On Thursday the 22nd of September 2016, Ella was announced as a joint winner of the Manpower Young Landcare Leader award.
I am absolutely thrilled not only to win this award, but to share it with the dynamic Naomi Edwards from Queensland – a passionate 29 year old coast-carer and co-founder of the Intrepid Landcare movement.
The buzz at the Melbourne Convention Centre on award night was phenomenal – hundreds of people who care about the land coming together for a meal and to celebrate the achievements of the movements leaders. Western Australia took out award after award, announced by Gardening Australias bubbly Costa Georgiadias: Jill Richardson for Facilitator or Co-Ordinator, Rhonda Williams for Individual Landcarer, Southampton Homestead for both Peoples Choice and Sustainable Farm Practices, the Blackwood Basin Group for Community Group, and lastly myself for Young Landcare Leader.
Awards like this can be looked at in two ways – as a pat on the back for 20 years of service to the environment (yep, I started volunteering at the age of 14), or as an opportunity to promote a cause and open doors to new audiences.
I’m taking it as an opportunity. It was an opportunity to call for a serious response to climate change in my acceptance speech, and it’s also an opportunity to work with my co-winner Naomi to raise the profile and understanding of young people in the environmental sector.
Naomi and I are both home now, on opposite sides of the country, but already the emails, phone calls and ideas are flowing. We’re gonna make something happen. After all, that’s the kind of people we are.
A huge thank you to the South West Catchments Council RLF Program and Landcare Australia Ltd for sponsorship to attend the National Landcare Conference and Awards.