Kristy Blackburn from the Coastal and Marine Branch has had a busy week fielding phone calls and emails after her Coastcare group won a prestigious national award.
The Southern Coastcare Association of Tasmania (SCAT) was awarded the Australian Government Coastcare Award last Thursday in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra, in front of a packed audience of politicians, other dignitaries as well as Coastcare and Landcare representatives.
SCAT took out the award for their groundbreaking work bridging the gap between Coastcare groups, government agencies and environmental organisations.
SCAT is the first organisation of its type in Australia, bringing together 30 Coastcare groups and more than 1000 individuals.
It provides support to community groups and provides them with a regional perspective for their projects.
"Its amazing the amount of Coastcare volunteer effort that occurs throughout Tasmania, and it’s all done to help look after publicly managed land" Kristy said.
"I think that it’s important that Coastcare volunteers are supported as much as they can be and I am proud to do that both at work and at home through my association with SCAT and other Coastcare groups throughout Tasmania."
Long time Landcare supporter and legendary actor Jack Thompson was a guest speaker at the awards and lauded SCAT's efforts.
"In southern Tasmania, a group of motivated and committed volunteers sought to create a more holistic approach to coastal management bringing all key stakeholders together," Jack said.
"The group has input into coastal management policy and planning and fosters links between government and other environment organisations. The result is a collaborative, strategic and successful protection of the coastal environment."
"It brings people together in fun and informative regional events to discuss broader issues and share ideas and achievements. Volunteers are inspired, supported and reinvigorated to go back into their local communities to carry out Coastcare projects."
Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett was also full of praise.
"Australians are aware, more than ever, of the need to protect and preserve our precious land and water resources. This award recognises the fantastic team effort of the Southern Coastcare Association of Tasmania and the great work they do in their very special part of the world."
Kristy says SCAT is looking forward to building on their achievement and continuing to provide support for groups and individuals who would like to take part in Coastcare and coastal management throughout Tasmania’s south.
If you would like to know more about SCAT or Coastcare please visit the website at www.scat.org.au or contact Kristy Blackburn.