Cerebrum of the Hunter
Scone has been practicing principles of sustainability as a matter of survival for many years and although new to the Sustainable Communities–Tidy Town Awards, having established a committee in 2021, their projects and programs were exemplary. It is evident that the Scone community has been committed to sustainability principles for a long time, their thinking is clear and purposeful, and they have an inspiring ability to overcome challenges and motivate the community to work towards a better future.
Scone’s projects have been as diverse as the individuals and groups involved in seeing through each of the 7 initiatives entered, and what has made Scone stand out is a clear collective vision for what a sustainable Scone looks like.
The ability of Scone’s community groups to collaborate with one another and to work towards a shared goal is the perfect demonstration of what the Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns program is all about.
Heart of the Hunter
Singleton is a long-time competitor in the Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards program, being a recipient of the 2016 Overall NSW State Award, Highly Commended award in the 2006 National competition and Spirit of Australia award in the 2006 National competition.
The town takes environmental sustainability seriously, which is demonstrated through high-calibre initiatives featuring heavily in the community’s approach to waste minimisation.
Singleton has a particularly wide network of community organisations that communicate well, proving that they can work collaboratively for another’s cause.
The local Wonnarua people are the traditional owners of the Singleton area and are recognised, respected and celebrated through many cultural events. In 1999, The Wonnarua Nation Aboriginal Corporation was established to represent the Wonnarua people.
Through the Singleton Clontarf Academy, the Clontarf Foundation – although not well known – makes a big difference to the future of many young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men by assisting them to complete school, develop strong community connections and pride, and prepare for employment.
Two Cities, One Community
Albury City is forthright in stating that it has a ‘two city, one community’ culture.
There is strong evidence of proactive engagement by Council with the community, and a comfortable willingness of the community to ‘have their say’ in decision making.
Community and political pressure to effectively manage the environment is increasing, and Council has achieved good results in these, often competing, arenas.
Council has an effective strategic planning process with adoption of the overarching Albury 2030 Strategic Plan, and subsequent Sustainability and Environmental Reports, Action Plans, Projects and Monitoring Programs.
This year, Albury also won the Waste Less, Recycle More Waste Minimisation Award, sponsored by NSW EPA; the Renewable Energy Award; the Recycled Organics Award; and the Overall Population (Category E: 20,000+) Award; and were Highly Commended in the Community Spirit and Inclusion Award.
Spirit of the Hunter
Murrurundi have consistently been strong in their environmental and social programs for many years. The stand-out project this year was their Doing it for the Farmers, a program to support their drought-stricken area. Our assessor gave special mention to the towns ability to work together during the extreme drought conditions and that much had been achieved with very little.
This year, Murrurundi won awards in the Environmental Communication Award with their ‘Hundred Mile Dinner’ and the Community Spirit and Inclusion Award for the ‘Doing it for the Farmers’.
Another small town that punches above its weight, showing that when everyone works together, much can be achieved.