Media release | 14 February 2022
Volunteers from across NSW have been recognised for selfless efforts in supporting their communities by devoting their time to help manage local Crown land reserves.
The winners of two Awards - the Crown Land Manager Excellence Award and the Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award - were announced on 11 February 2022 at the Community Achievement Awards for Regional NSW/ACT.
The two Awards, supported by Crown Lands in the Department of Planning and Environment, highlight outstanding community service, dedication and commitment by volunteer Crown land boards and individuals.
Glen Innes & District Historical Society won the Crown Land Manager Excellence Award for maintaining the heritage of its community since 1968 through the Land of the Beardies Museum History House Museum and Research Centre. Over the past three years the Society and its 255 members have been repairing and refurbishing buildings, storage facilities and display areas.
Bribbaree Showground volunteer Bill West won the Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award for 39 years' service. Mr West joined the Bribbaree Showground Trust in 1982, became its Chairman in 1984, and its secretary/treasurer in 1997. Now 72, Mr West vows to continue supervising the showground, cleaning up after events and doing what he can to keep it pristine.
Other Finalists for the Crown Land Manager Excellence Award
Deep Water Land Manager Hall Committee of Glen Innes and its four members manage the Deep-Water School of Arts Hall handling maintenance, work health and safety, and security for the facility that has served the community for over 100 years. In 2020, the committee started an upgrade program securing $100,000 grant funding with the assistance of the community.
Byrangery Grass Reserve Land Manager of Federal and its six members manage a 15-hectare refuge for wildlife habitat supporting endangered fauna and flora. They oversee statutory requirements, guide groups through the reserve, upgrade walking tracks and oversee other improvements, including securing a $650,000 Bush Connects Grant to control pest species and regenerate native forest.
Old Bega Hospital Reserve Land Manager has managed a campaign to restore the main building on the 1.6 hectare reserve that was badly damaged by bushfire in 2004, and has secured over $3.42 million funding to support restoration efforts.
Other Finalists for the Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award
Patricia Jones of Bega became Chair of the Board of the Old Bega Hospital (OBH) Reserve in 2007 and has served for 15 years, managing meetings and overseeing team activities including funding applications. The reserve is a community hub home to community groups and used for markets, festivals and private functions.
Stephen Thatcher of Muswellbrook has been Chair of the Board of the Lake Liddell Recreation Area Reserve Land Manager since 2004 overseeing team efforts to improve the reserve for 18 years, including expanding green space and strengthening community connections. Mr Thatcher was instrumental in having Scouts, Landcare and the community plant 20,000 plants over the years.
Louise Jenkins of Cooma is a member of the North Ridge Reserve Advisory Committee, a 123-hectare bushland reserve that supports native plants, mammals, reptiles and birds. Louise oversees grant applications to improve amenities, walking tracks, signage, access and parking. During COVID, she conducted safe walks to support community health.