2013 Year in Review
The last 12 months has been incredible journey for KABNSW and one that has seen many positive changes. Now in our 38th year, we continued our mission to be committed to excellence in environmental education, support and enhancement.
Through our core programs we worked with local governments, schools, businesses and community groups to encourage a state-wide network of dedicated individuals who strive to deliver a cleaner and more sustainable environment.
Along with EnviroMentors, Sustainable Cities, Clean Beaches and Tidy Towns, we also established the new Community Litter Grants program in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority.
In 2013, the volunteers from the Tidy Towns, Sustainable Cities, Clean Beaches and Community Litter Grants programs recorded a combined total of 700,000 hours, demonstrating an outstanding level of commitment from our passionate supporters across NSW.
We said goodbye to our Harris Park office which has been our home for the past 11 years. In July, Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, officially launched our new office in Newtown. The Lord Mayor was joined by Carmel Tebbutt MP, Member for Marrickville, and Barry Buffier, Chair and CEO of the NSW Environment Protection Authority to open the new office and welcome us to the municipality.
Along with the move, there were also changes to the KABNSW Board. Val Southam was appointed Chair, and Syd Smith named Vice-Chair. The year also saw the retiree of a number of board members and we would like to thank those who have departed for their many years of dedicated service to KABNSW. We are currently recruiting new directors to fill some vacancies.
In 2013, we also moved into an exciting new age of digital communication. We launched our new website which features increased functionality and engagement for users. In addition, we also constructed our first E-Newsletter ‘The Beaut’ which is delivered on a monthly basis to over 3500 of our supporters.
Our awards programs began in April with our first ever media launch for the Sustainable Cities Awards Program at the University of New South Wales CBD Campus. Over the course of 3 months we received 59 submissions from Councils, businesses, community groups, schools and individuals from metropolitan NSW.
In July, the program culminated at the Sustainable Cities Awards Ceremony, hosted by 2012 Overall Sustainable Council Winner – Penrith City Council, at Mamre House in Orchard Hills. The awards celebrated the achievements of metropolitan NSW, and in particular the City of Canada Bay Council who claimed the 2013 Sydney Water – Overall Sustainable Council Award for their impressive ‘Sustaining our Environment’ project.
Our awards program for regional NSW, Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities, this year attracted almost 200 entries from 72 towns. The Tidy Towns Awards Weekend was held over the first weekend of November in the 2013 Overall Award winning town of Armidale. More than 250 delegates converged on the town, eager to discuss the issues affecting their communities, share insights, look at solutions, meet with others passionate about their community and of course hear the results.
With a rich history, spirit and a community that breathes sustainability, Nundle was named the winner of the Overall Tidy Town State Award for 2014. Located 60km south east from Tamworth with a population of approximately 300, Nundle was once was a thriving gold mining town. The town excelled in achieving the balance of romancing its rich history, but also is planning for a more sustainable future.
The 2013 Clean Beaches – Connecting Our Coast Awards Program commenced in August with two media launch events at North Wollongong and Bondi Beach. This year the program received 68 entries from 31 coastal communities across the State. The Clean Beaches Awards Breakfast was hosted by Horizons at South Maroubra SLSC, where Fingal Head was crowned the NSW Overall Clean Beach.
KABNSW Environmental education team, the EnviroMentors, also had a fantastic and productive year. The EnviroMentors received 57 Council bookings for 444 teaching days during the school year, visiting 365 schools and providing environmental education to 39,860 students from across NSW.
However it wasn’t just school students who benefited from the EnviroMentors services. On World Environment Day, the EnviroMentors visited Wrigley Offices to deliver the sustainable living workshops on the economical components of energy and water saving, and in October the EnviroMentors and Hornsby Shire Council staff assisted Wrigley staff in the planting and revegetation of the eastern end of James Park.
In May, the EnviroMentors launched their new ‘Schoolyard Harvest’ module at Newington Public School. The new module guides students through the steps involved in creating and caring for their own vegetable garden at school or at home. Television personality and host of ABC’s ‘Gardening Australia’ Costa Georgiadis was on-hand to launch the new module. The gardening guru was a big hit with the students and was delighted with the module’s focus on gardening being a sustainable activity for all.
Lastly, in our new Community Litter Grants program we worked with communities in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority. This involved identifying litter hot spots and funding practical solutions in cities and towns across the state. This year 108 community groups completed litter checks and 32 were award the community litter grants.
Outside of our programs in our only fundraising venture for the year KABNSW was joined by their President who is the NSW Premier, The Hon. Barry O’Farrell, and The Hon. Robyn Parker MP, Minister of Environment and Minister for Heritage, The Hon. Bronwyn Bishop MP, Member for Mackellar represented the Prime Minister, and The Hon. Shelley Hancock, Member of the Legislative Assembly and Speaker of the House, for their annual Premier’s Dinner at NSW Parliament House.
The Premier’s Dinner was attended by 229 guests and celebrated our achievements and presented plans for the future preservation, protection and enhancement of the NSW environment.
Premier O’Farrell addressed the dinner and commended KABNSW for motivating and educating individuals, communities, businesses and councils to take up environmentally sustainable practices.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in our programs and supported us over the course of the year. We look forward to seeing you in 2014!