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Community Conservation Awards 2018

On Saturday 17 November, members of the community gathered at Perth Waldorf School for the CCWA Community Conservation Awards 2018. Hosted by our President Prof. Carmen Lawrence and Vice President Tim Barling, together we acknowledged some of the most inspiring environmentalists in Western Australia.

Bessie Rischbieth Conservation Award: Brian Moyle

Our most prestigious award - the Bessie Rischbieth Conservation Award - was established in honour of Bessie Rischbieth, a pioneer of the conservation movement in WA. Every year we award it to an individual who has demonstrated unmatched commitment to the Western Australian environment.

This year, we presented the Bessie Rischbieth Conservation Award to Brian Moyle.

Brian has been dedicated to the protection of wildflowers in our state over several decades. He was the backbone of the campaign to protect the Helena Aurora Range and gain the commitment for a National Park which will see several species of unique wildflowers including the tetratheca sp. and leucopogon sp. preserved in perpetuity, instead of being pushed to the brink of extinction.

Brian was tenacious with a calm and respectful demeanour, leading conversations about the precious nature of Banded Ironstone formations with alliance partners, government bureaucrats, Ministers, and corporate decision makers.

As a quiet achiever of the conservation movement in WA over decades, Brian has shown that sustained commitment and compassion can make a significant difference towards protecting the places we love.

Len Howard Community Group Award: Friends of Mary Carroll Wetland

The Len Howard Community Group Award was established in honour of Len Howard, who founded and led for 20 years one of WA’s most successful conservation groups, the Peel Preservation Group. The recipient of this award is a community group which has demonstrated an outstanding commitment and success in the conservation of the Western Australian environment.

This year we granted the Len Howard Community Group Award to Friends of Mary Carroll Wetland, which was accepted by Unice Robinson.

The Friends of Mary Carroll Wetland is a community group that works with the City of Gosnells and various landcare organisations to restore the natural environment of the wetlands located at Mary Carroll Park, Gosnells. The Friends group commenced as a small weeding group in the late 1970s concerned by the deteriorating condition of the wetlands. Today the Friends group maintains the primary objectives to: rehabilitate, preserve and maintain the natural environment of Mary Carroll Nature Reserve for benefit and well being of the natural flora and fauna.

John Oldham Conservation Employee Award: Kirsty Vogel

The John Oldham Conservation Employee Award was established in honour of John Oldham, the Foundation President of the Conservation Council of WA from 1967 to 1970, and a long term delegate to the Council. It’s awarded annually to an individual employed in the conservation sector who has demonstrated tremendous commitment to our environment.

This year we granted the John Oldham Conservation Employee Award to Kirsty Vogel.

Kirsty undertook a life changing decision to obtain her degree as a Zoologist in her mid forties. After 4 years and moving locations she managed to gain her Honors 2nd Class Division A from UWA. Since graduating Kirsty has been interviewed by Australian Geographic in regard to the Honey Possum. She is currently working with Bush Heritage in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia as well as the local wildlife park, plus leading groups of volunteers in the field for research into the local ringtail possums. Kirsty has grown to love learning and helping others understand the importance of the local flora and fauna of the area, and is a deserved recipient of this award.

At the time of the ceremony, Kirsty was helping with Bush Heritage Australia's fauna trapping in the wheatbelt.

Conservation Council of WA Honours List: Allison Dixon, Donna Chapman, Jane Hammond, Kerrie-Ann Garlick, Sonny Rolfe, and Stewart Seesink

Those named to Conservation Council of WA Honours List this year have demonstrated a long term commitment to the Western Australian environment.

The recipients have been actively involved in the conservation movement for many years, have made a constant and invaluable contribution to their groups, have contributed to vital networking and cooperation between conservation groups, and have displayed qualities of integrity, reliability, and commitment.

This year we named the following people to the Conservation Council of WA Honours List:

Allison Dixon for dedicating her life to rescuing and advocating on behalf of wildlife from areas threatened by development.

Donna Chapman for generously offering her time and creating high quality written and graphic communications for environmental causes.

Jane Hammond for working tirelessly on the campaign to ban fracking in Western Australia, and creating and screening important films.

Kerrie-Ann Garlick for her commitment to campaigning for a nuclear free future both in WA and globally for the past two decades.

Sonny Rolfe for being instrumental in improving the natural environment of the Homestead Ridge area, and inspiring others to do the same.

Stewart Seesink for his tireless commitment to organic farming and protecting our environment from chemicals and GM. Stewart could not attend the ceremony, so accepting on his behalf was Janet Grogan.

Young Environmentalist Award: Bella Burgemeister

With the Young Environmentalist Award, CCWA acknowledges an individual aged thirty years or under who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the WA’s environment, and who has played a leadership role in advocacy or campaigning to achieve greater environmental protection.

We were pleased to announce that this year’s Young Environmentalist Award went to Bella Burgemeister.

Bella is 12 and the author and presenter of the book Bella's Challenge, a book for kids about the 17 UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The book is a kid's take on the Global Goals and sets challenges for kids to follow at home and school. Bella has spoken to over 4000 students around Australia and has challenged them to make positive changes and stand up for their local environment. Bella also organises and participates in community clean ups and tree planting days, and meets politicians to discuss her concerns around fracking, logging, and conservation.

Thank You

We would like to thank:

  • Sandra Harben for her wonderful Welcome to Country at the start of the conference
  • Our conference speakers: Hon. Stephen Dawson, Piers Verstegen, Dr. Anne Poelina, Prof. Kingsley Dixon, Prof. Carmen Lawrence, Dr. David Whish-Wilson, and Prof. Quentin Beresford
  • Sarah, Peter, and Pete from Perth Waldorf School for sharing their beautiful bushland venue with us
  • Tina Kagi and her volunteers for their delicious catering
  • Our talented photographer Simon Stevens (photos here)
  • Pete Jeavons Trio for playing their wonderful jazz during the Awards Reception
  • Our Conference Committee: Kristine Thomson, Sarah English, Sara Boranga, and Inan Ahmed
  • Our Awards Committee: Tim Barling, Claire McKinnon, and Kate Kelly
  • First Nature Design for beautifully producing our award certificates
  • Our Silver Sponsor Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, and everyone else who supported this event: Studio Nikulinsky,, Create Ranger Parks, Harper's Food Market, Pippin Drysdale Art Studio, Apace Nursery, and Mountford Wines and Tangletoe Cidery
  • All our volunteers and Member Groups for their dedication to making the event a success!

And thank you to you - everyone in our community - for another inspiring year! Together, we will continue to protect our beautiful wildlife and environment for present and future generations to enjoy. See you next year!


PHOTOS: Pete Jeavons Trio/Kristine Thomson/Kerrie-Ann Garlick CREDIT: Simon Stevens

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