World Environment Day
World Environment Day Awards 2012
On Friday June 1, 2012, the City ofCharles Sturt hosted its third annual World Environment Day Awards.
In celebration of World Environment Day on June 5, 2012, 90 guests attended the awards which recognised residents, groups and businesses within the City who have demonstrated sustainable ways to live.
“It was important to see our guests, nominees and award winners reflecting the many facets of our dynamic and sustainable City,” CEO Mark Withers said.
“From business and industry, to quietly achieving residents, our awards recognise effort as well as encouraging sustainability in others,” he said.
The winners of the 2012 World Environment Day Awards are:
- Sustainable Young Person of the Year - Norris Hegarty
Norris Hegarty, a year 12 Student fromWoodvilleHigh School, spent 2011 embarking on a journey of personal discovery. Required as a part of his year 12 schooling to develop a community project to work on throughout the year, Norris created a project based on growing vegetables to use in programs at Youth Central.
Youth Central already had a garden patch he could use, however it was looking very sad and full of weeds. Over the year Norris managed his learning, researching which vegetables would be appropriate to grow, when to plant them and how to take care of them. He also learned to identify pests and weeds that could effect his plants.
Armed with his research, Norris carefully planned the vegetable garden and cleared the weeds and planted out seedling, fertilised and mulched the area. The result has been the transformation of the weedy Youth Central vegetable patch into an amazing backyard feature that is attracting avid interest from old and young residents alike. Norris has been able to harvest capsicums, beans, spring onions, radishes and silverbeet. In the warmer months, staff and volunteers will be able to harvest garlic, onions, carrots and beetroots.
Through working on the vege patch, Norris has generated interest and has encouraged other young people who want to continue looking after the patch and learn how to grow vegetables. The young people have already selected plants for a summer crop they will plant during Fridayz Drop In program at the end of this year.
“I had no idea how to grow any vegetables and I’ve learned a lot about growing vegetable and really enjoyed the experience. My favourite part has been watching the plants grow and develop and being able to pick the produce when it was ready,” Norris said.
Norris’ work in the Youth Central vege patch has been recognised by the Sustainable Young Person of the Year 2012.
- Sustainable House of the Year - Françoise Piron & Denis Alfonso
Françoise and Denis live in Albert Park, and from the outside, their house looks like a classic 1930s cottage. On closer inspection, however, their house can reveal some fantastic environmental secrets.
Opening their home for Sustainable House day in 2010 and 2011, Françoise and Denis have demonstrated that effort and creativity can result in a sustainable living environment. In addition to their cottage, the couple built a south facing extension consisting of a family room and kitchen/ dining area. The extension has no heating or cooling, but through careful design stays warm during winter due to the careful design and polished slab floor.
“Our ultimate goal was to build a comfortable living space with lots of light, good ventilation and at an affordable price. We found that using established principles of sustainable house design actually gave us al of the above and more,” Françoise said of their home.
Françoise and Denis also have an extensive organic fruit and vege garden complete with chickens, a worm farm and rainwater tanks. Their commitment and dedication to sustainable living has been recognised by the Sustainable House of the Year award.
- Sustainable Business of the Year - Soft Touch Speedwash
Soft-touch speed wash opened in mid 2011 to provide the community with an environmentally friendly car wash service. The capture, treatment and reuse of water used by the speedwash is an integral part of the sustainability of the business.
The business uses a recycling system with a three stage settlement system, and the entire cleaning system is controlled by software that assesses and implements the system based on demand, meaning that the system only uses energy when it is needed.
The business only uses environmentally friendly chemicals, maintaining the integrity of the system.
The focus on storing and reusing water, as well as environmentally friendly chemicals, has resulted in Soft-touch being awarded Sustainable Business of the Year.
- Sustainable School of the Year - Barbara Kiker Memorial Kindergarten
They are yet to start school but the kids attending the Barbara Kiker Memorial Kindergarten have been learning about easy, water saving tips and how to grow veges in the vege garden and fruit in the orchard.
Over the past two years the Kindergarten has been a leader in sustainable practices and education. It has rainwater tanks and solar panels, reducing power consumption and water usage on the fruit orchard and vege garden. Natural alternatives to plastic play equipment are also used, and this year the outdoor play area will undergo a $40,000 facelift ($5,000 courtesy of Charles Sturt) to transform the area into a native playground with over 200 new plants, trees and grasses increasing biodiversity and reducing water usage.
Through professional development of staff on outdoor learning spaces and sustainability combined with the above focus, the Barbara Kiker Memorial Kindergarten has been awarded theSustainableSchoolof the Year Award.
- Sustainable Garden of the Year - Edith Harding for the Western Hospital Garden
Charles Sturt resident Edith Harding has taken on the gardens of theWesternCommunityHospital! Over the past two years she has propagated seedlings from the plants around the hospital, as well as her own garden, and begun planting them in vacant spots around the hospital.
Her initial work propagating and then planting led to Edith gradually planting and maintaining all the major gardens in the complex around the front of the hospital.
Julie Glacken, a fellow Charles Sturt resident, said Edith’s work is nothing short of amazing.
“The pleasure and interest this has generated amongst the local community and hospital staff and patients is immeasurable,” Julie said.
Earlier this year two garden benches were placed in the front gardens and people can be seen all day sitting to enjoy the flora and fauna.
Edith is currently in the process of laying four truckloads of mulch, and because of her hard work has been awarded theSustainableGardenof the Year Award.
- Sustainable Citizen of the Year - Julietta Cerin
Our City’s first community fruit and vege swap was started at West Croydon in 2008 by local resident Julietta Cerin. The swap provides all Charles Sturt residents with the chance to share their surplus fruit and vegetables for alternatives they don’t grow.
The swap encourages sustainability in backyard produce and how to grow sustainably at home.
“I decided to create the opportunity to meet with others and swap their produce… there is no bartering, no trading and no money being exchanged,” Juliette said in 2009 of her new swap.
“My vision is for hundreds of these swaps mushrooming all overAustralia,” she said.
Since Julietta’s first swap, other swaps have sprung up over Charles Sturt, and across the state. Julietta’s belief in the swap has been recognised with the Sustainable Citizen of the Year Award.
Mayor Kirsten Alexander said that the awards recognised the fantastic ways our community members are living as followers of this great movement of sustainability.
“We are proud to have all of these people as part of the community and see them as ambassadors for a greener future for this generation and future generations. Congratulations to all the nominees and keep the movement going,” she said.