The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
16 August 2001
EMBARGO - 2.30pm August 17th
Environmental volunteers from Far North Queensland have been recognised in a ceremony in Cairns with the presentation of the 2001 Cassowary Awards by the Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone.
"This years winners cover the whole range of environmental and conservation fields from nature based tourism and the mapping of wet tropics vegetation to the recognition of Indigenous culture", Sharman Stone said.
"In the International Year of the Volunteer, what better time to recognise the contributions of FNQ environmentalists than during the Cassowary Award ceremony, celebrated in the company of 30 local community volunteer groups".
Sharman Stone said that the Cassowary, which is an endangered species, is an important symbol of Australia's megadiversity.
"As locals know only too well, the Cassowary is an essential seed disperser in rain forests, protecting the unique biodiversity of the region by feeding on fruits in the forest and scattering seeds in the process".
"I am particularly impressed that today's award ceremony recognises the work of a school community, Alexandra Bay School, who are focusing on the cassowary in their curriculum.
"At the other end of the spectrum, Peter Stanton has been awarded the Science Award for his on-going contribution to protecting the Cassowary. He has provided most of the scientific data to support World Heritage listing of the Wet Tropics, that involved trekking through rough and inaccessible areas", Sharman Stone said.
The Cassowary Awards are a unique environmental celebration limited to 10 recipients each year. The awards commenced in 1998 as an initiative of the Wet Tropics Board. Recipients form a high-profile community network group that provides a custodial role in the conservation of rainforests.
A list of award winners and description of their contribution is attached.
For further information contact:
Michael Christo 0409 040 276
August 16th 2001
2001 Cassowary Award Recipients
Community Conservation - For members of voluntary conservation groups for outstanding advocacy and/or hands-on activities such as tree planting, water quality, cassowary conservation.
- Alexandra Bay School
For dedication to community education, environment protection and cassowary conservation in the Daintree Region.
For eight years the school teachers, students, parents and local community have worked together to ensure an education focus on cassowaries in all subject areas, revegetated the school grounds, worked in a shared nursery to assist district revegetation, and undertaken a Coastcare project at a nearby beach.
Conservation Advocacy - For outstanding advocacy for conservation of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
- Rosemary Hill
In recognition of, and with appreciation for, your endeavours which led to World Heritage listing and furthering the understanding of Aboriginal culture in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Rosemary was an originator of CAFNEC and has been a leader of the conservation movement in north Queensland for over 20 years. When the only value of rainforest was deemed to be its timber Rosemary organised petitions, letter writing campaigns, lobbied politicians, arranged field trips with eminent people, ran field trips and lecture circuits to educate the media and the community about the values of tropical rainforest and much more. Since World Heritage listing Rosemary has continued her interest in WHA management and has worked tirelessly on many committees to ensure its protection. Through her recent academic work with Yalanji people, she has broken new ground in issues of joint management.
Nature Based Tourism - For demonstrated best practice in ecologically sustainable, nature based tourism and in presenting World Heritage values.
- Hazel Douglas
For demonstrated best practice in ecologically sustainable, nature based tourism and cultural presentation of Wet Tropics World Heritage values.
Native Guide Safaris runs personalised guided rainforest tours in her traditional country, the Daintree coast. The award winning owner-operated enterprise gives visitors to the Kuku Yalanji country a unique way to experience the rainforest. Hazel is particularly adept at interpretation of Kuku Yalanji customary uses of the rainforest. Hazel provides an excellent role model for indigenous tourism as a mainstream attraction.
Unsung Hero - a special category for those who may not normally be recognised in the above categories, but who substantially contribute to the conservation of World Heritage values.
- George Mansford
In recognition of the extraordinary devotion and determination shown to cassowary conservation and preservation of the WTWHA which, through your balanced approach, provides continuing inspiration to the wider community.
Past Wet Tropics Board member, Past LNLG Chair, Past CAG Chair, current ARF Chair. Has devoted enormous time & effort to the acceptance by the general community of the value of the WHA & the urgent need for positive actions for the conservation of cassowaries. This nomination was supported unanimously by the LNLG at their April 2001 meeting. George has always led from the front and by example. His energy and enthusiasm and emphasis on "getting things done" are an inspiration to WTMA staff and stakeholders.
Government - For a public sector individual or group contribution (at any three levels of government) to World Heritage management, well beyond the call of their normal role in government.
- Sibby Bresolin
For outstanding contribution to the survival and enhancement of Rainforest Aboriginal culture and heritage in the WTWHA.
Yidinji woman Syb Bresolin works for the Centre for Tropical Restoration at Lake Eacham, where she has helped community volunteers and government workers to understand the spiritual aspects of looking after country which gives an extra dimension to the Centre's conservation work. She has also forged a new level of reconciliation among the people of the Tablelands (also nominated under Government).
Science - For an outstanding contribution (either cumulatively or by way of a breakthrough discovery) to enhance knowledge and understanding of the tropical rainforest and its management.
- Peter Stanton
For your tireless and inspirational commitment to the classification and mapping of vegetation in the WTWHA
A pre-eminent scientist, Peter worked for many years in National Parks and Wildlife service. His abilities and integrity have been an inspiration to all those who worked with him. In his various positions within the QPWS and his prior employment with Forestry he travelled throughout rugged, inaccessible areas, often on foot and for long periods if time, undertaking assessments of the vegetation in the region. Most of the National Park proposals throughout Queensland since 1968 were initially assessed by Peter. He spent many long and arduous hours providing most of the scientific data for the WHA listing. Peter retired from the Public Service two years ago and since that time has continued to work tirelessly to assess the vegetation of the Wet Tropics that he loves so much.
- Sally Driml
For outstanding services in linking economics and ecology in furtherance of the ecologically sustainable development of the WTWHA.
Indigenous Culture - For an outstanding contribution to the survival and enhancement of tropical rainforest Aboriginal culture and heritage.
- George Davis
For outstanding services to World Heritage education and Rainforest Aboriginal cultural interpretation through your work with the local community.
George is from the Malanbarra-Yidinjy clan group. He is widely respected in the Aboriginal community for his skill in making traditional artefacts such as shields. He has assisted the reconciliation process through community education and visiting local schools to talk about his culture. He is the author of a book for high school students which will be released later this year. George is a World Heritage neighbour and a member of the LNLG. He worked for 49 years in the bush, cutting timber and living with cassowary (also nominated under Arts).