Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Town catches judge’s eye

- By CORAL COOKSLEY

A BURKE Museum repatriati­on project for the handover of Indigenous artefacts to traditiona­l owners entered into this year's National Sustainabl­e Communitie­s-Tidy Towns Awards was among diverse projects that caught the judge's eye at the end of last year.

KVB judge Gail Langley – with a background in agricultur­e, education, counsellin­g and building social rural entities – visited Beechworth on a trip around Australia to evaluate entries.

With projects entered into the national awards' nine categories, Ms Langley said Beechworth as a town stood out as a winner from last year's KVB state awards.

She said the museum's project was unqiue – one of a long journey over many years involving returning artefacts to Aboriginal communitie­s and connecting to elders.

"It provides a model for other museums," Ms Langley said.

Other local porjects which impressed her included the cemetery restoratio­n one with its regenerati­on of native plants as well as the entry into the energy category with Beechworth's plan to be totally renewable by 2030.

"The Murray to Mountain Rail Trail project is also a big one for tourism," Ms Langley said.

Separate to the KVB state awards where Beechworth and other towns within the shire have taken out many category wins for projects entered for more than 25 years, Beechworth was named national title winner in 2010 as well as a finalist in 2018.

Tidy Town Beechworth's Iris Mannik, who is one of three organising committee members who chose entries across the shire, said the awards recognised volunteer work.

She said the awards as well as projects were also supported by Indigo Shire Council.

"Without shire support we would not be able to enter projects and be a member of KVB," Ms Mannik said.

"This year is the 50th anniversar­y of Sustainabl­e Communitie­s-Tidy Towns.

"With Beechworth as hosts for the state awards as the town being last year's state winner, all eyes with be on Indigo Shire and Beechworth for this important KVB milestone."

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 ?? PHOTO: Coral Cooksley ?? INSPIRED: Keep Australia Beautiful National judge Gail Langley (left), Keep Victoria Beautiful program manager Emma White with chief executive Sabina Wills, Beechworth's Tidy Town's committee members Anne Wilson and Iris Mannik with Indigo Shire's project manager for the Beechworth to Yackandand­ah Rail Trail extension, Penny Everingham.
PHOTO: Coral Cooksley INSPIRED: Keep Australia Beautiful National judge Gail Langley (left), Keep Victoria Beautiful program manager Emma White with chief executive Sabina Wills, Beechworth's Tidy Town's committee members Anne Wilson and Iris Mannik with Indigo Shire's project manager for the Beechworth to Yackandand­ah Rail Trail extension, Penny Everingham.

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