Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards

2016 Finalists

Fonterra Australia Agriculture Award

Pearns Steam World of Westbury has been in operation since 1987 and features a nationally significant assortment of steam engines, tractors, farm equipment and 1950’s memorabilia. In 2001, the Pearn brothers donated their now extremely valuable collection in trust to the museum. Operated entirely by volunteers from the Westbury Preservation Association, the agricultural museum is open daily and brings visitors from all over the world. This year they will host a Ferguson Tractor Muster to celebrate the 70th birthday of the Ferguson Tractor.

DairyTas of Burnie is a farmer led organisation providing programs and support to the Tasmanian dairy industry. They collaborated with the NRM to deliver the FertSmart and Clean Rivers programs and led a project to install solar hot water systems on all King Island dairy farms. Other initiatives include delivering business and financial management training, animal health workshops, school programs and field days. Last year, DairyTas supported 65 dairy industry events and in collaboration with Dairy Australia, led the industry response to the milk price drop.

Tasmanian Women in Agriculture of Launceston has changed the culture of farming in Tasmania by establishing initiatives to support and develop women in agriculture. They provide leadership training, mentoring, education and encouragement to their 1,000 members. They hold the annual Science Investigation Awards, with 1,000 students participating last year. In 2013, Tasmanian Women in Agriculture was inducted into the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women for contributions to agriculture. As a testament to the organisation’s success, a book was recently commissioned to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

MAIB Disability Achievement Award

Sara Waitzer of Sandy Bay is currently undertaking a Masters in clinical psychology degree; and successfully achieved a membership to the Golden Key Society. Legally blind, Sara also has a passion for rowing and has competed at local, state, national and international levels of para-rowing. In 2015 she was a member of the Australian Rowing Team and competed at the World Rowing Championships in France. Sara was the Women’s Single Scull Tasmanian State Champion, and finished 2nd at the NSW State Championships and 3rd at the Australian National Championships.

Brad Mitchell of Hadspen was born with cerebral palsy and associated learning difficulties and has had to overcome significant barriers in his life. He has completed the Road to Success Self-Advocacy program and is now co-facilitating workshops for peers with a disability. Brad is a member of the Life Without Barriers National Disability Services Advisory Group and has been instrumental in supporting and guiding peers. He is employed by St Georges School Community Garden two days a week and has produced and presented radio shows on City Park Radio.

Paul Pritchard of Taroona sustained an acquired brain injury, hemiplegia and post-traumatic epilepsy during an accident during a World Mountaineering trip in 1998. Paul has since written three books and received the Boardman/Tasker Award and the Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize. He has featured in films documenting his adventures and has returned to active sports. This year Paul was Keynote Speaker at the National Disability Insurance Agency Senior Executive Service Forum. He plans to cycle to the highest point of Mount Kosciuszko, a first for anyone, disabled or able-bodied.

Kevin Faulkner of Lewisham began playing wheelchair basketball after experiencing a spinal cord injury in 1984. He played in the National League Championship team in 1998 and in 2006 became involved in Wheelchair Sports Tasmania. Kevin developed the now state wide K Sport program for children with physical disabilities and also created and developed a new sport, Wheelchair AFL. Kevin is a vital member of Tasmania’s disability sport community, working as the Physical disABILITY Sports Coordinator. Last year, Kevin represented Australia at the World Paraquad Archery Championships.

Ricoh Business Centre Hobart Environment Award

Sally Salier of Hobart is the Co-Chair of Wildcare, where she has volunteered for 8 years. She has also been the Secretary of Friends of Freycinet since 2010 and is active in many other groups. Through Sally’s leadership, Wildcare has grown to 6,000 members and 90 branches around the state. Sally also contributes at a local level by completing weeding and maintenance work. On a national level, she recently wrote and presented a paper on volunteering on islands, to the Island Ark Symposium held on Norfolk Island.

Sustainable Living Tasmania collaborated with Mission Australia and the University of Tasmania on the Get Bill Smart project. The aim was to improve home energy efficiency, increase indoor comfort and reduce energy bills for low-income households. The project has reduced energy consumption in participating Tasmanian households, reducing carbon emissions and pressure on energy infrastructure. The knowledge gained during the Get Bill Smart project has also created a foundation on which future energy efficiency support approaches will be built for Government and social support sector projects.

Raptor and Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania Inc was founded by Craig Webb 10 years ago to create a safe haven for injured birds and animals. The Refuge plays a critical role in sustaining the population of wedge tailed eagles and rehabilitating them for release into the wild. Recently, two wedge-tailed eagles, two sea eagles, three masked owls, seven boobook owls and six brown goshawks were healed and released. The Refuge features an education center, photographic workshops and private walks and talks are offered.

