This Award is dedicated to the many volunteers who participate in land and environmental conservation and education, and to the huge-hearted volunteers who give up their time, their skills and sometimes even their homes to helping sick, injured and orphaned animals.
The finalists are:
Anne and Peter Booth – Wildcare Inc.
Anne and Peter Booth have led a successful weed-eradication program on Maria Island for 14 years. As Friends of Maria Island ‘Sweeping the Broom’ program, they have co-ordinated over 50 volunteer working bees, to hand-pull millions of weeds that threaten the National Park’s heritage and natural values.
Anne and Peter are a powerful pair of quiet, committed, community leaders. They not only have a vision, they have an effective strategy to make it happen. For example, they developed a detailed ‘colour coding’ mapping system to systematically tackle the weeds. The Booth’s initial weed containment objective has since expanded to eradication from huge areas.
Anne and Peter have been responsible for planning, liaison with the parks service, coordinating transport on and off the island, writing reports, applying for grants, lobbying, and updating vegetation maps and the Atlas of Living Australia.
Their ability to marshall resources, train and energise the volunteer teams, and work with Parks and other organisations is truly an inspiration and shows what can be achieved with passion and commitment.
Alison Curtis-Godillon – Wombat Rescue Tasmania
Alison volunteers with both Wombat Rescue Tasmania and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. She is an enthusiastic and willing wildlife volunteer, who is professional in her approach and dedicated to the health and welfare of wombats.
For the past year, Alison has single-handedly managed mange-affected wombats on Dalness Farm near Evandale, as well as several other properties. She visits weekly to treat mange-affected wombats and to set camera traps to check on their health. Alison self-funds most of her volunteering activities, including buying a motion sensor camera to check up on the progress of diseased wombats.
Alison volunteers to transport injured wombats for vet treatment and participates in hand-rearing orphaned young, which involves many nights of disrupted sleep due to the necessary 3-hourly feeds.
She liaises with state wildlife officers and research staff at the University of Tasmania, seeking and providing information to keep abreast of best-practice treatments. Alison also actively contributes information to DPIPWE wildlife management officers for the database.
Toni Johnstone – Tasmanian Lost Pet Register
Toni Hainsworth-Johnstone is a Team Leader at the Tasmanian Lost Pet Register. Reliable and positive, Toni consistently goes the extra mile to ensure the success of the many initiatives and improvements she has brought to the register. She dedicates over 40 hours per week to her role as coordinator, giving her time to meet with the public, the media and other animal rescue centres.
Toni tirelessly recruits, encourages and inspires a large team of volunteers to help ensure the success of the register. She shows flexibility and dedication in her role, willingly adapting her work and home life to fit her volunteer and coordinator roles.
In her seven years of volunteering with the Lost Pet Register, Toni’s responsive and helpful manner, perseverance and positive attitude has helped to reunite countless lost and found pets with their families.
Susan Weeding – Old Beach Scout Group
Susan Weeding is a Cub Scout Leader and Scout Adult Helper at Old Beach Scout Group. When the Group was recently at risk of closing, Susan tripled her volunteer hours and took on extra administration work to ensure its continued operation.
Susan is deeply committed to the environment and knows that today’s children need environmental experiences beyond the classroom. She passionately believes that children will connect best to our wild places by physically being there, having fun, and learning about environmental conservation. With her common sense and calm attitude, the youth she works with feel safe participating in challenging outdoor activities that extend their comfort zone.
Susan’s inspires environmental enthusiasm in the Scouts will carry them through to adulthood, positively impacting schoolmates, friends, and communities.
Susan’s positive attitude has kept the Old Beach Scouts alive, to the benefit of both the children and adults who participate.