawing cards was the multi-award winning Kimberley Moon Experience, a concert under the light of the full moon with some of Australia¹s highest-profile performers.

Ms Muir said the event¹s success was helped by the excellent community support.

Support is something the winner of the Regional Service Award knows all about.

The Mates Men¹s Support Group took out the top honours in this category in acknowledgment of its successful campaign against domestic violence.

The support group won the 2004 Kleenheat Gas Community of the Year Award in 2004 and has produced some impressive results in the Busselton area, working in conjunction with local police.

It provides a cool-off house for men involved in domestic violence and in less than a year has been able to reduce domestic violence around Busselton by 93pc.

Mates Men¹s Support Group president Robert Reekie thanked his patrons and Busselton police for their support.

³We are not the generation that is going to stop this ‹ domestic violence ‹ it will be the next generation,² Mr Reekie said.

Working now for the next generation is true of the Environment and Landcare Award winner: the Torbay Catchment Group.

Located between Albany and Denmark, the group was formed to battle algal bloom in waterbodies in the 330km2 catchment area.

Torbay Catchment Group has prepared an integrated drainage management plan and restoration activities throughout the catchment and created a monitoring and evaluation program.

Upon receiving the award, Torbay Catch-ment Group chairman Phil Mellon had two words to say: fresh water.

Another community battling for the environment was the winner of the Kleenheat Community of the Year Award: the Kimberley Toad Busters.

The Toad Busters are an East Kimberley community volunteer organisation committed to ensuring cane toads do not enter WA.

According to board member and volunteer Sharon McLachlan, cane toads are only 130km from the WA border.

Ms McLachlan said three weeks ago the Toad Busters were on Victoria River Downs Station in the Northern Territory where 10 volunteers caught 6830 toads during an eight-hour period.

The Toad Busters involves 1200 volunteers ‹ one-quarter of the population of Kunu-nurra.

³It is unprecedented the way the community has united to protect our environment from the dreaded cane toad,² Ms McLachlan said.

She summed up the night perfectly by quoting famous anthropologist Margaret Mead: ³Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world.

³Indeed, it¹s the only thing that ever has,² Ms McLachlan said.

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