Nominations for outstanding efforts by members of the Tweed community to protect and care for the Tweed’s precious environment are being sought as part of this year’s Tweed Sustainability Awards.
Initiated by Tweed Shire Council in 2019, the biennial Awards were officially launched at the Murwillumbah Community Gardens today, coinciding with World Environment Day as a fitting reminder of the theme.
Only the third time the Awards have been held, their aim is to celebrate local sustainability champions and eco-friendly initiatives across the Tweed community.
Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry was thrilled to launch the Awards today.
‘It’s important that we celebrate our environmental champions – those members of the community who are going above and beyond to take action and achieve outcomes that protect and enhance the Tweed’s internationally significant environment,’ Cr Cherry said.
‘We know our community has so much love for our beautiful environment. It’s this love for the Tweed that motivates people across our community every day to examine how they farm, how they do business, how they connect in the community or how schools enable our children to learn how to play a part in protecting the Tweed now and into the future.
‘These Awards help us to amplify entrants’ projects by shining a spotlight on the great work they are doing, which ultimately benefits all of us in the Tweed community.”
Council’s Sustainability Program Leader Debbie Firestone said the Awards provided a great opportunity to promote local businesses, community groups and individuals doing inspiring things in the community.
‘I see so much leadership and work going on across the Tweed community to step up our efforts to reduce our collective environmental footprint,’ Ms Firestone said.
‘Awards like these are vital for acknowledging that leadership and effort, often from volunteers, so I hope people put themselves forward to be recognised and celebrated by their community.’
Entrants are invited to share the actions and impacts they have achieved over the past 2 years, with nominations open to both new and previous nominees.
There are 4 Award categories this year:
- Regenerative Agriculture – Recognising outstanding contributions to the restoration of soils, waterways and biodiversity in agriculture.
- Wildlife and Habitat Conservation – Recognising outstanding contributions to the protection and conservation or active management of wildlife and native habitat.
- Tweed Tourism and Hospitality Sustainability – Recognising outstanding contributions by tourism and hospitality operators that demonstrate exceptional commitment to the environment, community and economic development of the region.
- Tweed Sustainability – Recognising outstanding contributions to improve sustainability across multiple impact areas by individuals, schools, community groups and businesses.
Previous entrants have commented on the value of being involved in the Tweed Sustainability Awards as a means of helping to promote and receive recognition for their hard work.
Fernvale farmer Fabian Fabbro, who along with his partner took out the Regenerative Agriculture award in 2021 for their work on their 50 ha property Woodland Valley Farm, said the Award had helped them to better tell their story.
‘Regenerative agriculture is quite hidden and can be a hard and often expensive way of farming – so to have it recognised and for the community to see what we are doing, really means a lot,’ Mr Fabbro said.
‘It has certainly helped us to tell our story, to let people know there is a backstory to our pasta and other products.’
Mr Fabbro, who runs dairy cattle and chickens on his farm to produce pasta and other deli goods, said this year’s Sustainability Awards were particularly pertinent following the devastation caused by the 2022 flood, which saw his property inundated.
‘It’s been extremely tough… but thankfully we were fully insured,’ he said.
‘The flood has set us back in some of our regenerative work on the creeks, but I’m a real believer in out of adversity comes good. The flood was a real wake-up call that our environment is changing, whether it be manmade or natural and something needs to be done.’
Nominate yourself or someone else online by midnight on Monday 31 July at tweed.nsw.gov.au/tweed-
The award winners will be announced at a showcase event on Thursday 12 October 2023.
Thank you to the 2021 Tweed Sustainability Award winners, most of whom attended today’s launch (and are pictured in the main photo) and to the Murwillumbah Community Gardens team who hosted our event.
The 2021 Tweed Sustainability Award winners are:
- Regenerative Agriculture: Woodland Valley Farm
- Wildlife & Habitat Conservation: (2 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
- Adult: Ari Ehrlich, Caldera Environment Centre
- People’s Choice: Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School.