Heather & Christopher Chong Outstanding Achiever Award

Emma Price of Riverside founded Source Kids magazine 3 years ago. As a parent of a child with special needs, Emma identified the need for a resource to deliver relevant, reliable and current information to parents and carers. Distributed nationally, Source Kids magazine reaches over 430,000 people each month. Emma has invested $80,000 to build the magazine and works an average of 30 hours a week unpaid, in addition to her full time work. Last year, she was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Donna Wright of Glenorchy works tirelessly and goes beyond the call of duty as coordinator of the “Moving On Program”. The program provides the life skills framework to enable and empower young people exiting foster care. Since 2003, Donna has been on call 24/7 and has volunteered as mentor, mother figure and friend to 67 teenagers in foster care. She is a stabilizing influence, and encourages them to believe they can “be or do anything”. Donna continues to nurtures them long after they leave and keeps in contact.

Campbell Remess of Acton Park decided at the age of 9, that he wanted to give Christmas gifts to children in hospital. Campbell taught himself to sew and create teddy bears, and in his first year Campbell made 422 bears. With a commitment to make a bear a day, “Project 365 by Campbell” is still going strong. He makes “Ouch Bears” for Ambulance Tasmania, “Winner Bears” for children in oncology and “Comfort Bears” for adults with sick children. Campbell has auctioned bears for fundraising and has raised over $5000.

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award

Colony 47 Bush Tucker Trail of Launceston creates a self-guided and interpretive experience. The Trail includes six ‘Bush Tucker’ garden sites, a cultural ‘Yarning Circle’ and fire-pit, eight bronze sculptures of Tasmanian native animals, Aboriginal themed mosaic walls and pavers and interpretive signage. The project was developed as part of Colony 47’s Community Pathways Program, which supports Aboriginal families to build links with their own culture and the wider community. The members of the Bush Tucker Trail Steering Committee has dedicated 1,200 hours to the project.

Live@theWharf Inc of Ulverstone is a not for profit organisation that has transformed the region’s live music culture over the last three years. 140 patrons are entertained every Friday night for two hours of live musical with a mix of young local artists and established regional musicians. The Live@the Wharf Committee provide an event that is safe and inclusive and are affordable at $5 per person. 180 Friday night ‘gigs’ have been produced since the Committee’s inception, and plans of a very special 200th ‘gig’ are underway.

Rotary Club of Scottsdale initiated the North East Rail Trail Project in 2015 to reinvigorate the community and generate economic activity in the region. The Rotary Club consulted, planned, financed and executed its construction. The project resulted in the construction of a 28 kilometre world-class rail trail between Scottsdale and Billy Cock Hill. In response to the Project, two new Scottsdale businesses have opened and it is estimated that 200 people use the trail for walking, jogging and cycling each week.

Produce to the People Inc of Cooee is an emergency food relief organisation. operating a diversified, four-season farm, education centre and emergency food relief hub. Driven by their ‘grow, gather, give’ ethos, they source fresh, locally grown produce from backyards, farms and food producers and distribute it to those in need. ‘Work for the Dole’ programs are offered and a ‘Veggie Box Delivery Scheme’ for the elderly. Last year, 15,800 people were provided with over 53 kilograms of fresh, local and sustainable food.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

The Salvation Army Barrington Lodge of New Town is a Residential Aged Care Facility, home to 77 residents. Residents are offered hairdressing, physiotherapy, podiatry, optometry, garden club, bingo and walking group activities. Barrington Lodge supports their 92 staff to undertake further training, and six staff have recently completed their Diploma of Nursing. A Health and Wellbeing initiative has been developed and an annual Harmony Day is held to celebrate cultural diversity in the workplace. Barrington Lodge was awarded the 2012 Tasmanian Government ‘Employer of Choice’ award.

Uniting AgeWell of Rosetta has 760 staff placed over eight Residential Aged Care facilities, eight Independent Living complexes and provide Home Care Packages and Community Services to 1,000 Tasmanians. Uniting AgeWell has been named Employer of Choice for Women, and strives to be the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality. They initiated the ‘My Story’ program to acknowledge resident’s life achievements as well as the ‘Wishing Well’ program. Uniting AgeWell earned a prestigious Dorothies Award in recognition of their work in providing LGBTI-inclusive aged care facilities.

May Shaw Health Centre Inc – Aminya of Scottsdale is a Residential Aged Care facility with 48 staff, 30 permanent and two respite beds, providing high and low level care. Aminya, an Aboriginal term for ‘peaceful place’, has a reputation as being more like “home” than an aged care facility. Staff have flexible working arrangements and the facility has a culture where staff can approach management with ideas and concerns in an open manner. A dedicated training officer ensures staff have access to training and education opportunities.

