Biodiversity Awards recognise environmental excellence

Biodiversity Awards recognise environmental excellence

Local people working to protect the environment have been recognised at the second Lismore Biodversity Awards announced last night (12 September 2019).

Winners were announced in an awards ceremony at Lismore City Hall with each winner receiving $1000 as a thank you for their achievements.

The biennial event is part of Lismore City Council’s Biodiversity Management Strategy and provides the opportunity to recognise and reward people in the community who are acting to increase and protect local biodiversity, catchment health and demonstrate sustainable agriculture.

“All the nominees show great passion for the environment, and an enduring love for the land that is demonstrated in the legacy they are creating,” Council’s Environmental Strategies Officer Vanessa Tallon said.

“We are so proud of our 2019 winners. They are doing great things for our community and we should all be very grateful for their time and commitment to our environment.”

And the winners are:

NSW Department of Primary Industries Primary Producer Award
Bruno Bertolo and Stephen Genrich own a macadamia farm and mixed orchard at Whian Whian and are local leaders for regenerative agriculture. They use large-scale composting to build soil health, constructed a wetland to filter runoff and increase biodiversity, and planted a koala corridor along their boundary. They also host field days on the farm, sharing their knowledge and passion for land stewardship.

North Coast Local Land Services Rural Landholder Award
Leigh Davison is a founding member of the 250-acre Dharmananda community at The Channon, once a heavily cleared dairy then banana farm. Leigh has worked tirelessly for decades to restore remnant rainforest and wet schlerophyll forest on the slopes and creeks, focusing on strategic lantana and camphor control, successfully applying for many grants and more recently employing work teams to continue his great work.

Community Group Award
Friends of the Koala are a Lismore and North Coast institution that has been operating for 30 years. Their aim to enhance and protect koala habitat has seen them become the lead organisation fighting for koalas in the Northern Rivers. They also maintain a 24/7 rescue hotline; rescue, rehabilitate and release sick and injured koalas; and operate both a triage, treatment and pathology clinic as well as an education and administration centre in East Lismore. They have a volunteer base of more than 100 people, have distributed more than 150,000 koala food trees, brought more than 5000 koalas into care and released more than 1230 koalas back into the wild.

Educator or School Award
Emma Stone’s passions and activity stretch across the broad scope of Landcare including biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and resilient and connected rural communities. Not only does she work to restore the land on which she lives, she supports all those around her to do the same. Whether it be via a one-on-one site visit with a landholder or running a workshop with the local school, Emma gives generously of her time and expertise.

Council would like to say a big thank you to the sponsors, nominees and winners of the second Lismore Biodiversity Awards and thank all the people who helped make it possible.

Source: Lismore City Council

Featured Image: Winner of the Educator or School Award Emma Stone with Jim Kinkead from award sponsor Richmond Landcare Inc.