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June 27, 2022

Nine winners at the 2021 Tweed Sustainability Awards

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The 2021 Tweed Sustainability Award winners impressed judges with their commitment to the environment. Photo supplied

The second biennial Tweed Sustainability Awards were presented this year – trophies were presented during a ceremony on Friday, November 12.

Twelve nominations were received this year for the eight awards and the winners for each category are: Regenerative Agriculture – Woodland Valley Farm; Wildlife & Habitat Conservation: – two winners – Tweed Landcare Inc and Green Heroes; Tourism and Hospitality – Mavis’s Kitchen; Education – Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School; Community Group – Agape Outreach Inc; Business – Southern Cross Credit Union; Individual – Ari Ehrlich from the Caldera Environment Centre, and; People’s Choice: Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School

Launched in 2019, this is the second time the Tweed Sustainability Awards have been run and the judges were impressed with the quality of entries.

A challenging year for the community

Council’s Sustainability Program Leader Debbie Firestone said she was thrilled to coordinate the awards and promote the nominees’ achievements in what has been a challenging year for the community. ‘Even though we’ve faced a global pandemic, these local people and businesses are still giving it their all to make a difference to the environment here in the Tweed and I’d like to thank all of the nominees for their inspiring actions and achievements,’ she said.

‘As people around the world grapple with climate change, it’s crucial we celebrate and share the positive action members of our community are doing to contribute to sustainability in the Tweed.

Ms Firestone in this game, every little step counts. ‘We hope these awards go some way to sharing our nominees’ achievements and hopefully inspire others to do their best by our environment.’

The judges had high praise for the winners

The 2021 Tweed Sustainability Award trophies. Photo supplied.

Regenerative Agriculture: Woodland Valley Farm’s holistic approach to farming is truly inspirational. Their focus extends beyond creating a profitable and diverse enterprise and into regenerating their waterways with over 1km of riparian fencing and revegetation, improving soil health with multi-species pasture cropping and grazing animal rotations and engaging with the community to promote the environmental benefits of their work.

Wildlife and Habitat Conservation: Three separate judges found Green Heroes and Tweed Landcare Inc to have the same score, so trophies were awarded to each for their contributions to biodiversity conservation. Judges remarked on the holistic land management approach, diverse and extensive on-ground outcomes, and comprehensive community engagement by Tweed Landcare Inc.

Green Heroes’ successful pilot trial to incubate, hatch and release 3 turtle nests involved multiple agencies, experts, researchers, schools and businesses. The innovative incubation technique has won national and international recognition and research invitations.

Tourism & Hospitality: Mavis’s Kitchen is the inaugural recipient of the new Tourism and Hospitality Award and judges were impressed by the multiple layers of their sustainability actions. From the top-down and ground up, the team at Mavis’ Kitchen incorporates sustainability in everything they do, from Earth Check and B Corp accreditation to working with suppliers on reusable packing. They avoid 220 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year by sourcing up to 95% of their produce from within a 100km radius, including most of that from their own gardens.

Education: Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School’s work to involve the whole school community and teach young people about the positive impact their actions have on the planet was noted. Judges observed the extent to which sustainability is embedded in school culture, from extensive composting and school gardens through to complex projects like solar to reduce their carbon footprint.

Community Group: Agape Outreach Inc impressed judges with the incredible community support offered by over 150 volunteers supporting more than 600 clients with meals and an op-shop. Agape Outreach’s commitment to avoiding food waste and preventing organic materials going to landfill was evident in the systems in place to then provide the leftovers to local farms.

Business: Southern Cross Credit Union’s nomination narrowly won the 2021 Business Award trophy. Judges were impressed by their extensive resource efficiency, recycling and less-to-landfill efforts and results. The deep partnerships and learning from their community partners, as well as the innovative engagement with staff such as committing to monthly actions focusing on sustainability and sustainability pledges were noted by the judges.

Individual: Ari Ehrlich receives the winning trophy for his role in coordinating the annual Caldera World Environment Day Festival. Ari’s dedication to the environmental cause is evident in his passion for linking more than 1,000 visitors to the 2021 event with leading environmentally sustainable practices, projects and ideas, incorporating indigenous culture, while delivering the festival with waste-wise practices and powered by renewable energy.

People’s Choice: Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School won the People’s Choice Award. Nearly 1,000 votes were received in support of the 12 nominees.

Find out more about the winners at tweed.nsw.gov.au/tweed-sustainability-awards.

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