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Media Release
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

Cassowary Awards recognise outstanding environmental volunteers

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.

Conservation Advocacy - For outstanding advocacy for conservation of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Nature Based Tourism - For demonstrated best practice in ecologically sustainable, nature based tourism and in presenting World Heritage values.

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.

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.

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.

Indigenous Culture - For an outstanding contribution to the survival and enhancement of tropical rainforest Aboriginal culture and heritage.

Commonwealth of Australia