David King, of the Garguree Swampcare Group won the Indigenous Land Management Award at the recent Landcare and Local Land Services Conference of 2017. Garguree Swampcare is a group of Traditional Custodians based in the Katoomba area of the Blue Mountains. The Gully or Garguree is an important place for the local Aboriginal people being a settlement of the Gundungarra and Darug people. The group meets monthly to plant and weed at the Gully, and has many children involved, so that they grow up with an appreciation of the knowledge of the Aboriginal people, now with a wealth of regeneration experience.
Bev Debrincat, a founding member of Greater Sydney Landcare, was also a finalist for the Landcare Community Group Award, with her involvement in the Habitat – a nursery in the inner suburbs of Sydney. The Habitat community native plant nursery and food garden is proud to boast an active program of 144 volunteers engaged on a regular basis. The Habitat engaged an impressive 1467 people last year, including many school children, educating them in native plants, habitat corridors, growing their own food and concepts about caring for the environment. Currently the Habitat has a particular focus on bringing small birds back to Sydney gardens, as numbers have been steadily declining over time.
Jade Paton of Wetland Warriors, was a finalist for the State Young Landcare Team Leader. Jade is a motivated and passionate Landcare leader that works with a focus on empowering local young people to build skills in land and natural resource management on a handful of wetlands in the Hawkesbury area. Jade plans to engage more young people in Wetland Warriors by offering activities that seem fun, that will keep them interested. She has visions of obtaining an environmental hub, where her young troop can to their environmentally friendly activities.
Alan Izzard of Bass Sydney, Northside Enterprise Inc with Bushlink and Clean4Shore were also finalists and winners at the State Awards, taking home the NSW Fish Partnership Individual Award, the Landcare Community Award and the Coastcare Award.
What an impressive representation from Greater Sydney! Well done to all the winners from around the state. The next stage is the National Landcare Awards, to be held in 2018.