Tidy Towns suc­cess

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

Hor­sham’s Tidy Towns leader has hailed an army of com­mit­ted vol­un­teers as the driv­ing force be­hind Wimmera suc­cess at Keep Vic­to­ria Beau­ti­ful Tidy Towns Awards on Satur­day night.

Hor­sham won the en­vi­ron­men­tal sustainabi­lity ac­co­lade along with the re­source re­cov­ery and waste man­age­ment award at a gala pre­sen­ta­tion night in Hor­sham Town Hall.

Hor­sham Ru­ral City coun­cil­lor Alethea Gul­vin won the young lead­ers award, while the ru­ral city was also highly com­mended in the com­mu­nity ac­tion and lead­er­ship – pop­u­la­tion above 3000 – cat­e­gory and short­listed for the over­all tidy town award.

Hor­sham chair­woman Gil­lian Van­derwaal said it was ex­cit­ing to see Hor­sham projects among the fi­nal­ists in sev­eral cat­e­gories.

“Hor­sham has a won­der­ful, vi­brant, ac­tive com­mu­nity. These peo­ple de­serve recog­ni­tion for their achieve­ments and it’s won­der­ful we are able to do that through the Tidy Towns pro­gram,” she said.

“At the end of the day it all comes down to the vol­un­teers. These peo­ple are pas­sion­ate about Hor­sham and the projects they are driv­ing.”

Vic­to­rian Tidy Towns judge David Mon­crief con­grat­u­lated the Hor­sham com­mu­nity on an­other suc­cess­ful year at the awards.

“Hor­sham’s ded­i­cated com­mit­tee works year-round with com­mu­nity groups and the coun­cil to en­cour­age on­go­ing beau­ti­fi­ca­tion, re­cy­cling and lit­ter re­duc­tion,” he said.

“This year Hor­sham had out­stand­ing projects in the en­vi­ron­men­tal sustainabi­lity and re­source re­cov­ery and waste man­age­ment fields.”

Ms Van­derwaal said the Hor­sham coun­cil teamed with Grampians Cen­tral West Waste and Re­source Re­cov­ery Group to re­cy­cle sin­gleuse plas­tic bags used by farm­ers to store ex­cess grain at har­vest.

“The sustainabi­lity award went to Hor­sham Ur­ban Land­care, which is a re­ally vi­brant group with a lot of young peo­ple who are keen to ed­u­cate peo­ple about the en­vi­ron­ment and sustainabi­lity,” she said.

“They have been run­ning work­shops on sustainabi­lity and gar­den­ing skills and also run a pro­duce swap.”

Ms Van­derwaal also sang praises of Cr Gul­vin.

“Alethea is amaz­ing. She is a great men­tor and great role model. She is on coun­cil at such a young age and she is also a teacher, en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple to be lead­ers,” she said.

Wimmera awards

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Other Wimmera cen­tres also won recog­ni­tion.

Dim­boola Town Com­mit­tee tri­umphed in the com­mu­nity gov­ern­ment part­ner­ships cat­e­gory and was highly com­mended in the Cul­tural Her­itage sec­tion.

Stawell was highly com­mended in the com­mu­nity gov­ern­ment part­ner­ships sec­tor.

The groups and projects were se­lected from more than 70 ap­pli­ca­tions from across the state.

The an­nual Tidy Towns pro­gram has been run­ning in Vic­to­ria since 1983 and sets out to recog­nise the hard work done by in­di­vid­u­als and groups in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

Hor­sham has been in­volved in the pro­gram since its in­cep­tion.

Mayor Pam Clarke said it was great to see Hor­sham shine at the awards each year.

She said the name Tidy Towns was mis­lead­ing.

“It’s not just about be­ing ‘tidy’ but about hav­ing a sus­tain­able so­ci­ety and com­mu­nity,” she said.

“We have so many vol­un­teers who work amaz­ingly hard at what they do to make our com­mu­nity a more sus­tain­able place to live.”

One of those vol­un­teers was the late Don Johns, who chaired Hor­sham’s Tidy Towns Com­mit­tee for more than 30 years.

Dur­ing his ten­ure Hor­sham was voted Aus­tralia’s Ti­di­est Town in 2001 and Vic­to­ria’s ti­di­est town seven times.

At the week­end, Keep Vic­to­ria Beau­ti­ful chief ex­ec­u­tive Sabina Wills un­veiled a bench seat in Hor­sham in Mr Johns’ hon­our.

“Keep Aus­tralia Beau­ti­ful Vic­to­ria pro­vided a seat be­cause they wanted to recog­nise Don for all the work he did,” Ms Van­derwaal said.

“He was so pas­sion­ate about Tidy Towns.”

The bench is in Me­nadue Street, over­look­ing the Wimmera River.

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