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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Gill wins top Landcare prize for 2020

Robyn Gill has been awarded top honours at this year’s Lake Macquarie Landcare Awards.

A founding member of the Coal Point Progress Association Landcare group since its inception in 1995, Robyn has worked tirelessly as a volunteer, dedicating a quarter of a century to rehabilitating bushland reserves in western Lake Macquarie.

Landcare Coordinator Jason Harvey said Robyn was awarded the John Hughson Soaring With the Eagles Award for making a ‘regionally significant’ contribution to the Landcare movement.

“Robyn has been tireless as a volunteer, inspirational as a leader and invaluable as a role model to other people throughout Landcare,” Mr Harvey said.

“Through her passion, energy and environmental responsibility, she has brought about a marked improvement to the health of our bushland reserves.”

Mrs Gill said she had enjoyed great reward and much satisfaction from her time as a Landcare volunteer.

“It has been wonderful – you get to see the results of what you do,” she said.

“It’s great to be out there in the environment, and in the time we’ve been doing it, the changes have been spectacular.”

Other volunteers recognised this year included Nancy and Stephen Lott, who both received the Local Legend Award.

The couple have been instrumental in the Eleebana Residences Landcare group, rehabilitating a stretch of Fossil Wing Creek that runs behind their complex.

Arbre Close Landcare member John Sharples won the Community Education Award for raising awareness in the community about Landcare and environmental management, while Marmong Waters and Alpha Close Landcare groups shared the Newcomers Group Award.

Mr Harvey said 2020 had been a challenging year for Landcare groups, with COVID-19 restricting many activities.

“Despite those setbacks, our 200-plus groups have done an incredible amount of work throughout Lake Macquarie,” he said.

“We are all very grateful for the time and effort they contribute every year.”

You can view a recording of the awards on Lake Macquarie Landcare’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

For more information go to lakemacquarielandcare.org.

The 2020 Lake Macquarie Landcare Awards also featured Landcare Achievers Award winner Wendy Davidson from the Coal Point Progress Association Landcare and Keith Barry Oval Landcare.

A 10 Years’ Service Award recognised Eleebana Residences Landcare’s Roy and Irene Stanners and Ivy Street Landcare’s
Dave and Chris Eastham.

Central Rankin Park Landcare’s Karen Ayliffe and Farm Street Reserve Landcare’s Wendy and Craig Patrick were recognised with the 20 Years’ Service Award.

Special acknowledgements were given to Blacksmiths Beach Dunecare who have been operating for 30 years, Central Rankin Park Landcare who clocked up 25 years in August and Coal Point Progress Association Landcare who marked 25 years in November.