EPA Sustainability Award

Bell Bay Aluminium established a partnership with Inalco in 2015 to build, commission and operate a dross recycling furnace. The new plant has allowed the smelter to recover additional metal from a waste product that was previously diverted to interstate metal recyclers. In the first six months, the project has successfully ceased the transportation of 1,500 tonnes of aluminium dross, and 750 tonnes of aluminium metal has been recovered. Bell Bay Aluminium is committed to actively seeking solutions to the waste and by-products produced to improve environmental outcomes.

University of Tasmania’s Sustainable Transport Strategy has been developed to minimise environmental transport impacts, whilst contributing to positive health outcomes. Projects include transport movement counts, behaviour surveys, carbon emission inventories and bike infrastructure design and construction. The award winning initiative has increased parked bikes by 80%, decreased single occupant vehicle use and increased student and staff public transport use. Upgrading to hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles has reduced emissions by 10%. The strategy has led to fundamental shifts in institutional and community transport approaches.

Andrew Walter Constructions of Granton is undertaking the demolition, civil and stormwater works for the Bunnings Mornington project. Committed to reducing their environmental footprint, they have crushed and reused 4,000 tonnes of concrete, reclaimed 500 tonnes of steel and generated 1,500 square metres of mulch. Extensive stormwater treatments are installed to minimise pollutant run off to downstream eco-systems. AWC are also developing a waste recycling station to crush concrete waste for production of pavement material. They received the CCF Earth Award in both 2012 and 2015.

Greenham Tasmania & Botanical Resources Australia of Smithton established a partnership to convert pyrethrum waste into clean biofuel briquettes, as a substitute to coal. Greenham now solely burns the pyrethrum briquettes and have reduced their stack emissions by more than 75% and reduced carbon intensity of above 90%. This innovation has benefits such as a cheaper energy source, lower emissions and reduced transport and trucking in the area. The project provides clean and carbon neutral air-emissions with significant benefits and impacts on the environment.

Get Moving Tasmania Physical Activity Award

ACTIVE Strahan is a committee of eight volunteer members committed to improving the physical and mental health of the people in Strahan, and the wider West Coast. Active Strahan is the driving force behind the annual Beach to Bay fun run which also raises funds for local community based projects. Last year, 236 people competed in the fun run and another 200 participated in beach activities. They also initiated 10 week exercise and educational programs and installed outdoor exercise equipment along the foreshore.

Surf Life Saving Tasmania initiated the ‘Learn to Swim and Surf Safety’ program to provide an introduction to swimming and aquatic safety for young Aboriginals, three to 25 years of age. Due to the significant national drowning figures in Indigenous populations, the program was launched to develop skills and confidence around water. 61 young people learnt swimming, safety and CPR lifesaving skills. Positive role models were created within the Indigenous communities and a scholarship was awarded to one participant who is now a proud ambassador.

Women's TRY-athlon and Fun Run Committee of Circular Head held their first Try-Athlon and Fun Run in 2015, which was open to women of all fitness levels. Women choosing the triathlon or the fun run/walk, received a ten week pre training program consisting of group exercise sessions, nutrition and mind-set workshops. An online support system encouraged participants to share their training journey and a community dinner was held for 280 people. 180 women aged 18 to 82 entered the event and many continue to train together.

Betta Milk ‘Make it Betta’ Health Achievement Award

TADTas Inc of Sandy Bay is a community organisation dedicated to the design and fabrication of technical aids for people with disabilities. Highly skilled volunteers provide their services to deliver approximately 70 projects each year. The Freedom Wheels Program provides children with modified bikes, and The Little Car Yard Project sees modified small electric cars enabling toddlers to move independently and interact with others. For 20 years, TADTas has created these special aids to enable their clients living with disability, to live their lives to the fullest.

Mitch McPherson of Tranmere established the SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY charity after losing his brother to suicide in 2013. The charity aims to prevent suicide by spreading the message that nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it. Mitch has presented to over 200 schools, workplaces and sporting clubs. He has raised almost $200,000 and increased awareness of mental health through his school programs. Supported by eight committee members, Mitch hopes to make SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY a national charity and deliver his school programs throughout Australia.

Community Transport Services Tasmania Inc of Derwent Park is a not-for-profit community service organisation providing reliable transport for aged, disabled and disadvantaged people throughout Tasmania. The service provides transport to attend appointments, social engagements and grocery shopping. In the past three years, 380 dedicated volunteers have provided 110,000 trips annually assisting 7,000 individuals. This has enabled them to remain living independently. Demand increases and Community Transport Services Tasmania is actively training and recruiting volunteer drivers to ensure they continue to assist Tasmanian’s to remain active.

Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth of Hobart is a one day injury prevention program for students over 15 years of age and is run entirely by volunteers. Participants spend time in the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit to experience the impact of trauma related injuries from alcohol and drug related crashes. The program has been delivered to 800 students with strong messages about the consequences of risk related behaviours. The volunteers hope to extend their reach soon to include rural communities.