Chief Executive’s August Report

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Late last month, KNSWB ran our second annual Litter Congress: Less Litter, Live Better. Held in the York Conference and Events Centre in the heart of Sydney,  this year’s two day Congress was bigger and better than last year, and featured a diverse group of presenters and guests.

The Hon. Mark Speakman MP, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, and Assistant Minister for Planning opened the event, and  His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d),  Governor of New South Wales, spoke passionately about his disdain for litter and his admiration for those fighting to eradicate. It was an honour to have them both at our Congress.

I was inspired listening to Australia’s great thought leaders in the areas of litter prevention and environmental sustainability.  For two days, our presenters showed us evidence of real change and real results. We heard from Tim Silverwood, founder of the Take 3 movement; Justin Bonsey, who created Responsible Runners; The team from City of Sydney who found a striking, graphic way to bring attention to the city’s cigarette butt problem; Sarah Chen from City of Ryde Council, with a thoughtful and cheery presentation on reaching CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) communities with an anti-litter message; and many, many more.

All the presentations were enlightening and informative, containing really practical information that shouldn’t be confined to a conference room and just a couple of hundred people. We have worked with all 40 presenters to compile their case studies and presentations into the Keep NSW Beautiful Litter Congress Green Paper.

The Green Paper is available to read and download online at no cost. If you weren’t able to attend Congress, or if you are interested in learning how other groups and individuals across the country are learning how to think inventively to solve problems and reduce littered items in their communities, I strongly suggest you take a look at the Green Paper. It might hold all the answers you are looking for.

The event would not have been possible without our Presenting Partner, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and I must thank them, along with our Congress Supporters: Lion, SUEZ environnement, the Australian Packaging Covenant, BioBag and Wrigley.

I’d like to thank all the presenters of the Litter Congress for their time and insights into our shared problem, too. Finally I’d also like to thank the KNSWB team for helping the event to run smoothly, under the close eye of Emma MacMillan, our Conference & Events Coordinator.

We’re getting ready for a busy few months at KNSWB. We are putting the finishing touches on the Blue Star (Metro) Awards ahead of a presentation dinner on Thursday 17th September in Manly. The night will be MC’d by journalist, humourist and author Wendy Harmer, and all the winners of the Metro arm of the Blue Star Awards will be revealed – it’s going to be an unmissable night.

Judges will be visiting our overall State Representative finalists for the Regional Awards throughout August and September, and we will celebrate those winners across a weekend event in Gloucester, NSW (2015 Tidy Town of the Year) in November. Tickets for the event will be released shortly.

As ever, my door is open and I welcome feedback of any sort, so please feel free to contact me on (02) 8594 4000 or email me directly at ceo@knswb.org.au.

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