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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

10 February 2005

NSW Waterwatcher earns national recognition

The coordinator of the Hunter Regional Waterwatch group has earned a national award recognising his outstanding work to protect local waterways and encourage children to get involved in Waterwatch activities.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today congratulated Colin Mondy and the 13 other recipients of the National Waterwatch Awards, who were announced at a special ceremony in Melbourne last night.

“Colin is a very deserving winner having worked tirelessly over the past 14 years to promote Waterwatch to school students and the wider community and encourage members of his local area to become involved in activities to protect our waterways,” Senator Campbell said.

“His achievements are demonstrated by the fact that in 1994 there were 19 Streamwatch groups in the Hunter region, by June last year this had risen to 190, with almost 5400 participants.

“Colin first became involved in Waterwatch activities when he took on the role of Streamwatch Program Coordinator at the Gateshead High School near Newcastle. He then took his passion for Waterwatch on to his next position as Hunter Regional Waterwatch Coordinator, where he has been since 1994.

“Waterwatch is a national community water quality monitoring network that encourages all Australians to become involved in the protection and management of their waterways and catchments. The Australian Government started Waterwatch in 1993 in recognition of growing community concern for water quality.

“Since Waterwatch began, the number of monitoring groups has grown from 200 operating in 16 catchments, to nearly 3000 groups in 200 catchments. Around 500 sites are monitored regularly.

“The Waterwatch network is made up of individuals like Colin, community groups and school groups which undertake a variety of biological and habitat assessments and physical and chemical tests to build a picture of the health of their waterways and catchments.”

Senator Campbell said Colin's commitment to environmental education was particularly inspiring.

“He has prepared educational resource materials to assist schools to integrate the Waterwatch program into the curriculum and each year promotes Waterwatch through launches, presentations, displays and his hugely successful ‘Catchment Crawls'. Primary schools that have adopted the Junior Waterwatch program now number over 70,” he said.

“I congratulate Colin for his outstanding efforts in protecting his local environments and hope his achievements motivate other Australians to get involved.

Colin was nominated for the Award by Susan Woodhouse, the Stormwater Education Officer at the Lake Macquarie City Council.

For more information on Waterwatch, visit

Media contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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