Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

ONE of Australia’s best known au­thors is com­ing to Air­lie Beach.

Tim Win­ton (pic­tured) will be in town on Mon­day to cel­e­brate 50 years of pro­tect­ing Australia’s oceans with the Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety and Whit­sun­day Res­i­dents Against Dump­ing.

Mr Win­ton has had his 26 works pub­lished in 28 lan­guages since re­ceiv­ing the Aus­tralian Vo­gel Award for his first book, An Open Swim­mer, in 1981.

He is also a four-time win­ner of the Miles Franklin Award and has twice been short-listed for the Booker Prize.

Mr Win­ton has even been de­clared a Living Trea­sure by the Na­tional Trust.

When he’s not writ­ing, Mr Win­ton is an avid en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist and con­ser­va­tion­ist.

In 2002, he stunned many by do­nat­ing the prize­money from the West­ern Aus­tralian Pre­mier’s Award to the Save Nin­ga­loo Reef Cam­paign – a sub­stan­tial $25,000.

In 2011, the reef was listed as World Her­itage by the Un- ited Na­tions, with AMCS putting no small por­tion of the thanks on Mr Win­ton’s shoul­ders.

Mon­day’s event will see the com­mu­nity and Mr Win­ton come to­gether to recog­nise the achieve­ments of en­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paign­ers in fight­ing for bet­ter pro­tec­tion of our oceans.

Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety reef cam­paigner Cher­rie Mud­dle said the event was a chance to re­joice.

“It’s a chance to come to­gether as a com­mu­nity and re­flect on all that we have achieved so far in our ef­forts to care for our oceans,” she said.

Ms Mud­dle said there would be a spe­cial film screen­ing on the night, show­cas­ing the battle to im­prove the qual­ity of our oceans.

“The event will in­clude a screen­ing of a home-grown film about our ex­tra­or­di­nary seas and the inspiring peo­ple who look af­ter them, as well as an up­date on the com­mu­nity’s fight to save the Great Bar­rier Reef,” she said.

Mr Win­ton, who is a pa­tron of AMCS, has been an ac­tive cam­paigner for the group for more than a decade.

He first joined the group in his home state of West­ern Australia, be­com­ing vice-pres­i­dent of the so­ci­ety’s WA branch.

“Tim will share his re­flec­tions on his pas­sion for the ocean and their im­por­tance to our well-be­ing, our iden­tity as well as for our unique wildlife,” Ms Mud­dle said. She said the evening was not just for those who were al­ready fight­ing to pro­tect the reef, but also for those who had a de­sire to get in­volved or be­come more in­formed.

“For any­one in the com­mu­nity who is feel­ing con­cerned about the fu­ture of our oceans, this event will be a great op­por­tu­nity to come to­gether with oth­ers in the com­mu­nity to find out what we’ve achieved so far and to join to­gether and get the re­sults our oceans need,” she said.

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